‘Human peace wall’ marks Good Friday Agreement’s 25th anniversary
by Allan LEONARD
7 April 2023
A “human peace wall” event at a Belfast interface marked the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. About 100 people lined up from the Falls Road to the Shankill Road end on Northumberland Street, forming a line of solidarity across the community. They stood still for 25 seconds, to mark the years since the peace accord was agreed upon.
The event was organised by New Life City Church and the Falls Residents’ Association. After some singing and prayers by the crowd, Pastor Jack McKee, whose New Life City Church stands right at the gates, reflected upon the agreement:
“The tragedy is that even during the past 25 years, there has not been a year gone by in Northern Ireland where someone has not died at the hands of paramilitaries or those connect to them. As we’re singing and praying today, our prayers are beyond this day and that we will see an end to the violence. While the peace agreement is not perfect, it’s better than what it was, and our hope now is beyond today, that things will get even better, and the next 25 years will be even better for our children and our children’s children.”
McKee added that this anniversary day was not about religion or politics, but about “coming together as one”.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tina Black, also addressed the participants:
“Seeing this crowd here today warms my heart, and it will warm the heart of the international community. Thank you to the organisers who have been ploughing away for years to achieve this cross-community connection. A massive ‘thank you’ to you all. The future’s bright for us.”