Timeline of Recent Unrest, Sectarianism, Paramilitary Activity and Developments in the Peace Process

Return to main page

Developments March 2009 - December 2010
Developments 2011
Developments 2012
Developments 2013
Developments 2014
Developments 2015

December 2015 January 2016 February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016
December 2016 Latest January 2017

January 2016

1st The RNU issued a statement in which they said: 'To those of you who may have veered from the path, we would remind you of those who have gone before us and ask that you do not allow their sacrifice be in vain. In a year when it will be very socially acceptable to remember our Republican roots, it is our duty to continue the fight for an end to partition.'

Sinn Féin said 'the greatest safeguard against Tory misrule in the North is the peaceful ending of partition and the building of an agreed, united Ireland – a real republic.'

2nd A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Banbridge.

5th Services were held to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Kingsmill Massacre.

Former RAF pilot Mike Johnston said he had 'the greatest respect' for the professionalism and beliefs of the IRA members who shot him down.

6th The 'Hooded Men' group, who were tortured after their arrest in the 1970s, faced another delay in their case.

Two witnesses told how they had been abused as children by a British soldier at the Manor House in Lisburn.

Gardaí said that the threat of republican violence was increasing.

7th Gerry Adams claimed that Taoiseach Enda Kenny had accepted partition.

8th A security alert took place in Derry.

James Nesbitt said more should be done to help victims of the Troubles.

Planning permission was announced for the regeneration of a former Military of Defence site in Derry.

Sinn Féin's Phil Flanagan agreed to pay damages to former unionist leader Tom Elliot. Flanagan had tweeted that he wondered 'how many people [Elliot] harassed and shot as a member of the UDR'.

10th The DUP's Arlene Foster said she would not attend Easter Rising events because the Rising had been 'a very violent attack on the state' which 'gave succour to violent republicanism'.

The funeral of civil rights activist Paddy Doherty took place.

11th DUP leader Arlene Foster became the the first minister.

It was reported that George Mitchell, former peace broker in NI, would lead the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York.

14th A security alert in Lurgan was declared a hoax.

17th An application to dismiss a case against Keith McConnan and Orla O'Hanlon for bomb-making was rejected.

A lawyer accused the PSNI of blocking inquiries into killings by the RUC.

21st A security alert occurred in east Belfast.

It was reported that the decision not to prosecute a soldier who shot dead a Catholic, Aidan Anespie, in 1988, would be reviewed.

Martin McGuinness indicated that he would seriously consider attending the Twelfth of July celebrations if invited.

22nd In west Belfast, a teenager fell victim to a paramilitary punishment shooting.

Police found a military-grade rifle during a search in Strabane.

23rd There were reports of a gun and ammunition found in Strabane after a security alert. The reports may have been confused with a discovery from the previous day, linked to the New IRA.

24th Two alerts occurred on the railway line in Lurgan. Later that night, rioting occurred in Lurgan and more than one hundred petrol bombs were thrown at police.

A remembrance ceremony took place for the Kingmill Massacre.

25th After the Lurgan alert, the PSNI tapped into an internet trend with the slogan 'don't be like Dissident Dan'.

The Irish News reported that the IRA commander responsible for plans to blow up the fish shop on the Shankill road had been a British informant. The PSNI's Chief Constable later dismissed claims that the RUC had known about the attack in advance.

28th Guns were found in a car parked by a cemetery in Derry.

Lord Justice Weir disputed claims that the Ministry of Defence was not able to properly resource its work on some inquests into Troubles deaths.

29th The Police Ombudsman's office called for a dedicated team to deal with four UVF murders - those of Craig McCausland, Jackie Coulter, Bobby Mahood and Bobby Moffat.

Return to top

February 2016

3rd Controversy blew up over the appearance of IRA man Sean Hughes in a Sinn Féin fundraising video.

Sinn Féin's Phil Flanagan was ordered to pay the UUP's Tom Elliot nearly £50,000 for falsely alleging that he had shot people.

4th The DUP's Arlene Foster expressed support for the victims of the Shankill Bomb in their search for truth.

The PSNI rejected a request from PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton for a special committee to oversee the investigation into the activities of the Army agent codenamed Stakeknife.

5th During the night, shots were fired at a house in Lurgan.

The Northern Ireland Officer said that there would be no more funding for legacy investigations.

A court heard that the police would have to examine nearly 10 million intelligence records to disclose documents for a legal action over the killing of eight IRA men at Loughhall.

David Byrne, a gangster, was shot dead in a boxing club in Dublin. The Continuity IRA later claimed responsibility, saying they were targetting drug dealers and criminals.

7th The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said that the British government should get more involved in the funding of legacy issues.

8th On the day that the CIRA claimed responsibility for shooting dead gangster David Byrne, 59-year-old Eddie Hutch was killed, apparently in retaliation for Byrne's death. RTÉ reported that 'this is a serious escalation in what has already become a murderous feud between two violent, dangerous and well-armed criminal gangs, one based in Dublin the other whose roots are in Spain'.

9th Arlene Foster of the DUP spoke of the 'difficulties' between herself and Martin McGuinness. McGuinness had spoken at the funeral of a man Foster believed had tried to kill her father.

10th Damien "Dee" Fennell, a republican activist, went on trial for 'encourging support for a proscribed organisation, namely the Irish Republican Army'.

Irish diplomat Dan Mulhall said that if the UK exited the EU, it would create uncertainty about the border between the North and the Republic.

11th Judgement was reserved in the case of a young couple from south Armagh, Keith McConnan and Orla O'Hanlon, accused of bomb-making offences.

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers denied that misconduct by security forces during the Troubles had been rife.

12th Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice, said that remaining legacy inquests could be dealt with in five years if he had the funding.

14th Gardaí identified one of the six gunmen who killed David Byrne as a member of the CIRA.

15th Arlene Foster of the DUP said she would be going to an Easter Rising event, but it was 'not a commemoration'.

17th Republicans Colin Duffy and Alex McCrory were released on bail after two years awaiting trial.

A report by Queen's University in Belfast recommended new limits to flying flags in Northern Ireland.

Newtownstewart Orange hall was attacked for the second time in two nights.

18th A man was shot in the leg on Ardmonagh Parade in west Belfast.

19th The Grandmaster of the Orange Order visited the hall at Newtownstewart which had been attacked, and condemned the attacks.

Masked men claiming to be from the IRA attacked a woman in her home in west Belfast.

21st Martin McGuinness condemned the 'language and lies' directed at Sinn Féin.

23rd The police used new powers to seize New IRA money.

24th Police raided a house on Aspen Walk in Twinbrook in the early hours of the morning, shortly after a man had been shot in the leg in Glasvey Drive.

25th Seamus Daly, accused of involvement in the Omagh bombing, appeared in court in Omagh for the first time.

A pipe bomb was discovered at Fortfield Place in north Belfast.

26th Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, alleged ex-IRA chief, was jailed in the Republic for tax evasion.

28th A house in Derry was attacked in what police called a sectarian hate crime.

Return to top

March 2016

1st The case against Seamus Daly, accused of involvement in the Omagh bombing, collapsed after a witness proved unreliable.

4th A prison officer was injured after a bomb exploded under his van. The PSNI expressed fears that republicans opposed to the peace process might escalate attacks during the centenary of the Easter Rising. Three days later, the New IRA claimed the attack.

Nothing was found following a security alert at Thiepval Barracks. However, a loaded gun was found in Craigavon.

5th Two viable bombs were found during security alerts in Belfast.

The British Army played their first official Gaelic football match in London.

6th A viable device was found in Gelvin Gardens, Derry.

Police reported the finding of bomb making components and explosives at Carnfunnock in Ballygally near Larne.

7th Loyalist Jamie Bryson failed in his appeal to have his flag protest conviction overturned.

It was reported that the Prison Service director Sue McAllister had asked for a new security assessment in light of the recent attack on a prison officer.

8th It was reported that the Public Prosecution Service would not prosecute in the case of Daniel Hegarty, who had been shot dead by a British soldier in 1972.

Shots were fired at a house in Craigavon.

9th It was reported that the cross-border crime task force, set up to deal with paramilitary activity and organised crime, was ready to carry out its first operation.

A pipe bomb was found on Upper Dunmurry Lane, Belfast.

Northern Ireland's victims commissioner, Judith Thompson, accused the government of 'hiding' from Troubles cases.

10th The Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory, said that the number of Troubles prosecutions was likely to be very low. He said 'look at this week - the criticisms and bitterness and disappointment that has been brought about in two cases. Let's multiply that by many, once we embark upon the investigation and potential prosecution of the four decades of the conflict.'

11th A man was charged over an attack on a prison officer a week earlier. Meanwhile, the PSNI claimed they had stopped several other assassination plots following this attack. They said several hundred people were involved in republican paramilitary activity. 'The leaders are often experienced former IRA members and some factions often share resources and co-operate with criminal gangs on an ad-hoc basis.'

Martin McGuinness called for a border poll if the UK left the EU.

A report by the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre showed that sectarian divisions caused up to £833 million additional costs for public services.

12th A man was arrested for shining a laser at a police helicopter in Newry.

13th In the early hours of the morning, homes were evacuated in a security alert on Cathedral Road in Armagh.

15th Adrian Ismay, the prison officer injured in a recent bomb attack, died of a heart attack.

It was reported that John Gerard McCann, who was wanted in Portugal on weapons trafficking charges, would not be extradited because of his health.

16th Gerry Adams was refused entr to the White House St Patrick's Day event due to security concerns.

18th Christopher Alphonsos Robinson was charged with the murder of Adrian Ismay.

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers was ordered to appear in court to give sworn testimony over the 'hooded men.'

21st It was reported that a former British soldier who had served in Crossmaglen had met one of the players in a GAA team at the town.

A man 'known to the police' was shot outside a school in Craigavon.

22nd The funeral of prison officer Adrian Ismay was held.

25th In a Dublin church commemoration, victims of the Rising and the Troubles were remembered, including Irish rebels, British soldiers, IRA members, loyalist paramilitaries, policemen and women, prison officers, civil rights marchers, judges and civilians.

Tony Blair
said there was no support for paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, but more work was needed to end segregation.

26th Masked republicans took part in an Easter parade in Lurgan. Unionist politicians called it 'deeply concerning' as 'the days of masked men parading through our streets should be gone'.

27th Easter parades were held in the North and South. Gerry Adams told crowds in Belfast that sectarianism must be tackled.

28th Police said they were investigating republican paramilitary parades that had been held over the weekend in Lurgan, Coalisland and Ardoyne.

Petrol bombs were thrown at police in Lurgan and Derry. Two 15-year-olds were later charged over the Lurgan incident.

29th The Guardian reported the Easter statement of the New IRA. It said:'As we look to the future Britain is stuck in their colonial past. While their occupation, the accompanying denial of national self-determination and partition remain the IRA will continue to target any and all of those who assist in those injustices.'

The DUP's Arlene Foster complained to police about CS spray used during a junior Orange Order parade in Belfast.

30th A security alert occurred at the Public Prosecution Service offices in Derry, but bomb disposal officers found nothing untoward.

31st The Irish President Michael Higgins pulled out of a civic dinner to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, after the DUP said they would not attend. He had accepted the invitation initially on the basis that there was cross-party support.

Return to top

April 2016

1st The Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin made a public statement on the policing of republican and loyalist parades. He said 'I can tell you that I police those [parades] in an impartial, consistent way. I have to make different decisions based on different contexts, unfortunately we are a divided society.'

Following President Higgins' decision to withdraw from a civic dinner commemorating the Easter Rising, the UUP also withdrew.

The PSNI Chief Constable, George Hamilton, said he wanted more Catholic officers in the force.

3rd Republicans opposed to the peace process demonstrated against the inclusion of British war dead on a memorial at the Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

The Moy GAA club was damaged by arsonists for the second time in seven months. The club chairman said it was 'very disappointing and shocking really. We have Protestant members, playing members within the club and there's no reason whatsoever for our club to be targeted that way'.

4th It was reported that a memorial to victims of the Teebane massacre had been vandalised for the second time in five weeks.

It was reported that Conradh na Gaeilge would challenge the the Northern Ireland Executive in court over claims that the government had failed to implement an Irish language strategy.

5th The BBC interviewed young people about their views on the state of NI politics. Their politics teacher commented that they 'were not motivated by the old orange/green politics. They are very issue-driven and looking for a party that represents them'.

6th Theresa Villiers was accused withholding sensitive information in the Hooded Men case.

7th A man was charged over the sectarian murder of Paul McCauley.

Sean Kelly, the Shankill bomber, was questioned and released over the murder of alleged drug dealer Conor McKee.

10th Former US senator and Northern Ireland peace negotiator George Mitchell attended a special reconciliation event in Dublin.

11th During the inquest into the death of 11-year-old Francis Rowntree, killed by a rubber bullet in 1972, a witness testified that there had been no rioting or burning cars in the area, but they had been near an army vehicle.

13th Buckingham Palace responded to a letter from a Dublin schoolboy requesting the Six Counties back. Their reply said 'this is not a matter in which Her Majesty would intervene'.

14th Cairnshill Methodist Church in south Belfast was damaged in an arson attack.

15th Michael McGibbon was shot and fatally wounded in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast. Police said the attack bore the hallmarks of a paramilitary killing.

16th A man was assaulted in his house by an armed gang in the early hours of the morning.

18th Prominent Belfast republican Dee Fennell, who was opposed to the peace process, was released unconditionally after his arrest for the killing of Michael McGibbon. First Minister Arlene Foster called on the public to assist in investigation.

A man was shot twice in the leg in the Creggan area of Derry.

19th It was reported that the Attorney General had asked the Public Prosecution Service to review a decision not to prosecute any police officers after the shooting of IRA man Colum Marks in April 1991.

25th A man known to the Gardaí for involvement in republican paramilitary activity was shot dead in Dublin. It was believed to have been part of a gangland feud.

26th It was reported that lawyers for former IRA man Lawyers for Anthony McIntyre were taking action to stop tapes of his interviews with Boston College being handed over to the police.

28th Shots were fired at a house in Tobermore in the early hours of the morning.

Boston College challenged the subpeona issued on behalf of Anthony McIntyre.

30th A man was shot in the leg during the early hours of the morning in the New Lodge area of north Belfast.

Return to top

May 2016

2nd Gerry Adams apologised for an inappropriate racial remark on Twitter. He had been comparing the situation of Catholics in Ballymurphy to slaves in America.

3rd Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan's radical plan for inquests into some of the Trouble's most controversial killings, including Ballymurphy, failed to obtain funding.

4th 20-year-old Orla O'Hanlon was acquitted of running a bomb-making factory.

5th Police arrested 15 men at the funeral of republican Michael Barr, who had been killed in the Sunset House pub in Dublin on 25 April.

6th It was reported that a man accused of murdering police officer Adrian Ismay had been arrested twice.

9th DUP MP Gregory Campbell refused to apologise for calling Sinn Féin's Raymond McCartney a 'failed hunger striker'.

A 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg in north Belfast. Earlier, a man in his twenties had also been shot. Gerry Kelly of Sinn Féin said 'two young men have already been killed in these type of attacks in North Belfast over recent months. The people behind these attacks have been rejected by the people of the North Belfast at the ballot box.'

That evening, Dan Murray was shot dead in west Belfast after responding to a bogus fast food call-out. His girlfriend said 'everybody knows who is doing it, the dogs in the street know who is behind it and nobody is standing up to them'.

10th A protest took place in west Belfast against paramilitary violence.

11th British Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the threat level from republicans opposed to the peace process had risen. According to the BBC, 'it is understood this assessment reflects concerns about the activities of the group widely referred to as the New IRA'.

12th It was reported that the Orange Hall in Brookmount Road, Moneymore, had been damaged in an arson attack.

14th A 51-year-old man was remanded over a punishment shooting.

A girl was attacked in the Falls Park area in what police later called a sectarian hate crime.

In the evening, a weapons hide was found at Capanagh Forest near Larne.

15th A man was shot in the ankles in Ballymagroarty.

A bomb was made safe in Cushendun.

First Minister Arlene Foster of the DUP said that the security level in Britain was 'alarming'.

16th A court heard that traces of Semtex explosive had been found on Sean McVeigh's coat.

17th Police said that the find at Capanagh Forest was 'one of most significant in recent years'. According to the BBC, 'based on location alone, the analysis would be that the items found most likely belonged to loyalist paramilitaries. But, the nature of what was found suggests otherwise. The presence of an improvised armour-piercing rocket, Claymore mines and component parts of under-car booby-trap bombs points the finger of suspicion firmly in the direction of dissident republicans.'

18th Rathfriland Baptist Church was damaged in a late-night arson attack.

21st Two Protestant teenagers were assaulted in what they said was a sectarian attack. One of the boys said 'if I do ever go up past that area again, I'll be scared to go up past it. It makes me feel annoyed that I can't go somewhere without being attacked because of my religion.'

22nd A petrol bomb was thrown at a car in Carrickfergus.

23rd Kingsmill massacre survivor Alan Black described his experience in court.

24th Seven schools in Northern Ireland received hoax bomb threats. This followed hoax threats made to English schools the previous day.

Former Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan Dowdall and his father appeared in court in Dublin's Special Criminal Court, 'charged with firearms offences and intent to commit false imprisonment'.

25th A new team of ministers was appointed to the Northern Ireland power-sharing executive.

A security alert closed roads in Derry.

Alan Black continued to give evidence regarding the Kingsmill Massacre. He described how 18-year-old Robert Chambers cried out for his mother before being shot.

26th An event in Dublin remembered British soldiers killed in the 1916 Rising. A protester was tackled by the Canadian ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers.

27th Explosive parts were found during a 'planned search' in Strabane.

28th A security alert in Newtownbutler was found to be an 'elaborate hoax'.

An unauthorised republican parade took place in Kilwilkie.

29th A man was appeared in court accused of taking part in an unnotifed parade in Lurgan.

Return to top

June 2016

1st Police re-opened their inquiry into the Kingmill massacre after palm prints found on the van matched fingerprints on file.

Paddy Hill said that the decision to re-open the inquest into the Birmingham pub bombings was a first step to finding the truth. He accused the judiciary, government and Birmingham police of a 'massive cover-up'.

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness laid a wreath at the Flanders battlefield.

Former Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan lost his legal battle after being denied insurance for a libel award made against him. He had accused Ulster Unionist MP Tom Elliott of shooting people.

2nd The DUP blocked funding for new gates in Glenariff over 'IRA names' on the gate.

Police were given extra time to question loyalist Winston Rea over two murders.

3rd A masked gang attacked a man with baseball bats in Newtownabbey.

Sinn Féin launched their campaign against Britain's exit from the European Union, which would be decided on June 23rd. Their stance was that 'The European Union is far from perfect but the only way to address that and change it is from within. Our policy towards the European Union remains one of critical engagement. Brexit would be bad for Ireland, bad for business and trade, bad for our farmers and bad for human rights and workers' rights.' Meanwhile, former Northern Ireland Secretary Lord Mandelson accused Theresa Villers of 'putting her fingers in her ears' over claims that Brexit could harden the border between North and South. Villiers had said that the Common Travel Area, which allowed people to move freely between North and South, had been in place before the EU existed. However, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee claimed that Brexit would put the CTA into question.

It was reported that the details of investigations into the Loughinisland murders and Stakeknife would be released on the same day.

4th Paint was thrown at Crewe Orange Hall in what police treated as a hate crime.

5th A man was shot in Cookstown by two attackers in balaclavas and camouflage jackets. A 19-year-old man was also shot in north Belfast.

A memorial to ten men from Co. Fermanagh who had received the Victoria Cross was unveiled at Enniskillen.

6th Belfast loyalist Winston 'Winkie' Rea was charged with the murders of two Catholic workmen that had taken place twenty years previously.

British chancellor George Osborne said that more stringent checks on the border between North and South would be inevitable if Britain voted to leave the European Union on June 23rd.

7th An independent panel suggested a new decommissioning scheme for dealing with fresh requests from paramilitary groups that wanted to put their arms beyond use.

It was reported that police might seek immunity over tapes in the Boston inquiry. They wanted to to keep their reasons for access to some of the Boston Tapes a secret.

8th The Kingsmill inquiry was adjourned. Coroner Brian Sherrard said 'My obligation to the deceased, to the families of the deceased and to the community as a whole, and in the interests of justice, demand that the police be allowed the opportunity to investigate this new lead'.

9th Former British prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major both said that Britain's potential exit from the European Union would threaten the unity of the United Kingdom. Major said 'Throw away the membership of Europe and don't be surprised if in the end, as a consequence, we accidentally throw away our union as well'.

An ombudsman reporting on the Loughinisland murders confirmed that there had been collusion between the killers and police. The court heard how informers within the ranks of loyalist paramilitaries, who had been involved in bringing a huge consignment of weapons from South Africa, had been protected from police investigation.

10th MP Lady Sylvia Herman called on the Northern Irish Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to clarify the status of the border between North and South if Britain chose to exit the European Union on 23rd June. Villiers responded: 'It really is a scare story to say that suddenly we are going to have Troubles-style security checks and towers around the border. It is not going to happen. We can keep an open border with the Republic of Ireland.'

It was reported that the investigation into Stakeknife, the Army's most high-ranking agent in the IRA would also examine possible crimes by IRA members, agents, Army and police handlers.

Villiers refused to withdrew comments she had made about collusion following the report on the Loughinisland murders. She had said that claims of state collusion with paramilitaries were a 'deliberate distortion of the truth'.

A Belfast court heard that none of the six suspects in the Shankill bombing had been issued 'comfort letters' while on the run.

During a BBC programme, the DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson commented that a republican informer had 'saved his life'. He said 'Because of that information, steps were taken to safeguard my life. I will forever be indebted to that person'.

12th A flat in Lisburn was attacked using petrol bombs in the early hours of the morning.

Former head of the World Trade Organisation Peter Sutherland said that a vote for the UK to leave the European Union, which would occur on June 23rd, would be 'an act of wanton destruction' on Northern Ireland's economic viability, and that NI would suffer more than any other part of the UK. Secretary of State Theresa Villiers disagreed, saying that Brexit would bring 'fantastic opportunities'.

14th The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a second visit to Northern Ireland.

15th Chief Constable George Hamilton said he was surprised that the police ombudsman had not recommended Loughinisland charges.

Pipe bomb parts were found during a security alert in North Belfast.

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that a vote for Brexit on June 23rd could mean checks on the border between North and South.

16th Pipe bombs were found in Derry. Police said they could be linked to republican paramilitaries.

It was reported that two primary schools, one Catholic and one Church of Ireland were to make history by merging into a joint faith school. The two schools were Knocknagin and Desertmartin.

17th Police arrested a man in connection with the fatal shooting of republican Michael Barr.

18th Sinn Féin criticised the council after an Easter Rising memorial at Carnlough was removed. The DUP said that the council had not given permission for the memorial.

19th A vigil was held in Belfast for Jo Cox, a Labour MP murdered in Yorkshire during the British EU referendum campaign by man who wanted 'freedom for Britain, death to traitors'.

21st 1.5kg of explosives were found at flats in New Lodge, Belfast.

The DUP took out an advertisement in a British newspaper in support of Brexit, with the headline 'take back control'. However, Theresa May predicted that Irish border controls might be introduced if Britain pulled out of the European Union.

23rd Voting took place in the referendum on whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union.

24th Britain voted to leave the European Union, although Northern Ireland voted to remain. There was uncertainty about whether the Common Travel Area would continue. Unionists, and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, had supported Brexit, whereas republicans had favoured Remain. First Minister Arlene Foster said that Leave voters had 'backed hope, they backed aspiration' while Mike Nesbitt of the UUP said 'despite the clear majority within Northern Ireland voting to remain within the European Union, we must respect the overall result'. Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness argued that 'the British government has no democratic mandate to represent the views of the north in any future negotiations with the European Union and I think there is a democratic imperative for a border poll.' Villiers ruled out the call for a border poll. It was reported that large numbers of people in Northern Ireland had applied for Irish passports.

Enda Kenny, speaking for the Irish government, said that they had a contingency plan in place. He spoke briefly to British prime minister David Cameron after the result had been made clear. Cameron himself resigned in the wake of the election. Enda Kenny said that he did not consider a border poll one of the more serious issues.

The US Vice President Joe Biden, who was visiting Co. Meath, urged the people of Northern Ireland not to be shaken by the Brexit result.

25th It was reported that republicans opposed to the peace process were seizing the moment to fight partition. Plunkett Nugent of the 1916 Societies said: 'Brexit has lifted a veil of deceit in relation to the border and the partition of Ireland. Thursday’s vote and the outcome means the border will be physically manifested again. It shows there still is a border, as well as the political reality of partition.' A republican close to the New IRA commented that 'For the first time, anti-Good Friday agreement republicans are on the same side as the apolitical people in the street here in Derry – the men and women who are furious that while they voted to stay in the EU the English voters were the ones that counted.'

A man was shot in the legs in Turf Lodge.

26th Muckery Orange Hall was damaged by fire in the early hours of the morning.

Theresa Villiers said that ultimately Parlimanent would decide on Brexit. Meanwhile, Martin McGuinness called for 'special arrangements which take account of the democratically expressed wishes of the people of the north of Ireland and Scotland'.

27th Businessman Declan Billington claimed that Northern Ireland's agricultural industry could be threatened by cheaper South American imports following Brexit. However, the chief executive of 'Invest NI' said he was excited about the lifting of the state aid 'challenges' of EU membership. The DUP's Arlene Foster also claimed that Brexit 'offered opportunities'. NI Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen said she wanted to see free movement of livestock across the Irish border as part of new trading arrangements with the EU.

David Cameron ruled out a border poll on Irish unity.

Meanwhile in the turmoil consuming the British Labour Party after the result, Dave Anderson became the new shadow Northern Ireland secretary.

28th It was reported that talks between the Orange Order and the Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association had stalled and ultimately collapsed.

Debate continued over the effects of Brexit on the Northern Irish economy. William Wright, who founded Wrightbus, said he had voted for Leave because of immigration. However, Jack Hamilton of Mash Direct said that the vote was like being 'kicked in the back of the legs'.

29th Far-right graffiti was sprayed on a house in Orangefield, Armagh. The house was occupied by foreign nationals.

The Special EU Programmes Body said that funding would still be available until 2020, including cash for peace programmes.

Martin McGuinness announced that he would press the case for Northern Ireland's EU status.

EU Commissioner Phil Hogan said it was too early to say if Ireland's unique trading relationship with the UK would be affected by Brexit.

It was reported that residents feared a huge bonfire on Chobham Street, that had forced fifty families from their homes in 2015, could be rebuilt.

A man was shot in the legs in Carrickfergus.

30th It was reported that there would be a new investigation into the killing by the RUC of IRA man Colum Marks.

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said that republican paramilitaries had carried out 27 attacks during 2016.

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill said she had 'real fears' about the impact of a UK exit from the EU on Northern Ireland's health service.

Return to top

July 2016

1st Tanvally and Corbet halls were targeted in sectarian attacks overnight.

The Equality Committee told Newry and Mourne District Council to vote again over the decision to name a play park after hunger striker Raymond McCreesh.

2nd Police warned people to be vigilant after a device was reported to have been left near a courthouse in Strabane. Searches had failed to locate the device.

3rd The SDLP MP Mark Durkan said that the DUP and Sinn Féin were unable to come up with the best deal for Northern Ireland's future relationship with the EU. Meanwhile, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced he was considering setting up a forum to work on all-Ireland issues in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the EU.

4th It was reported that a new play park would be moved to protect it from the Chobham Street bonfire.

Enda Kenny's idea of an post-Brexit forum was not discussed at the North South Ministerial meeting in Dublin.

5th Shots were fired at a house in Coleraine just after midnight.

The Housing Executive reported that some of its members had been threatened in the New Lodge area of north Belfast. Sinn Fein MLA Carál Ní Chuilín called for the threats to be lifted immediately. She said 'those behind these threats do not have the support of the local area and in fact at war with the community'.

7th It was reported that republican Ivor Bell would stand trial over the murder of Jean McConville.

8th Police investigated a banner playing tribute to LVF paramilitary Billy Wright in Dungannon.

9th A racial assault occurred on Tates Avenue in South Belfast. A man and a boy were later arrested.

In Dublin, a man was arrested and detained under the Offences Against the State Act. Meanwhile, a bomb and components were found during searches in Creggan and Galliagh.

The Rossnowlagh Orange Order parade took place.

10th The UUP condemned the burning of Sinn Féin posters on a Portadown bonfire.

11th A cat was badly burned in a bonfire. It was reported that people had known the animal was in the bonfire before they set light to it.

A security alert on the Crumlin Road ended when nothing untoward was found.

12th The Supreme Court in Ireland dismissed an appeal by the State against the release of three republicans who had been convicted in England of trying to buy weapons and explosives for the Real IRA. The High Court had ordered the release of Fintan O'Farrell, Declan Rafferty and Michael McDonald.

A bomb was found in Carnlough, Co. Antrim.

A short stand-off occurred between loyalists and republicans at the Ardoyne shops.

Ulster Unionist MP Danny Kinahan apologised after posting a photo on Twitter of an Irish flag on a bonfire.

A controlled explosion was carried out on a hoax device on Ormeau Avenue.

13th New British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the word unionist was very important to her.

Pastor Jack McKee called for future bonfires in the Shankill to be rethought after several houses were damaged by fire.

Councillor Padraig McShane was released after his arrest at the Ballycastle parade.

14th Theresa Villiers said she was 'sad' to lose her job as Northern Ireland Secretary. She was to be replaced by James Brokenshire.

15th The new Northern Irish secretary, James Brokenshire, said there should be no border controls between the North and the Republic.

16th Shots were fired at a house in west Belfast in the early hours of the morning.

17th Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin said he hoped that the Brexit result would lead to a united Ireland.

It was reported that Kris Hopkins, a former soldier who had survived two IRA attacks, had become a junior minister at the Northern Ireland Office. He had expressed 'revulsion' for Martin McGuinness, but supported the peace process.

18th Shots were fired at a house in the Turf Lodge, west Belfast.

Michael Thomas Lagan was refused bail after parts of a bomb were found at his flat in north Belfast.

19th After Taoiseach Enda Kenny suggested that the Brexit vote should open up the possibility of a border poll, reaction was mixed. Ian Paisley of the DUP accused Kenny of 'being mischievous', while Gerry Adams said there was 'a need to be open and imaginative'.

The NI Executive put a forward £50m plan to tackle paramilitary activity.

20th Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said that the continuation of the Common Travel Area between Northern Ireland and the Republic was a priority.

Conservative MP Henry Smith suggested the cross of Saint Patrick as a unity flag for all communities representing Northern Ireland.

A man was charged over explosives found in August 2009.

Enda Kenny clarified his border poll remarks, saying 'there will be no border poll now. There is no evidence of a majority wanting to join the Republic'.

22nd A bus belonging to Dervock Young Defenders flute band was destroyed by fire outside an Orange Hall.

Enda Kenny said there would be no hard Irish border. Meanwhile, First Minister Arlene Foster called speculation over a border poll unhelpful. Martin McGuinness felt that the implications of Brexit were 'profound'.

The Department of Education announced funding for nurture groups at Irish language schools.

Labour MP Conor McGinn claimed that Jeremy Corbyn had threatened to phone his Sinn Féin father to complain about him.

23rd A 'viable device' was discovered in Crumlin vilage.

24th A man was shot in the foot in Poleglass.

25th During a visit to Northern Ireland, British Prime Minister Theresa May said that 'nobody wants to return to the borders of the past'.

26th Two people were arrested in Donegal over the murder of Denis Donaldson.

It was reported that talks to resolve the Twaddell protest would resume. Loyalists had been camping there since 2013.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire met the family of Paul Whitters, a schoolboy killed by a plastic bullet in 1981.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny met British Prime Minister Theresa May in London. They said that they wanted to 'maintain the closest possible relationship' between the UK and Ireland.

27th The Police Federation called for anyone who attacked a police officer to be jailed.

28th Patrick Gillespie from Glasgow was charged over withholding information regarding the killing of Denis Donaldson.

29th Patrick Gillespie, who had been arrested for withholding information regarding the murder of Denis Donaldson, was released on bail.

30th Petrol bombs were thrown at a house in Tandragee during the early morning.

A bomb was found in Lisburn. Police investigated whether it had fallen from a vehicle.

31st Charlie Flanagan, an Irish government minister, said that a highly fortified border between the North and the Republic would not work, and the existing 'invisible border' remained.

Return to top

August 2016

1st A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Carrickfergus.

3rd Police said that the bomb discovered in Lisburn had been intended to target a person, not a location.

Sectarian graffiti was daubed on an Orange Hall in Lisburn.

4th A man was arrested over the murder of Denis Donaldson.

Three Lithuanian men said they would leave after their house was targeted in a 'hate attack'.

5th It was reported that a major republican arms dump had been found near Lurgan.

A Presbyterian church bought the bomb-proof police station at Dungiven, as it was 'a good place for some quiet reflection'.

Charlie Flanagan, the Republic's Finance Minister, announced over €1.2m (£1.02m) funding towards reconciliation in the North.

6th A man held in connection with the Kingsmill Massacre was released.

Ballysillan lodge suspended their protest at Twaddell Avenue.

Two further bombs were found at Lurgan.

7th Hundreds of people took part in an anti-internment march in west Belfast.

UDA leader John Boreland was shot dead outside his home in north Belfast. Police said that he had been warned about his safety.

8th A man who had been arrested over the killing of Denis Donaldson was released without charge.

Edward Daly, the priest pictured waving a white hankerchief while attending to the wounded on Bloody Sunday, passed away.

DUP MP Ian Paisley Junior said he was 'relaxed' about the rise in the number of people applying for Irish passports, following Brexit.

Politicians condemned the murder of John Boreland. Police said they were looking at tensions between Loyalists.

9th People spoke out in tribute to Edward Daly.

A pipe bomb was found in north Belfast.

In Derry, a 40-year-old man was arrested over republican paramilitary activity.

A man was shot in the legs in Derry.

10th It was reported that Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness had written to British Prime Minister Theresa May laying out their ideas for Brexit. Both leaders felt it was important to 'allow access to unskilled as well as highly skilled labour'.

A pipe bomb was thrown at a police vehicle in north Belfast.

11th Victims' campaigner Raymond McCord, whose son was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries, launched a legal challenge to Brexit. He felt that Brexit could undermine the Good Friday Agreement.

13th The annual Apprentice Boys march took place in Derry.

A headstone was unveiled for Bloody Sunday victim James Matthews.

14th Arsonists attacked a house in south Belfast in which a mother was living with her three children. The woman later said 'I won't move away, I shouldn't have to - I haven't done anything wrong. It's my home and that of my kids, so why torture me and my kids?'

Police revisited the site of John Boreland's killing.

During the night, Salterstown Orange Hall was damaged in an arson attack.

15th A pipe bomb was thrown at police in Derry.

16th A man was arrested in Coleraine on suspicion of possessing of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an offence and assault on police.

It was reported that an investigator with the Police Ombudsman, Steve Skerritt, had resigned after a gun and ammunition were found in his office. He was accused of breaching procedure by not returning them to the evidence store.

17th In Dublin, two men appeared in court accused of IRA membership.

18th Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson said he would not be cooperating with any investigation into alleged coaching by Sinn Féin's Daithí McKay, before he appeared at the Stormont's National Management Agency inquiry a year before. Martin McGuinness later dismissed the allegations as 'ludicrous'.

19th It was reported that a death threat had been scrawled on the wall of a house belonging to a young family in Lisburn.

Police finished interviewing former soldiers over Bloody Sunday.

A man was attacked by a masked gang at his home in Larne.

22nd Dee Fennell, a prominent republican opposed to the peace process, was granted bail.

23rd The PSNI defended its handling of an investigation into alleged criminal activity within the Police Ombudsman's office linked to the 'Derry Four' case. The Derry Four had been wrongly accused of killing a British soldier in 1979.

The chairman of Oisín Glenariffe GAA club resigned when Causeway Coast and Glens Council withdrew £180,000 from a project to name a gate after two IRA men, Charlie McAllister and Pat McVeigh, who died in 1922. Independent councillor Padraig McShane said a 'cultural war' was taking place.

Michelle Marie, a black British woman who had taken over the @ireland Twitter account for that week, was subject to racist abuse.

24th A Royal Marine was arrested in Somerset in connection with republican paramilitary activity. He was named as Ciarán Maxwell. His arrest was connected to the discovery of two arms dumps near Larne earlier in the year. It was later reported that he had been the victim of a sectarian attack at the age of 16. 'Up to ten loyalists arrived in two cars. This gang was armed with iron bars and golf clubs and they immediately attacked Kieran. He was beaten to the ground and lost consciousness.'

25th A man said he had carried a pipe bomb away from the scene after his Slovakian neighbours were subject to a racist attack.

It was reported that Gerry Kelly had been described as 'extremely dangerous' in a government file from the 1980s.

Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said that current levels of sickness from the PSNI were 'not sustainable'.

26th Jewish graves were vandalised at Belfast City Cemetery.

27th Black Royal Institution marches took place across the North.

28th A man was subject to a hammer attack in the Shankill.

29th A man was shot in both ankles during an attack in Derry.

30th St Paul's Primary School in west Belfast was evacuated in a hoax security alert.

A fresh search was carried out in Larne following the arrest of Royal Marine Ciarán Maxwell.

31st Mid and East Antrim Borough Councillor Paul Maguire and seventeen other party activists resigned from Sinn Féin following controversy over the treatment of Daithí McKay.

Police were given further week to question Ciarán Maxwell.
Return to top

September 2016

1st A security alert in north Belfast was declared a hoax.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said that both the UK and the Republic 'want to have an open border'.

2nd Barry Petticrew, who had been arrested in 2014, pleaded guilty to possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

Ciarán Maxwell was charged with a terror offence.

5th Shots were fired at a house in Lurgan during the early hours.

6th Police announced that they had found explosive devices, bomb-making components, chemicals, ammunition and a gun in Larne following the arrest of Ciarán Maxwell.

7th Some charges were dropped against loyalist supergrass Gary Haggarty. The UVF commander was still accused of other crimes including five murders.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said she knew the names of those suspected of murdering six people in Loughinisland, County Down, in 1994.

Police escorted Syrian refugees to a beach party as part of their role in 'keeping people safe'.

9th An inquest heard that a palm print recovered after the Kingsmill massacre matched that of a man arrested the previous month in Newry.

It was reported that a challenge to the government's On the Runs scheme brought by Elizabeth Morrison, who lost three members of her family in the Shankill bombing, had failed.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that after Brexit, the prospect of a united Ireland must remain an option.

10th It was reported that hopes of ending the Twaddell dispute were increasing. Certain members of an Orange Lodge who had opposed a proposed agreement said they planned to resign.

The son of Ulster loyalist leader Johnny Adair was found dead in Scotland.

13th The British and Irish governments signed a treaty that would establish a body to work towards ending paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

MPs heard a compensation appeal for the victims of Libyan-sponsored violence.

14th An alert at Mount Vernon in north Belfast was declared a hoax.

15th The widow of Constable Stephen Carroll, who had been killed by the CIRA in 2009, condemned the visit of three Sinn Féin members to Brendan McConville in jail. She said 'I just felt that even after seven and a half years we are still being terrorised as a family. [...] At the minute it looks as if Sinn Féin are trying to placate the dissidents by standing by them and the victims of the so-called cause we seem to be at the bottom of the pile.'

Three men were arrested over the shooting of loyalist John Boreland.

17th A book by 'Seán Hartnett' revealed that the British army had saved Johnny Adair from assassination.

19th Relatives of those killed at Ballymurphy walked out of a meeting with Secretary of State James Brokenshire. John Teggart, whose father was murdered, said 'I will continue to campaign but I am really disappointed with how things went. I thought better with the new secretary of state'.

A trial date was set for Ciarán Maxwell.

Ex-IRA man Anthony McIntyre was granted leave to seek a judicial review of the police decision to request recordings from an interview he gave at Boston college.

20th One of four men wrongly accused of killing Lt Steven Kirby in 1979 said he was 'devastated, but not surprised' that interview notes had gone missing.

The BBC aired a programme about informers on both the loyalist and republican sides. The programme reported that at any one time, the government was running at least 800 informers. 'In fact, security sources have told Spotlight that the figure of 800 is an underestimate, and is closer to the total number of Special Branch informers and agents in Belfast alone.'

21st Gerry Adams denied claims that he had sanctioned the killing of Denis Donaldson.

Police arrested three men, two in Lurgan and one in Coalisland, in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

A man from Co. Monaghan was charged with IRA membership in Dublin.

22nd The government and Stormont Executive were told that they had a fortnight to agree funding for inquiries into the Troubles, or face court action.

The Resolve scheme, a restorative justice group with links to the UDA, took its first step to being fully recognised by the government.

Another man was arrested in Lurgan in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

High Court judges ruled that they had no jurisdiction to hear a legal challenge by republican Colin Duffy. He was challenging the government for allegedly refusing to agree that his meetings with lawyers would not be under covert surveillance.

23rd The Guardian reported that the British army continued to spy on Sinn Fein for years after the 1994 IRA ceasefire.

It was reported that Kyle Paisley, a son of former DUP leader Ian Paisley, had cancelled a meeting with Eugene Reavey, who his father had accused of involvement in the Kingsmill Massacre.

24th It was reported that an agreement had been reached in the Twaddell Dispute. Following the completion of this year's parade, the Ligoniel Lodges were to 'instigate a voluntary moratorium' on applying for future parades until another agreement had been reached with CARA, the nationalist residents' group.

It was reported that republican prisoners opposed to the peace process formed a new political party, 'Saoradh'.

A 22-year-old arrested over republican paramilitary activity was released unconditionally.

Sinn Féin and SDLP leaders welcomed Jeremy Corbyn's victory in the Labour leadership election.

26th Four men were charged over armour-piercing mortar was found in Lurgan. They had been arrested the previous week.

27th Roy Greenslade, writing in the Guardian, said that the BBC has 'used a single source' to smear Gerry Adams over the murder of Denis Donaldson, and the Irish police did not think he had been involved.

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective said it would protest the Twaddell Avenue parade deal.

28th Republican Vincent Kelly was given a nine-year sentence for carrying a gun in a Belfast taxi in 2014.

The Parades Commission gave the go-ahead for the Orange Order's return parade along the Crumlin Road on the 1st October.

29th A fisheries protection vessel lost its Irish name Banríon Uladh and was renamed to become the Queen of Ulster. Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen, of the DUP, said the renaming was part of the department's 'fresh identity'.

30th The Garc protest against the Ardoyne parade deal ended peacefully. Dee Fennell of the group said that local people had thought the parade was 'dead and gone'. Prominent priest Father Gary Donegan called for residents to call off their protest and was involved in a confrontation.

Return to top

October 2016

1st Deputy Grand Master of the Orange Order in Belfast, Spencer Beattie, called for a fundamental change to parade legislation. He was speaking after the three Ligoniel Orange Order lodges completed the return leg of their parade by the Ardoyne shops.

2nd Rabbi David Singer said that anti-semitism was on the rise in Northern Ireland. His remark followed the vandalism of Jewish graves, and the discovery of anti-semitic graffiti on a synagogue.

3rd Fr Gary Donegan compared his confrontat/a> with protesters two days earlier with the Holy Cross dispute.

4th It was reported that the Irish government was to hold an all-island forum to examine the implications of Brexit.

A man was arrested in connection with threatening behaviour following the Orange Order parade three days earlier.

5th Stormont's Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said he was 'totally chill-axed' about attempts to link him to the controversy that led to the resignation of Sinn Féin's Daithí McKay.

Reverend Mervyn Gibson, the Assistant Grand Master of the Orange Order, said he would support lifting the ban on members of the Orange Order attending Catholic masses.

David Ford resigned as leader of the Alliance Party.

Hearings continued for legal challenges to Brexit. One of the proceedings had been brought by Raymond McCord, father of a man killed by loyalist paramilitaries. He believed Brexit would be 'catastrophic' for the peace process.

6th The DUP's Arlene Foster confirmed that there would be no DUP presence at the all-Ireland Brexit conference.

7th The Ministry of Defence said that 200 houses at Ballykinler Army base might be knocked down.

8th Gary Lowry, who had been accused of having weapons related to an ongoing loyalist feud, had been remanded in custody for his own safety.

Protests were held along the border against Brexit.

9th The assembly's finance committee defended the allocation of almost £2 million to Charter NI, a loyalist group.

10th Diarmaid Ferriter wrote in the Guardian that if Britain switched its immigration controls back to Irish ports and airports in order to avoid a 'hard' border, it would undo the gains of the peace process.

The grand secretary of the Orange Order, Drew Nelson, died at the age of 60.

11th It was reported that Bea Worton had ended her legal challenge against the Equality Commission over a playground being named after IRA hunger striker Raymond McCreesh. Her son had been one of ten men killed by the IRA at Kingsmill in 1976.

James Brokenshire, secretary of state, said that the government was considering the future funding for Northern Ireland's border regions after it left the EU.

13th The Orange Order helped to organise a discussion of the 1916 Rising. Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney later congratulated the Order on its contribution.

14th Jon Boutcher, who was leading the investigation into the activities of Stakeknife, said he believed it would result in prosecutions.

15th A petrol bomb was thrown through the window of a house in Ballymena.

16th Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson said that progress had been disappointing.

The Republic's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, wrote on the subject of a hard border. He said 'the reinstatement of any kind of hard border would also have obvious negative consequences for cross-border trade and economic activity. Equally serious would be the effect of resurrecting a potent symbol of division in a society emerging from conflict where many communities and groups are working hard to foster greater reconciliation, shared understanding and partnership.' The Guardian also reported that 'Irish leaders fear Brexit could bring economic disaster'.

A man was the victim of a paramilitary-style shooting in west Belfast.

17th Martin McGuinness said that Northern Ireland should push for a special EU status.

18th It was reported that an Australian police officer, Nick Kaldas, would be joining the Stakeknife investigation.

Three women were questioned over the shooting of loyalist John Boreland.

19th Martin McGuinness said that he didn't trust the Secretary of State James Brokenshire over Brexit.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May said that she hoped the families of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings got legal aid.

A 22-year-old man became the victim of a paramilitary-style shooting in Derry.

20th The Guardian asked whether Brexit would re-ignite the Troubles.

22nd Colum Eastwood became the first SDLP party leader at the Ulster Unionist Conference. He said 'both the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists share the common ground of wanting to make Northern Ireland work'. At the same conference, UUP leader Mike Nesbitt accused Sinn Féin of using the peace process as a weapon. 'Anytime something inconvenient comes along, Sinn Féin call it 'a threat to the peace process.'

27th Sinn Féin was accused of 'turning its back on unionist outreach' after it mocked the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood for appearing at the Ulster Unionist Conference.

29th The body of IRA supergrass Raymond Gilmore was found in his flat in Kent. He had been dead for some time and his death was not suspicious. His friend and fellow agent, Martin McGartland, said he had been badly let down by the government. 'He spent years begging MI5 for financial and psychological help. Instead, they turned their back on him. He was a broken man, a wreck of a human being, and they left him to die in the gutter.'

Return to top

November 2016

2nd The First Minister Arlene Foster apologised to La Mon victim Billy McDowell for the DUP's singing 'Arlene's on Fire' during their conference at the same venue.

3rd Families of more than 30 people killed in 'controversial' killings during the Troubles, such as the Ballymurphy Massacre, launched a legal action against the Stormont Executive and the government in order to release funds for inquests.

Northern Ireland's Chief Constable George Hamilton said that unresolved issues from theTroubles were taking up too much police time and resources.

6th A man was shot in the leg during a 'paramilitary-style' attack at Springview Walk in west Belfast.

The president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, recalled an IRA bomb exploding in London while he was a student, and said that the peace process in Northern Ireland inspired him in working towards reconciliation with Farc rebels.

7th It was reported that loyalist supergrass Gary Haggarty faced a record 202 charges related to paramilitary crime, including five killings.

A coroner said it was impossible to reach conclusions about the killing of IRA man Pearse Jordan in 1992.

8th Lawyers republican Thomas 'Slab' Murphy submitted an appeal against his conviction for evading tax.

11th Former INLA man Dessie O'Hare, once known as the 'Border Fox', was granted bail as he fought extradition to the Republic. He had been arrested in County Armagh three days earlier.

13th A man was seriously injured after being shot by a masked gang in Balleymoney.

14th The children's commissioner, Koulla Yiasouma, expressed concern over pictures of children dressed in paramilitary gear during a republican parade.

A member of the UDA told the BBC that he could not leave the organisation because of intimidation and threats by those at the top.

15th Chief Constable George Hamilton warned that republicans opposed to the peace process could find it easier to avoid prosecution after Brexit, because of the possible loss of European Arrest Warrants.

It was reported that a resident of the Short Strand area of east Belfast had challenged a decision to overturn a court ruling that the PSNI 'wrongly facilitated' union flag protests.

17th First Minister Arlene Foster refused to back calls for Dee Stitt, a UDA leader, to step down from leadership of Charter NI.

The Coroner's Court in Dublin ruled that 'Disappeared' victims Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright had been unlawfully killed by the IRA.

18th It was reported that body of an 18-year-old man, Daniel Rooney, who had been shot dead in 1972, would be exhumed as part of an investigation into the Military Reaction Force.

19th A ceremony was held at the grave of Daniel Carroll, who had been shot on Bloody Sunday in 1920.

21st DUP MLA Robin Newton apologised for not declaring his links to Conflict NI when ruling against an urgent debate on its funding.

The Minister of Defence admitted that the killing of 15-year-old Manus Deery in 1972 had been unjustified.

The body of 18-year-old Daniel Rooney was exhumed at Milltown Cemetery. The exhumation was part of an investigation into the Military Reaction Force.

22nd An object of interest was found during the exhumation of Daniel Rooney.

Police reported 81 people to the Public Prosecution Service for taking part in a republican parade in Kilwilkie in May.

The Wave Trauma Centre urged politicians and church leaders to back a special pension for those severely injured through 'no fault of their own' during the Troubles.

23rd Martin McGuinness said that Unionism had a 'psychological problem with reconciliation'.

27th Police were attacked when investigating a stolen car in west Belfast.

28th Patrick Joseph O'Neill was jailed in 2010 for taking part in a paramilitary shooting. Óglaigh na hÉireann had claimed responsibility.

It was reported that Donal Ó Coisdealbha would be sentenced over explosive devices, improvised rockets, detonators, timing units and Semtex discovered shortly before the visit of Prince Charles to Ireland.

29th The president of the GAA, Aogán Ó Fearghaíl, suggested that the flying of the Irish flag and singing of the Irish national anthem might stop at matches because they caused 'difficulty at home'.

30th Donal Billings, who in 2011 had made a bomb threat against the Queen of England, was denied bail.

Six people escaped injury during a shooting in Craigavon.

Return to top

December 2016

1st The PSNI said that they had spent £1.6m policing a loyalist dispute in Carrickfergus involving the UDA.

3rd The Apprentice Boys' parade took place peacefully in Derry.

4th In the Republic, representatives of the Defence Forces and Reserve Defence Forces were presented with a specially commissioned medal to mark their role in the 2016 centenary year.

5th It was reported that two police officers who had given inconsistent and unconvincing evidence to an inquest into the death of IRA man Pearse Jordan in 1992 would be reported to prosecutors. Jordan had been shot in the back by an RUC officer.

Republican Ivor Bell who had been accused of involvement in the murder of Jean McConville was said to be suffering from dementia.

The PSNI issued a warning after an unconfirmed report that a device had been placed under a vehicle in Newtownabbey.

7th RIRA leader Aidan O'Driscoll was shot dead in Cork.

8th The Policing Board announced it would be selling off 12 police stations.

The PSNI denied that there would be a new inquiry into killings by British troops. They issued the statement after the Sun ran a front-page story saying that officers would reinvestigate all 302 killings carried out by British troops.

The son of prison officer Brian Stack, who had been killed by the IRA in 1983, accused Gerry Adams of lying to the Dáil about having handed over the names of four republicans who may have been involved. Adams claimed he had been given the names by Austin Stack.

9th Relatives of the victims of the McGurks Bar bombing said that new evidence proved collusion. They argued that documentation proved the authorities knew from early on that a bomb had been left at the door by loyalists, and had not been accidentally detonated by the IRA inside the pub.

Paul Quinn's family offered support to the family of Brian Stack. Meanwhile Gerry Adams refused to reveal the name of the IRA man who had killed Stack. He said that the Stack family had agreed to end matters in 2013, and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had stirred things up. Later he defended his decision to protect his sources.

The trial of loyalist supergrass Gary Haggarty was adjourned.

11th Gerry Adams said it was unlikely that he would continue to assist people looking for information on relatives killing or missing during the Troubles.

12th Peers in the British parliament called for the power to grant or deny freedom of movement to EU nationals in the North of Ireland to be devolved to Stormont after Brexit. They said that the North should not be a casualty of Brexit.

Chief Constable George Hamilton stood by a PSNI claim that people linked to Charter NI had been involved in recent paramilitary activity.

It was reported that the PSNI would investigate claims made in a book about the RIRA killing of former UDR soldier David Caldwell in 2002. The book claimed that the bombers had been under surveillance in the days leading up to the attack.

13th The PSNI said in regards to Stephen Martin's comments on Charter NI that he's never heard a chief constable 'come out and so clearly say there is an active paramilitary or paramilitaries involved in a community sector organisation in receipt of government funds and for a government not to follow through on that'.

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton claimed that checkpoints on the Irish border would be 'static and obvious' targets for republicans opposed to the peace process.

14th An opinion piece in the Guardian argued that an independent body was required to oversee the peace process because 'the government, police, security services and paramilitaries are all vested interests'.

The Victims Commissioner, Judith Thompson, said that victims of the Troubles had been let down by politicians, who had failed to reach an agreement on how to deal with the past.

The Public Prosecution Service insisted that it took its decisions on whether to prosecute Troubles cases 'without fear, favour or prejudice, in strict accordance with the Code for Prosecutors'. Conservative MP Sir Henry Bellingham had complained about a former soldier, who had supposedly been told he would not be prosecuted, only for the decision to change when Barra McGrory became Director of Public Prosecutions.

15th The only survivor of the Kingsmill Massacre, Alan Black, said he believed that government agents had been involved. He said 'I have suspected all along there were agents involved and the fact that two people got On-The-Run letters, reinforces that. This is a dirty game player by dirty people but we must go though the proper processes. This case has never been handled correctly from the start.'

16th It was reported that two British soldiers would be tried over the Belfast shooting of Joe McCann.

17th A man was injured in a shooting on Cluain Mor Drive, west Belfast. Later in the day, two men were assaulted by a gang in a house in south Belfast.

Homes were evacuated in north Belfast during a police investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly allegedly became the victim of an assault in Belfast's Gordon Street.

18th A 16-year-old was shot in the legs on Aitnamona Crescent in west Belfast.

20th Facebook was forced to pay compensation to a loyalist flag protester after comments were made online about his children's religion.

Republican Barry Petticrew, who had run a bomb factory for eleven years, was sent to prison.

It was reported that some of the evidence regarding the Omagh Bombing would be heard in secret.

Shots were fired at a home in the Waterside area of Derry.

21st The Irish Football Association said it would not take legal action over a fine imposed for the display of poppies in its grounds. A board of the Northern Ireland governing body said it was disappointed by the punishment, as the IFA had followed Fifa's advice.

An Bord Pleanála gave the go-ahead for an electricity interconnector linking North and South.

23rd It was reported that the Líofa Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme for sending young people to the Gaeltacht for language training would lose funding.

24th Shots were fired at a house in west Belfast.

30th A viable explosive device was discovered in south Belfast.

Files were released that showed, amongst other things, that Margaret Thatcher had failed to overrule ministers who proposed the non-renewal of a section of Northern Ireland Act which allowed detention of paramilitaries without trial; there had been a possible incident between the UDR and the Irish Army; and Thatcher had felt 'depressed' over the violence.

Continue to 2017
Return to top