Twenty years under Good Friday - what was Ireland like in 1998?

Many people can remember exactly where they were when the agreement was announced

Twenty years under Good Friday - what was Ireland like in 1998?

Irish pop group B*Witched. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Today marks twenty years since the historic signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Many people around the country can remember exactly where they were when the agreement was announced – even if they are quite happy to forget what they were wearing.

The Ireland of 1998 was a very different place, filled as it was with bleach-blonde boy bands, girl power - and wherever Celine Dion’s heart was heading.

Here is a quick look back at some of what was getting the country moving when the price of a pint stood at around €3.82 and Britney Spears was preparing to hit us all for the very first time. 

A day at the movies

James Cameron’s Titanic absolutely dominated the charts in 1998 – remaining the country’s top-grossing film from late January right through until mid-April.

There was also a definite taste for Sci-Fi; with Starship Troopers, Deep Impact, Lost in Space and Armageddon all finding success.

Meanwhile the war epic Saving Private Ryan will remain long in the memory, with its depiction of the D-Day landing on Omaha Breach in Normandy still widely regarded as one of the best war scenes ever caught on film.

Chart topers

Titanic’s hold on the public was not restricted to the cinema with the Celine Dion’s title track ‘My Heart Will Go On’ topping the charts for some six weeks.

Boyzone, B*Witched and Cher also had long stints at the top - while, Jason Nevins’ reboot of Run DMCs ‘It’s like that’ was the country’s number one single when the agreement was officially signed.

Politics

While Bill Clinton will be remembered on these shores as one of the key architects of the Belfast agreement, 1998 was by no means his happiest year.

As rumours of his fling with White House staffer Monica Lewinsky reached fever pitch, the US President took to the camera and promised the American people that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

The year ended with his impeachment from office on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Television

Friends was at the peak of its popularity, dominating the small screen alongside Frasier and ER.

The year also saw some the debuts of some of the biggest shows in the years to come - including Will and Grace, Sex and the City and Dawson’s Creek all airing their debut episodes.

Sport

The World Cup saw holders France beating out Brazil 3-0 in the Stade de France in Paris.

Man of the match Zinedine Zidane picked up two goals before Arsenal stars Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit combined for the third.

Arsenal also found success on the domestic front with new installed manager Arsene Wenger taking the club to its first league and cup double in nearly 40 years.

The Five Nations saw France take home their 12th championship title while England landed their 21st Triple Crown.

Galway beat out Kildare 1-14 to 1-10 to become All-Ireland football champions while in the hurling, Offaly beat Kilkenny 2-16 to 1-13.

1998 also saw a little known search engine Google.com registered as a domain name while operating system Windows 98 also hit the market.

The year was also tinged by tragedy as a car bomb on August 15th took the lives of 29 people in Omagh, County Tyrone, marking one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles.