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

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January 2012

1st Republican groups the 32CSM, Republican Sinn Féin and éirígí released their New Year statements. The 32CSM said that 'it has been a difficult year for Republicans, we have seen ever increasing levels of harassment of our activists on both sides of the border. ... The true nature of the six county state has been revealed as in the past year it has reverted to type. We have witnessed the reintroduction of the supergrass trial, political policing, sectarian marches and the criminalizing of Republican POWs.'

According to Republican Sinn
Féin, 'the coming year will be a challenging one for working-class people in Ireland and across Europe. ... Economically people are faced with the consequences of the austerity programme imposed on them by the EU political and financial elite. For Irish Republicans increasing repression highlights the reality of the old imperialism of British rule in Ireland.'

éirígí said that 'willing fools in Leinster House and Stormont happily implemented the anti-social dictates of their respective masters in Berlin, Washington and London... 2011 saw the British state attempt to further increase its malign influence in Ireland. In the Six Counties Britain’s paramilitary police continued with their campaign of harassment and intimidation of the nationalist community in general and republican activists in particular. '

2nd
The Guardian reported on a law suit against Boston College, which was being compelled to publicise taped interviews with IRA activists taken between 2001 and 2006.

3rd A shot was fired through the window of a car in Antrim.

4th Two gunmen shot a 28-year-old man in the leg in west Belfast.

Hugh Booth from north Belfast was jailed his part in the 2010 Ardoyne riots. In Derry, a man was fined for shouting abuse at police while drunk, saying he 'hoped they got blown up'.

5th Houses were evacuated during a security alert in north Belfast. It was reported that a bomb had been found in a car. Later it emerged that the car belonged to a soldier, who was accused of having left it unlocked. He was also believed to have had 'some form of military insignia' displayed in the car window. A week later, it was reported that Óglaigh na hÉireann had targetted him and had obtained a photograph of him from Facebook.

A petrol bomb was thrown at a house on Jamaica Street, Ardoyne.

6th Lawyers for former IRA man Gerry McGeogh claimed he had been treated differently from other political prisoners because he was no longer a member of Sinn Féin.

Catholic teenager James Turley was subject to a sectarian attack when he left the set of The Good Man.

7th During the early hours of the morning, a 'large hole' was made in a security wall at the Fountain estate in Derry. A local resident commented that 'the wall was put there for a reason: to protect the people in the Fountain and other residents. Why destroy something that is protecting us?'

A pipe bomb was found during a security alert in Dungannon.

Shots were fired at a house in east Belfast.

8th A petrol bomb was left on the doorstep of a house in west Belfast, resulting in a seven-year-old girl having to be treated for smoke inhalation.

9th During the trial of Brendan McConville and John Wootton over the 2009 killing of police officer Stephen Carroll, it was revealed that police had been bugging Wootton's car.

10th Shots were fired at a car in Belleek, County Fermanagh.

Homes were evacuated in the Waterside area of Derry following reports of an explosion. Members of the public were warned not to touch suspicious objects. Police said that an attack on the police was one line of inquiry. Next day residents returned to their homes with the source of the explosion, which had been heard all over the city, remaining a mystery. On the twelfth the PSNI said they had found no evidence of an explosion, despite the fact that 'many people [they] spoke to reported a bomb explosion' and there had been 'a report of masked men in Dunfield Terrace.'


11th It was reported that the PSNI had failed in an attempt to force the BBC to hand over footage shot at a Real IRA parade which had taken place in April 2011.

12th It was reported that police had been meeting community representatives in an attempt to tackle sectarian vandalism in the Black's Road-Suffolk interface area of west Belfast.

In Derry, local residents from both sides of the Fountain Estate and Bishop Street interface held a rally against anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

An alert in Poleglass, west Belfast, ended when nothing was found.

13th It was reported that two men found shot dead in Cornwall, England, in August 2011, had been working for 'an IRA gang involved in Liverpool's drug trade'. Murder accused Thomas Haigh said that Irish republicans 'ran Liverpool'.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin, said he was disturbed to learn that documents relating to the paramilitary decommissioning process were being kept at Boston College in the United States.

Three men and a woman were arrested over the attempted bomb attack on a soldier on January 5th.

14th More arrests including a teenager were made over the January 5th attack.

A hoax bomb was thrown at police in north Belfast.

A robbery on Ballygawley Road in County Tyrone was blamed on republicans.

16th It was reported that a 40-year-old man had been charged over the bomb on January 5th.

An attack on a woman in the Waterside area of Derry was treated as sectarian.

17th Emergency services dealing with a fire in west Belfast discovered a pipe bomb. The police believed it had been thrown at them by republicans the previous night.

It was reported that more three quarters of civilian staff employed by the PSNI on temporary contracts were former RUC who had retired under the Patten redundancy scheme. Many were in sensitive areas such as intelligence.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that former IRA hunger striker Marian Price, who was involved in bombing the Old Bailey in 1973, was to stand trial for the Massereene killings. Writing in The Guardian, Eamonn McCann said 'her detention has been a scandal. Price has been effectively held in solitary as the only female in the high-security prison, charged with encouraging support for an illegal organisation.'


18th Victims campaigner Raymond McCord called for action before the UVF killed another victim. He claimed that 23-year old James Kelly, nephew of Bobby Moffett, had been attacked by loyalist paramilitaries the previous week. However, police denied a link between the attack and paramilitaries.

19th It was reported that ex-loyalist and republican prisoners were to meet to discuss the Good Friday Agreement.

Bombs exploded at Strand Road and Foyle Street in Derry, prompting a massive security operation. There were no reports of injuries. Republicans were blamed for the explosions.

Shots were fired through the door of a house in east Belfast.

20th Brian Shivers was found guilty of the 2009 Massereene killings, while high-profile republican Colin Duffy was acquitted. A relative said their leaving the court had been 'what I can only describe as the most frightening few yards I have ever walked...The loyalists were screaming at us, spitting at us, up in our faces threatening us and it was chaotic.'

A 46-year-old man was arrested over suspected republican paramilitary activity.

21st An eight-year-old girl was injured when racists threw a brick through a house window in east Belfast.

Colin Duffy said that the DNA evidence against him had been planted. He said 'let me state quite categorically here that I had no involvement with what happened at Massereene - no involvement whatsoever - and that has been vindicated in the court.'  Having spent a total of seven years in prison on charges for which he was ultimately acquitted, he claimed he was a victim of state persecution.

22nd Homes were evacuated in Toome, County Antrim, after a suspicious vehicle was found. It was believed that the vehicle was linked to a robbery. Another alert occurred at Ballykelly, County Derry. Next day it was declared a hoax.

It was reported that Ballymacall Orange Hall in County Tyrone had been vandalised by republican sympathisers some time between the 19th and 21st.

Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin said he had 'nothing to fear' from the Boston College interviews with IRA members. His focus was opposing the government of the Irish Republic and furthering the peace process. Meanwhile, Martin McGuinness stated in a BBC programme that he was still considering whether to meet the British Queen. He said that '
the fact that she was prepared to recognise the importance of the Irish language; that she was prepared to stand in a very dignified way to honour those patriots who struggled in 1916 to bring about a free and independent 32-county Irish Republic, that made an impact upon me.'

23rd The Ulster Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann said that plans to stage the first all-Ireland fleadh in Derry were to be shelved because of security fears after the bombs of January 19th. However, it was claimed that some members of Comhaltas had been opposed to staging the festival in Derry when it was the UK City of Culture. On the following day, the Derry Comhaltas announced it would appeal. Meanwhile, Derry tourist office opened for the first time since the bombs.

A 52-year-old man was arrested in Derry on a charge linked to paramilitary activity.

Ofcom ruled that ITV had 'misled' its audience in claiming that footage from a video game showed the IRA training.

24th A petrol bomb was thrown through the window of a house in Ballymoney, County Antrim, in the early hours of the morning.

In the Boston College hearing, Jack Dunn said he believed that the PSNI wanted the interview tapes more to investigate current than past paramilitary activity.

Martin Kelly was jailed for the murder of anti-peace-process republican Andrew Burns.

A bomb alert in Shantallow, Derry ended after nothing was found.

John Bosley, whose mother had been killed by the IRA at Aldershot in 1972, called for a public memorial.

It was reported that the men at the centre of a UVF supergrass trial would not give evidence in their defence.

A man was shot in the leg in Creggan.

25th DUP MP William McCrea raised the issue of Colin Duffy's acquittal in the British House of Commons. He asked if Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, could 'understand the anger and fear that has been felt in my constituency, and indeed throughout Northern Ireland, in light of the release of Colin Duffy, a person charged on three different occasions for the murder of innocents, yet always seems to find the get out card. What assurance can the secretary of state give my constituents that they are going to be safe from brutal terrorists like Colin Duffy and not be another statistic in a long line of innocent victims?'  Paterson commented later that 'despite overwhelming community rejection of their murderous activity, terrorist groups continue to carry out indiscriminate attacks as we saw in Londonderry last week.' Meanwhile, Colin Duffy issued a statement through solicitors that he would 'initiate proceedings against the PSNI and PPS in respect of his malicious prosecution and unlawful detention.'

Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson applauded the decision of the Ulster Council of Comhaltas to back the Derry fleadh.

A federal judge threw out the US government's attempts to obtain the Boston College interviews with IRA members.

26th A 27-year-old man was charged with 'collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists'. The next day, his solicitor argued he was 'a trainspotter, a loner, an anorak, a nerd with no friends' and therefore innocent.

27th Neil Hyde, who had been accused of murdering the only journalist killed in Northern Ireland, Martin O'Hagan, agreed to assist the police in their case against the LVF.

A bomb alert occurred in Kinawley.

28th Derry won the bid to host the all-Ireland fleadh in 2013 despite security concerns.

Shots were fired into a family home on Glen Road, Derry.

29th DUP leader and first minister Peter Robinson made 'another little piece of history' by attending a GAA match.

Several hundred people marched to mark the fortieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

30th In the Stephen Carroll trial, an expert gave evidence regarding the computer of John Paul Wootton. A document had been found detailing the 'Craigavon Republican Youth New Unit', whose plans were to 'get money, advertise through republican slogans, get weaponry and recruit and train'.

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said that the detention of republican Marian Price has 'unintentionally provided a recruiting tool' for republicans opposed to the peace process.

John Patrick Duffy, a 37-year-old voluntary worker, was jailed for six months for throwing a petrol bomb at a police van after the Apprentice Boys' Parade on August 13th, 2011.

31st A woman whose Dungiven home had been attacked the previous evening said she was thinking of leaving Northern Ireland. She had come over three years previously from Scotland.

Four pipe bombs were found in a box in Portadown.

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February 2012

1st The SDLP warned that the rehiring of former RUC officers into the PSNI was damaging nationalist confidence in the police.

2nd
DUP politician Jeffrey Donaldson said that the Maze/Long Kesh prison, where a Conflict Resolution Centre was to be built, would not become a 'shrine' to the IRA. He said that' I know a lot of Protestants who would support this on the basis of what has been agreed. It is about promoting dialogue and it is a way forward.'  Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney commented that 'the redevelopment of the Long Kesh site will [...]  be a shining example of how the North accepts diversity.' However, Ulster Unionist Mike Nesbitt said that 'what will happen if we go ahead with this is that a large section of the community from the Protestant/Unionist side will not only feel they cannot support it, they will build their own conflict centre.'

The alleged leader of the Continuity IRA was named at the Stephen Carroll trial as Eddie Breen.

3rd It was reported that Brian Shivers, convicted of the Massereene shootings of March 2009, had only four or five years to live. However, his lawyer accepted that this would not affect the length of his sentence. Meanwhile a court heard that John Paul Wootton, accused of killing PSNI officer Stephen Carroll, had tried to collect information on another policeman prior to the shooting.

A bomb alert in Downpatrick was declared a hoax.

The Policing Board urged the PSNI to do more about paramilitary attacks on young people.

5th A man in Ballymena was charged with possessing ammunition and firearms in suspicious circumstances.

Police investigating a domestic incident in which a PSNI officer was injured came under attack from a mob. The Guardian reported that 'the estate has been a frequent trouble spot for the police [who] have come under repeated attack, ranging from riots to shootings. The North Armagh area is a stronghold for the hardline republican faction, the Continuity IRA.'

A man was shot in the legs in north Belfast.

6th Gardaí arrested two suspected republican paramilitaries in Dublin.

The trial of Brendan McConville over the killing of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll heard that gun traces had been found on his jacket.

8th It was reported that Óglaigh na hÉireann had obtained a policewoman's phone and used it to get information on her and her colleagues. However, they decided not to target the woman and handed the phone in to the Irish News.

9th Shots were fired in two bookmakers' in Derry. SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said that the gunmen were republicans who had shot at poker machines.

Philip O'Donnell admitted involvement in the August 2010 bombing of the Strand Road police station.

It was reported that a Catholic man had been awarded £11,500 damages after suffering sectarian abuse at work. The judge ruled that his employer, Shorts Bombardier, had failed to take appropriate action. She said that 'the reality of this shop floor is that, with full knowledge that a long serving employee of good standing and proven integrity reported chillingly frightening sectarian texts to various managers, the employer did nothing beyond providing a room for police interviews.'

The families of the soldiers killed at Massereene in March 2009 objected to plans for a loyalist march commemorating their deaths.

10th Brian Shivers was sentenced to twenty-five years jail for his role in the Massereene killings.

Derry man Andrew Allen was shot dead in Buncrana, Donegal, apparently by Republican Action Against Drugs. He had previously been hounded out of Derry by republicans. A Sinn Féin spokesman said 'this is not republican, this is anti-republican. He has been murdered by a tiny group of arrogant thugs who call themselves republican.'

A bomb alert in west Belfast was declared a hoax.

Two 19-year-olds were jailed for throwing petrol bombs at police during rioting in July 2011.

11th A petrol bomb was thrown into a house in west Belfast, and an 18-year-old man was subsequently arrested.

Two men were arrested in Cork during an inquiry into republican paramilitary activity.

12th It was reported that a man had been charged in connection with a bomb found during searches at Coalisland in the Easter period of 2011. In other news, a man had been charged with a shooting in Coalisland that occurred on 28th January.

It was reported that gunmen threatened children in west Belfast from a car.

13th Dungannon man Patrick Carty, who had been arrested the previous day, was accused in court of possessing an improvised explosive device commonly seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

14th Eamon Terence Cassidy appeared in court accused of leaving a 100lb bomb outside the Magistrates Court in Derry in March 2011.

A gun was found near a picnic area in Derry. It could have been there for some time.

The Stephen Carroll trial heard that the army had been reluctant to hand over surveillance information to the police. They had been tracking suspect John Paul Wootton.

Two petrol bombs were thrown at police in Derry.

15th The Parades Commission placed restrictions on a parade that was intended to mark the Kingsmill massacre of 1976.

It was reported that a car had been petrol bombed in Rathcoole.

Brian Shivers launched an appeal against his conviction.

16th Three improvised explosive devices were found near Celbridge in County Kildare during an investigation in to republican paramilitary activity.

It was reported that two men had been charged with the attempted bombing of the Alliance party headquarters in May 2011.

The Guardian reported that Martin McGartland, who had infiltrated the IRA, was to sue the security forces for failing to help him overcome his post-traumatic stress disorder and for compromising his safety.

17th Republican Marian Price was moved to a women's prison from Maghaberry. The night before, former prison chaplain Monsignor Raymond Murray had compared her imprisonment to internment. He said the judiciary 'would have to explain to us and explain the process of law as regards Marian Price. In any way has she broken the law? ' However, the NIO responded that 'Mrs McGlinchey [Marian Price] has been charged with two offences under the Terrorism Act 2000, one of which is in connection with the Masserene murders'.

Two men were injured in a sectarian attack in west Belfast.

In the Stephen Caroll trial, John Paul Wootton's mother admitted obstructing the police by removing computer equipment.

18th A man was shot at in east Belfast.

A rally was held in Derry to protest the death of Andrew Allen, who had been shot dead by republican paramilitaries.

19th A 35-year-old man was arrested by police in west Belfast by police investigating republican paramilitary activity.

20th Police investigating the killing of officer Ronan Kerr linked the case to nine others involving republicans opposed to the peace process.

Three men were arrested under the Terrorism Act in west Belfast. They were released on the 21st.

Eugene Martin McLoone, a 54-year-old health official accused of possessing an improvised explosive device, was denied bail. He was one of three men arrested in September 2011.

21st It was reported that Justice Minister David Ford was refusing to publish a report into Maghberry Jail which addressed alternatives to body searches. He said it contained sensitive security information.

22nd The 'supergrass' trial of the alleged UVF killers of UDA leader Tommy English collapsed after the chief witnesses were declared unreliable. The judge called Robert and Ian Stewart 'ruthless terrorists who had lived on a daily diet of lies'.

It was reported that the alleged leader of the CIRA, Eddie Breen, had refused to comment over the killing of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll.

It was also reported that Republican Action Against Drugs had claimed the killing of Andrew Allen. They called him a 'death dealer' and said he had been warned to stop dealing drugs but had ignored the 'amnesty'.

23rd Eugene McLoone, who had been accused of possessing a blast bomb found in Derry in September 2011, was granted bail.

24th Two men who had been arrested in a raid on a republican bomb factory in May 2010 were found guilty.

25th Police discovered a firearm during a house search in west Belfast and three people were arrested.

Two shots were fired at Mill Race in west Belfast and a child suffered cuts from broken glass.

26th A security alert at Newtownabbey was declared a hoax.

27th Sinn Féin MLA Mitchel McLaughlin said that the Queen's visit had 'affected him tremendously'.

The trial of two men accused of sending a parcel bomb to Neil Lennon began.

Lawyers in the Stephen Carroll trial listed their concerns about a key prosecution witness.

29th Defence lawyers in the Stephen Carroll trial argued that the trial should be stopped due to lack of evidence.

The NI Peace Monitoring Report said that Northern Ireland was still very divided. The number of peace walls had increased from 22 when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998 to 48. There was a high drop-out rate amongst Catholics who joined the police. The report said that 'the gravitational pull towards a strong voice in each community suggests that in the future Northern Ireland politics will be defined by one large Catholic party and one large Protestant party'. It concluded that 'the opportunity for reasoned discussion about how the past should be handled was lost in the furore surrounding the 2009 report of the Consultative Group on the past, largely because of a clause which suggested a one-off payment to all families who had lost someone in the Troubles regardless of whether that person was seen as a victim or a perpetrator. This issue, more than any other, continues to confound the sense that Northern Ireland has left the Troubles behind.'

Police found a viable pipe bomb on an estate in Derry.

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March  2012

1st Justice Minister David Ford defended the laws on supergrass trials.

A 54-year-old man was arrested in connection with the Shankill Road bar bombing of 1975.

A man was shot dead in Belfast city centre. At the time, republicans were blamed for the 'execution-style assassination', as the victim was a convicted drug dealer. However, police later said they did not think there had been any paramilitary involvement. Roy Greenslade wrote a piece in the Guardian criticising the newspaper for jumping to conclusions. He said 'I am not in any doubt about the threat posed by republican dissidents. But it is clear that this small group feeds off any publicity that implies it is larger and more active than is really the case.'

2nd It was reported that lists of PSNI officers had been passed on to prisoners at Maghaberry. Kyle Martin Jones, an ex-policeman, appeared in court accused of 'collecting information which could be used by terrorists'.

Four men accused of UVF membership had charges against them dropped.

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

It was reported that a woman who had applied for compensation after her car was damaged in a RIRA bomb explosion in October 2010 had been denied a pay-out.

A Polish woman's car was attacked in what police would treat as a hate crime.

5th A security alert at Thiepval barracks in Lisburn ended with nothing being found. An alert in Strabane which caused up to forty people to leave their homes was also declared a hoax.

A man was arrested over alleged on-line threats to Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

In Ballymoney, a man was injured in a gun attack.

6th Two guns were found on open ground near Divis Road in west Belfast.

The trial of two men accused of killing PSNI officer Stephen Carroll came to an end. Both accused men had chosen not to take the stand.

7th A cross-community memorial was held for the two soldiers shot dead by republicans in March 2009.

In the Bogside, two men were shot in the legs by Republican Action Against Drugs. SDLP MEP Pat Ramsey said afterwards 'there is no place in a civilised society for vigilante justice and the people of Derry have made that clear with repeated demonstrations against the likes of Republican Action Against Drugs'. Raymond McCartney of Sinn Féin said 'let's be very clear these shootings have absolutely nothing to do with drugs and those carrying them out are certainly not republicans'.

A security alert in north Belfast was declared a hoax.

8th
It was reported that Tom Elliot was resigning from leadership of the UUP. He said that some people within the party had been feeding lies to journalists.

9th Army technical experts investigated an explosion at flats in east Belfast. It was later reported that two bomb attacks had been carried out. The front door of a house on Invernook Drive had been blown off, and a pipe bomb was thrown through a window on Tamar Street. The father of the man targeted on Invernook Drive said it was the second attack. He said 'I've been talking to the UVF and the UVF gave me their word that they'd nothing do with it, not today or the first shooting. They have no beef with us and we took it that everything was alright. Yesterday my son got another death threat. They told him he was going to be attacked by loyalist paramilitaries and then this happened. I've been told through a friend that if I don't get my son off side they'll put him in a box.'

The Christian group Maranatha offered to act as intermediaries with the vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs.

A petrol bomb was thrown through the window of a house in south Belfast.

10th Gerry Adams criticised Secretary of State Owen Paterson at a Sinn Féin rally. He said that '[Paterson] has dismissed the possibility of a border poll. He has also blocked an enquiry into the killing of Human Rights lawyer Pat Finucane despite this being part of an inter-governmental agreement at Weston Park. He is also blocking a Bill of Rights. And he has been less than helpful on other matters like the Irish language. And his imprisonment of Marian Price is entirely stupid and unjust.'

Community activist Hugh Brady said he had been involved in negotiations with RAAD over the two men who had been shot on the 7th. He said that 'RAAD have made clear that all threats and implied threats against the two young men have been removed and they are free to go about their daily lives.'

It was reported that firearms and ammunition had been discovered in Derry. Searches had been carried out in relation to 'serious crime'.

12th A man was shot in the leg in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

13th It was reported that Mary McArdle, a Stormont advisor and former IRA activist involved in the killing of Mary Travers, would soon leave her controversial post at Stormont.

The commanding officer of an SAS unit that shot dead two PIRA members in 1990 denied they were operating under a shoot-to-kill policy; and the Smithwick Tribunal heard that Taoiseach Jack Lynch had refused assistance to the RUC over the 1979 Warrenpoint killings, saying they were a political crime.

14th It was reported that Marian Price had refused to meet Sinn Féin at Hydebank Women's prison where she was being held. However, Sinn Féin supported her release, saying that 'given the fact that she has been bailed on the charges she was originally arrested for, there is no justification whatsoever for her continued detention.'

Ryan Lavery, who had been bailed on charges of 'collecting documents which might be of use to terrorists', was prohibited from going near army bases.

15th A 41-year-old man was arrested in connection with the March 9th explosion on Invernook Drive.

16th The man widely named as the east Belfast leader of the UVF, Stephen Matthews, was arrested during an investigation into serious crime. He was released the following day.

The Augharonan Orange Hall was damaged in an arson attack.

17th Homes were evacuated after a suspect device was found in south Belfast.

Two teenagers were charged with disorderly conduct after a loyalist band parade in Armagh.

19th A suspicious object found near Navan Fort was declared a hoax.

20th
A football match in Derry degenerated into a sectarian riot. After Linfield lost to Derry, a number of Linfield fans allegedly 'verbally abused the residents and the community activists who were around the area at the time. They threw bottles, bricks and bottles filled with urine and stones over the fence at the residents.'

21st A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Derry in the early hours of the morning.

The Armagh County Board expressed concern about 'partitionist provocation' that had been directed at their players.

22nd Shots were fired at a house in Dundonald.

23rd Barry Boardman and Francis Peter Carleton denied a pipe bomb attack on the Alliance Headquarters in May 2011.

26th Justice Minister David Ford said that body scanners might be used in prisons. Republican prisoners had been protesting against the use of body searches at Maghaberry.

27th A court heard that loyalist paramilitaries had told one of the men convicted of the murder of schoolboy Thomas Devlin not to co-operate with the investigation.

28th The mother of Ronan Kerr, a PSNI officer killed by republicans opposed to the peace process a year before, gave an interview. She said that since Ronan's death, 'numerous people' had told her they were going to join the PSNI, and that 'I actually feel sorry for people like that being brought up and indoctrinated into the belief that killing somebody is actually going to achieve something'.

30th Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton were found guilty of killing PSNI officer Stephen Carroll in 2009.

Trevor Muirhead and Neil McKenzie were found guilty of sending what they believed were viable explosives to people connected to Celtic Football Club.

Loyalist Francis McNally, who in June 2010 left a pipe-bomb at the home of a cross-community worker in north Belfast, was jailed.

Two men were injured in shootings in west Belfast.

31st An arson attack that occurred in Antrim during the night was said to be racially motivated.

A man from Derry was found guilty of possessing firearms in County Wicklow.

A security alert occurred at Queen's Bridge in Belfast.

Three men had to be treated for smoke inhalation after a petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Derry.

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April 2012

1st Petrol bombs were thrown at cars during the early hours of the morning in Lisburn.

The BBC broadcast a documentary on the experiences of Catholic police officers in Northern Ireland. One female officer described the threat to her safety: 'The children have always understood that they're not to come outside the house until I've made sure the car is safe - they just think I'm checking that it's working.' She said that some republicans 'hate the fact that people of Northern Ireland are supporting the PSNI, and that Catholics are keen to join,' and that they 'don't want any political progress'.

2nd A bomb was found in the lane of a UUP councillor's home. Harold Andrews said he had been called with a warning about the bomb. Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliot said that the device was 'the work of a small intolerant element of people who still wish to intimidate Protestants out of Rosslea'.

A court heard that the bomb factory found in Keady the previous year was part of a wider plot.

3rd A man and his teenager daughter were critically injured in a gun attack on their home in north Belfast.

A man was shot in the leg in Strabane while his girlfriend and young daughter were in the house.

5th Shots were fired at house in Derry.

6th A bomb was found in Newry. Police said it had a significant amount of explosives and had the potential to kill.

It was reported that several PSNI officers had been suspended in an inquiry into racist and sectarian phone texts.

7th A 15-year-old boy was attacked by a masked gang wielding hammers and a gun in Derry. Meanwhile a man was attacked by a masked gang in west Belfast.

It was reported that a 10-year-old boy found what was believed to be a gun in Lurgan and took it home with him.

A hijacked taxi containing a suspect device was parked near houses in Newry. The PSNI defended themselves against criticism relating to the fact that they had taken an hour to respond. The alert was declared a hoax.

9th Six men were arrested in Derry following a commemoration by republicans opposed to the peace process. The RIRA said in a statement that they would continue to attack the 'Crown Forces' and 'British interests and infrastructure'. Sinn Féin chair Declan Kearney said 'make no mistake; there is no other IRA, here in Belfast, or anywhere else. Many of us have been involved in helping to take risks for peace. Some republicans oppose the peace process by militarist and political means. There is a political imperative upon us to attempt purposeful engagement with all republicans; and that includes those who oppose Sinn Fein.'

Seven people were arrested after trouble at an Apprentice Boys parade. The youngest was twelve years old.

10th The six men arrested at the republican rally were released without charge.

11th A 35-year-old man was shot in the leg on the Twinbrook estate.

13th It was reported that a memorial to RIRA victim Kieran Doherty had been vandalised. His uncle said 'the family would appeal to whoever is behind these attacks on this little memorial to stop doing this.'

Two men were fined for making anti-Catholic sectarian comments on Facebook. The wife and child of one of the men were Catholics.

14th A bomb was discovered in north Belfast. It was believed to have been there for a long time.

15th A road in north Belfast was closed during a security alert.

In Derry, a bomb was left under a car belonging to the elderly parents of a PSNI officer.

An attack on a South African man's home in Ballymena was described as racist.

16th A man who had been arrested over the beating and shooting of a man on April 3rd was released.

Two petrol bombs were thrown at a house in Derry.

17th A court heard that a bomb found in April 2011 had been the first Iraq-style bomb found in Northern Ireland. It had been packed with semtex and ready for use. Patrick Carty was being charged with possessing explosives with intent to endanger life.

Three men in their late thirties were arrested in Cookstown and Belfast accused of involvement in republican paramilitary activity.

It was reported that the Orange Order had been given £884,000 in European Union peace funds. It was 'to address the legacy of the Troubles in the Protestant community.'

Catherine McCartney, sister of Robert McCartney who was stabbed to death by IRA members in 2005, lost her case pleading political discrimination at work. The McCartney family had been forced out of the Short Strand area when they began a campaign to bring Robert's killers to justice.

18th It was reported that an inquiry was underway after a PSNI officer left a gun and ammunition in the home of someone who had been arrested for involvement in republican paramilitary activity.

A security alert at Ballykinler army base ended with nothing being found.

DUP Councillor Gary Middleton said that political graffiti was 'putting off visitors'.

Church leaders visited the elderly couple whose car had been the target of a republican bomb.

A court heard that a teenager accused of burgling two schools had been subject to a paramilitary punishment shooting.

19th A woman narrowly escaped injury when a petrol bomb and a paint bomb were thrown at a house in Derry.

20th Chief Constable Matt Baggott said that the PSNI needs the help it gets from MI5 to cope with the threat from republican paramilitaries. He said that 'we would not be having the success we've had if not for working closely with the security services as well as colleagues in An Garda Siochana'.

21st A 47-year-old man was detained in Lurgan in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

The Alliance leader David Ford said that the DUP and Sinn Féin are 'to be feared'.

A security alert at Crumlin, which resulted in a road being closed, was declared a hoax.

22nd Up to two hundred people attended a rally in Derry calling for the release of republican prisoner Marian Price. Her husband, Gerry McGlinchey, said 'there's no case to fight because nobody knows what she's charged of.'

23rd Three men appeared in a Newry court accused of INLA membership, blackmail and threats to kill.

24th It was reported that a man who had previously been threatened by Republican Action Against Drugs, and had been involved in protests against them, had received a fresh death threat.

Two men were arrested and then released by police investigating a shooting that took place on April 3rd.

In the Republic, a man who blackmailed a chip shop owner by threatening him with the Real IRA was sent to jail. David Dodrill pleaded guilty to membership of the IRA.

26th A security alert occurred at Fathom Line, Newry. A bomb was made safe the following day. Police said it had 600lb of explosives and was fully primed.

It was reported that the organisers of a controversial loyalist parade, by the Pride of Ardoyne Flute Band, had 'slammed' a decision by the Parades Commission not to allow it to follow its original route through the nationalist Oldpark area. A spokesman said 'we feel that it is totally unfair and unjust and represents the complete double standard approach to the unionist community’s cultural expression.'

A teenager was shot in both legs in Creggan. His mother said afterwards it was because he was involved in drugs, and she had been forced to take him to the men who shot him. In a television interview, she described how 'he walked down the lane and I stood at the top and I heard two shots. I ran down and there was blood coming from his legs and I said "Are you all right son", and he said "I am grand mammy". [...] I am glad it is over. He was dealing drugs to feed his habit. He is sore but otherwise he is okay.'

27th Police investigating republican paramilitary activity found guns and ammunition in the Ardoyne.

The Derrytresk GAA called off a road safety event after some members complained about PSNI involvement.

28th A bomb was found under a car in north Belfast. Seventy homes were evacuated during the alert.

A protest rally against RAAD was held in Derry.

30th A petrol bomb was thrown at a car in Derry during the early hours of the morning.

A senior police officer said those who left the bomb in Newry on the 26th had 'destructive, murderous intent.'

It was reported that five men had fled Derry during the previous week following threats from RAAD.

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May 2012

1st Martin McGuinness called on the people of Britain to press the Government to end the constitutional link with Northern Ireland.

Masked men carried out a paramilitary-style shooting in Donegal.

2nd A petrol bomb was found in the grounds of Ballysillan Presbyterian Church in north Belfast. Minister Norman Hamilton said he didn't believe it was an attack on the church.

3rd MP Gregory Campbell claimed that Andrew Allen, who had been killed by RAAD, had been 'threatened by Sinn Féin'.

It was announced that Sinn Féin's Bairbre de Brún would be stepping down as MEP.

A survey by the NI Council for Ethnic Minorities found that nearly half of Filipinos had been racially abused at work.

In Twinbrook, a teenage boy was shot in the leg. The Guardian reported that the boy had been ordered to go to a certain place to be shot, or his brother would have suffered the same punishment. The newspaper said that 'republicans opposed to the peace process have intensified their campaigns to carry out "alternative policing" in nationalist communities in order both to build popular support and seek to challenge the authority of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in the districts.'

In Lisburn, a petrol bomb was thrown at a house.

4th A security alert on the railway at Lurgan was declared a hoax.

7th A bomb alert in Cookstown was declared a hoax.

Masked men smashed windows at a house in Dungiven and shots were fired.

Homes were evacuated in Omagh over a suspected bomb at the police station. It turned out to be a hoax.

8th Anti-drugs group Opportunity Youth urged parents not to send their children to be shot by RAAD, saying that 'parents should not be put in a position where they are taking their children to be shot by appointment'.

9th A man was injured in a gun attack at a house in Glendara, Derry.

10th A judge in Derry dismissed charges against four men who had attended an Easter rally in the city the previous year. Marian Price was one of those who had charges dropped. She was too ill to attend the hearing. She remained in custody in connection with the Massereene killings.

A man was abducted by masked men, driven over the border and beaten.

11th The Director of Public Prosecutions said the Marian Price case was 'by no means at an end'.

Two men were arrested in Strabane over 'dissident activity'. They were released the following day.

The Derry Journal reported that RAAD had paraded a suspected drug dealer.  The group said he had come 'very close to being executed'.

12th Five people were arrested in connection with republican paramilitary activity. Police had carried out searches in Toome, Carrickmore, Cookstown, Omagh and Pomeroy.

A security alert in Castlewellan, centred around a van, ended in 'nothing untoward' being found.

13th SDLP spokesman Alban Maginness accused the government of interning Marian Price without trial. He said that 'she doesn't even have her own counsel to represent her in relation to the intelligence report'. Peter Weir of the DUP responded that 'she's somebody who got a get out of jail free card in 1980 because she was supposed to be at death's door, 32 years later she's clearly been involved in other activities. That has led to the revocation of her licence and she deserves to be in jail.'

A man was shot in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

The Guardian reported on the rise in republican vigilantism in Derry. According to John Lindsay, 'there are, on a conservative basis, more than 200 who were put out of Derry over the last 12 months. [...] They are told if they don't leave they will be shot or even killed'. The paper later revised those figures downwards.


14th Two ministers, Jonathan Bell of the DUP and Martina Anderson of Sinn Féin, said that golf clubs might harbour bigotry.

Three more people were arrested during a police inquiry into republican paramilitary activity.

A 'suspicious item' was found on a plane at Eniskillen, but it turned out to be harmless. Its discovery was linked to a similar incident in Yorkshire.

15th The Community Relations Council said sectarianism was still 'deeply rooted' in Northern Ireland.

Guns found in the Ardoyne were linked to republicans opposed to the peace process.

It was reported that the most senior police officer in the North, Steve Martin, had admitted it was a 'struggle' to secure convictions against RAAD.

16th It was reported that a man claimed to have been ordered onto an anger management course by RAAD, under threat of being shot if he didn't go. His claim was met by some skepticism. Derry Journalist Eamon McDermott said there was some support in the community for RAAD. 'They are prepared to turn blind eyes basically because they see the police not dealing with the behaviour, they see a vacuum, and anyone seen to be dealing with drug pushers or dealers are not going to be very unpopular.'

18th Three men who had been arrested in Lurgan on the 14th in connection with republican paramilitary activity were charged with 'conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause an explosion, preparation of terrorist acts and collecting information of use to terrorism'.  A 47-year-old was charged with 'directing acts of terrorism', a rare charge also used against loyalist Johnny Adair. The Guardian reported that this charge was controversial. 'Under the legislation a suspect can be arrested and held on remand and then face charges on the word of a senior police commander from the rank of superintendent who will tell the court he or she believes the person detained is directing terrorist organisations.'

A security alert in west Belfast that caused twenty homes to be evacuated was declared a hoax.

Businessman Raymond Coyle called on RAAD to end its vigilante campaign. He had been shot in 2010 for selling 'legal highs', and had received a fresh death threat in April 2012. He believed the new threat was in response to his involvement in an anti-RAAD protest.

19th Petrol bombs were thrown at a police van in west Belfast.

It was reported that a total of seven people had been charged in relation to republican paramilitary activity, including three relatives of Colin Duffy. The man accused of 'directing terrorism', Paul John Duffy, was one of the relatives.

20th A controlled explosion was carried out on a suspicious object in west Belfast.

21st The widow of Constable Stephen Carroll, killed by the CIRA in March 2009, expressed disgust that one of his killers had been awarded a minimum tariff of fourteen years in prison. Brendan McConville was jailed for twenty-five years and John Paul Wootton for fourteen years.

Homes were evacuated and a suspicious object found during a security alert in Derry. A man was arrested on suspicion of involvement in republican paramilitary activity.

A man was arrested over the bomb found under the car of a police officer's parents. He was released unconditionally the following day.

It was reported that the family of murdered UDA man Tommy English were suing the police over alleged failure to take action against a PSNI agent linked to ten killings.

22nd A man was arrested after bombs were found at a house on Maureen Avenue in Derry.

It was reported that four people had been remanded in custody over an alleged paramilitary training camp in Co. Tyrone. A court heard that 300 rounds had been fired there on 30th March. This was viewed as illegal training.

A court heard that a man accused of cutting the throat of prominent republican Bobby Tohill in 2011 may have blacked out from a combination of medication and alcohol.

23rd A suspicious object found in Derry was declared a hoax.

24th Police were attacked with petrol bombs at the scene of a hoax security alert in Newry.

It was reported that the sentence passed on John Paul Wootton, found guity of the CIRA killing of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll, would go to the Court of Appeal.

Anthony Thomas Friel appeared in court connected with bombs found in a flat on Maureen Avenue, Derry.

25th In the early hours of the morning, two houses in north Belfast were damaged by gunfire.

Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin confirmed that republicans had been talking privately with a 'very significant group of Protestants and unionists'.

26th Martin McGuinness told the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis that he wanted to meet with republicans opposed to the peace process, and that their 'war was over'. He said he wanted those republicans to 'come and tell us what you hope to gain by deluding yourselves and the gullible that your actions will succeed in what is certainly a pathetic and futile attempt to turn back the clock.' After the Republican Network for Unity accused Sinn Féin of not being genuine, Gerry Adams responded that it was.

A security alert in north Belfast was declared a hoax.

Randalstown church was damaged in the evening or the early hours of the following morning in a petrol bomb attack.

28th A 'device' was thrown at police during a search in Craigavon.

29th A man was assaulted and shot in west Belfast.

30th Two men appeared in court in connection with seven pipe bombs found after a car was stopped in Dungannon. When charged, they refused to recognise the court.

31st Peter Robinson said of the Queen's upcoming visit that it was 'sign of progress that Buckingham Palace has been able to give advance notice'. However, he felt it would be a 'difficult decision' for both the Queen and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin if they were to meet.

It was reported that a leaked report from Belfast City Council said that flying the Union flag on certain days would be a good way to promote community relations.

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June 2012

1st It was reported that a famous UFF mural on Sandy Row in Belfast was to be painted over after businessmen told paramilitaries that it was bad for commerce.

2nd An explosive device was thrown at police vehicles during a 'serious crime' operation in Derry. The PSNI described it as attempted murder' and said that 'officers should be allowed to carry out their duties without the added pressure of misguided individuals intent on causing them harm.' Two days later, RAAD claimed responsibility. They said that they had secured the area to make sure there were no civilians in the vicinity. According to RAAD, 'Sinn Féin are responsible for the upsurge in trouble in republican areas caused by the response to security force brutality.'

3rd A man was arrested in Creggan during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity. The same day, around two hundred people protested in Creggan against heavy-handed police searches. Community worker Seamus Heaney said that 'very often it's the innocents who get caught up in the middle of all this, the wives and children of people who are maybe being pursued. They get subjected to a lot of fear and what they would see as harassment.'

4th A car was driven up against the house of PUP spokesman Ken Wilkinson and set alight in the early hours of the morning. It was the third attack on his house in eighteen months.

The PSNI threatened to prosecute over sectarian posts on the PSNI west Belfast Facebook page.

It was reported that a mother had complained after Galbally Pearses GAA Club in Co. Tyrone handed out medals to children featuring killed PIRA member Martin McCaughey.

A security alert in Derry was declared a hoax.

5th Republicans opposed to the peace process obstructed the Olympic torch as it passed through Derry. Their protest was against policing and the conditions in which republicans were being held in jails.

6th On the Twinbrook estate, a device was thrown at a police Land Rover in the early hours of the morning. Nobody was injured.

A court heard that a paramilitary training camp in Co. Tyrone had been in the advanced stages of preparation for an attack. Suspects were said to have been recorded discussing 'methods, recruitment, arms acquisition and even their willingness to accept the negative publicity killing a PSNI officer would bring.'

It was reported that forty men had been shot in Derry in paramilitary-style attacks during the last four years. The Guardian had previously claimed that 85 people had been shot in the past three years.

Ballymena elected its first nationalist mayor, PJ McAvoy.

Dr Paul Nolan of the Community Relations Council told MLAs that policing was 'not secure', with potential problems including the higher proportion of Catholic officers leaving the force, the re-employment of former RUC officers, and the drop in public support for the Office of the Police Ombudsman. He said that the political institutions were secure.

7th The Belfast Telegraph reported that 'anger had erupted' over the appointment of IRA member Eibhlin Glenholmes to the new Forum for Victims and Survivors. TUV leader Jim Allister said that 'the organisation which she was long associated with made those people victims.'

8th The PSNI announced plans to tackle punishment attacks, and also said that the PSNI faced a severe threat from republicans opposed to the peace process. At the same time, comedian Frankie Boyle caused controversy when he joked that Big Brother contestant Conor McIntyre deserved a punishment beating.

The Derry Journal reported that tensions in Creggan were reaching 'a dangerous new level', and a local community worker had been villified. Community representatives feared that recent unrest had been organised by 'one or more of the armed groups operating in [their] community.'


9th Police were attacked during a hoax alert in Craigavon. The Mayor of Craigavon, Clara Lockhart, condemned the attacks. She said 'I do not blame the children who are rioting, I blame those faceless individuals who are manipulating those people behind the scenes.'

A security alert in Derry was declared a hoax.

10th The culture minister criticised the Northern Ireland Office for organising a Diamond Jubilee event in the grounds of Stormont without consulting Sinn Féin.

11th A security alert occured in the early morning at Larne. Towards evening, two hoax devices were found in Derry.

Martin McGuinness resigned from his job as MP for Mid Ulster to concentrate on his job at Stormont. On the same day, he said that expecting him to meet the Queen of England was a 'huge ask', and called the NIO's announcement of a Diamond Jubilee event at Stormont 'insensitive'.

Two men were arrested in Mayo in connection with republican paramilitary activity. Gardaí found explosive substances and component parts for bomb making.

12th It was reported that the Red Cross was helping those targetted by RAAD in Derry. Meanwhile, the Derry Journal reported that a man in Creggan claimed RAAD had 'exploited' a police raid on his house. The man said that 'they say they are the protectors of republican communities in Derry but, as far as I can see it, they’re only creating divisions between people living in these areas.'

Tension erupted when Sinn Féin's Kevin Campbell became mayor of Derry. The outgoing mayor, Maurice Devenny of the DUP, would not put the chain of office on his successor, and the deputy mayor, Mary Hamilton of the UUP, refused to let Councillor Campbell put the chain of office on her.

14th It was reported that thousands of people were being surveyed on whether the union flag should fly over City Hall. The flag was being flown every day, but republicans had complained.

Police Federation chairman Terry Spence said that RAAD were gearing up to kill police officers. 'Now the RAAD have gone further and unashamedly exposed themselves as determined to murder police officers. Their social interest in drug crime has been an utter sham and a profile-building exercise for mounting terrorist attacks.' He also commented that the jail terms handed out to the killers of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll 'sent out the wrong message'.

15th Martin McGuinness hinted that he might meet the Queen, saying that 'nothing that I will do, nothing that I will say, will be done in any way to undermine the incredible progress that we have made'.

The PSNI released a man arrested the previous day in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

17th Former Sinn Féin MLA Billy Leonard said he had a hunch Martin McGuinness would meet the Queen. 'My hunch is that he will [meet her] and it will be a calculation from within the party [asking] does this help the process?'

18th Playing football against Italy, the Republic's players wore black armbands in memory of the Loughinisland massacre, that took place on June 18th 1994. The victims had been watching the Republic play Italy in the World Cup.

Both of the sentences passed over the killing of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll were appealed.

19th A group of parents in Creggan alleged that policing in the area had been heavy-handed.  One father said: 'if you can't take your child to a protest and then balance it up with a police officer who basically assaulted her - what kind of country do we live in?'

Senior PSNI officer Judith Gillespie earned an award for learning the Irish language.

20th The Department of Regional Development lost a religious discrimination case brought by Protestant Alan Lennon. The tribunal found that while Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy was the DRD minister, there was 'a material bias against the appointment of candidates from a Protestant background'.

A BBC interview with RAAD was aired. In it, RAAD said they 'could do everything that the IRA used to do', and 'we don't operate in a vacuum. We have weapons to store, explosives to store, cars to store, so we are helped by the community. We are fathers, husbands, we live, we go to work, we're just ordinary people. Ordinary people with a past and people say to us: "There's a problem, help us, you used to be in the IRA."'

21st Former Sinn Féin MLA Billy Leonard was quoted as saying that former IRA prisoners still had a major influence over Sinn Féin. At the time he left the party in 2011, 'you had so called democratic structures, [but] there always seemed to be other meetings and the majority of them had people in key positions who were ex-army [IRA]'.

Belfast City Council held a special meeting about the flying of a flag in support of the British Armed Forces. It was agreed that the Armed Forces flag would fly for six days.

A house in Derry was targetted in a pipe bomb attack.

A man was injured in a paramilitary-style shooting in west Belfast.

22nd Sinn Féin announced that Martin McGuinness would meet the Queen. They said: 'Martin McGuinness has received an invitation from Co-operation Ireland to attend an event in Belfast next week to celebrate the arts and culture across Ireland. The Co-operation Ireland event will also be attended by the President of Ireland, the Queen of England and by First Minister Peter Robinson. Because this involves Martin meeting the British monarch this will cause difficulty for Republicans and nationalists who have suffered at the hands of British forces in Ireland over many decades. However, in the context of conflict resolution and national reconciliation, as well as our own republican national objectives, the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle agreed that Martin should accept the invitation. This is a significant initiative involving major political and symbolic challenges for Irish republicans.' Other republican groups such as éirígí criticised the move, calling Sinn Féin 'a willing ally of modern neo-con imperialists'. Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain commented that 'republicans, aside from some tiny minority groups who have very little, if any support in the community... actually see their duty as to make this new settlement work'.

Marian Price was moved from prison to hospital on health grounds.

23rd Around three hundred republicans protested against Martin McGuinness meeting the Queen. 

24th Gerry Adams called the meeting with the Queen a 'significant step'. However, at a rally in Crossmaglen, former PIRA leader Laurence O'Neill said McGuinness would be 'shaking the paw of the Queen of England as a guarantee that will see her dream come true of Ireland remaining a cosy, peaceful colony'.

25th Martin McGuinness said that his handshake with the Queen was a gesture to Unionists. 'Symbolically, when shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth, I'm extending the hand of peace and reconciliation to all my unionist brothers and sisters.'  

The repainting of a famous Loyalist mural on Sandy Row got underway. The UFF mural would be replaced by an image of William of Orange.

26th The British Queen began her tour of Northern Ireland, visiting Eniskillen, scene of an IRA bomb that killed twelve people.

It was reported that the residents of Crumlin had said they did not want an Orange parade there in July.

A death threat against Creggan community worker Sean McMonagle became publicly known. It was believed that the threat came from RAAD.

Police were injured during rioting near the Park Centre shopping mall in west Belfast. The violence followed a protest against the Queen's visit, in which republicans placed a large Irish flag on the side of Black Mountain with the slogan 'Ériu is our Queen'. Meanwhile, the Republican Network for Unity said that in light of Sinn Féin's decision, they could no longer hold talks with them.  They said 'Martin McGuiness’ decision to give recognition to the English Monarch’s place in Irish politics by shaking her hand, deliberately puts clear blue water between his party and the feelings of all genuine republican and socialist activists. During this time of savage austerity, mass poverty, unemployment and homelessness, surely even Martin McGuiness would understand the protest value of a "first minister" refusing to meet the monarch of the state he serves?'

27th Martin McGuinness met the Queen, and the two shook hands. McGuinness was said to have told the Queen that their handshake was 'a powerful signal that peace-building requires leadership'.  While the handshake was seen as a historic milestone by many, a commentator in the Guardian pointed out that Ulster is still divided, and there had been 'a 30-year upsurge in communal division and bloodshed.'

28th Speaking at a Sinn Féin event at the Palace of Westminster, Martin McGuinness said that his meeting with the Queen marked 'a new relationship between Britain and Ireland and between the Irish people themselves'. He explained he had 'in a very pointed, deliberate and symbolic way, [offered] the hand of friendship to unionists through the person of Queen Elizabeth for which many unionists have a deep affinity'.

29th A man was arrested in Omagh and charged over a paramilitary-style attack carried out in Strabane in April 2010.

30th A migrant from East Timor became the victim of an alleged racist attack as he walked home from work.

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July 2012

1st Peadar Heffron, a Catholic police officer who in January 2010 lost a leg in a bomb attack by republican paramilitaries, lost the first stage of his claim for compensation on the grounds that he had not been on duty at the time.

The Sunday Business Post claimed that a general apology to all IRA victims was being considered. However, speaking on television the day before Martin McGuinness denied any such thing. In a separate interview, he said that a new North/South forum was in the offing.

2nd Gardaí arrested a man and seized a gun in Dublin during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

3rd Seven men were charged following violence after the annual Somme parade, which itself passed off peacefully.

Sectarian graffiti was painted on an Orange Hall in north Belfast.

The Orange Order made an unprecedented address to the Irish Senate. Drew Nelson of the Orange Order said he could foresee an Orange parade in Dublin, but he understood the challenges that would bring about.

Former IRA man Geoff McGeough had his appeal against the refusal to grant him a royal pardon rejected.

It was reported that Michael McGonigle of Republican Sinn Féin had criticised Martin McGuiness, saying 'that by joining in the celebrations for the 60-year reign of the English monarch, former antagonists had been compelled to fling away any remaining trace of political opposition and been seen to acknowledge the authority of the British Crown in this part of Ireland'.


4th It was reported that one of the six men charged after the Somme parade trouble was a chef who could lose his job. James Davey was accused of biting a police officer and spitting at band supporters. The six were denied bail in case they took part in further marching season disturbances.

5th In a Belfast court, three alleged INLA members were accused of trying to blackmail a man with death threats. The man's wife had confronted the gang after the alleged incident, which took place on April 21st 2012.

6th Anthony Friel from Derry was denied bail on charges of possessing explosives.

It was reported that a man from Belfast had been arrested in Portugal on a charge of smuggling weapons.

A 22-year-old man was injured in a paramilitary-style shooting in west Belfast.

Police and fire crews attending a fire at an electrical sub-station were attacked by youths throwing stones and bottles.

First Minister Peter Robinson said that any criminal inquiry into Bloody Sunday should involve the Deputy Minister Martin McGuinness, who played a leading role in the Derry IRA at the time. McGuinness accused him of 'an attempt to divert attention away from the actions of the Parachute Regiment that day.'


7th An American court ruled that Boston College must hand over the tapes of their interviews with IRA bomber Dolours Price. Price allegedly admitted being the person who drove Jean McConville to her death in 1972. The college was also disputing the handover of tapes from seven other interviews. Jean McConville's family later welcomed the ruling.

An Orange Order parade took place at Rossnowlaugh without incident.

8th Two petrol bombs were thrown at a flat in Lurgan.

9th Shots were fired at a flat in Belfast during the early morning.

Around one hundred loyalists protested against the Parade Commission's ruling on the Orange Order parade on July 12th. The parade was to be clear of the Ardoyne interface area by four in the afternoon.

A pipe bomb was found during an alert in south Belfast.

10th It was reported that loyalists would launch a legal challenge regarding the Orange Order parade on July 12th.

11th Ten men were arrested after overnight rioting in west Belfast.

12th The Orange Order bussed a token group of marchers to the shops at the Ardoyne interface, leading to angry protests. Police used water cannons on rioters, who threw petrol bombs at them. The riots escalated and twenty police officers were injured. Around ten shots were fired during the violence.

A loyalist band was filmed stopping to play loyalist tunes outside a Catholic church in north Belfast. A member of the Parades Commission later called this 'totally inappropriate'.

A security alert at Ballymena was declared a hoax.

In west Belfast, a man was shot in the leg.

During the night, a police raid against RAAD members resulted in two men being taken into custody.

The Mayor of Derry, a member of Sinn Féin, was also targeted in a police raid on his home. Mayor Kevin Campbell said 't
heir intelligence believed that someone else was in the house along with me. I told them categorically there is nobody in here. I'm the mayor of this city and my integrity is at stake. They obviously weren't accepting that. They arrived at half past ten and kept the house surrounded. At ten past four someone made the decision to raid the house. I'm demanding to know who made the decision and more importantly, on what grounds they made that decision.'

13th Secretary of State Owen Paterson urged politicians to take responsibility for parade issues.

A security alert in Belfast city centre was declared a hoax, as was a later alert in Strabane.

Four men were charged over public order offences in relation to the Ardoyne disturbances.

14th The final man arrested over involvement in RAAD was released.

Alan Lundy was arrested in what his supporters felt was an example of political policing. He was charged with rioting in 2012 and 2005.

16th Controlled explosions were carried out on devices found in Dervock, while an alert at Belfast was declared a hoax.

During the night, Orange Halls at Clifton Street and Glenavy were damaged when paint was thrown at them.

18th A man was charged with attempting to murder a police officer following rioting on the 12th.

19th The UUP withdrew from the Cohesion Sharing and Integration Strategy Group at Stormont, saying that an agreement between Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness 'demonstrate[d] clearly the contempt they hold for the political process'.

20th Two men were charged following disturbances in the Galliagh area of Derry.

It was reported that the PSNI would be studying footage found on YouTube of a gun being fired at police on July 13th. Meanwhile, the police defended their raid on the house of Derry mayor Kevin Campbell. They said that due to a live investigation, they could not comment further. Campbell believed he was a victim of 'political policing'.

A second night of disturbances took place in Derry.

After shots were fired in the Craighill estate in Antrim, three men were arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

21st Police were attacked for a third night in Moss Park, Derry.

22nd A man was arrested during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity. He was released without charge the following day.

A security alert in Belfast City Centre was declared a hoax.

23rd Jimmy Deery of the 32CSM was shot in both legs, apparently during an ongoing struggle between rival republican factions in Derry.

25th William McDonnell of Creggan handed himself into the police. He was later charged with RAAD membership, and 'having articles for use in acts of terrorism'. These included 'a Glock hand gun, five camouflage or paramilitary-style uniforms, balaclavas, a mobile phone, a 2-way radio, four replica AK 47 rifles, a de-activated AK47 rifle, a blank firing revolver and a blank Glock hand-gun.'

26th The Guardian reported that republicans opposed to the peace process had issued a statement saying that they were to combine forces. According to 'sources', the RIRA and RAAD would cease to exist as separate entities. The statement, signed by the 'IRA Army Council', said that 'in recent years the establishment of a free and independent Ireland has suffered setbacks due to the failure among the leadership of Irish nationalism and fractures within republicanism. The Irish people have been sold a phoney peace, rubber-stamped by a token legislature in Stormont. Non-conformist republicans are being subjected to harassment, arrest and violence by the forces of the British crown; others have been interned on the direction of an English overlord. It is Britain, not the IRA, which has chosen provocation and conflict.'

Henry McDonald, the Guardian journalist who met the paramilitaries, described his experiences. 'The instructions were firm, the tone cold: walk down, parallel to the city's ancient walls, wait for a car to stop, get in, say nothing and be taken to the destination. Once delivered I was left in the darkness[...] Another vehicle pulled up. A man I had never seen before got out and handed over a typed statement revealing that the Real IRA, Republican Action Against Drugs and an amalgam of other disparate armed republican groups, were coalescing into a single unified force. After the contents of the statement were taken on a notepad the communiqué was burned at the side of the road. There were no mobile phones or recording devices allowed at this bizarre encounter.'


27th A pipe bomb exploded outside a house in Derry during the early hours of the morning. Also in the early hours, a shot was fired at police in west Belfast.

28th Two men were charged with disorderly conduct after a republican protest blocked the passage of the Olympic Torch through Derry.

30th A 21-year-old man was charged over a punishment shooting that took place in May 2010.

The row over a tribunal that found Department for Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy guilty of discrimination against a Protestant job applicant flared up again.

31st A pipe bomb was found in Mallusk Gardens in County Antrim.

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August 2012

1st A security alert took place at a police station in Craigavon. Two other alerts occurred in Belfast, but nothing was found.

Liam McDonnell, charged with RAAD membership which he denied, was refused bail. A prosecution barrister said that 'RAAD use intimidation methods to assault and control members of the community. It's commonly reported that parents produce their children to these people in order to be shot.'

It was reported that the PSNI was investigating a mortar apparently fired at one of its west Belfast patrols on July 27th.

2nd The police were criticised for failing to respond quickly enough to a security alert, fearing it was a trap. A man had moved a suspect device twice while waiting for police. One Strabane resident said 'people are angry. They're angry at the police as well, they're not responding to these devices'.

It was reported that the Director of Public Prosecutions would convene a meeting to discuss the case of Gerard Francis O'Donnell, a 52-year-old taxi driver accused of 'collecting or making photographic and video recordings to obtain information likely to be of use to a terrorist.'

The Belfast Telegraph reported that Marian Price was seriously ill with pneumonia.

3rd The search for an unexploded mortar bomb in west Belfast, which had caused around one hundred homes and businesses to be evacuated, was called off.

6th A 57-year-old man was arrested over shots fired at police in Ardoyne on the night of July 12th.

8th Glenavy Orange Hall was targetted by arsonists for the third time in a year.

Michael Gorman was accused in court of 'aiding and abetting the possession of a semi-automatic weapon.'

Rioting broke out as people gathered to mark the anniversary of internment in 1971. In Banbridge, a burning barricade was set up and police and fire crews were attacked, although there were no reports of injuries.

9th A hoax bomb alert in the early hours at Ballymurphy forced residents to evacuate their homes.

Ryan Lavery, described by his lawyer as a 'nerd' and a 'trainspotter', was bailed on terrorism charges.

The Foyle Interface Monitoring Forum, set up to monitor sectarian clashes in Derry, said there had been no serious incidents since Easter.

10th Two teenagers and a man were charged over rioting in west Belfast two days earlier.

11th A man was slightly injured when a shot was fired into a house in Newry.

The loyalist Apprentice Boys Parade passed off peacefully, but later petrol bombs were thrown at police in the Bogside and Leckey Road areas of Derry, and four people were arrested.

12th More violence occurred in Derry. Police claimed that children as young as seven were involved in rioting in the Bogside.

A phone box in Scarva was damaged in an unexplained explosion.

13th A security alert at Moygashel was declared a hoax.

14th Police released images of nine people wanted for rioting on July 12th, after a controversial Orange Order parade through the Ardoyne.

16th Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney called for republicans opposed to the peace process to lift death threats against two teenagers, which had been issued two days previously. The 19-year-olds fled the area the following day. McCartney said 'What we are seeing here is a re-packaging and a rebranding of armed groups. We have said there is no need for their presence in our areas and they should disband.'

17th A loyalist parade at Rasharkin passed off peacefully. The Parades Commission had restricted the number of bands to 25. Around 100 nationalists protested against the parade.

A man was held after a gun was found by police in west Belfast the previous day.

18th A petrol bomb, stones and bottles were thrown at police carrying out a drugs search in west Belfast. Meanwhile, a petrol bomb was thrown at a house in north Belfast.

19th Police came under attack from a crowd throwing bricks and bottles in Craigavon.

20th Shots were fired at a house in Coleraine shortly after midnight.

The UDA issued a statement denying that they had threatened a Belfast journalist. The threat had allegedly been made on the 18th. The UDA said they respected 'the freedom of the press and the right of all journalists to carry out and pursue their profession free from intimidation or threat'.

The police apologised to Derry mayor Kevin Campbell for wrongfully raiding his house.

21st A mainly Protestant boxing club in Belfast published a report saying its members had been subject to 'chronic sectarianism' in nationalist areas.

A pipe bomb was found during a security alert in west Belfast.

22nd Mark Fitzpatrick, who had survived the RIRA attack at Massereene in 2009, described its effect on him. 'I was like a ghost for the first year or two. I just didn't think I was alive. It was such a mad experience. It wasn't so much the physical stuff, it was the mental side of it. Why did I survive and not one of the others?'

A 28-year-old man was arrested over possession of explosives in Derry.

23rd Additional charges against Brian Shivers, found guilty of the Massereene killings, were suspended because of his ill health. He had been charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, which allegedly occurred in March 2011.

Joseph Hugh Allen appeared in court on explosives charges.

24th Two suspected republican paramilitaries, brothers in their late thirties, were refused bail. Desmond Hamill was accused of robbing a filling station and Thomas Hamill was accused of possessing IEDs.

25th Police were injured in Belfast after a number of bands defied rulings by the Parade Commission, and trouble broke out.

26th Politicians and church leaders called for talks after the previous day's disturbances.

28th Asda in Belfast said they had no plans to remove a tribute to loyalist Billy Hunter, who killed Catholic brothers John and Thomas McErlane in 1975. Hunter had been employed by Asda, and had previously been disciplined for suggesting a lorry driver play The Sash. His job was reinstated after a four-night protest by around a hundred people. He died on 24th August after setting fire to himself in an apparent suicide.

A Lisburn council motion to give the Orange Order the freedom of the town passed its first hurdle, despite opposition from Sinn Féin and the Alliance Party. Paul Givan of that DUP said the move was 'nothing to do with getting the right to march in Lisburn. This is all about recognising an organisation which has over 600 halls in Northern Ireland, used extensively by the community.'

29th The leaders of two Protestant churches condemned loyalist bands for marching past a Catholic church despite a ban. Reverend Roy Patten said that 'we recognise that people have particular issues perhaps with the Parades Commission but this is not the way to deal with them and such behaviour is inconsistent with any profession of Christian faith'.

Shots were fired at a flat in Coleraine. According to the Republican News, the intended victim had been due to give evidence about the loyalist murder of his cousin, Kevin McDaid.

30th It was reported that Vivienne McCord, the mother of man killed by the UVF in 1997,  was taking legal action to stop the PSNI hiring retired RUC officers. She believed that some of those officers might have a vested interest in hindering an investigation into her son's murder. The UVF gang had been led by a Special Branch informer.

A woman who had allegedly been intimidated into co-operating with a PIRA investigation requested that a reporting ban be lifted, meaning that the five alleged IRA members could be named.

Four men were arrested in Newtownabbey during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

31st A Scottish man who admitted 'committing a provocative act' at the parade trouble on August 25th was given a suspended sentence.

Winston Irvine of the North and West Belfast Parades Forum said he welcomed the idea talking to Carrick Hill residents. However, republicans had accused Irvine of '[directing] UVF activities in North and West Belfast'.

A court heard that student Tiernan Porter, accused of a punishment shooting, allegedly had an image in his phone of himself holding the gun used. Porter admitted taking part in the attack but claimed he had been forced. Meanwhile, Raymond Wootton denied possession of a handgun with intent to endanger life. The gun had apparently earlier been used in a punishment shooting and an assassination attempt.

It was reported that the legal battle to stop interviews carried out with IRA members by Boston College being handed to the PSNI would go to the US Supreme Court.

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September 2012

2nd Forty-seven police officers were injured while trying to keep back a loyalist mob who were attacking a republican band parade at Carlisle Circus, north Belfast.

A man shot dead in Dublin was later named as Alan Ryan, who had previously been jailed for RIRA membership. It was believed he had been targetted by a criminal gang. After being shot, 'he collapsed and then the gunman walked over and shot him in the head as he lay on the ground. He died instantly.'

3rd Eleven republicans, including Colin Duffy, were convicted of criminal damage for wrecking their cells at Maghaberry. They were given suspended sentences. The eleven said they had been protesting against forced strip-searching.

Kathryn Stone was named as the new Victims' Commissioner.

The centre of Belfast erupted in violence for the second time in two nights.

4th Trouble continued for a third night in Belfast.

Armed checkpoints were set up in Dublin in connection with the Alan Ryan killing, while expressions of sympathy appeared on a website claiming to represent the Derry 32 CSM.

5th Martin McGuinness blamed the Belfast riots on bigotry.  He said 'people need to abide by the rule of law. The Parades Commission is a lawfully instituted organisation that was put there because of the difficulties that existed with contentious parades in different parts of the north. If people are not prepared to abide by those determinations, then what they're effectively doing is sowing the seeds of further conflict within our society and I think they're making a big mistake'.

6th Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness met PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott to discuss the recent riots.

The Royal Black Institution apologised to St Patricks Church for 'any offence caused' by loyalist bands playing music outside the church in defiance of a ruling by the Parades Commission.

Two teenagers were arrested for sectarian hate crime after a house was attacked in the Waterside area of Derry at five in the morning.

7th The Orange Order said it had been involved in 'quiet conversations' to resolve parade issues.

Mr Justice Treacy restrained the PSNI from receiving tapes of Boston College interviews with Dolours Price, alleged to have concerned the killing of Jean McConville.

A man was arrested in connection with the shooting of Alan Ryan.

8th Three petrol bombs were thrown at a house in north Belfast during the early morning.

Alan Ryan was given a republican funeral, with shots fired over his coffin as it left his home on Grange Abbey Drive, Dublin.

9th A BBC radio programme explored the relationship between the PSNI and the GAA. One PSNI officer said 'sadly we are still a target for certain people. But maybe in time we will be able to tell people in normal life that you play for a Gaelic team that you're proud to play for.' However, others such as Oliver Hughes, chairman of Wolfe Tones Gaelic Athletic Club in Bellaghy, said that the PSNI could not join a GAA club in his area. 'Perhaps there's areas where that could happen, and is happening, but I would safely say in the whole of south Derry it wouldn't ever happen.'

10th A man was arrested after guns and ammunition were found in a car on the A1.

11th A Chinese man was injured in a racist attack in Coleraine.

Solicitor Manmohan 'Johnny' Sandhu won the right to appeal the refusal to allow him to transfer to an open prison, which had been made because his conviction was related to paramilitary activity, e.g. 'inciting loyalist paramilitaries to murder'.

12th It was reported that Catholic taxi driver John Flynn, who had survived two murder attempts, had begun a court case over alleged police failure to investigate security force collusion with loyalist killers.

13th Peter Robinson said that the Irish government should apologise for its role in the early years of the Troubles.

It was reported that Sinn Féin had condemned an invitation by Derry City Council to a group representing the armed forces. Councillor Barney O'Hagan said that 'given that the British armed forces were protagonists in the conflict in Ireland, I don't feel it is appropriate for groups like this to be invited to address councils, particularly in cities like Derry.'

14th Sixteen men and one woman were arrested over the paramilitary-style funeral of Alarn Ryan.

The High Court in Belfast heard that Anthony McIntyre was under 'no increased threat' from police attempts to obtain tapes of his interviews with IRA bomber Dolours Price.

It was reported that a Church of Ireland vicar had been attacked by youths in Strabane, yards from his church. When he asked a crowd of onlookers for help, they refused to assist and told him he was 'crazy'.

15th Three men were charged with Real IRA membership at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

18th The assembly rejected a call by Sinn Féin for loyal order leaders to meet directly with nationalist residents groups over contentious parades.

A man was shot in the leg in west Belfast. SDLP councillor Colin Keenan said 'history has shown us paramilitary-style shootings did not solve social issues in the past and will not solve them now'.

20th Kiln Lane in Lurgan was closed down during a security operation. Three people were subsequently arrested after a gun was found.

Roy Lillis was cleared of attacking police during rioting in July 2011.

During the night, two bombs were found on Strand Road in Derry. They were believed to have been left by republicans. Chief Inspector John Burrows said: 'I'm under no doubt that the device on the bicycle was intended to kill police officers or the army disposal officer who turned up to deal with the first device'.

21st A man admitted throwing a petrol bomb at the 2011 Apprentice Boys' parade.

The Republican Network for Unity held a protest against internment in the Falls Road area. 'It was the aim of the Network to re-establish public awareness of the Maghaberry protest which has arguably been waning in recent months, as well as to bring to the people’s attention the threat posed by selective internment, which has gathered momentum'.

22nd A man was charged with 'having a firearm and articles likely to be of use to terrorists'. The charges were related to raids made two days earlier.

23rd In west Belfast, a man was shot in the leg.

IRA bomber Dolours Price was quoted in a Sunday Telegraph interview attacking Gerry Adams, who she felt had betrayed the republican cause. Of the peace process, she said 'I don’t believe in the process. I think the process should be undermined, I think the process should be destroyed in some way, and I think Gerry Adams deserves to admit to his part in all of the things that happened'. Gerry Adams later rejected her allegations. He said 'I am not of a mind to trail Dolours Price through the courts. She is unwell'.

24th Ciaran Martin Collins from Craigavon appeared in court accused of 'having a car likely to be used in terrorism'. His supporters cheered him as he was taken away.

26th A high court judge said that the riots in Belfast at the start of the month had 'threatened anarchy'.

A study by the University of Ulster suggested two thirds of people living near 'peace walls' wanted to keep them.

27th About one hundred Carrick Hill residents held a meeting calling for a peaceful protest against the Ulster Covenant parade due to take place on the 29th in Belfast.

28th A 68-year-old man, Thomas Maguire, was accused of having a 'small firearms factory' at his home in west Belfast. Guns and ammunition had also been allegedly found in his car when he was chased and stopped by police.

29th Two men were shot and injured in west Belfast during the early hours of the morning.

Around 30,000 people took part in a march to mark the centenary of the Ulster Covenant. The march went off calmly. However, Sinn Féin criticised bands for playing tunes other than hymns when they marched past St Matthew's Catholic church in east Belfast.

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October 2012

1st Orange Order Grand Chaplain Rev Mervyn Gibson visited St Matthew's Church to apologise for the behaviour of a bandsman who urinated on the church.

2nd It was reported that Anthony McIntyre, a former IRA man, had failed to prevent police from taking possession of interviews by Boston College.

DUP MLA Gregory Campbell accused the Education Minister of promoting Sinn Féin's agenda by running a TV advertisement in Irish. John O'Dowd responded that 'Irish language people pay taxes and they have rights. I don't have any Ulster Scots schools in my portfolio. I have numerous Irish medium schools in my portfolio'.

3rd A man arrested as part of an investigation into republican paramilitary activity was released without charge.

It was reported that the names of people allegedly involved in the drug trade had appeared on walls in Derry, and those people felt they were in danger from vigilante justice.

4th A 'substantial, viable' bomb was made safe on Jamaica Street in north Belfast. Thirty houses were evacuated during the alert. The bomb was later confirmed as a mortar.

Gerard O'Donnell appeared in court accused of 'making recordings and digital photography likely to be of use to terrorists'.

6th A 21-year-old man was arrested over the 'mortar-style device' found on Jamaica Street.

A security alert in south Belfast ended with nothing being found.

8th The man arrested over the mortar on Jamaica Street was named as Brendan Campbell.

Brendon McConville, who had been found guilty of killing PSNI officer Stephen Carroll, was cleared on explosives charges.

Amnesty International called for an investigation into alleged torture carried out by the security forces in the 1970s and 1980s.

A man was injured in a punishment shooting in Newry.

During a search in Maghaberry jail, an inmate was found to have a watch equipped with camera and recording device. The inmate was not a republican paramilitary, but following the assassination of prison officer David Black three weeks later, this would be held up as an example of 'how vulnerable our prison officers are'.

9th A bomb was found near a Catholic church in Dunloy.

It was reported that IRA supergrass Raymond Gilmour was accusing MI5 of having abandoned him.

11th A judge lifted a ban on the naming of five people facing historical charges of IRA membership. They included Pat Finucane's brother Seamus, Padraig Wilson, Martin Edward Morris, Agnes McCrory and Briege Wright.

12th At two in the morning, a Catholic family in Newtownards became victims of sectarian-motivated arson. According to Irish Republican News, 'last month, a Catholic home in west Belfast was petrol bombed by loyalists. Also last month, there was an attempt to burn a Polish family out of their home in Glanarm in county Antrim.'

Eleven members of the loyalist flute band who marched in circles outside a Catholic church in Belfast on July 12th were arrested for provocative conduct.

13th A 19-year-old was charged over a series of pipebomb attacks in Ahogill and Portglenone in County Antrim during January 2011.

15th Shots were fired at a house in north Belfast.

It was reported that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny had antagonised the DUP by saying that Irish unification was inevitable in the long term. At the same time, some republicans viewed Kenny's statement from the opposite angle, with the Irish Republican News reporting 'the 26-County Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ruled out any political moves towards a united Ireland by 2016'.

16th It was reported that the brother of Andrew Allen, who had been killed by RAAD, had left his home after death threats.

18th The Guardian reported that a US court had blocked the handing over of the Boston College interviews to the PSNI. The police had been 'pursuing all lines of inquiry in relation to the murder of Jean McConville', but the journalist who had set up the archive at Boston College accused them of 'laying siege' to free journalism.

A man was shot and beaten in his house in Coleraine.

20th Janette Nelson, a Catholic mother of three living on the Newtownards estate, became the target of a fourth sectarian arson attack. Her sister said 'they can't go home - any time they do go home, this happens again. Somebody is out there to kill them'.

21st Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said at Bodenstown that the government had reduced its engagement in Northern Ireland. RTÉ reported that 'he claimed that in the Assembly and the Executive, Sinn Féin and the DUP were putting party political advantage ahead of the common good'. Gerry Adams retorted that 'Micheál Martin's comments have more to do with his fear of Sinn Féin in the south than a concern about the north'.

22nd Two teenagers were charged with rioting on Denmark Street on September 2nd.

23rd Kevin Barry Murphy, who police had claimed was a senior member of the RIRA, had charges against him dropped. A leaked NIO document in 2009 had alleged 'Murphy switched his allegiance to RIRA following PIRA's ceasefire and it is assessed that he continues to have a leading role in East Tyrone RIRA'.

24th MI5 downgraded the threat of republican paramilitaries to Great Britain from substantial to moderate - lower than the risk from 'international terrorism'. The threat level in Northern Ireland remained severe, with an attack judged as highly likely. An article on the BBC said that 'dissident republicans remain armed, active and dangerous but the chances of them spreading their terror across the Irish Sea have reduced. Yes, they remain a major threat in Northern Ireland but it seems their support and their capability is no longer rising.'

Two men who left a bomb outside the Alliance Party headquarters in May 2011 were jailed.

25th 36-year-old Danny McKay was shot dead in north Belfast. Police investigated the possibility that the shooting had been carried out by republican paramilitaries.

A hoax caller lured police into a pipe bomb ambush in west Belfast. A police spokesman said 'this is the second time in just over four months that our officers have been targeted in this way'.

A 38-year-old man suffered broken kneecaps during an attack in his house.

26th Marian Price failed in her attempt to have charges against her thrown out.

Carrick Hill Concerned Residents Committee held talks with the Apprentice Boys over a planned march.

Peter Robinson called on Gerry Adams to admit to his role in the IRA.

27th Terri Hooley, founder of the Good Vibrations music shop and record label, was threatened and called a 'fenian lover' while out walking his dog in east Belfast.

28th The DUP said that a poll on a united Ireland, requested by Sinn Féin, would be a waste of money.

30th A man was charged over the September riots in Denmark Street.

31st A 53-year-old man was arrested in connection with the 2005 murder of Robert McCartney.

The Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, told a Westminister Committee that the threat from republican paramilitaries 'remains severe'. Although the number of attacks had fallen, 'the intent and capability of the dissident republicans remains significant as is their potential to carry out potentially lethal attacks'.

A security alert took place overnight at a shopping complex in Sprucefield.

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November 2012

1st Prison officer David Black, a member of the Orange Order, was shot dead on his way to work at Maghaberry Prison. Republicans were suspected. Concerns were raised that loyalist paramilitaries might retaliate. Prison officers had long felt under threat, with one anonymous source commenting '[they] have been worried for some time now that they face an increasing threat, but many feel their concerns have been ignored'.

Gavin Coney, accused of involvement in a paramilitary training camp, was refused bail.

2nd Padraic Wilson appeared in court in Belfast, accused of IRA membership and addressing a meeting in support of the IRA. He was also charged in connection with the murder of Robert McCartney.

Two men were arrested in Lurgan in relation to the fatal shooting of David Black. One was Colin Duffy, who earlier in the year had been cleared of involvement in the Massereene killings. A third man was arrested in Co. Leitrim. Meanwhile, ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive met members of the Irish government to discuss the killing. Martin McGuinness said that modern republican paramilitaries 'swim in a sea of criminality and drugs'. Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said that 'those who seek to pursue their objectives by violence will not succeed'.

A security alert in south Belfast was declared a hoax.

3rd The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton condemned the killing of David Black.

5th As the Northern Ireland Assembly held a minute's silence for David Black, it was reported that Colin Duffy and the other man arrested in Lurgan had been released without charge. Meanwhile, four men arrested over a paramilitary-style shooting in Ardcarn Park were also released unconditionally.

6th The funeral of David Black took place. Martin McGuinness did not attend after David Black's family told him he was not welcome. According to journalist Mark Simpson, 'the fact that his attendance was even considered - and that he wanted to come - was a sign of how the political landscape has changed in recent years'.

7th A 46-year-old man in Lurgan was arrested over the killing of David Black.

Two men were arrested under the Terrorism Act in Newry.

8th Chief Constable Matt Baggott voiced concerns about security during Derry 2013.

9th Pipe bombs were found during a security alert in west Belfast.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Sinn Féin campaign for a border poll would intensify in 2013. He called on Irish America to support a united Ireland, saying 'Irish America needs to persuade political opinion in America that a United Ireland is in the best strategic interests of the USA. Irish America needs to get your new President and Secretary of State and the USA to use your enormous influence with the British to move them in that direction also.'

10th At the SDLP conference, the Tánaiste said that Irish nationalism was united in rejecting the notion that murder could be carried out in the name of Ireland. Meanwhile, SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell accused the two main parties of 'sectarianism with a fresh lick of paint'.

12th Police said that a bomb found near Springhill primary school in west Belfast may have been an 'under car booby trap'.

The new IRA, formed in July, claimed the killing of David Black. In a statement, they said: 'On Thursday, 1st of November, 2012, an active service unit of the IRA executed prison guard David Black. While the IRA never takes this type of action lightly, the IRA has a responsibility to protect and defend republican POWs. This action was in direct response to the torture and degradation of POWs held in Maghaberry. The issues that led to the IRA taking action might have been avoided if his "superiors" had honoured the agreement they signed with prisoners in August 2010. Rather than showing the leadership necessary to resolve the protest in Maghaberry they continue to play politics with the lives of republican POWs and indeed their own guards and PCOs. Similarly, the charade of hypocritical condemnation from the local political classes does nothing to resolve the issues created by their inactions.'

13th It was reported that the DUP and UUP had printed leaflets in the colours of the Alliance Party, resulting in the Alliance Party receiving 'many abusive and nasty' calls.

14th It emerged that a prison officer had been photographed in court on the same day that David Black was killed by the new IRA. It had occurred when two men appeared on weapons charges.

15th The senior coroner suspended inquests into 14 'controversial' killings because of 'national security concerns'. Most of the killings had been carried out by the British army in the 1970s, including 10 people shot at Ballymurphy.

16th Paint was thrown at Glenavy war memorial in what police described as a hate crime.

David Madine admitted in court to stabbing senior loyalist Harry Stockman in April 2011. Madine had been a friend of Bobby Moffett, who was killed by the UVF.

Willie Frazer stepped down as director of the victims' group Fair following allegations of financial irregularity.

18th After the search of a house in north Belfast, a man was charged with the possession of munitions in suspicious circumstances.

20th Shots were fired into a house in Derry at five in the morning.

It was reported that the DUP was to call on the government to debate security measures in the wake of the killing of David Black.

21st Prisoners at Roe House in Maghaberry ended their dirty protest. It was reported that those who had ended the protest were aligned to the new IRA, and other republicans in Maghaberry aligned to other groups were still on the protest. In a statement, the prisoners said that 'a dialectical process of engagement to resolve all issues should be the order of the day. Confrontation need not be part of the environment that we all have to live and work in.' The prison service insisted that no deal had been made with the prisoners.

In the Republic, the Garda Commissioner said that 'links between dissident republicans and criminal gangs continue to cause serious concern.'

22nd Two men who had been arrested over the killing of David Black were released unconditionally.

Former UVF leader Gary Haggarty was granted bail. He had been accused of directing terrorism, UVF membership, murder, and firearms and explosives offences.

Alan Lennon received £150,000 for religious discrimination.

23rd A viable pipe bomb was found in a garden in north Belfast.

Marian Price's solictor appealed for the charges against her to be lifted on the grounds of ill health.

The mother of Daniel Allen, whose brother had been shot by RAAD, said that the threat against him had been repealed.

In the Republic, Paul McGuire pleaded guilty to possessing an explosive device 'with intent to endanger life' in Northern Ireland in 2010.

24th DUP leader Peter Robinson said that the majority of Catholics wanted Northern Ireland to remain within the UK. He said republicans 'should take the hint' and Sinn Féin's insistence on a poll was like 'turkeys voting for Christmas'.

25th Two men arrested on suspicion of republican paramilitary activity were released.

26th A UUP delegation met PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott over their 'grave concerns' regarding security. Speaking of their aims, the delegation said that 'we will impress on both the chief constable and justice minister that there is an absolute need to have a proper security plan in place that will deal with the increased terrorist activity throughout Northern Ireland'.

Searches relating to the killing of Ronan Kerr took place in Omagh and Cumbria. A man was arrested in Milton Keynes.

A pipe bomb was thrown at a PSNI vehicle in west Belfast.

27th A second man was arrested over the killing of Ronan Kerr.

28th Early in the morning, an attempt was made to burn down Fourscore Orange Hall near Glenavy.

Four people were arrested in County Offaly during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

29th David Black's widow described her grief at his death. She said 'the hurtful thing is I was going to work, David was going to work, Kyle [their son] was going to work and somebody at the same time was planning to do this and that breaks my heart. It's beyond my understanding'.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in a paramilitary-style attack in west Belfast.

A man was arrested in Newry over republican paramilitary activity.

30th A man was shot in the legs in west Belfast.

A memorial to the victims of the Kingsmill Massacre was damaged by sectarian graffiti.

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December 2012

1st Petrol bombs were thrown at two houses in west Belfast during the early hours of the morning.

Éirígí man Stephen Murney appeared in court charged with 'collecting and distributing information likely to be of use to terrorists' and' having articles likely to be of use to terrorists'.

A pipe bomb was found near Larne police station.

3rd Violence erupted after Belfast council voted to change its policy on the union flag. Loyalists protested against the council's decision to only fly the flag on certain days of the year.

Justice Minister David Ford said it would cost more than £1m to repair damage caused during the republicans' dirty protests over the last three years.

4th Alliance councillor Laura McNamee left her home following threats regarding the previous day's flag ruling. Meanwhile the police defended themselves against criticism over their handling of the flag riots, while loyalists held further protests in Derry and outside the Alliance office in Belfast.

A man was jailed for six years for throwing petrol bombs during the Apprentice Boys march in August 2011.

5th It was reported that Irish police were linking the murder of a major Dublin crime figure, Eamon Kelly, to republican paramilitaries.

An Alliance party office was destroyed by loyalists.

6th First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson called on loyalists to stop their protests over the flag. The homes of Alliance party members had been attacked. The police said that the UVF had played a role in the violence.

A home-made rocket was found in a car in Derry. According to the police, 'this is a weapon which is used primarily to attack armoured vehicles and kill the occupants of those vehicles. It has been used extensively in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan to deadly effect. We are obviously concerned that there was one of these in the city last night, but delighted that we have been able to take it out of circulation before it was used for its deadly purpose'.

A letter bomb was discovered in Clough, County Down.

7th US senator Hilary Clinton visited Belfast, where she condemned the recent violence, saying 'there will always be disagreements in democratic society but violence is never an acceptable response'.

It was reported that Alliance MP Naomi Long had received a death threat. Speaking at Stormont, she said 'we need mature political leadership from those who, over this week, have been whipping up tensions, stirring up dissension and pointing fingers of blame at people on these issues'.

Protests continued throughout the day, and the evening saw rioting in Belfast city centre.

A Church of Ireland church in Glenavy was daubed with republican slogans. Its minister described how 'parishioners are dismayed, some are angry and some are disheartened as I am myself, particularly in view of the fact that we have done quite a bit in terms of community relations'.

SDLP minister Alex Attwood said his party should rethink its support for a play park being named after hunger striker Raymond McCreesh.

In Dublin, Sean Connolly was charged with the murder of Eamon Kelly, and also with 'membership of an illegal organisation, styling itself the IRA, and with the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life'.

8th Up to 20,000 people marched in Belfast to protest the flag issue. Later in the day there was violence, which police said had been partly instigated by loyalist paramilitaries. Jackie MacDonald of the UDA warned that he was 'gravely worried' that the protests would spiral out of control. He denied that the UDA and UVF were involved in stirring up trouble, saying 'the chief constable would say that, but the truth is this is a grassroots, spontaneous movement and no one knows where it is going'.

Three men were charged in connection with the rocket discovered in Derry two days earlier.

9th DUP councillor Sammy Brush's home was damaged in an attack. Brush said that this had happened before and 'it seems to be open season on public representatives and it's totally wrong'.

Protests took place in Belfast and Derry about the flag.

10th Police found two guns and a bomb in Lurgan.

Three men appeared in court in connection with the rocket discovered in Derry.

A gang threw a petrol bomb at a car with a policewoman sitting inside it. The car was close by Alliance MP Naomi Long's east Belfast office. The Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers condemned this as 'totally unacceptable'.

Martin McGuinness said that 'there should be no excuses for street violence that has left 28 police officers injured, Belfast city council staff injured, drivers of cars and buses intimidated and threatened'.

11th The 2011 census results were published, revealing that 45% of Northern Ireland identified as Catholic, 48% as Protestant, and 7% as neither.

The DUP made it known that Jeffrey Donaldson and Edward Poots had been the subject of death threats.

Protests against the removal of the union flag continued into a ninth day. A meeting to discuss the flag issue at Stormont was postponed. Justice Minister David Ford had questioned whether the meeting was appropriate given the 'charged atmosphere'. He was concerned that British Prime Minister wasn't taking events seriously, and said 'what we need is an assurance that the government takes the threat which is currently faced democracy in Northern Ireland seriously – that it doesn't think that the only threats come from republicans, that it's prepared to ensure that the resources are supplied to face down these protests'.

Homes were evacuated after a suspicious object was found in Newtownabbey.

In the Republic, Robert Noland was jailed for IRA membership.

12th A man was charged with threatening to kill Peter Robinson. The threat was understood to be linked to the flag protests, which were continuing. In Limavady, the SDLP office was vandalised and a union flag erected.

An inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane in 1989 found a 'shocking' level of collusion between loyalists and the state.

13th SDLP MLA Conal McDevitt and the DUP's Guy Spence both received death threats related to the ongoing flag controversy. DUP investment minister Arlene Foster called on loyalists to end their protests. However, the protests continued, with a peaceful demonstration blocking the Crumlin Road in north Belfast. The DUP's William Humphrey said that the protests showed 'the anger and frustration and deep hurt that there is in this city of people who are decent loyal citizens of this kingdom who want their flag restored to the city hall'. Meanwhile, UUP member Basil McCrea was disciplined by his party for saying that the UUP and DUP's decision to take the flag dispute to Stormont's Assembly Commission was a 'stupid idea'.

It was reported that a 21-year-old woman had been charged in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

The men arrested for the rocket found in Derry were refused bail.

Shortly after midnight, the family of a press photographer were woken by police, who had discovered a pipe bomb on their doorstep. The photographer believed it was a case of mistaken identity.

14th David Trimble accused the DUP of 'cynically' stirring up trouble over the flag issue. Meanwhile, it was reported that the Alliance mayor of Larne, Geraldine Mulvenna, had been advised by police to stay away from her home; and a High Court judge warned that any further trouble associated with the flag protests would be punished more severely.

15th Hundreds of people attended a peace vigil in Belfast. Later, loyalists held another protest, which passed off peacefully.

A security alert occured in Castlecourt Shopping Centre in Belfast city centre. Nothing was found.

16th A second peace vigil was held in Belfast. Later that day,  the PUP's Billy Hutchinson said he planned to challenge the flag verdict. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness called for the protests to end.

17th Trouble flared during loyalist protests in Belfast, Portadown, Carrickfergus, Lisburn, Derry and Ballyclare. The protests had been timed to coincide with rush hour.

Philip O'Donnell was given 13 years jail for the August 2010 Strand Road bombing.

18th More flag protests took place in Lisburn and Magherafelt. Meanwhile, the DUP and UUP leaders invited other unionist leaders to join a forum on the flag issue. It was reported that the flag protests were having a dampening effect on Christmas trade.

It was reported that gardaí had foiled a republican plot to kill a British soldier as he returned to Limerick for Christmas. The paramilitaries were said to have sourced a weapon and chosen a location and a gunman for the attack.

19th Five politicians - two Sinn Féin and three Alliance - were sent bullets through the post.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said that there was no guarantee that the flag forum would lead to the union flag being flown every day from Belfast City Hall.

Three men jailed for the sectarian murder of Catholic schoolboy Michael McIlveen had their convictions quashed.

A man was charged with the shooting of prison officer David Black.

Two men were arrested over a shooting at a police officer's house in Bangor. Nobody had been injured. Police later reported that an attempt had been made to kill the officer, but it was not related to paramilitaries.

20th Leaders of the five main political parties met to discuss the flag issue.

A security alert took place in Derry.

The two men arrested over the shooting of David Black were remanded in custody.

It was reported that soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday 1972 would be questioned by police.

A man was shot in both legs in west Belfast.

21st More than thirty flag-related protests took place in Belfast. Two petrol bombs were thrown during the protest on lower Newtownards Road.

Paul Maguire was jailed for possession of a bomb which was placed outside Crossmaglen police station in April 2010, but failed to explode.

23rd A church in Whitehead was damaged in an arson attack. Its priest said that the attack was probably linked to the flag protests.

24th It was reported that the flag protests had 'made Christmas a disaster' for traders. Meanwhile, loyalists said that the protests would continue.

26th Five families had to leave their homes in Lurgan due to a security alert.  A viable pipe bomb was discovered.

28th A pipe bomb was thrown at a house in Newtownards.

29th Flag protests were held in Belfast.

Security alerts forced residents out of their homes in Derry and Portrush. Most of the alerts were soon established as hoaxes.

30th A bomb was found under a policeman's car on Upper Newtownards Road, east Belfast. The PSNI blamed republican paramilitaries and said the device was 'clearly intended to kill the police officer'.

31st The BBC reported that 'police say dissident groups still do not possess the capacity needed to mount a sustained campaign of violence, [but] there has been an increase in what is called "operational tempo" in recent months'. [...] Historically the end of the year and the early part of the New Year are regarded as particularly dangerous. [...] During the past year, police have arrested 115 people suspected of dissident republican activity, and 35 of them have been charged. [...] The organisation that represents rank and file officers said more resources are urgently needed to combat the dissident threat.'

A bomb was found near Tandragee police station.

bomb was thrown at a house in west Belfast. According to the BBC, dozens of families had to be evacuated from their homes.


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