Belfast Telegraph

2,400 lives saved in Northern Ireland by ending of the Troubles

An estimated 2,400 lives have been saved in Northern Ireland since 1998 after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

The figure comes following research by news website The Detail.

The number has been calculated as the number of potential lives saved since the ending of the Troubles by extrapolating the number of deaths recorded between 1969 and 1998 and then estimated how many people would have died since 1998 if the Troubles had continued.

The research estimates that if violence had continued in Northern Ireland 360 paramilitaries, 680 security forces and 1,350 civilians would have lost their lives.

By the time of the Good Friday Agreement more than 3,500 people were dead and at least 50,000 injured as a direct result of the conflict.

Despite the political impasse at Stormont putting the institutions created by the Good Friday Agreement in jeopardy a number of events were held in Belfast on Tuesday to mark the 20th anniversary of the agreement.

Many of the key architects of the deal attended an anniversary on the campus of Queen's University.

An opening address was given by Senator George J. Mitchell, followed by a three panel discussion with the figureheads in attendance.

Senator Mitchell was joined by former US President Bill Clinton, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern - all of whom were in office when the deal was signed.

Other notable figures in attendance were former SDLP deputy first minister Seamus Mallon, former chief of staff to Tony Blair Jonathan Powell, former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, former leaders of the UUP Lord David Trimble and Sir Reg Empey, former DUP leader Peter Robinson, and Professor Monica McWilliams.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley and Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney were also at the event.

Former US President Bill Clinton made a heartfelt plea to "save the peace" as he and Senator George Mitchell accepted the Freedom of Belfast at a ceremony later on Tuesday evening.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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