Fermanagh and Omagh District Council hosted an event to mark the 25th anniversary of The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.  The screening ‘Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs’ took place on Thursday 4 May in Strule Arts Centre and was followed by a facilitated Q & A session.  The event received wonderful reviews from the audience who participated in a very interesting and engaging post show discussion.

‘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.

Women from all walks of life played a pivotal role in the Northern Ireland peace process and continue cross-community dialogue and reconciliation projects today. 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, the Council are hosting an exhibition in Fermanagh County Museum from 01 May 2023 – 25 June 2023. ‘Peace Heroines’ forms part of a new education programme about the pivotal role of women in the Northern Ireland peace process.

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.

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