Council hosts exhibition to mark the 25th anniversary of The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement

25th April 2023

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1. Anne Carr with her portrait by The Artist FRIZ

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will be hosting an exhibition and an event to mark the 25th anniversary of The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. 

The exhibition, Peace Heroines’, forms part of a new education programme about the pivotal role of women in the Northern Ireland peace process and the exhibition will be open to the public in Fermanagh County Museum from 01 May – 25 June 2023.  

From grassroots to government levels, the exhibition captures a diversity of voices and perspectives, featuring 30 women’s stories including Monica McWilliams and Pearl Sagar, Linda Ervine MBE, Pat Hume, Baroness May Blood MBE, Hillary Clinton and Saidie Patterson. Powerful partnerships are explored such as Peace People, NI Women’s Coalition, Women Together, Derry Peace Women and the special dynamic between Shankill and Falls Women’s Centres through the leadership of Eileen Weir and Susan McCrory.

Ordinary women with extraordinary courage, they faced daily threats to their lives and the lives of their families. Many overcame struggles with poverty, poor education, and personal tragedy to work together for peace. They did everything from supporting victims of sectarian violence to lobbying politicians, founding integrated education, starting cross-community projects, organising mass peace marches, and inspiring women to participate in political and public life. 

Building on the theme of women peacemakers, Strule Arts Centre will also be screening ‘Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs’ on Thursday 4 May at 7.00pm. The screening will be followed by a facilitated Q & A session.

‘Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs’ is the extraordinary story of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, a cross-community party formed in 1996 by local working and middle-class women. The women united to win two seats at the historic peace talks which culminated in the Good Friday Agreement.  ‘Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs’ is a compelling example of how grassroots activism can bring about real change ensuring that human rights, equality and inclusion were placed at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement peace deal.

Speaking about the exhibition and film screening, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, said:

“The signing of the Good Friday Agreement was a momentous event in our recent political history.

I had the privilege of being directly involved in the Talks process myself and have a personal insight into how things developed.  

The Agreement received massive support in two separate referenda North and South.  

It led to the establishment of the Executive and Assembly as well as important North-South Bodies and mechanisms for East-West cooperation also.    

Women from all walks of life played a pivotal role in the peace process and continue to encourage dialogue and reconciliation projects today. 

The Council is committed to promoting equality and good relations for everyone in the District and a shared future for all.  These initiatives contribute to the achievement of this by exploring our shared history. 

I would like to commend those involved in curating the exhibition and facilitating the film screening to enable people to reflect on this important milestone.” 

For further information or to book a place at the screening of ‘Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs’, please email Good Relations:  

This event has received financial support from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Good Relations programme assisted by The Executive Office.