Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2017, 12:01 GMT

Chronology for Catholics in Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Catholics in Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, 2004, available at: [accessed 23 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
1100 - 1199 English kings covet Ireland as an extension of their political and economic power. Henry II wins papal support to become overlord of Ireland.
1300 - 1399 The Crown tries to prevent English settlers from integrating with the locals by outlawing the Irish language and making intermarriage illegal.
1500 - 1599 Henry VIII's break with Rome to found the Church of England adds a religious dimension to the conflict as Catholic estates are dissolved and the land given to the king's supporters.
1534 A revolt is crushed.
1603 A rebellion led by Hugh O'Neil is thwarted.
1660 - 1669 Oliver Cromwell's Calvinist invasion leads to massacres of resisting Catholics and the settlement of Scottish Protestants, mainly in Ulster.
1690 Catholics are defeated by Protestant King William III at the 1690 Battle of the Boyne.
1798 After Irish republican sentiment is fueled by the American War of Independence, a rebellion fails.
1801 The Act of Union formally makes Ireland part of the United Kingdom.
1845 The potato famine cuts the Irish population to two million through emigration and starvation and fuels hatred of the absentee landlords who levy high taxes on their malnourished workers.
1905 Sinn Fein ("We Ourselves") becomes a political party committed to Irish independence.
1916 Easter Rising, Dublin; Leaders including James Connolly executed.
1919 - 1921 War of Independence/Anglo-Irish War between "republicans" and British forces/Black and Tans.
1920 Government of Ireland Act passed by Westminster Parliament, providing for two home-rule parliaments: Belfast and Dublin.
1921 First Northern Ireland parliament assembled. Articles of Agreement for a Treaty established basis for an independent Irish Free State in southern 26 counties.
1922 Irish Free State constitution passed, retaining allegiance to British Crown and membership of Commonwealth.
1922 - 1923 Civil War between pro-treaty Irish Free State forces and anti-treaty "republicans."
1925 Irish Free State confirms the border between the states of Ireland to remain as laid down in 1920 Act.
1937 New southern constitution, Bunreacht na hEireann, proclaims dedication to principles of Catholicism and envisages a future united Ireland.
1940 - 1959 Collapse of Republic's fledgling economy accompanied by massive emigration; British welfare state measures extended to Northern Ireland.
1949 Republic of Ireland Act proclaims the southern state a "republic" while the British government's Ireland Act gives new constitutional guarantee to Northern Ireland parliament that Irish unity would not occur without consent.
1956 - 1962 IRA launch border campaign which leads to introduction of internment without trial in both Republic and Northern Ireland.
1965 Historic first meeting between Prime Ministers of Republic and Northern Ireland.
1967 Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association formed.
1968 Civil rights marches begin ending in violence in Londonderry on October 5; Terrance O'Neill's reforms in Northern Ireland widely regarded as inadequate.
1969 Severe rioting in Belfast, Londonderry and other cities; Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) reorganized and "B" specials disbanded; new electoral laws introduced.
Dec 1969 15 people are killed in a bomb attack by Protestant extremists on a Catholic bar.
1970 Republican Movement and IRA split into two factions, the Marxist-inclined Officials and the more traditionally inclined Nationalist Provisionals. Social and Democratic Labor Party (SDLP) formed; "Arms Crisis" within Fianna Fail government following allegations of gunrunning plot by several ministers.
1971 Widespread violence and bombing throughout Northern Ireland; Provisional IRA growing in strength; internment without trial reintroduced.
1972 Fall of Stormont; end of devolved government with British government announcement of Direct Rule in Northern Ireland; Offenses against the state (Amendment) Act passed in the Republic.
Jan 30, 1972 "Bloody Sunday" in Londonderry. 13 demonstrators are shot dead by British paratroopers at a civil rights march.
Jul 21, 1972 "Bloody Friday" in Belfast. 11 people are killed and 130 injured when the IRA sets of 26 car bombs.
1973 Irish Republic and United Kingdom join European Economic Community (EEC)/Common Market January 1; Coalition government of Fine Gael and Labor Party replace Fianna Fail in Republic's general election; elections held to new Northern Ireland Assembly; Sunningdale conference on Northern Ireland attended by British, Irish and Northern Ireland politicians, with agreement to establish power sharing executive for Northern Ireland.
Jan 1974 The Northern Ireland assembly is introduced and 78 members are elected by proportional representation. The executive administration involves unionists and republicans.
Feb 1974 A Coach carrying soldiers and families in bombed by the IRA in northern England killing 12.
May 1974 Ulster Workers' Council strike brings down power sharing executive in May and Direct Rule from Westminster resumed.
Oct 1 - Nov 30, 1974 A wave of IRA bombs in British pubs kills 28.
1976 Declaration of State of Emergency in Republic allows people to be held without charge for 7 days. Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act allows courts in the Republic, Northern Ireland and Great Britain to try certain offenses committed within the others' jurisdiction.
1977 Fianna Fail returns to power; Prime Minister Jack Lynch re-states party's support for eventual Irish Unity.
Feb 1978 12 die in an IRA firebombing in a Belfast restaurant.
1979 John Hume of the SDLP demands that the unconditional guarantee given by the British in 1949 to the Unionists be withdrawn.
Aug 1979 18 British soldiers killed by IRA in Warrenpoint bomb attack. On same day, IRA killed Lord Mountbatten, cousin of Queen Elizabeth, on boating trip in Irish Republic.
1980 IRA prison hunger strike in support of political status called off after one prisoner gets critically ill; meeting between Margaret Thatcher and Charles Haughey (the Republic's new Prime Minister) establishes high level joint study group on Northern Ireland.
1981 Renewed H-block hunger strike by IRA prisoners at the Maze Prison outside Belfast; IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands elected abstentionist M.P.; 10 hunger strikers die by October when fast is called off and negotiated compromise reached; Anglo-Irish council consisting of ministers from the British and Republic's governments established.
1982 Garret Fitzgerald elected Prime Minister in Republic and launches "constitutional crusade" to move toward a pluralist society; allegations over a "shoot to kill" policy being operated by security forces.
Jul 1982 Two bomb attacks in London's royal parks kill 11 people.
Oct 1982 Protestant unionists sweep elections for a new Northern Ireland assembly. Sin Fein refuses to sit in the assembly.
Dec 1982 17 people are killed, including 11 British soldiers, when a bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) explodes in a pub.
1983 New Ireland Forum, consisting of all constitutional nationalist parties from both sides of border, meets in Dublin with aim of establishing a mutually agreed policy on a future Ireland; Gerry Adams, president of Provisional Sinn Fein, elected M.P.
Sep 1983 Mass breakout from Maze Prison, 39 IRA prisoners escape.
Dec 1983 An IRA bomb at London's Harrods store kills 6.
Dec 1, 1983 - Jan 31, 1984 The shooting of a unionist politician leads unionists to boycott Northern Ireland's assembly leading to a collapse of the assembly.
1984 New Ireland Forum report published, outlining 3 possible scenarios for future of Northern Ireland: joint sovereignty, federal Ireland, united Ireland; Thatcher rejects all three solutions in famous "Out, Out, Out" speech.
Oct 1984 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's cabinet narrowly escapes an IRA bomb which kills 5 people at a hotel during her Conservative Party's annual conference.
Nov 1984 Anglo-Irish Agreement signed. Unionists, Sinn Fein and Haughty denounce agreement.
Feb 1985 9 Northern Ireland police officers are killed in a mortar attack on Newry police station.
1986 Parliamentary elections held in Northern Ireland after 15 Unionist M.P.s resign seats in protest over Anglo-Irish agreement; attempt to use election as mini-referendum on agreement backfires when SDLP gains one seat; Northern Ireland Assembly dissolved.
1987 Charles Haughey forms a minority Fianna Fail government in the republic and receives pledges of support from Fine Gael and Progressive Democrats for policies of fiscal rectitude; Division among Unionists, increased alienation among nationalists, and sharp rise in violence as Northern Ireland over Anglo-Irish Agreement.
May 1987 8 IRA gunmen are shot dead by British commandos in an ambush at the village of Loughgall.
Nov 1987 11 people are killed by an IRA bomb at a war memorial ceremony in Enniskillen.
Mar 1988 Three die and 50 are injured when a Protestant gunman launches a bomb and grenade attack on the funeral of 3 IRA guerrillas killed on an abortive bombing raid in Gibraltar. Two British soldiers are beaten by a mob and shot dead at an IRA funeral.
Jun 1988 6 British soldiers on a charity "fun run" are killed when their van is blown up by an IRA bomb.
Aug 1988 8 British soldiers are killed and 19 are injured when the IRA blows up their bus returning to army base. Three IRA gunmen are shot dead by British commandos in an undercover ambush.
Apr 1989 3 Protestants are shot dead by IRA gunmen at a petrol station.
Sep 1989 A Bomb at the Royal Marines Music School in Deal, southeast England, kills 11.
Nov 1989 3 British paratroopers are killed by an IRA landmine.
Jan 1990 Monthly violence report: The IRA blows up a Belfast taxi driver, a Catholic taxi driver is shot dead, apparently in retaliation, and 2 masked gunmen kill a part time member of the Ulster Defense Regiment (UDR).
1990 The number of yearly deaths in the Northern Ireland conflict rises sharply to 76 with the IRA accounting for 44 of them. Protestant paramilitary extremists kill 19.
Jan 13 - 15, 1990 After British soldiers shoot dead 3 masked youths apparently robbing a betting shop in Belfast, the British government is accused of having a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland. The British deny the charge. This charge against the British is made periodically and is always denied. Further accusations of this nature will not be noted here unless otherwise noteworthy.
Jan 19, 1990 4 suspected IRA members are arrested in Florida, on what is believed to be a weapons-shopping expedition, for taking delivery of a stinger surface-to-air missile.
Jan 23, 1990 Some of Northern Ireland's Protestant politicians say they are willing to hold talks with the Irish government if it is willing to consider a new framework to replace the 1985 Anglo-Irish agreement which gave Dublin a consultative voice in the daily running of the north. The agreement is hated by many Protestants who consider it the first step toward unification with the Irish Republic.
Feb 1990 Britain rejects an IRA offer to sit down for talks with no preconditions.
Mar 1990 Monthly Violence Report: A prominent Sinn Fein member is shot dead, an off duty policeman is shot dead, a Catholic man is shot dead, a suspected IRA gunman robs a mail train and Irish republican gunmen shoot dead a Protestant. Protestant prisoners in a Northern Ireland jail begin a campaign for segregation between Protestant and Catholic prisoners.
Mar 15, 1990 The IRA makes a two million punts (3 million dollar) extortion demand on a Northern Ireland bank.
Mar 28, 1990 The British government bans the Irish People's Liberation Organization (IPLO) after one of its members shoots and kills a man.
Apr 1, 1990 A gang claiming to be working for the IRA seizes an Irish M.P. and hijacks his car.
Apr 1990 Monthly Violence Report: A Catholic building contractor is shot dead, 4 members of the UDR are blown up in an IRA landmine explosion, a Catholic man is shot dead at his girlfriend's house, a soldier is shot dead by masked gunmen, and the IRA car bombs a construction worker who is thought to have worked on police and military installations.
Apr 10, 1990 Britain complains that Ireland's refusal to extradite Catholics who engaged in violence in Northern Ireland and Britain is adding to the violence there.
May 1990 Monthly Violence Report: IRA gunmen shoot and kill a British soldier and an Army sergeant dies in a bombing in London.
May 14, 1990 Riots between Catholic and Protestant prisoners break out in a Northern Ireland jail.
Jun 1990 Monthly Violence Report: Protestant gunmen shoot dead a Catholic father of five and a prominent Catholic politician is shot and injured through a window in his home in Belfast.
Jun 18, 1990 Dutch police halt 3 suspected Irish guerrillas during an investigation of IRA violence in continental Europe.
Jul 1990 Monthly Violence Report: IRA gunmen shoot dead 2 Northern Ireland policemen, in two separate shootings a Catholic and a Protestant are killed, an IRA bomb kills a Catholic and 3 police officers and another IRA bomb kills a conservative British politician.
Aug 1990 Monthly Violence Report: A Catholic man is shot dead during his 5-year-old son's birthday party.
Sep 1990 Monthly Violence Report: The IRA "executes" a Northern Ireland politician, 2 Protestants are shot dead in separate incidents which police say are probably the result of a feud among Protestant extremists and gunmen shoot dead a part time member of Northern Ireland's security forces.
Oct 1990 Monthly Violence Report: British commandos kill leading IRA gunman Dessie Grew and another top activist in an ambush, Protestants kill another leading IRA member, 6 soldiers are killed in IRA bomb attacks on security checkpoints, a gunman kills a Catholic teenager and gunmen shoot dead a Protestant man.
Nov 1990 Monthly Violence Report: The IRA kills four men including two policemen on a duck-hunting trip. Also, a Protestant soldier and a Catholic man are killed in separate incidents.
Nov 30, 1990 The British government says that it is sending more soldiers to Northern Ireland for the first time in 4 years.
Dec 1990 Monthly Violence Report: Gunmen shoot dead a former part-time soldier and a reserve policeman is shot dead.
Jan 1991 Monthly Violence Report: Protestant militants shoot dead a Catholic man in his home and the IRA firebombs dozens of Northern Ireland shops causing millions of pounds worth of damage.
1991 1991 was the bloodiest year in Northern Ireland in 15 years with Catholic and Protestant gunmen killing 75 civilians in a bitter sectarian "tit-for-tat" war. The civilian death toll soared with the re-emergence of the republican killer gangs and Protestant extremists. 198 major bombs exploded during the year. The IRA extended its campaign to mainland Britain setting off firebombs in shops and railway stations. Also, 19 policemen and soldiers were killed in 1991 bringing the total number of deaths to 94.
Feb 1, 1991 About 1,000 peace protestors demonstrate at the annual congress in Dublin of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing.
Mar 1991 Monthly Violence Report: A part-time soldier is killed in a mine blast. 5 Catholics are killed by protestant extremists in a 24 hour period and a gunman kills 3 children on a mobile sweet shop in a Catholic housing estate, British Northern Ireland Minister Peter Brooke wins the agreement of Protestant and Catholic leaders to talk about power sharing in Northern Ireland. The leader of Sinn Fein says that the talks are doomed to fail.
Mar 19, 1991 Britain sends an extra 500 troops to Northern Ireland.
Apr 1991 Monthly Violence Report: A police detective is killed when a bomb blows up his car.
Apr 13, 1991 Police find an IRA arms cache that they claim is part of a weapons consignment from Libya more than 4 years ago.
Apr 20 - 30, 1991 The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) announce that they will observe a cease fire for as long as the landmark peace talks starting on April 30 go on. The IRA responds that it will halt attacks on civilians but continue attacks on security forces.
Apr 30, 1991 Landmark peace talks on the future of Northern Ireland open. The talks are aimed at providing a power sharing government for Northern Ireland which will replace the 17-year-old direct rule. Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, has been excluded from the talks because it refuses to renounce violence.
May 1 - Apr 30, 1991 Monthly Violence Report: A policeman dies from wounds received in an IRA rocket attack and another is killed by a booby trap bomb in his car.
May 16, 1991 About two-dozen Irish-Americans protest against Britain's policies in Northern Ireland across the street from the capital building during a visit by Queen Elizabeth to Congress.
May 17, 1991 The first session of direct talks in the Northern Ireland peace conference are canceled over unionist leaders' objections to later rounds of the talks being held in Dublin. They refuse to talk to the Irish government until it makes a commitment to scrap its claim to Northern Ireland which is enshrined in the Irish Constitution.
May 29, 1991 After an agreement on venue is reached in the Northern Ireland peace talks, the Ulster Unionist Party quits the talks over who should be the independent chairman for the negotiations. The Social Democratic Labor Party (SDLP) also withdraws from the talks saying that British Northern Ireland Minister Brooke, who has organized the talks, must come to an accommodation with the Protestant Unionists.
Jun 1991 Monthly Violence Report: An IRA bomb kills 3 Northern Ireland soldiers, British troops kill 3 IRA guerrillas in an ambush and a part-time soldier is killed on the eve of the peace talks.
Jun 12, 1991 New York city passes a law requiring companies that do business with the city to provide equal job opportunities for Catholics in Northern Ireland.
Jul 1991 Monthly Violence Report: In escalating violence, Irish People's Liberation Organization (IPLO) gunmen shoot dead a man in a Belfast hardware store, Protestant extremists shoot dead a Catholic taxi driver, the IRA kills a man it says is an informer and the UFF firebomb two department stores and two pubs. British Northern Ireland Minister Brooke announces that "the talks should be brought to an end" because procedural squabbles have made it difficult for further progress.
Aug 1991 Monthly Violence Report: In escalating violence, a Protestant man is killed in a guerilla ambush, Protestant militants shoot dead a Catholic shopkeeper, a Protestant gunman shoots dead a Sinn Fein election worker, a man dies in an IRA bomb blast and a Catholic father of 5 is killed in an ambush by the UFF.
Aug 14, 1991 The IRA orders 6 Catholic men to leave Ireland after accusing them of a persistent intimidation campaign in the Northern Ireland border town of Newry.
Sep 1991 Monthly Violence Report: UFF gunmen shoot dead a local councilor for Sinn Fein, a mortar attack kills a policeman, Protestant gunmen kill a Catholic shopkeeper who becomes the 2,000th civilian victim of the conflict and the Northern Ireland police accidentally shoot dead a Catholic student while investigating a bomb alert.
Sep 3, 1991 A mob attacks a midnight patrol outside of a pub.
Oct 1991 Monthly Violence Report: The Irish People's Liberation Organization (IPLO) shoots dead a man in a bar and a Catholic taxi driver is shot shortly thereafter in retaliation, another Catholic taxi driver is shot dead and 2 gunmen kill a Catholic man in a timber yard.
Oct 3, 1991 The New York based human rights organization, Helsinki Watch, condemns what it calls "persisting and ongoing" human rights abuses in Northern Ireland by both British forces and parliamentary extremists which affect both Protestants and Catholics. The abuses include the use of lethal force, police brutality, non-jury trials and media bans on extremist groups.
Oct 7, 1991 The IRA carries out "punishment shootings" of 4 drug dealers by shooting them in the knees and elbows and orders 20 more out of Northern Ireland.
Nov 1991 Monthly Violence Report: A part-time member of the UDR is killed in a rocket attack and the IRA kills 4 men in Belfast. Britain announces that it is strengthening the Northern Ireland police force by 440, is sending an extra battalion to Northern Ireland and putting 2000 extra troops in the streets to deal with the violence.
Dec 1991 Monthly Violence Report: 2 police stations are bombed as part of a bombing campaign in Northern Ireland and the British mainland, IPLO gunmen kill 2 in a Belfast pub and a teenager in his father's shop and the UFF retaliates by killing a customer in a Catholic bar and a Catholic who had just moved into his house with his Protestant wife.
Jan 1992 Monthly Violence Report: The IRA mistakenly kills a Catholic man with a booby-trap bomb in his car and kills 7 workmen in another bombing. Protestant gunmen kill a Catholic in a shop and in other shootings kill an informer and a Catholic man outside a newsagent's shop.
Jan 7, 1992 Gunmen, believed to be from the IRA, rob a bank in Waterford stealing over 2 million punts (3.5 million dollars).
Jan 12, 1992 Police in Northern Ireland seize 3 arms caches believed to belong to the IRA.
Jan 27, 1992 Thousands of Irish republicans in Londonderry march to commemorate the 20th anniversary of "bloody Sunday" where 14 demonstrators were shot dead by British paratroopers.
Feb 1992 Monthly Violence Report: A Catholic taxi driver is shot dead, 4 are shot dead in a Belfast betting shop by Protestant gunmen, 3 republicans are shot dead in a Sinn Fein office by a mentally disturbed policeman who then kills himself, British commandos kill 4 suspected IRA guerrillas and there are several bombings of major targets including hotels and bus stations.
Feb 10, 1992 Britain sends 600 extra troops to Northern Ireland.
Feb 11, 1992 Albert Reynolds is formally elected as Irish Prime Minister.
Feb 24, 1992 Britain extends for 1 year the emergency law that allows it to hold suspects without charges for up to 7 days.
Feb 29, 1992 More than 1000 Irish peace campaigners who take the train to Northern Ireland to protest against guerilla violence are stopped by a bomb scare.
Mar 1992 Monthly Violence Report: The UFF shoots dead a young Catholic on his doorstep in Belfast, the UVF kills a Catholic man and the IRA kills a Northern Ireland policewoman.
Mar 9, 1992 British sponsored peace talks between Catholic and Protestant politicians from Northern Ireland resume. About 12 Sinn Fein demonstrators protest the talks.
Apr 1992 Monthly Violence Report: The UFF kills a Sinn Fein election worker, a Protestant is shot dead in his home, the INLA kills a British soldier, the IRA kills a civilian worker at a Northern Ireland army base and Protestant gunmen shoot dead a young Catholic man in a community center.
Apr 13, 1992 Britain's new Northern Ireland Minister, Sir Patrick Meyhew arrives in Northern Ireland.
May 18, 1992 Britain's crack parachute regiment, detested by Irish republicans, is pulled out of a flashpoint Northern Ireland town after 12 are injured in clashes between soldiers and an angry mob.
Jun 17, 1992 A Northern Ireland policeman is charged with murdering a teenager who was accidentally caught up in a police hunt for guerrillas.
Jun 19, 1992 Irish officials and Northern Ireland's political leaders, including hard-line Protestant unionists, meet for the first time since 1973.
Jul 6, 1992 Northern Ireland's politicians open unprecedented formal talks with the Irish government.
Aug 1992 Monthly Violence Report: The IRA shoots dead a British soldier and, in a separate incident, kills an informer, IPLO chief Jimmy Brown is shot down by rival republicans, a 19-year-old Catholic is shot dead becoming the 3,000th victim of the conflict and Irish nationalists shoot dead a British soldier.
Aug 10, 1992 The British government outlaws the Ulster Defense Association (UDA), a leftist Protestant extremist organization, because of its direct involvement in the violence in Northern Ireland.
Sep 1992 Monthly Violence Report: The UVF kills a former member for drug dealing, the IPLO kills a man in continued fighting among republicans and gunmen kill an Irish teenager.
Sep 8, 1992 Police find a suspected IRA arms cache.
Sep 10, 1992 Protestant priest-politician Ian Paisley says he will not return to the ongoing peace talks until Dublin agrees to lift the Republic's constitutional claim to Northern Ireland. He returns to the talks a few weeks later.
Oct 1992 Monthly Violence Report: The UVF kills a member of Sinn Fein and a Northern Ireland soldier is shot dead.
Nov 1992 Monthly Violence Report: The IRA kills a man and shoots 8 others in the kneecaps for drug dealing, Protestant gunmen kill 3 Catholics in a betting shop, an off-duty soldier is gunned down and gunmen kill a man in a Catholic countryside club.
Nov 3, 1992 The IPLO announces that it has disbanded.
Nov 10, 1992 The Northern Ireland peace talks end without an agreement being reached.
Dec 1992 Monthly Violence Report: IRA gunmen shoot dead an off duty soldier and Irish Catholic shops are hit by a wave of firebombs.
Dec 20, 1992 Thousands of Catholics and Protestants from both sides of the Irish border march through the town of Lurgan in a Christmas plea for peace.
Dec 23, 1992 The IRA announces a 72-hour Christmas truce in Northern Ireland but not the British mainland.
Jan 1993 Monthly Violence Report: A Catholic man and his son are shot dead in their home and gunmen kill a Catholic man.
Jan 30, 1993 Around 300 right-wingers try to disrupt a march by 1,500 bloody Sunday demonstrators.
Feb 1993 In 2 separate shootings, gunmen shoot 2 Catholic men in their homes and the IRA kills 2 policemen.
Mar 1993 Monthly Violence Report: The UFF kills 6 in a series of attacks. Irish Foreign Minister Dick Spring says that Dublin's constitutional claim to Northern Ireland is not "cast in bronze, incapable of change."
Mar 20, 1993 Two bombs planted by the IRA in litter bins in the English town of Warrington kill a 3-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy causing a domestic and international uproar.
Apr 1993 A suspected IRA bomb kills a former British soldier.
Apr 4, 1993 Thousands march across England and Ireland to call for peace after 2 young boys die in a bombing.
Apr 12, 1993 Secret weekend talks occur between Irish nationalist and republican leaders of Sinn Fein and the SDLP.
Apr 14, 1993 Protestant unionists boycott a visit to Northern Ireland by Irish Prime Minister Reynolds.
May 1993 Monthly Violence Report: There is a rash of bombings and Protestant gunmen kill a Sinn Fein member. Sinn Fein gains 8 seats in the Northern Ireland council elections bringing its total to 53.
Jun 1993 Monthly Violence Report: The IRA kills an informer and an IRA sniper kills a British soldier.
Jun 12, 1993 Up to 100,000 Protestant celebrate a 300-year-old victory over Roman Catholics.
Jul 1993 Monthly Violence Report: A soldier is killed by an IRA sniper.
Aug 1993 A Catholic is beaten to death in what is believed to be a sectarian killing.
Aug 7, 1993 More than 2,000 people march through London calling for British troops to withdraw from Northern Ireland.
Aug 17, 1993 Police discover a substantial IRA arms cache.
Aug 25, 1993 Catholic civil rights leaders say that the IRA is the greatest offender against civil rights in Northern Ireland.
Sep 1993 Monthly Violence Report: In a surge of Protestant extremist attacks on Roman Catholics, 4 are killed and several houses are firebombed. Also, a Protestant is gunned down outside his home. Due to a peace initiative by the SDLP and Sinn Fein, the parties begin to hold talks with the Irish government. The details of the initiative are not made public.
Oct 1993 Monthly Violence Report: Sinn Fein leader Adams and Northern Ireland Nationalist politician John Hume engage in talks about bringing peace to Northern Ireland. Protestant militants announce that they will launch a wave of violence against any dialogue with Sinn Fein. The Irish Foreign Minister announces a major shift in policy, offering the unionists a veto on major changes in Northern Ireland and weakening the Irish constitutional claim to the north. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is barred from crossing the Irish Canal into mainland Britain by new anti-terrorism legislation.
Oct 9, 1993 Police find a large cache of IRA arms and a bomb factory.
Oct 16, 1993 The leader of Northern Ireland's main Protestant party, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), rejects the SDLP and Sinn Fein peace initiative.
Nov 15, 1993 British Prime Minister Major offers talks with Sinn Fein if the IRA ends its use of violence. Unionist leaders refuse to attend talks involving Sinn Fein and Sinn Fein rejects the offer.
Nov 19, 1993 Tens of thousands rally for peace across Northern Ireland.
Nov 24, 1993 British customs agents seize a giant cargo of guns and explosives from Poland bound for extremist Protestants in Northern Ireland.
Nov 28, 1993 The British government admits to having contacts with the IRA in response to an overture for peace by the group in February, 1993. A British newspaper reports that these contacts are part of a long running "communication link" through intermediaries dating back to 1989.
Nov 30, 1993 A Catholic man is killed in a suspected sectarian attack. This is the first death this month that can be attributed to the conflict.
Dec 1993 Monthly Violence Report: The IRA kills 2 soldiers in 2 separate incidents and kills 2 policemen in an ambush.
Dec 10, 1993 The Combined Loyalist Military Command, a Protestant military umbrella group, releases a statement saying that they want "an honorable and equitable peace" and that they should end "the shameful point-scoring of the past and present."
Dec 15, 1993 A joint Anglo-Irish statement is issued reassuring Northern Ireland's Protestant majority that they will never be forced into a united Ireland against their will but at the same time acknowledges the aspirations to unification of the Irish nationalists on both sides of the border.
Dec 24 - 27, 1993 A 3-day IRA Christmas truce is in effect. The IRA ends the truce with a bomb blast minutes after the truce ends.
Jan 1994 Monthly Violence Report: There is a surge of violence by both Catholics and Protestants after the Christmas truce which is believed to have been caused by the Anglo-Irish peace plan of December, 15. In this violence the UFF kills a Catholic man and 3 more Catholic men are killed in 3 separate incidents.
Jan 11, 1994 Police seize a Protestant arms cache.
Jan 29, 1994 Over 1,000 march through central London to demand the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.
Jan 31, 1994 Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams denounces IRA violence in order to obtain a visa to visit the US.
Feb 1994 Monthly Violence Report: The UVF kills a Catholic taxi driver; Dominic McGlinchey, the former head of the INLA, is killed in what is believed to be a revenge shooting; a suspected IRA guerilla kills a policeman; and there is a rash of IRA firebombings.
Feb 8, 1994 Amnesty International accuses the British government of reluctance to tackle mounting evidence of collusion between Northern Ireland security forces and Protestant extremist groups.
Feb 28, 1994 About a dozen pro-IRA demonstrators heckle British Prime Minister Major during a visit to the US.
Mar 1994 Monthly Violence Report: There are several IRA mortar attacks on Heathrow airport but no one is hurt. Also, a Catholic man is killed in a booby-trapped truck, IRA gunmen shoot an off-duty policeman and a Northern Ireland Catholic politician who spoke out against the IRA is badly beaten up outside his home.
Mar 6, 1994 According to a demographic report, despite high emigration rates, the Catholics in Northern Ireland have higher birthrates than Protestants there and are likely to outnumber them in 30 to 40 years. The percentage of Catholics has risen to 42% from 39% in 1981 and 31% in 1979.
Mar 13 - 14, 1994 The IRA demands direct talks with the British government before it will say yes or no to the Anglo-Irish peace plan. Britain refuses to talk with the IRA until it lays down its arms.
Mar 22, 1994 Irish police discover an IRA training camp and arms cache.
Mar 30, 1994 The IRA declares a 3-day truce for Easter and to try to further the Northern Ireland peace process. This is the first IRA truce outside of the Christmas cease-fires since 1975. The British call the overture a cynical stunt.
Apr 1994 An IRA bomb kills a policeman, 2 Protestant men are killed in an IRA shooting, One man is killed and 16 are shot in the leg in what appears to be a rash of IRA punishment shootings against drug traffickers, the IRA shoots a man in a Belfast shopping center, the IRA kills a police informer and Protestants kill 2 Catholics in 2 separate incidents.
Apr 9, 1994 The IRA resumes its battle with bombings and shootings 5 minutes after the Easter truce ends. It is believed that the immediate resumption of the hostilities is due to Britain's failure to use the cease fire to make contact.
May 1994 Monthly Violence Report: Suspected Protestant guerrillas kill an elderly Catholic woman in her home, UFF gunmen kill a Catholic man, An IRA booby-trap bomb kills a man, a British soldier is killed by a bomb blast at a security checkpoint, 2 Catholics working in an old people's home are shot dead by Protestant extremists, Protestant extremists kill 2 in a Taxi office and the IRA kills a British soldier. In response to a list of questions about the Anglo-Irish peace plan, which the IRA has refused to accept or reject because of its vagueness and the British government has thus far refused to clarify, the British government states that after the IRA renounces violence, no political objective will be excluded from the negotiations.
May 3, 1994 A British newspaper reports that last November Iran offered to "shower the IRA with weapons and cash" if it assassinated a top Iranian dissident but the IRA refused the offer.
May 8, 1994 A republican rally in Belfast is banned by police on the grounds that it will cause public disorder.
May 31, 1994 Sinn Fein President Adams spells out a list of demands he says must be met to end the conflict. The demands include: the release of long-term prisoners, an end to what his party regards as the veto held by pro-British unionists over Northern Ireland's future and equal status for the Irish language.
Jun 1994 Monthly Violence Report: Protestant extremists kill a Catholic man and a Catholic taxi driver in 2 separate incidents, UVF gunmen kill 6 Catholics in a bar and republican extremists shoot dead a Protestant.
Jun 21, 1994 Ireland offers to drop its claim to Northern Ireland in return for setting up an authority with cross-border authority. Thousands of mourners attend the funeral of 6 Catholics killed by UVF gunmen.
Jul 1994 Monthly Violence Report: 2 leading Protestant extremists are killed by the IRA in separate incidents, the IRA kills a police informer and, in another incident, kills 2 suspected Protestant extremists and the UFF kills a Catholic man.
Jul 14, 1994 Hundreds of mourners come to the funerals of 2 Protestant extremist leaders killed by the IRA.
Jul 15, 1994 Protestant extremists offer to lay down their arms if the IRA does the same but Sinn Fein immediately condemns the offer as a sham.
Jul 24, 1994 Sinn Fein in its first formal reply to last December's Anglo-Irish peace plan says the initiative has "negative and contradictory elements" but is a step toward peace.
Jul 28, 1994 Irish police find a suspected IRA arms cache.
Aug 1994 Monthly Violence Report: The UVF, in 2 separate incidents, kills a man they claim is an IRA informer and a pregnant Catholic woman; the IRA shoots dead a part-time soldier; and the UFF, in 2 separate incidents, kills a Catholic security guard and a man it says is an IRA spy.
Aug 9, 1994 Police use rubber bullets to break up a riot by Irish nationalists on the 23rd anniversary of the enactment by Britain of internment without trial.
Aug 31, 1994 The IRA announces a "complete cessation of military operations" but is unclear whether this is a permanent or tactical cease-fire. Sin Fein President Adams demands that the British free IRA prisoners and pull its troops from Northern Ireland's streets in response. Protestant unionists are skeptical and unhappy about the development. The British government says it will not talk to the IRA until it is convinced that the cease-fire is permanent.
Sep 1994 Monthly Violence Report: Protestant extremists engage in a rash of bombings in response to the IRA cease-fire announcement. Also, the UFF kills a Catholic man.
Sep 3, 1994 About 150 Belfast Protestant women demonstrate against the IRA.
Sep 6, 1994 Sinn Fein leader Adams and Ireland's Prime Minister Reynolds hold the first meeting between a Sinn Fein representative and the Irish government in over 25 years.
Sep 8, 1994 Protestant extremists declare that they have ruled out any cease-fire in their war to keep Northern Ireland British.
Sep 13, 1994 About 80 angry Protestants clash with police and troops outside a Belfast courthouse during a trial of a Catholic man accused of killing an alleged Protestant extremist.
Sep 13 - 14, 1994 Street violence breaks out among Protestants in Belfast.
Sep 16, 1994 For the first time in 6 years a Sinn Fein representative is allowed on British television after British Prime Minister Major lifts media restrictions on the party.
Sep 30, 1994 Police fire several rounds of plastic bullets after being attacked by a crowd of about 50 in a Catholic area of Belfast.
Oct 3, 1994 The US lifts its ban on contacts with Sinn Fein.
Oct 13, 1994 The Protestant Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC), which combines the UFF and the UVF, announces that it is accepting the IRA cease-fire.
Oct 26, 1994 British troops lower their security profile. They lower the number of troops on the streets and the number of security check posts.
Nov 10, 1994 2 Irish republicans are arrested after a postal worker is shot dead in an attempted robbery. It is unclear whether the robbery is linked to guerilla activity. The IRA says that none of its guerrillas had permission to carry arms since its August cease-fire declaration.
Nov 17, 1994 Irish Prime Minister Reynolds resigns.
Dec 9, 1994 Sinn Fein representatives meet with representatives of the British government for the first public. Political talks between them since 1921. Note: Talks between the British, the government of the Irish Republic, and the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland continue throughout the period covered by this update. They will only be further noted if a major agreement is reached or something otherwise noteworthy occurs.
Dec 14, 1994 British Prime Minister Major announces at an economic conference held in Belfast that, as part of the peace dividend, large firms are beginning to invest heavily in Northern Ireland.
Dec 15, 1994 Britain tells rival guerrilla groups in Northern Ireland that they must abandon their weapons before their political associations will win a voice in the province's future. Protestant extremists respond that an early surrender of arms would be premature. This remains a serious issue throughout the period covered by this update. The British want both Protestant and Catholic extremists to give up their arms but the extremists refuse to do so. The IRA does, however, agree to surrender its arms after the British remove all of their troops from Northern Ireland. The British do not agree to do so.
Dec 15, 1994 Ireland forms a new government headed by John Burton.
Dec 19, 1994 The IRA denies responsibility for a bomb found and diffused in the Northern Ireland border town of Enniskillen.
Dec 22, 1994 About 350 prisoners held by the British including both Catholics and Protestants convicted of security offences are released for temporary Christmas leave. The Irish government frees 9 IRA prisoners and gives 30 Christmas leave.
Jan 12, 1995 Britain announces that it is scaling down its military operations in Northern Ireland. However, its 18,000 soldiers are not being withdrawn.
Feb 3, 1995 Ireland releases 5 more IRA prisoners. Ireland releases IRA prisoners throughout the period covered by this update.
Feb 7, 1995 Ireland ends its 50-year-old state of emergency which gave police and the army special powers of arrest. Irish police find an IRA arms cache.
Feb 8, 1995 A bomb is diffused in the border town of Newry. No one claims responsibility.
Feb 20, 1995 Irish republicans accuse Northern Ireland's police of trying to pacify pro-British elements after 7 activists are arrested in Londonderry.
Feb 22, 1995 A "framework document" is published setting the framework for negotiations in Northern Ireland. The document outlines proposals for a new Northern Ireland assembly and plans for new relationships between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The document also includes the creation of cross-border bodies to cement trust and economic cooperation as well as British and Irish pledges to change rival claims to sovereignty over the province. This includes a pledge by the Irish Republic to drop its constitutional claims to Northern Ireland unless a majority of the population wants unification.
Mar 8, 1995 Britain lifts 16 out of 56 exclusion orders under the prevention of terrorism act.
Mar 14, 1995 About 150 pro-British Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) inmates riot in Northern Ireland's high security Maze prison. In the first major scaling down of British troops in Northern Ireland, Britain says that it is pulling 400 troops from the region.
Mar 15, 1995 Northern Ireland's police chief says that although rival guerrilla factions have ended their war, many are still engaging in organized crime involving fraud, drugs, and extortion. Northern Ireland police defuse a bomb in the town of Newry. Britain accuses the IRA of planting the bomb and Sinn Fein accuses the British of planting the bomb to discredit them.
Mar 22, 1995 Britain holds its first ministerial level meeting with groups close to Northern Ireland Protestant guerrillas.
Apr 5, 1995 4 suspected members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) are arrested for a gun smuggling operation.
Apr 11, 1995 Ireland announces that it is freeing 7 more IRA prisoners. This brings the total number of freed prisoners up to 21.
Apr 12, 1995 British pulls 400 more troops out of Northern Ireland.
Apr 14, 1995 Northern Ireland police arrest several people and confiscate weapons in a full scale security sweep of a suburb of Belfast.
May 3, 1995 Sinn Fein supporters protesting the British-Northern Ireland peace strategy violently clash with police in Londonderry.
May 10, 1995 Sinn Fein and the British government begin talks on the peace process.
May 21, 1995 Relatives of the civilian victims of a civil rights march in 1972 protest a visit by Britain's Prince Charles to Northern Ireland.
May 30, 1995 Irish security forces defuse a firebomb at a castle owned by the assassinated uncle of Prince Charles who is to visit Northern Ireland tomorrow.
Jun 1 - 3, 1995 Protesters throw eggs at Prince Charles during his visit to Northern Ireland. Protesters appear at most of the stops during his visit with the largest group of about 1,500 waiting for him at his arrival in Northern Ireland.
Jun 6, 1995 Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams shakes the hand of British Northern Ireland Minister of State Michael Ancram. This is the first official meeting between a Sinn Fein member and a British minister since the 1970s.
Jul 4 - 7, 1995 Catholic and Protestant rioters clash with each other and police in Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland. The rioting begins with clashes protesting the release of a British soldier convicted of murder in the Northern Ireland conflict. The rioting includes firebombings and other forms of violence.
Jul 9 - 11, 1995 Police in the Northern Ireland town of Portadown prevent Protestants from marching in a Catholic section of town until an agreement allowing a limited peaceful march is reached. However, violence occurs between Protestants and Catholics in arguments over this standoff in other parts of Northern Ireland.
Jul 12, 1995 About 100,000 Protestant "Orangemen" march in 18 processions across Northern Ireland. While the marches are mostly peaceful, there are some violent incidents involving Catholics protesting the march. The march commemorates the 1690 victory by Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James's forces in 1690.
Jul 17, 1995 Sectarian attacks are reported against a Catholic school and Protestant homes in Belfast.
Jul 18, 1995 4 Irish Republican prisoners protest being held in a high security jail in England. They are soon transferred to a Northern Ireland facility.
Aug 9, 1995 In what is thought to be the first "punishment shooting" since the beginning of the cease fire, gunmen, believed to be IRA members, shoot a man in both elbows.
Aug 11 - 12, 1995 Violence occurs in Londonderry and Belfast when Catholics try to stop Protestants from marking a 3-centuries-old victory over the Catholics.
Aug 13, 1995 Irish police discover an arms cache believed to belong to the IRA.
Aug 22, 1995 Arsonists set fire to a Protestant "Orange" Hall in Northern Ireland.
Aug 28, 1995 James Molyneaux retires as head of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) at age 75.
Sep 8, 1995 Hard liner David Trimble is elected head of the UUP.
Oct 13, 1995 On the anniversary of the cease fire, thousands of supporters of British rule march from Belfast strongholds to a rally at the center of town.
Nov 10, 1995 Irish police find a bomb in a van they stopped near the border with Northern Ireland.
Dec 1995 Monthly violence report: Francis Collins, a former republican activist and suspected drug dealer, is shot in the chest (later died in the hospital); a man is shot dead in a Catholic area of Belfast; and another believed drug dealer and petty criminal shot dead in his home in front of his family. Direct Action Against Drugs, believed to be a splinter of the IRA took responsibility for all these attacks. (Agence France Presse 12/19/95, 12/28/95)
Dec 4, 1995 Building on a peace-making trip by US President Bill Clinton, John Hume, of the mainly Catholic SDLP, and David Trimble, of the Ulster Unionists hold talks - ostensibly on economic issues - in preparation for all-party peace negotiations. The IRA, in response, says the talks will go nowhere until Britain drops its demand that the IRA be "decommissioned." Note: These talks continue for the duration of this update, and will only be mentioned if noteworthy. (Times 12/3/95)
Dec 5, 1995 A British government report notes that while killings of Protestants and Catholics (and vice versa) have declined since the autumn 1994 cease-fires in Northern Ireland, beatings have risen sharply. In the 14 months, there have been 27 murders and 223 assaults, compared to 126 murders and 45 assaults in the 14 months before the cease-fire agreements. (Agence France Presse 12/5/95)
Dec 20, 1995 A representative of the Protestant Union Party to the all-party peace talks is convicted of smuggling arms to the Ulster Volunteer Force, and sentenced to 10 years in prison. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 12/20/95)
Dec 23, 1995 The Dublin government decides to stop the release of several IRA prisoners in Ireland, after five murders in the Irish Republic and the discovery by police of several plots by the IRA to commit armed robberies in Ireland. Sinn Fein denounces the decision to use prisoners as bargaining tools. (Times 12/23/95)
Jan 1996 Irish National Liberation Army "Chief of Staff" Gino Gallagher is murdered by another INLA member, sparking a months-long series of revenge killings between two factions of the organization (Mirror 5/26/96)
Feb 9, 1996 The IRA detonates a 250 kilogram car bomb near a London office park, killing two and injuring over 100. It had ended its cease fire one hour before. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 2/10/96)
Feb 12, 1996 Over 3000 attend a rally in Belfast to promote peace. (Mirror 2/13/96)
Feb 16, 1996 All of Northern Ireland observes a moment of silence for two people killed by the IRA in London the day before. Thousands also rally for peace. An opinion poll printed in the Daily Mirror newspaper reveals that 84% of those in Northern Ireland want peace. (Mirror 2/17/96)
Feb 19, 1996 A bomb, believed to be the work of the IRA, detonates on a double-decker bus in London, killing one and injuring nine. (Agence France Presse 2/19/96)
Apr 8, 1996 200 Protestants riot to protest a police decision to prevent their march from going through a Catholic area of Belfast. The annual Apprentice Boys March, the first of a series of seasonal marches, had been marred by violence the year before. This year, police use rubber bullets to break up the march after eight hours. (Agence France Presse 4/8/96)
Apr 24, 1996 Two Semtex bombs, planted for the anniversary of "the Easter Uprising," fail to go off under the Hammersmith Bridge east of London. Had they exploded, they would have been the most destructive in IRA history. In retaliation, the British Prime Minister threatens to exclude the IRA from all-party peace talks scheduled to begin in July. (Times 4/26/96)
Apr 28, 1996 Protestant Orangemen are furious after police move in to prevent their march through the Ormeau Bridge, a Catholic area. They had threatened violence, but claim the police are protecting nationalist Catholics. Note: Violent protests and riots by both Protestant marchers and Catholics protesting the marches continue throughout the year, and will not be mentioned unless extraordinary. (Mirror 4/29/96)
May 30, 1996 Voters in Northern Ireland cast their ballots for parties to fill the 110 representative slots in the upcoming all-party peace talks, scheduled to begin on June 9. Thirty gasoline bombs were thrown at one of the polling stations as it closed. Note: The all-party peace talks continue throughout the time period of this update. These talks will not be further mentioned unless the event is noteworthy. (Agence France Presse 5/30/96 and Times 5/31/96)
Jun 7, 1996 An attempted robbery of a postal van by the IRA kills one policeman and injures another in Limerick, Ireland.(Times 6/9/96)
Jun 8, 1996 A poll by the Dublin-based Sunday Tribune finds that 97% of people, including 84% of Sinn Fein voters, believe that the IRA should renew its ceasefire. (Times 6/9/96)
Jun 15, 1996 The IRA is blamed for a car bomb which injures 200 in a Manchester, England shopping center. The British Parliament responds by threatening to ban Sinn Fein from any participation in the all-party peace talks (Sinn Fein had previously been permitted to join when the IRA resumed a cease-fire; Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein had vigorously denied any ability to control the IRA) (Times and Deutsche Presse-Agentur 6/16/96)
Jun 28, 1996 The IRA is blamed for firing three mortar shells into a British Army barracks in Osnabrueck, Germany. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 6/29/96)
Jul 9, 1996 Protestant "Orangemen" rampage through Ulster, terrorizing resident Catholics and destroying their homes. Police had barred the Orangemen from proceeding through the town of Portadown from the Drumcree church during their previous marches. The violence sparked considerable reprisal rioting and international outrage in subsequent days. (Mirror 7/10/96, Times 7/14/96)
Jul 14, 1996 A bomb detonates outside a hotel in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland - the first explosion within the province in two years. Police blame the IRA, or one of its splinter groups. The main branch of the IRA denies involvement. (Agence France Presse 7/17/96)
Aug 28, 1996 The UVF threaten to disband one of their own units, and kill two of their own members, after the two were found to have taken part in the killing of a Catholic taxi driver in July. The UVF is trying to maintain its own ceasefire, even though the IRA has not kept theirs. (Agence France Presse 8/28/96)
Sep 23, 1996 London police shoot dead a suspected IRA man, arrest five others and seize a cache of 10 tons of explosives and detonators in a series of raids. The explosives, they said, were earmarked for an IRA bombing campaign.(Agence France Presse 10/7/96)
Sep 29, 1996 Police in Belfast deactivate a 160-kg (350 pound) car bomb. A Republican splinter group claims the device. (Agence France Presse 10/7/96)
Oct 7, 1996 Two bombs detonate on an army base southwest of Belfast, injuring 20. There is no claim of responsibility. (Agence France Presse 10/7/96)
Nov 7, 1996 The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research agency reports that Catholic men still suffer nearly twice the jobless rate of Protestant men. (Agence France Presse 11/7/99)
Dec 1, 1996 Police uncover 2,500 pounds of explosives near an army base in Northern Ireland. The bomb is believed to have been meant for a passing security patrol, and timed to avoid a Christmas ceasefire. The IRA has not claimed the bomb. (Mirror 12/1/96)
Dec 1996 For the first time in 27 years, the IRA does not call a Christmas cease-fire.
Dec 5, 1996 A Catholic school and two homes were burned by Loyalists in Dunloy, where the Catholic church had earlier been active in preventing Protestant Loyalists from marching through the town. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 12/5/96)
Jan 1997 Various unionist parties involved in the all-party peace talks begin to press for the exclusion of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) from the talks. The two groups are believed to be linked to paramilitaries responsible for killing Catholics over Christmas and January. (Agence France Presse 1/21/97)
Jan 4, 1997 The Ulster Freedom Fighters, a loyalist group, threaten to call off their own cease-fire if the IRA campaign of violence results in one more death. (Agence France Presse 1/5/97)
Jan 6, 1997 The IRA takes responsibility for planting bombs in four Belfast hotels, a train station and a bus station, as well as a rocket attack on a police security post near the Belfast Supreme Court building. Violence and bomb threats - real and otherwise - become almost daily occurrences for the next three months, and are often blamed on the IRA, even when no responsibility is claimed. (Deutsche Press-Agentur 1/6/97)
Jan 7, 1997 Members of the Provisional IRA throw a bomb at a dozen police officers on patrol. None are injured. Roadside mortar attacks by groups of "provos" become increasingly common during this time. (Mirror 1/8/97)
Jan 19, 1997 A newspaper reports that Northern Ireland's chief probation officer plans to fund groups to provide "alternative policing" in nationalist areas which are normally hostile to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, with the provision that the money be for patrolling-type activities, not for intimidation or violence. (Times 1/19/97) In a major change of policy, the United States refuses an entry visa to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, until the IRA agrees to another cease-fire. In the past, Adams had even been received in the White House and treated as a statesman, but the US no longer believes Adams or the IRA "is to be trusted." (Times 1/19/97)
Jan 27, 1997 The government of Northern Ireland unveils a new advertising campaign against sectarian violence. The main feature is an analogy drawn between the 100+ Protestant and Catholic churches and Nazi attacks prior to World War II. (Agence France Presse 1/27/97)
Feb 2, 1997 Thousands of Catholics gather to commemorate the 25th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," when fourteen unarmed people protesting the internment of IRA members were killed by British troops. The anniversary leads to increased calls for a formal inquiry into the matter, which is granted in April 1998. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 2/2/97 and Agence France Presse 4/3/98) IRA member John Hume says that the IRA would declare an immediate cease-fire if British Prime Minister John Major would allow Sinn Fein to come to the peace talks. Major has thus far refused to do so. (Times 2/2/97)
Feb 12, 1997 A British soldier is shot and killed by a sniper while chatting at a checkpoint. US President Clinton announces his disgust at the shooting, and Irish Prime Minister John Bruton denounces the IRA as not respecting the rule of law. (Mirror 2/15/97, Times 2/16/97 and Agence France Presse 2/17/97)
Mar 15, 1997 In light of the shooting of a Catholic father in his home days before, the Irish National Liberation Army warns all unionist and loyalist representatives to stay out of nationalist Catholic areas. (Agence France Presse 3/15/97)
Mar 24, 1997 A special unit of the gardai, the police force of the Republic of Ireland, begins to investigate the assets of the IRA, which are believed to include pubs, security, transport and taxi companies. According to police, these businesses contribute up to 10 million pounds a year to the IRA's terrorism campaign. The firms do business in Ireland because regulations are tighter in Northern Ireland. (Times, 3/30/97)
Mar 26, 1997 Two bombs destroy rail lines between London and Scotland during rush hour. Nobody was hurt, and experts believe that the IRA simply wanted to prove it was still a threat to the British mainland just prior to British elections. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur and Agence France Presse 3/26/97) British intelligence units kill one man during a round of gunfire after the man, and several accomplices, throw a mortar into a British Army compound in Northern Ireland. (Mirror 3/27/97)
Mar 30, 1997 Police defuse a bomb found outside the office of Sinn Fein. Although Protestant paramilitary groups still claim to be adhering to their cease-fire agreement, they are widely believed to be responsible. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 3/30/97)
Apr 10, 1997 The IRA shoots a Royal Ulster Constabulary reservist outside a Northern Ireland courthouse. (Mirror 4/11/97)
Apr 12, 1997 Without declaring a cease-fire, the IRA suspends terrorist activities in time for the upcoming Parliamentary elections. (Times 6/1/97)
Apr 13, 1997 Over 200 Catholics and Protestants riot in a park, which leads to Protestants ransacking two Catholic apartments. The IRA says that eight families fled during the fighting. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 4/13/97 and Times 4/14/97)
Apr 20, 1997 The Royal Ulster Constabulary reports that the Protestant Loyalist Volunteer Force is burning other Protestant buildings and churches in an attempt to create anti-Catholic backlash in time for "Marching Season." Since the beginning of 1996, 44 churches and 71 schools have been burned across Northern Ireland. (Times 4/20/97)
Apr 21, 1997 A fire bomb burns part of the Sinn Fein offices in Belfast. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 4/21/97)
Apr 26, 1997 A Catholic man on his way home from a nightclub is savagely beaten by a mob of 30 Protestants and subsequently dies. The man's friends claim that the police did nothing to prevent the murder. (Agence France Presse 5/8/97)
May 1997 A series of tit-for-tat sectarian killings over a course of weeks leaves six dead (Agence France Presse 5/22/97)
May 14, 1997 The British government proposes the establishment of an independent commission to decide the routes and other matters of contentious Protestant "Marching Season" parades, which celebrate the victory of Protestants over Catholics in Ireland. The commission could also regulate the conduct of the marchers, and charge those marching in defiance of its rules with incitement. (Agence France Presse 5/14/97)
May 21, 1997 The British government and Sinn Fein resume peace talks, although Sinn Fein has not yet been invited to rejoin the continuing all-party peace talks. The IRA has not been blamed for a bomb attack in one month, but it has not yet agreed to a new cease-fire. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 5/21/97)
May 24, 1997 200 Protestants, gathering outside a Catholic church in Harryville which had prevented a Protestant march the week before, clashed with police trying to defend the church. (Deutsche Presse Agentur 5/24/97)
May 29, 1997 US President Bill Clinton calls on the IRA to "lay down your guns for good, so that all parties may work for peace together." (Agence France Presse 5/29/97)
Jun 1, 1997 A caller from the IRA reports that a mine has been left in a civilian field, effectively ending the cessation of IRA terrorist activities. (Times 6/1/97)
Jun 4, 1997 The Northern Ireland Secretary declares the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) and the republican Continuity Army Council (CAC) to be terrorist organizations, and anyone found guilty of belonging to either can face up to six years in prison. (Times 6/4/97)
Jun 8, 1997 Protestants gathering for a weekly attempt to intimidate worshipers at a Catholic church in Ballymena clash with police, injuring 27 and damaging the church. The group has gathered every Saturday night since members of the church prevented a Protestant march from going through their area in September. The priest at the church eventually cancels the Saturday evening worship for the summer, as a "contribution to the peace process." (Agence France Presse 6/8/97 and 6/21/97)
Jun 16, 1997 The British government suspends all official contact with Sinn Fein after the Provisional IRA kills two uniformed policemen. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 6/16/97)
Jun 18, 1997 Fires are discovered in the homes of two guards of the Maze prison. Loyalist prisoners of the Ulster Volunteer Force had threatened similar action during months of protests after a security crackdown and which resulted from an attempted IRA prison break in March. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 6/18/97 and Agence France Presse 3/25/97)
Jun 26, 1997 British Prime Minister Tony Blair announces plans to restart the Northern Ireland Peace talks in September 1997, with the hopes of finishing by May 1998. Sinn Fein is told that if they maintain a cease fire for six weeks, they will be allowed to join the talks. (Times 6/26/97)
Jul 6, 1997 Royal Ulster Constabulary police allow the annual Protestant Drumcree march, despite threats of violence, saying that Catholics would have been even greater targets had they not allowed the march to continue. The Protestants also try to lessen tensions by not playing music and by waving only one Union Jack. During the day, a bomb goes off at a Belfast police station, and the IRA admits to shooting a policewoman. Only 28 people were reported injured in the march itself, but shots were fired at police and vehicles set on fire. This march sets off a week of riots and protesting, which include the hijacking and destruction of two trains, and injure a total of 60 police officers and 49 civilians. The Protestant Orange Order, which arranges the marches, calls off some subsequent marches and reroutes others, leading to dissent within its own ranks by members who feel the leadership gave in to nationalist pressure. (Times 7/6/97 and 7/13/97 and Deutsche Presse-Agentur 7/9/97 and 7/11/97 and Times 7/13/97)
Jul 15, 1997 An 18-year-old woman is shot and killed as she slept in the home of her Protestant boyfriend. The shooting comes one week before the scheduled resumption of peace talks, and attracts international attention. (Agence France Presse 7/15/97)
Jul 19, 1997 The IRA announces a new cease fire, effective the following day, and timed to allow Sinn Fein to participate in the next round of all-party peace talks. (Agence France Presse 7/19/97)
Aug 5, 1997 After two days of talks, members of the Loyal Order of Apprentice Boys and various Catholic and nationalist groups reach a compromise which allows the Apprentice Boys to conduct their annual march, but avoids several Catholic neighborhoods (Agence France Presse 8/4/97 and 8/5/97)
Aug 10, 1997 Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam declares in a newspaper interview that she may release imprisoned terrorists - both nationalist and loyalist - at the end of the month if the IRA cease fire holds. Loyalist groups protest that this is an attempt to buy the IRA's continued peace. (Times 8/11/97)
Aug 27, 1997 The British and Irish governments set up a "decommissioning body," to oversee the surrender of paramilitary weapons by all sides during the peace talks. The Ulster Unionist Party promptly denounces the plan as an empty gesture, because the international commission to collect and dismantle the weapons has not even been put in place. (Agence France Presse 8/27/97)
Sep 15, 1997 The all-party peace negotiations resume. Sinn Fein is allowed to sit at the bargaining table, prompting the Ulster Unionist Party to stay away in protest. The following week, the party joins the talks, but only to argue for the removal of Sinn Fein. By the middle of the second week, eight of the ten parties were involved in the negotiations, with only the Democratic Unionist and the UK Unionist parties staying away. Those two parties make up about 40% of the Unionist vote. (Agence France Presse 9/15/97, Deutsche Presse-Agentur 9/15/97, Times 9/20/97 and 9/26/97)
Sep 18, 1997 The European Commission on Human Rights rules that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland violated the rights of two Catholic public works employees who were denied work on a project because they were considered to be a security risk. The Commission ruled that the workers had no way of rebutting the finding, which was a denial of rights. (Times 9/18/99)
Oct 1997 A series of letter bombs is mailed to various Unionist politicians. (Agence France Presse 10/16/97)
Oct 18, 1997 Loyalists decry legislation in Parliament which would create a Parades Commission to regulate the annual Protestant marches, including determining parade routes, size, and regalia if no independent compromise could be reached. (Times 10/18/97) [The House of Lords approves the legislation on 9 February 1998, in time for the 1998 marching season - Agence France Presse 2/10/98]
Nov 26, 1997 Britain removes 250 paratroopers from Northern Ireland as a cautious first response to the IRA's five-month cease fire. The Northern Ireland Secretary had announced plans the day before to begin turning Northern Ireland's police force into a community policing service instead of an anti-terrorism service. (Agence France Presse 11/26/97)
Nov 30, 1997 The British government announces two peacemaking initiatives: the transfer of Irish terrorists from prisons in England to prisons in Northern Ireland, and a planned meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair, Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlan, and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, and the Prime Minister's residence, 10 Downing Street, on December 11. (Agence France Presse 11/30/97)
Dec 12, 1997 A survey by the Royal Ulster Constabulary finds nearly a third of all Catholic officers have suffered abuse and discrimination at the hands of Protestant superiors. (Agence France Presse 12/12/97)
Dec 13, 1997 The annual Apprentice Boys March drew 1000 Catholic nationalist protestors, upset that the Protestant group refused to reroute their march. The Catholics threw stones and Molotov cocktails at security forces, injuring 3 police officers. Three unknown vandals had damaged a Catholic church the night before. (Agence France Presse 12/13/97)
Dec 22, 1997 A newspaper reports that weekly intimidation of a single Catholic church by a group of Protestants cost the Royal Ulster Constabulary 2 million pounds in extra personnel, equipment, etc. (Times 12/22/97)
Dec 27, 1997 Billy Wright, founder of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, is shot in the Maze prison by three men believed to be members of the Irish National Liberation Army. His death leads to a series of retaliatory strikes, including the shooting of four people, and the burning of several cars in the next few days, and a series of "tit for tat" shootings over the next month. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 12/27/97 and Agence France Presse 12/28/97 and 1/25/98)
Jan 1, 1998 One man is killed and five others are injured when unknown gunmen fire indiscriminately into a Catholic bar during New Year's. This happens as another newspaper reports that the Ulster Defense Association (UDA) and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) are about to vote on whether to continue their three-year cease fire. (Agence France Presse 1/1/98)
Jan 4, 1998 The Loyalist Volunteer Force threatens to use no-warning bomb and gun attacks in Dublin if representatives from the Republic of Ireland do not withdraw from the all-party peace talks, and to escalate violence against nationalists in general. They also claim to that such violence is justified by their experience, which shows that these actions will increase pressure within the nationalist community to end its own violence. (Times 1/4/99)
Jan 26, 1998 The Ulster Democratic Party bows to pressure from the other seven parties in the peace talks and withdraws after some of its militiamen admit to taking part in the killing of Catholics in the preceding weeks. Officials leave open the possibility that the party can rejoin after a few weeks if it continues to renounce violence and none of its members are involved in any more shootings. (Agence France Presse 1/26/98)
Feb 12, 1998 Sinn Fein is threatened with expulsion from the all-party peace talks after police conclusively link the IRA with two sectarian murders in Belfast. The Ulster Democratic Party is invited to return at the same time. After weeks of deliberations, the Sinn Fein is expelled from 20 February until 9 March. (Agence France Presse 2/12/98 and 2/20/98)
Feb 15, 1998 A newspaper reports that the IRA is actually extorting money from drug dealers in Northern Ireland to finance its terrorist campaigns. Dealers not willing to cooperate are shot by other factions of the IRA, who claim to do it for the benefit of the nation. (Times 2/15/98)
Feb 20, 1998 A bomb in the Protestant town of Moira injures 11 on the day Sinn Fein is expelled from the peace talks. It is later blamed on the Continuity IRA, after the IRA denies having set it. Police dismantle a bomb under a taxi owned by a former republican inmate the following day. (Agence France Presse 2/21/98 and Times 2/22/98)
Feb 22, 1998 A thousand Sinn Fein supporters march in Belfast to protest the organization's temporary exclusion from the peace talks. (Agence France Presse 2/22/98)
Mar 29, 1998 British newspapers report that the British army used to set up Catholic assassination targets for the Ulster Defense Army. The report also states that the British would regularly contact IRA members and offer to drop the most serious charges against them if they would surrender. These activities went on in the 1980's. (Times 3/29/98)
Apr 10, 1998 Britain and all factions in Northern Ireland unveil an agreement to let the people of Northern Ireland decide the issue of future control of the area. The deal includes an agreement to turn in all paramilitary weapons and a promise to release "political prisoners" held for terrorism, as well as a revision of the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland to renounce all claims to Northern Ireland. Under the plan, elections to a Northern Ireland assembly would take place in June, provided that a referendum on May 22 approves the settlement. An executive would be nominated from the members of the assembly to co-operate with ministers from Dublin on a special council charged with setting the powers and remit of cross-border bodies. However, if the Unionist-dominated assembly failed to put the new bodies into action by next February the assembly, which until that point would have acted only as a "shadow", would be dissolved. The compromise enables Unionists to claim that they have achieved their objective of maintaining control over the North-South bodies through the assembly. Nationalists can say the North-South bodies are enshrined in legislation passed in Westminster and Dublin and cannot be sabotaged by a Unionist majority. Because this agreement is concluded late on the Friday before Easter, it is subsequently referred to as "Good Friday Agreement," or "The Good Friday Accords."(Times 4/10/98, Deutsche Presse-Agentur 4/10/98 and Agence France Presse 4/20/98 and 4/21/98)
May 2, 1998 A man believed to be a member of the Continuity IRA is shot and killed while attempting a raid on a security van. Five others are arrested. (Times 5/2/98)
May 4, 1998 Unknown groups blow up a train track and launch mortars into a Belfast police station. (Agence France Presse 5/4/98)
May 19, 1998 A Dublin tourism office receives a mail bomb from unknown forces in Ulster. (Agence France Presse 5/19/98)
May 31, 1998 300 Catholic nationalists threw stones, Molotov cocktails, and paint at police in Portadown, in anticipation of the arrival of a group of Orange Order marchers. The Royal Ulster Constabulary is blamed for the incident, since it had not allowed the march to go through the Catholic neighborhood in the past. (Times 5/31/98)
Jul 5, 1998 The annual Orangemen march through Portadown, once again degenerates into a two-week-long standoff between the Protestants who want to march through the town, Catholics who refuse to let them into their neighborhoods, and the police, who want to avoid violence. Several police are injured, despite the temporary stationing of 1,000 British troops in the area as a precaution the week before, and shuttle diplomacy by members of the British government. Violence related to banned marches has already swept the province since Sunday, with police reporting 246 separate attacks on police over the past 48 hours which left 42 officers injured. There were also 330 petrol bomb attacks and a further 522 petrol bombs seized. Thirty-nine homes have been damaged as well as 71 other buildings, including businesses. A total of 101 vehicles were hijacked and a further 213 damaged. Additional 800 troops also sent in. The violence finally ends after an overnight firebomb burns three young boys in their home, provoking international outrage. The march proceeds as a memorial march for the children. A contingent of Orangemen camps at the Drumcree church for the rest of the year, vowing not to leave until they can follow their original route.(Times 6/29/98, Agence France Presse 7/7/98, 7/11/98 and 7/12/98 and Deutsche Presse-Agentur 7/13/98)
Jul 31, 1998 The British House of Commons passes legislation allowing the devolution of power to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Though elections for the assembly were held in June, it has only been a "shadow" until officially sanctioned, which observers hope will happen by early 1999. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 7/31/98)
Aug 9, 1998 Two police officers were injured at the annual Apprentice Boys march, after nationalists separated them from the rest of the police contingent and assaulted them. (Times 8/9/98)
Aug 15, 1998 A car bomb in Omagh kills 28 and injures 220, making it the deadliest bombing in the history of sectarian troubles in Northern Ireland. A warning had been called in to police, but it contained misleading information, and resulted in people moving towards the actual location of the bomb. The "Real IRA," a splinter group which has not agreed to a cease fire, later claims responsibility, but says it never mislead police and that the target was a commercial enterprise, meaning no civilians were supposed to be targeted. (Agence France Presse 8/15/98, 8/16/98, and 8/18/98)
Aug 19, 1998 Hundreds of people in Dundalk and Blackrock hold a silent vigil to protest nationalist violence in the wake of the Omagh bomb. The leaders of the Real IRA and the 32 County Sovereignty Committee live in the town. (Agence France Presse 8/19/98)
Sep 1, 1998 The British government passes emergency legislation authorizing the police to seize the homes and assets of terrorists who belong to groups not committed to the peace process. This means that the IRA and Ulster forces will not be subject to the measure, since their political wings have signed on to the Good Friday accords. (Times 9/1/98)
Sep 2, 1998 The first group of the Northern Ireland terrorists freed under the Good Friday accords is released. (Times 9/2/98)
Sep 26, 1998 2000 Orangemen march in Portadown to protest the blocking of their traditional parade route in July. (Agence France Presse 9/26/98)
Oct 31, 1998 By today Northern Ireland's new ministerial executive was supposed to have agreed 12 areas of cross-border co-operation with Dublin. That has not happened because David Trimble of the Ulster Union Party will not form an executive that includes Sinn Fein until IRA disarmament has begun.(Times 10/31/98)
Nov 26, 1998 An Ulster Television reporter is hooded and taken to a secret location, where views a meeting and show of strength by a new loyalist group, the Orange Volunteers, who threaten to kill an IRA members freed under the Good Friday Accords. They also claim responsibility for a series of earlier attacks by the Red Hand Defenders. (Times 11/28/98)
Dec 18, 1998 The Loyalist Volunteer Force delivers its arms to the international center on disarmament in Belfast, becoming the first paramilitary group to decommission its weapons. An agreement reached the night before stated that all arms turned in accordance with the Good Friday Accords would be destroyed without being tested to see if they had been used in any way. (Agence France Presse 12/18/98)
Jan 2, 1999 Over 3000 Protestants demonstrate in Portadown, demanding the right to hold the Drumcree March in July. The protests have been a regularly organized event held by the Orange Lodge since its march in July 1998 was banned. (Agence France Presse 1/2/99 and Times 1/3/99)
Jan 10, 1999 The British government offers a Portadown neighborhood 15 million pounds if it can resolve differences between nationalists and the Loyal Orange Order prior to the transfer of control of Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The money would address nationalist grievances, provide leisure activities, improve housing and promote job training in the area, but would actually save the government money by reducing the amount it needs to spend policing the area. Nationalists call the offer a bribe, and Orangemen are similarly resistant. (Times 1/10/99)
Jan 15, 1999 Eight men and women are arrested after shooting at a police station. An IRA faction known as the Continuity IRA is believed responsible. It is the only group that has not agreed to a cease fire. (Agence France Presse 1/15/99)
Jan 25, 1999 Police statistics show that since the beginning of 1999, there had been 28 shootings and assaults by paramilitaries: 15 by Protestant loyalists and 13 by Catholic republicans. Some blame the recent release of former terrorists from prison for the upsurge in violence. (Agence France Presse 1/28/99)
Jan 31, 1999 A former IRA member, Paddy Fox, is kidnapped and held by unknown forces for nine hours. The day he was kidnapped, a London newspaper had carried an interview with him, in which he explained why he opposed the IRA peace efforts. (Agence France-Presse 1/31/99)
Mar 15, 1999 The Red Hand Brigade kills Rosemary Nelson in a car bomb attack, sparking several protests. Nelson, a Catholic lawyer, had represented families in Portadown against the Protestant Orange Order marchers. (Agence France-Presse 3/15/99)
Mar 20, 1999 Police defuse a bomb outside the home of Vincent McKenna, a former IRA member and current spokesperson for Families against Intimidation and Terror (Fait). Fait regularly speaks out against IRA "punishment" beatings of criminals, and the intimidation it uses to drive criminals into exile out of Northern Ireland. (Agence France-Presse 3/20/99)
Mar 28, 1999 David Trimble, Ulster Unionist Party leader and first minister of the provisional Northern Ireland government, tries to bargain with Sinn Fein. The IRA has refused thus far to decommission their weapons, as required by the Good Friday Accords. Trimble offers to allow Sinn Fein to come to the bargaining table if the IRA makes some effort at turning in some of their weapons, as verified by a neutral third party. Otherwise, they will be excluded from the executive branch of the government, and Trimble may resign, which would cause a reevaluation of the accords. (Times 3/28/99)
Apr 17, 1999 Ulster University releases its report "Troubles: The Human Costs," in which it shows that the IRA was responsible for 1,684 of the killings compared to 983 attributed to loyalist paramilitaries, 318 to the Army and 53 to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and casting doubt on its claim to be the defender of the Catholic community. It points to the high number of Catholics hurt or killed by the IRA in punishment attacks. (Times 4/17/99)
May 4, 1999 David Trimble meets with Catholics and others to head off potential conflicts concerning the annual Drumcree marches. It is the first time he has been involved. While no members of the Loyal Orange Order, which organizes the marches, attend, they later decide to not make a show of strength during the annual July 12 march, and to hold smaller local events on that day instead. (Agence France-Presse 5/4/99 and 5/13/99)
May 29, 1999 Violence erupts after Protestants try to follow an Orange Order parade into a Catholic neighborhood. Four policemen and a Catholic teenager are injured. (Agence France Presse 5/29/99)
Jun 5, 1999 Five Protestant loyalists are arrested after launching two firebomb attacks on mixed Protestant-Catholic families, which kill one woman. (Agence France Presse 6/5/99)
Jun 7, 1999 A bomb is defused outside a Catholic school near the Catholic church which had protested the Orange Order marches. (Agence France Presse 6/7/99)
Jul 2, 1999 A new peace agreement worked out by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Republic Taoiseach Bertie Ahern allows the IRA to delay turning in its weapons until September. Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists are scheduled to begin sharing the government of Northern Ireland on July 15. David Trimble, however, rejects the proposal three days later. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur 7/3/99 and Times 7/5/99)
Jul 5, 1999 Protestants protest the exclusion from a Catholic neighborhood during the annual Drumcree marches, but no serious injuries or incidents are reported. (Agence France-Presse 7/6/99)
Jul 12, 1999 British Parliament officially passes a law allowing the devolution of power to the new power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. It does allow the British to dissolve the new government if the IRA does not disarm by May 2000. (Agence France-Presse 7/12/99)
Jul 15, 1999 The Ulster Unionist Party rejects the government compromise, refusing to form a government with Sinn Fein until the IRA disarms. The Good Friday Accords require that each of the ten parties nominate one member to the Northern Irish executive, but the Ulster Unionists' refusal to do so will derail the accords. (Times 7/15/99)
Jul 22, 1999 The US Congress votes to stop training Northern Ireland's Royal Ulster Constabulary forces after allegations are made that the RUC colluded in the murder of two IRA paramilitaries. (Times 7/23/99)
Aug 14, 1999 Protests surrounding the annual Apprentice Boys' March leave 19 police and an unknown number of protestors injured, with a total of over 200 firebombs tossed around the province. The parade route, approved by the nonpartisan Parades Commission, went straight through the contested Nationalist neighborhood of Ormeau Road. Nationalists had blocked the road. (Times 8/14/99)
Aug 29, 1999 British Intelligence MI5 warns that the IRA is building up its arsenal with weapons - including high-powered sniper rifles - which it is not reporting to the authorities. Many of these weapons are being smuggled in from the US. (Times 8/29/99)
Sep 9, 1999 The British government unveils its proposals to reform the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The plan includes the recruitment of more Catholic and female officers, cutting the total force, dropping insignia that refer to the British monarch (like crowns), and allowing Sinn Fein to have two seats on the 19-seat RUC oversight board. Ulster Unionists protest the proposals. (Agence France-Presse 9/9/99)
Sep 25, 1999 Unionists march to Stormont to protest the formation of a government with Sinn Fein, which still has not disarmed. (Agence France-Presse 9/25/99)
Sep 27, 1999 Open hearings into the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972 begin. (Agence France-Presse 9/27/99)

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