Events to mark the Good Friday Agreement Anniversary
A variety of events marking the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement will take place during 2023.
These events will happen on the island of Ireland, as well as around the world through initiatives of Ireland’s global network of embassies and consulates.
A sample of the events that have taken place are outlined here. More events are planned in the coming weeks and months, recognising this historic anniversary.
On Sunday 2 April, the Government held a cultural event, in partnership with the Abbey Theatre, to mark 25 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
Sharing Peace, Sharing Futures celebrated a diverse set of voices and perspectives on this island.
Events around the world
On 28-29 April, the Irish Studies Program at Boston College, supported by the Consulate General of Ireland, Boston, the Northern Ireland Bureau, and Boston College Journalism, hosted a symposium focusing on Northern Ireland women’s writing to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The symposium explored the impact of the Good Friday Agreement through the lens of investigative journalism and literature written by women.
The conference featured talks from journalists, Susan McKay and Freya McClements on the Good Friday Agreement and how Northern Ireland has changed in the intervening period since the agreement’s inception.
There was also a screening of the documentary Lyra, a film exploring the life and legacy of investigative journalist, Lyra McKee; Lyra’s partner, Sara Canning, also partook in a post-screening discussion. Additionally, Louise Kennedy, author of the award-winning 2022 novel, Trespasses, delivered a reading from her acclaimed novel and Kennedy participated as well in a conversation with Susan McKay exploring the novel’s origins and central themes.
A St. Patrick’s Day Gala Concert took place in Washington D.C., at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
This evening of culture and song recognised the historic agreement, and honoured the unique contribution of the United States of America to peace in Ireland.
Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, was delighted to participate in the ‘Washington Summit on the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement: Assessing the Progress, Contextualizing the Present, Envisioning the Future' conference, hosted by American University, Georgetown University and Ulster University, which took place on 21 March in Washington DC.
Supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, alongside the Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Bureau, the conference was an important opportunity to reflect on the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, appraising the progress towards peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and considering the path forward.
The summit can be watched back on the Georgetown University website
Minister of State for European Affairs, Peter Burke TD, together with UK Minister for Europe, Leo Docherty MP, jointly opened a conference on 27 March marking the Good Friday Agreement Anniversary.
Entitled ‘25 Years on – Global and Local Reflections on the Good Friday Agreement’, the conference was organised the Embassy of Ireland in London and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, supported by the Northern Ireland Office.
The conference explored the transformation of relationships across these islands made possible by the Good Friday Agreement.
It celebrated the work of those who made the Agreement possible, highlighted the support of international partners and looked ahead to the next phase of building peace.
On 13 March, Micheál Martin TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, gave a keynote address at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) conference on:
‘Looking back and moving forward: celebrating 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement’
The conference was supported by the Consulate General of Ireland, New York and featured a variety of voices involved in the peace process, including former Senator George Mitchell, and contemporary actors from the island of Ireland, North and South.
On 4 April, the Consulate of Ireland, New York, in partnership with the NI Bureau and The John and Pat Hume Foundation, were pleased to present a screening of the award-winning film ‘Lyra’, about the acclaimed Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee, at the Irish Arts Center.
The screening was followed by a discussion with the team behind the film including John and Pat Hume Foundation board member and Lyra’s partner, Sara Canning, director Alison Millar and producer Jackie Doyle.
On 10 March, Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, participated in a ‘fireside chat’ on the legacy of the Good Friday Agreement at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland, Chicago.
Minister McGrath reflected on the historic nature of the Agreement, as well as the importance of US bi-partisan support for peace in Northern Ireland.
Watch back on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs website.
On 16 March, Minister of State Thomas Byrne participated in a seminar organised by the Consulate General of Ireland, Austin, delivering remarks on the upcoming anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
The event featured Belfast-based Big Telly Productions, who gave a presentation on ‘Peace-Making and the Arts’. With the support of the Consulate, Big Telly Productions brought their virtual reality art installation ‘The House’ to exhibit at the University of Texas, Austin and the San Antonio Peace Center at Northwest Vista College.
This project, developed with the Commission for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland, explores the legacy of the Troubles and the intergenerational impact of politically motivated violence.
Permanent Mission of Ireland to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
In partnership with the UK permanent mission, the mission of Ireland to the OSCE organised a screening of ‘Wave Goodbye to the Dinosaurs’ on 23 March.
This is a film telling the story of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition from their beginnings as a movement, to their later participation in the multi-party talks that ultimately led to the Good Friday Agreement.
The Consulate General of Ireland, Toronto hosted a gala film screening of ‘Young Plato’, in partnership with the Hot Docs Ted Rogers cinema, on 7 April. The event featured a panel discussion with the team behind the documentary including director, Neasa Ní Chianáin, producer, David Rane and headmaster of Holy Cross Ardoyne, Kevin McArevey.
A wide array of invited guests and members of the public also heard from Consul General Janice McGann on the continued importance of the Good Friday Agreement in creating a peaceful and reconciled Northern Ireland.
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