Irish Peace Talks: Hope for sons and daughters of the Troubles

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The Independent Online
TO ONE young boy whose plea for peace came to symbolise the hopes of ordinary people of Northern Ireland, the deal could mean a chance to at last play freely with his friends.

David Sterrett, 13, met US President Bill Clinton on his visit to Ulster in 1995, after writing a letter about peace. The boy, who lives in Belfast, said: "The peace deal is great. I hope there will not be more violence or killings. We will be able to go out and play without worrying if anything is going to happen."

His mother, Georgina, said: "This is important for all the children. It's been very difficult as they have grown up and hopefully we have come to the end of it."

Rita Restorick and Colin Parry, whose sons were both killed as a result of the troubles, both welcomed the agreement.

Mrs Restorick, whose son Stephen, 23, was the last British soldier murdered in Northern Ireland, campaigned for peace after he was murdered by a sniper last year as he patrolled a checkpoint.

Just hours before agreement was reached, his mother had sent a heartfelt message to all the parties involved in a last ditch attempt to persuade them to end the troubles.

Mrs Restorick, 50, of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, said the deal provided the "chance of a lifetime" for the people of Northern Ireland.