My Corner of the World

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From my upbringing in Northern Ireland, a small corner of the world, I’ve learnt that it’s possible to catch pneumonia and get sunburnt in the course of one afternoon, so I always over pack. So too have I discovered that “I’ll pop the kettle on” is a sufficient emotional response when confronted with most situations.

Northern Ireland has had, as most know, a troubled history – so troubled, we simply call it ‘The Troubles’. During this time, individually and collectively as a nation, we suffered. It was assumed that no lasting solution would ever be found and most gave up trying, with stalled talks becoming a perennial disappointment. Yet a renewed, focused and determined effort was made by the British, Irish and American Governments to bring about peace, which was finally achieved through the Good Friday Agreement. It was signed in 1997, a few months after my birth.

My generation is the first generation of peace – it’s all we’ve known, and thankfully ‘The Troubles’ for us is merely a scarring reminder of what came before. We have so much to thank the tireless efforts of diplomats for, for without their commitment the change witnessed in the 18 years subsequent would be unimaginable. Twenty years ago, who could have foreseen...

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