Return to home Belfast is a seaport and the capital of
(WUD, 1994 p.135) 1689 Mar,
In Northern Ireland the gates of Londonderry were shut in the face
of Catholic forces. The event was later celebrated by the Protestant
Apprentice Boys as the Lundy’s Day demonstration. [see August 1,
1689 Aug 1, A siege of
Londonderry, Ireland, by the Catholic Army of King James II ended in
failure. The Protestants were victorious and the event led to the
annual Apprentice Boy’s March. The group is named in honor of 13
teenage apprentices, all Protestants, who bolted the city gates in
front of the advancing Catholic forces at the start of the 105-day
(SFEC, 8/11/96, p.A13)(HN, 8/1/98)(AP, 8/13/06)
1690 Jul 1, England's
Protestant King William III of Orange was victorious over his
father-in-law, the Catholic King James II (from Scot) in Battle of
Boyne (in Ireland). This touched off three centuries of religious
bloodshed. Protestants took over the Irish Parliament. This marked
the beginning of the annual Drumcree parade, held by the Loyal
Orange Lodge on the first Sunday of July. Due to calendar changes in
1752 this later became commemorated on Jul 12.
(PC, 1992, p.265)(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A1)(SFEC,
12/22/96, Z1 p.6)(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.A18)
1690 Jul 12, Due to
British calendar changes in 1752, the July 1, 1690, Battle of Boyne
(in Ireland) was adjusted for celebration on Jul 12.
(SFEC, 9/27/98, BR p.5)(AP, 7/11/05)
1795 The Loyal Orange
Institution was established in Portadown to proclaim Protestant
ascendancy. The Orange Order was founded as a force for uniting
disparate Protestant denominations under one anti-Catholic banner.
It was instrumental in creating Northern Ireland in 1921 shortly
before the predominantly Catholic rest of Ireland won independence
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.6)(SFC, 7/12/99, p.A19)(AP,
1867 May 26, Mary, queen of
Great Britain-North Ireland, was born.
1884 Roger Casement of Ulster
joined an expedition up the Congo River led by Henry Morton Stanely.
After 20 years in Africa he became the leading figure in an int’l.
campaign to denounce the abuses committed by the Congo’s Belgian
(Econ, 7/7/12, p.75)
1914 Jul 20, Armed resistance
against British rule began in Ulster.
1916 Jun 29, Sir Roger David
Casement, the Irish-born diplomat knighted by King George V in 1911,
was convicted of treason for his role in Ireland's Easter Rebellion,
and sentenced to death. He had been caught on an Irish beach during
a foiled attempt to 20,000 German rifles.
1916 Aug 3, Roger Casement,
knighted for his service in the Congo, was hanged at London’s
Pentonville Prison for his activities on behalf of Irish
1918 Sep 17, Chaim Herzog
(d.1997), president (Israel, 1983-93), was born in Belfast.
1920 Dec 23, Ireland was
divided into 2 parts, each with its own parliament. An act of
British Parliament split Northern Ireland from Ireland.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)(MC, 12/23/01)
1921 Jun 7, James Craig
(1871-1940) became the first prime minister of Northern Ireland and
served until his death in 1940.
1921 Jul 8, Great Britain and
Ireland agreed to end hostilities after centuries of strife. In
December British and Irish representatives signed a treaty in London
providing for creation of an Irish Free State a year later on the
same date. Southern Ireland was granted independence and 6 counties
in Northern Ireland remained part of the UK.
(SFC, 10/14/99, p.C5)(AP, 12/6/06)
1921 Dec 6, British and Irish
representatives signed a treaty in London providing for creation of
an Irish Free State a year later on the same date. The partition
created Northern Ireland. [see Jul 8] Ireland’s 26 southern counties
became independent from Britain forming the Irish Free State.
(HN, 12/6/00)(AP, 12/6/06)
1931 Lady Caroline Blackwood
was born in Northern Ireland. She later married British painter
Lucian Freud, American composer Israel Citkowitz, and American poet
Robert Lowell. In 2001 Nancy Schoenberger authored “Dangerous Muse:
The Life of Lady Caroline Blackwood."
(SSFC, 7/15/01, DB p.61)
1932 May 20, Amelia Earhart
took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo
across the Atlantic. Because of weather and equipment problems,
Earhart set down in Northern Ireland after 13 ˝ hours instead of her
intended destination, France.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(HN, 5/20/01)(AP, 5/20/07)(ON,
1939 Jun, In Britain 50 letter
bombs exploded in postboxes and post offices in London, Birmingham
and Manchester. The IRA claimed responsibility as part of their
(Econ, 11/6/10, p.74)
1939 Nov 18, The Irish
Republican Army exploded three bombs in Piccadilly Circus.
1942 Jan 26, The first American
expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War II went ashore
in Northern Ireland.
(AP, 1/26/98)(HN, 1/26/99)
1942 In Northern Ireland Joe
Cahill and 5 other IRA members were sentenced to death for the
killing of a police officer. Tom Williams was hanged and the rest
had their sentences commuted to life. Cahill was freed in 1949.
(SFC, 7/26/04, p.B4)
1947 Sep 14, Sam Neill, actor
(Jurassic Park, Dead Calm, Piano), was born in Omagh, Northern
1948 Dec 21, The state of Eire
(formerly the Irish Free State) declared its independence.
1949 May 17, The British House
of Commons adopted the Ireland Bill that recognized the independence
of the Republic of Ireland, but affirmed the position of Northern
Ireland within the United Kingdom.
(EWH, 1968, p.1166)
1951 Ian Paisley, the son of a
Baptist minister, founded the Free Presbyterians during a conflict
with Presbyterian leaders over whether he could lead an evangelical
1953 Mar 24, Mary (85), queen
of Great Britain and North Ireland, died.
1962 Chinese immigrants began
to arrive in Northern Ireland. By 1996 they began experiencing
racial prejudice and violence against their businesses, mostly in
the form of robberies.
(SFC, 6/30/96, A11)
1963 Sep 3, Louis MacNeice
(b.1907), northern Irish poet, died. His name was often subsumed
under the collective name of Macspaunday, which referred to the
generation of politically-committed 1930s poets: MacNeice, Stephen
Spender, W.H. Auden and C. Day-Lewis. MacNeice’s collected poems
were published in 2007.
1966 May 7, In Northern Ireland
a group of loyalists led by Gusty Spence (1933-2011) petrol bombed a
Catholic-owned pub on Shankill Road, Belfast. Fire also engulfed the
house next door, killing the elderly Protestant widow who lived
1966 May 21, In Northern
Ireland a group calling itself the "Ulster Volunteer Force" issued
the following statement: “From this day, we declare war against the
Irish Republican Army and its splinter groups. Known IRA men will be
executed mercilessly and without hesitation. Less extreme measures
will be taken against anyone sheltering or helping them, but if they
persist in giving them aid, then more extreme methods will be
adopted... we solemnly warn the authorities to make no more speeches
of appeasement. We are heavily armed Protestants dedicated to this
1966 May 27, In Northern
Ireland 4 Ulster Volunteer Force men were sent to kill an IRA
volunteer, Leo Martin, who lived on Falls Road. Unable to find their
target, the men drove around in search of a Catholic. They shot dead
John Scullion, a civilian, as he walked home.
1966 Jun 26, The pro-British
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), killed a Catholic civilian. Gusty
Spence (1933-2011), one of the UVF founders, was charged with the
murder, but the charges were dropped. The UVF had "declared war" on
the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which wanted Northern Ireland to
sever its connection to Britain and unite with the Republic of
1966 Oct, In Northern Ireland
Gusty Spence was given life in prison for the murder of an 18
year-old Catholic barman, Peter Ward. In his 18 years behind bars,
Spence turned away from violence and on his release became involved
1968 Oct 5, Catholic
demonstrators in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, clashed with police.
(http://tinyurl.com/n9nhn)(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1969 Apr, In England Bernadette
Devlin (b.1947) of Northern Ireland became the youngest woman ever
elected to British Parliament. Her 1969 book, “The Price of My
Soul," did much to publicize widespread discrimination against Roman
Catholics in Northern Ireland.
1969 Aug 12, In Northern
Ireland the Apprentice Boys, a Protestant fraternal group, led a
parade that ignited rioting in the Bogside section of Londonderry,
that led to the bloody period known as The Troubles. Loyalist
attacks on Catholic areas set off rioting in Belfast. Eight people
died and British troops were sent in. The Provisional Irish
Republican Army began a 25-year sniping and bombing campaign.
(SFC, 8/10/96, p.A8)(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1
1969 Aug 14, British troops
arrived in Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence
between Protestants and Roman Catholics. The outlawed Irish
Republican Army came into Northern Ireland to protect and encourage
Catholics and the Provisional IRA soon began terrorist actions
against the British troops and Protestant civilians. This culminated
in an attack on the Bogside which started on August 12 and ended Aug
14. Some 500 houses were burned to the ground, 1,500 people forced
from their homes, and 9 people murdered.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)(AP, 8/14/97)(HNQ, 8/17/99)
1969 Dec, The modern Irish
Republican Army was founded in Belfast with the aim of forcing
Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom. The modern “provisional
wing of the IRA" was founded with Joe Cahill (1920-2004) as the 1st
Belfast commander. The original IRA was founded in 1919.
(SFC, 7/26/04, p.B4)(AP, 7/29/05)
1969 The current "troubles"
began. Loyalists attacks on Catholic areas set off rioting in
Belfast. Eight people died and British troops were sent in. The
Provisional Irish Republican Army began a 25-year sniping and
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.7)
1970 The Irish Republican Army
(IRA) split between more Marxist officials and soon-to-be dominant
1970-1997 The IRA killed 1,775 people and wounded
more than 20,000 others during this period in hopes of forcing
Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom and into the Irish
1971 Jul 8, In Northern Ireland
the British army used lead bullets for the first time. Seamus Cusack
(28) and Desmond Beattie (19) were killed.
1971 Aug 9, British begin
internment without trial in Northern Ireland when almost 300 men
were arrested and interned under the Special Powers Act in dawn
swoops that ended around August 14th. Not one unionist
extremist was interned. Word soon got out of the internment camps
that the men were being routinely mistreated and tortured. Sectarian
attacks continued, supported by the British army. These actions and
other repressive actions by the British administration of the time
lead to the peaceful march which turned bloody on 30 January
1972, now known as Bloody Sunday.
1971 Aug, In Northern Ireland
10 people were killed during a military operation in the Ballymurphy
area of Belfast. In 2021 a coroner ruled that the victims were
“entirely innocent’’ and soldiers were responsible for nine of their
1971 Nov 10, Two women were
tarred and feathered in Belfast for dating British soldiers. In
Londonderry, Northern Ireland, a Catholic girl was tarred and
feathered for her intention of marrying a British soldier.
1971 In Northern Ireland Ian
Paisley founded the uncompromising Democratic Unionist Party. He was
virulently anti-Catholic and sought the military defeat of the IRA.
1972 Jan 30, In Londonderry
(Derry), Northern Ireland, British troops fired on a civil rights
march in the Bloody Sunday massacre. 13-14 people were killed by
soldiers of the First Parachute Regiment, six of whom were only 17.
The British embassy in Dublin was burned down. One man who was
photographed being arrested and taken into a British army Saracen
was later found shot dead. The march, which was called to protest
internment, was "illegal" according to British government
authorities. Internment without trial was introduced by the British
government on August 9, 1971. The British government-appointed
Widgery Tribunal found soldiers were not guilty of killing the 13
marchers. The 1997 book “Eyewitness Bloody Sunday" by Don Mullan
included 113 accounts by participants and bystanders. In 1998 an
independent commission said that the identities of the soldiers
would not be protected. In 2001 Martin McGuinness admitted that he
was 2nd in command of the IRA at the time of the massacre. The
Saville Inquiry heard its last oral testimony in 2004. A report in
2010, 12 years in the making, blamed British soldiers for the
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1p.7)(SFC, 1/30/97,
p.A18)(SFEM, 1/18/98, p.11)(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D4)(SFC, 5/1/01,
p.A8)(Econ, 2/14/04, p.51)(SFC, 6/16/10, p.A2)
1972 Mar 24, Great Britain
imposed direct rule over Northern Ireland. The province’s parliament
was suspended at the height of sectarian violence.
(HN, 3/24/98)(SFC, 4/11/98, p.A1)
1972 Apr 15, Joe McCann (24), a
member of the Irish Republican Army and later the Official Irish
Republican Army, was shot dead in Belfast after being confronted by
RUC Special Branch and British paratroopers.
1972 Jul 21, A total of 22
IRA-bombs exploded in Belfast killing 9 people including two
soldiers. 130 civilians were injured in what came to be called
1972 Jul 31, The British army
launched "Operation Motorman" to regain control of Catholic parts of
Belfast and Londonderry that had been closed off by IRA road
barricades since 1971. An IRA attack followed in Claudy,
Northern Ireland, and 3 car bombs killed 9 people. In 2002 a court
case was reopened following allegations that Rev. Jim Chesney
(d.1980), a deceased Roman Catholic priest, had led the Claudy
attack. In 2010 a new report said the British government and the
Roman Catholic church colluded to cover up the involvement of Rev.
(AP, 10/1/02)(AP, 11/29/05)(AP, 8/24/10)(Econ,
1972 Dec 7, Jean McConville, a
widowed Belfast mother, was abducted from her home by 12 IRA members
and was never seen alive again. The IRA suspected her of being an
informant. Her 10 children were put into foster care. In 1999 the
IRA admitted responsibility and revealed the general location of her
body. Her body was found in Aug, 2003.
(SFEC, 5/30/99, p.A17)(AP, 11/1/03)(SFC,
1972 Sean O’Callaghan (18), IRA
member, was arrested for the first time. He was a bomb instructor
for the IRA at the time.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.C2)
1972 In Northern Ireland some
500 people were killed as the period of Troubles peaked.
(Econ, 3/29/14, p.62)
1973 Feb 25, In Northern
Ireland Gordon Gallagher (9) stumbled across an IRA bomb while
playing in his backyard in Londonderry. In 2012 The IRA admitted
responsibility and apologized for killing the boy after his parents
called publicly for Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness, the
former IRA commander in Londonderry, to tell them who planted a bomb
in their children's play area and why.
1973 Mar 8, In London a bomb
inside a parked car exploded in front of the Old Bailey near
Trafalgar Square. It hurled nearby vehicles into the air, wrecked a
pub and smashed hundreds of windows. Marian Price and her sister
Dolores (d.2013) were among 9 people convicted over the bombing,
which killed one person and left almost 200 others injured. Jerry
Kelly was convicted of causing explosions and conspiracy to cause
explosions after he planted four car bombs in London in March 1973.
Dolores received early parole in 1980. She alleged that Gerry Adams
was her IRA commander in Belfast in the early 1970s and was involved
in ordering several Catholic civilians to be abducted, executed and
buried in secret.
1973 Nov 22, Britain announced
a plan for moderate Protestants and Catholics to share power in
1973 Shaun Herron authored “The
Whore-Mother," a novel about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
(WSJ, 10/28/06, p.P12)
1973 The Irish Navy caught Joe
Cahill as he tried to smuggle 5 tons of Russian-made explosives,
guns and ammunition from Libya.
(SFC, 7/26/04, p.B4)
1973 Kathleen Feeney (14)
was killed in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The IRA long insisted
that British soldiers killed her, but in 2005 they apologized for
her death, which took place during a botched ambush on a British
1974 May 17, In Northern
Ireland three cars exploded amidst crowds of Dublin shoppers and
commuters walking toward a train station. A fourth detonated about
an hour later outside a pub in the border town of Monaghan. In 2007
an investigation into the bombings was finally completed by lawyer
Patrick MacEntee. The government had tasked MacEntee in 2005 with
finding out why Ireland's national police force, the Garda Siochana,
closed down its investigation in 1974 and failed to follow up
1974 May 29, Northern Ireland
was brought under direct rule from Westminster.
1974 May, In Northern Ireland
an assault on an Ulster Defense Regiment barracks killed Eva martin
(28). IRA assassin Sean O’Callaghan (1954-2017) later said he fired
the mortar shell that killed her.
1974 Aug 23, In Northern
Ireland Sean O'Callaghan, IRA member, and 2 other teenagers gunned
down police inspector Peter Flanagan in Broderick's Bar in Omagh.
O'Callaghan later served 8 years of a 539-year terrorism sentence
and was released in Dec, 1996 for becoming an informer.
1974 Oct 5, An IRA bombing at a
pub in Guilford, near London, killed 5 people. Four people including
Gerry Conlon were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In 1989
the so-called Guildford Four were freed after a top judge ruled that
police had fabricated hand-written interrogation notes used to
convict all four. In 2019 a British coroner ruled that the inquest
into the 1974 pub bombings in Guildford, at the heart of the film
"In The Name Of The Father" will be resumed.
1974 Oct 5, Eugene McQuaid, a
Catholic civilian, was killed near a British army checkpoint on
Northern Ireland's border on the main Belfast-Dublin road. In 2006
the IRA leadership offered its sincere apologies to the McQuaid
family for the death of Eugene and for the heartache and trauma that
the IRA actions caused.
1974 Nov 25, Irish Republican
Army was outlawed in Britain following deaths of 21. IRA bombs in
British pubs killed 28 and wounded over 200 in the last 2 months.
1974 Dec 20, A temporary cease
fire was established.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1974 Protestant loyalists and
trade unionists stopped a power-sharing plan backed by the British
government by shutting down power stations.
(SFC, 6/3/98, p.A12)
1975 Jan 16, The Irish
Republican Army called an end to a 25-day cease fire in Belfast.
1975 Jan 17, A 25-day
cease-fire in Northern Ireland ended.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1975 Jul 1, Eamon Molloy, a
Belfast IRA member, disappeared after being branded a traitor. His
body was recovered in 1999. His mother-in-law vanished from the
Divis Flats in Belfast in March 1972. Jean McConville (38) was a
widowed mother of 10. His brother, Anthony, was shot dead by
loyalists in June 1975.
1975 In Northern Ireland the
practice of interning suspected extremists ended as it clearly
fueled support for terrorism.
(Econ, 10/6/07, p.70)
1976 Mar 1, The Maze Prison
opened in Northern Ireland. Its 8 H-shaped blocks were designed to
hold 800 prisoners. It closed in 2000.
1976 Aug 14, Some 10,000
Northern Ireland women demonstrated for peace in Belfast.
1976 Aug 14, In Northern
Ireland Majella O'Hare (12) was shot in the back, as she walked with
other schoolgirls to a Catholic Church to give their confessions in
the village of Whitecross in South Armagh, a borderland powerbase
for the IRA. Her father, who died in 1992, witnessed the shooting
and watched her die in an army helicopter as she was being evacuated
to hospital. The family received a 1,500-pound ($2,400) payment from
the British government in 1976 as compensation for the killing. In
2011 the family received a face-to-face apology from Britain's
senior government official in Northern Ireland.
1976 Oct, Mairead Corrigan
Maguire was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace for her efforts
to stop bloodshed in Northern Ireland.
(SFC, 10/8/99, p.A12)
1976 IRA soldier Pat McGeown
(1956-1996) was arrested for the bombing of Belfast’s Europa Hotel
1976 Jimmy Smythe was accused
of the attempted murder of an off-duty prison guard in Belfast. He
was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
(SFC, 7/4/96, p.A20)
1977 May 14, Capt. Robert
Nairac (29), an underground British soldier, was abducted from a
border pub by an IRA gang, taken across the border into a Republic
of Ireland forest, and shot through the head. In 2008 the Police
Service of Northern Ireland press office confirmed the arrest of
Kevin Crilly (57), an IRA veteran, on suspicion of involvement in
Nairac's killing. On April 1, 2011, Crilly was acquitted of all
charges against him.
(AP, 5/20/08)(AP, 4/1/11)
1977 Oct 5, Seamus Costello
(b.1939), founder of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), was
shot to death by an Irish Republican Army member in Dublin.
1978 Apr 22, in Northern
Ireland Millar McAllister (36) was shot dead in his garden in
Lisburn in front of his son by Harry Murray. In 2020 Ian Cobain
authored "Anatomy of a Killing: Life and Death on a Divided Island".
1978 Apr, In Northern Ireland
Brendan Megraw (23) was abducted from his home in Belfast and killed
by IRA paramilitaries. He became one of the victims known as "the
Disappeared" who vanished without trace during three decades-long
conflict. His body was found in a bog in Oct 2014.
1978 Nov 26, Albert Miles,
governor of the maze prison, was murdered when gunmen forced their
way into his home and shot him while restraining his wife. Two men
were later convicted of his murder and given life sentences.
1978 Dec 14, In Northern
Ireland John Murdie McTier, Belfast Prison officer, was driving home
with two colleagues when a number of shots were fired from a passing
car by the IRA. Both his passengers survived the attack but Mr.
McTier died three days later from his wounds. He was survived by his
wife and three small children.
1978 The film "A Quiet Day in
Belfast" with Margot Kidder about the hopelessness of the Irish
(SFEC, 3/15/98, DB p.57)
1978 The Barnett Formula,
devised by Joel Barnett, was introduced as mechanism used by The
Treasury in the UK to adjust the amounts of public expenditure
allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales automatically to
reflect changes in spending levels allocated to public services in
England, England and Wales or Great Britain, as appropriate.
1978 An off-duty Belfast prison
official was murdered.
(SFC, 12/11/96, p.A15)
1979 Mar 25, In Northern
Ireland Gerard Evans (24) disappeared after leaving a dance. His
body was found in 2010. He had been abducted, executed and secretly
buried by the IRA for passing information on IRA activities to the
1979 Mar 30, Northern Ireland
spokesman Airey Neave, a leading member of the British parliament,
was killed by a bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army
(INLA) in the House of Commons car park in London.
(AP, 3/30/99)(AP, 2/8/10)
1979 May 1, In Northern Ireland
Frederick Lutton (39), a recently retired police reservist, was
murdered by two IRA gunmen.
1979 Aug 27, In Northern
Ireland 18 British militia died in ambush and bomb attack at
Warrenpoint, South Down.
1979 In Northern Ireland John
Hume (b.1937) became the leader of Northern Ireland’s main Catholic
party, the Social Democratic and Labor Party. Hume was also elected
this year to represent Northern Ireland in the European Parliament
1979 Robert “Basher" Bates
pleaded guilty to 10 murders. He was a member of the Shankhill
Butchers, a Protestant gang that kidnapped and tortured Catholics.
He received 14 life sentences but was released in 1996 after turning
state’s evidence and converting to a born-again Christian. In 1997
he was shot to death in revenge.
(SFC, 6/18/97, p.A8)
1979 Lord Louis Mountbatten,
his 14-year-old grandson, Lady Bradbourne (82), and a teenage
boat-helper were killed in an IRA bombing off the coast of Sligo,
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.7)
1980 Oct 27, Brendan "The Dark"
Hughes (1948-2008), a senior IRA commander, led a hunger strike at
Northern Ireland’s Maze Prison that lasted 53 days.
1980 Dec 18, IRA's Sean McKenna
became critically ill and ended his hunger strike.
1981 Jan 16, In Northern
Ireland, Protestant gunmen shot and wounded Irish nationalist leader
Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and her husband.
1981 Mar 1, Irish Republican
Army member Bobby Sands began a hunger strike at the Maze Prison in
Northern Ireland; he died 65 days later.
1981 Apr 10, Imprisoned IRA
hunger striker Bobby Sands was declared the winner of a by-election
to the British Parliament.
1981 May 5, Irish Republican
Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands, an elected member of the Irish
Parliament, died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland on his
66th day without food.
(SFC, 11/15/96, p.B2)(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.6)(AP,
1981 Aug 20, In Northern
Ireland Pat McGeown (1956-1996) lapsed into a coma during the Maze
Prison hunger strike. About 25 men went on strike and a 10th died
when McGeown’s family agreed to medical intervention. This was the
background for the 1996 film “Some Mother’s Son."
1981 Oct 3, IRA prisoners at
Maze Prison in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended a seven-month hunger
strike in which 10 men died. Imprisoned Irish Republic Army leader
Bobby Sands initiated the protest on March 1, the fifth anniversary
of the British policy of "Criminalization" of Irish political
prisoners. Many of these prisoners did not have trials.
1981 Paddy Doherty, a
Londonderry civil rights activist, founded the Inner City Trust, to
restore the downtown area.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A14)
1981 Taxi driver Kevin Artt was
arrested for the 1978 murder of a Belfast prison official but later
claimed that he was beaten and psychologically coerced into falsely
(SFC, 12/11/96, p.A15)
1981 Joe Doherty and 7 IRA
comrades shot their way out of Belfast’s Crumlin Road Jail during
their trial for killing a British army commando in 1980. Doherty
escaped to New York where he was arrested in 1983. He was paroled in
(SFC, 11/7/98, p.A14)
1982 Dec 6, In Northern Ireland
11 soldiers and six civilians were killed when a bomb planted by the
Irish National Liberation Army exploded in a pub in Ballykelly.
1982 The Homosexual Offences
Order (Northern Ireland) 1982, No. 1536 (N.I. 19) decriminalized
homosexual acts between consenting adults in Northern Ireland.
1983 Sep 25, In Northern
Ireland Jimmy Smythe escaped from the Maze prison near Belfast along
with 37 other prisoners. He made his way to San Francisco where he
was arrested and released on bail in 1992. Kevin Barry Artt, Terence
Kirby, and Pol Brennan also escaped and made their way to
California. They were arrested in the 1992 and held in a federal
prison in Pleasanton, Ca. After a lengthy court battle, Smythe was
extradited in 1996 to Northern Ireland to serve the remainder of his
20-year prison term. In 1998 he was freed from a Belfast prison.
(SFC, 7/4/96, p.A20)(SFC, 10/10/98,
1983 Dec 7, Edgar Graham
(b.1954), member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, was shot dead by
1983 Gerry Adams became the
president of Sinn Fein, the rising voice of Northern Ireland’s
Catholic minority. He was an alleged senior IRA commander in the
1970s, but has always denied being an IRA member.
(SFC, 4/11/98, p.A8)
1984 Oct 12, The IRA bombed the
hotel where PM Margaret Thatcher was staying in Brighton. Thatcher
escaped but five people were killed. Patrick McGee was sentenced to
8 life sentences for his role in the bombing. McGee was freed in
1999 as part of the Northern Ireland peace accord.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.7)(SFC, 6/23/99,
1985 Nov 15, British PM
Margaret Thatcher and the Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald signed
the Anglo-Irish Agreement giving Dublin an official consultative
role in governing Northern Ireland.
1985 Nov 27, The British House
of Commons approved the Anglo-Irish accord giving Dublin a
consultative role in the governing of British-ruled Northern
1985 Nov 28, The Irish Senate
approved the Anglo-Irish accord concerning Northern Ireland.
1985 In France Seamus Ruddy
(32), a Northern Ireland activist, vanished while working as an
English teacher in Paris. He was reportedly murdered by republican
1986 Apr 29, Seamus McElwaine
(25), Irish IRA-terrorist, was killed by undercover members of the
British Army in County Fermanagh.
1987 Nov 8, Eleven people were
killed when a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army exploded as
crowds gathered in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, for a ceremony
honoring Britain's war dead.
1988 Mar 6, British SAS
officers killed 3 IRA suspects in Gibraltar.
1988 Mar 16, Three people were
killed when Michael Stone, a pro British paramilitary member, armed
with guns and grenades attacked an IRA graveside service in Belfast,
Northern Ireland. Stone was also responsible for killing 3
Catholics in the mid 1980s. In 2000 Stone was released from prison
as part of a peace accord.
(AP, 3/17/98)(SFC, 7/25/00, p.A12)
1988 Mar 19, Two British
soldiers were shot to death after they were dragged from a car and
beaten by mourners attending an Irish Republican Army funeral in
Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1988 Oct 19, Britain banned
broadcast interviews with IRA members. Douglas Hurd introduced a
notice under clause 13(4) of the BBC License and Agreement and
section 29(3) of the Broadcasting Act 1981 prohibiting the broadcast
of direct statements by representatives or supporters of eleven
Irish political and military organizations.
1988 Oct 20, Britain ended a
suspects right to remain silent in crackdown on IRA.
1988 In Northern Ireland the
body of Inga Maria Hauser (18) was found in a remote part of
Ballypatrick Forest in County Antrim two weeks after she was last
seen alive on a ferry from Scotland. In 2018 Police in Northern
Ireland arrested two men (58 and 61) in the death of the German
1989 Feb 12, In Belfast Pat
Finucane, a lawyer active in the defense of IRA suspects, was shot
and killed by a lone gunman as he sat down to dinner with his family
at home. The Ulster Defense Association claimed responsibility but
nobody was ever charged. In 1999 a report asserted that the British
army was linked to the slaying. A suspect (48) was arrested in 1999.
In 2003 a London police report said the British Army and police were
involved in the murder. In 2004 Ken Barrett (41), former Protestant
paramilitary and police informer in Northern Ireland, was sentenced
to 22 years in prison for the murder of Finucane. In Oct 12, 2011,
Britain offered an official apology for its forces' role in the 1989
killing of a Northern Ireland lawyer and pledged to publish a public
report into the extent of police and army collusion in the attack.
The report in December 2012 found shocking levels of state
(SFC, 2/12/99, p.A3)(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A12)(AP,
4/17/03)(AP, 9/16/04)(AP, 10/12/11)(AP, 12/12/12)
1989 Mar 20, In Northern
Ireland Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan, two senior Northern Ireland
police officers, were murdered by the Irish Republican Army outside
the village of Jonesborough, County Armagh. On Dec 3, 2013, a
judge-led inquiry in London found that Irish police colluded in the
1990 Seamus Heaney (b.1939),
Nobel Prize winning poet (1995), wrote the play "The Cure at Troy"
based on Sophocles’ play "Philoctetes."
1991 Feb 18, The Irish
Republican Army claimed responsibility for a bomb that exploded in a
London rail station, killing a commuter.
1991 Jul 7, IRA members Pearse
McAuley (b.1965) and Nessan Quinliven escaped from an English jail,
shot a Canadian tourist and took his car during their getaway. They
had been awaiting trial on charges relating to a suspected plot to
assassinate former brewery company chairman, Sir Charles Tidbury.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearse_McAuley)(SSFC, 2/26/17, DB
1991 In Northern Ireland Rory
Finnis (21) was killed by the Irish Republican Army. Accused of
informing the Northern Ireland government of the paramilitary
group’s activities, the Londonderry man was shot in the head. His
hands had been tied behind his back, his eyes taped closed. In 2019
details of his death and many others were revealed in archives newly
opened by the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.
1992 Jan 17, Eight Protestant
laborers were killed in an IRA bombing in Northern Ireland.
1992 Feb 5, In Northern
Ireland Protestant guerrillas shot and killed 5 Catholic men in the
Sean Graham betting shop on the Lower Ormeau Road.
1992 Feb 19, Former Irish
Republican Army member Joseph Doherty was deported from the United
States to Northern Ireland following a 10-year battle for political
1992 Oct 16, Sheena Campbell, a
political activist, was shot in Belfast.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.7)
1992 The film “Hear My Song"
starred Ned Beatty and was based on the story of Irish tenor singer
Josef Locke (d.1999 at 82).
(SFC, 10/16/99, p.A26)
1992 Billy Wright in an
interview admitted that he had planned the killings of more than a
dozen Catholics. [see Dec 27, 1997]
1992-1996 Conor O’Clery covered this period in his
1997 book “Daring Diplomacy," on how the US played a role in the
search for peace.
(SFEC, 6/15/97, BR p.6)
1993 Oct 23, An IRA bomb
exploded in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing 10 people, including
an IRA operative at a fish & chips shop on Shankill Road.
1993 Nov 28, The British
government confirmed reports of contacts with the Irish Republican
Army that were aimed at ending the violence in British-ruled
1993 Dec 15, Britain and
Ireland issued a “framework for peace."
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1993 Paddy Devlin (d.1999 at
74), co-founder of the Social Democratic and Labor Party, published
his autobiography "Straight Left."
(SFC, 8/16/99, p.A21)
1994 Jun 18, In Northern
Ireland protestant paramilitary gunmen entered the Heights Bar in
the village of Loughinisland and opened fire indiscriminately on
customers watching Ireland play Italy in a televised World Cup
match, killing six, including 87-year-old Barney Greene, one of the
oldest victims in the 'Troubles'.
1994 Aug 31, The Irish
Republican Army (IRA) announces a "complete cessation of military
operations," opening the way to a political settlement in Ireland
for the first time in a quarter of a century.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)(AP, 8/31/99)(HN, 8/31/99)
1994 Sep 6, Irish Prime
Minister Albert Reynolds and Gerry Adams, head of the IRA's
political ally, Sinn Fein, made a joint commitment to peace after
their first face-to-face meeting.
1994 Oct 13, Pro-British
Protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland announced a cease-fire
matching the Irish Republican Army's six-week-old truce.
1994 Oct, The Loyalist
Volunteers were founded by hard-line dissidents opposed to the
truces called by the Ulster Defense Assoc. and the Ulster Volunteer
Force, the north’s 2 major pro-British gangs.
(SFC, 5/16/98, p.A11)
1994 Dec 9, Representatives of
the Irish Republican Army and the British government opened peace
talks in Northern Ireland.
1994 Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair was
convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison for "directing
terrorism." He was pardoned in 1999 under a peace accord.
(SFC, 9/15/99, p.C2)(SFC, 9/15/99, p.C2)
1995 Jan 15, British soldiers
ended daytime patrols in Belfast.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1995 Mar 24, For the first time
in 20 years, no British soldiers were patrolling the streets of
Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1995 Jul 3, Irish Republican
Army sympathizers rioted in Northern Ireland’s two largest cities in
outrage over the early parole of a British soldier convicted of
killing a Roman Catholic woman.
1995 Sep, David Trimble became
the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. He favored a stable
government within Northern Ireland and cooperation with the Irish
(SFC, 4/11/98, p.A8)
1995 Nov 30, President Clinton
became the first U.S. chief executive to visit Northern Ireland.
1996 Feb 9, The IRA announced
an end to the cease-fire and detonated a truck bomb in east London’s
Docklands at Canary Wharf. Two people were killed and scores
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1996 Feb 18, Nine people were
injured when an IRA bomb exploded on a double-decker bus.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1996 May 30, Voters selected
110 members for a forum on negotiations to determine its future
status. Protestants want their British ties and majority position
secured. Catholic leaders want linkage with the Irish Republic where
they form the overwhelming majority.
(SFC, 5/31/96, A15)
1996 May 31, On the Protestant
side moderates headed by David Trimble won 30 seats and hard-liners
led by Rev. Ian Paisley won 24. On the Catholic side moderates led
by John Hume won 22 seats and Sinn Fein got 17. Minor parties shared
the remaining 19 seats.
(SFC, 6/1/96, p.A12)
1996 Jun 7, IRA men killed one
police officer and wounded another in a robbery attempt in Adare,
western Ireland. Detective sergeant Jerry McCabe was killed with 15
bullets from a Kalashnikov. In 1999 Pearse McCauley and Kevin Walsh
were sentenced to 14 years in prison , Jeremiah Sheehy to 12 years,
and Michael O’Neill to 11 years. O’Neill was released in 2007.
Sheehy was released in 2008.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)(SFC, 2/6/99, p.A11)(AP,
1996 June 10, All party peace
talks opened in Northern Ireland. IRA allies in Sinn Fein were
excluded because the cease-fire was not restored.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1996 Jun 15, A truck bomb
exploded in Manchester, England, and injured more than 200 people.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A8)
1996 cJun, Billy Wright, while
in prison, was expelled from the Ulster Volunteer Force for refusing
to recognize a cease fire. He formed the Loyalist Volunteer Force
which went on to kill 3 Catholics in 1997.
1996 Jun 28, In Germany an IRA
unit fired three mortar shells onto the grounds of the Quebec
Barracks in Osnabrueck. Buildings were damaged but no one was
injured. James Corry and at least four other accomplices parked a
truck with an improvised launch battery outside British barracks and
fired three shells. In 2017 Corry, a former member of an IRA
splinter group, was convicted of attempted murder sentenced to four
years in jail.
(AP, 12/15/16)(AFP, 10/25/17)
1996 Jul 8, In Northern Ireland
Michael McGoldrick Jr. (31), a taxi driver, was abducted and fatally
shot, two days after graduating from a Belfast university. He was
the first victim of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, an outlawed
Protestant gang that opposed Northern Ireland's peace process.
1996 Jul 9, In Portadown, riot
police prevented the Orange Order from marching through the Catholic
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.A8)
1996 Jul 12, In Northern
Ireland authorities relented and allowed the Orange Order to march
through the village of Drumcree.
(SFC, 7/12/96, p.A1)(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A8)
1996 Jul 14, A car bomb at the
Killyhevlin Hotel in the town of Enniskillen injured 17 people.
(SFC, 7/15/96, p.A1)
1996 Jul 20, Rioters fought
with police in Omagh after rival parades ended.
(SFC, 7/21/96, p.A8)
1996 Oct 7, In Lisburn,
Northern Ireland, the Irish Republican Army detonated two car bombs
inside the British army's headquarters, wounding 31 people. Two
bombs of 500 and 1000 pounds exploded near Thiepval Barracks and
near the base hospital.
(SFEC, 10/8/96, A8)(AP, 10/7/97)
1997 Mar 26, A bomb exploded at
a police station in Coalisland, 30 miles west of Belfast.
(SFC, 3/27/97, p.A14)
1997 Apr, Police officer Alice
Collins of the Protestant-dominated Royal Ulster Constabulary was
shot in the back by an IRA gunman.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A14)
1997 Jun 16, The British
government broke off contacts it had just renewed with Sinn Fein
after the Irish Republican Army killed two Protestant policemen in
Lurgan, Northern Ireland.
(AP, 6/16/98)(SFC, 6/17/97, p.A1)
1997 Jun 21, A terrorist bomb
rocked Belfast. Three people were slightly injured and pro-British
loyalist forces were suspected to be responsible.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.D1)
1997 Jun 24, David Trimble of
the main Protestant party said he would accept an Anglo-Irish
recommendation to set up an int’l. commission to oversee the gradual
disarmament of the IRA and pro-British paramilitary gangs as wider
(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A8)
1997 Jul 6, In Portadown,
Northern Ireland, British troops cleared the streets to allow the
Orange Order to march through the Catholic enclave along Garvaghy
Road amidst scattered violence.
(SFC, 7/7/97, p.A8)
1997 Jul 8, In Northern Ireland
masked members of the IRA boarded, cleared and set fire to a Dublin
to Belfast train.
(SFC, 7/9/97, p.A6)
1997 Jul 10, The Orange Order
canceled planned to march through Catholic neighborhoods in 2 main
cities over the weekend.
(SFC, 7/11/97, p.A10)
1997 Jul 15, Pro-British
militants shot and killed Bernadette Martin while she slept beside
her Protestant boyfriend.
1997 Jul 18, The Sinn Fein
party urged its allies in the IRA to call a cease fire.
(SFC, 7/19/97, p.A8)
1997 Sep 9, Sinn Fein, the
IRA's political ally, accepted the Mitchell Principles and formally
renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern
(AP, 9/9/98)(MC, 9/9/01)
1997 Sep 15, The IRA allied
Sinn Fein party entered Northern Ireland's peace talks for the first
time. All party talks for peace were to begin in Belfast.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.A8)(AP, 9/15/98)
1997 Oct 25, In Northern
Ireland a small bomb exploded under the car seat of Glen Greer (28)
in Belfast and killed him as the car burst into flames. It was the
first political killing in three months.
1997 Dec 13, In Northern
Ireland gangs of Catholic youths attacked police during a protest
march by rival Protestants in the annual Lundy’s Day demonstration
1997 Dec 27, In Northern
Ireland inmate Billy Wright (37), aka King Rat and Northern
Ireland's most notorious Protestant militant, was shot and killed by
another inmate of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), an IRA
splinter group at the Maze prison. In 1998 3 Irish extremists,
Christopher McWilliams, John Kennaway and John Glennon, were
sentenced to life in prison for the killing.
(SFEC,12/28/97, p.A1)(SFC, 10/21/98, p.C2)(AP,
1997 Dec 27, In Northern
Ireland masked killers shot and killed Seamus Dillon (45), a
Catholic security guard at the Glengannon Hotel. Two other bouncers
and a 14-year-old bar worker were wounded. The attack was a response
to the killing of Billy Wright.
(SFC, 12/29/97, p.A6)
1997 Dec 31, Masked gunmen
opened fire at the Clifton Tavern in Belfast and left one man dead
and 5 wounded. The Loyalist Volunteer Force admitted killing Eddie
Trainor (31) and wounding 5 others.
(SFC, 1/1/98, p.A16)(SFC, 1/2/98, p.A15)
1998 Jan 9, Mo Mowlam, British
secretary for Northern Ireland, met with prisoners at the Maze
prison and got their endorsement for the Ulster Democratic Party to
return to peace talks. Talks with the Progressive Unionist were
scheduled for the next day.
(SFC, 1/10/98, p.A8)
1998 Jan 11, Terry Enwright
(28), a relative of Gerry Adams, was slain outside the Space
nightclub in Belfast. The Protestant Loyalist Volunteer Force
(SFC, 1/12/98, p.A10)
1998 Jan 12, Britain and
Ireland proposed a power-sharing compromise to reconcile the divided
Protestants and Roman Catholics. Home rule was offered to Northern
Ireland under an assembly elected by proportional representation.
(SFC, 1/13/98, p.A10)
1998 Jan 18, Fergal McCusker
(28) was killed by the Loyalist Volunteer Force in Maghera.
(SFC, 1/19/98, p.A8)
1998 Jan 19, In Northern
Ireland Jim Guiney (38), a Protestant shopkeeper, was shot and
killed in his Belfast carpet store. Later a 52-year-old Catholic
taxi driver was shot and killed in Belfast in apparent retaliation
(SFC, 1/20/98, p.D1)
1998 Jan 23, In Belfast Liam
Conway, a Catholic worker, was shot and killed. The Ulster Freedom
Fighters earlier claimed responsibility for 3 Catholic deaths since
new year’s Eve. The Ulster Volunteer Force was suspected in Conway’s
(SFC, 1/24/98, p.A10)
1998 Jan 26, The Ulster
Democratic Party, the largest pro-British paramilitary group,
withdrew from peace talks.
(SFC, 1/27/98, p.A8)
1998 Feb 9, A Protestant drug
dealer, Brendan Campbell (33), and a Protestant militant, Bobby
Dougan (38), were slain in separate incidents. Police blamed the IRA
and a dissident gang.
(SFC, 2/11/98, p.B3)
1998 Feb 20, In Northern
Ireland Sinn Fein was suspended from peace talks for 17 days.
(SFC, 2/21/98, p.A8)
1998 Feb 20, A 500-pound bomb
in Moira left 11 people injured and wrecked a police station. It was
blamed on the Continuity Army Council, an IRA splinter group.
(SFEC, 2/22/98, p.A21)
1998 Feb 23, A bomb leveled 2
buildings in Portadown. The Continuity IRA was suspected in the
blast that started a fire and damaged roofs and windows across the
(SFC, 2/24/98, p.A8)
1998 Mar 3, In Northern Ireland
Damien Trainor (25) and Phillip Allen (34) were shot and killed by
sectarian gunmen in the Railway Bar in Poyntzpass. Three others were
(SFC, 3/5/98, p.A12)
1998 Mar 10, Guerrillas
launched 2 mortar bombs at a police station in Armagh.
(SFC, 3/9/98, p.A9)
1998 Mar 16, David Keys (26),
one of the jailed suspects in the Mar 3 murders, was found hanged in
his cell at Maze Prison. His death was violent and considered a
(SFC, 3/17/98, p.B2)
1998 Mar 17, More than 10,000
Catholics marched in the first-ever St. Patrick’s Day parade in
(SFC, 3/18/98, p.A11)
1998 Mar 27, A former policeman
was shot and killed by masked gunmen in Armagh.
(SFC, 3/28/98, p.A8)
1998 Apr 2, Police intercepted
a 980-pound bomb at Dublin’s ferry port.
(SFC, 4/3/98, p.B8)
1998 Apr 9, This day was set as
a deadline for peace talks. The talks continued past the deadline.
(SFC, 3/26/98, p.B3)(WSJ, 4/10/98, p.A1)
1998 Apr 10, The Good Friday
Agreement was announced 17 hours after the deadline as negotiators
reached a landmark settlement to end 30 years of bitter rivalries
and bloody attacks. Gerry Adams signed for the IRA. It was to face
referendums in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland on May 22. If
approved there would be June elections to create a local governing
assembly for Northern Ireland.
(SFC, 4/11/98, p.A1)(AP, 4/10/99)(SSFC, 9/14/03,
1998 Apr 11, The executive
committee of the Ulster Union Party voted 55-23 to support the
Northern Ireland peace accord and its leader, David Trimble, who had
outmaneuvered rebels in his ranks.
1998 Apr 12, Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams appealed to IRA supporters to accept Northern Ireland's
compromise peace accord.
1998 Apr 18, In Northern
Ireland the Ulster Unionists, despite fierce internal dissent, voted
to support the peace agreement by a 72% margin.
(SFEC, 4/19/98, p.A1)(AP, 4/18/99)
1998 Apr 22, In Ireland
legislation was passed for a May 22 referendum on the Northern
Ireland peace agreement. Northern Ireland voters would also vote on
the referendum. A constitutional amendment would result in which
Ireland would renounce its claim on the territory of Northern
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.A12)
1998 Apr 30, The IRA refused to
disarm as part of the peace accord, which demanded the decommission
of weaponry to begin in June and finish in 2 years.
(SFC, 5/1/98, p.D2)
1998 May 10, In Northern
Ireland Sinn Fein (We Ourselves) voted to let their leaders
participate in the new compromise administration. Leader Gerry Adams
won full backing for the Northern Ireland peace accord in a
fundamental reversal of decades-old policy.
(SFC, 5/11/98, p.A1)(AP, 5/10/99)
1998 May 12, Britain offered
Northern Ireland a $500 million package of financing and tax breaks
for roads, railways and the reduction of unemployment.
(SFC, 5/13/98, p.A11)
1998 May 15, The Loyalist
Volunteers announced a cease-fire to encourage Protestant voters to
reject the peace accord referendum.
(SFC, 5/16/98, p.A11)
1998 May 22, A vote on the referendum on
the Northern Ireland peace agreement was held in Northern Ireland
and the Republic of Ireland. Voters showed 71% support in Northern
Ireland and 94% support in the Republic of Ireland.
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.A12)(SFC, 5/23/98, p.A1)(SFEC,
1998 May 23, Official returns
showed two convincing "yes" votes for the Northern Ireland peace
accord: a surprisingly strong 71.1 percent in British-linked
Northern Ireland, and 94.4 percent in the Republic of Ireland.
1998 Jun 24, In Northern
Ireland a car bomb exploded in Newtownhamilton and injured a
13-year-old boy. The INLA claimed responsibility.
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.A12)
1998 Jun 25, A new 108-seat
Northern Ireland Assembly was to be elected if the peace referendum
was passed in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.A12)
1998 Jun 25, In Northern
Ireland voters chose members for the new Northern Ireland Assembly.
Parties committed to the peace settlement emerged as victors.
Anti-agreement forces accounted for 29 of the 108 seats.
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.A12)(SFC, 6/27/98, p.A10)
1998 Jul 1, David Trimble, head
of the Ulster Unionist Party, became the first minister of the new
Northern Ireland Assembly. Seamus Mallon was elected deputy first
(SFC, 7/2/98, p.A14)
1998 Jul 2, In Northern Ireland
10 Roman Catholic churches were set on fire by arsonists.
(SFC, 7/3/98, p.A1)
1998 Jul 5, British forces
blocked the Protestant march by the Orangemen outside of Portadown.
Some 1,000 members of the Orange Order began a protest and
threatened violence. Rioting erupted in south-central Belfast.
(SFC, 7/6/98, p.A1)
1998 Jul 6, Mobs battled police
across Northern Ireland for a 2nd day even after a Parade’s
Commission decided to permit a July 13 Protestant march in Belfast’s
Lower Ormeau section.
(SFC, 7/7/98, p.A8)
1998 Jul 7, Britain sent more
troops to Northern Ireland to help quell the rioting.
(SFC, 7/8/98, p.A10)
1998 Jul 10, Police in England
and Ireland arrested 9 people and thwarted a plot to bomb central
London. The arrested were members of the 32 County Sovereignty
Committee, a hard-line dissident Catholic group opposed to the peace
settlement that was led by Bernadette Sands. Her husband, Michael
McKevitt, was the reputed leader of the Real IRA.
(SFC, 7/11/98, p.A1)(SFC, 8/18/98, p.A8)(SFC,
1998 Jul 12, In Ballymoney,
Northern Ireland a firebomb killed 3 young boys, Richard, Mark and
Jason Quinn, who had been asleep in their beds. Garfield Gilmour
(24) was later arrested, convicted of murder and sentenced to 3 life
sentences for his role. Gilmour admitted that he drove an Ulster
Volunteer Force gang to the house that night, but that he was
coerced. He identified his companions but there was insufficient
evidence for charges.
(SFC, 7/13/98, p.A1)(AP, 7/12/99)(SFC, 10/30/99,
1998 Jul 19, In North Belfast
Andrew Kearney (33) was shot in the ankle and behind each knee in
retaliation for a bar fight with an IRA man. He bled to death in a
lift before help arrived.
(SFC, 9/3/98, p.A14)
1998 Aug 1, In Northern Ireland
a car bomb exploded in Banbridge and wounded 35 people.
(SFEC, 8/2/98, p.A18)
1998 Aug 3, In Northern Ireland
Protestant marchers and Catholic residents compromised on the Aug 8
Apprentice Boys parade scheduled in Londonderry.
(SFC, 8/4/98, p.A12)
1998 Aug 8, Some 15,000
Apprentice Boys marched through Londonderry with a few minor
(SFEC, 8/9/98, p.A17)
1998 Aug 15, In Northern
Ireland a car bomb killed 29 people in Omagh and wounded 220. A
splinter group called the Real IRA took responsibility. It was
affiliated with the political organization called the 32-County
Sovereignty Committee. Families of the dead filed civil suit in
2001. In 2002 Colm Murphy (50), a veteran anti-British militant, was
convicted of aiding the bombers and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
In 2005 Murphy was released on bail pending a retrial. In 2003
Michael McKevitt, head of a dissident IRA faction, was sentenced to
20 years in prison for directing the group. In 2005 Sean Gerard Hoey
(35) was charged with murdering 29 people in the attack. Detectives
had used “low copy DNA profiling" to link Sean Hoey to the bombing.
In 2007 a judge acquitted Hoey, saying he was not satisfied beyond a
reasonable doubt of the evidence's integrity. In 2009 a Belfast
court found 4 dissidents liable for the bombing. Michael McKevitt,
leader of the Real IRA, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus
Daly were found liable in a civil case brought by the families of
those killed. A fifth man, Seamus McKenna, was cleared of
involvement. In 2011 an appeals court ruled that the original trial
judge gave too much credence to evidence identifying two of the men,
Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly, as members of the Real IRA. The judges
ordered a civil retrial for Murphy. In 2014 Daly was arraigned on 29
charges of murder.
(SFC, 8/17/98, p.A9)(SFC, 1/23/02, p.A6)(SFC,
1/26/02, p.A8)(SFC, 8/8/03, p.A3)(AP, 5/26/05)(AP, 12/21/07)(AP,
6/8/09)(AP, 7/7/11)(AP, 4/11/14)
1998 Aug 16, Protestants and
Catholics in Northern Ireland united in uncomprehending grief over
the car bomb slaughter of 29 people in Omagh a day earlier.
1998 Aug 18, In Northern
Ireland a splinter group claimed responsibility for the bombing in
Omagh. The group offered apologies for the dead and declared an
(SFC, 8/19/98, p.A12)
1998 Sep 2, In Northern Ireland
the IRA-allied Sinn Fein party announced that Martin McGuiness, its
senior negotiator, would work with the Canadian-led commission
charged with disarming paramilitary groups.
(SFC, 9/3/98, p.A14)
1998 Oct 16, The Nobel Peace
Prize was awarded to John Hume, head of the Irish Catholic Social
Democratic and Labor Party, and to David Trimble, leader of the
Protestant Ulster Unionist Party.
(SFEC, 10/18/98, p.D1)(AP, 10/16/99)
1998 Oct 29, The deadline for
the creation of a new North-South Ministerial Council faced delay
due to a dispute over disarmament. An estimated 100 ton arsenal
including several tons of Semtex was still hidden on both sides of
(SFC, 10/26/98, p.A8)
1998 Oct 31, In Northern
Ireland Brian Service (35) was killed in Belfast. Later the Red Hand
Defenders claimed responsibility. A red-colored hand is the
traditional symbol of the province of Ulster.
(SFC, 11/2/98, p.A14)
1998 Dec 16, There was a bomb
attack on a Catholic-owned country pub in Crumlin. No one was hurt
and 2 pro-British, Protestant extremist groups claimed
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D9)
1998 Sean McPhilemy published
“The Committee: Political Assassination in Northern Ireland." He
outlined a secret alliance of 50-60 individuals who conspired with
police officials to murder political enemies.
(SFEC, 7/19/98, BR p.3)
1999 Jan 27, Eamon Collins,
author of the 1997 book "Killing Rage," was found beaten to death
near Newry. He had been the IRAs intelligence officer from 1980-1985
and offended his associates with the book.
(SFC, 1/28/99, p.C4)
1999 Feb 16, The Northern
Ireland Assembly voted 77 to 29 to create a 12-member executive
council to help pave the way for the transfer of some powers from
the British government.
(SFC, 2/17/99, p.A8)
1999 Feb 21, In Ireland and
Northern Ireland police arrested 7 men associated with the 1998
Omagh car bombing that killed 29 people.
(SFC, 2/22/99, p.A14)
1999 Feb 27, Three men were
arrested in Dundalk in connection with the Omagh bombing.
(SFC, 3/1/99, p.A12)
1999 Feb 28, A woman was
arrested in Dublin in connection with the Omagh bombing.
(SFC, 3/1/99, p.A12)
1999 Mar 8, Britain and Ireland
signed 4 treaties for the Northern Ireland peace accord. Formation
of a new government was postponed.
(WSJ, 3/9/99, p.A1)
1999 Mar 15, In Northern
Ireland Rosemary Nelson (40), a Catholic human rights lawyer, was
killed by a car bomb in Lurgan. In 2000 William Thompson, a former
British soldier, was arraigned on terrorist charges following an
inquiry into Nelson's death.
(SFC, 3/16/99, p.A8)(SFC, 3/17/00, p.D4)
1999 Mar 17, In Belfast gunmen
killed Frankie Curry, a Protestant extremist recently paroled from
(SFC, 3/18/99, p.A12)
1999 Mar 21, In Northern
Ireland masked men beat a 13-year-old boy with baseball bats at
(SFC, 3/22/99, p.A10)
1999 Apr 1, Bertie Ahern and
Tony Blair called for the rival paramilitary groups to surrender
their weapons on a new all-Ireland holiday, a "day of
reconciliation" devoted to peace.
(SFC, 4/2/99, p.D2)
1999 Jun 30, Peace talks in
Northern Ireland, set for a midnight deadline by British PM Tony
Blair, were extended in an attempt to reach an accord.
(SFC, 7/1/99, p.A12)
1999 Jul 2, In Northern Ireland
Britain's Tony Blair and Ireland's Bertie Ahern issued a
take-or-leave-it plan for a new local government to begin in 2 weeks
before the IRA gives up any of its guns with disarmament to begin
(SFC, 7/3/99, p.A1)
1999 Jul 10, The Parades
Commission reversed a previous ban and gave the Protestant Orange
Order permission to gather at Ormeau Park after the parade route was
(SFEC, 7/11/99, p.A24)
1999 Jul 14, In Northern
Ireland the Ulster Unionists under David Trimble rejected a
compromise for the creation of a power sharing government.
(SFC, 7/15/99, p.A12)
1999 Aug 14, Violence broke out
in Londonderry and Belfast before and during the Apprentice Boys of
(SFEC, 8/15/99, p.A21)
1999 Sep 10, The Independent
Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland issued its
recommendations which included more Catholics on the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) police force.
(SFC, 9/10/99, p.A12)
1999 Nov 17, In Northern
Ireland the IRA said that it would back the peace agreement and
agreed to appoint a go-between to the commission charged with
disarming the paramilitaries.
(SFC, 11/18/99, p.A16)
1999 Nov 27, In Northern
Ireland the Ulster Unionist Party approved its leader-centering
government with rivals from Sinn Fein. The Ulster Unionists cleared
the way for the speedy formation of an unprecedented
(SFEC, 11/28/99, p.A1)(AP, 11/27/04)
1999 Nov 29, Protestant and
Catholic adversaries formed an extraordinary Northern Ireland
government to bring together every branch of opinion within the
bitterly divided society.
(SFC, 11/30/99, p.A1)(AP, 11/29/00)
1999 Dec 1, Queen Elizabeth
approved a law that granted semiautonomy to Northern Ireland and a
midnight power passed formally from London to Belfast.
(SFC, 12/2/99, p.A24)
1999 Dec 2, In Northern
Ireland, a power-sharing Cabinet of Protestants and Catholics sat
down together for the first time. Martin McGuinness (1950-2017)
began serving as minister of education in the first unionist
republican power-sharing executive.
1999 Dec 6, The new lawmakers
approved a nearly 30% salary increase for themselves from $47,000 to
(SFC, 12/7/99, p.B3)
1999 Dec 8, In Northern Ireland
Gerry Adams accused British spies of eavesdropping on secret
discussions with IRA commanders using hidden surveillance gear in
one of his party's cars.
(SFC, 12/9/99, p.C4)
1999 Dec 13, Ireland and
Northern Ireland began cross-border cooperation with a meeting in
Armagh. Twice yearly summits called the North-South Ministerial
Summit represented the first political link since partition in 1920.
(SFC, 12/14/99, p.A12)
1999 The 1600 page book "Lost
Lives" covered every killing over 30 years of the Troubles. Over
3,600 people were documented from all sides by David McKitrick of
the London Independent, Seamus Kelters of the BBC, Chris Thornton of
the Belfast Telegraph, and Brian Feeney of the Irish News.
(SFC, 10/27/99, p.A12)
2000 Feb 1, Northern Ireland
was on the brink of political crises after a disarmament report
confirmed rebel groups had not surrendered any weapons.
(WSJ, 2/2/00, p.A1)
2000 Feb 3, The British
government announced that it would resume control over Northern
Ireland within days if the IRA did not take steps to disarm.
(SFC, 2/4/00, p.A10)
2000 Feb 6, In Northern Ireland
suspected IRA members bombed a Mahon's Hotel in County Fermanagh.
(SFC, 2/7/00, p.A14)
2000 Feb 9, In Britain the
House of Commons passed a bill to suspend home-rule in Northern
(WSJ, 2/10/00, p.A1)
2000 Feb 11, Britain suspended
the 10-week old power-sharing government of Northern Ireland. An
independent panel reported progress on the question of disarmament
by the IRA.
(SFC, 2/12/00, p.A1)
2000 Feb 15, In Northern
Ireland the IRA quit talks on disarmament in reprisal for Britain's
suspension of the power-sharing government.
(SFC, 2/16/00, p.A8)
2000 Mar 25, David Trimble
defeated Rev. Martin Smyth with 57% of the vote of the ruling Ulster
Party Council. Henry MacDonald was the author of a new biography on
(SFEC, 3/26/00, p.A21)
2000 May 27, In Belfast the
Ulster Unionist Party’s ruling council voted to accept an IRA offer
to put its weapons beyond use.
(SFEC, 5/28/00, p.A1)
2000 Jun 20, In Northern
Ireland Ulster Freedom Fighters threatened break their cease-fire
and accused Catholic groups of attacking protestant homes.
(SFC, 6/21/00, p.A12)
2000 Jun 26, In Northern
Ireland the IRA allowed an independent examination of its
clandestine arms for the 1st time in its 81 year history.
(SFC, 6/27/00, p.A12)
2000 Jul 2, Police block the
marchers of the Orange Order at Portadown.
(SFC, 7/3/00, p.A12)
2000 Jul 4, In Northern Ireland
protestors clashed with police in Belfast for a 2nd night due to
restrictions on traditional parades in Catholic areas.
(SFC, 7/5/00, p.A10)
2000 Jul 5, Rioting continued
for a 4th day in Belfast to force authorities to allow the Orange
Order to parade down Garvaghy Road in Portadown.
(SFC, 7/6/00, p.A12)
2000 Jul 6, In Northern Ireland
British authorities banned a 2nd Protestant parade from passing
through Catholic territory.
(SFC, 7/7/00, p.A12)
2000 Jul 8, A bomb exploded at
the Stewartstown Royal Ulster Constabulary station with no injuries.
The Orange Order announced plans to bring the country to a halt the
next day if they are not allowed to march down Garvaghy Road in
(SFEC, 7/9/00, p.C12)
2000 Jul 9, In Northern Ireland
some 2000 Orange Order marchers held a peaceful march at Drumcree.
(SFC, 7/10/00, p.A8)
2000 Jul 28, In Northern
Ireland 78 prisoners were released from the Maze Prison as part of
the Good Friday Peace Accord.
(SFC, 7/29/00, p.A12)
2000 Aug 12, Members of the
Protestant Apprentice Boys marched through Londonderry following a
deal with the mostly Catholic city.
(SFEC, 8/13/00, p.B9)
2000 Aug 21, Britain deployed
troops in Belfast after 2 men were killed in a feud between
Protestant paramilitary factions. Sam Rocket was gunned down 2 days
later in retaliation. The Ulster Defense Assoc. and the Ulster
Volunteer Force appeared to be feuding over control of rackets.
(WSJ, 8/22/00, p.A1)(SFC, 8/25/00, p.D5)(WSJ,
2000 Sep 30, In Northern
Ireland the last 4 inmates left the Maze prison as part of the Good
Friday Peace agreement. The prison was scheduled for shutdown.
(SFEC, 10/1/00, p.D14)
2000 Dec 13, Pres. Clinton
spoke in Northern Ireland and urged compromise to push forward the
peace process. Disputes over police reform, British military
installations and IRA weapons stayed unresolved.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.C4)
2001 Feb 28, Officials in
Northern Ireland confirmed hoof-and-mouth disease in sheep imported
from England. 8 more cases were confirmed in England and Wales.
(SFC, 3/1/01, p.A10)
2001 May 16, The US State Dept.
decided to designate the Real IRA as a terrorist organization and
banned US fund raising by the group and its supporting
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.D4)
2001 Jun 14, Riot police
protected Catholic children going to school in North Belfast.
(SFC, 12/30/01, p.D3)
2001 Jun 20, In Belfast police
battled sectarian mobs in the worst rioting since 1998.
(WSJ, 6/21/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 21, In Belfast police
and British soldiers battled Catholic and Protestant rioters for a
2nd day and 3rd night. 39 police officers were injured.
(SFC, 6/22/01, p.A14)(WSJ, 6/22/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 22, Riots in Belfast
continued after Britain ordered more troops into the area in
anticipation of weeks of confrontations.
(SFC, 6/23/01, p.A8)
2001 Jun 23, David Trimble was
re-elected as leader of the Ulster Unionist party and said he would
quit the government next week if the IRA does not begin disarming by
(SSFC, 6/24/01, p.A13)
2001 Jun 30, David Trimble,
Ulster Unionist leader, resigned as the 1st minister of the joint
(SFC, 7/1/01, p.A13)
2001 Jul 8, Some 500 Orangemen
marched at Drumcree and dispersed when confronted by police at
(SFC, 7/9/01, p.A8)
2001 Jul 10, Protestant
militants withdrew support for the Northern Ireland peace accord.
(WSJ, 7/11/01, p.A1)
2001 Jul 12, In Belfast police
fought with rioters following a day of marches by Protestants.
(SFC, 7/13/01, p.A14)
2001 Jul 29, In Northern
Ireland Gavin Brett (18), a Protestant, was killed while standing
with Catholic friends in Belfast. The Red Hand Defenders took
credit, their 2nd this month.
(SFC, 7/31/01, p.A7)
2001 Aug 6, The IRA announced a
method of destroying its arsenal that raised hopes for a peace
accord in Northern Ireland.
(SFC, 8/7/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 9, The IRA offered
publicly to put its arsenal of weapons “completely and verifiably
(SFC, 8/10/01, p.A16)
2001 Aug 10, Britain stepped in
to save Northern Ireland's power-sharing government by taking away
its powers for a day, a legal maneuver that removed a deadline to
elect a new leader of the Catholic-Protestant government.
(SFC, 8/11/01, p.A8)(AP, 8/10/02)
2001 Aug 11, Britain restored
power-sharing in Northern Ireland after a 1-day suspension in order.
The move allowed a 6-week postponement of whether or not to call new
(SSFC, 8/12/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 11, In, Bogota,
Colombia 3 members of the Irish Republican Army were arrested after
spending 5 weeks training FARC rebels in explosives and terrorist
(SFC, 8/14/01, p.A7)
2001 Aug 14, The IRA withdrew a
plan to dispose of its weapons.
(SFC, 8/15/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 17, Britain revealed
plans for overhauling Northern Ireland’s police department. Both
Catholic and Protestant groups opposed the changes.
(SFC, 8/18/01, p.A10)
2001 Sep 3, In Northern Ireland
rioting broke out after Protestants screamed abuse and threw bottles
at Catholic girls walking to Holy Cross Primary School through their
Glenbryn-Ardoyne neighborhood. The 12-week protests ended Nov 24.
(WSJ, 9/4/01, p.A1)(SSFC, 11/25/01, p.A16)
2001 Sep 5, Protestant
extremists threw a homemade bomb at Catholic girls walking to school
through a gauntlet of riot police. 2 police officers were wounded.
The paramilitary Red Hand Defenders took responsibility.
(SFC, 9/6/01, p.A1)
2001 Sep 26-27, Riots took
place on north Belfast’s Crumlin road. 46 police officers were
wounded by gasoline bombs, rocks and fire-crackers. The Ulster
Defense Association (UDA) was blamed.
(SFC, 9/29/01, p.B2)
2001 Sep 28, In Northern
Ireland Martin O’Hagan (51), a Catholic journalist, was killed in a
driveby shooting in Lurgan. O’Hagan had written exposes of
Protestant extremists and their criminal activities. In 2008 police
charged 3 suspected members of the outlawed Protestant paramilitary
group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force, with the murder.
(SFC, 9/29/01, p.B2)(SFC, 11/23/01, p.D2)(AP,
2001 Oct 12, The British
government officially announced that 3 Protestant para-military
forces in Northern Ireland had ended a 7-year cease fire.
(SFC, 10/13/01, p.C1)
2001 Oct 18, In Northern
Ireland Protestant politicians announced that they were pulling out
of the power-sharing agreement with Catholics to protest the failure
of the IRA to surrender its weapons.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.D4)
2001 Oct 21, In Northern
Ireland Catholic and Protestant groups pelted each other with
homemade grenades in the Limestone Road area of north Belfast.
(SFC, 10/22/01, p.B2)
2001 Oct 23, The IRA began to
destroy its arsenal of weapons in a move to save the Northern
Ireland peace process.
(SFC, 10/24/01, p.C3)
2001 Oct 24, Britain began
tearing down 4 military installations in Northern Ireland in
response to the IRA’s decision to disarm.
(WSJ, 10/25/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 2, Political leaders
failed to agree on a leader.
(SFC, 11/3/01, p.C1)
2001 Nov 6, In Northern Ireland
David Trimble overcame blocking tactics and was re-elected 1st
minister of the N. Ireland Assembly.
(SFC, 11/7/01, p.A13)
2001 Dec, William Stobie,
former British soldier and police informer, was shot dead in
Belfast. He was the only man charged in connection with the 1989
murder of Patrick Finucane.
(SFC, 4/18/03, p.A3)
2001 Marianne Elliott authored
“The Catholics of Ulster," a history of the province of Ulster.
(WSJ, 3/13/01, p.A24)
2002 Jan 12, In Northern
Ireland Protestant militants, the Red Hand Defenders, killed a
Catholic postman, Daniel McColgan (20). On Jan 16 the group
announced that it was disbanding and lifting its threat to kill
(WSJ, 1/14/02, p.A1)(SFC, 1/17/02, p.a10)
2002 Jun 5, In Belfast Alex
Maskey, a Sinn Fein candidate, was elected mayor with 26 votes from
the 51-member city council.
(SFC, 6/6/02, p.A10)
2002 Jun 23, Rival groups of
Protestants and Catholics clashed on the streets of north Belfast,
Northern Ireland, following a weekend of sporadic sectarian
2002 Jul 7, In Northern Ireland
Protestant hard-liners battled riot police after being barred from
parading through the main Catholic section of Portadown.
2002 Jul 22, In Northern
Ireland Gerald Lawlor (19), a Catholic man, was shot to death after
a night of gun attacks left two others wounded in north Belfast. The
Ulster Defense Assoc. claimed responsibility. UDA attackers selected
Lawlor because he was walking through a predominantly Catholic area
and wearing the green-and-white shirt of Glasgow Celtic, a Scottish
soccer club supported exclusively by Catholics in Northern Ireland.
(AP, 7/22/02)(SFC, 7/23/02, p.A6)(AP, 7/26/02)
2002 Aug 1, In Northern Ireland
a Protestant construction worker was killed with a booby-trap bomb.
Police blamed the IRA.
(SFC, 8/2/02, p.A17)
2002 Aug 3, In Londonderry,
Northern Ireland, Catholic mail carriers went on strike, over fears
they could be targeted in revenge for the latest killing of a local
Protestant. Chris Whitson (20), a Catholic, was pummeled outside of
Kelly’s nightclub in Belfast. He died Aug 13.
(AP, 8/3/02)(AP, 8/13/02)
2002 Aug 8, In Northern
Ireland gunmen shot the son of Protestant extremist Johnny
“Mad Dog" Adair in both legs, an act known as kneecapping.
(WSJ, 8/9/02, p.A1)
2002 Oct 14, Britain suspended
Northern Ireland's power-sharing government after a spying row threw
the fledgling peace process into its worst political crisis since
the Good Friday peace accord was signed in 1998.
2002 cNov 4, An Ulster Catholic
man was beaten and his hands were nailed to a fence post outside
(WSJ, 11/5/02, p.A1)
2003 Feb 1, In northern Ireland
a protestant paramilitary commander and his friend were gunned down
because of an apparent feud within his outlawed group.
2003 Apr 8, In the 19th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom George W. Bush and Tony Blair met in
Northern Ireland and endorsed a "vital role" for the United Nations
when fighting ends in Iraq.
2003 Oct 1, Prime Minister
Bertie Ahern said Ireland will ban smoking from all workplaces,
including pubs, in January despite rising opposition from lawmakers
and business owners.
2003 Nov 26, Northern Ireland
voted for representatives to their provincial legislature.
Hard-liners defeated moderates in Northern Ireland's legislative
2003 Nov 28, In Northern
Ireland hard-liners defeated moderates in the Nov 26 legislative
elections. The Democratic Unionists won 30 seats in the 108-member
Assembly. The Ulster Unionists won 27 and Sinn Fein, the IRA-linked
party, won 24.
(AP, 11/28/03)(SFC, 11/29/03, p.A3)
2003 Richard English authored
"Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA."
(SSFC, 9/14/03, p.M3)
2004 May 18, Brian Stewart
(34), a suspected member of an outlawed anti-Catholic gang, was shot
dead in Belfast. Police said a likely motive was feuding between
paramilitary extremists over control of rackets and criminal
2004 Jun 6, In Saudi Arabia
Simon Chambers (36), an Irish cameraman working for the BBC, was
killed in a shooting in Riyadh. A BBC correspondent was injured.
(SFC, 6/7/04, A8)
2004 Jul 23, Joe Cahill
(b.1920), a founding father of the modern Irish Republican Army who
once narrowly avoided the hangman's noose, died in Belfast.
(AP, 7/24/04)(SFC, 7/26/04, p.B4)
2004 Sep 18, Northern Ireland's
rival Protestant and Roman Catholic parties are being left to find
common ground on their own, after three days of intensive high-level
talks failed to come up with a deal to revive power-sharing
government in the province.
2004 Dec 8, British and Irish
leaders published a detailed plan for reviving a Catholic-Protestant
administration in Northern Ireland.
2004 Dec 9, The Irish
Republican Army declared for the first time that it's willing to get
rid of its entire weapons stockpile within weeks.
2004 Dec 20, Thieves stole more
than $39 million from the Belfast headquarters of Northern Bank, the
biggest robbery in Northern Ireland history. In 2008 detectives
charged a man with laundering money from the robbery that
authorities blamed on the outlawed IRA. In 2009 a jury found Ted
Cunningham, a private financier, guilty of handling millions stolen
from Northern Bank, a raid blamed on the outlawed IRA.
(AP, 12/21/04)(SFC, 12/22/04, p.A3)(AP,
2005 Jan 30, In Northern
Ireland’s Catholic enclave of Short Strand Robert McCartney (33), a
Catholic forklift driver, was stabbed to death outside a pub crowded
with Provisional IRA men. On June 3 Terence Davison (49), a reputed
IRA veteran, was charged in the murder. In 2008 Davison was
acquitted. In 2012 McCartney’s sisters decided to testify against
Padraic Wilson (53), an IRA veteran and Sinn Fein activist.
(Econ, 2/26/05, p.55)(SFC, 6/4/05, p.A3)(SSFC,
6/5/05, p.A3)(AP, 1/30/08)(AFP, 6/27/08)(AP, 11/3/12)
2005 Mar 9, President Bush's
envoy to Northern Ireland called for the IRA to disband after the
outlawed group made an unprecedented public offer to kill four men,
including two of its own expelled members, linked to a Belfast
slaying. The family of slain Northern Ireland man Robert McCartney
have said they had rejected the IRA's offer of vigilante justice
because only in court will "the truth come out."
(AP, 3/9/05)(AFP, 3/9/05)
2005 Apr 7, The Irish
Republican Army said it will consider an appeal by Sinn Fein party
chief Gerry Adams to renounce violence, a long-elusive goal in
Northern Ireland peacemaking.
2005 May 7, David Trimble,
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and one of the architects of Northern
Ireland's 1998 peace accord, resigned as head of the Ulster Unionist
Party after losing his seat in this week's parliamentary elections.
2005 May 10, Northern Ireland
State prosecutor Gordon Kerr told Belfast High Court that
prosecutors have accepted a police recommendation to charge Sean
Gerard Hoey (35) with the murders of all 29 people killed by the
Aug. 15, 1998, bomb in Omagh.
2005 Jun 4, In Northern Ireland
Terence Davison (49), a reputed IRA veteran, was arraigned for the
Jan 30 killing of Robert McCartney.
(SSFC, 6/5/05, p.A3)
2005 Jun 17, In Northern
Ireland Roman Catholic hard-liners assaulted police and Protestant
marchers in a religiously polarized part of Belfast, and nearly 30
people were injured.
2005 Jun 24, In Northern
Ireland veteran negotiator Reg Empey was elected leader of the
Ulster Unionists, a once-dominant Protestant party that has seen its
support crumble because it backed Northern Ireland's 1998 peace
2005 Jul 10, In Northern
Ireland police using a steel barricade prevented Protestant
hard-liners from parading through the main Catholic section of
2005 Jul 12, Two gun attacks in
Belfast left one man dead and another critically wounded on the eve
of Northern Ireland's tensest day of the year — the divisive
"Twelfth" holiday of mass Protestant marches.
2005 Jul 28, The Irish
Republican Army announced it will renounce violence and resume
disarmament in a dramatic declaration designed to revive Northern
Ireland's peace process.
2005 Aug 1, Britain revealed a
two-year plan for slashing its army garrison and base network to
peacetime levels in Northern Ireland in a dramatic, detailed
response to Irish Republican Army peace moves.
2005 Aug 4, In Northern Ireland
some 40 police officers were injured trying to break up a five-hour
riot by Protestant militants who burned 10 cars and a double-decker
bus in Belfast. The mob claimed to be venting their anger over
recent police raids on the homes of Protestant paramilitary figures
in the area. About 15 homes were raided and six men arrested shortly
before the riot began.
2005 Aug 10, Thomas Devlin (15)
was attacked and stabbed to death as he walked home with friends in
2005 Aug 18, The three
IRA-linked fugitives who fled convictions in Colombia surrendered to
Irish police after eight months on the run.
2005 Sep 10, In Northern
Ireland Protestant extremists threw homemade grenades, gasoline
bombs and other makeshift weapons and at least a dozen police and
two civilians were wounded in the latest fury over a restricted
Belfast parade. Most of the rioting took place in Belfast’s ten most
(AP, 9/11/05)(Econ, 9/17/05, p.57)
2005 Sep 12, Protestant
extremists attacked Northern Ireland police and British troops into
a third day, littering streets with rubble and burned-out vehicles
in violence sparked by anger over a restricted parade.
2005 Sep 14, Britain declared
that the Ulster Volunteer Force, a major outlawed Protestant group
in Northern Ireland, has abandoned its 11-year-old truce and is an
enemy of the peace once again.
2005 Sep 23, Sinn Fein and
Irish government leaders said the outlawed Irish Republican Army is
ready to dispose of its stockpiled arms in a long-sought peace move,
possibly within the next week, after their first meeting in eight
2005 Sep 26, The Canadian
general who supervised the tortuous process said the Irish
Republican Army has given up its entire arsenal of weapons.
2005 Sep 27, Protestant
politicians rejected the Irish Republican Army's disarmament as
inadequate, and said they would not share power in Northern
Ireland's government with the IRA's political party Sinn Fein for
years, if ever.
2005 Sep 29, Detectives said
the IRA is still in business as owners of pubs and clubs, smugglers
of fuel and cigarettes, bank robbers by night and property investors
by day. Ireland's Criminal Assets Bureau, the United Kingdom Assets
Recovery Agency and the Police Service of Northern Ireland estimate
that IRA rackets generate more than $20 million annually.
2005 Oct 4, Jim Gray (43), one
of Northern Ireland's most high-profile Protestant militants was
shot to death outside his home in east Belfast, more than six months
after he was ousted by his outlawed group.
2005 Oct 7, In Belfast,
Northern Ireland, police and secret service agents arrested Sean
Garland (71) and 6 accomplices of an IRA splinter group for
conspiring with North Korea to distribute counterfeit $100 bills.
(WSJ, 10/12/05, p.A1)
2005 Oct 17, The British
government announced that smoking will be banned at all workplaces
as well as pubs and restaurants in Northern Ireland from April 2007.
2005 Nov 2, Police in Northern
Ireland arrested a 30-year-old man in Belfast a day after two others
were taken into custody in the city of Kilcoo in relation to last
year's $47 million bank robbery.
2005 Nov 22, Detectives
arrested a suspected Irish Republican Army dissident on suspicion of
involvement in a 1998 car-bombing that killed 29 people in Omagh.
2005 Nov 24, In Northern
Ireland Abbas Boutrab (32), an Algerian man, was convicted of
possessing information on making a concealed bomb that could be used
to blow up a commercial airliner. Police initially arrested Boutrab
in 2003 on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant.
2005 Nov 29, In Northern
Ireland 2 bank employees were arrested on suspicion of involvement
in the Dec 20, 2004, robbery of their Belfast bank, raising
questions about whether the British-record theft could have been an
2005 Dec 7, In Northern Ireland
Chris Ward (24), a Northern Bank supervisor who claimed he aided a
gang of robbers under the threat of death, was charged as a willing
participant in the record Dec 20, 2004, $50 million heist.
2005 Dec 16, In Northern
Ireland Sinn Fein expelled Denis Donaldson (55), a prominent party
member, for serving as a British agent for the past two decades.
Donaldson said he worked both as an important backroom official for
Sinn Fein and as a paid informer for the British.
(AP, 12/17/05)(AP, 12/23/05)
2005 Dec 19, The United
Kingdom's first gay couple to win legal recognition under a new
civil partnership law drove past protesters to make their vows
inside Belfast City Hall.
2006 Feb 1, A joint British and
Irish report said the Irish Republican Army has halted violence but
is still gathering intelligence on enemies and remains deeply
involved in organized crime.
2006 Feb 24, In Northern
Ireland a gang stole $350,000 from a bank in Belfast. The tactics
used were similar to the Feb 22 robbery in London.
2006 May 7, In Northern Ireland
Michael McIlveen (15), a Roman Catholic teenager, was hospitalized
in critical condition after being bludgeoning with baseball bats in
the overwhelmingly Protestant town of Ballymena. He died the next
day. Police interrogated 5 Protestant men on suspicion of the
2006 May 15, Northern Ireland's
legislature, shut down for more than three years, sprang back to
life as a first step toward forming a Roman Catholic-Protestant
administration, the elusive goal of the Good Friday peace accord
eight years ago.
2006 Jul 10, Britain unveiled a
$6 million program to replace Belfast's towering paramilitary wall
murals in the most hard-line Protestant areas with more positive,
less threatening art works.
2006 Jul 12, Protestants will
share power with the Catholics of Sinn Fein "over our dead bodies,"
Ian Paisley thundered as tens of thousands of Protestant marchers
celebrated the most divisive day on Northern Ireland's calendar.
2006 Aug 12, In Northern
Ireland about 15,000 Protestants paraded through Londonderry,
predominantly Roman Catholic city, following a night of Catholic
2006 Oct 4, British PM Tony
Blair said the Irish Republican Army's violent campaign in Northern
Ireland is over, following a report into paramilitary activity that
raised hopes of reviving self-rule.
2006 Oct 30, Northern Ireland
began demolition of the Maze prison for a sports complex.
(WSJ, 10/31/06, p.A1)
2006 Nov 22, Britain's
parliament passed legislation allowing the Northern Ireland Assembly
to be dissolved in January and an election held weeks later in hopes
of reviving a Catholic-Protestant administration.
2006 Nov 24, Michael Stone
(51), a Protestant extremist, triggered a panicked evacuation of the
Northern Ireland Assembly. He was charged the next day with
attempting to murder 4 people. In 2008 Stone was found guilty of
trying to murder Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness
at the Northern Ireland Assembly. He was sentenced to 16 years in
(AP, 11/25/06)(AP, 11/14/08)(AFP, 12/8/08)
2006 Dec 29, Sinn Fein leaders
voted to convene an emergency conference and confront a pivotal
issue in Northern Ireland peacemaking, whether the IRA-linked party
should support the police.
2007 Jan 22, In Northern
Ireland a report was published that detailed how some in the old
Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) protected a band of loyalist
(Econ, 1/27/07, p.56)
2007 Jan 26, William James
Fulton, a Protestant extremist was convicted on 48 terror counts and
sentenced to 28 years in prison, following the longest criminal
trial in Northern Ireland's history. The court found him guilty of
killing a grandmother with a pipe bomb, wounding four police
officers with a grenade, possessing firearms used for other
killings, smuggling drugs and a host of other crimes.
2007 Jan 28, Sinn Fein members
overwhelmingly voted to begin cooperating with the Northern Ireland
police, formally abandoning their decades-old hostility to legal law
and order in the British territory.
2007 Mar 9, In Northern Ireland
substantial election results showed the polar extremes of politics
have strengthened their grip on the province's legislature, ensuring
they will control any future Catholic-Protestant administration.
Anna Lo (56), a Hong Kong native who has lived in Northern Ireland
for 32 years, became the first ethnic minority to be elected to
political office. Lo was one of seven people elected to the
108-member Northern Ireland Assembly from the Alliance Party, which
seeks to draw support from all sides of the community.
(AP, 3/9/07)(AP, 3/10/07)
2007 Mar 22, Gordon Brown,
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the government will
grant 35 billion pounds to Northern Ireland over the next four
2007 Mar 26, The leaders of
Northern Ireland's major Protestant and Catholic parties, sitting
side by side for the first time in history, announced a breakthrough
deal to forge a power-sharing administration May 8.
2007 Mar 27, British lawmakers
unanimously passed an emergency bill to preserve the Northern
Ireland Assembly and permit its Protestant and Catholic leaders to
forge a historic administration by a new May 8 deadline.
2007 Mar 29, Northern Ireland's
largest paramilitary group ousted one of its commanders in what it
called an effort to crack down on criminal rackets. The Ulster
Defense Association, an outlawed Protestant organization, removed
Gary Fisher, a so-called "brigadier" of an area that includes
predominantly Protestant northern suburbs of Belfast.
2007 Mar 31, In Northern
Ireland the public sector employed more than a third of 770,000
people in jobs.
(Econ, 3/31/07, p.16)
2007 Apr 4, In Northern Ireland
protestant leader Ian Paisley shook hands with Irish PM Bertie Ahern
in public for the first time, marking another small step on the path
2007 Apr 23, In Northern
Ireland Brendan Cranston (42), was shot through both legs and
beaten, while his 38-year-old partner, Linda Doherty, also was
assaulted. A brother-in-law of Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein
deputy leader supposed to oversee a new power-sharing government for
Northern Ireland, was charged on April 26 with kidnapping and
assaulting the couple in an IRA-style operation.
2007 May 3, The Ulster
Volunteer Force, an outlawed Northern Ireland group that for decades
attacked the province's Catholic minority, renounced violence and
pledged to disarm.
2007 May 8, In Northern Ireland
Protestant firebrand Ian Paisley and IRA veteran Martin McGuinness
formed a long-unthinkable alliance as power-sharing went from dream
2007 Jun 19, Students at a
Northern Ireland high school were receiving counseling after three
15-year-old classmates hanged themselves over the past month.
2007 Jun 25, The final British
troops withdrew from the Northern Ireland borderland long known as
"bandit country," ending a 37-year mission to keep watch over the
Irish Republican Army's most dangerous power base.
2007 Jul 12, Tens of thousands
of Protestant hard-liners marched without trouble through Northern
Ireland's streets in an annual event that once ignited conflict with
Catholics, but passed peacefully this year, thanks to a succeeding
peace process. An estimated 75,000 Orangemen accompanied by
fife-and-drum units popularly known as "kick the pope" bands paraded
through Belfast and 17 other cities and towns.
2007 Jul 31, The British army
marked a milestone of peacemaking as it formally ended its 38-year
mission to bolster security in Northern Ireland.
2007 Aug 21, In Northern
Ireland animal rights officials seized more than a dozen dogs bred
for combat in the latest crackdown on illegal dogfighting.
2007 Sep 8, The Rev. Ian
Paisley said he is stepping down as leader of the hard-line
Protestant church he founded 56 years ago, a decision his opponents
say was inevitable after he angered many by cooperating with Sinn
Fein to form a Northern Ireland government.
2007 Oct 20, In Northern
Ireland Paul Quinn (21), a truck driver from south Armagh, was
brutally beaten to death. Assailants used iron bars and baseball
bats studded with nails. His death was said to be related to
smuggling diesel fuel. Relatives said he was murdered for defying an
IRA order to leave after quarrels in his village of Cullyhanna.
(Econ, 10/27/07, p.67)(SFC, 12/14/07, p.A22)
2007 Nov 3, Martin Meehan (62),
a one-time Irish Republican Army commander who spurred IRA members
toward compromise, died of an apparent heart attack in his Belfast
2007 Nov 11, The major Northern
Ireland Protestant paramilitary group, the Ulster Defense
Association, announced it was formally renouncing violence, but a
commander said the group would not surrender its weapons to
international disarmament officials.
2007 Nov 20, The British
government announced that the legal age of sexual consent in
Northern Ireland will be lowered to 16 in line with the rest of the
2007 Nov 21, Owners of the only
salmon farm in Northern Ireland said they have lost their entire
population of more than 100,000 fish, worth some $2 million, to a
jellyfish attack. Pelagia nocticula, popularly known as the mauve
stinger, is noted for its purplish night-time glow and its
propensity for terrorizing bathers in the warmer Mediterranean Sea.
Until the past decade, the mauve stinger has rarely been spotted so
far north in British or Irish waters, and scientists cite this as
evidence of global warming.
2008 Jan 18, Ian Paisley, head
of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), stepped away
from the helm of the Free Presbyterian Church, which he had founded
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.55)
2008 Mar 4, Ian Paisley, the
fiery Protestant preacher who reversed a lifetime of stubbornness to
embrace an unlikely peace, announced his retirement as leader of
Northern Ireland's power-sharing government with Roman Catholics.
2008 Jun 4, The rival parties
in Northern Ireland's power-sharing administration announced a deal
that will permit both sides to elect a new leader and keep their
unlikely coalition running.
2008 Aug 16, A man used Semtex
in a rocket-propelled grenade attack against Northern Ireland police
officers, the first attack using the deadly explosive since
paramilitary groups agreed to hand in their weapons.
2008 Nov 10, International
experts said in a report that Irish Republican Army splinter groups
are launching more attacks in Northern Ireland than at any time in
recent years, and are increasingly trying to kill police officers.
2008 Nov 18, Northern Ireland's
leaders announced a deal allowing power-sharing cabinet meetings to
resume in the British province for the first time in over four
2008 Nov 23, In Northern
Ireland 4 police officers were killed in an early morning road
2009 Mar 7, Suspected IRA
dissidents opened fire on British troops and pizza delivery men at
the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast,
killing two soldiers and wounding four other people. The attackers
fired on Mark Quinsey (23) and Patrick Azimkar (21) again as they
lay wounded on the ground. A week later 3 men were arrested over the
killings. On March 27 Colin Duffy (41), a prominent dissident
republican, was remanded in custody after being charged with the
murders of the two British soldiers. He was linked to the soldiers'
murder by DNA evidence. On April 2 police arrested a 19-year-old man
on suspicion of gunning down the two British soldiers. On Jan 20,
2012, Brian Shivers (46) was found guilty of the shooting and
sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. Colin Duffy was cleared.
On May 3, 2013, a judge dismissed the forensic evidence against
Shivers and ruled he was too feeble to have played a role.
(AP, 3/8/09)(AFP, 3/14/09)(Econ, 3/14/09,
p.59)(AFP, 3/27/09)(AP, 4/2/09)(AFP, 1/20/12)(AP, 2/10/12)(AP,
2009 Mar 9, In Northern Ireland
Constable Stephen Paul Carroll (48) was shot in the head in an area
known to be home to nationalist republican supporters in Craigavon,
20 miles southwest of Belfast. The Continuity IRA said it killed the
police officer. On March 30, 2012, Brendan McConville (40) and John
Paul Wootton (20) were both found guilty of murder following a
(AFP, 3/10/09)(AP, 3/10/09)(AP, 3/30/12)
2009 Mar 10, Police in Northern
Ireland arrested 2 suspects in the fatal shooting of Constable
Stephen Paul Carroll. On March 24 one of the suspects, a Northern
Ireland teenager (17), was charged with the dissident IRA killing of
Carroll. The teen had an assault rifle and 26 rounds of ammunition
and refused to say a word to his interrogators during 13 days of
questioning. On March 25 Brendan McConville (37), a former Sinn Fein
councilman was arraigned on charges of murdering Carroll.
(WSJ, 3/11/09, p.A16)(AP, 3/24/09)(AP, 3/25/09)
2009 Mar 15, Northern Ireland's
police commander said about 300 Irish Republican Army dissidents
backed by "a few nutters and idiots" are trying to tear apart the
peace process, as his detectives interrogated nine people over the
killings of two soldiers and a policeman.
2009 Mar 30, In Northern
Ireland suspected IRA dissidents and their supporters hijacked cars
in working-class Catholic areas in a coordinated effort to block
roads and threaten police stations.
2009 May 24, In Northern
Ireland over 20 militant Protestant supporters of the Glasgow
Rangers soccer team beat to death a Catholic man in Coleraine after
the Rangers clinched a championship.
(SFC, 5/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 16, In Northern
Ireland racist thugs armed with bricks and bottles forced more than
100 Romanian Gypsies from their Belfast homes in a wave of attacks
that sent them fleeing to the safety of a nearby church.
2009 Jun 23, Northern Ireland’s
government said more than 100 Romanian Gypsies who suffered racist
attacks and intimidation in Belfast are being flown back home at
2009 Jun 27, Northern Ireland's
oldest paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force, announced its
full disarmament, a long-sought peacemaking move that, if confirmed,
would formally end the pro-British group's decades of terror against
2009 Sep 8, The British
government said the last remaining armed paramilitary groups in
Northern Ireland had pledged to decommission all their weapons
within six months. Hours later army experts in Northern Ireland
defused a massive roadside bomb, averting what could have been a
"devastating" explosion in the long-troubled British province.
(AP, 9/8/09)(AFP, 9/8/09)
2009 Oct 11, The Irish National
Liberation Army (INLA), an IRA splinter group responsible for some
of the most notorious killings of the Northern Ireland conflict,
renounced violence and signaled it could hand over weapons soon to
2009 Oct 16, The girlfriend of
a Northern Ireland police officer was slightly injured when a bomb
exploded under her car in Belfast, sparking fears of a resurgence of
2009 Nov 21, In Northern
Ireland a car containing a 400-pound (180kg) device, crashed through
barriers outside the Belfast headquarters of the province's policing
supervision board and partially exploded. Elsewhere, police
exchanged shots with paramilitaries in a border village and 3 people
2009 Dec 30, Irish Roman
Catholic Cardinal Cahal Daly (92), a philosopher who led the church
in Ireland during some of the worst years of IRA violence, died in
2010 Jan 6, In Northern Ireland
the major British Protestant paramilitary group, the Ulster Defense
Association, announced it has fully disarmed, finally meeting the
key requirement of the province's 1998 peace accord.
2010 Jan 9, British media
reported that Iris Robinson (60), the disgraced wife of Northern
Ireland's leader, will step down as a lawmaker within days as
pressure mounted on Peter Robinson and the province's shaky
coalition government. The reported move follows the revelation that
she had an adulterous relationship with a man nearly 40 years her
junior, and allegations that she solicited tens of thousands of
pounds (dollars) from businessmen to help the teenager launch a
cafe. She was 58 at the time, and the man was 19.
2010 Jan 11, Northern Ireland's
speaker of the regional assembly said Protestant leader Peter
Robinson will temporarily step down for 6 weeks in the wake of a
scandal over his wife's affair with a 19-year-old man. He will be
replaced by his Protestant colleague Arlene Foster.
2010 Jan 25, The British and
Irish governments launched a mission to save Northern Ireland's
unraveling administration, a Catholic-Protestant coalition that the
territory's 1998 peace accord intended would promote a lasting new
era of nonviolent compromise.
2010 Jan 26, The prime
ministers of Britain and Ireland held a second day of talks with
political parties in Northern Ireland as they struggled to keep the
fractious Catholic-Protestant government there from collapsing.
2010 Jan 27, The prime
ministers of Britain and Ireland presented a compromise plan to keep
Northern Ireland's fractious politicians from breaking up their
Catholic-Protestant government, but neither side accepted the deal.
2010 Feb 4, The Irish Catholic
party Sinn Fein halted marathon negotiations to save Northern
Ireland's power-sharing government and said it's now up to the
Protestant side to accept a compromise deal.
2010 Feb 5, A breakthrough deal
to save Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant government gave a new
lease of life to an awkward partnership of former foes that still
must overcome many obstacles to survive. The deal commits the
Northern Ireland Assembly to elect a justice minister March 9 and
Britain to transfer control of more than 20 criminal justice and
law-enforcement agencies to Belfast on April 12.
2010 Feb 6, The Irish National
Liberation Army, a ruthless IRA splinter group responsible for some
of Northern Ireland's most notorious killings, said it has
surrendered its weapons just days before an Anglo-Irish disarmament
deadline is due to expire.
2010 Feb 8, The Irish National
Liberation Army (INLA), a paramilitary group responsible for dozens
of murders during Northern Ireland's three decades of sectarian
violence, said that it had disarmed.
2010 Feb 22, In Northern
Ireland a car bomb detonated in Newry, between Dublin and Belfast.
Irish Republican Army dissidents gave police officers just 17
minutes to evacuate the center of a border town before the blast.
The attack on the courthouse was the first of its kind in nearly a
2010 Feb 24, In Northern
Ireland an unidentified man, believed to be between 35 and 40, was
found shot in the head with his wrists bound and wearing only his
underwear on the outskirts of Londonderry, near the border with
2010 Mar 2, Ian Paisley (83),
the hard-line Northern Ireland evangelist who led Protestants into
power-sharing with Catholics, announced he will retire from the
British Parliament after a 40-year career.
2010 Mar 4, Liam Adams, the
brother of Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams, surrendered to Irish
authorities to face 23 charges of sexually abusing his daughter. He
fled to the Republic of Ireland to avoid a November 2008 Belfast
hearing over the charges of abusing his daughter Aine for eight
years when she was a child.
2010 Mar 31, Scotland and
Northern Ireland were battered by snow, gale force winds and
torrential rain, leaving thousands of people without power and
causing havoc on roads.
2010 Apr 12, Northern Ireland's
Catholic and Protestant lawmakers appointed David Ford their first
justice minister, a power-sharing landmark that IRA dissidents
protested by bombing the local base of Britain's spy agency MI5.
2010 May 6, Northern Ireland's
First Minister Peter Robinson crashed to a shock defeat in the
general election after a sex and cash scandal involving his wife
battered his reputation.
2010 May 16, Aviation officials
closed airports in northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland
due to a drifting, dense cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland.
2010 May 28, In Northern
Ireland a man was shot dead on the Shankill Road in Belfast, a
staunchly Protestant area of Northern Ireland's capital. Gunman
walked up behind Bobby Moffett on a busy street, shot him once in
the torso, then twice more as he lay on the sidewalk. On Sep 15 a
panel of terrorism experts ruled that a Protestant militant group in
Northern Ireland, the Ulster Volunteer Force, killed Moffett and
broke its promise to renounce violence.
(AFP, 5/28/10)(AP, 9/15/10)
2010 Jun 15, An epic 12-year
investigation into Northern Ireland's biggest mass killing by
British soldiers reached a bittersweet climax as relatives of the 13
Catholic demonstrators killed on "Bloody Sunday" began reading a
5,000-page report into why the 1972 slaughter happened. The probe
ruled that British soldiers were entirely to blame for the killings.
(AP, 6/15/10)(SFC, 6/16/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 24, The Police Service
of Northern Ireland arrested Fermin Vila Michelena (40), a Basque
separatist, in central Belfast. Michelena faced three Spanish arrest
warrants over a string of ETA attacks. A ministry statement accused
Michelena of membership in an ETA terror cell that committed four
car-bomb attacks in Spain in 2001.
2010 Jul 12, In Northern
Ireland more than 50,000 Protestants assembled at 18 marching
locations across this British territory of 1.8 million. They paraded
under banners depicting the July 12, 1690, victory of Protestant
King William of Orange versus the forces of his rival for the
British throne, James II, at the Battle of the Boyne south of
Belfast. Some Protestant areas suffered violence early in the
morning during eve-of-parade celebrations around hundreds of
makeshift bonfires. 27 officers suffered mostly minor injuries
during street clashes the previous evening with more than 200 masked
Irish Catholics. Fresh rioting by Catholics opposed to Protestant
marches in Belfast injured another 28 police officers.
(AP, 7/12/10)(AFP, 7/13/10)
2010 Jul 14, Northern Ireland
police came under live fire during a third straight night of Belfast
unrest. No officers were hit by gunfire, but police said several
officers suffered minor injuries, adding to the 82 already wounded.
2010 Aug 3, In Northern Ireland
Irish Republican Army dissidents detonated a bomb in a hijacked taxi
outside a police base in Londonderry, damaging buildings but
wounding no one despite the attackers' inaccurate warning. On Jan
12, 2011, police charged Londonderry resident Martin McCloone with
six criminal counts connected to the attack.
(AP, 8/3/10)(AP, 1/12/11)
2010 Oct 1, In Northern Ireland
Paul McCaugherty (43), a self-described senior Irish Republican Army
dissident, received a 20-year prison sentence for trying to buy
guns, explosives and other weapons from undercover British agents.
He had been convicted in June of attempted arms smuggling.
2010 Oct 5, In Northern Ireland
a dissident Irish Republican Army car bomb damaged a hotel, bank and
other businesses but caused no injuries in Londonderry, the sixth
such attack this year in the British territory.
2010 Oct 30, Northern Ireland
police seized a dissident IRA bomb packed into a beer keg and were
inspecting a potential car bomb parked outside Belfast International
Airport, the latest efforts to undermine peace in the British
2010 Northern Ireland
journalist Ed Moloney authored "Voices From the Grave," a book based
on interviews provided by Northern Ireland militants to Boston
College researchers on condition they not be published until the
interviewees were dead. It identifies Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
as a key Irish Republican Army figure who directed some of the IRA's
most notorious killings and bombings. Moloney had detailed Adams'
IRA record in his 2002 book "A Secret History of the IRA." The new
book also includes the story of Protestant bomber-turned-peacemaker
David Ervine, who died in 2007.
2011 Apr 2, In Northern Ireland
Catholic officer Ronan Kerr (25) was killed by a bomb placed under
his car outside his home in Omagh, the scene of Northern Ireland's
worst ever terror atrocity. He had completed his training only three
weeks ago. A 33-year-old man was later charged with
terrorism-related offences related to the mruder. On May 10 police
arrested a woman in connection with the car bomb.
(AFP, 4/3/11)(AFP, 5/10/11)
2011 Apr 9, In Northern Ireland
a 500-pound van bomb was diffused near the border town of Newry.
(SSFC, 4/10/11, p.A4)
2011 May 5, Northern Ireland
held elections. Early returns showed strong support for the two
dominant pillars in Northern Ireland politics: the Protestants of
the Democratic Unionists and the Catholics of Sinn Fein.
2011 Jun 20, In Northern
Ireland sectarian clashes erupted on Belfast's streets as masked
Protestant rioters attacked Catholic homes.
2011 Jul 2, Six Northern
Ireland police officers were injured as "significant disorder"
erupted on the streets of Belfast, just over a week after the worst
clashes there for years.
2011 Jul 11, In Northern
Ireland serious rioting erupted in Belfast injuring 22 officers, as
tension mounted before the culmination of Northern Ireland's main
Protestant marching season.
2011 Jul 12, In Northern
Ireland the Protestant brotherhood's parades themselves passed
peacefully, but several hundred Catholic youths attacked police both
before and after the sectarian demonstrations.
2011 Jul 13, Northern Ireland
police said 40 officers have been injured during two nights of
Catholic riots inspired by the mass parades of the province's
Protestant majority. 27 people were arrested.
(AP, 7/13/11)(AFP, 7/14/11)
2011 Aug 13, Northern Ireland
police came under attack from Irish Catholic rioters in the British
territory's second-largest city of Londonderry but reported no
serious injuries. Several hours of violence followed a peaceful
parade through the medieval walled center of Londonderry by about
12,000 members of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.
2011 Sep 25, Northern Ireland's
Gusty Spence (b.1933), a former paramilitary leader turned
2011 Sep 26, In Northern
Ireland a failed car bomb, planted on a road junction in
Londonderry, snarled traffic until it was removed the next day.
Police arrested three suspected Irish Republican Army dissidents.
2011 Oct 12, In Northern
Ireland a small bomb in a backpack damaged the entrance of the City
of Culture office in Londonderry. An Irish Republican Army splinter
group using a recognized code word claimed responsibility.
2011 Oct 21, A Lithuanian judge
found Michael Campbell (39), an Irish man, guilty of trying to buy
weapons and explosives in a six-year sting orchestrated by Britain's
domestic spy agency MI5, a case that drew attention to a hardcore
Irish Republican Army splinter group's plans to spread terror to
London. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for weapons offenses
and supporting a terrorist group.
2011 Oct 25, In Ireland 2
people died and hundreds were stranded in northern and eastern
Ireland after torrential rain closed roads and rail lines, left
shops and homes under water. Dublin was put on an emergency footing.
2011 Nov 3, In Northern Ireland
Liam Adams (56), a brother of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, was sent
to jail after he was arraigned on 18 charges of raping and
indecently assaulting one of his daughters. He had fled Belfast in
2008 after police charged him with repeatedly abusing his daughter
Aine when she was aged 4 to 10.
2012 Jan 17, In Northern
Ireland British Army experts defused a pipe bomb near a Catholic
elementary school in Belfast. Police said they found the bomb near
the scene of an overnight fire that destroyed a small shop across
the street from the school.
2012 Jan 20, In Northern
Ireland officials confirmed that 3 babies have died in the last week
to 10 days after an infectious outbreak linked to the pseudomonas
bacteria in a Belfast hospital.
2012 Feb 9, In Buncrana,
Ireland, Andrew "Chubby" Allen (24) died after a gunman on foot
opened fire through a window of his home and struck the victim at
least once in the head. Allen last year fled his Northern Ireland
hometown of Londonderry after receiving death threats from
Republican Action Against Drugs, an organization forged by former
members of both the IRA and a rival group called the Irish National
2012 Mar 30, In Northern
Ireland IRA dissidents launched a violent protest against the
convictions of Brendan McConville (40) and John Paul Wootton (20) in
the March 9, 2009, killing of Constable Stephen Carroll. Masked men
hijacked and burned a van and two cars in Craigavon, the town
southwest of Belfast where Carroll was killed and McConville lived.
Police urged drivers to avoid the area.
2012 Mar, In Northern Ireland
Sean Kelly and three others were arrested in in a County Tyrone
forest near an IRA firing range. In 2014 Kelly pleaded guilty to
charges that he helped run an Irish Republican Army firearms
training camp and plotted a possible attack on a prison governor.
The others continued to deny any involvement.
2012 May 19, In Northern
Ireland 7 Irish nationalists were charged over the last two days of
involvement in militant activity, three under a rarely used law
against "directing terrorism."
2012 Jul 12, In Northern
Ireland tens of thousands of Protestants from the Orange Order
brotherhood marched from their lodges in an annual demonstration
that often ends in violence. More than 20 officers were hurt in
overnight violence following rival Protestant and Catholic marches
through Belfast that saw up to 10 shots fired at them.
(AP, 7/12/12)(Reuters, 7/13/12)
2012 Aug 23, Jordan's
Paralympic committee said it has withdrawn three members from a
pre-Games training camp in Northern Ireland over charges of sex
2012 Sep 3, Police in Northern
Ireland fired plastic bullets and water cannon on rioters late today
in a second night of sectarian clashes between Catholics and
Protestants. 47 officers were injured in the overnight clashes.
(Reuters, 9/4/12)(SFC, 9/4/12, p.A2)
2012 Sep 29, In Northern
Ireland thousands of Protestants marched peacefully through the
heart of Belfast amid a heavy security presence.
2012 Oct 18, In Northern
Ireland a Belfast judge ruled that unmarried and same-sex couples
should be allowed to adopt children, overturning a 1987 adoption law
that discriminated against both groups.
2012 Oct 18, The first abortion
clinic on the island of Ireland opened in Belfast, sparking protests
by conservatives from both the Catholic and Protestant sides of
2012 Nov 1, A veteran Northern
Ireland prison officer was killed in a gun ambush as he was driving
to work, the first slaying of a security-force member in the British
territory in 18 months. David Black (52) worked at Maghaberry
Prison, where more than 40 IRA inmates have been waging protests for
more than a year. The next day Northern Ireland police arrested 3
suspected Irish Republican Army militants. One was identified as
Colin Duffy (44), the most prominent Irish republican in Lurgan.
Duffy and another suspect were released on Nov 4.
(AP, 11/1/12)(AP, 11/2/12)(AP, 11/5/12)
2012 Nov 11, Ireland's PM Enda
Kenny laid a wreath in Enniskillen to honor fallen soldiers at a
British Remembrance Day service for the first time, the latest
gesture of reconciliation between historic foes. Deputy Prime
Minister Eamon Gilmore became the first Irish minister to attend a
Remembrance Day service at Belfast City Hall, laying a wreath at the
2012 Nov 12, A new Irish
Republican Army faction in Northern Ireland claimed responsibility
for its first killing and defended the bloodshed as a necessary act
of vengeance. The group said its members shot to death David Black
on Nov 1 because he worked as a guard at Northern Ireland's
top-security Maghaberry prison.
2012 Nov 26, A man (22) from
Northern Ireland was arrested in Britain in connection with the
death of Northern Ireland policeman Ronan Kerr, who was killed in
April last year when a bomb exploded under his car.
2012 Dec 3, In Northern Ireland
a vote in the Belfast City Council reduced sharply the flying of the
British flag atop the city hall. The Alliance Party, which
represents middle-ground opinion and seeks support from both sides
of the community, voted with the Catholic side to take down the flag
except for 18 official days annually. Protestants reacted with
2012 Dec 5, In Northern Ireland
more than 1,500 Protestants rallied in the northern suburb of
Carrickfergus demanding that the British flag be restored atop
Belfast's municipal headquarters. The protest soon descended into
attacks on riot police.
2012 Dec 6, Northern Ireland
police rammed a car and seized an Irish Republican Army bomb late
today, hours ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, a one-day trip being overshadowed by an upsurge in
sectarian passions. Police arrested three men in the disabled car
and a fourth suspect nearby.
2012 Dec 12, In Northern
Ireland protests began when the Belfast city council voted to limit
the number of days the union flag is flown over city hall to about
20 a year.
(Econ, 1/12/13, p.50)
2013 Jan 3, In Northern Ireland
8 police officers were injured when protests at the removal of the
British flag from Belfast City Hall turned violent for the first
time in more than two weeks.
2013 Jan 5, Northern Ireland
police used water cannons to fend off brick-hurling protesters in
Belfast as demonstrations continued over flying the British flag.
(SSFC, 1/6/13, p.A4)
2013 Jan 8, Pro-British
protesters pelted police with petrol bombs and fireworks in a sixth
successive night of rioting in Northern Ireland's capital of
2013 Jan 11, Police in Northern
Ireland fired plastic bullets and water cannon at rioters who
wounded four officers with missiles and petrol bombs in the latest
outbreak of anger at the removal of the British flag from Belfast
2013 Jan 12, Northern Ireland
police fought day-and-night street battles with Protestant militants
as a protest march to Belfast City Hall degenerated into riots when
many marchers returned home to the Protestant east side. 29 officers
2013 Jan 25, Northern Irish
police were pelted by petrol bombs for the first time in almost two
weeks on Friday after more protests at the removal of the British
flag from Belfast City Hall.
2013 Mar 8, In Northern Ireland
5 police officers were injured in the worst rioting for weeks in
Belfast in a dispute over the flying of Irish flags near a
predominantly pro-British area.
2013 Mar 23, Northern Irish
police defused a bomb in a car in Enniskillen, close to where G8
leaders will meet at a summit in June, and said that the device was
likely to have been intended for a police station nearby.
2013 May 9, Northern Ireland
officials said they hope to tear down the so-called “peace lines,"
walls of brick steel and barbed wire that have divided Irish
Catholic and British Protestant neighborhoods going back to 1970,
within a decade.
(SFC, 5/10/13, p.A3)
2013 Jun 17, President Barack
Obama, speaking in Belfast, declared peace in Northern Ireland a
"blueprint" for those living amid conflict around the world, while
acknowledging that the calm between Catholics and Protestants will
face further tests.
2013 Jun 17, G8 leaders began
meeting in Northern Ireland. They dedicated themselves to a
political solution to Syria's bloody civil war, even as President
Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin staked out
diametrically opposite stands on which side deserves military
(AP, 6/17/13) (AP, 6/18/13)
2013 Jun 18, In Northern
Ireland a G-8 initiative reflected widespread anger over the ability
of foreign companies to funnel profits to tax-friendly countries. As
part of the G-8's plans, to be developed at a G-20 summit later this
year, multinationals would be obliged to declare how much tax they
pay in each country where they operate.
2013 Jul 12, In Northern
Ireland protestant hardliners attacked lines of Belfast riot police
as the annual mass marches by the Orange Order brotherhood reached a
furious, chaotic end with running street battles at several conflict
2013 Jul 13, In Northern
Ireland 32 police officers were injured and 11 people arrested
during overnight violence around traditional Orange Day parades.
2013 Jul 15, Northern Ireland
rioters threw petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and fireworks at police
in a third night of violence around traditional Protestant marches,
wounding one officer early today.
2013 Jul 16, In Northern
Ireland protestant youths hurled petrol bombs at police, wounding at
least 27 officers in a fourth night of protests over restrictions on
2013 Aug 9, In Northern Ireland
56 police officers and 2 civilians were injured in clashes in
central Belfast in the latest flare-up in tensions between
Protestant and Catholic communities.
2013 Nov 24, In Northern
Ireland masked men wearing boiler suits hijacked a car, loaded it
with a bomb containing about 60 kg (130 pounds) of home-made
explosives and told the terrified driver to go to a shopping center.
He left his vehicle near the mall car park and raised the alarm,
causing police to evacuate the area. As army disposal experts began
to disable the bomb the detonator exploded, but failed to trigger
the rest of the device, damaging only the empty car.
2013 Nov 27, In Northern
Ireland Liam Adams (58), the brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry
Adams, was jailed for 16 years for raping his own daughter in the
late 1970s and early 1980s, when she was between 4 and 9 years old.
2013 Dec 2, At a ceremony in
Londonderry, Northern Ireland, French artist Laure Prouvost won
Britain's Turner prize for contemporary art for her video
installation set among a mock-tea party setting entitled "Wantee."
2013 Dec 31, Marathon talks
between the leaders of Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant
communities broke down without agreement to ease tensions that have
led to one of the worst years of rioting in the British province for
2014 Mar 13, Edward Haughey
(70), Northern Ireland's wealthiest man, died after his helicopter
crashed in thick fog in eastern England. He had founded Norbrook
Laboratories, a world-leading veterinary drugs company.
2014 Apr 18, In Northern
Ireland gunmen escorted Tommy Crossan (43), a senior Irish
Republican Army hard-liner, to a fuel depot and shot him in the head
and body at close range. Residents said a Catholic priest was called
to give him the last rites. Police soon arrested a man for
questioning about the killing.
2014 Apr 30, In Northern
Ireland Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams (65) was taken into police
custody over his alleged role in the 1972 Irish Republican Army's
abduction, killing and secret burial of Jean McConvillle a Belfast
mother of 10. Adams was released on May 4.
(AP, 5/1/14)(SFC, 5/5/14, p.A4)
2014 Aug 16, At Britain’s
Tilbury Docks one man was found dead and 34 others still alive in a
shipping container after staff at the port heard banging and
screaming coming from inside. The men, women and children, were all
from Afghanistan. On Aug 19 Northern Ireland police arrested a man
(34) in Limavady suspected of smuggling the migrants.
(AFP, 8/16/14)(SFC, 8/20/14, p.A2)
2014 Aug 20, Northern Ireland
police arrested four people in Londonderry suspected of organizing
an IRA letter-bomb campaign.
(SFC, 8/21/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 12, Ian Paisley (88),
Northern Ireland preacher and politician, died.
(Econ, 9/20/14, p.86)
2014 Dec 23, Irish nationalists
and pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland struck a deal covering
austerity spending and historic crimes, staving off a collapse of
the power-sharing government set up in 1998 to end decades of
2015 May 5, In Northern Ireland
Gerard "Jock" Davison (47), former Irish Republican Army commander,
was shot to death in Belfast. Northern Ireland police the next day
arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of involvement in the
(AP, 5/5/15)(AP, 5/6/15)
2015 May 19, In Northern
Ireland a Christian bakery was found guilty of discrimination for
refusing to bake a cake advocating gay marriage, in a landmark legal
case brought by local authorities.
2015 Jun 1, In Northern Ireland
paying for sex became illegal today making it the only part of
Britain to adopt more stringent legislation aimed at punishing
clients of prostitutes instead of sex workers.
2015 Jul 13, In Northern
Ireland say some 24 officers were hurt in riots that were touched
off when a Protestant brotherhood was blocked from marching past a
2015 Aug 9, In Northern Ireland
the annual anti-internment parade, organized to mark the
introduction of internment without trial during the height of the
Troubles in August 1971, was stopped by police from entering Belfast
city center, after the parade had defied a Parade Commission ruling.
Protesters pelted police with petrol bombs, stones and bottles.
2015 Aug 12, In Northern
Ireland Kevin McGuigan, a former Irish Republican Army militant, was
killed in East Belfast. The murder was widely seen as score-settling
within paramilitary ranks and revived fears that the IRA is still
operating in secret.
(AFP, 9/1/15) (SFC, 9/11/15, p.A5)
2015 Aug 26, Northern Ireland’s
Ulster Unionist Party said it intended to pull out of office
following the August 12 gangland murder of Kevin McGuigan.
(Econ, 8/29/15, p.47)
2015 Sep 10, In Northern
Ireland Peter Robinson, the leader of the majority pro-British
Democratic Unionist Party, resigned as chief executive after other
parties refused to vote to suspend assembly business pending an
investigation in the August 12 killing of former IRA member Kevin
(SFC, 9/11/15, p.A5)
2015 Oct 20, The Democratic
Unionist Party, the major Protestant party in Northern Ireland's
unity government, announced it will resume its power-sharing
positions following publication of an expert report into the Irish
Republican Army that found the outlawed group still exists in the
shadows but is broadly committed to peace.
2015 Nov 2, Northern Ireland's
assembly voted in favor of same-sex marriage for the first time --
by just one vote -- but the ruling Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
sank the motion with a constitutional veto.
2015 Nov 10, British police
arrested a former soldier for the Bloody Sunday killings in
Londonderry in 1972, part of a probe aimed at healing the wounds of
Northern Ireland's three decades of unrest.
2015 Nov 17, Britain published
“A Fresh Start," a long-sought agreement with Northern Ireland’s
parties that all sides would sustain their Catholic-Protestant
(SFC, 11/18/15, p.A5)
2015 Nov 30, In Northern
Ireland the Belfast High Court found that the country’s restrictive
abortion legislation is in breach of human rights law.
2015 Northern Ireland’s public
sector employed nearly one in three of its workers. This compared to
less than one in five for Britain as a whole.
(Econ, 1/24/15, p.50)
2016 Jan, In Northern Ireland
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster began serving
as first minister.
(Econ, 3/11/17, p.56)
2016 Mar 1, In Northern Ireland
Seamus Daly (45), the only remaining suspect in the 1998 A bombing
that killed 29 people and threatened a peace deal, walked free from
prison after a British court dropped all charges. The case against
Daly collapsed as prosecutors withdrew all charges after
inconsistent evidence by a key witness in preliminary pre-trial
2016 Mar 4, In Northern Ireland
a car bombing was claimed by militant nationalists. Prison officer
Adrian Ismay (52) underwent surgery after the bomb went off shortly
after he started driving away from his home in Belfast. He died in
hospital on March 15.
2016 Mar 30, Northern Ireland
police arrested a 54-year-old Belfast man on suspicion of
involvement in the Irish Republican Army killing of two plainclothes
detectives in a dockside bar on Aug 26, 1987.
2016 Jun 10, Northern Ireland
police commanders in Belfast unveiled a mammoth criminal
investigation into a former Irish Republican Army double agent
codenamed "Stakeknife," who was allegedly permitted by British Army
intelligence officers to interrogate, torture and kill IRA
colleagues to maintain his cover as the outlawed group's internal
security chief. The London-based investigation is expected to last
five years and cost 30 million pounds ($43 million).
2016 Jun 23, Northern Ireland
citizens voted to remain in the EU by a margin of 56%. The
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) under leader Arlene Foster supported
(Econ, 7/2/16, p.50)(Econ, 3/11/17, p.57)
2017 Jan 9, Northern Ireland's
power-sharing government was on the brink of collapse after Deputy
First Minister Martin McGuinness, the leader of Sinn Fein, announced
he was resigning. The announcement ramped up pressure on First
Minister Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, to
step down over her handling of a botched renewable energy scheme
that wasted public funds.
2017 Jan 23, In Northern
Ireland Sinn Fein named Michelle O'Neill to succeed Martin
McGuinness and lead the Irish nationalist party into elections in
March, marking a shift towards a generation not directly involved in
decades of conflict.
2017 Mar 2, Northern Ireland
began voting in snap elections to resolve a political crisis fuelled
by bad blood and Brexit. The DUP and Ulster Unionists won only 38
seats in the 90-member Assembly The pro-British Democratic Unionist
Party narrowly remained the largest party following the closest-ever
election for the provincial assembly. If the conservative and
pro-British Democratic Unionist Party and the socialist and
pro-Irish republican Sinn Fein cannot resolve their differences
within three weeks of the vote, the assembly's executive could be
suspended and the province fully governed from London.
(AFP, 3/2/17)(Reuters, 3/4/17)(Econ, 3/11/17,
2017 Mar 21, Martin McGuinness
(66), the Irish Republican Army commander who laid down his arms to
become a key architect of Northern Ireland's peace, died, prompting
tributes from allies and former enemies alike.
(Reuters, 3/21/17)(Econ, 3/25/17, p.82)
2017 Jun 10, British PM Theresa
May was forced to relinquish her two closest aides on as she
struggled to reassert her authority following a crushing electoral
setback. PM May struck a deal in principle with Northern Ireland’s
Democratic Unionist Party to prop up her Conservative government.
(AFP, 6/10/17)(SSFC, 6/11/17, p.A6)
2017 Jun 26, Britain’s PM
Theresa May struck a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic
Unionist Party to support her minority government and ensure passage
of her legislative agenda later this week.
2017 Jun 29, Britain pledged to
fund abortions for Northern Irish women who travel to England after
a Belfast court overturned a ruling that Northern Ireland's
restrictive abortion laws breach human rights in certain cases.
2017 Aug 17, The Belfast High
Court ruled that Northern Ireland's refusal to recognize same-sex
marriage does not violate the rights of couples affected, in a blow
to campaigners in the only part of the United Kingdom that bans gay
2017 Nov 18, In Northern
Ireland Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams announced that he was stepping
down as leader next year after heading the party for over 30 years.
(SSFC, 11/19/17, p.A4)
2017 Dec 4, Irish government
sources said Britain has agreed to keep Northern Ireland in
"regulatory alignment" with the EU after Brexit, raising hopes PM
Theresa May can strike a deal in Brussels to start free trade talks.
The Northern Irish party that props up PM Theresa May told the
British government that its Brexit terms were unacceptable.
(Reuters, 12/4/17)(Reuters, 12/5/17)
2017 Dec 5, British PM Theresa
May scrambled to salvage a deal over the post-Brexit border in
Ireland after it was rejected by her DUP allies. A day earlier
Northern Ireland's small Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which
keeps her Conservative minority government in office, blocked an
agreement on a major issue holding up Brexit talks.
2017 Dec 14, In Northern
Ireland Paul Golding, the leader of the Britain First, a far-right
group, was detained along with his deputy Jayda Fransen. Golding was
accompanying Fransen to a court appearance related to an anti-Islam
speech last August. Britain First recently gained notoriety after US
Pres. Donald Trump recirculated unverified anti-Muslim videos it had
posted on social media
(SFC, 12/15/17, p.A2)
2018 Feb 23, A report by the UN
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
said the United Kingdom violates women's rights in Northern Ireland
by unduly restricting their access to abortion.
2018 Feb 28, The European Union
laid out how it expected to regulate Northern Ireland's trade if no
better solution was found in the rapidly shrinking window before
Britain quits the EU, prompting furious reactions in London and
Belfast. The EU moved to force Britain's hand in Brexit negotiations
by publishing a draft text that distils into legal language what
they have — and even what they have not — agreed so far about
Britain's departure. British PM Theresa May immediately branded part
of the 120-page document unacceptable.
(Reuters, 2/28/18)(AP, 2/28/18)
2018 May 27, Abortion rights
activists in Northern Ireland called on the British government to
end what one group described as the province's "Victorian-era
abortion ban" after neighboring Ireland voted by a landslide to
liberalize its laws.
2018 Jul 10, In Northern
Ireland six shots were fired at police officers during a fourth
night of disturbances in Derry. Authorities accused dissident Irish
republican groups opposed to Northern Ireland's peace process of
fueling the latest violence.
2018 Aug 28, Protesters
demanded Northern Ireland's feuding political parties get back to
governing, as the region matched a world record for the longest
peacetime period without a government. Belgium spent 589 days
without an elected government between 2010 and 2011.
2018 Aug 31, In Northern
Ireland two journalists who worked on a documentary about a mass
killing were arrested in Belfast on suspicion of stealing
confidential documents. Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey had worked
on the 2017 documentary "No Stone Unturned," about a 1994 massacre
in the village of Loughinisland.
2018 Sep 6, Northern Ireland
minister Karen Bradley said the British government is to cut the pay
of members of Northern Ireland's parliament in its latest attempt to
break a political deadlock that has left the region with no
government for almost 20 months.
2018 Sep 19, In Ireland a woman
died after a caravan she was sleeping in was blown off a cliff in
Galway County as the British Isles were battered by a heavy storm.
The storm, dubbed Ali, also left around 55,000 homes and businesses
without power, mainly in the southwest of Ireland. An engineer
working for the Northern Ireland Water utility was killed in an
incident involving a tree.
(AP, 9/19/18)(Reuters, 9/19/18)
2018 Oct 10, A bakery run by a
Christian family in Northern Ireland won a landmark case in
Britain's highest court over its refusal to make a cake decorated
with the words "Support Gay Marriage". The Supreme Court upheld the
owners' appeal against a May decision that found them guilty of
discriminating against gay rights activist Gareth Lee.
2019 Jan 19, In Northern
Ireland attackers hijacked a pizza delivery vehicle, loaded it with
explosives and left it outside the city-center courthouse late
today. The device exploded as police, who had spotted the suspicious
vehicle, were evacuating the area. Two men in their 20s were soon
arrested over the attack, which caused no injuries.
2019 Jan 20, Police in Northern
Ireland police arrested four men -- two 21-year-olds, a 34-year-old
and a 42-year-old in relation to a bomb blast a day earlier. A 5th
man was also soon arrested.
2019 Mar 17, In Northern
Ireland two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old died after a crowd of
revelers trying to get into a St. Patrick's Day event caused what
appears to be a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown.
2019 Mar 29, Northern Ireland's
small but powerful Democratic Unionist Party crushed PM Theresa
May's hopes of getting parliament to vote for her Brexit divorce
deal on a third attempt.
2019 Apr 18, In Northern
Ireland a journalist Lyra McKee (29) was shot and soon died during
rioting late today in Londonderry. Police said the New IRA (Irish
Republican Army) group, which has been responsible for several
attacks in recent years, was most likely behind the killing.
2019 Apr 20, Police in Northern
Ireland arrested two teenagers in connection with the April 18 fatal
shooting of journalist Lyra McKee during rioting in the city of
Londonderry. Both teens were released the next day without being
(AP, 4/20/19)(SFC, 4/22/19, p.A2)
2019 Apr 23, The Northern
Ireland Police Service arrested a woman (57) under the Terrorism Act
in the April 18 slaying of journalist Lyra McKee. The New Irish
Republican Army admitted responsibility for the McKee's death and
offered its sincere apologies to her partner, family and friends.
(AP, 4/23/19)(SFC, 4/24/19, p.A4)
2019 Apr 26, Police in Northern
Ireland released footage of immediately before and after the April
18 shooting of journalist Lyra McKee showing three men who were
involved in the rioting and identified one as the gunman who they
believe is in his late teens.
2019 Apr 26, London and Dublin
announced a fresh attempt to revive Northern Ireland's devolved
power-sharing institutions following the killing of a journalist by
republican paramilitaries. Northern Ireland, part of the UK, has
been without its semi-autonomous government since January 2017
following a breakdown in trust between its main parties.
2019 May 9, In Northern Ireland
four males, aged 15, 18, 38 and 51, were arrested under terrorism
laws in connection with the killing of journalist Lyra McKee in
Londonderry last month.
2019 Jul 31, Britain's new PM
Boris Johnson held talks with allies in Northern Ireland in a bid to
solve the Irish border conundrum that has scuppered all efforts to
secure an orderly withdrawal from the European Union..
2019 Oct 17, Northern Ireland's
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said it could not support PM Boris
Johnson's Brexit agreement with the European Union, complicating his
task of getting it approved by parliament.
2019 Oct 19, Northern Ireland's
Brexit spokesman said the Democratic Unionist Party will use every
strategy available to try and get changes to PM Boris Johnson's
2019 Dec 6, British opposition
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he had a confidential government
report which showed there would be customs checks between Northern
Ireland and mainland Britain under a Brexit deal negotiated by PM
2019 Dec 16, Northern Ireland's
squabbling parties met in the hope of reviving their power-sharing
regional government after three years, with the UK election having
cleared the path to Brexit.
2019 Dec 18, In Northern
Ireland thousands of nurses staged short strikes in a long-running
dispute over pay and patient safety.
(SFC, 12/19/19, p.A4)
2020 Jan 11, Northern Ireland's
government reopened for the first time in three years after rival
parties rallied around a new power-sharing agreement that can help
the volatile province handle the pressures of Brexit.
2020 Feb 11, Northern Irish
police arrested Paul McIntyre (52) for the murder of journalist Lyra
McKee in Londonderry on April 19, 2019. The killing sparked outrage
in the British-run province.
(Reuters, 2/12/20)(SFC, 2/14/20, p.A2)
2020 Feb 11, Two women tied the
knot in Northern Ireland’s first same-sex wedding, after the region
became the last part of the United Kingdom to legalize gay marriage.
2020 Mar 13, Irish nationalists
in Northern Ireland's government called for the closure of schools
to mirror measures across the border in the Republic of Ireland,
putting them at odds with their pro-British power-sharing partners.
Northern Ireland currently has 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19
compared with 70 in the Republic of Ireland, where the population is
around two and a half times bigger.
2020 Apr 10, Northern Ireland
's Dept. of Health authorized abortion services, putting into force
legislation that was passed last month.
(SFC, 4/11/20, p.A2)
2020 Jul 31, Northern Ireland
launched the United Kingdom's first COVID-19 tracing app, and the
first one that can also trace users in another country, Ireland, who
have been in contact with someone suffering from the disease.
NearForm launched a similar app in Ireland on July 8, and cases can
now be traced across the island's open border by two separate health
2020 Aug 3, John Hume (83), the
visionary politician who won a Nobel Peace Prize for fashioning the
agreement that ended violence in his native Northern Ireland, died
in Northern Ireland. The Catholic leader of the moderate Social
Democratic and Labour Party, Hume was seen as the principal
architect of Northern Ireland's 1998 peace agreement.
2020 Sep 8, Britain's
government admitted that it may break international law by not
applying parts of its Brexit divorce deal relating to Northern
Ireland, as a top legal adviser quit, reportedly over the plans.
2020 Sep 30, Northern Ireland
reported a record number of daily cases of COVID-19 for the fourth
time in six days, a day after the regional government introduced
less strict closing times for pubs than the rest of the United
2020 Oct 2, Northern Ireland
reported 934 new cases of COVID-19, more than double the previous
record daily total rate registered two days ago in the British-run
2020 Nov 18, In Northern
Ireland police arrested a man (65) in connection with the Nov. 21,
1974, bombings of two pubs that killed 21 people and injured more
than 200 in Birmingham, England.
2021 Jan 21, Northern Ireland
extended its COVID-19 lockdown for an additional four weeks to March
5 and its deputy first minister said the measures might have to be
2021 Jan 21, Ireland's Foreign
Minister Simon Coveney said food supply problems in Northern Ireland
are due to Brexit because there are now a certain amount of checks
on goods going between Britain and Northern Ireland.
2021 Feb 2, Politicians in
Britain, Northern Ireland and the European Union condemned threats
against border staff that prompted authorities to suspend checks at
ports and underscored the tremors Brexit has sent through Northern
Ireland's peace process.
2021 Feb 3, The BBC reported
that Britain has asked for an extension until 2023 of a grace period
on checks that would be conducted on trade moving between Northern
Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom to soften the Brexit
impact on the province.
2021 Mar 15, The European Union
launched legal action against Britain for unilaterally changing
trading arrangements for Northern Ireland that Brussels says breach
the Brexit divorce deal agreed with London last year.
2021 Apr 5, Police and
politicians in Northern Ireland appealed for calm after a third
night of violence that saw Protestant youths start fires and pelt
officers with bricks and gasoline bombs.
2021 Apr 8, Leaders in Northern
Ireland called for calm and an end to the unrest that has rocked the
country for nearly a week. Police used water cannons and riot gear
to try and break up riots between rival unionist and nationalist
gangs as they briefly smashed open the peace wall dividing the
Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods.
(Axios, 4/8/21)(AP, 4/9/21)
2021 Apr 24, Firefighters in
Northern Ireland spent a second day batting fires across difficult
terrain on the Mourne Mountains.
2021 Apr 28, Arlene Foster
announced her resignation as leader of the DUP and First Minister of
Northern Ireland in the face of mounting discontent among her party.
She said she will leave her DUP role on May 28 and resign as First
Minister at the end of June.