The Good Friday Agreement: 20 Years On‘You can go into the pub and have a pint and not worry about a gunman coming in and spraying the bar’.

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Reporter Paddy O’Gorman took his dog on a walk through the Shankill and to the Falls in Belfast asking people along the way if they thought their lives have improved 20 years on since The Good Friday Agreement.

One of the people he spoke to was Charlie Butler. Charlie runs a chipper and says that things have definitely changed since the 70s, 80s and 90s.

“In them days you couldn’t leave your own area. It was a designated Protestant or a designated Catholic area…There’s integrated schools now, maybe not enough of them…Kids are no longer afraid to leave their own road.”

Charlie told Paddy that he feels safer in general.

“You can go to the pub and have a pint and not worry about a gunman coming in and spraying the bar or a bomb being thrown at you. Because, you know, I lost family in it, like most people in Northern Ireland.”

Things aren’t perfect, though, as he explained.

“We still have tribal politics and it’s not going to change. I was hoping it was going to change for my kids. I’ve given up on that. I’m hoping it’s going to change for my Grandkids and to be honest, I’m near giving up on that.”

Listen back to the full segment on Today with Sean O’Rourke here.

Image credit: Alan Lewis/Getty/AFP

© The Listener 2018

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