Northern Ireland

Opinion Poll: Broad support for the Good Friday Agreement 25 years on

There is still broad support for the Good Friday Agreement according to the latest poll
There is still broad support for the Good Friday Agreement according to the latest poll

THERE is still broad support for the Good Friday Agreement, 25 years on, with around two thirds of people polled believing it has improved community relations.

More than 70 per cent of people surveyed say they believe the agreement reduced Troubles-related violence with 65.3 per cent stating it helped to improve the economy in Northern Ireland.

Half of those polled said the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) has reduced sectarian crime and 69.6 per cent agreed that young people have better prospects because of the agreement.

The poll from The Irish News-University of Liverpool Institute of Irish Studies was carried out as the 25th anniversary of the GFA was marked earlier this month.

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Events were held in Belfast to coincide with the anniversary, including a three-day conference to mark the 1998 peace accord which largely brought an end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The event saw political leaders fly in from across the world, including former US president Bill Clinton, ex-prime minister Sir Tony Blair, former Irish premier Bertie Ahern, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic.

The audience attending the three-day international conference at Queen’s University Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. Picture by Niall Carson/PA
The audience attending the three-day international conference at Queen’s University Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. Picture by Niall Carson/PA

Respondents to the latest opinion poll were also asked for their thoughts on whether the GFA had strengthened Northern Ireland’s place in the UK, with 38.7 per cent agreeing it had and 21.2 per cent disagreeing.

Also asked if the Good Friday Agreement "made a united Ireland more likely", 41.2 per cent agreed, while 19.0 per cent disagreed. The poll also showed that 33 per cent neither agreed or disagreed.

Those taking part in the survey were also asked if there should be a citizens’ assembly on whether the structures of the GFA (Assembly and Executive) remain suitable for Northern Ireland.

The findings revealed 54.5 per cent agreed, 13.1 per cent disagreed and 24.5 per cent said they neither agreed or disagreed.