The former President Mary McAleese has stressed the need for the Good Friday Agreement to remain central in discussions between the Irish Government, the European Union and political parties in Northern Ireland.

She was speaking in Dublin tonight at the launch of the book "Children of the Troubles".

The book, written by broadcaster Joe Duffy and Northern Correspondent of The Irish Times Freya McClement tells the story of 186 children who died in the Northern Ireland conflict.

Among the stories is the Belturbet bombing which occurred in December 1972.

A car bomb planted by Loyalist paramilitaries exploded in the main street in the border town of Belturbet in Co Cavan.

The bomb killed teenagers Geraldine O'Reilly and Patrick Stanely.

Tonight, Patrick's sister Susan Stanley who attended the book launch with the Stanley family, said her 16-year-old brother was doted upon by his parents and his siblings.

Ms Stanley said she hoped "nothing like it happens again".

During the launch of the book, Mrs McAleese recalled violence of the past in her home city of Belfast and stressed the importance of the Good Friday Agreement amidst Brexit uncertainty.

Speaking to RTÉ News she said that throughout the Brexit discussions, the Irish Government, the European Union and the political parties in Northern Ireland had reminded people of the importance of the Good Friday Agreement, the importance of peace, the vulnerability of any peace process and how important it is to protect it.

"I think tonight is a reminder particularly at this juncture in these very important negotiations, which will in their turn hopefully lead to an agreement, which will hopefully get across the line in Westminster, to remind those who make the decisions that affect futures, that there are people who paid a shocking price to give us this opportunity and I hope that opportunity will be taken and used well".

Mrs McAleese also expressed hope that there would never be a second volume of the book.

"It was always the job of adults to create the best possible future for children; that's what we are on this planet to do so let's do it", she said.

The television documentary Children of the Troubles will be broadcast on RTÉ 1 Television on 4 November.