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

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Developments in 2011
Developments in 2012
Developments in 2013
Developments in 2014
Developments in 2015
Developments in 2016
Developments in 2017


March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009
July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009
November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
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March 2009

1st It was reported that a cache of arms had been found close to the border in County Donegal the previous day.

4th
The threat level from republicans opposed to the peace process was raised by the British government.

A question raised in the House of Commons revealed that £300m had been spent on conflict-related inquiries.

5th
A report by the Intelligence and Security Committee showed that 15% of its spending went on what it called 'Irish-related terrorism'.

6th It emerged that British officers were to go back undercover in Northern Ireland. Deputy First Minister Michael McGuinness criticised this move.

7th Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams warned that Chief Constable Hugh Orde risked losing republican support.

Later that same day, two British soldiers were killed in an attack by the RIRA at the Massereene army base. They had been collecting pizza from delivery men who were also injured in the assault.

8th
Gerry Adams called the Massereene attack 'wrong and counter-productive'.

9th Gordon Brown arrived in Belfast for security talks.

PC Stephen Carroll was shot dead by the CIRA after going to answer an emergency call.

10th Two men, aged 17 and 37, were arrested. Police raids on homes in Craigavon had led to minor disturbances.

On the same day,
pro-paramilitary graffiti appeared in response to the attack on the barracks, and a hoax bomb in Derry was blamed on republicans.

Martin McGuinness called the RIRA and CIRA 'traitors' who 'have betrayed the political desires, hopes and aspirations of all of the people who live on this island
.'

11th Thousands of people gathered to protest against the recent violence, while security in the province was heightened.

12th It was reported that police were trying to stop a RIRA bomb plot.

A bill paving the way for devolved policing and justice became law.

13th Funeral of Stephen Carroll.

14th The British government ruled out the idea of holding talks with republicans opposed to the peace process.

15th Prominent republican Colin Duffy was arrested, bringing the total number of men detained over the killings to four. Rioting erupted in Lurgan in response to Duffy's arrest.

Paul Anthony John McCaugherty was accused of buying weapons and explosives for the RIRA.

16th

Hardline republican Ruairi O'Bradaigh was quoted as saying that 'I would feel that what happened last weekend could have happened and will happen at any time.'

Plans to hold a (British) military parade through Belfast were cancelled.

Two more suspects in the Stephen Carroll case were arrested, while two guns were retrieved from close to the scene of the shooting.

17th

Gerry Adams warned against a greater role for the security forces.

Barack Obama praised the response of people in the province to the recent violence.

18th

Funeral of Mark Quinsey.
19th Sinn Féin policing spokesman Alex Maskey condemned the detention of paramilitary suspects beyond seven days.

20th Funeral of Patrick Azimkar.

21st It was disclosed that the 31-year-old arrested over the shooting of Stephen Carroll was on hunger strike.

22nd Police were given more time to question suspects over the RIRA and CIRA killings earlier in March. Police also announced that they were examining bank notes used to buy the car used in the Massereene attack for DNA evidence.

23rd The six men detained over the killings challenged their detention while it was emerged that Colin Duffy had gone on hunger strike. Two men were released without charge.

A security alert in Poleglass was declared a hoax.

24th A 17-year-old youth and a  37-year-old man, later named as former Sinn Féin councillor Brendan McConville, were charged with the murder of Stephen Carroll. 

The CIRA were alleged to be threatening prison officers.

25th
Colin Duffy, who had won a legal challenge to his detention, was re-arrested at the police station.

26th Republican Sinn Féin made a public statement describing the recent violence as regrettable but necessary acts of war.

A third man was in court over the Carroll shooting.

The sentences on two Loyalists who had used a police database to search for details on nationalists were reviewed.

27th Colin Duffy was charged with the killings of Azimkar and Quinsey.

Ted Cunningham became the only person to be convicted over the Northern Bank Raid.

29th Three people were arrested in Dublin over their involvement in 'dissident' republican activity.

30th A series of hoax bomb alerts in Belfast caused roads to be closed.

31st Belfast continued on high alert and a primary school was closed.

A convicted rapist was shot in a paramilitary-style punishment attack.

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April 2009

1st A man arrested in connection with the murder of loyalist leader Tommy English was released.

Two men were shot in paramilitary-style attacks, one in Derry and one in Belfast.

2nd A 19-year-old was arrested in connection with the deaths of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey.

Residents in Creggan were reported to be handing in legally held guns which they feared could be stolen.

3rd A bomb was found in Moygashel, County Tyrone.

Ian Paisley Junior was ordered to reveal his sources in the inquiry into the death of Billy Wright, or face jail.

Loyalist Steven Brown was given thirty years in prison for the murder of two teenagers in 2000. The murder was claimed to have been sparked when one of the teenagers made a disparaging remark about UVF commander Richard Jameson.

5th PIRA representatives were said to have warned the Irish government that they had lost control of Ardoyne to republicans opposed to the peace process.

First Minister Peter Robinson praised loyalist leaders for not retaliating after the attacks in March.

A car was set on fire and other vehicles were damaged during trouble in Newry.

6th The home of Sinn Féin assembly member Mitchel McLaughlin was targetted in an overnight attack.

9th A gang called the 'Divis Heights Liberation Army' were said to be threatening anti-social youths.

In Ardoyne, a 25-year-old man was shot while sitting in his car. Gerry Kelly of Sinn Féin said that 'those responsible for this attack are not representative of this community in any way, they have no support and they offer our people nothing but further distress in the time ahead.'

10th Loyalist paramilitaries were blamed for attacks on Polish immigrants.

An Phoblacht omitted the IRA Easter message for the first time.

11th Two petrol bombs were thrown at an Orange Hall.

12th The CIRA issued a statement warning of further attacks: 'As long as British occupation forces remain in Ireland, that will be the inevitable result of their presence here. The lessons of history are working out again in our time.'

13th The Real IRA admitted to killing Denis Donaldson.

15th Sinn Féin said that one of their offices in West Belfast had been attacked three times in two weeks.

21st Sinn Féin announced it would block any attempt to prevent IRA members from being defined as victims of the conflict.

22nd ETA member Arturo Arteaga faced extradition from Belfast.

24th Ted Cunningham, the only person to be convicted over the Northern Bank robbery allegedly carried out by the PIRA, was sentenced to ten years jail. He was not a member of the PIRA.

Martin McGuinness publicly stated that threats had been made against his life by republicans opposed to the peace process, who he called 'imposters'. I
t was reported by Wikileaks two years later that Sinn Féin became seriously concerned for McGuinness' safety.

UDA members met the head of the Catholic church, Cardinal Sean Brady.

25th Senior security sources made public their belief that republicans opposed to the peace process would bomb Britain.

27th Martin McGuinness accused republicans opposed to the peace process of turning the Bogside into a 'ghetto'.

Financial advisor Geoff Kerr was shot dead by a loyalist gang.

28th Belfast council staff were said to have been threatened by both loyalist and republican paramilitaries.

29th Colin Duffy was granted permission to find out whether his conversations in prison had been bugged.


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May  2009

3rd Allegations surfaced that the leader of the gang who killed Geoff Kerr had been a British agent.

5th A spokesman for the 32CSM claimed that one of their supporters had been attacked by loyalists in Merseyside during the weekend.

7th The Independent Monitoring Commission revealed that republicans opposed to the peace process were still a serious threat.

Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward warned that if loyalist paramilitaries did not begin to decommission by August, their special amnesty would end.

10th A gang attacked fire crews in the Bogside.

11th Martin McGuinness called on the 32CSM to condemn an attack on Sinn Féin member Mitchel McLaughlin's home.

12th Two men were charged with IRA membership during the investigation into the Northern Bank robbery.

14th It was reported that a 100lb bomb had been found near the border.

Lisnaskea police station was granted extra security over fears of a heightened threat from republicans opposed to the peace process.

15th A 44-year-old man who had been arrested over the Massareene killings was released without charge.

20th The lords in London ruled that a homelessness charity, the Simon Community, did not break anti-discrimination laws when it refused to hire two republican ex-prisoners.

24th Catholic youth worker Kevin McDaid was murdered by a loyalist mob.

26th Police ombudsmen were asked to investigate whether the police failed to intervene to save Kevin McDaid.

Police had to inform McDaid's son that a threat had been made against him by loyalists.

SDLP canvasser Dolores Kelly was threatened by masked men.

27th
A loyalist parade that was due to take place in the area where Kevin McDaid was killed was shortened by its organisers.

31st It was reported that the UDA's South East Antrim Brigade were ready to decommission.

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June 2009

1st Accusations were made that a policeman had helped organise in the Loyalist 'invasion' of The Heights area in County Down which led to the murder of Catholic Kevin McDaid.

2nd Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness accused some unionist politicians of failing to do enough to heal communal divisions following the murder of Kevin McDaid.

Late in the evening, a man in his twenties was shot in a paramilitary-style attack.

4th Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy blamed republicans opposed to the peace process for an arson attack on his house in the early hours of the morning.

5th It emerged that five witnesses to the Kevin McDaid murder were under threat.

Solicitor Manhoman 'Johnny' Sandhu was given ten years in jail for inciting loyalists to kill.

7th A teenage boy was shot in the legs in West Belfast.

8th The relatives of those caught up in the Omagh bombing won the right to sue the Real IRA.

Sinn Féin topped the poll in the European elections for Northern Ireland.

12th Journalist Suzanne Breen, northern editor of the Sunday Tribune, told a court she would be in 'grave danger' if she revealed her sources for stories about the Real IRA.

Police re-opened the investigation into Sean Hoey, who had been cleared of involvement in the Omagh bomb.

14th It was reported that the UVF had selected observers to oversee its arms decommissioning.

15th Romanian families were forced to flee their accommodation in the early hours of the morning following attacks by a mob.

18th It emerged that the UVF had begun to disarm.

Reporter Suzanne Breen won her case, meaning that she would not have to hand over her notes on the RIRA.

Esther Rantzen accused people in Northern Ireland of being 'addicted to hatred'.

19th It came out that the UDA had asked for money and prisoner releases in return for decommissioning.

Sinn Féin accused republicans opposed to the peace process of encouraging children to attack an Orange march in north Belfast.

24th A Hindu priest said he would be moving after an attack on his house in Belfast.

26th The High Court heard that police believed the UDA were involved in the sectarian murder of Catholic Kevin McDaid.

27th The UVF and Red Hand Commando announced that they had put their weapons beyond use.

The Whiterock Orange parade was held up by hoax bombs.

In Glasgow, a parade to honour British troops was disrupted by republican protestors.

28th A man was shot in the legs in a punishment attack in Derry. Allegations were made that a child had been used to lure the man to the door.

30th Ian Paisley Junior was fined £5000 for contempt of court after refusing to reveal his sources over the destruction of files following the killing of Billy Wright.

Shots were fired at a house during an argument about flags.

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July 2009

2nd Barrister Kieron Mallon accused the PSNI of 'naked sectarian policing'  for facilitating the display of loyalist flags near the murder scene of Kevin McDaid.

3rd The collapse of a case against Larry Zaitschek, accused of stealing files from Special Branch Offices, raised suggestions that someone was being protected.

On the same day, a Loyalist paramilitary leader was quoted as saying that the shootings in March 2009 nearly led to a violent retaliation from Loyalist forces.

5th Head of the UDA Jackie McDonald said that loyalists had a duty to inform if they knew the identity of racist attackers.

8th A Catholic teenager was beaten by a Loyalist gang in Coleraine.

9th Attacks on five Catholic churches and a GAA club were described as sectarian.

11th Hijackers claiming to have a bomb forced a van driver to leave his vehicle on a bridge, blocking it for most of the day until a controlled explosion could be carried out.

Lord Robert Eames admitted that the proposal to grant the families of all victims of the Troubles, including paramilitaries, the same monetary payout as a mistake.

13th Orange Order parades saw disturbances, with republicans firing shots at police in north Belfast. Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly blamed the RIRA for firing the shots. Violence continued for three nights.

A number of sectarian attacks were reported over the preceding weekend. An Orange Lodge and an Ancient Order of Hibernians hall had both been attacked.

14th A petrol bomb was thrown at an Orange hall.

21st A 44-year-old man was arrested over the shooting of Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar.

Loyalist Mark Haddock was taken in for questioning over four murders.

23rd Brian Shivers was in court over the killing of Quinsey and Azimkar.

24th A family narrowly escaped injury in a loyalist bomb attack in Brantwood Gardens, Antrim.

25th Two community workers in Antrim were warned of threats from republicans opposed to the peace process. Councillor Johnny McGibbon commented that some criminals were masquerading as republicans.

28th Research found that the number of 'peace walls' in Belfast had trebled after the Loyalist and IRA ceasefires.

29th The huge bill run up by the PSNI to pay informers was revealed.

30th Progress was announced in the establishment of a justice department for Northern Ireland.

31st A protest organised by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement disrupted a meeting of the District Policing Partnership.

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August 2009

2nd Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson called for RIRA videos to be removed from YouTube.

3rd A woman blamed the UDA for an attack on her nine-year-old son in Newtownabbey.

4th A 51-year-old man was arrested over the murders of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey.

5th The UK Crown Prosecution Service announced there was no realistic prospect of convicting IRA escapees Pearse McAuley and Nessan Quinlivan.

7th UVF man James Crockard was ordered back to prison for having breached his licence.

8th The Apprentice Boys' Parade in Derry led to violence and nine arrests.

9th A 20-year-old from Greenisland was beaten with iron bars by a gang of seven men wearing balaclavas.

10th Brian Shivers, accused of involvement in the shooting of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey, applied for release from prison on the grounds that he could contract swine flu, which would be fatal to him as he suffers from cystic fibrosis.

11th Matt Baggott was named as the new chief of the PSNI.

12th Two men were shot in punishment attacks. A third man had been beaten with baseball bats the night before.

15th The Ministry of Defence announced that it had cancelled a planned military parade so as not to antagonise anti-peace process republicans.

16th A number of businesses in Garvagh were damaged in sectarian attacks. The businesses were all Catholic owned.

The Crumlin Road Courthouse was set on fire for the second time in two days.

18th In a court case, the brother of a man involved in the Omagh bomb, Michael Campbell, was accused of trying to buy arms for the RIRA.

A family were forced to flee their home in Strabane after a confrontation with masked men. Sinn Féin's Danny Breslin said the attack had 'the hallmark of dissidents'.

20th The Sports Minister Nelson McCausland called for an investigation into a hunger strike commemoration held on GAA grounds.

21st Armed men set up a roadblock in south Armagh. Around eight men distributed leaflets warning locals not to co-operate with the police or Sinn Féin.

22nd Long Kesh escapee Pól Brennan was deported from America to the Irish Republic.

25th
Chief Constable Hugh Orde described republicans opposed to the peace process as a growing threat, but said "this is not the Provisional IRA. This is not an organisation that is highly organised, highly capable and supported internationally."

27th James McAfee of Coleraine was remanded over the sectarian murder of Kevin McDaid.

29th A small bomb was found on the pavement in Armagh.

31st Sectarian rioting broke out between loyalist and nationalists in East Belfast.

The UDA's top man in the north west told the UDA's Inner Council that decommissioning would not be possible.

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September 2009

1st Second night of disturbances in East Belfast.

It was revealed that more than twenty people were living under death threats following the sectarian murder of Kevin McDaid in May.

2nd Teenager, Patrick Quinn, shot in a paramilitary-style attack.

4th A new Troubles Victim Forum was founded.

6th Families of IRA victims pressed the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to take action against Libya.

7th The International Independent Commission on Decommissioning said it believed the UDA would disarm by February.

8th The British army defused a 600lb bomb on the border. Óglaigh na hÉireann were blamed.

9th Three CIRA men admitted possessing a bomb in April 2007.

10th Gary Donnelly, a republican opposed to the peace process, was found not guilty of attacking police officers in 2006.

11th The RIRA claimed three overnight attacks in Derry. Bombs had exploded outside the houses of the parents and sister of a serving policeman. A man had also been shot in the legs and hand.

A bomb was made safe in Donegal.

13th Judith Gillespie, acting Chief Constable, said that the threat from republicans opposed to the peace process was 'severe'.

16th Hugh Orde warned that the 'forces of hate' could fill the political vacuum left by the ruling parties' inability to tackle sectarianism.

17th A coffee-jar bomb was found in a car in Newtownabbey.

Three nights of rioting followed the sentencing of three CIRA men over a mortar bomb plot.

18th The PSNI stepped up its crackdown on anti-GFA republicans ahead of the appointment of a new Chief Constable. This operation was known as 'Operation Dissent'.

19th During rioting in Lurgan, hijackers told a female lorry driver that a bomb had been placed in her vehicle, and forced her to drive to a police station. No bomb was found.

21st John O'Dowd of Sinn Féin commended the police for their handling of recent street disturbances.

22nd Matt Baggott became the new Chief Constable. He described the threat posed by anti-GFA republicans as 'complex', 'very real' and a 'priority'.

Anti-Catholic sectarianism was reported at the Lisneal College in Derry.

23rd The awaited Bloody Sunday report was postponed.

Up to fifty republicans opposed to the peace process disrupted a meeting of the District Policing Partnership in Derry.

24th Arguing that budget cuts would weaken the fight against security threats, the Police Federation of Northern Ireland revealed that there had been 750 republican bomb alerts in the last two years.

27th Shots were fired at a house in Ballymena, but this was believed to be linked to a feud between two families.

Lord Laird of Artigarvan told the Observer newspaper that IRA victims might consider suing the Irish government.

28th The leader of Republican Sinn Féin, Ruari O'Bradaigh, announced he was to stand down for health reasons.

29th A District Policing Partnership meeting was cancelled over a bomb scare.

A man was shot five times by a masked gang in Belfast. Two men were arrested the following day.

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October 2009

4th Well-known anti-GFA republican John Brady apparently committed suicide in a police station.

5th A shot was fired during a disturbance in Newry. However, all those arrested were foreign nationals.

6th Policing and justice talks moved to London.

A man was arrested over the killings of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey.

7th Republican Action against drugs carried out a punishment shooting against a man in Derry.

8th A paramilitary-style funeral was held for John Brady.

11th The INLA announced an end to their armed struggle.

A crowd of 150 people attacked police in Armagh.

Hilary Clinton, who was visiting Belfast, called republicans opposed to the peace process 'out of step'.

13th Glen Dowd was given a five-month prison sentence for taunting the relatives of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey.

It emerged that police had foiled a republican plot to kill Ian Paisley Junior.

14th A man was shot in the stomach, hand and leg in West Belfast.

15th A controlled explosion was carried out on a van said to contain a 600lb bomb. This was later uncovered as a hoax.

16th A policeman's girlfriend was injured in a bomb attack on her car in East Belfast. This was called a significant development as republicans had not been active in the area recently.

17th A Protestant family were driven from Rasharkin after suffering sectarian attacks on their property.

18th A gang shot a teenage boy in the legs in the Waterside area of Derry, and a policeman called to the scene was knocked unconscious.

20th A 47-year-old man was arrested over the shooting of Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar, but released the following day.

22nd A bomb exploded with no casualties at a Territorial Army base in north Belfast during the early morning.

23rd A court heard that secret MI5 operatives would give evidence at the trial of three RIRA members due to begin in April 2010.

27th DUP MP David Simpson claimed some Unionist MPs saw the BBC as biased towards republicans.

A cross-border police action broke up a cigarette smuggling gang believed to have links with the Real IRA.

It was reported that traces of a component used in Semtex explosives had been discovered in republican cells at Maghaberry prison.

28th The British government revealed that the threat of violence from republicans opposed to the peace process was the highest it had been in a decade.

29th A 37-year-old man was questioned over the Massereene killings and released.

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November 2009

3rd Tony Dalzell became a victim of a punishment shooting by Republican Action Against Drugs.

It was reported that the republican Paddy Murray had been arrested in England.

4th The Independent Monitoring Commission released a report in which they said ex-PIRA members had joined republican groups opposed to the peace process, and also that punishment attacks carried out by loyalists had increased. Both loyalists and anti-GFA republicans were said to be involved in criminality. The threat to security from so-called 'dissident' republicans was the highest it had been in six years, with attacks on Britain a possibility.

It was reported that sheep belonging to a Protestant farmer had been daubed with the tricolour in an apparent sectarian attack.

5th Concerned Families Against Drugs denied allegations by the IMC that they were involved in violence.

Sinn Féin chairperson Declan Kearney warned of a 'complete [political] free-fall' over the devolution of policing and justice.

6th A court heard about forensic evidence said to link Colin Duffy to the killings of Quinsey and Azimkar.

DUP leader Peter Robinson accused Sinn Féin of 'blackmail' over policing and justice.

7th Fifty houses were evacuated during a bomb alert at Dundonald Heights.

8th A Remembrance Day parade was postponed amid claims that a suspicious device had been seen at Bellaghy. Nothing was found.

9th It emerged that republicans opposed to the peace process had made threats against judges, some of whom were put under police protection.

10th A security alert in Derry city centre was sparked by an imitation gun.

The assets of republican Sean Hughes were frozen among allegations of fraud.

11th Four men appeared in court over alleged UDA threats to the victim of an assault.

12th Police searching Maghaberry Jail denied the search was related to reports of three guns being smuggled into the republican wing.

Former senior policeman Norman Baxter said another Omagh could occur because the security forces were failing to recognise the danger posed by republicans opposed to the peace process.

14th A 21-year-old man was beaten in a sectarian attack.

15th Parts that could have been used in a bomb were reported found in the search of Maghaberry Jail.

Claims were made that a republican group, 'Saor Ulaid', had been paying travellers to steal guns.

A 51-year-old man was arrested in connection with the deaths of Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey, only to be freed the next day.

16th Republican Sinn Féin elected a new leader, Des Dalton.

17th Former IRA activist Marian Price was arrested over the Massereene killings. She was released without charge the following day.

19th A 'horizontal mortar type device' apparently intended to kill police officers was found and made safe in Armagh.

20th A 42-year-old man was arrested over the mortar bomb found in Armagh.

21st A bomb was left outside the Policing Board's headquarters in Belfast, where it partially exploded. Republicans opposed to the peace process were blamed.

A gun attack was also reported against police in Garrison, near the border. Four men were arrested. It was claimed later that the intended target, a Catholic police officer, had been tipped off about the attack.

22nd Gardaí claimed that republicans opposed to the peace process were 'making millions' from smuggling.

23rd A bomb alert in Armagh turned out to be a hoax.

Colin Duffy was refused bail.

Three of the five men arrested over the gun attack at Garrison were released without charge.

24th Two men were charged over the shooting in Garrison.

The US economic minister, Declan Murphy, said that 'dissident' republicans were 'bad for business'.

Loyalist and nationalist youths fought during the Christmas lights switch-on in Belfast.

A house in Derry was petrol-bombed.

25th Kevin Barry Nolan and Gerard James McManus appeared in court over the shooting in Garrison. McManus was also charged with using a gun to resist arrest. He claimed to have fired the gun while running from the police.

26th The row between Sinn Féin and the DUP over justice and policing continued, with Martin McGuinness accusing the DUP of game-playing and Peter Robinson calling Sinn Féin's stance unreasonable and unacceptable.

27th A judge condemned 'gangster' vigilantes who had caused a suspected robber to turn down his own bail. Police inspector Jon Burrows said that vigilantes were 'damaging' Derry's image.

It emerged that one of those accused of the Garrison shooting, Gerard James McManus, had been a soldier in the Irish Army.

During the court case of three republicans accused of gun smuggling, it came out that MI5 had secretly recorded 190 hours of their conversations.

In another case, two former IRA men were accused of blackmailing businessmen with threats of violence.

28th Disturbances late at night in Portadown were blamed on a 'carefully-orchestrated loyalist mob'. It was said afterwards that the trouble stemmed from an incident a month earlier when two men were barred from a pub.

29th Speaking at a commemoration for IRA men Henry Hogan and Declan Martin, Sinn Féin's Declan Kearney said that the DUP's approach to justice was 'a train wreck political strategy and political consequences will be inevitable'.

A controlled explosion was carried out on a car in East Belfast.

30th A suspicious device was reported in Strabane.

The DUP's Gregory Campbell said he believed the devolution of justice was years away. British PM Gordon Brown, however, during a meeting with the Taoiseach Brian Cowen, said he felt optimistic about devolution.

It emerged in court that the widow of Kevin McDaid, killed in a sectarian attack, had been forced to move from Coleraine because of verbal abuse.

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December 2009

1st
Patsy Devine, the mother of two IRA men who had been killed by the SAS, condemned republicans who had thrown a petrol bomb against a police station in Strabane. She said 'surely the war's over. Who wants it? I don't want it and a lot of people round here don't want it.'

Meanwhile, Chief Constable Matt Baggott told the Belfast Telegraph that he had 'no problem with dissident republicans', only their use of violence. This drew stinging criticism from the UUP's Tom Elliot who said he showed a 'complete disregard for the fragility of the political situation'.

The NI justice bill passed its final stage.

2nd A man from Newry was arrested in County Louth after it was found he was carrying a balaclava and bullets in his car.

First Minister Martin McGuinness said he wanted to see a date for the devolution of justice powers by Christmas.

The Belfast Telegraph reported an alleged republican plot to shoot down a police helicopter.

3rd Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said he believed another attack on the NI Policing Board by republicans opposed to the peace process was 'a strong possibility'.

4th Martin McGuinness warned that a 'full-blown crisis'  would occur at Stormont,  but Peter Robinson refused to agree on a Christmas deadline to sort out their differences over policing and devolution.

A court ordered that the police should pay the court costs in the Suzanne Breen case.

5th A former soldier whose details had been stolen during the Castlereagh break-in demanded his gun back from the PSNI so he could protect himself after twice finding bullets left outside his home.

A man was injured when shots were fired into a house in west Belfast.

6th A 'suspect object,' later revealed as a gun, was found in the grounds of a house in south Down.

Martin McGuinness called on Peter Robinson to name his pre-conditions for devolving police powers.

Petrol bombs were thrown at police dealing with security alerts in Derry.

It was reported that the new head of Maghaberry prison, Steve Rodford, had quit his post after his address and car number plate were found in the cell of a republican.

7th Hoax bombs were left near to banks in Belfast.

A security alert in Twinbrook, which caused sixty residences to be evacuated, was declared a hoax.

8th Two men were arrested and then released over the murder of Kevin McDaid.

NI Secretary of State Shaun Woodward ruled out a suspension of Stormont if the wrangle over justice was not resolved by the New Year.

Police warned retailers to be on their guard over a possible republican Christmas bombing campaign.

9th The family of John Brady, a RIRA member who killed himself in police custody, held a protest against the police.

Concerned Families Against Drugs met with the Independent Monitoring Commission to discuss their designation as 'vigilantes' in an IMC report.

Gerry Kelly's family home was the target of a bomb threat.

10th Two men were found guilty of possessing bomb-making equipment in Dublin.

11th Robert McAllister from Crossmaglen admitted to bomb-making charges.

The army carried out controlled explosions on two vans that had been used in an armed robbery.

Police were attacked in Derry while coming to the aid of two men who had been shot in the legs.

14th It was reported that a top judge, Justice Treacy, had moved house over a threat from republicans opposed to the peace process.

Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson argued in public for the first time over the devolution of justice.

15th Police issued a public warning to retailers about a possible Christmas bombing campaign: 'Incendiary devices can be left anywhere that can catch fire easily, in garments, soft furnishings and upholstery'.

16th Leading republican Brian Arthurs launched a legal challenge against his coming trial without jury for deception and possession of criminal property.

It was reported that a republican imprisoned for possessing explosives, Terence McCafferty, had had his release licence revoked after intelligence suggested he was a RIRA leader who could have been involved in future attacks.

Secretary of State Shaun Woodward announced he was optimistic that the UDA might decommission more weapons before Christmas. Meanwhile he promised that the government would do everything it could to protect people under threat from republicans opposed to the peace process.

The NI Affairs Committee stated that they did not believe people had reached a consensus on how to move on from the events of the last few decades.

The UDA pulled out of a proposed meeting with Martin McGuinness after the story broke in The Belfast Telegraph.

17th It emerged that a decommissioning project headed by Martin McAleese, involving funding UDA-controlled areas in exchange for decommissioning, had failed.

Brian Cowen and Gordon Brown issued a joint statement urging progress on the devolution of policing and justice.

18-year-old John Paul Wootton, an alleged CIRA member accused of being involved in the killing of Stephen Carroll, was denied bail.

A punishment shooting occurred in West Belfast.

18th A hoax bomb alert at Belfast station resulted in some trains being cancelled.

An investigation was launched into whether a note giving the home address of the Maghaberry Prison governor had been planted in a republican's cell by a member of the prison staff, who was opposed to the governor's reform plan.

The Historical Enquiries Team of the PSNI announced their intention to investigate Loyalist killings from the 1990s.

20th A man was charged with 'possession of articles for use in terrorism'  following the vandalism of a house and car in Hollymount Park on the 18th.

21st Loyalist Jackie Mahood lost his compensation claim against other Loyalist paramilitaries who had destroyed his taxi business.

Three men were charged in relation to the attack on the house in Hollymount Park.

Liam Holden appealed against his sentence for murdering a British soldier in 1973, claiming he had been tortured by waterboarding.

22nd A suspicious object was found in west Belfast.

Former INLA prisoner Paul Maxwell claimed he had been threatened by other republicans, who accused him of stealing from a taxi firm.

It was reported that a family in north Belfast were being forced out of their home by racist attacks.

23rd A man from north Belfast was abducted and shot in the legs. It was later revealed that the shot man had been convicted of murdering the greengrocer Harry Holland.

24th Peter Robinson said in his Christmas message that he would be working for a 'safe, secure, stable and prosperous Northern Ireland' and that 'the wreckers will not succeed'.

29th The Belfast Telegraph reported that the UDA would be fully disarmed by the end of January.

An elderly couple were victims of sectarian intimidation in west Belfast.

A man was chased and shot by three assailants in Derry.

30th A security alert in south Armagh disrupted cross-border traffic. Police subsequently said that the van involved in the alert contained bomb-making components.

The Guardian reported that more than 20 police officers have had to move home in the last six months following threats from republicans, and that 'Óglaigh na hÉireann is understood to have rearmed with up to 70 new rifles.'

Shots were reportedly fired at a police station in Crossmaglen.

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January 2010

1st
Éirísaid in their New Year statement that "As 2010 dawns Ireland, more then ever, needs a radical mass movement that will represent one class in society — the working people — and which will adopt but one attitude to the British occupation — that of uncompromising active resistance."

Vandals sprayed "Merry Christmas" onto Rasharkin Orange Hall. A local DUP Councillor said he regarded the message as 
"ironic and a threat upon the Protestant community in north Antrim. "
   
4th
A 47-year-old man was injured in a paramilitary-style shooting on Beechmount Parade in West Belfast.

A newspaper survey showed that 54% of Catholics and 15% of Protestants believed Stormont deserved to fall if no agreement was reached over policing and justice powers.

It was reported that the Orange Hall at Ballintoy had been damaged in a sectarian attack.

Independent security reviewer Robert Whalley called the 2009 marching season the 'most difficult' in recent history.

5th The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland met the Irish foreign minister at Hillsborough to discuss the Stormont crisis.

6th The UDA confirmed that they had decommissioned their weapons.

Gerry Adams called the Secretary of State Shaun Woodward's comments on the devolution of justice 'silly and banal'. He believed that Woodward was 'passing the buck' for the deadlock to Sinn Féin.

7th Gary Donnelly, a republican opposed to the peace process, was fined over three public order offences. His arm had been broken during a confrontation with police.

Sinn Féin reported that no progress was being made on policing and justice.

A 24-year-old was shot in a paramilitary-style attack in Armagh.

8th A policeman was seriously injured after a bomb exploded under his car. The policeman was a Catholic, an Irish speaker and captain of a GAA team. Republicans were suspected of planting the bomb. It later emerged that a remote control device had been used.

Irish police arrested three people and recovered a gun during a raid on hardline republicans in Cavan.

9th NI Secretary Shaun Woodward issued a warning to First Minister Peter Robinson that the crisis involving his wife Iris must not damage the assembly.

It was reported that the republicans involved in the previous day's car bomb may not have belonged to a known group. However, 
Óglaigh na hÉireann were later held responsible.

10th Sinn Féin said that Gerry Adams had received a death threat from the Orange Volunteers.

Former First Minister David Trimble called on Peter Robinson to resign, saying he had lost authority.

11th Peter Robinson stepped down as First Minister for a period of six weeks. Arlene Foster took over in the interim.

David Jordan from Donaghmore was charged in connection with the discovery of a semi-automatic pistol and bullets at his house on the 8th.

12th The retrial of Colm Murphy in connection with the Omagh bombing began.

Gerry Adams said that talks over policing were at a 'sensitive and serious stage'.

Police said that they believed Peadar Heffron, victim of the car bomb on 8th January, had been spied on by the bombers for weeks or months before the incident.

13th It was reported that Peadar Heffron's right leg had been amputated. According to The Belfast Telegraph, four more bombs from the same batch used in the car bomb were still unaccounted for.

After a security alert on the M1, the components of a bomb were found by the side of the road. 

A 33-year-old man was shot in the legs in a paramilitary-style attack.

14th A pipe bomb was found at a community centre in Antrim where a GAA team were training.

PSNI members were given mirrors to help them check for booby-trap bombs.

Police passed on a warning from the Orange Volunteers that Alex Maskey was under threat.

15th A man from County Down appeared in court over the bomb parts found on the M1.

Republican Brian Arthurs won the right to seek a trial by jury over allegations of fraud.

Three controlled explosions were carried out at Thiepval Barracks.

It was reported that talks over the devolution of justice would continue over the weekend. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Martin McGuinness on the telephone regarding the negotiations.

17th Peter Robinson of the DUP shook hands with Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin for the first time, while acting First Minister Arlene Foster commented on the positive atmosphere at the justice devolution negotiations.

18th A man was shot in a paramilitary-style incident in Kilwilkie, Lurgan.

Talks between Sinn Féin and the DUP over the devolution of justice continued all day.

GAA commentator Joe Brolly condemned the hardline republicans who had tried to kill Peadar Heffron.

19th A 44-year-old man was arrested and then released over the Massereene killings.

Basil McCrea of the UUP said that he had 'extreme reservations' about a justice minister from the Alliance Party. It emerged that the UUP, the DUP and the Conservatives had been holding secret talks over the weekend.

Republican Jerry Gallagher, a member of the Republican Network for Unity, was given a military funeral.

20th Talks on policing and justice drew to a close.

A man was shot when a gang raided his house looking for guns. Two raids were carried out in west Belfast.

A drug dealer, Gerard Stanton, was shot dead in Cork. The shooting was later claimed by the Real IRA.

21st It was reported that the number of stop-and-searches had trebled in a year.

22nd Two teenagers were shot in west Belfast in a suspected punishment attack.

23rd Sinn Féin met to discuss the collapse of their talks with the DUP. They called for a 'critical and defining' meeting on policing. The Alliance Party leader David Ford warned that the crisis could 'boost the paramilitaries'.

24th It was reported that the injured policeman Peadar Heffron had regained consciousness.

DUP spokesman Jeffrey Donaldson said his party were ready for policing talks, while it was announced that the Taoiseach Brian Cowen and British PM Gordon Brown would meet to discuss the issues at Stormont.

Gunmen fired shots at Crossmaglen police station.

25th Brian Cowen and Gordon Brown met to discuss the Stormont crisis. It was announced that talks would continue overnight.

Two men were arrested over the attack on Peadar Heffron. They were released unconditionally next day.

Alastair McDonnell of the SDLP accused the Conservatives of 'playing the Orange card'.

26th All-party crisis talks began at Hillsborough castle. Police ombudsman Al Hutchinson said that republicans opposed to the peace process wanted to sabotage the talks.

Police fired shots during a disturbance in County Down.

The  Orange Order condemned attacks on two of its Orange Halls at Rasharkin.

27th British PM Gordon Brown left the talks without a conclusion being reached, giving a 48-hour ultimatum for an agreement. Most parties expressed disappointment with progress.

A shopkeeper was shot, apparently as a punishment by paramilitaries for selling legal drugs.

28th Talks continued at Hillsborough Castle.

The Northern Ireland Policing Board were warned to spend millions on security or move premises.

Irish President Mary McAleese described Stephen Carroll and Peadar Heffron as 'heroes'.

29th A protest was held against the January 27th shooting of businessman Raymond Coyle who had supplied drugs for 'legal highs'.

Hopes faded for a prompt agreement over policing and justice.

30th Talks continued at Hillsborough Castle, after which the UK government said it believed progress had been made. Sinn Féin were 'optimistic' while the DUP talked about 'considerable advancement'.

Two INLA men were jailed in the Republic for bomb-making offences.

31st The Real IRA fired shots at Bessbrook police station. There were no injuries.

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February 2010

1st The DUP and Sinn Féin reported they were close to a deal.

2nd Nigel Dodds of the DUP insisted that the party was totally behind Peter Robinson despite reports that he was struggling to convince the rank and file of the policing deal. At the same time the Guardian claimed 'senior Unionists' had confirmed merger discussions with the Conservatives.

Robert MacAllister of Crossmaglen was jailed for twelve years for grinding fertilizer to make bombs.

3rd A pipe bomb was thrown at the Old Park police station in Belfast in the early hours of the morning. Later, a suspected attack by republicans opposed to the peace process was stopped in County Donegal.

Peter Robinson returned as First Minister.

Gordon Brown said that elections would be held if the Assembly failed.

It was announced that a joint UUP-Conservative candidate list would be published within a fortnight.

4th MLAs of the DUP met to discuss the policing deal. Meanwhile, Gerry Kelly of Sinn Féin said he believed a power-sharing deal was possible.

5th It was made public that the DUP and Sinn Féin had agreed to devolve policing and justice powers in April. The decision had been reached late the night before. The Apprentice Boys gave the new plan for policing parades a 'guarded welcome'. Gordon Brown called the deal a 'new chapter'.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited Robinson and McGuinness to Washington, while Barack Obama called the policing deal 'an important step'.

A man appeared in court over the planned attack in Donegal.

A bomb alert in north Belfast turned out to be a hoax.

6th It was reported that the INLA had dumped all weapons in the previous weeks.

Republican Sinn Féin warned that Catholics joining the PSNI were 'putting themselves in the line of fire'. President Des Dalton said that 'our message to young nationalists is that your place is not there in the PSNI. The logic of the situation remains the same – if you join a force that upholds British rule then you are putting yourself in the line of fire. It is worth remembering all the recent reports of Catholic PSNI officers being unable to live in the communities they came from.'

Sinn Féin announced that its officer board had endorsed the deal struck at Hillsborough Castle.

7th Sinn  Féin reported that a death threat had been made against Gerry Adams.

8th The INLA officially confirmed that it had disposed of its weapons.

The Official IRA announced that it too would be giving up its weapons.

The UDA's South East Antrim Brigade decommissioned the 'remainder' of its weaponry.

9th The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning stood down.

Police targeted anti-peace process republicans on both sides of the border, seizing guns, cash and imitation firearms in Cork.

A man was shot in the ankle in west Belfast.

Two men and a woman were arrested over the shooting of Stephen Carroll.

Peter Robinson warned that the justice agreement 'must be honoured'. He warned he would collapse the Assembly if it was not.

Six assembly members, three from the DUP and three from Sinn Féin, held their first meeting to discuss parades. The meetings were to continue every day until the 23rd of February.

10th The Belfast Telegraph reported that Gardaí feared a drugs war involving the RIRA in Cork.

11th 19-year-old Stephen Paul Ratcliffe appeared in court charged with possessing a petrol bomb during the 2009 Apprentice Boys' Parade.

12th A controlled explosion was carried out on a suspicious object on Craigavon Bridge.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement wrote to a local newspaper, The Derry Journal, saying that they would picket shops and schools that worked with the PSNI.

The DUP called Gerry Adams' comments on parades 'crass' and 'irresponsible'. Gerry Adams had said that Unionist marchers should not enter disputed areas without the residents' consent. Martin McGuinness suggested that the Orange Order should give up the idea of marching down the Garvaghy Road.

The Ulster Unionists set a new type of 11-plus test as a precondition to acceptance of the Hillsborough deal.

An explosion occurred at a house in Enniskillen. Police subsequently treated it as suspicious.

13th A controlled explosion was carried out on a van outside the court house on Bishop Street, Derry, damaging a historic deanery. Nothing suspicious was found afterwards. Two days later the police said that the incident had not been a hoax.

Legally-held guns were stolen during three break-ins in Magherafelt.

A shot was fired at a house in west Belfast.

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

15th Taxi drivers in Derry said that weekend attacks from the Protestant Fountain estate had been motivated by sectarianism.

16th Two men were arrested in connection with the shooting of Stephen Carroll.

Senior Orange Order officials were involved in talks over the parading issue.

17th The two men arrested over the Stephen Carroll shooting were released without charge.

18th Former UDA leader Jackie McDonald said he believed the Orange Order should not march down Garvaghy Road unless agreement was reached with local residents.

RIRA leader Michael McKevitt lost his legal challenge to view FBI files relating to his trial over the Omagh bombing.

19th A pipe bomb was thrown at a house in Tyrone.

A mortar bomb was abandoned near Keady police station in South Armagh.

A 21-year-old man appeared in court accused of 'possessing documents likely to be of use to terrorists'.

It was reported that a dozen ex-UDR soldiers had been threatened by republicans opposed to the peace process.

20th Grand Master Robert Salters said that members of the Orange Order were concerned about the proposals over parades.

Sinn Féin's Pat Doherty said that the 'denial of the Irish people's right to self-determination' was the main outstanding issue in the peace process.

It was reported that Peadar Heffron was out of intensive care.

21st A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Portglenone. It was not clear who was responsible.

Most people who had been forced to leave their homes in Keady following the discovery of a mortar bomb on the 19th were able to return.

It was reported that according to Republican Sinn Féin, army special forces units had been carrying out surveillance on two housing estates in Lurgan.

22nd A car bomb exploded near a courthouse in Newry. It was the first car bomb in around a decade.

Five men were arrested in Donegal during an investigation into republicans opposed to the peace process. Meanwhile, a man from County Down was charged in connection with the discovery of bomb parts on the M1 the month before.

Petrol bombs were thrown at a house in Turf Lodge, west Belfast. A Sinn Féin spokeswoman said the attack was 'disgraceful' and that people want to live 'peacefully and in safety'.

23rd Police said it was a 'sheer miracle' that the Newry bomb hadn't killed or injured anyone. The bombing was condemned in the Assembly.  It was reported that an historic church had been damaged in the blast.

A 29-year-old man was shot in both legs.

24th Colm Murphy was cleared of involvement in the Omagh bomb.

A security alert outside the courthouse in Dungannon turned out to be a false alarm.

The DUP and Sinn Féin agreed on a plan to fight sectarianism.

Three men were charged with membership of Óglaigh na hÉireann in Dublin.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott said that the PSNI were ready to deal with the security threat.

25th Martin McGuinness blamed the Real IRA for the killing of former republican prisoner Kieran Doherty, whose naked body had been found the night before near the border. He said that 'I am calling on the 32 County Sovereignty Movement to give us an explanation why another young Derry man has been murdered'. The Real IRA subsequently admitted the killing, stating he had been a member of their organisation but had been involved in drugs.  Doherty had previously claimed to have been approached by MI5.

26th The family of Kieran Doherty issued a statement to deny he was a drug dealer or informer. They said that he had been 'under continuous harassment by MI5 in the months before his death. Repeated attempts were made to recruit him as an informer. He rejected all these attempts...  We would like to know, where were the MI5 people who were monitoring his every movement on the night he was abducted and brutally murdered?'

Ian Paisley said he believed the cold relations between Robinson and McGuinness were harming the peace process.

27th A candlelight peace vigil was held in Newry in response to the bomb of the 22nd.

Republicans were blamed for firing a mortar at Craigavon police station, which was not hit. A hoax device was also said to have been planted to lure police, who were then pelted with flagstones and other missiles.

Petrol bombs were thrown at the police in Dunmurry, Belfast.

28th Ireland's Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern warned that the threat posed by republicans opposed to the peace process was as high as it had been at any time in the last thirty years. He said that the number of major incidents had escalated since September 2009, and that there was now 'cross-fertilisation' between groups.

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March 2010

1st Funeral of Kieran Doherty.

A boy was arrested after youths threw petrol bombs at police in west Belfast.

2nd It was reported that according to the RIRA, a six-week investigation had revealed links between Kieran Doherty and a cannabis factory discovered in Donegal. They believed that MI5 had been involved in 'trying to blacken the IRA's name and link us with the drug trade which we abhor and oppose'. They said that 'after the drugs factory was uncovered, the IRA stood down its entire Derry brigade pending the outcome of our investigation.' Other reports suggested that Doherty had been executed because his tip-off had resulted in the seizure of the cannabis factory. At a rally held for Kieran Doherty, his sister spoke up in defence of him.

Ian Paisley, aged 83, announced he would not be standing for election again.

3rd It was reported that police in Derry had asked judges to withhold the names of drugs suspects to protect their safety. Republican Action Against Drugs were said to have shot at least 15 drug dealers.

Justice minister Paul Goggins said that non-jury trials were still essential.

The Independent Commission on Decommissioning released its final report, in which it said that the '[Andre] Shoukri paramilitary element' had fully disarmed.

4th Youths threw petrol bombs in the Stewartstown Road area of west Belfast.

The anti-peace process republican Gary Donnelly was jailed for assault.

The SDLP criticised new measures that meant MI5 would not be accountable for its actions to the devolved justice minister.

It was reported that the Loyalist march through Stoneyford had been restricted. It should last no more than 15 minutes, and paramilitary trappings were banned.

5th A viable pipe bomb was found on the Stewartstown Road in west Belfast.

Petrol bombs were thrown at a house in Armagh at around midnight.

George W Bush phoned David Cameron of the Conservative party to ask him to use his influence on the devolution vote. However, Cameron explained that he could not influence the Unionist vote.

6th The Belfast Telegraph reported that sensitive intelligence information had been leaked, which listed three top republicans opposed to the peace process as informers.

During the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin, Gerry Adams praised the transfer of police powers to Stormont as a hugely important staging post.

A Grand Lodge meeting of the Orange Order voted for a resolution welcoming the progress being made on the parades issue.

7th  It was reported that a car suspected of being linked to the Newry courthouse bomb on February 22nd had been left for two days and then removed without examination, because of fears it was a trap for the police.

A memorial service was held for Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey. Dermot Ahern commented that the determination of some republicans to derail the peace process was 'getting stronger and stronger', representing 'a constant battle'.

According to the BBC, Hillary Clinton had been talking to Northern Irish politicians ahead of the 9th March vote on the devolution of justice.

Secretary of State Shaun Woodward denied claims by republican Gerry McGeough that some IRA 'on-the-runs' had been pardoned.

8th The  UUP executive endorsed the party's decision not to support the devolution of justice.

The case began against Gerry McGeough, accused of attempting to kill UDR man Samuel Brush in 1981. McGeough had been shot by his intended victim and had gone on the run.

The police made an appeal for information on the death of policeman Stephen Carroll, saying that 'his family still struggles to come to terms with losing him in such a violent and pointless way'.

Operation Ballast, which was investigating the Mount Vernon UVF, made four arrests.

9th The NI Assembly voted in favour of the devolution of policing and justice, at 88 votes to 17.

The US State Department singled Tory leader David Cameron out for praise over the justice devolution agreement. A spokesman said that 'we, the United States, including Secretary Clinton, have been actively engaged in helping Northern Ireland reach this point, as have a number of officials in the British government, including not only the Brown government but also the strong support that David Cameron and the Conservative party have given to the Hillsborough agreement.'

A gun was found and six people were arrested when police raided suspected hardline republicans.

10th Three Loyalists were remanded in connection with a 2003 pipe bomb attack in Larne.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that there had been calls for a special PSNI unit to deal with the upsurge in paramilitary violence.

11th Henry Joseph Fitzsimmons, implicated in the murder of Bobby Tohill, was brought back in custody.

Four men were charged with firearms offences after an investigation into hardline republican activity. On the 13th it was reported that two men would face explosives charges.

It was reported that the Reverend Chris Hudson had suggested ex-IRA man Sean Hudson should be invited to the White House, rather than extradited for counterfeiting.

Homes were evacuated in Armagh due to a security alert. The alert was ended after 'a number of items were removed'.

12th It was reported that senior Sinn Féin press officer Dale Moore had been the target of a death threat. A spokesperson for the 32CSM would later deny this and other death threats from the RIRA.

A motorist was fined for playing Wolfe Tone songs in the vicinity of an Orange march.

Shots were fired at a house in Antrim.

Lady Sylvia Herman condemned the UUP's opposition to the devolution of policing and justice.

13th Gardaí intervened when a Glentoran fan tried to fly a Northern Ireland flag at the Setanta Cup match in Dublin.

A security alert in the Kennedy Centre, west Belfast, was declared a hoax.

14th A man and a woman were arrested as part of an investigation into hardline republican activity. The chief constable said anti-peace process republicans were 'like London street gangs'. In his view, they were 'much more about who you know as opposed to a very clear set of ideologies or hierarchies'.

A security alert on Ballymurphy Road, west Belfast, was declared a hoax.

15th Two men, Niall Malachy Ward and William Wong, were charged with 'intent to commit a terrorist attack'.

According to a poll run by The Belfast Telegraph, 42% of correspondents in Northern Ireland saw themselves as Irish, as opposed to 39% British and 18% Northern Irish. However, 55% thought Northern Ireland should remain within the UK.

16th On the day that a report by MPs tried to address the unanswered questions from the 1998 Omagh bomb, Downing Street defended its refusal to share intelligence over the bomb.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, where they discussed 'ongoing political developments'. Meanwhile Security Minister Paul Goggins denied that the still-active republican paramilitaries were funded from the  US.

An appeal against the creation of four separate victims' posts on the grounds that the appointments were 'political' was dismissed.

Christy Walsh was cleared of possessing explosives after serving a 14-year jail term.

It was reported that the republican Gary Donnelly was on hunger strike at Maghaberry prison. He was protesting against being moved from the republican wing after an alleged RIRA death threat.

17th US President Barack Obama saluted 'the First Minister Peter Robinson and the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness for their outstanding leadership.'

Rasharkin Orange Hall was daubed with grafitti.

18th Cars left near Enniskillen Orange Hall were damaged in what was believed to be a sectarian attack.

19th The Real IRA claimed to have left four devices in Derry, leading to three controlled explosions and serious disruption. No devices were found.

Three trains were cancelled in Belfast due to a suspicious object found near the railway line, which was later declared a hoax. Traffic had also been disrupted on several roads.

Six men were questioned over suspected republican paramilitary activity after their car was stopped in Stewartstown, County Tyrone.

20th Police said that a device found at Magherafelt was viable.

Police inspecting a device found near a railway line in Newry were fired upon.

The six men questioned over suspected republican paramilitary activity were released without charge.

21st A man with alleged republican paramilitary connections, Seamus McMahon, was shot dead in Dundalk.

22nd Petrol bombs were thrown at a house in Ballymena. The attack was believed to be racially motivated.

The British House of Commons approved the transferral of policing and justice powers to Stormont on April 12th.

Ian Paisley made his final speech in the House of Commons.

Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward said that the report on Bloody Sunday would not be published until after the British general election.

23rd It was reported that the security alert near the Newry railway line had been 'an elaborate hoax'.

24th An email circulated by the PSNI revealed that complaints by the public had risen by a third since January, in part due to the increased use of anti-terrorism powers.

The Orange Order issued a statement against the Pope's planned visit to Britain.

Gordon Brown held talks with Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in Downing Street regarding a bill of rights.

25th Three men were arrested over alleged 'dissident' republican activity. Two were released without charge the following day.

The Ulster Unionists' only MP, Lady Sylvia Hermon, left the party in protest at its links with the Conservatives.

26th The police stepped up patrols in Derry following the previous week's alerts.

It was reported that the relatives of IRA men Dessie McGrew and Martin McCaughey, who had been shot dead by the SAS in 1990, were taking their case to the UK Supreme Court.

Five men in camouflage fired into an empty house in the Carnhill area in what was described as a 'paramilitary style incident'.

27th Police fired baton rounds during rioting in Craigavon.

28th A suspicious object found on the edge of Belfast was declared a hoax.

The RIRA hijacked a van on the Coshquin Road, causing the road between Derry and Bridgend to be closed until the following day.

29th A pipebomb was left outside a 'head' [legal drugs] shop in LetterKenny, Donegal, the latest in a series of incidents at head shops, including the shooting of Raymond Coyle.

Journalist Ed Maloney made public his claims that Gerry Adams had been involved in the killing of Jean McConville in 1972.

A court heard that Loyalist paramilitaries had blackmailed a Belfast couple over alleged drug-dealing.

30th Chief Constable Matt Baggott announced that the PSNI and Gardaí would increase their joint efforts to tackle hardline republicans. Brian Read of the Policing Board said that the PSNI would increase their policing presence.

31st The PSNI admitted that its members had mounted a checkpoint in the Republic a week before.

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April 2010

1st A number of security alerts caused disruption in west Belfast.

Gerry Adams said he was proud of his association with the IRA, but he did not admit to membership.

Three suspected republican paramilitaries were arrested and then released without charge.

2nd According to Sinn Féin, there was a 'strong possibility' of an attack on Gerry Adams.

Matt Baggott revealed that he 'prayed for dissidents'.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Queen had pardoned an IRA fugitive.

3rd A car filled with containers of flammable liquid was left outside Crossmaglen police station. Republicans were held responsible.

4th Twenty-eight republican prisoners locked themselves into the dining room at Roe House in Maghaberry Jail after attending Easter Mass. A 'suspicious object' thrown into the corridor outside the room was later declared a hoax. The day's visits to the prison were cancelled, including to Loyalist prisoners, drawing criticism from Ken Wilkinson of the PUP who said that 'this is a collective punishment where there is a section of prisoners who are protesting and everyone else is affected'. According to Breandán Mac Cionnaith of éirígí, the protest was as a result of 'the appalling treatment of republican prisoners and their families' which had been 'centred on the denial of political status'.  It was also said that the protest was due to republicans not being permitted to wear the Easter lily outside their cells. Geraldine Taylor of RSF commented that the prisoners are 'locked up for 23 hours. During that period they don't get fed, they don't get water, they don't get using the showers, they don't get out for exercise or anything else. Mentally, they just explode.'

At a commemoration of the Easter Rising, RSF said that 'political policing will continue and will remain guided by London, and security intelligence in the Six occupied counties will be the responsibility of MI5, with the RUC/PSNI in a support role. This is not the devolution of policing and justice powers.' They said they 'appreciated' the response of 'Republican youth... in the occupied area'.

5th The protest by republican prisoners at Maghaberry Jail continued during the day, ending in the evening. It was unclear whether force was used to break up the protest.

The 32CSM held an Easter Monday rally during which they said 'our actions this year will be louder than a thousand words.'  Spokeswoman Marian Price stated that 'we must prepare in Fenian fashion' and '1916 is unfinished business'.


Masked and possibly armed men hijacked a van in Armagh and set it alight.

The motorway between Lurgan and Moira was closed in a third security alert.

6th The motorway between Lurgan and Moira was re-opened.

Gardaí were threatened with a gun when they tried to break up a dispute between Northerners and locals in Donegal. 52-year-old John Moran appeared in court on firearms charges the following day.

It was reported that the Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday would be delayed until after the UK general election.

Police were attacked during disturbances in Newtownabbey, during which a barricade was erected and set alight.

7th The prison service rejected claims that republican prisoners were confined to their cells for 23 hours a day. However, Sinn Féin criticised the prison service, stating that 'prisoners should not be held in 23-hour lock up, they should not have been denied the right to wear Easter lillies and the decision to remove 28 men to the punishment blocks as a result of the weekend's protest is wrong and counterproductive.'

Chief Constable Matt Baggott clarified his remark comparing republican paramilitaries to Brixton criminal gangs, saying he didn't underestimate their ideological commitment, but felt they 'glorify putting people in fear'.

8th Two armed robberies took place, one leading to a security alert on an abandoned vehicle. Republicans opposed to the peace process were later blamed.

9th The DUP and UCU agreed to field a joint candidate for Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Meanwhile SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie accused Tory leader David Cameron of 'bringing back tribal politics' by siding with the unionists.

11th Around 250 relatives and supporters of republicans imprisoned at Maghaberry held a protest outside the jail calling for an international human rights observer to visit the prison.

12th Policing and justice were devolved, with the Alliance Party's David Ford becoming the justice minister.

On the previous evening, republican paramilitaries abducted a taxi driver and forced him to drive a bomb to the army base where MI5's headquarters were housed. Up to sixty local people had to be evacuated and an elderly man was slightly injured in the explosion, which occurred after midnight on the 12th. Police claimed that no warning had been given. Martin McGuinness commented that '
people out there who would like to destroy the peace process are not going to succeed because of the strength of the political process we have built up over recent years.' The RIRA apparently claimed and then denied responsibility for the bomb.

13th The army defused a bomb left in a vehicle abandoned outside the Newtownhamilton police station in the early hours of the morning. Up to sixty families had to be evacuated from the area. It was reported that the CIRA had admitted responsibility.

A hoax bomb alert forced the evacuation of Belfast's central fire station.

A pipe bomb was thrown into a house belonging to a cross-community worker.

The SDLP rejected overtures from Sinn Féin to form an electoral pact.

14th The Groarty Road in Derry was cordoned off for much of the day because of a suspect device, which was eventually removed by a bus driver who knew it was a hoax.

A masked gang in the Bogside forced their way into a house and shot a man in the leg.  A neighbour called the victim 'a fella that bothers nobody'. However, he later admitted selling mephedrone, which was then legal. He said he had met with the RAAD and promised to stop selling drugs.

15th Sinn Féin and the SDLP kicked off their election campaigns. The SDLP said that 'we will not promise something unrealistic like Irish unity by 2016, simply because it is the anniversary of the Easter Rising. Unlike others, we will be credible on Irish unity.'  Sinn Féin meanwhile declared that 'our vision for a united Ireland is unique amongst the parties in this election. Others, be they Tory, nationalist or post nationalist are content to be bit players in the corrupt politics of Westminster. Republican ambitions are much greater than that.'

16th Garda commissioner Fachta Murphy said that the Irish police and PSNI would be working 'seamlessly' together against hardline republicans, and that 'an attack on one member of one force is an attack on both forces.'

The Guardian reported that two policewomen were nearly killed at the end of February 2010 when a surveillance operation on Óglaigh na hÉireann
 went wrong.

17th A man was arrested over the MI5 base bomb.

18th Police used CS spray to quell early-morning disturbances in Ballycastle.

The man who had been arrested over the MI5 bomb was released without charge.

It was reported that PIRA weapons were still being found.

19th Joseph Woods appeared in court accused of possessing guns of use to republican paramilitaries.

The DUP launched their election manifesto, arguing that '
the ever-growing potential for a hung Parliament offers unprecedented opportunities for a focused cohesive unionist bloc in the House of Commons.'

Republican Action Against Drugs claimed a pipe bomb thrown against a house in Derry in the early hours of the morning. They went on to issue a statement saying that 'volunteers tried to gain entry to the property with the intention of executing [the intended victim] but they were prevented from doing so due to security measures at the property'.
Later during the day, the police and army discovered another pipe bomb in the Westland Villas area after the RAAD claimed it.

A man was shot in both legs in a paramilitary-style attack in Strabane.

Matt Baggott became the first serving Chief Constable to patrol Crossmaglen.

20th The army examined a car used in a security van robbery in Newtownabbey.

Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey stepped down in South Belfast in order to 'protect and defend nationalist seats' . SF hoped that the SDLP would step down from Fermanagh in exchange.

A man was arrested and then freed over the attempted MI5 base bombing.

The Derry Journal reported that a week previously, the army had been involved in a search on a residence in Derry for the first time in years.  A member of the 32CSM had been staying at the flat.

Reports came in of an explosion outside a house in Dunmore gardens, shortly before midnight.

21st Margaret Ritchie of the SDLP launched the party's manifesto, promising to create 42,000 jobs and use their leverage in a hung parliament.

A pipe bomb exploded in Limavady.

Three men were arrested over the shooting in Strabane on the 19th.

22nd According to the PSNI, the situation with republican paramilitary activity had 'deteriorated significantly'. Diverse groups were said to be co-operating. The Belfast Telegraph quoted a 'senior security source' that republicans were bringing bombs to Belfast for spectacular attacks on big targets.

A car bomb exploded outside the police station in Newtownhamilton after a warning had been phoned through to a local hospital. Two people were injured, including a woman in her eighties. It was later claimed that if local firefighters had not been conducting a routine drill, the bomb car might not have been spotted and casualties could have been worse.

A pipe bomb was thrown at a house in Coalisland.

23rd A Polish-owned shop in Ballymoney was subject to racist vandalism.

A third PIRA member was jailed for the 2004 abduction of Bobby Tohill. Tohill had been abducted as a warning against disrupting the peace process.

The TUV pledged to use any leverage it had in a hung parliament to reverse rules over the First Minister, which could have seen Martin McGuinness in the job.

The Guardian reported that according to intelligence sources, republicans had hoped to use the recent flying ban (due to volcanic ash) to smuggle a bomb into England.

A police station in north Belfast went into lockdown after an officer opened a package containing 'suspicious powder'.

24th A pipe bomb was found in Homebase in Newtownabbey.

25th PSNI officers were attacked by a crowd in west Belfast in the early hours of the morning.

A 43-year-old man was arrested in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

26th Terry Spence of the Police Federation told Justice Minister David Ford that he believed the police were under-resourced and unprepared for the rising tide of republican paramilitary activity. He said that republican paramilitaries showed 'growing confidence and competence' and unless something was done, 'we will gradually sleepwalk into a renewal of a full-blown terrorist campaign'.

27th A bomb alert that closed the Tardee Road was called a 'non-deliberate hoax'.

28th Matt Baggott announced that the phasing out of the PSNI's full-time reserve might be delayed to deal with the deteriorating security situation.  It was also reported that the road running between the two main court buildings in Belfast was to be closed off with barriers because of the risk of attack.

Two viable devices were made safe in Lurgan. A man was arrested, followed by a second man the next day.

The police ombudsman investigated claims by a west Belfast teenager that he had been told by the police to plant weapons on a neighbour's property. The boy, who had been arrested for shoplifting, had allegedly been encouraged to join a paramilitary group and plant explosives. He had been held captive over the weekend by 
Óglaigh na hÉireann who released him on the 26th after he admitted to his 'covert activities'.

29th The Belfast Telegraph reported that Gerry Adams had received his fifth formal notification from police that republican hardliners intended to kill him.

A number of people were moved from their homes at Abercorn Place during a hoax alert.

30th A viable pipe bomb was destroyed in north Belfast.

It was reported that the designated Attorney General for NI, John Larkin QC, might not take the position because he felt he would not be adequately protected.

Deputy chief constable Judith Gillespie warned the public to expect more security measures in the build up to the general election.

An attack on five Catholics in Coleraine was treated by police as a sectarian hate crime. The house of two Protestant pensioners living in north Belfast was damaged in another sectarian attack.

Youths threw petrol bombs at houses and a business premises in Derry. It was later reported that this had been the latest of a series of sectarian attacks on Catholics, who were on the verge of leaving the area.

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May 2010

2nd A petrol bomb was thrown into a house in Ballymena in what police called a racially-motivated hate crime.

A 17-year-old girl was arrested over the Coleraine attack on the 30th.

Trouble flared up at a republican parade to commemorate the hunger strikes. A loyalist counter-demonstration took place at Peter's Hill.

3rd A group supporting republican prisoners held a protest at the Belfast marathon. They claimed that during the lock-in protest in April, the electricity, heating and water had been switched off.

A pipe bomb exploded outside the house of a PSNI man's father in Newry.

4th A 22-year-old man was arrested over the death of Stephen Carroll.

A Filipino man was subject to a racist attack in Coleraine.

David Cameron visited Belfast and tried to allay fears of cuts to public services. In the evening, the leaders of the four major parties took part in a TV debate.

A small bomb exploded outside Lurgan police station, with no casualties.

5th Residents in Lenadoon were evacuated over a bomb alert.

Seven people were arrested during a police investigation into hardline republican activity. Two were arrested in the Republic.

Republican Paul Lurgan appeared in court after being caught by an MI5 sting operation. He was accused of trying to obtain 'explosives, pistols, AK 47s, [and] armour piercing stuff'.

6th Four of the seven who had been arrested on the 5th were released.

An intelligence agent gave evidence at the case against Paul Anthony John McCaugherty, Desmond Paul Kearns and Dermot Declan Gregory, all charged with RIRA involvement including 'making the deeds of a Portuguese restaurant available for the purposes of terrorism.'

A man from County Tyrone who had been arrested in connection with republican anti-drug vigilantism made an emergency appeal to be allowed to vote in the UK general election, but it was refused.

A pipe bomb was left outside Templemore electoral count centre.

7th In the UK general election, DUP leader Peter Robinson lost his East Belfast seat to the Alliance Party.

The electoral results showed the DUP on eight seats, Sinn Féin with five after several recounts gave them the marginal Fermanagh/South Tyrone seat, the SDLP on three, the Alliance Party on one and one seat going to an independent, former UUP MP Sylvia Hermon.

Niall Ward, accused of possessing explosives to be used by republican paramilitaries, was denied bail.

A 41-year-old man was arrested in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

8th A man was arrested over the RIRA bomb outside the Palace Barracks, but released next day.

9th A man was charged with 'possession of ammunition in suspicious circumstances and providing money or property for the purpose of terrorism' relating to events on the seventh in south Armagh.

10th A court heard further details from an agent known as 'Amir' on an anti-RIRA sting operation.

It was announced that Peter Robinson would stay on as First Minister even after losing his seat in the general election.

Two men were arrested over the 2009 shooting of drug dealer Jim McConnell. One of the men was accused of INLA membership.

A pipe bomb was discovered in Newry and made safe.

11th Bomb scare at Templemore Sports Centre. The same complex had been the target of a scare the week previously, when used for vote counting. The next day Óglaigh na hÉireann claimed the bomb, which had no detonator, had been in the building for five days.

12th Owen Paterson became the new NI Secretary of State.

'Amir', the MI5 man giving evidence at the RIRA trial, claimed he was being forced to give evidence and had been betrayed by his MI5 bosses.

A man arrested over the shooting of Jim McConnell was released on bail.

13th A man who had been on the run for four years over the kidnapping of Bobby Tohill was re-arrested in the Republic.

NI leaders met the new British Prime Minister David Cameron.

14th Shots were fired at the Newry house of a man who, it had earlier been reported, stood under threat from republicans opposed to the peace process. People inside the house included a four-year-old child.

15th The Belfast Telegraph reported that republicans had been putting the personal details of prison officers on the internet.

17th Police attending a hoax security alert in Lurgan had blast bombs and petrol bombs thrown at them. This was blamed on republicans opposed to the peace process.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott announced that 225 reserve officers would stay on until March 2011 in order to 'provide additional support to the increased operational work to disrupt the activities of criminal terrorists'.

18th An explosion around three in the morning in Derry caused several houses to be evacuated.

Two men were arrested in connection with 'terrorist related activity'.

19th A suspicious object left during the night on Donegall Road, west Belfast, turned out to be a hoax.

Former Sinn Féin councillor Tom Hanlon was jailed for three years following his arrest over the 2005 Northern Bank robbery.

Joseph Woods appeared in court over possession of guns and bullets intended for use by republican paramilitaries.

US ambassador Declan Murphy said that Derry's role as the 2013 UK City of Culture sent out a message to 'dissident' republicans that the peace process would not be derailed.

A gang fired shots at a house in west Belfast.

20th Shots were fired at a house in County Armagh. It was revealed that the man who lived there was ex-UDR. Willie Frazer of Families Acting for Innocent Relatives claimed that 'the police are playing down how high the threat [from republicans opposed to the peace process] is in areas like Tyrone and here in south Armagh. We had a policeman in here in our office today who was told he is under threat. The threat has never been as high and other police officers both serving and ex-members are being told to leave the area because their lives are at risk.'

21st A teenager was shot in the leg by masked men in Newry.

The head of the Orange Order Robert Saulters called for a single unionist party to be formed to unite unionists.

22nd Police raided a Republican bomb factory in Dundalk and arrested two men.

A man, Brendan McCafferty, was shot and beaten by masked men at his Strabane home. His girlfriend was also injured. It was later reported that he had been told he had 24 hours to leave Strabane, or he would be 'shot dead'. The threat allegedly came from RAAD.

23rd A car was damaged in a pipe bomb attack in Strabane in the early hours of the morning.

Irish Justice Minister said that the threat from republicans opposed to the peace process was severe, and the raid at Dundalk the previous day had prevented a bomb attack.

24th A house in Ballynahinch was petrol bombed just after midnight.

A man was arrested in Dunmurray in a probe into republican paramilitary activity.

Disturbances in Derry, when petrol bombs were thrown at police, involved young children.

25th Republican Liam Hannaway who was imprisoned at Maghaberry for possessing explosives reached the 42nd day of his hunger strike. It was later reported that he had ended the hunger strike.

Philip McKevitt appeared in court following the May 22nd raid at Dundalk.

Brendan McCafferty, who had been shot in Strabane on 22nd May, publicly admitted his drug-dealing past. He claimed to have gone clean but 'these people don't give up until they get you.'

Declan O'Loan of the SDLP lost the party whip after having called for a united nationalist party and then retracted his call.

26th Ciaran Farrell was charged with involvement in the Newry courthouse bombing of 22nd Feb. Farrell was the brother of Mairead Farrell, an IRA member shot dead by the SAS on the Rock of Gibraltar.

Conan Murphy was charged over the bomb factory in Dundalk.

The Independent Monitoring Commission published a report stating that 'the range and nature of RIRA's (Real IRA) activities in the six months under review were, by any yardstick, a very serious matter. However it is important to point out that this is in no way a reappearance of something comparable to the PIRA (Provisional IRA) campaign.'

In the case against
Paul Anthony John McCaugherty, it was alleged he had unwittingly told a secret service agent that the RIRA were storing guns in France.

27th Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Patterson and Irish Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern held talks over the increase in radical republican activity.

A security alert in Strabane resulted in the finding of 'the remains of a viable device'.

28th A pipe bomb was discovered outside the Sinn Féin office at Castlewellan at three in the morning.

Two men were arrested over the pipe bomb explosion in Strabane on 27th May.

Bobby Moffett, allegedly a member of the Red Hand Commando, was shot dead, apparently by fellow Loyalists. The Belfast Telegraph reported that the UVF were responsible.

Sinn Féin warned the chief constable that they would reconsider their co-operation with the police over the case of a Catholic priest, Kevin Kennedy, who had failed a security check.

29th A mortar bomb was launched at the police station in Derry in the early hours of the morning. It did not explode.

30th A pipe bomb was thrown into a house in Dungannon at one in the morning. The PSNI elected not to treat it as a sectarian incident.

A third man was arrested over the murder of Bobby Moffett.

31st The NI ombudsman found that the Fire and Rescue service should not have removed a tribute to the Enniskillen bomb victims. The tribute had been removed after an anonymous complaint in 2007.

Raymond McCord, a campaigner whose son had been murdered by the UVF, blamed the UVF for the killing of Loyalist Bobby Moffett.

A man was shot in the leg at Juniper Park, west Belfast, allegedly by the CIRA.

The PSNI were attacked by a crowd in north Belfast, suffering cuts and bruises.

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June 2010

1st Representatives of the English police said they were concerned that their members could be deployed to Northern Ireland if trouble flared during the summer.

2nd People were evacuated from Dunclog Gardens, Ballymena, after a security alert in the early hours of the morning.

A man appeared in court charged with possessing 'terrorist items'. He had originally been arrested over the murder of Bobby Moffett. Meanwhile
police investigating the killing seized a police uniform and gun, and the UVF-affiliated PUP announced that people should be able to attent Moffett's funeral 'without fear'.

It was reported that the number of assaults on police had risen from 2912 in 2007/8 to 3289 in 2009/10.

A pipe bomb caused serious damage to a car in Strabane.

Three masked men entered a house in Derry and threatened to shoot the family inside. The police were slow to respond because '
s
ome situations... may have to be dealt with cautiously due to the significant threat from terrorists.'

3rd Dawn Purvis resigned from the PUP as she felt it was 'severely restricted because of its relationship with the Ulster Volunteer Force.' Meanwhile, a vigil was held for Bobby Moffett.

The house of Brendan McCafferty, who had been targetted by the RAAD, was damaged by fire.

4th Hundreds of people attended Bobby Moffett's funeral despite threats from the UVF. The PSNI blamed the murder on 'individuals linked to the UVF'.

A man was arrested in connection with a republican 'show of strength' in Strabane in October 2009.

A 48-year-old who had been arrested over the Palace Barracks bomb was released without charge.

A mural on the back of the Free Derry wall to Kieran Doherty, who had been killed by the RIRA in February, was damaged after petrol bombs were thrown at it. Petrol bombs were thrown at houses in West End Park.

5th Dr John Kyle of the PUP said he believed the UVF still had weapons.

7th A security alert occurred at Comber, County Down.

A man arrested over the killing of Bobby Moffett was released without charge.

8th Shortly after midnight, a pipe bomb was thrown at a house in Ardgrange, Derry.

After reports came out that RAAD had ordered ten people to leave Derry because of their connections to drugs, Foyle MP Mark Durkan argued that vigilantism was not the answer to the drugs problem.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness met British Prime Minister David Cameron in London to discuss budget cuts.

A man was shot in the leg in west Belfast.

9th A pipe bomb was found on Carlton Drive, Strabane, near a play area.

The police defended their record on tackling sectarian crime at the Fountain/Bishop Street interface in Derry. Local residents claimed that stones and petrol bombs were being thrown in an attempt to force Protestants from the area.

10th PSNI Commander Chris Yates warned that the security situation in Foyle was deteriorating. He believed an attack was 'highly likely' and stated that 'in 2008/09 there were 28 terrorists offences within G District. Last year there was 106. We are on an upward slope... Last year we had about 15 pipe bombs in the district, most of them would have been across Foyle. This year, to date, we are up to 16.'

The army exploded a suspected pipe bomb in Galliagh. It turned out to be a hoax. A security alert that closed a railway line at Lurgan was also declared a hoax. A device was made safe in Downpatrick.

Three men forced their way into a house in Ballymoney and shot a man, leaving him critically wounded.

11th A 'viable device' was found and defused in Sion Mills.

The prisoner ombudsman Pauline McCabe made sixteen recommendations following a complaint that prisoners at Maghaberry were being locked in their cells for 23 hours a day.

The publication of an article in the Guardian that leaked details of the Saville Report, stating that the killings on Bloody Sunday would be ruled unlawful, came in for criticism.

The Derry Journal carried a statement from the RAAD, in which they said they had 'secured both ends of Central Drive in Creggan, allowing a second unit, carrying fully automatic weapons, to carry out a search operation at the shops. When the operation ceased volunteers fired 80 shots in the air. This should be seen as a warning to young people who cause weekly mayhem in the Central Drive area.'

12th It was reported that the man shot on the 10th had been Donal Meehan, who had been in an argument with a leading INLA member.

A man was questioned over the attempted bombing of Keady police station, but released without charge two days later.

13th In the early hours of the morning, a petrol bomb exploded outside a house in North Belfast. No one in the house was hurt, but one man was injured in the hands.

According to the Irish Independent, the 'allegedly defunct' IRA had been linked to a money counterfeiting operation recently uncovered by Interpol. It also alleged that the PIRA had lost 'a huge amount of money' when Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008.

14th The Saville Report on Bloody Sunday was given to Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Patterson. Martin McGuinness said he believed it should exonerate the dead. According to The Belfast Telegraph, 'laws used to bring gangland killers to justice [were] being lined up to put the soldiers who took part in Bloody Sunday on trial'.

The lawyer of Desmond Kearns, accused of gun-running for the RIRA, argued that he was a victim of entrapment.

A 45-year-old man was arrested over the Palace Barracks bombing.

A report by Queen's University showed that the number of paramilitary flags flown during July 2009 had halved since 2008.

15th The Saville Report into Bloody Sunday was published. It stated that none of those killed on Bloody Sunday had been carrying guns; that the British soldiers had fired first and were out of control; that while republican paramilitaries opened fire, the British soldiers were not shooting in self-defence; and that people had been killed while running away, lying injured or going to help the injured. Prime Minister David Cameron apologised on behalf of the British Government. Several of the paratroopers involved on the day criticised the findings.

A man was shot in the legs in Dunmurry.

16th Protestant leaders met with the relatives of Bloody Sunday victims.

Police investigated possible paramilitary involvement in an attack on a man in Donaghadee, during which he was cut with a broken bottle.

Shots were fired at an empty car in Strabane at midnight.

17th Ciaran Farrell, accused of involvement in the Newry courthouse bomb, claimed that he had 'acted under duress'.

When police intervened in a gang fight in west Belfast, they were pelted with petrol bombs and paint.

A 300lb bomb abandoned outside the police station in Aughnacloy caused hundreds of people to be evacuated from their homes.

18th A man was shot in the chest in Dunmurry.

Desmond Kearns, who had been accused of smuggling guns for the RIRA, was released after a judge decided he had been a victim of entrapment.

As the Tour of the North parade passed off without incident, Orangemen threatened to walk to Drumcree church without permission for the first time since 1998.

A pipe bomb apparently found in a garden in Antrim was declared a hoax.

19th Kevin Martin Vernon was accused of a pipe bomb attack on his neighbour's house six days earlier.

21st A Bloody Sunday memorial in the Bogside was vandalised.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell reported that he had received death threats through Facebook after his public comments on the Saville Inquiry.

The Belfast Telegraph printed allegations that hardline republicans had been involved in the enforced prostitution of East European women.

A number of houses around Donegall Road were attacked by a masked mob. At least one of the attacks was sectarian, against a Catholic woman, and another was racist.

22nd Two cars were burnt in racist attacks in the early hours of the morning.

Also early in the morning a pipe bomb exploded outside a house in north Belfast.

The Keady cross-border road was closed due to a bomb alert. A warning had been phoned in.

23rd Police said they believed a fire in Keady a few days earlier had been a deliberate attempt to lure the PSNI into the path of a bomb.

An incendiary bomb was found in a house in Newtownabbey. The Belfast Telegraph reported that loyalist Andre Shoukri may have been the intended target.

A man was arrested over the attempted bombing of Keady police station on the 19th of February.

24th The army reported making safe a 'substantial' bomb in Keady.

The Parades Commission ruled that the Orange Order parade on 1st July would not go through the area where Kevin McDaid had been murdered the previous year.

The Guardian ran an article on racist attacks by 'working class Protestants'.

25th In the early hours of the morning, a petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Derry. The occupant had formerly been threatened by RAAD.

A 39-year-old man was charged with 'possessing information likely to be of use to terrorists'.

26th The Whiterock Orange Order parade passed off peacefully.

A 43-year-old man was charged in connection with republican paramilitary activity. The charge made public on Monday 28th was one of 'possession of information likely to be of use to terrorists'. Meanwhile, a woman arrested over the pipe bomb attack on the house of cross-community worker Mary Kelly on the 22nd of June was released without charge.

27th A house was vandalised in Ballymena, in what police believed was a sectarian attack.

28th It was reported that the number of racist and homophobic attacks in the Foyle area was rising.

Former IRA prisoner Bobby Storey criticised still-active republican paramilitaries during an interview with An Phoblacht. He said that 'the approach of these groups is anti-democratic. They fail to engage with the broader community in any positive way and treat the opinions and will of their neighbours with disdain and hostility. They have completely failed to outline not only their strategy for achieving a united Ireland; they routinely fail to even provide a public explanation or justification for their actions. They fail to outline their political vision of what kind of society they want to build and the only point they agree on is the use of physical force.'


29th The BBC reported that 'tensions were high' in the Oldpark area after a series of sectarian incidents over the weekend (25th/26th). Local resident Joe Keenan described how after police had asked him to keep a log book of attacks, he had already filled one book in eight months. The weekend before, 'a few hours after a republican parade passed nearby, his home was attacked by a crowd of about 40 people. "It was only when it finished you got the crowds coming back. For no reason I can see, they came down and started throwing petrol bombs round the house."'

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams met Loyalist brigadier Jackie McDonald for the first time, when Adams went to offer condolences on the death of former UDA member and cross-community worker Harry Haggan.

30th Paul McCaugherty and Declan Dermot Gregory were found guilty of a Real IRA gun-running plot.

Republican Brian Arthurs lost his legal fight to a right to trial by jury over mortgage fraud charges

Fine Gael's Enda Kenny told the Dáil that the IRA Army Council was 'no more'. '[...] Both
the president of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams and the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness confirmed that from every perspective they could see, the IRA and its army council are no more.'

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July 2010

1st Four police officers were disciplined for failing to take sufficient action over sectarian attacks on Catholics in Stoneyford village, outside Lisburn.

Two vehicles were hijacked and petrol bombs were thrown at police in Craigavon.

RTÉ reported that the number of complaints made against the PSNI had increased.

2nd Shots were fired at Crossmaglen police station, the third such incident in a month.

It was reported that a judge had ruled the Northern Ireland Office was not obliged to disclose documents relating to amnesties and on-the-run prisoners.

Four police landrovers were damaged during rioting at a sectarian interface in west Belfast.

3rd Rioting in west Belfast continued for a second night, with stones, fireworks and petrol bombs being thrown at police. It was later reported that two rioters had been injured by police baton rounds.

4th Police said they believed that the rioting of the two previous nights had been 'orchestrated'.

A republican protest was held in the afternoon outside Maghaberry Jail.

The Drumcree parade passed off without incident.

5th A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in the Lisaghmore area at half past two in the morning.

A suspicious object found in the grounds of Maghaberry Prison was declared an 'elaborate hoax'.

6th A petrol bomb was thrown at Rasharkin Orange Hall. Three days later, a 17-year-old youth was arrested in connection with this attack and also on a hall in Glarryford.

A security alert occurred at Hydebank Young Offenders' Institute.

Westminster debated the victims of the Troubles.

A 12-year-old was assaulted for carrying a Gaelic football bag.

7th It was reported that the PSNI would suspend their 'stop and search' powers, which had led to complaints.

The Orange Order rejected a new draft of the parade laws. A writer in the Guardian also criticised the bill for 'threatening the right to freedom of assembly'.

Alan McIlroy appeared in court accused of possessing documents 'of use to terrorists'.

The Sinn Féin office in Limavady was targetted by arsonists.

8th A pipe bomb was made safe in south Belfast.

9th Arsonists set fire to Barron Hall in Glengoram which had been used as a cross-community 'shared space'.

A report into the 1971 loyalist bomb at McGurk's Bar was pulled by the ombudsman after complaints from the relatives of the victims. The report had absolved British forces of all blame.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Orange Order had rebuffed Sinn Féin's attempts to initiate talks with them.

Shots were fired
during the arrest of five suspected republican paramilitaries in Co Louth.

10th A bomb exploded on the road between Balleek and Cullyhanna, leaving a crater in the road. Police believed it had been an attempt to kill or maim their officers. Ulster Unionist MP Danny Kenny said it was designed to raise tensions before July 12th.

Petrol bombs were thrown during trouble on the east Belfast Ballybeen estate.

11th A security alert in Fermanagh lasted through the night.

Serious rioting took place in Belfast, during which three police officers were shot and a total of 27 were injured.

12th A petrol bomb was thrown through the window of a house in Derry.

Three men were arrested in connection with republican paramilitary activity. They were released the following day.

It was reported that police were liaising with bomb disposal experts over the Balleek/Cullyhanna bomb. A blast bomb was also found in Armagh city.

A 20-year-old Dundalk man appeared in court accused of unlawful possession of ammunition and an explosive device. Gerard Carroll was one of five men arrested three days previously.


The Orange Order held its Twelfth parades. More than 100 police were involved in containing one situation in Ardoyne. A policewoman was injured when a lump of masonry hit her in the head. In one of the day's incidents of violence and tension, a bus driver was forced to drive to a police station by men who told him there was a bomb on the bus. In another incident, an attempt was made to hijack a train in Lurgan. Father Gary Donegan described it as 'a bit like a Euro Disney theme park for rioting. [...] I pulled stones out of the hands of children'.

Crumlin Orange Hall was attacked with paint bombs on the night of the 12th and the morning of the 13th.

13th Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness condemned the violence of the previous two nights, which police had called the worst in a decade.

A 23-year-old man was arrested over the June attack on cross-community worker Mary Kelly's home. He was charged the following day and named as Francis Paul McNally.

A bomb alert at the Park Centre shopping complex in west Belfast was declared a hoax.

Severe rioting continued during the night, during which shots were fired at police.

14th Petrol bombs were thrown at police in the Bogside. Chief Constable Matt Baggott later defended police tactics against the rioters.

It was reported that complaints against the police had risen by 14% in a year.

A pipe bomb exploded in the early hours of the morning in Strabane.

A coffee jar bomb was found in Ardoyne.

Trouble in Ardoyne continued into the night, but was less intense than previous nights.

15th Four masked men hijacked and abandoned a car in the early hours of the morning, sparking a security alert.

It was reported that retired armed forces personnel had been warned their security could have been compromised after pension letters were sent to them identifying them as members of the military.

Hundreds of people in the Ardoyne area attended a protest demanding an end to the unrest.

A Lurgan road was closed due to a disturbance.

16th An arrest was made over a hoax bomb call made in the early hours of the morning.

An 18-year-old was remanded on ten charges relating to the riot in the Ardoyne. Later, four men were arrested in Derry in connection with republican paramilitary activity, and
police seized guns from a house in the New Lodge area.

17th A taxi driver was was shot in both legs in Strabane.

Two teenagers were charged with rioting after golf balls were thrown at cars in south Belfast on the 13th. The Belfast Telegraph reported that the parents of young rioters could themselves be prosecuted.

18th It was reported that a woman had been charged after a gun and ammunition had been found in a house in Ardoyne.

19th A security alert in Dunmurry, west Belfast, was declared a hoax.

It was reported that most people surveyed had rejected the Troubles legacy plan put forward by the Consultative Group for the Past. The Group had suggested paying the families of paramilitaries the same compensation as those of civilian casualties.

The Belfast Telegraph claimed that hardline republicans had managed to buy 'heavy' weapons from European mobsters.

The first person tried in the Republic under 'cross-border anti-terrorist' law, alleged INLA member Gerard Mackin, had his conviction quashed.

20th An Asda employee sacked after a 'throw-away' remark about a sash was reinstated after protests.

21st Police were called to Stormont in the early hours of the morning after a suspicious object was left at the door. It turned out to be a bag of iced tea.

It was reported that the number of people arrested in connection with paramilitary activity had risen., with 122 arrested over the last year compared to 106 the year before.

A man was interrogated on suspicion of intimidation in connection with the Kevin McDaid case. Meanwhile Daniel McGeown was charged with riot offences.

22nd Police said they had found the remains of an exploded pipe bomb at Woodbourne PSNI station.

INLA member Declan Duffy was jailed for life for the 1992 shooting of Sergeant Michael Newman in Derby. Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, he would actually serve two years.

A report published by Lord Carlile warned that republican attacks on Britain were possible.

Five people were arrested on the Falls Road after two guns were discovered. A punishment shooting incident had occurred a few minutes earlier.

23rd Irish President Mary McAleese attended a PSNI graduation parade in Belfast, where she referred to still-active republican paramilitaries as 'the tiny minority of wreckers who set their faces against the humanly decent dynamic of peace.'

25th Police were given more time to question the five men stopped in a car after the punishment shooting on the 22nd.

26th
During the night, paint bombs were thrown at an Orange Hall in Belfast.

It was announced that a road near Ballykinlar army barracks was to be blocked off due to the perceived threat from republican paramilitaries.

A shooting at a house in Derry was linked to RAAD.

27th The First and Deputy First ministers published proposals for tackling sectarianism and hate crime after urging from the Alliance Party.

28th Five people appeared in court over the west Belfast punishment shooting on the 22nd. In another court case, Paul Donegan was accused of 'travelling 30 miles to riot'.

A teenager was abducted and shot in the legs in west Belfast.

29th Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness announced an agreement on the future of the Maze/Long Kesh prison. It was to become a museum.

The main street in Tobermore was closed for hours over a hoax bomb.

30th While Bishop Noel Treanor backed an investigation of the shooting dead of eleven civilians in Ballymurphy in 1971, it was reported that the remains of alleged IRA victim Charlie Armstrong had been found. Gerry Adams denied there was evidence that the IRA had killed Armstrong, believed shot dead on his way to mass after refusing to surrender his car.

A 13-year-old boy was charged over the Belfast riots. During a related case, the judge referred to North Belfast locals being 'kept prisoner' on the Twelfth. Meanwhile the PSNI released images of those involved in the riots.

The BBC reported on the on-going dirty protest by republican prisoners at Maghaberry Jail.

31st It was reported that the Apprentice Boys' memorial statue in Derry had been vandalised.

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August 2010

1st A 19-year-old, who had handed himself in the previous day, was charged with rioting.

Paint was thrown at Our Lady's (Catholic) Church in Harryville.

2nd Masked gunmen attempted to hijack two taxis in Derry.

A Sinn Féin delegation led by Gerry Adams met north Belfast loyalists to discuss parades. Adams later described the talks as 'worthwhile'.

Court appearances over the July 12th disturbances continued, with one 16-year-old accused of smashing a pole on riot police, and a 20-year-old accused of throwing petrol bombs.

3rd A 200lb car bomb exploded outside the Strand Road police station in Derry, destroying a local kebab shop. A taxi had been hijacked in the Bogside during the early morning and the driver forced to take the bomb to the police station. Although he had been told the bomb would go off in 45 minutes, it detonated after only 23 minutes. Republicans were believed responsible, and next day Óglaigh na hÉireann claimed the attack. According to their statement, they had also tried to hijack the two taxis on the previous day, but the drivers had 'refused to cooperate with instructions'. The following day, Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said the bombers were 'insane and irrational'. Speaking days later, a police officer who had cleared people out of the way of the bomb, Adrian Simpson, described how he had 'acted on instinct'.

Reports of a loud noise in Brownlow Police Station led to a search that found the remains of fireworks.

The army carried out a controlled explosion on an abandoned vehicle at Cushendall.

4th A soldier found a bomb underneath his car in Bangor. 

In west Belfast, an alert caused up to 100 families to be evacuated from their homes. A man was later arrested over the hoax.

5th Traders returned to the Strand Road to assess the damage.

6th A suspicious object in east Belfast was declared a hoax.

Gerry Kelly announced the Sinn Féin would be meeting the 32CSM, but a 32CSM spokesperson downplayed the possibility of a meeting. They claimed the the correspondence with SF had been private and
'if Mr Adams felt it necessary to publicise this correspondence before any meetings took place we can only conclude that publicity was indeed his agenda as opposed to working constructively with us, away from the restrictions of the public glare, to resolve the ongoing crisis in Maghaberry.'

A 17-year-old was remanded in custody for rioting armed with a golf club. Meanwhile, a man accused of threatening a witness in the Kevin McDaid murder was banned from Coleraine.

UTV reported that tensions between loyalist paramilitaries were rising in Tiger's Bay.

7th Police received reports that masked men had been seen in the Gobnascale area and that shots had been fired. Subsequently, army bomb experts examined a suspicious van, but nothing was found.

A bomb was found under a car near the home of a female Catholic police officer in County Down. She was reported to be the niece of councillor Martin Connolly, who had left Sinn Féin after they declared support for the PSNI. Mr Connolly did not condemn the attack, saying he 'did not want to get into the politics of condemnation'. Gerry Adams was later put on record calling him an 'eejit' and other members of the family criticised Mr Connolly.

A man was arrested in connection with the Strand Hill police station bomb. Homes in Derry were searched.

A bridal party was forced to flee a Derry hotel after a bomb hoax.

8th Five men were arrested in Louth during an investigation into hardline republican activity. Two cars had been stopped and found to contain a gun, ammunition and balaclavas. The men appeared in court two days later.

In a statement, Gerry Adams said that his attempts to talk to republicans opposed to the peace process was not a publicity stunt.

Army bomb experts carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious object outside Lisburn Road PSNI station.

9th It was reported that Republican Sinn Féin had rejected Gerry Adams' offers of talks. They said that 'Gerry Adams and his organisation are now fully absorbed into the apparatus of British rule in Ireland and we feel we have absolutely nothing to say to them on that basis.'

Chief Constable Matt Baggott warned that republican paramilitaries could cause another attack on the scale of Omagh.

Follow-up searches after the arrest of five men in Louth the previous day resulted in the discovery of guns, ammunition and bomb components.

A 53-year-old man was arrested over the Strand Road bomb. His arrest was later extended.

10th A bomb partially exploded underneath the car of a civilian security worker in Cookstown, who was not injured.

A rifle and ammunition were found in Crossmaglen.

It was reported that talks regarding the treatment of republican prisoners at Maghaberry had collapsed.

11th A pipe bomb was found on the window-sill of a house in Antrim. Two more bombs were found later.

A call was made to a newspaper office in Enniskillen alleging that a bomb had been left in Maguiresbridge. Police found nothing after a search.

12th Bonn Orange Hall near Pomeroy was destroyed in an arson attack during the early morning. Meanwhile, homes were evacuated in Derry after a hoax bomb alert; and reports came in that people had been carrying petrol bombs in the Tullally area of Derry.

Somebody called police with a vague warning about 'a bomb in Brae'.

It was reported that a farm in Sixmilescross had been searched for bombs after a magnet was found under a tractor. The farm belonged to a former member of the UDR.

Martin McGuinness told the BBC that the British government had recently opened communications with republican paramilitaries opposed to the peace process. He also said that the Irish government had been meeting with republican hardliners for years, although they 'may well deny it'.

A man was charged over the Strand Road bomb.

A protest by prisoners at Maghaberry ended after talks. The republican prisoners had been protesting over strip-searching and controlled movement. Justice Minister David Ford welcomed the resolution.

It was reported that the PSNI were planning bollards outside a police station in central Belfast to protect it from potential attack.

The Republic's Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin
said he was extremely concerned about the security situation in Northern Ireland.

13th Guns and ammunition were found by police investigating the Strand Road bomb.

Republicans opposed to the peace process cancelled a protest that had been due to take place the following day over conditions for republican prisoners at Maghaberry. One of the demonstration's organisers, Gary Donnelly, said that the protest had been held every week without trouble, and it was now being cancelled following successful talks. The BBC reported days later that 'there is no doubt that a deal was done with relation to conditions in Maghaberry prison. Back channels involving a Londonderry go-between and a trades unionist, ensured a peaceful parade for the Apprentice Boys of Derry on Saturday. A planned protest was called off.'

Writing in the Guardian, republican Danny McBrearty said that 'The word dissident embraces a wide range of groups. Some, such as the Republican Network for Unity (RNU), have no direct tie to armed struggle.[...] Some dissidents continue to believe that armed resistance with its political, military and publicity dimensions is central to challenging British rule. [...] What events are making increasingly clear is that the number, influence and import of those Republicans who are disillusioned with Stormont will continue to grow.'

The Irish government denied being in talks with the RIRA.

14th Petrol bombs were thrown at police investigating a disturbance in Derry during the early hours of the morning.

Also during the night, the railway line between Portadown and Moira was closed due to a security alert, and houses in Dunmurry were evacuated while the army investigated a suspicious object. It was later declared a hoax. Meanwhile a man in Derry was injured in the head and hands in an apparent paramilitary attack.

A large-scale security operation was put in place ahead of the Apprentice Boys' march in Derry, which expected up to 15,000 people in attendance. The parade passed without any trouble.

Family and friends of a policewoman targetted by a bomb on August 7th held a rally in her support.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that there was 'more than one process' involved in negotiations with hardline republicans, but also that the Martin McGuinness interview could hinder talks.

A bomb exploded in a bin next to a playground in Lurgan, lightly injuring three children. Police believed it may have been dumped after a failed attack by hardline republicans. It was also alleged that the police had been directed towards a hoax and into the path of the real bomb.  A number of homes in Lurgan were evacuated due to at least one other security alert, and the train service between Lurgan and Moira was suspended. Police investigating a suspicious object in Lurgan were attacked with petrol bombs late in the evening.

A 53-year-old man was charged over the Strand Road bomb.

The car of a member of the District Policing Partnership was targetted with petrol bombs.

15th Matt Baggott went on record saying that dialogue with republican paramilitaries was necessary and not a 'betrayal'.

16th Thomas Christopher Nash appeared in court on weapons charges.

Bomb alerts occurred in Lurgan and Bellaghy.

Chief inspector Sam Cordner commented that the Lurgan bin bomb of two days previously had similarities with the 1998 Omagh bomb. The mother of two of the three young girls caught in the blast said that 'we could have been burying our two little girls today.'

The Belfast Telegraph reported that gardaí had claimed the RIRA were expanding into the Republic and were responsible for murders, attacks, pipe bombings and extorting money from drug dealers. The Telegraph also quoted SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie as saying that it was 'very clear that MI5 is not up to the task of leading intelligence-gathering in the north.'

17th A pipe bomb was made safe at Bellaghy. Alerts in west Belfast were declared hoaxes, while residents were moved from their homes in Dunmurry.

Republican Barry O'Brien was denied bail in a non-jury Dublin court.

18th Two men were remanded for the duration of the 'contentious parades' period. On the same day, the Parades Commission accepted a revised application by a Loyalist flute band to parade through Rasharkin on the 20th.

A 39-year-old man was arrested in Derry in connection with paramilitary activity.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that people were 'living in fear' of republican paramilitaries in Lurgan.

19th A 13-year-old boy was appeared in court over rioting on the 12th July and a 16-year-old was arrested.

20th Gary Donnelly of the 32CSM was charged with offences 'in relation to terrorism'. He claimed he had been set up for his political beliefs. The charges related to pipe bomb attacks in September 2009. Protesters shouted 'SS RUC' as Donnelly was brought into court.

NI Secretary of State Owen Patterson refused to confirm or deny whether he was in talks with republicans opposed to the peace process.

An Orange parade in Rasharkin was held up after a suspicious object was found. Sinn Féin later criticised the way the police had handled the parade.

21st A woman was remanded in custody charged with possession of a shotgun and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

A pipe bomb was found at Woodbourne police station in west Belfast.

22nd The Observer reported that hardline republicans were planning to target the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham in October. The claims had come from Tory MP Patrick Mercer. They also wrote that the number of republican paramilitaries was growing and civilians in areas such as Lurgan were  experiencing intimidation. A peace protester, Jean Kearney, was quoted as saying that 'people feel intimidated, they are scared their windows will get put through, or their home will be wrecked if they are seen at something like this [peace demonstration]'.

A 28-year-old man was charged with attempted murder after a concrete block was dropped on the head of a policewoman during rioting in July. It emerged the day after that he was a Spanish citizen called Roger Jora Costa.

An old grenade sparked a security alert in Drumquin.

23rd An Irish News interview with Óglaigh na hÉireann stated that they were comprised largely of ex-PIRA members. The group said that there had been 'indirect attempts' by the British government to open talks.

A 20-year-old was charged with throwing a bomb during rioting on July 13th.

24th A report named Father James Chesney as responsible for organising the Claudy bombing of 1972 that killed nine civilians.

25th Three men were arrested over the Lurgan bin bomb on August 14th.

26th Police found a 'viable device' in Carrickfergus.

Michael Edwards appeared in court charged with 'having documents likely to be of use to terrorists'.

27th The Australian government issued advice to its citizens that travel to Northern Ireland could be dangerous. According to their website, 'Incidents of sectarian violence and dissident activity have escalated during 2009 and 2010. There have been three bomb attacks in August 2010 aimed at police and military targets. Two bombs were defused in County Down on 4 and 8 August 2010, and a car bomb exploded outside a police station in Derry on 3 August 2010. Australians could inadvertently be caught up in violence directed at others.'

Police investigated an alleged explosion at a GAA club, a week after threats had been received about bomb attacks on five Tyrone GAA clubs. The following day, the Belfast Telegraph reported fears of a tit-for-tat campaign.

It was reported that the farm belonging to the father of a man who had been in court on paramilitary activity charges had been badly damaged in an arson attack. It was not known if the arson was related to the charges.

28th A man was assaulted by a gang in his home in Bangor.

According to Sinn Féin councillor Monica Digney, a woman was attacked and injured while trying to cross the road during a parade in Ballymena.

29th Father O'Kane called  for dialogue with republicans opposed to the peace process. He said he had met with them four years previously and found them 'respectful and courteous'.

30th Ninteen arrests were made during rioting in Ballycastle in the early hours of the morning. A local councillor, Padraig McShane, blamed police heavy-handedness for the trouble.

31st It was reported that several families had been forced to flee the Tiger's Bay area after threats by the mainstream UDA.

An alert that closed the Westlink road was declared a hoax.

Four masked men opened fire on a house at Dove Gardens, Derry. Police investigating the incident were pelted with stones and petrol bombs. Republicans were thought responsible for the shooting.

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September 2010

1st
A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Coleraine shortly before midnight. The motive was not recorded.

2nd It was reported that policing the Ardoyne riots in July had cost £1.1m. Meanwhile, it was also reported that the PSNI were the most complained-about police force in the UK.

A man was arrested over the August 14th bomb in Lurgan, then released without charge.

Army technical officers carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious object on the Craigavon Bridge in Derry. It turned out to be a hoax.

A man was shot in the leg in west Belfast.

4th Scorch damage to Rasharkin Orange Hall was discovered after a minor arson attack during the night.

A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Enniskillen during the early hours of the morning.

6th An 8-year-old at Catholic St Comgall's primary school in Antrim escaped injury after picking up a pipe bomb he had found in the playground. The school was evacuated. Loyalists were subsequently blamed.

UUP leadership candidate Basil McCrea promised to break ties with the Conservative party.

Police found weapons in a field
in Donegal, close to the border with Derry. They included bomb parts and ammunition, and were linked to republicans.

7th The Independent reported that MI5 was warning of a growing threat from former PIRA bombmakers. 'There have been 49 bombings in Northern Ireland in the first eight months of this year, compared with 22 in the whole of 2009, and many of the devices show a new level of expertise and sophistication.'

8th The UDA attempted to kidnap 'a fairly well-known criminal'. Loyalist David Bell was subsequently accused of the attempted abduction using a hammer.

Father Paddy O'Kane visited the families of republicans opposed to the peace process who claimed they were being harassed by the police. Father O'Kane said he was 'shocked' by accounts of police brutality. The following day, the PSNI dismissed the claims of harassment.

9th Strabane taxi driver Andy Gallagher picked up a pipe bomb which had been thrown into a car and took it to a safe area where it could be dealt with.

According to RTÉ, Martin McGuinness had lent his support for IRA members to testify at a truth inquiry.

An 11-year-old was charged over the Ardoyne riots.

10th A hoax bomb alert in the early hours of the morning caused the evacuation of several houses in Enniskillen.

It was reported that the European Court had ordered the Irish government to pay compensation to Long Kesh escapee Bik McFarlane because his right to a fair trial had been violated.

A 19-year-old was accused of rioting in July.

The BBC reported that positive talks had taken place between the IMC and the UDA. Lord Alderdice was quoted as saying that 'it's a very positive picture, and I think it is very important that people outside Northern Ireland, indeed some people within Northern Ireland, realise there is a very good news story here, as well as some difficulties that remain.'

Two men were shot and wounded in a paramilitary-style attack in Ardoyne.

13th A man appeared in court in Dublin charged with possessing explosives.

The Larne Road was closed after a suspicious object was discovered. It was later declared a hoax.

A bomb alert that caused houses in Antrim to be evacuated was declared a hoax.

Two men were charged over trouble in Belfast on July 12th.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that 
Óglaigh na hÉireann had planted four spy cameras at MI5's base at the Palace Barracks.

14th A public inquiry into the killing of LVF leader Billy Wright by republicans in 1997 found that the prison service had been negligent but there was no state collusion. However, Wright's father claimed next day that collusion had taken place.

In north Belfast, a man was shot in the legs during the early hours of the morning.

Police came under attack from youths when they attended an old man who had been injured in a house fire in Derry.

The Guardian reported an interview with the Real IRA, who claimed they would now be targetting banks and bankers in Britain. A RIRA spokesperson was quoted as saying: 'Realistically, it is important to acknowledge that we have regrouped and reorganised and emerged from a turbulent period in republican history. We have already shown our capacity to launch attacks on the British military, judicial, and policing infrastructure. As we rebuild, we are confident that we will increase the volume and effectiveness of attacks.'

15th The Independent Monitoring Commission issued a report claiming that the UVF had ordered Bobby Moffett's killing despite the fact that they were supposed to be on ceasefire. The next day, his sister Irene said that the government had turned a blind eye to the 'public execution' and the killers were 'laughing in the face of it'. The IMC determined that the UVF were still in a state of truce despite the murder.

The victims' group FAIR had its European Union funding axed over financial irregularities.

The taxi driver Andy Gallagher, who had moved a pipe bomb he found to a safe place, was reported to have been threatened by Republican Action Against Drugs. The man who had been the target of the attempted attack, Matt McDermott, also received threats.

SDLP Councillor Shaun Gallagher claimed that republican paramilitary activity was damaging Derry's economy.

A petrol bomb was thrown at a home in Cookstown shortly before midnight.

16th It emerged that the Policing Board had warned the PSNI not to display any more images of rioters in case some were underage.

The head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, issued a warning about the rise in activity and ambition by republican paramilitaries opposed to the peace process.

17th It was reported that the cost of rioting during July 2010 was £2.2m.

Michael Campbell, the brother of RIRA commander, appeared in a Lithuanian court accused of arms smuggling.

Two teenage Catholic girls were attacked by a gang in an apparent sectarian assault.

18th Thomas Christopher Nash, who had been charged with 'possessing a terrorist arsenal', was denied bail.

19th A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Rasharkin in the early hours of the morning. Police said the motive may have been sectarian. It was later revealed that the house belonged to the mother of footballer Chris Baird. It was thought to be the second attack on the house in three weeks.

20th Kieran George McCool, a suspected member of RAAD, challenged his curfew. The court heard that since the curfew had been in place, the number of attacks by the RAAD had significantly fallen.

The British and Irish governments denied they had been in talks with republicans opposed to the peace process.

21st It was reported that 37 people had now been charged over the Ardoyne rioting in July.

A man was arrested over a series of bomb alerts in Antrim.

Masked men opened fire outside a house in Derry. Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney commented of the gunmen:  'They know the people in the city have absolutely no time for what they are doing. I think what they are doing with these type of headline-grabbing incidents is trying to make themselves relevant, when in actual fact they are not.' Óglaigh na h'Éireann later claimed responsibility.

22nd The UUP elected a new leader, the conservative-oriented Tom Elliott.

23rd An undertaker was summoned to court to corroborate the claims of a Loyalist accused of a pipe bomb attack.

A man and a woman were arrested after firearms were discovered in Moira.

24th British Home Secretary Theresa May said that a republican attack on Britain was now 'a strong possiblity'. It was reported that Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness would be meeting the Chancellor of the Exchequer to discuss more funds to combat the security threat. Peter Robinson called the situation 'worrying'. Conservative MP Patrick Mercer commented that 'the security forces will have seen either the movement of personnel, or the movement of equipment - weaponry, probably explosives in this case - the hi-jacking of vehicles and the preparation of vehicles, or probably a combination of two or more of those things. That will have caused them to change the threat level.'

A 54-year-old man was arrested in Newry in connection with republican paramilitary activity. He was charged with firearms offences on the 26th.

25th A security alert occurred in the Ardonyne area. It was later confirmed that a blast bomb had been found. Meanwhile homes were evacuated from the Rosemount area of Derry following the discovery of a suspicious object. This was discounted as an 'elaborate hoax'.

27th MLA John Dallat claimed that the UDA were recruiting children.

Police found a walking stick converted into a gun during searches related to republican paramilitary activity.

28th An exploded pipe bomb was discovered in Antrim.

A security alert on a Newry road was declared a hoax.

Irish police commissioner Fachtna Murphy said he believed an attack by republicans on Britain was a strong possibility. His warning echoed that of Shadow Secretary of State Shaun Woodward.

The family of RIRA victim Kieran Doherty met the Secretary of State Owen Patterson.

A 20-year-old man was shot at by masked men in Craigavon, but not harmed.

29th A woman was a victim of a sectarian attack in the Waterside area of Derry.

30th Two men were arrested in the Magherafelt area in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

The PUP said it would maintain its relationship with the UVF despite the shooting of Bobby Moffett.


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October 2010

1st
Paul Anthony John McCaugherty was sentenced to 20 years jail for gun-running for the RIRA. A second man was sentenced to four years.

Police made an appeal after children were reported to be playing with live bullets in Derry.

Paul Joseph Currie appeared in court accused of 'collecting or recording information likely to be of use to terrorists' after he took down the details of a police officer's car on September 1st.

2nd According to the Irish News, the RIRA admitted to a number of killings and said that they had 'also executed drug dealers on the continent who believed they were safe having fled the country. [The RIRA] have crippled, maimed and exiled numerous others.'

3rd Peter Robinson said that the St. Andrews Agreement should protect Northern Ireland from the spending cuts that would affect the rest of the UK. However, the Northern Ireland Secretary replied that 'circumstances had changed'.

4th A family in west Belfast were targetted in a petrol bomb attack at five in the morning.

Conor Casey, accused of firing shots over the coffin of RIRA member John Brady, was banned from attending Brady's memorial mass.

5th Shortly after midnight, a car bomb went off on the Culmore Road in Derry. A warning had been given and houses had been evacuated. Two policemen were slightly injured in the blast. The RIRA later claimed responsibility. Martin McGuinness called them 'conflict junkies'. It was reported that bullets had earlier been sent to the families of workers at the Ulster Bank, which had been damaged in the blast. However, it was also believed that the bank and hotel had not been the original targets, and the bomb had been abandoned. The incident raised fears of an escalation in violence.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the head of the Orange Order, Robert Saulters, had said that republican paramilitaries opposed to the peace process were really 'the Roman Catholic IRA'.

A shot was fired at a man in north Belfast.

6th At the Conservative Party Conference, PM David Cameron said that 'as the threat of dissident republican terrorism increases, I want to make it clear that we will protect the people of our country with every means at our disposal'.

However, a poll of 1002 people carried out by Liverpool University suggested that 14% of nationalists supported the republicans opposed to the peace process, and had sympathy for the reasons why they used violence. Support was strongest among young working class men.

A man escaped injury when a petrol bomb was thrown at his house in Derry.

7th A major PSNI operation against republican paramilitaries was announced. Increased checkpoints and patrols were expected to bring some disruption to the public over the following days.

Secretary of State Owen Paterson met the families of eleven people killed by the Parachute Regiment in west Belfast in 1971. The families, who wanted an investigation and apology over the case, left the talks disappointed.

8th Ten people were arrested in the Republic in connection with republican paramilitary activity. A handgun and ammunition were subsequently found.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness criticised First Minister Peter Robinson for acting alone on the issue of cuts. British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who had arrived in Northern Ireland for talks on the economy the previous day, reassured its political leaders that he would 'look into' potential spending cuts.

Republican Colin Duffy, accused of involvement in the Massereene killings of March 2009, was denied bail. The judge accepted that he did not pose a flight risk, but believed his release might constitute a risk to the public and to witnesses to the case.

9th Vandals attacked Aughintober Orange Hall. Thirty cars were also vandalised in an apparent anti-Protestant sectarian attack in Derry.

It was reported that a teenage burglar who had stolen three laptops had been ordered to return them by paramilitaries.

10th Two men appeared in court in Dublin accused of involvement in republican paramilitary activity.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that 'high-profile security measures will remain in place across Northern Ireland in a desperate bid to thwart planned attacks by dissident republicans.'

11th It was reported that six of the ten people arrested in the Republic on the 8th were still being questioned. Gardaí reported significant finds of arms, ammunition and bomb-making equipment in County Louth.

According to the Guardian, hundreds of people convicted of terrorism offences during previous decades were coming forward with claims that they had confessed under torture. The Guardian also reported on files that suggested loyalist paramilitaries had received softer treatment than republicans.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin visited Lurgan and Belfast. He said of republicans opposed to the peace process, 'Dissident is a completely inappropriate term in my view. Dissident relates to people of conscience during the Cold War, and that term has no application to the kind of indiscriminate bombings which have taken place, or the murder of police officers or British Army personnel. They're betraying the republican tradition. In my view they will not succeed.'

Four men were arrested after a gun was found in a car in Cookstown.

12th Colin Duffy, in custody over the Massereene killings of March 2009, claimed he had been physically and sexually assaulted during a strip search. His lawyer said he was in 'significant pain'.

Loyalists were blamed for attacks on police in Carrickfergus and Ballyclare.

13th
Homes were evacuated in north Belfast over a security alert. Two controlled explosions were carried out but nothing was found.

A court heard that important evidence had gone missing in the Massereene case against Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers.

14th Firefighters were attacked by a mob of stone throwing youths in Antrim.

Irish police investigating republican activity uncovered guns and bombs in Dublin. They defused a bomb found in the Ronanstown area.

Police found a 'suspected firearm' in Glengormley.

15th About 200 people attended a rally against republican violence in Derry. Their message to still-active republican paramilitaries was to 'go away and stay away'.

A security alert on the Rathenraw estate in Antrim forced residents to leave their homes overnight. Nothing was found.

First Minister Peter Robinson criticised the Northern Irish education system, in which Catholic and Protestant children are normally educated separately, as 'a benign form of Apartheid'. The following day, Sinn Féin accused Peter Robinson of attacking the Catholic educational sector, and Bishop Donal McKeown said that parents' right to choose their childrens' school was 'the hallmark of a stable and pluralist society'.

The Derry Journal reported that the RIRA had recently abandoned a planned attack on the police because of 'civilian interference.' A RIRA representative said that 'we repeat the warning given in the past in relation to businesses supplying Crown Forces. We will be monitoring the situation and action will be taken if it does not stop.' Meanwhile, the Journal quoted the RAAD as saying that they had taken action against joy-riding.


16th The M3 was closed in a security alert.

Daniel John Turnball appeared in court accused of conspiracy to murder. He had been arrested as part of an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

17th
Martin McGuinness warned Peter Robinson about 'taking on' the Catholic church in regards to education. On the following day, the head of the Catholic Principals Association accused Robinson of 'rabble-rousing'. Robinson responded by accusing the church of 'hysteria' and said he would not be cowed.

A security alert occurred on the Westlink Road.

A 20-year-old man was shot in both legs in a paramilitary-style attack in Derry. It was later reported that his name was Gary McGuinness and he was in danger of losing one of his legs.

18th A car was set alight in Derry in an apparent anti-Protestant sectarian attack.

It was reported that the PSNI were seeking £200 million in funding to combat republican paramilitarism.

The BBC also reported that Liam Campbell, allegedly a senior member of the RIRA, had been moved to a secure wing of Maghaberry Jail after receiving death threats from his organisation.

19th The parents of Patrick Azimkar who had been killed by the RIRA at Massereene described to the BBC how their lives had been ruined. It was also reported that a British soldier wounded on that day had been discharged from the army on medical grounds.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that according to the British government, republicans opposed to the peace process constituted one of the four largest threats to UK security.

A convicted sex offender was shot in the legs. No organisation claimed responsibility.

20th Solicitors for Anthony Craig, who had spent 17 months in prison awaiting trial for a republican firebombing, claimed he had been set up by the security forces.

One of four men facing weapons charges after their car was stopped by the police claimed that he had been abducted for a punishment shooting when he was found.

Taxi driver Gerry McConnell, who had been forced by 
Óglaigh na h'Éireann to drive a bomb to a police station, described his ongoing trauma.

21st The trial of Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers over the Massereene shootings was delayed while the prosecution examined a fresh defence submission regarding the use of DNA evidence.

A security alert occurred in Castlewellan, but nothing was found.

It was reported that a Catholic family living in Drumahoe were being forced to leave because of sectarian attacks.

22nd A legal challenge against Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew's election victory in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, brought by Unionist candidate Rodney Connor who had lost by four votes, failed.

23rd A pizza delivery man was shot in a paramilitary-style attack in Derry.

24th The Westlink in Belfast was closed due to a security alert.

A suspected pipe bomb was discovered in north Belfast.

A sectarian assault occurred in Derry.

25th
Trouble broke out in Newtownabbey following three searches carried out by the Historical Enquiries Team. Ken Wilkinson of the PUP said the way the searches had been carried out 'left a lot to be desired'. During the trouble, a bus was set alight.

26th
Petrol bombs were thrown during a second night of trouble in Newtownabbey. A policeman reported seeing a UVF gunman during the trouble.

A security alert at the Royal Mail building in Belfast was declared a hoax.

27th
It was reported that the government's independent advisor was to investigate claims that MI5 had been involved in the death of RIRA member Kieran Doherty. Lord Carlisle said next day that he was confident he would 'sniff out' any MI5 involvement in the death.

A police officer was suspended over allegations of neglect in the death of republican John Brady. 

The discovery of a pipe bomb attached to a letter box in Antrim forced a number of people to evacuate their homes. Meanwhile a security alert in Cushendell was declared a hoax.

Bail was denied to Robert O'Neill who was charged with conspiring to wound with intent. The judge said of the case that 'what we have here is four people from a terrorist organisation forcing their will in a familiar pattern to knee-cap someone.'

The body of former IRA man Gerry Bradley, who had written a book on his experiences in the IRA, was found in his car.

It was claimed that the UVF had encouraged children as young as nine to riot in Rathcoole.

According to the Herald, 'an attempt to broker peace between [Dublin] godfather Eamonn Kelly and the Real IRA were scuppered - when a row broke out and a man's jaw was broken.'


28th
The Translink bus company announced they would be withdrawing bus services from Rathcoole for a second night because of rioting.

29th Over 100 civilian PSNI workers were warned to review their security after they were mistakenly sent work-related correspondence with the name of their police station on the envelope.

An alert in Lurgan caused several homes to be evacuated. Police confirmed that a bomb had been found under a railway bridge.

Translink pulled its buses for a third night.

Plans by Stormont to tackle anti-sectarianism were attacked in an open letter signed by more than 150 people. The letter said that the plan 'holds out only a future of sustained segregation.'

30th A security alert linked to an abandoned vehicle occurred at Belfast airport. It was later confirmed that the vehicle contained a bomb.

Police came under attack from youths in Maghera, and several teenagers were arrested.

31st A man in west Belfast was beaten by a masked gang who forced their way into his home.

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November 2010

1st
It was reported that the pipe bomb found at Belfast airport could have been there for a year.

People were forced to leave their homes after a small explosion in west Belfast. Locals said that a device had been attached to a lamppost. It was later reported that a family of six had escaped injury in the blast. A second bomb had also exploded nearby. Loyalists were blamed for the first attack.

2nd A pipe bomb was found after an alert in north Belfast.

3rd British Home Secretary Theresa May said that the Belfast airport bomb had 'targetted civilians'.

The trial of a father and son who were accused of threatening to kill an alleged drug dealer was moved for security reasons. The trial was to be in a non-jury diplock court.

The Belfast Telegraph published an interview with
Óglaigh na hÉireann. When asked about potential targets, their representative said '[we] will decide when and where [we] attack. Sceptics will say, "they would say that because they don’t have the capabilities". Eighteen months ago, they told us we couldn’t even detonate a bomb. Nothing is beyond our reach.' The representative said that they were recruiting experienced people and 'taking time to develop' because a full campaign now would 'play into the hands of the British'. However he believed that 'a war will create the conditions for credible dialogue aimed at British withdrawal'.

4th Shots were fired just after midnight in the Beechmount Link area of west Belfast, damaging a car. The couple who owned the car said they had no idea why they were being targetted but were considering leaving the area.

It was reported that the Independent Monitoring Commission was to shut down. In its final publication, the Commission described how police had found £100,000 during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity during May 2010. It said that the number of improvised explosive devices had increased and the proportion of successful detonations had risen. It also mentioned the 'extensive intelligence gathering' carried out by republicans, their involvement in 'serious crime' and 'disorder'  and in vigilante activity against anti-social elements. Of the Loyalists, it said that some UVF members had discussed buying guns, and foreign nationals had been the target of hoax bombs.

5th Two police officers were injured when a pipe bomb was thrown at them in west Belfast. The attacker had been on a bicycle.

It was reported that armed republicans had set up a roadblock in County Down.

6th Matt Baggott warned the public to be vigilant and said that the threat from republicans opposed to the peace process was 'higher than ever'.

7th
According to the Belfast TelegraphIrish police believed republican paramilitaries were planning to target 'bankers and finance workers'.

8th It was reported that Óglaigh na hÉireann had been behind the blast bomb attack on police on November 5th.  The PSNI confirmed that a military hand granade had been involved.

SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie claimed that still-active republican paramilitaries were the legacy of Sinn Féin's 'failed war'.

9th In Dublin, bail was granted to Anthony Sloan, accused of IRA membership.

Jimmy Spratt of the DUP said he was concerned that only a third of the PSNI were on frontline or community policing duties.

Three men were arrested over pipe bombings the previous night, which had not injured anybody.

11th A study by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence appeared to show that 'militant Irish republicans in Northern Ireland are growing in number and will not be negotiated with'.

Secretary of State Owen Patterson said he was not inclined to continue with 50-50 (Catholic/Protestant) recruitment to the PSNI. At the present time, 29% of police officers are from a Catholic background, up from 8% in 2001.

12th A claim by Policing Board member Basil McCrea that the latest generation of republican paramilitaries had '97% of the capability of the PIRA' was widely dismissed.  Jimmy Spratt of the DUP said that 'this is sheer madness, because this is not something that this board, or individual members of this board, have been briefed on.' Alex Maskey of Sinn Féin accused McCrea of 'reckless scaremongering'.

A Belfast court was told that CIRA members posed a threat to a witness involved in a blackmail case, and his family. John Clarke of Belfast was accused of demanding money with menaces from the alleged victim, a businessman.

A woman was charged over a bomb hoax in Dunmurry.

A 25-year-old man was questioned over the Rathcoole riots.

A suspected RIRA arms dump was found in Kildare.

Micheal O'Sullivan of the gardaí said he would not reveal his informant who had implicated three men in IRA activities in case the man 'ended up in a shallow grave'.

A court heard that the fatal beating of a DJ in 2004 had been sanctioned by the UDA.

13th Basil McCrea stood by his controversial claims. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he said that 'the technical ability already exists and is self-evident. Do I expect there to be a dissident terror threat for the next three to five years? Yes.[...] We have had ammunition recovered, a grenade attack, under-car booby-traps and culvert bombs. What is it that the current people can’t do that the others were able to?'

14th An arson attack on four cars outside a Catholic priory was condemned by both nationalist and unionist leaders.

The M1 was shut down in a security alert, causing tailbacks.

It was announced the Sinn Féin MP Gerry Adams would be stepping down in order to stand for election in the Republic. The current Louth TD, 
Sinn Féin man Arthur Morgan, was to resign his post.

At mass, a Catholic priest criticised the vigilante actions of some republicans, calling them 'not to be tolerated, it's not right and it doesn't reflect the feelings of the vast majority of people in this area'.


15th A man in his twenties was shot in the legs in west Belfast after three men forced their way into his house.

16th A retail park in south Belfast was badly damaged in an early-morning blaze. Police suspected republican paramilitary involvement. The complex had been previously attacked by republicans.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, republican paramilitaries had 'altered the rules of engagement' with the gardaí in that they were more prepared to enter into armed combat with them.

An 18-year-old was shot in both legs in west Belfast.

The DUP launched a private members bill in Stormont proposing that paramilitaries should not be recognised as victims of the Troubles.

17th The Police Federation warned that police officers from Britain should not be used on the frontline under the 'mutual aid' programme.

18th A man was shot in the legs on the Falls Road.

The British Prime Minister promised more cash to fight 'troubling' security threats.

19th A partially-exploded bomb was found in Derry.

A man was shot in both legs in west Belfast, the third target of a punishment shooting in a week.

It was reported that £700,000 would be spent implementing a deal made with republican prisoners at Maghaberry. The agreement involved more freedom of movement for prisoners and concessions on strip searching.

20th Shots were fired at a house in Antrim, but a motive was not immediately established.

21st A petrol bomb was thrown in Ballymoney at half three in the morning, but did not explode.

A Protestant family suffered a sectarian attack on their house in Rasharkin.

The same night, a Portugese family's car was targetted in a petrol bomb attack in Derry.


22nd A petrol bomb damaged houses in Coalisland in the early hours of the morning.

Two men were arrested during a probe into republican paramilitary activity.

Kieran McCool, accused of membership of RAAD, had his application to lift electronic tagging and curfew restrictions denied.

23rd A 48-year-old man was shot in both knees in west Belfast.

A 34-year-old suspected UVF member was allowed to go home from jail so his 'mother could look after him' after his mental health deteriorated.

24th It was alleged in court that a man claiming to have been blackmailed by republican paramilitaries was himself a money launderer.

Three men were convicted in a Dublin court of IRA membership.

25th
Republicans opposed to the peace process disrupted the Derry District Police Partnership meeting. They were criticised by Sinn Féin, who said that 'if people genuinely have an issue with the PSNI, then standing and shouting down a meeting that is themed to help the most vulnerable and isolated in our community is not the way to deal with it.'

A man was arrested in connection with shootings by republican paramilitaries.

26th Sinn Féin won a landslide victory in Donegal South-West.

It was alleged that two cousins shot in Dublin had been the victims of a RIRA gang enforcing a 'drug tax'. According to the allegations, the RIRA had been demanding 20% of drug profits from Dublin's major criminal gangs.

27th A viable pipe bomb was discovered at a house in Antrim.

29th It was reported that recent bomb alerts had cost rail companies £80,000 in lost fares.

30th Homes were evacuated during a security alert in west Belfast.

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December 2010

1st A fourth person was arrested over a mortar bomb found in Dundalk.

A man was arrested over the hoax alert in west Belfast the previous day.

2nd At a meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, it was announced that 150 officers would be taken off frontline duties in order to guard police stations because of the growing threat from republican paramilitaries.

A court heard that men claiming to be members of 
Óglaigh na hÉireann had handed a gun to a 16-year-old boy after a failed punishment shooting. Meanwhile, police in the Republic said that the mortar found in Dundalk had been intended for use in the North by Óglaigh na hÉireann.

Tribune magazine quoted an
Óglaigh na hÉireann spokesman as saying 'initially, Óglaigh na hÉireann had a core of people who were at the wrong scale of things – that is, in their 30s to 50s. Half our membership is now young people who are told to stay away from public activities, such as protests'.

3rd The British army carried out controlled explosions on a stolen car in west Belfast.

Four people appeared in court in Dublin over the Louth mortar bomb.

A woman was detained during an investigation in republican activity. She would be charged with possession of a gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

4th PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott said that the number of police had been scaled back too quickly after the ceasefires, and more expenditure was now needed to combat republicans opposed to the peace process.

5th An improvised device was made safe in Tipperary in the early hours of the morning.

Alex Maskey of Sinn Féin responded to Matt Baggott that the PSNI was large enough and 'they have a lot of reform still to complete.'

7th According to a report by Equality Commission, the Catholic workforce was continuing to rise.

An article in the Belfast Telegraph said that 'informed sources' had told them 'a secret contacts channel linking dissidents and government officials has gone cold'.

9th It was reported that Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers would face trial over the Massereene killings.

It was also reported that people had been arrested in west Belfast and Lancashire over the importation of guns.

A court heard that DNA on two phones linked Philip O'Donnell with the Strand Road bomb of August 2010.

A security alert occurred in Larne. It turned out to be a false alarm.

10th The Police Federation claimed that the level of paramilitary activity was being played down 'to make NI look more normal than it actually is'. The controversy stemmed from the classification of 'national security incident' by the PSNI as an attack on the security forces or government. The majority of attacks were not on such targets.

11th The Orange Hall at Beragh was vandalised some time during the night.

12th A pipe bomb exploded outside the house of PUP spokesman Ken Wilkinson's home in the early hours of the morning.

A pipe bomb went off in Killyleagh at eleven in the evening.

13th It was reported that Gerry Adams had denied allegations revealed on Wikileaks that the Irish government had 'rock solid' evidence he was once a leader of the IRA. It was further alleged that Gerry Adams had known about the Northern Bank Raid before it took place. The Irish government had also believed that the British government had sanctioned the murder of Pat Finucane.

14th Two men were arrested over republican paramilitary activity.

A court session into the Ardoyne riots of July 2010 heard how rioters had attacked police.

15th Three men were jailed for IRA membership by a Dublin court. They had been arrested in February 2010 on suspicion of planning a tiger kidnapping.

Shots were fired at a house in west Belfast. An SDLP councillor blamed it on 'those who seem to think that they can take the law into their own hands.'


16th A petrol bomb was thrown into a house in Lisburn in the early morning. Two children inside the house escaped unharmed.

A pipe bomb was found in a garden in south Belfast.

The Department of Finance promised to review its practices after it published the details of civilian security contractors online.

17th Roads were closed in Newry after a suspicious object was found.

A man was charged over the August 2010 attack on the Strand Road police station.

18th A sectarian attack on two men occurred in Rasharkin.

20th A protest was held outside the MI5 base in Holywood to demand security force files on the Pat Finucane murder.

21st Barry Fitzpatrick was found guilty in Dublin of IRA membership. He had represented himself in court.

22nd The charge against republican Gary Donnelly for 'possessing a mobile phone for use in terrorism' was dropped.

It was reported that bollards had been erected outside the Strand Road police station to protect it from attack by republicans.

A grenade was found outside a policeman's house in Fermanagh. It was not clear if it had exploded. The policeman and his family were moved.

23rd Up to fifty families were moved after a bomb alert in north Belfast.

24th Shots were fired at a house in County Tyrone. No motive was established at the time.

26th A house was attacked in Ballymena. Four men were subsequently arrested.

27th Shots were fired at a second house in Ballymena.

In an interview with the Guardian, UDA leader Jackie McDonald warned that younger loyalists would withdraw their support for the peace process unless the police dealt 'more robustly' with active republican paramilitaries. McDonald said 'our message to young loyalists is "let the security forces concentrate on them [the dissidents]" and to the police it will be: "Do your job, make the arrests". We are not going to be provoked whatsoever. For a start there are three to four competing republican groups which shows they can't agree with each other.'

In their review of 2010, the BBC wrote that: '
The reality is that while dissident groups have demonstrated that they can kill and maim and detonate bombs, they don't have anything like the capability and capacity of the Provisional IRA during the troubles. Privately, Chief Constable Matt Baggott spent much of the last year lobbying government for access to more than £200m of additional funding from the Treasury's emergency's reserves to combat the threat. There has been little overt dissident activity in recent months, but security sources fear further attacks early in the New Year because targeting and planning have continued, and a number of competent bomb-makers are believed to be operating within their ranks. The groups may never achieve the level of capability and capacity of the Provisional IRA, but they don't have to. Their continued existence and occasional activities are enough to cause security and political concern, and to be a constant irritation to Sinn Fein. The police and security services now talk privately in terms of a five-year strategy to combat the threat.'

29th A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Enniskillen.

31st Bomb-making equipment was found near Hollyhall Road in Derry.

Continue to January 2011
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