Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 12:31 UK
The Northern Ireland Archives: Perfect peace?

Panorama has reported from Northern Ireland from the early days of the civil rights movement in 1968, through over 30 years of the Troubles to the more peaceful situation of today.

You can watch abridged moments from one of those films below.

In April 2008, ten years on from the Good Friday Agreement, Panorama returned to Northern Ireland to see how far things had changed and found in many respects two communities living two separate lives

By December 1999 devolution was in place. And despite being suspended a number of times, due in part, to a perceived stalling of the IRA's decommissioning, devolution was finally restored in 2007.

Between the years of political unrest (1968 - 1999), more than 3, 600 people died and nearly 40,000 were injured, most of them in Northern Ireland.

Even after the Good Friday Agreement, the killings have continued, most notably the August 1998 Omagh bomb, which killed 29 people.

The bomb, the worst terrorist atrocity of the Troubles was the work of the dissident Real IRA, a group born out of the October 1997 split in the mainstream IRA - a split caused by Sinn Fein's embracing of the peace process.

Early 2009, saw more killings claimed by the group, with the shooting dead of two British soldiers in Antrim.

Segregation rather than sectarianism has increasingly come under the spotlight with more than 40 so-called peace walls, still standing in 2008, at flashpoint areas such as Belfast and Londonderry.

Some of the younger residents in Northern Ireland, too young to remember the Troubles have still found themselves embroiled in sectarianism.

During a 2006 trial resulting from a murder of a 15 year-old Catholic boy in Ballymena, it emerged that rival groups were organising "meet ups" and fights via the social networking site Bebo.

And in a controversial development, less than four years after the British Army started to pull out of Northern Ireland when the IRA formally ordered an end to the armed campaign in 2005, covert British security forces are now back in the area, monitoring the continued dissident threat.

In April 2008, forty years on from Panorama's first reports on the fledgling Troubles and ten years on from the Good Friday Agreement, the Panorama team returned to Northern Ireland to see how far things had changed.


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific