The most controversial issue was Northern Ireland`s border with the Republic of Ireland. The border, which was heavily militarized during the conflict, has since become essentially invisible, with people and goods being crossed freely. This was possible largely because Ireland and the UK were part of the EU`s single market, the common set of rules that allows the free movement of goods, services, people and money within the bloc. The Good Friday Agreement provided for an elected assembly of 108 members in Northern Ireland. The Assembly would be able to exercise executive and legislative power and is subject to safeguards to protect the rights and interests of all parts of the Community. According to the agreement, the assembly should be elected according to the proportional representative transferable vote system. In order to safeguard the interests and rights of all parties, the agreement also provided for a proportional distribution of committee members in the Assembly. After the peace agreement, the Loyalist Volunteer Force – a Protestant paramilitary group in Northern Ireland – announced a “clear” ceasefire before the referendum and campaigned for a “no”.2 After the referendum, which took place on 22 May 1998, the hard-line Republican group Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA), a splinter faction of the IRA, detonated a bomb in the town of Omagh. 55 miles west of Belfast, August 15, 1998.
The attack killed 28 people and injured more than 200.3 Immediately after the attack, RIRA apologized and called for a ceasefire.4 To promote minority languages, the government established a Centre`s community relations unit to develop a language use policy for Irish, Ulster and the languages of other communities. In December 1999, the North/South Languages Implementation Body entered into force to enforce the government`s commitment to support linguistic diversity under the agreement.1 “The Good Friday Agreement: Culture,” BBC News, accessed February 7, 2013, www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/schools/agreement/culture/irish2.sh. Agreement on administrative support for the Citizens` Forum and the establishment of guidelines for the selection of representatives of the Citizens` Forum. .