Northern Ireland today is different from 1998

Northern Ireland is a different place today, than when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998. It is not just that many more people here today do not feel aligned to the traditional unionist and nationalist/republican identities, but we have many more ‘new citizens’ from other places.

Lilian Seenoi-Barr is a well-known advocate for black and minority ethnic communities in Northern Ireland, as director of the North West Migrants Forum. In the latest Holywell Trust Forward Together podcast Lilian discusses identity and the rise of racism in Northern Ireland.

It is necessary to recognise that the arguments for a more integrated society go beyond the need to bring Protestant and Catholic populations together. The section of our population that is ‘other’ is very large and growing. This raises important questions about whether the Good Friday Agreement has become out-of-date – and, if so, how weaknesses in its arrangements can be addressed. The strains in our education and housing systems are showing, as are those of the declarations of identity within the Northern Ireland Assembly. Brexit has added new tensions to old problems, especially as our society becomes more diverse.

The interview can be heard here.  

The Holywell Trust Forward Together podcasts are funded by the Community Relations Council’s Media Grant Scheme.  


Disclaimer: This project has received support from the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council which aims to promote a pluralist society characterised by equity, respect for diversity, and recognition of interdependence. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Community Relations Council. 


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