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

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January 2018

1st The Republican Network for Unity issued their New Year statement, saying that '2017 was a difficult year internally for RNU and with much deliberation and dialogue with the grassroots members we have consolidated, regrouped, restructured and intend on moving forward in a progressive principled manner.' Eirigi 'commended the significant political activism of our members and supporters during 2017. Your work, alongside the work of other progressive forces, offered hope to the Irish people in a time of global turmoil and widespread despair.' According to 32CSM, 'the continuing existence of Irish Republican POW’s and the strategic use of internment by remand lays bare the falsehood that the conflict in Ireland is in some way resolved.' The IRSP said that 'no meaningful progressive social or economic progress has been made in "the North" since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement'. However, Sinn Féin stated that 'we have witnessed incredible political developments, suffered the loss of a political giant but also the reawakening of the demand for fairness and equality at the heart of our political process.'

2nd A Presbyterian congregation in Dungiven claimed it had the first bomb-proof Sunday School in the UK, after taking over a former police station.

4th There were reports of an explosive device left in a wooded area between Cashel Cross and Kiltyclogher.

5th There was an outcry after Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff posed with a loaf of Kingsmills bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill Massacre.

7th Alan Black criticised the actions of Barry McElduff. 'It was like a punch to the stomach, it was so callous. To mock the dead and dance on their graves is depraved.'

Petrol bombs were thrown at a police vehicle during a hoax alert in Derry.

8th The Northern Ireland Secretary, James Brokenshire, resigned on health grounds. His role was taken on by Karen Bradley.

Sinn Féin condemned Barry McElduff's action in apparently mocking the Kingsmill victims, then refusing to take down his post for several hours when requested.

It was reported that the impasse at Stormont had blocked £19 million of charity cash going through.

9th A bomb was found in a pub toilet in Drogheda.

10th It was reported that Belfast city council was investigating how the deputy leader of right-wing party Britain First had managed to deliver an anti-immigration video from the lord mayor's chair.

12th John O'Dowd of Sinn Féin described the Kingsmills massacre as shameful and sectarian.

13th Arlene Foster of the DUP said that Brexit would not mean building a wall between the Republic and the North, but that close relations would continue.

14th Shots were fired at a house in Killyleagh, County Down. Two men and a woman were arrested and released on bail.

15th Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone, Barry McDelduff, resigned over his controversial Kingsmill Twitter video. The party had already told him that he would not be able to carry out party work.

16th The father of Tim Parry, who died in the Warrington Bombings, paid tribute to Cranberries star Dolores O'Riordan.

Kevin Skelton, whose wife had been killed in the Omagh Bombing, said he would be willing to contest the West Tyrone constituency after Barry McElduff stepped down.

The Court of Appeal heard that Gerry Adams had been unlawfully imprisoned during the 1970s because an order for his internment was legally flawed.

17th It was reported that proposals by the Boundary Commission to cut the number of parliamentary seats in Belfast to three had benen revised, and Belfast would retain four seats.

18th DUP MP Sammy Wilson said he regretted calling the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, a 'nutcase'.

New talks were announced between the DUP, Sinn Féin and other main parties of the North.

19th In west Belfast, a man was attacked with a hammer before being shot in the knees and ankles.

It was reported that Justice McCloskey was to decide whether he would step aside from a case connected to the Loughinisland murders, because of bias allegations. He had ruled a month previously that the police ombudsman's finding of collusion between some officers and the killers was 'unsustainable in law'.

20th Mary Lou McDonald was named as the next leader of Sinn Féin. She would be the party's first female leader.

22nd Belfast's Linen Hall Library announced that it would be making an archive of political documents, articles and posters from the 1990s available on its 'Divided Society' website.

23rd Paramilitary group Óglaigh na hÉireann announced a ceasefire. In a statement they said that 'at this time the environment is not conducive to armed conflict'. PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said that the group had been involved in beatings, shootings and intimidation. The New IRA and the Continuity IRA were continuing to back armed struggle.

Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, said he was ready to get involved in talks due to begin at Stormont if he thought it would help.

24th Talks began again at Stormont.

St Cecilia's secondary school in Derry was criticised for featuring Sinn Féin MEP and former IRA volunteer Martina Anderson as its past pupil of the day.

DUP MEP Sammy Wilson accused the Irish government of having a 'very public hissy fit' over Brexit.

26th An explosion occurred in east Belfast. A man with links to a loyalist paramilitary organisation was later arrested.

There was an explosion at Fraser Pass in east Belfast. A man was subsequently taken into custody on suspicion of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life. He was later released.

28th Two men were shot in separate paramilitary-style attacks in west and north Belfast.

29th UVF 'supergrass' Gary Haggarty was jailed for six years. He had admitted to the murder of five people, among hundreds of offences.

A senior doctor at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital said that paramilitary shootings and beatings were causing serious, long-term problems for both the victims and the health service.

It was reported that Michelle O'Neill was the only candidate for the Sinn Féin deputy role.

30th Fred Scappaticci, who had once been the British Army's highest ranking agent in the IRA, was arrested and questioned over allegations that he was involved in dozens of murders.

The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland rejected a Sinn Féin claim that the proposed new parliamentary constituencies had been gerrymandered.

31st Police were given more time to question Scappaticci.

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February 2018

1st It was reported that the Irish flag had been banned from the Strabane St Patrick's Day parade in order to promote inclusion and integration.

2nd Nigel Farage, former UKIP leader, spoke of an 'appetite' within the Irish public to leave the EU.

'IRA spy' Scappaticci was released on police bail.

The chair of a House of Lords EU select committee said its Northern Ireland visit had reinforced concerns about the possible adverse impact of Brexit. He said 'we have always felt that the implications for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have been underestimated during the referendum campaign and afterwards'.

6th Northern Ireland was discussed during 'technical' talks in the Brexit negotiations. In December, the EU and the UK had agreed that the deal would not allow a return to a hard border, but EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier suggested that the two sides had different intrepretations of what had been agreed.

Derry City and Strabane District Council clarified that there was no ban on Irish flags in their St Patrick's Day parade.

Families of four soldiers killed in the Hyde Park bombings were granted legal aid to take a civil case against John Downey, one of the alleged bombers.

7th DUP MP Ian Paisley urged 'no surrender' to the EU.

A 'viable pipe bomb type device' was removed from a house in Lenadoon, west Belfast, after reports of a small explosion. Video Sinn Féin's Arder Carson condemned the explosion as reckless.

10th Mary Lou McDonald was named as Gerry Adam's replacement as the leader of Sinn Féin.

11th Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said she wanted to see 'genuine power sharing that delivers for everybody'.

12th British Prime Minister Theresa May headed to Stormont to meet the DUP and Sinn Féin. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said of forthcoming talks that achieving a frictionless Irish border that did not involve Northern Ireland staying in the customs union and single market would be 'tricky'.

13th Raymond Johnston was shot dead in west Belfast, in front of his two children. According to the Guardian, 'the motive for the killing remains unclear, but there has been an upsurge in so-called punishment attacks by armed republican dissidents in north and west Belfast over the last two years.'

Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin said that it was time for the DUP to make its mind up on the Irish Language Act, after Arlene Foster of the DUP said that she was against a 'free-standing' Act in the talks.

An impact survey indicated that the Irish economy could take a 7% hit in the case of no deal on Brexit.

14th Sinn Féin said that the DUP had agreed a deal in the Stormont talks.

Gerry Adams failed in his attempt to have convictions for attempting to escape prison overturned.

15th The shooting on Raymond Johnston was blamed on republicans outside of the peace process.

In the Republic, former Sinn Féin councillor Nicky Kehoe was cross-examined in High Court over alleged links to the IRA and firearm convictions.

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald claimed that an Irish Language Act had been in the draft agreement.

The Guardian described Northern Irish politics as a 'grim zero-sum game' which the Conservatives had worsened. 'The darker truth here is that Sinn Féin has chosen to weaponise the language question for political ends, less to protect a minority than to antagonise unionists.' The Guardian also claimed that the DUP 'loved power but not responsibility'.

16th The Alliance Party refused to appear before a Westminster committee on devolution and democracy because the loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson was also giving evidence.

17th A service took place to mark the fortieth anniversary of the La Mon restaurant bombing.

18th A museum of the recent conflict was opened by Peter Moloney in Derry.

19th The funeral took place of Raymond Johnston, who had been shot dead by republicans opposed to the peace process.

20th The Tánaiste Simon Coveney condemnedas reckless the comments of Labour MP Kate Hoey who had said that the Good Friday Agreement had become unsustainable with Brexit.

21st A leaked copy of the draft agreement being worked on by the two main parties, before talks broke down, was published. The DUP and Sinn Féin were disagreeing on whether or not a deal had been on the table before the latest round of talks collapsed the week before.

The leader of the SDLP, Colum Eastwood, warned that Stormont institutions could be down for five years.

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said that the government did not have a viable plan to deal with political stalement.

Shots were fired at a house in Cullyhanna, County Armagh.

Twenty masked men stormed a pub in north Belfast and read out a statement saying that anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated. Three men were subsequently arrested.

23rd Shortly after midnight, petrol bombs were thrown at a house in Ballymena.

Arlene Foster of the DUP said that the party had not been aware of a deal between Sinn Féin and the government on Troubles' inquests in the absence of an overall agreement.

24th A man was charged with possessing documents or records 'likely to be useful to terrorists'. He had been arrested in Lurgan three days earlier.

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March 2018

2nd A journalist, Eamonn Mallie, produced 'an email chain' between the DUP and Sinn Féin in which the DUP gave SF a hard copy of a draft agreement text. The DUP deputy leader had said there was no knowledge of Arlene Foster giving SF a draft.

The DUP criticised a social media post from SDLP councillor Denise Mullen which was disrespectful to DUP leader Arlene Foster. Mullen apologised for what she called an 'innocent mistake'.

5th A court heard that UDA member John Boreland had been executed outside his home in August 2016.

Michelle O'Neill of Sinn Féin said that Arlene Foster of the DUP had personally handed her a hard copy of the draft agreement days before talks to restore devolution collapsed. Foster and other DUP members had previously denied the existence of such a draft deal.

Sinn Féin said they had shared a meeting of minds with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

7th It was reported that a BBC film would be aired about the Milltown cemetery killings.

Academic Katy Hayward said that technology could not make a border between the North and South of Ireland completely frictionless.

8th Arlene Foster of the DUP said she doubted devolution would return in the near future.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, told Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, that Ireland's interests would come first in the Brexit negotiations.

It was reported that Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff had been interviewed by police over a video he made apparently mocking the Kingsmill massacre.

An inquest into the shooting of Kathleen Thompson in 1971 heard that she had been on her knees when she was shot. Thompson had been killed in 'disputed circumstances' during a British army raid in the Creggan estate.

9th It was reported that the new Stormont budget would include £410m of the £1 billion package negotiated by the DUP in return for backing the Conservatives at Westminster.

It was also reported that all references to a former police officer criticised in an ombudsman's report into the murder of six Catholics in 1994 at Loughinisland would be removed.

A man was shot in the head outside Moneymore.

10th Paint was thrown at the Orange Hall on Aghintober Road near Aughnacloy, in what police called a 'hate crime'.

11th The head of the Institute of Directors said that the issue of the post-Brexit Irish border was 'absolutely vital'.

12th A fresh search began for 'Disappeared' victim Joe Lynskey.

It was reported that punishment shootings had risen 60% in four years.

14th Speaking in America, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warned that Brexit could 'drive a wedge' between the UK and Ireland. He reassured unionists that he had 'no hidden agenda'. He also said that co-operation between the British and Irish governments would be needed to break the Stormont deadlock. Arlene Foster of the DUP responded that it was not for Varadkar to chart the future of negotiations at Stormont.

15th Ray Bassett, a former Irish diplomat, said that any return of the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference would show that the North was heading for direct rule.

Sinn Féin described the latest proposals from the Boundary Commission for future Westminster seats as 'fundamentally flawed'.
16th Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Fein wrote in the Guardian that the DUP-Tory pact would damage the Good Friday Agreement. 'Incredibly a return to direct rule, the shredding of the Good Friday agreement and a hard border in Ireland are being talked about by Tories as legitimate and acceptable outcomes. That is utter madness. Those outcomes would signal a complete political breakdown between Ireland and Britain.'

19th Máire Devine was suspended from Sinn Féin over a tweet about the prisoner officer Brian Stack who had been killed by IRA. The party said that 'there can be no excuse for the hurt and offence which has been caused to the Stack family'.

It was reported that the EU and the UK had not reached an agreement on the Irish border despite 'decisive' process on other Brexit issues.

20th An Irish government request to find that men detained during internment, the 'Hooded Men', had suffered torture, was rejected by the European Court of Human Rights.

23rd British royal Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle visited Belfast.

Theresa May was warned that she had less than three months to resolve the problem of avoiding a hard border, as EU leaders formally endorsed the terms of the transition period.

24th Naomi Long of the Alliance Party said that the government had given the impression that it had one hand tied behind its back during the Stormont talks because on its dependence of the DUP.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said that she would not impose a framework deal or timetable to resume negotiations at Stormont.

A Protestant 14-year-old boy suffered head injuries in a sectarian attack during nearly an hour of disturbances near an interface at North Queen Street. Police said 'a crowd of people watched'.

DUP leader Arlene Foster accused Sinn Féin of trying to render Northern Ireland dysfunctional and actively seeking to sow division.

25th Andrew Lynas, head of Lynas Foods, said that for businesses it would be 'inconceivable' that there should be a hard border post Brexit.

Shots were fired at a car in the Hazelbank area of Derry.

26th A shot was fired at a house in Newry. Five men were subsequently arrested.

It was reported that DUP MP Ian Paisley had invited US President Donald Trump for a visit.

Talks aimed at reaching a deal about the Irish border after Brexit began in Brussels.

27th It was reported that there had been a cyber-attack on Stormont.

Andrew Murrison, the chair of Westminster's Northern Ireland Committee, said that NI was having difficulties communicating concerns on Brexit due to the lack of a functioning executive.

Sinn Féin's Máire Devine apologised to the family of prisoner officer Brian Stack after retweeting an offensive tweet about him.

29th It was reported that a stun guns and drugs had been seized during police searches in Bangor directed against North Down UDA.

31st It was reported that Jackie Nicholl had resigned from the Victims and Survivors Forum after discovering that another member had serviced time in prison for IRA bomb offences.

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April 2018

1st Seven men were charged over their attendance at an illegal republican Easter parade in Lurgan the previous day.

Michelle O'Neill of Sinn Féin called for a referendum on unity within the next five years.

The Guardian reported that British military intelligence had known of a supposedly secret IRA unit called 'the Unknowns' months before it started abducting and killing people who would be remembered as 'the disappeared'.

2nd During an 'illegal' republican parade in Derry, marking the Easter Rising, petrol bombs and stones were thrown at police vehicles. On the same day, six people appeared in court over the parade in Lurgan two days previously.

The National Union of Journalists said that a journalist based in Belfast had been threatened by the UDA.

The DUP's Ian Paisley apologised for retweeting an inflammatory tweet from right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins.

The Migration Advisory Committee reported that placing restrictions on EU citizens' right to work on the UK would not require new infrastructure at the Irish border.

3rd Comedian Patrick Kielty revealed that the IRA had offered revenge for his father's murder by loyalist paramilitaries in 1988.

4th Another DUP politician, Maurice Bradley, apologised for retweeting an inflammatory tweet, this one calling the Mayor of London 'the enemy within'.

6th Sinn Féin said it had 27 papers produced by the Northern Ireland Civil Service on the impact of Brexit. MEP Martina Anderson said the papers pictured 'a bleak picture and show that Brexit will have a hugely detrimental impact on key sectors'.

7th SDLP leader Colum Eastwood called for the re-establishment of the New Ireland forum. The original Forum was a cross-border body set up by the Irish government in 1983 to gather a range of views on the conflict.

8th Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern said that problems facing politicians in the North were 'not as difficult' as those faced in 1998. Meanwhile Tony Blair, former British Prime Miniester, said it was possible for a solution to the impasse at Stormont to be resolved. 'It's very similar to the types of issues we used to deal with. You've just got to keep working at them until you find a way through'. However, Fianna Fáil's Darragh O'Brien called the failure to agree to power sharing 'disgraceful'.

9th The car of Sinn Féin's Kevin Campbell was set on fire in Derry.

The Ulster Defence Association, Ulster Volunteer Force and Red Hand Commando issued a joint statement saying that they supported the rule of law, and any members involved in crime would be expelled.

10th On the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, key players such as Clinton and Blair reflected on its legacy. Peter Robinson of the DUP claimed that he had been right to oppose it.
The chief constable, George Hamilton, said that some loyalist groups were just criminal gangs.

12th The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said he felt that Sinn Fein were not compatible coalition partners for Fine Gael as they were Eurosceptic, high tax and sectarian.

13th Five people were arrested following a police operation targeting the republican paramilitary group INLA.

14th A hoax pipe bomb was thrown through the window of a family home in Balleymoney.

15th A petrol bomb was thrown at a police vehicle in North Belfast.

18th The Guardian reported on a case opening that could be determined whether former soldiers and retired police officers could be convicted over torture allegations relating to the 'Hooded Men'.

Donald Tusk said that there would be no Brexit withdrawal agreement or transition deal until the border issue was resolved.

19th An academic who monitored social trends said he believed there could be a Catholic majority in the North by 2021.

20th A search for Joe Lynskey, one of the Disappeared, ended without success.

23rd A coroner said it was more likely than not that a soldier had shot dead 17-year-old Marian Brown in 1972.

Research by Paul Nolan claimed that there had been 158 'security-related' deaths in the North since the Good Friday Agreement.

It was reported that Sinn Féin were backing a unionist farmer in a Seanad by-election. They said they were 'impressed by his views on Brexit and the potential impact Brexit will have on the island, north and south.'

Sinn Féin's Mary-Lou McDonald controversially referred to Derry as Londonderry.

26th The British Brexit Secretary David Davis suggested that pressure to resolve the Irish border issue in June was an 'artificial deadline'.

It was reported that the Housing Executive had erected steel barriers around pallets at a bonfire site in Milltown, south Belfast, because local residents had become frustrated with its growing size.

27th A former RUC officer who shot IRA man Column Marks in 1991 claimed that senior colleagues asked him to lie if questioned about it.

29th Three men were arrested after a bomb was found during searches in Strabane.

30th DUP leader Arlene Foster said that the Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier did not understand unionist culture. Barnier had once again issued warnings that talks would collapse if the UK did not soften its red line on the Irish border issue.

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May 2018

2nd A security alert in Derry was declared a hoax.

It was reported that DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly would introduce a bill to Westminster proposing a pension for those severely injured in paramilitary attacks.

3rd It was reported that the families of two police officers had been targetted in hoax bomb alerts.

The BBC reported that this month marked the half-way point in a ten year plan to remove all the 'peace walls', but only a few had been taken down.

A number of groups said they would not apply for Belfast City Council Funding for their bonfires because of the 'ludicrous' demands which 'aimed to control culture and tradition'.

4th Guns were recovered in Lurgan following police searches. The previous day they found explosives in Benburb, County Tyrone.

A Catholic Church trust formally rejected a memorial to the victims of an IRA bomb in Eniskillen on Remembrance Sunday 1987.

The UVF named a man it said might have been responsible for the Ballymurphy Massacre as 'Volunteer Tommy West, deceased 1980'.

It was reported that the leaders of Protestant churches in Ireland had written to the pope asking him to visit the North.

5th It was reported that vandals had attacked houses under construction in east Belfast, spraying them with 'locals only' graffiti.

A new opinion poll showed that Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald was a more popular party leader than Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin, but less popular than Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

6th A viable pipe bomb was found during a security alert in Newtownabbey.

8th It was reported that new evidence had emerged in relation to the killing of Francis Rice, raising serious doubts that the correct men were convicted. Francis Rice was the victim of a sectarian killing, believed to have been carried out by paramilitaries, but those who were jailed were not paramilitaries.

10th It was reported that former British soldier Dennis Hutchings would be tried for attempted murder over the fatal shooting of John Pat Cunningham in 1974. The British press split over the question of prosecuting former soldiers, with some supportive and some calling it a 'betrayal'.

Presbyterian minister Rev David Latimer said that up to 30 families had left his church because of his friendship with Martin McGuinness.

11th Upper class Tory Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg said he didn't need to visit the Irish border to understand the issues raised by Brexit.

It was reported that UVF supergrass Gary Haggarty had been released from prison and put in a witness protection programme. He been sentenced three months previously to six and a half years for over 500 offences, including five murders.

Police said they had recovered 'a significant amount of dangerous weapons' during a twelve-day search in Armagh and Tyrone.

13th DUP MP Sammy Wilson accused Irish foreign Minister of Simon Coveney of having his 'head stuck in the sand' for refusing to consider technology as a solution to the Irish border. Coveney had said that 'listen to the chief constable of the PSNI. He is saying any infrastructure on the border, any physical infrastructure on the border, is going to represent a risk to his officers'.

14th Chief Constable George Hamilton contradicted a statement by British Prime Minister Theresa May that paramilitaries were not being pursued over killings carried out during the recent conflict.

15th The BBC reported that republicans opposed to the peace process were hoping to exploit Brexit in the cause of Irish freedom.

16th Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said that new infrastructure on the Irish border after Brexit would create a target for republican paramilitaries.

17th Labour politician John McDonnell withdrew from speaking to the UK's prison officers union after he was accused of supporting the tactics of republican paramilitaries.

It was reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May had made progress on avoiding a hard border in Ireland.

A man was shot in the leg in a paramilitary-style attack in north Belfast.

18th Northern Ireland's former Director of Public Prosections Barra McGrory said that prosecutions for murders committed during the recent conflict should be stopped. He said that proposals for a new Historical Investigations Unit were 'convenient politically'.

21st British Brexit Secretary David Davis assured businesses that the government wanted no hard Irish border.

DUP leader Arlene Foster described nationalism as 'narrow and exclusive'. She said unionism stood for pluralism and multi-culturalism.

The Guardian reported that support for Brexit was falling sharply in the North of Ireland. A survey found that if a second referendum was held, the vote would have gone overwhelmingly with remain.

22nd Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes was criticised after admitting to not having read all of the Good Friday Agreement and had never visited the Irish border.

23rd The Labour leader in the House of Lords, Baroness Smith of Basildon, called for the government to bring parties together and 'lock the doors' until they reached a power-sharing deal. The North had been without a devolved government since January 2017.

A court heard the republican Damien McLaughlin had motive and opportunity for the killing of prison officer David Black in 2012.

24th Jeremy Corbyn told the BBC that if he were Prime Minister he would ensure the UK government would take a neutral position in any border poll campaign. He also said that a British-Irish conference would be a good idea, and he pressed Theresa May to end the Stormont deadlock.

It was reported that a row had broken out on the Belfast city council over £400,000 for events to reduce tension around bonfires.

An unnamed 'senior EU official' warned the UK that it couldn't solve the Irish border issue by making a backstop guarantee on avoiding a hard border. The guarantee would have involved the North remaining in the Customs Union.

Central Bank economists said that the impact of non-tariff barriers to trade, such as technical standards or health regulations, could reduce trade between the UK and Ireland by up to 10% after Brexit.

25th The former taoiseach John Bruton said that disagreements about the Irish border should be tackled by the EU the next month.

29th A man, Danny McAcree, was found guilty of biting off part of a man's ear in a sectarian attack during Twelfth of July commemorations in Belfast during 2015.

Christopher Stalford, a DUP MLA, welcomed the move to limit flags on the Ormeau Road in Belfast, saying it was an attempt to improve community relations. No flags linked to paramilitary groups would be flown.

The Guardian argued that the Tories' pact with the DUP could lead to a united Ireland.

31st Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney referred to calls for border polls during the Brexit negotiations 'unhelpful' and 'an unnecessary distraction'.

It was reported that the PSNI wanted to recruit up to 500 new members and open new police stations to protect the post-Brexit border. Meanwhile, former members of the armed forces told the BBC they felt discriminated against because they were barred from applying for Border Force jobs.

The Police Federation said that an amnesty for killings during the recent conflict would be an insult to police officers who had been killed or injured.

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June 2018

1st John McGrane of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce described plans to give the North joint EU and UK status as 'bonkers'. It had been reported that Brexit Secretary David Davis was drawing up plans for a 10 mile 'buffer zone'.

2nd The BBC reported that the Stormont body set up to examine flags and identity, 'FICT', had cost more than half a million pounds since it was founded in June 2016. SDLP MLA Claire Hanna said the pace of its work was 'frustratingly slow'.

3rd The PSNI confirmed that it had halted the sale of three border police stations as a 'precautionary step' over Brexit.

6th The Presbyterian Church's highest governing body in Belfast voted to sever diplomatic relations with the Church of Scotland and the United Reform Church.

8th The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that an Irish unity poll in the North would be divisive and a bad idea.

9th EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that British Prime Minister Theresa May's proposals for a backstop customs arrangement in the North raised 'difficult' questions. It was not necessarily feasible to extend the EU's offer of continued participation of the customs union to cover the whole of the UK.

10th The British Truth Forum, representing bonfire builders in Mid Ulster, said that the 'British community' in the area felt 'under attack and marginalised' as Mid Ulster Council was 'trying to erode Britishness'.

11th A viable pipe bomb was found in the County Down village of Seaforde.

12th The British government was criticised for not allowing time to debate the Irish border during a series of key Brexit votes at Westminster.

It was reported that the Irish government would appeal a European court decision that found that the UK didn't torture the Hooded Men.Liam Shannon, one of the 'Hooded Men', said they were delighted. As RTÉ described the case: 'in 1971 14 men were taken from their homes in Northern Ireland, hooded, and brought by helicopter to a British army base. There, in units specially designed for the purpose, they were put through so-called 'deep interrogation', using five techniques of sensory deprivation notoriously used before and since in a number of conflicts worldwide.'

13th A Garda shot dead by the IRA in 1996 Jerry McCabe, was honoured with the freedom of Limerick alongside his colleague Ben O'Sullivan who had been injured during the same attack.

15th The lead investigator of the Commission for the Location of Victim's Remains said he was 'absolutely satisfied' that the body of Captain Robert Nairac had been buried.

Arlene Foster of the DUP said she wanted to 'reach out the hand of friendship' to Muslims as she attended a celebration of Eid al-Fitr.

During her first speech to an Ard Fheis, Michelle O'Neill of Sinn Féin accused the DUP of 'living in a fool's parade'.

16th Sinn Féin voted to changed the party policy on abortion, backing abortion within 'a limited gestational period'.

Also at the Ard Fheis, Mary Lou McDonald said that Sinn Féin would not be excluded from Government by Leo Varadkar or Michéal Martin. She said that Irish political life was no longer dictated by them.

17th Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin responded to Mary Lou McDonald's Ard Fheis speech by saying she had a sense of entitlement, and believed Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael owed Sinn Féin power.

18th Baroness Armstrong, a Labour peer, called for greater clarity when it came to Brexit and the border.

19th A judge ruled that it would be unsafe and unreliable to convict Damien McLaughlin of killing prison officer David Black in 2012.

A man was charged with possessing explosives in relation to a seizure of ammunition and weapons in Caolisland, Country Tyrone in 2011.

It was reported that a former soldier, David Holden, would be charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of killing a Catholic man, Aidan McAnespie, at an Army checkpoint.

20th The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, accused the UK of stalling progress in Brexit negotiations, and warmed about the consequences of not striking a deal on the border.

34-year-old Brian Carron appeared at Dungannon Magistrates' Court charged with possessing explosives and firearms. The charges he faced were in connection with searches in Coalisland following the murder of constable Ronan Kerr.

21st Kyle Black, son of murdered prison officer David Black, said his family was devastated by the collapse of the trial. The jury had returned not guilty verdicts in the absence of further evidence from the prosecution.

Police blamed republican group Arm na Poblachta for the fatal shooting of Raymond Johnston in Poleglass four months previously.

23rd Smoke bombs were thrown and police in riot gear were called in Belfast when anti-racists confronted a UK Freedom March protest.

25th A toddler was targeted in what police called a 'racially motivated hate incident' on the Falls Road in Belfast.

26th The UK's highest court heard that the government had 'subverted the rule of law and obstructed justice' by refusing to hold an inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane. Patrick's widow, Geraldine, said that she was quite optimistic that the court would rule in favour of a full public inquiry.

30th The Orange Hall at Ballynafeigh hosted an event for members of the local GAA club.

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July 2018

3rd It was reported that a legal challenge to the British government's refusal to hold a public inquiry into the Omagh bombing had been pushed back to 2019.

4th Families of the victims of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, a group called 'Justice for the 21', called on the DUP and Sinn Féin to make progress on a truth recovery process.

5th The Attorney General decided not to order a fresh inquest into the McGurk's Bar bomb.

A pipe bomb was discovered in an apartment block in north Belfast.

7th The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, welcomed a proposal by UK cabinet ministers over the UK's future relationship with the EU. The plan 'would resolve the outstanding concerns about the future of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.'

More than 30 petrol bombs were thrown at police during trouble in Derry.

9th Prominent loyalist Mark Harbinson was acquitted on three charges of firearms and ammunition offences. A gun had been found in an outbuilding at his properly in December 2015.

MPs gave legal authority for money allocated in the Northern Ireland budget to be spent, including the £410 million secured for the DUP as part of its confidence and supply deal with the Tories. An amendment which would have restricted financial resources for the prosecution of British military veterans was withdrawn.

The former Brexit Secretary David Davis revealed that he had disagreed with language used in the UK's interim agreement with EU.

Two people were arrested in Randalstown by police investigating social media posts. A number of suspicious items were located during searches of a house and the road was cordoned off.

The fire service warned that dry conditions and gorse fires would make dealing with the Eleventh night even more difficult.

Petrol bombs were thrown in the Bogside, and police wearing riot gear moved into the area.

10th It was reported that new legislation in the Republic would give all children the equal right to attend Catholic primary schools, regardless of their religious background.

The High Court ordered that an 'out of control' bonfire at Bloomfield Walkway in east Belfast should be reduced to a maximum height of three metres.

Republicans were suspected of involvement in a gun attack on police in the Bogside area during the night. Shots from an automatic weapon struck Derry's walls and some nearby trees.

It was reported that wreaths damaged at Narrow Water, County Down, had been replaced. The poppy wreaths had been displayed to mark the Warrenpoint massacre in which 18 soldiers were killed by the IRA.

11th Police in riot gear protected masked contractors who removed material from two bonfire sites in east Belfast. A bonfire on Bloomfield Walkway was set alight hours after a court ordered its height reduced.

A pipe bomb exploded in the Short Strand area of Belfast during the early afternoon. A Sinn Féin councillor described it as a sectarian attack.

Police said that the UVF had threatened to orchestrate 'serious disorder' in east Belfast that night.

Cars and a bus were set on fire in County Down during disorder. There was also trouble in Derry and east Belfast.

12th Thousands of people marched in Orange Order parades after a night of violence.

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald, speaking in the Dáil, said that bonfire builders who decorated their pyres with sectarian graffiti did not represent the Unionist community.

Graffiti on a memorial hall in County Antrim was treated as a hate crime.

13th Explosive devices were thrown at the houses of prominent republicans Gerry Adams and Bobby Storey. Adams later demanded an explanation from the attackers. He said he was thankful no one had been hurt.

An east Belfast school was damaged in what police called a sectarian hate crime.

14th Wreaths from a war memorial in Newry were thrown in to the river. Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy said there was 'no place for attacks like this in our society'.

Sinn Féin announced it would be contesting the Presidential election in the Republic.

15th The DUP said that they would give British Prime Minister 'some leeway' to try and negotiate the best Brexit deal.

16th People in Newry formed a human chain to retrieve wreaths from the cenotaph that had been thrown into the mud of the river.

Sinn Féin held a Belfast rally following the attack on their leaders' homes. Mary Lou McDonald said that republican politicians would not be intimidated.

A man and three boys appeared in court charged with offences linked to the previous week's disturbances in Derry.

18th The Agriculture Secretary George Eustice suggested that in the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK could choose not to routinely inspect goods crossing the Irish border.

Boris Johnson said that the Irish border had become 'politically charged' and was dominating the Brexit debate.

A 35-year-old man who had been arrested over the attack on Gerry Adams' home was released on bail.

Police in Bangor recovered a hoax bomb that had been converted into a logburner. John-Joe Kelly, who had converted the device, said 'well, it turns out that removing hoax bombs from public roads before the police get there is kinda frowned upon by the PSNI.'

It was reported that Ireland was stepping up contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.

19th Ian Paisley of the DUP apologised in the House of Commons after failing to declare two luxury holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

British Prime Minister Theresa May began a two-day visit to the North.

23rd Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin accused the British government of 'seeking to row back' on commitments to the Brexit backstop.

24th Olly Robbins, the UK's chief civil servant dealing with Brexit, said that the EU would insist on checks and controls at the Irish border in the event of a no deal.

In the Sevenoaks area of Derry, shots were fired and a car was set ablaze.

25th British and Irish ministers met in London for a session of their intergovernmental conference. The body had not met since February 2007. The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney told unionists that they had nothing to fear from the conference.

26th Shortly after midnight, a family home in Antrim was attacked in what was believed to be a hate crime.

28th Rasharkin Orange Hall was targeted by vandals who scrawled sectarian graffiti on the door.

29th DUP MP Sammy Wilson issued a statement criticising ex-party leader Peter Robinson. He said that Robinson's remarks that people should accept a vote for a united Ireland were 'an invitation to republican arsonists to come in and burn out house down'.

A teenager was beaten with baseball bats during an aggravated burglary in Carrickfergus. Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said 'There is no place in society for those who wish to take the law into their own hands and they must be brought to justice.'

30th It was reported that an Irish tricolour had been nailed to a memorial commemorating the Kingsmills massacre. The police said they would treat it as a sectarian motivated hate crime.

31st The DUP accused Sinn Féin of 'rowing back' on its policy on the timing of a future referendum on a united Ireland.

The police said they were treating graffiti on a Catholic church in Limavady as a sectarian hate crime.

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said that the British and Irish governments hoped to hold talks with the Northern Ireland parties aimed at restoring devolution.

Families were driven out of their houses in Ballysillan after their properties were attacked.

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August 2018

1st The DUP challenged a decision to fly the Pride flag at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council. Sinn Féin had brought a motion to fly the flag.

The NI Chamber of Commerce said that the negative impact of Brexit was accelerating among firms in the North.

3rd The daughter of Pius McCarron, who had been wounded on Bloody Sunday, called for the prosecution of the soldier accused of firing the shot that caused her father's injuries.

The former DUP leader Peter Robinson accused unionists who cautioned against talking about about a border poll as engaging in 'crass folly'.

4th A man was shot in the legs in a gun attack in west Belfast.

5th Kerbs and a wall were painted green, white and orange in Limavady, and 'IRA' was sprayed on a road sign. The PSNI said they were treating it as a hate crime.

6th A man was injured in a sectarian hate crime in Newtownabbey.

7th Gerry Adams announced he would be publishing a peace process cook book.

8th Mary Lou McDonald rejected claims of a border poll.

9th Michael Gallagher, who lost his son Aidan in the Omagh bomb, criticised the government's proposals for dealing with the legacy of the conflict. He said their plans didn't demonstrate the will to help victims get truth or justice.

Police said that they were treating a sign that mocked the death of victim campaigner Willie Frazer's father as a 'hate incident'. The sign had been placed on a bonfire.

10th Lord Bramall, former chief of the British Army, said it was 'grossly unfair' that soldiers who took part in Bloody Sunday should be questioned by police.

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard said that the immigration minister Caroline Nokes had refused to meet him during a visit to his constituency.

11th Andrew Pope from Belfast produced a video game based on the Stormont deadlock.

12th A service marking twenty years since the Omagh bomb heard that people were still suffering.

13th After the Docklands Victims Association highlighted the vast number of suicides related to the recent conflict, Omagh bomb survivor Joe Holbeach said that he had also tried to take his own life.

14th Four people were arrested after suspected firearms were discovered during a search of a house in the Lagmore area of west Belfast.

15th A memorial bell tolled to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Omagh bomb and remember the victims.

16th It was reported that cleaning up the Twelfth of July celebrations in Belfast cost just under £21,000, down from previous years.

Brexit negotiations in Brussels included how to achieve a 'backstop' to prevent a hard border.

Families of four murdered police and prison officers expressed disgust that their loved ones' names had been burnt on a bonfire in Derry.

17th The UUP said the government should extend its consultation period on dealing with the past, as victims groups and individual families needed more time. The government had asked for responses on how to address legacy issues by 10th September.

18th DUP councillor Graham Craig complained that a Belfast poster featuring anti-Catholic slogans was anti-Protestant, containing stereotypes.

It was reported that Ciaran MacAirt, the grandson of a woman murdered in the 1971 McGurk's Bar bombing, was bringing a legal challenge against the appointment of Drew Harris as the next Garda commissioner. MacAirt said that Harris's former roles in the PSNI and RUC made him unsuitable.

Former civil rights campaigner Bernadette McAliskey called for Stormont to be bulldozed. She said that there had been inadequate efforts to enshrine human rights, and that people were benefitting from racism.

19th A memorial to the victims of the Ballygawley bus bombing was unveiled. The bombing had taken place thirty years previously.

20th Sinn Féin's offices in west Belfast were targetted in an arson attack.

A retired police officer told Belfast Crown Court that she had disturbed a man putting a bomb under her husband's car in Derry in June 2015.

22nd The trial of Sean McVeigh, accused of planting a bomb under the car of an off-duty policeman, heard about a high-speed chase involving armed police.

Workmen found two viable pipe bombs close to a community centre in north Belfast.

A volley of shots was fired at a house in Newry.

24th Former peace talks chairman George Mitchell said Northern Ireland was facing a 'potentially dangerous moment' in the absence of devolution. 'Twenty years of relative peace cannot be lost because of a vacuum of political leadership.' Stormont had reached 541 days without government.

25th A bomb was found outside a house in Carrickfergus.

26th A video of Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg emerged in which he suggested that border checks should be reintroduced 'as we had during the Troubles'.

28th Swedish EU affairs minister Ann Linde said that the Irish border question had to be solved by the UK, not the EU.

Rallies took place to express frustration at the lack of a functioning Stormont.

The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action called on Secretary of State Karen Bradley to restore decision-making at Stormont.

29th The Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab admitted there had been little recent progress over the Irish border.

30th The Royal College of Surgeons said that the absence of a Stormont executive was paralysing public services and hurting the nation's health. The BBC also reported that the stalemate was blocking a strategy to protect children and young people online.

An elderly man in Derry was shot in a paramilitary-style attack.

31st It was reported that two journalists had been arrested as part of an investigation into the suspected theft of confidential documents from the Police Ombudsman. The journalists had produced a documentary about the murder of six men at Loughinisland.

The parents of Tim Parry, a child killed in the Warrington bombing, said they didn't want answers, just peace.

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September 2018

3rd The main parties met for the first time since the breakdown of talks in September.

Wendy Parry, whose son Tim was killed in the IRA bombing of Warrington in 1993, said that she believed a new drama about the attack would show other grieving parents that 'there is life after losing a child'.

4th Police seized a large quantity of drugs in searches targeting the South-East Antrim UDA.

Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin said she had been consistent on its position on holding a referendum on Irish unity, and she had not flip-flopped.

The new commissioner of An Garda Síochána said that violence by republicans opposed to the peace process remained 'the biggest threat on the island of Ireland'.

5th The Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, criticised the political deadlock at Stormont, calling it 'a period of intense frustration'.

The inquest into the Kingsmills murders heard that it took 40 years to match a palm print to a suspect due to 'systemic and human errors'.

The public consultation on the legacy of theTroubles was extended by a month.

6th The loyalist Dee Stitt accused Arlene Foster of 'ruining his street cred' after he posed for a photo with her.

The Judge presiding over an inquest hearing into the Ballymurphy shootings said she expected a more open and collaborative approach on disclosures.

7th The High Court heard that a search and arrest operation during an investigation into the suspected theft of confidential documents was an attempt to intimidate journalists who were creating a documentary into the Loughinisland shootings.

The trial of two paratroopers accused of shooting OIRA member Joe McCann in 1972 was put back.

Toaiseach Leo Varadkar said that Ireland wanted a Brexit withdrawal agreement between the EU and Britain concluded by November 'at the latest'.

9th The PSNI Chief Constable, George Hamilton, warned that some Westminster politicians didn't understand the dangers of political violence post-Brexit.

The new garda chief Drew Harris said that he considered himself Irish. Harris, former RUC man whose father had been killed by the IRA, had been a controversial choice for the role. He described his appointment as a manifestation of the Good Friday Agreement, making a wider point about cooperation between North and South.

10th Sinn Féin accused the secretary of state Karen Bradley of having no new ideas to restore devolution to Stormont.

12th The Guardian reported that there was 'little new' in the European Research Group paper on the Irish border. 'It does not have any big breakthrough idea, it does not have a text on a potential backstop and its proposals do not involve EU checks in British ports. It relies on checks away from the border, mutual recognition of standards, data sharing and electronic customs pre-clearance.'

14th The Northern Ireland Affairs chairman Dr Andrew Murrison accused the British goverment of having a 'sticking plaster approach' to restoring devolution.

An academic study by Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University found that Brexit would threaten peace in Northern Ireland, disrupt cross-border cooperation and create potentially lethal divides between British and Irish people in the North.

15th A man was found with gunshot wounds in the New Lodge area of north Belfast. However, it was later declared not to be related to paramilitary activity.

17th A search began again for the remains of IRA victim Columba McVeigh.

A man was attacked in a racially-motivated hate crime in Belfast.

18th DUP councillor Graham Craig apologised to Alliance Party member Sorcha Eastwood for claiming that she was a 'mouthpiece for the Provisional IRA'.

20th David Coleman was given a three-year sentence for membership of the UDA.

Ian Paisley survived his first ever recall petition. The device had been initiated after he was banned from the House of Commons for 30 sitting days for failing to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

24th The High Court heard that the victims of Bloody Sunday should receive a 'very substantial sum'.

27th A man shot in the face on Bloody Sunday, Michael Quinn, was awarded £193,000 in a civil compensation case.

28th It wasreported that a former IRA who had been jailed for robbing a bank had written a novel about the 2004 Northern Bank Heist, which was blamed on the IRA.

The family of MI5 agent Denis Donaldson appealed for the return of his diary, which they believed would hold clues to his death.

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October 2018

1st The families of two men, Gerard McKinney and Michael McDaid, who had been shot dead on Bloody Sunday, were awarded a combined £700,000 compensation.

It was reported that the government was looking at how regularly checks were carried out in order to break the deadlock over the backstop in the EU negotiations.

2nd It was reported that policing the removal of two bonfires in 2018 cost £188,000.

Kevin Rafferty, who had been severely injured during the conflict, said he had been threatened with legal action over his care bill.

The PSNI urged Sinn Fein to ask its supporters to consider a career in the police.

The Irish government announced they would hold a public consultation on EU proposals to end the practice of adjusting clocks by an hour. If the change happened, it could mean the North and the Republic being in different time zones for seven months of the year.

4th Nigel Dodds of the DUP said it would not support a separate hybrid economic model for the North after Brexit.

Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly clarified comment he made about the UK government being 'the main protagonist' in the recent conflict; he said that the IRA was also a main protagonist.

Terence Keenan, whose parents died in the McGurk's Bar bombing, began a legal challenge to the attorney general's decision not to order a fresh inquest into their deaths.

5th Sinn Féin and the SDLP rejected the possibility of Stormont having a say over what kind of backstop might emerge in the case of a no deal Brexit.

A man was shot in both legs in the Brandywell area of Derry.

6th The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, paid tribute to the vision of Nobel Laureate John Hume while addressing a commemoration of the 1968 civil rights march.

7th The former police ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, described the five year time limit for legacy investigations as a total impossibility.

A shot was fired at the west Belfast office of SF MLA Pat Sheehan.

8th It was reported that the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Karen Bradley, would hold talks with Stormont's five main political parties.

9th Belfast City Council appointed its first Irish Language Officer.

The DUP leader, Arlene Foster, warned she wouldn't support any Brexit deal that could lead to new economic barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The Irish government announced spending on Brexit mitigation measures in its budget.

The trial of a man accused of murdering prison officer Adrian Ismay in a car bomb attack went ahead.

10th Four former Northern Ireland secretaries wrote to Karen Bradley saying that support for victims should be prioritised over funding any further historical investigations.

The DUP stepped up its pressure on British PM Theresa May over its demands for Brexit.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Northern Ireland deserved 'peace, not paralysis'.

11th The DUP accused the EU of pulling an 'astonishing confidence trick' on the UK government by claiming the Irish border problem was a roadblock to an overall Brexit deal. Arlene Foster also said that Theresa May 'in good conscience' could not recommend a Brexit dealt that placed a trade barrier on businesses moving goods from one part of the UK to another.

During the trial into the killing of prison officer Adrian Ismay, the court saw a video of the moment the bomb exploded under his van.

13th The Guardian reported on 'secret plans to allow an extension of the transition period in the Brexit withdrawl agreement [...] designed to convince Arlene Foster that the backstop plan [...] will never come into force.'

14th The Guardian Observer reported that Arlene Foster was now 'ready' to trigger a no-deal Brexit and regarded it as the 'likeliest outcome' following a 'hostile and difficult' exchange with the EU's chief negotiator.

Former Labour minister Douglas Alexander said that the deal on Brexit would rest solely on the issue of the Irish border.

15th Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said that her party wanted a vote on the future of Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit. She said that a hard border would be so damaging to peace and prosperty on the island of Ireland that the Irish wouldn't allow it to happen.

Theresa May declared that she couldn't agree to anything that 'threatened the integiry of our United Kingdom' as she told MPs that the EU's insistence on retaining the Northern Ireland backstop was unacceptable.

The family of IRA man Pearse Jordan, who was shot dead by police in 1992, failed in a new legal attempt to have an inquest verdict quashed.

16th Adrian O'Neill, the Irish ambassador to the UK, expressed concern that the British government was 'backsliding' on Theresa May's firm commitment to sign up to a backstop promise for the Irish border.

The DUP's deputy leader, Nigel Dodds, said his party would paralyse the government's domestic agenda if Northern Ireland's place in the union was jeopardised by a Brexit deal.

17th Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he could support an extended Brexit transtion period, but it couldn't replace a backstop for the Irish border.

18th It was reported that paramilitary-style attacks were being highlighted as part of a new TV ad campaign by the Department of Justice.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said that new legislation provided the 'best chance' of delivering power sharing. The bill would give civil servants greater flexibility in making decisions.

19th The mother of 13-year-old Leanne Murray, who had been killed in the Shankill bomb, recalled how one of the bombers, Sean Kelly, asked her for help on the day of the attack.

The Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney rejected claims of 'scaremongering' after Leo Varadkar, the taoiseach, said that fears were 'very real' of a return to violence in the event of a hard border after Brexit.

20th Wreaths were laid at the site of the Shankill Road bombing, which took place 25 years before.

Former Irish president Mary Robinson said that 'mischief-makers' might be lying in wait to cause trouble if a hard border was imposed.

22nd Former IRA member Anthony McIntyre failed in his attempt to stop police getting hold of secret interviews he gave to Boston university.

23rd It was reported that Tom Peters, a garda who was seriously injured in an IRA bombing at a farmhouse in Co Laois in 1976, had died after a short illness.

25th It was reported that damages worth more than £900,000 would be paid out in compensation for the Bloody Sunday shootings.

The head of Libya's sovereign aid fund argued against using assets during Libya's civil war to compensate victims of the IRA.

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November 2018

1st Former MP Barry McEluff revealed that he'd received death threats since posting a video that appeared to show him mocking the Kingsmill massacre victims.

The chief executive of Translink said that it was unclear if the company would be able to run cross-border bus services in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

2nd The BBC reported on 'dark tourism', with visitors going to sites related to the conflict.

A mechanic from Co. Antrim, whose garage had been targeted in an arson attack by loyalists, said he refused to be intimidated.

Sinn Féin said that they would accept Arlene Foster returning as first minister if there was a deal to restore devolution.

3rd Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, said that Brexit was fraying relations between Ireland and Britain, and undermined the Good Friday Agreement.

6th A court heard that the man who shot dead Stephen Carson in 2016 might only have wanted to scare him. Carson had lived in a 'shady world' which included being under threat from the Continuity IRA.

John Downey, who had previously been accused of the IRA Hyde Park Bombing, appeared at court in Dublin where he was charged with the murder of two soldiers.

7th A pipe bomb was found in west Belfast.

It was reported that a German economist, Kurt Hubner, had suggested that the only way for the North to avoid negative economic impacts of Brexit was to unite with the Republic of Ireland.

Bricks, bottle and fireworks were thrown at officers by a masked gang in Larne. The PSNI later blamed an 'criminal gang under the badge of the south east Antrim UDA'.

9th An arson attack on a house in east Belfast, during the early morning, was described as a racial hate crime.

12th An inquest into the Ballymurphy killings opened in Belfast. Three soldiers were called to give evidence.

13th At the Ballymurphy inquest, a claim was repeated that a UVF sniper might have contributed to the deaths of some of the 10 people killed.

14th A man was shot in the legs in Ballymagroarty. A PSNI spokesman said 'This has all the hallmarks of a paramilitary attack. The bullets could have strayed at any moment and hit someone passing by.'

Three more families gave moving accounts of relatives who had been killed at Ballymurphy in 1971. Meanwhile, the coronor reported a tweet from an army veteran's group who had encouraged subpoenaed soldiers to 'suffer from a total loss of memory'.

An explosion occurred at a house on Rodney Driver, west Belfast. Police who investigated found a 'substantial' haul of weapons, which they said belonged to the New IRA. The weapons might have been used in attacks on police.

16th Racist graffiti was reported in Ballymena.

17th Robin Swann of the UUP accused the Irish government of 'poking unionists in the eye'. He said he did not believe the Irish government had always worked with the same objective as unionists to see a deal to protect Northern Ireland.

18th The BBC reported on how south Armagh's barracks, checkpoints and watchtowers had been dismantled over recent years. The latest to be transformed was in Forkhill.

19th The inquest into the Ballymurphy Massacre heard preliminary evidence about two of the ten shootings - the killings of Frank Quinn and Father Hugh Mullan.

20th The Foreign Office was accused of 'giving up' on IRA victims killed with Semtex supplied by Libya.

Máiría Cahill said that she was very disappointed after meeting Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Cahill had alleged that she had been raped by an IRA man, and Sinn Féin and the IRA tried to cover it up.

21st A memorial to the victims of the Birmingham bombings was unveiled on the 44th anniversary of the attacks.

Arlene Foster said that the deal between the DUP and Conservatives was 'not dead'. However, the Taoiseach said that the DUP was not interested in getting what others called a 'best of both worlds Brexit deal'. Instead the DUP wanted a Brexit deal that respected 'the precious union'.

22nd A billboard advertising a 'Derry little Christmas' was removed as it was offensive to unionists.

It was reported that a rift had developed between the DUP and the Northern Irish business community over the Brexit deal.

The families of John Laverty and John McKerr, killed at Ballymurphy, made statements in court.

It was reported that a World War One memorial in Dublin had been vandalised.

23rd The Information Commissioner's Office, the UK data watchdog, said that Stormont departments could refuse to release certain information in the absence of government ministers.

It was reported that Gerry Adams had been granted permission to appeal to the supreme court to challenge his convictions for attempted IRA jail breaks.

26th The Ballymurphy inquest heard that the British army 'threw victims into a vehicle like animals'.

The Confederation of Business Industry director Angela McGowan said that no country in the world would want to invest in Northern Ireland if it is thrown out of Europe' without access to EU markets.

In Derry, a community worker's van was targetted in a shotgun attack.

27th In the early hours of the morning, vehicles were destroyed by arson at a garage in Carrickfergus. The business owner said it was intimidation by the East Antrim UDA.

The Police Ombudsman failed in an appeal over the legal standing of a former senior policeman involved in a challenge to his report into the Loughinisland killings.

Four men went on trial in Belfast for IRA membership, possession of firearms and conspiracy to inflict grevious bodily harm.

29th Prominent republican Tony Taylor was released from Maghaberry.

In the trial of three men accused of murdering prominent loyalist George Gilmore, the court heard that one of the accused had been holding a gun seconds before the shooting.

The families of those killed at Loughinisland expressed relief that an application to quash a Police Ombudsman's report had been rejected.

A witness at the Ballymurphy inquest said he believed it was his moral duty to come forward. Martin McLaughlin had been just nine when he witnessed the shooting of Edward Doherty on the Whiterock Road.

30th It was reported that businesses on both side of the border would suffer through limited permits in the wake of a no-deal Brexit.

The head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service said that urgent reforms in health, education and social housing were being held up by the lack of a Stormont executive.

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December 2018

1st The Apprentice Boys' Lundy Parade took place. Graeme Stenhouse, the governor of the Apprentice Boys, said work had been done to make sure the parade was a peaceful one.

2nd Former US Secretary of State John Kerry warned it was 'imperative' that Brexit was solved in way that 'does not reignite' the recent conflict.

3rd At the Ballymurphy inquest, a former soldier said that a shot he fired might have inadvertently killed the civilian Edward Doherty. He apologised for the 'mad 30 seconds'. He also said that the Royal Military Police embellished his original statement.

4th A man waiting for his son outside a school in west Belfast was shot dead by a lone gunman. The police refused to comment on motive, but said that paramilitaries opposed to the peace process were one line of inquiry.

5th Fred Scappaticci, alleged to have been the British army's highest-ranking IRA agent, pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornography.

The court case into the murder of high-profile loyalist George Gilmore heard about the chaos and screaming on the day he was killed.

6th The Ballymurphy inquest heard that the pathologist who examined the body of Edward Doherty could not stand over a claim that Doherty had been throwing petrol bombs at the British army.

10th Houses were evacuated and school children were released early after a security alert in west Belfast.

11th CCTV footage was released that was believed to show the gunman who killed Jim Donegan. IT was reported that a man had been arrested uner the Terrorism Act in the Turf Lodge area of west Belfast.

Police found an 'improvised weapon' following the security alert in west Belfast. They had 'received information about an explosive device having been left' on Upper Dunmurry Lane.

In an article on the BBC, Peter Taylor described the 'conundrum' of the government attempting to address the legacy of the recent conflict. The controversy revolved around an amnesty for British soldiers and potentially paramilitaries.

Ian Duncan Smith, former Conservative leader, accused the Taoiseach of 'playing a game' with the Irish border backstop.

12th A witness told the Ballymurphy inquest how he heard a shot ring out and saw one of the Ballymurphy victims, John McKerr, fall at his feet.

13th A woman testifying at the Ballymurphy inquest said that she had seen three people shot dead in 48 hours.

17th Robert Russell, a former IRA prisoner, told how he'd witnessed the Ballymurphy killings at the age of 13.

Five men were jailed for an attack on a north Belfast loyalist. The attack 'had all the hallmarks of a paramilitary attack'.

A Catholic police officer serving in Derry said that he had to cut ties with members of his family after choosing a career in the PSNI.

18th At the Ballymurphy inquest, a woman described how she cradled the head of a dying man while a paratrooper threatened to shoot her.

It was reported that an independent assessor would be appointed to advance a compensation campaign by victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA violence.

In the Dáil,Taoiseach Leo Varadkhar told a Sinn Féin representative 'it doesn't take long for your balaclava to slip'. The debate was around violence by masked men following an eviction from a farm.

21st Two men were jailed after pleading guilty to killing Derry man Paul McCauley, who died from his injuries nine years after a sectarian attack.

In Creggan, a man was shot in both knees.

A police officer who survived an attempt on his life by republicans opposed to the peace process spoke publicly for the first time. He said that the most shocking thing was 'the young ones running towards us, jeering in a joyous way', hoping to see him killed or seriously injured.

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