Twenty years ago, nine-year-old Craig Kingston and five-year-old Ciara Nolan were among the Enniskillen Integrated Primary School children who met the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Mo Mowlam during her visit to Enniskillen, ahead of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. During her visit, the school children asked the politician if she could bring peace to Northern Ireland.
Now, as young adults, Ciara, a social work student in Belfast, and Craig, who manages the family business Home, Field and Stream, reflect on the Northern Ireland of today and the current political stalemate at Stormont.

Ciara Nolan
Age: 25

I was five when the photo with Mo Mowlam was taken at Enniskillen Integrated primary School.
To be honest, at the time I didn’t know who was coming to visit that day and I did not understand the reason the pictures were in the paper the next day. 
Later though, I did go on to study politics both at A Level and University. During my studies I researched her role in bringing about the Good Friday Agreement and I have a lot of respect for her. 
I have no real memories of the Troubles from my time growing up in Fermanagh. There were incidents such as the bombing of Bowlervision which I remember but I didn’t understand at the time. 
I feel that attending an integrated primary school meant I never really thought about cross community mixing because it had never seemed like an issue to me. It was natural in my work and study as I grew older too.
I am currently studying social work and can see first-hand the lasting impact of the Troubles. Even though I feel that people’s attitudes have changed and there is no longer conflict, people are still dealing with the trauma of the past and this is something that still needs to be dealt with.
I have grown very apathetic towards politics. While I was studying politics, I would have kept up with the progress, for example, at the St. Andrews talks and other attempts at forming a government. 
But I have lost interest over the years because stability has never lasted long and, even when Stormont, has been operating there seems to be little achieved. 
I think the Good Friday Agreement did manage to establish social stability for Northern Ireland but, since then, the parties have failed to really offer any political stability or economic progress. 
Even though I hate to see a democratic deficit left by the lack of a Northern Ireland government, I don’t see the point in continuing talks between the two parties.

Craig Kingston
Age: 29

When I was pictured in this article in February 1998, if I’m honest, the Good Friday Agreement was something which I knew very little about. My priorities were different at this young age.
Twenty years on and somewhat more educated on the matter, I can’t help but feel that this country has moved on leaps and bounds socially and economically, in the easing of tensions (with the decommissioning of the IRA and UDA as the Good Friday Agreement’s main focus).
It is very hard to forget or ignore the past, as it obviously was a very difficult time which I only hear stories or news reports about, because most major atrocities in Northern Ireland took place years before I was born. 
As you all know, across Northern Ireland, households have had loved ones either seriously injured or killed from paramilitary attacks. This pain does not go away but today, we have to pick up the pieces and move on to strive to leave this country better for the future. I feel privileged to have been around from the start of this ‘new beginning in the peace process’ and to see how far we have really come.
The sustained development in our nation has come from ease of access to the Republic of Ireland with no borders and free passage. My concern today in business is where the walls will be potentially built once again on our borders with the Republic of Ireland as a result of Brexit. 
What negative effect will this potentially have with our peace process, should it happen? It does not show progress from our leaders if this becomes a reality. This should be number one on the agenda in Stormont, rather than disagreeing over matters which can be worked on for years to come.
With all the headline leaders involved in the Good Friday Agreement either passed away, or not directly involved in the process now, I have to ask the question: What are our leaders doing today to keep the flame of this legacy alive? Stormont today is in great turmoil with the Assembly not working. I can’t help but feel we as the people of Northern Ireland do not want any more upset within our communities and counties. 
All I ask from our leaders today is to keep the existing peace process now in Northern Ireland, honoured by Sinn Fein and the DUP. We need our leaders to put differences aside and reach amicable agreement on matters raised at present. Remember, as difficult as it is to come to an agreement on issues today, surely 20-30 years ago, it was far worse when our streets and communities were virtually barricaded.
With reflection, my personal experience of integrated education in primary and secondary has done a great deal of good to form the person I am today. 
Politics can be a hard topic to raise because it has affected everyone differently. The past must not be forgotten, but the focus must now be on leaving this nation in a better place.