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Four Northern Ireland people choose their standout historic moment


Four Northern Ireland people choose their standout historic moment

"I was on the annual family holiday in Newcastle, Co Down, with my parents, brothers and sisters in August 1969, when word about rioting in Belfast started to filter through. My mum wanted to immediately cut short the holiday and return home to Belfast. My father insisted that we stay, remarking: 'I paid for this holiday and this trouble won't end in a couple of weeks.' Unfortunately, it was to last a lot longer than two weeks."

Brian Pelan, editor, VIEW magazine

"The day that still strikes a chord with me is September 11, 2001. I was leaving school that afternoon, and remembered getting into my mum's car to be told that there had been some kind of attack in New York. I got home, switched on the TV and couldn't take my eyes away from the shocking images of the twin towers. As a 12-year-old, it was also the first time I ever really watched rolling news coverage and began to understand the importance of good journalism when a story is changing rapidly and there is so much information to try and process."

BBC News NI political reporter Jayne McCormack

"It's almost a cliché I suppose, but the 'big' moment for me was the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998. I had been involved on the fringes of local politics (as an observer and activist) for almost 30 years and had begun to think that my generation would never live to see things done differently here. Ok, it hasn't worked out as well as I hoped, but that day proved that change is possible. I hope the next generation will have their own moment on their own day and finish the job we started."

Political commentator Alex Kane

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"It's really difficult to pick one moment out of so many - some memorable for very poignant reasons. Perhaps the one that stands out for me was the welcome in the National Convention Centre in Dublin on May 19, 2011 for Her Majesty the Queen during her state visit. I was privileged to be a guest and to experience in person the warmth and sincerity of that reception. At the end of the concert, the Queen approached the stage to meet the performers, and a standing ovation grew from the back of the hall, spreading spontaneously throughout the whole audience of 2000 people. It was truly remarkable and heartwarming, and in that moment there was a sense of unprecedented mutual respect and affection that was unforgettable."

Garda Policing Authority member and former deputy chief constable Judith Gillespie

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