Clinton enjoys a pint of the Black stuff: Former President hits the pub for Guinness with SDLP leader after giving speech to mark 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement
- Clinton visited the pub after delivering a speech at Londonderry’s Guildhall
- He was seen greeting excited locals and taking a sip of the famous Irish stout
Bill Clinton delighted the locals of a city in Northern Ireland last night by surprising them with a visit to a local pub for a pint of Guinness.
The former president was seen in the crowded Londonderry establishment raising his glass before taking a sip of the Black stuff.
Clinton was there with Colum Eastwood, the leader of Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), who welcomed him to the city as the island of Ireland marks the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.
Lively photographs from the Tap House pub showed Eastwood’s wife Rachael Eastwood enthusiastically embracing Clinton, to the delight of the 42nd president who to this day remains a popular figure on both sides of the Irish border.
His surprise appearance came after delivered a speech inside the city’s Guildhall to mark the anniversary of the agreement that ended most of the violence of the Troubles in Northern Ireland that had prevailed since the 1960s.
Former US secretary of state and Clinton’s wife Hillary Clinton is also in Northern Ireland for events marking the occasion.
Bill Clinton delighted the locals of a city in Northern Ireland last night by surprising them with a visit to a local pub for a pint of Guinness. Pictured: Clinton is seen with Colum Eastwood, left, leader of the SDLP, and Eastwood’s wife Rachael (seen hugging the former president)
Former US president Bill Clinton enjoys a pint of Guinness in the Tap House pub after delivering a speech in Londonderry on April 18
The anniversary comes as the Stormont Assembly institutions remain effectively collapsed due to a boycott by the DUP party. Addressing this issue, Clinton said the restoration of the assembly can ‘fairly easily be done if we want to’.
He said an excuse can always be found to say no.
Crowds gathered outside the Guildhall and an invited audience inside the building rose in a standing ovation as Clinton arrived.
The Making Hope And History Rhyme event, organised by the John and Pat Hume Foundation, also heard musical performances and addresses by young people.
U2 frontman Bono appeared in a video paying tribute to agreement architects John Hume and David Trimble, describing the former as a ‘man who made all our lives bigger’, and Lord Trimble as the ‘politician who was seen as a hardliner’ but ‘when the moment came, made the hard choice for peace’.
Clinton paid tribute to those who came together for the historic 1998 accord, particularly Mr Hume, who led the SDLP and Lord Trimble, who led the UUP.
He said they ‘who put their lives and careers on the line’ for peace.
‘I loved and admired them both, but what they stood for is alive in your lives,’ he said.
Clinton described the ‘gift of the agreement’ as ‘lifting our lives, our children’s lives and our grandchildren’s lives’.
He said it is important to get Stormont back up and running.
Lively photographs from the Tap House pub showed Colum Eastwood’s wife Rachael Eastwood enthusiastically embracing Clinton, to the delight of the 42nd president
Clinton spoke to a number of people in the Guildhall Taphouse and posed for selfies on request (pictured) His surprise appearance came after delivered a speech inside the city’s Guildhall to mark the anniversary of the Good Friday agreement
Pictured: Hundreds of people gather to meet with Former US president Bill Clinton after speaking at the John and Pat Hume Foundation’s ‘Making Hope and History Rhyme’ event, Guild Hall, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Tuesday April 18
‘Based on what I’ve heard it can fairly easily be done if we want to, but we can always find an excuse to say no,’ he added.
‘If you’re having a fight in your home, you can always find an excuse to say no, if you’re struggling with any kind of relationship or struggle, you can always find an excuse to say no, getting to yes is humanity’s great trial and great goal.
‘The people we honour today got to yes,’ he said.
Clinton told the audience that he can remember virtually every encounter with Mr Hume and Lord Trimble, adding that the latter was ‘so modest’ and never got ‘the credit he deserved’.
Earlier in the event two school pupils, James Tourish, who attends St Columb’s College, and Ellianna McBride, who attends Foyle College, urged progress.
It was after this event that Clinton visited the local pub, where he met SDLP leader Colum Eastwood. He spoke to a number of people in the Guildhall Taphouse and posed for selfies on request.
Emerging outside to be greeted by more crowds of well wishers, Clinton took time to speak to several people before getting into his waiting vehicle to leave.
Clinton famously delivered a speech in Londonderry (also known as Derry) in 1995 at the start of the fledgling Northern Ireland peace process, where the crowd chanted ‘We Want Bill’ as they waited for him to speak.
The president – joined onstage by Hillary – told the people of the city outside the Guildhall on November 30 that year that the ‘cameras and the eyes of the world are on us’ in a speech that was largely improvised.
The city is symbolically significant for a number of reasons, with the Troubles in Northern Ireland widely believed to have started there. With a large population of Catholics in the city, it has long had a history of sectarian tension and violence.
Former president Bill Clinton speaks to delegates and school children from across the community during the John and Pat Hume Foundation’s ‘Making Hope and History Rhyme’ event, Guild Hall, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Tuesday April 18
Clinton told the audience that he can remember virtually every encounter with Mr Hume and Lord Trimble, adding that the latter was ‘so modest’ and never got ‘the credit he deserved’
Pictured: Former US secretary of state and former First Lady Hillary Clinton is seen in Londonderry on Friday morning
World leaders have flown in across the world to mark the occasion in Belfast. Clinton will be joined by ex-British prime minister Tony Blair, former Irish premier Bertie Ahern and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic.
Irish premier Leo Varadkar and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will also address the conference on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton arrived at Limavady High School on Friday morning where she unveiled two benches to mark the new shared education campus with the adjacent St Mary’s High School.
Mrs Clinton met the head boy and head girl from both schools in Co Londonderry before visiting woodwork classrooms where she talked with pupils and viewed their projects.
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