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What is the Good Friday Agreement? When was it signed and how to watch Derry Girls special ‘Agreement’ episode

The special bonus episode of Derry Girls was described as an “encore” by show’s writer Lisa McGee

Derry Girls is a coming-of-age drama set admist the unrest of Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

Following the season 3 finale the special bonus episode of Derry Girls will air tonight (18 May) on Channel 4 at 9pm.

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The episode, titled The Agreement, will cover the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The series, which is set in Derry, follows the lives of five friends, as they navigate growing up in Northern Ireland at the end of the Troubles.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch the Derry Girls special and the Good Friday Agreement.

What is the Good Friday Agreement?

The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, was signed in 1998.

It was an agreement between the British and Irish governments and political parties in Northern Ireland on how Northern Ireland should be governed.

Peace walls which divides Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast (Pic: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The main aim of the Good Friday Agreement was to establish a new devolved government in which Unionists and Nationalists jointly shared power together.

It addressed the issues that had led to Northern Ireland’s conflict known as the Troubles and paved the way for peace in the region.

What were the Troubles?

The Troubles were a period of conflict in Northern Ireland from 1968 to 1998.

Northern Ireland was created in 1921 after the partition of Ireland.

It was made up of a Unionist community that wanted to stay a part of the United Kingdom and a Nationalist community, who wanted to unify with Ireland.

Unrest began in 1968 after the Unionist government tried to suppress civil rights protests by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association who were protesting against the discrimination of Nationalist communities.

The conflict lasted thirty years, with 3,600 people losing their lives and 30,000 people being left wounded.

When was the Good Friday Agreement signed?

The Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10 April 1998, which happened to be Good Friday.

It was signed by the main political parties of the time, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Sinn Fein, the Alliance Party and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP).

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), did not sign or support the Good Friday Agreement.

When can I watch the Derry Girls special?

Derry Girls will be returning for a bonus episode after their season 3 finale about the Good Friday Agreement (Pic: Peter Marley/Channel 4)

The special bonus episode will air on the 18 May on Channel 4 at 9pm.

The Agreement episode will pick up one year on from when season three left off and will highlight the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which marked the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

In a statement announcing the episode, Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee said: “Like all the very best 90s bands, I couldn’t resist ending our farewell tour with an encore for our loyal fans.

“I’m delighted to say we’ll be returning for one extended special - airing in the same week as our final episode.

“The special deals with the historic and momentous Good Friday Agreement vote, which coincides with the gang’s coming of age, they enter adulthood just as Northern Ireland embarks on a new future.”