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25th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement

Omagh High School pupils attend historic event marking the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.

On Thursday 20th April 2023, a group of Key Stage 3 History students from Omagh High School were privileged to be given the opportunity to attend a star-studded event at Hillsborough Castle marking the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The event looked back to 1998, and the subsequent years, to reflect on the legacy of the Belfast Agreement and on the work that remains to be done.

Pupils took part in a ‘Question Time’ panel debate hosted by Suzanne Breen featuring a whole host of dignitaries including Alastair Campbell, Mark Durkan, Monica McWilliams and Tim O’Connor among others. The panellists provided a fabulous insight into what was happening behind the scenes in the week building up to the signing of the historic Belfast Agreement and told the story of their first hand experience having been part of this momentous occasion. A superb ‘Spoken Word’ workshop then followed in which pupils were treated to a poetry recital from Raquel McKee in poems specifically written about the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the Good Friday agreement. Pupils were also given the opportunity to write some of their own poetry on what they hope to see in Northern Ireland over the next 25 years.

The trip concluded with a guided tour of the stunning House and 100-acre gardens of Hillsborough Castle where they had the absolute pleasure of meeting Chris Heaton-Harris, Secretary of State and special US envoy Joseph Kennedy III.

This was a truly remarkable experience overall and the staff and pupils of Omagh High School would like to thank Hillsborough Castle for their organisation of the event and for their warm welcome and hospitality throughout our time there.

(Key Stage 3 pupils with Head of the History Department, Mr M. Duffy at Hillsborough Castle)

(Zach, Declin, Torin, Oli and Charlie in the Throne Room of Hillsborough Castle).

(Matilda, Ann-Louise, Scarlett L, Jessica, Eliza and Scarlett S in the Throne Room of Hillsborough Castle).

(Key Stage 3 pupils with Mr M. Duffy, US envoy Joseph Kennedy III and Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris on their recent visit to Hillsborough Castle, 20-4-23).


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