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

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Developments March 2009 - December 2010
Developments 2011
Developments 2012
Developments 2014
Developments 2015
Developments 2016
Developments 2017


December 2012 January 2013 February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013
December 2013 January 2014 Latest(new page)



January 2013

1st In their New Year statement, éirígí said 'we look forward to 2013 with optimism, resolute in the belief that an all-Ireland Socialist Republic continues to represent the only viable alternative to the failed politics of partition, exploitation, deprivation and austerity[...] The popular fight back against the anti-working class policies of the Leinster House and Stormont administrations gained considerable momentum in 2012.[...] The last twelve months have seen a marked increase in the harassment and vilification of republican and socialist activists across Ireland.'

Republican Sinn Féin said that 'in the lead up to 2016 we will be unveiling a series of seven specific policies covering areas such as natural resources, banking, economic development etc, all based on our political, social and economic policies ÉIRE NUA and SAOL NUA. [...] In 2013 let the slogan of the 1913 Lockout ring in our ears: “The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise.” '

The 32CSM said in their statement: 'There is political violence in Ireland, not because a particular flag is flown at certain times, but because the wrong flag is flown at all. [...] To resolve the conflict in Ireland we must address the question of sovereignty. This cannot happen in Stormont because the issue is beyond its remit. [...] Only the deluded or the politically outmanoeuvred can accept the British as a neutral bystander.[...] [We] reiterate that a unified republican base is the most potent way to honour the centenary of the 1916 Rebellion.'

2nd Two men, who had been detained over the unexploded bomb found under a policeman's car a few days previously, were released from custody.

Loyalist protests about the union flag on Belfast City Hall took place in Carrickfergus and Belfast.

Former PIRA leader Martin McGuinness was given an English aristocratic title. A representative of Sinn Féin responded that 'as Irish republicans we gave no time for antiquated and ridiculous titles of the British parliamentary system [when Gerry Adams received one] and this remains the situation'.

3rd Trouble broke out on a loyalist flag protest in east Belfast. A 23-year-old man was arrested and charged with rioting.

A man was arrested in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

4th Further violence occurred on flag protests during the day. It was later reported that nine police officers had been injured and eighteen people arrested. Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said that the protests were damaging Northern Ireland's image. First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson also spoke out against the protests. He said that some of the protest organisers had been trying to 'undermine the DUP as the head of unionism'. He continued: 'Since the decision was taken to remove the union flag from Belfast City Hall I have consistently, and frequently, indicated that it was ill-considered and provocative. [However] the violence and destruction visited on the PSNI is a disgrace, criminally wrong and cannot be justified.' The Tory spokesman in Northern Ireland, Trevor Ringland, commented that 'this disorder and violence against the police is simple thuggery and it will achieve absolutely nothing'.

Homes were evacuated during a security alert in west Belfast.

Damien McLaughlin, who had been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of prison officer David Black, was denied bail.

Police made a fresh appeal for information regarding the bomb found under a police officer's car the previous week.

5th Up to 1,000 loyalists protested outside Belfast City Hall. In the afternoon, protests turned violent in east Belfast. Shots were said to have been fired at police. It was reported that a special sitting of Belfast magistrates' court would be held in the evening - the first time this had happened on a Saturday in Northern Ireland.

Anthony McDonnell appeared in court charged with 'possessing information likely to be of use to terrorists'.

Irish police investigating a republican spy operation arrested a man in one of their Dublin stations. The investigation had begun in September 2012, when surveillance equipment was found in a hotel room overlooking Harcourt Square garda station.

6th As flag protests continued, Chief Constable Matt Baggott warned rioters that police would 'deal firmly' with them. An attack on the house of SDLP councillor Claire Hanna was linked to the protests. Hanna said that 'the last number of weeks have been disturbing for those of us who aspire to a genuinely shared future, and to the principle that all here can be British, Irish or both as they so choose. This attack won't stop me working to promote core SDLP values of partnership, equality and mutual respect'.

The Guardian analysed the protests as emanating from 'a loyalist working class/underclass disconnected from the mainstream unionist parties [which] has established a movement that has become a fresh focus for many other grievances ranging from social deprivation, poor educational attainment to the alleged maltreatment of unionist victims of the Troubles.'

Loyalist Willie Frazer, who was planning a flag protest in Dublin for January 12th, spoke to protesters in north Belfast. He said 'do not allow certain elements within the PSNI and within the government to entice you into violence because there is people within the PSNI who are setting their own colleagues up. Over 30 police officers had to leave last year… because they were found to be connected to the IRA'.

Four viable bombs were found in a derelict house in Co. Louth.

7th Violence continued for a fifth night in east Belfast, with reports of a lorry being hijacked and used to block a street. Earlier, police had said that senior figures in the UVF had been involved in orchestrating violence. Chairman of the Police Federation Terry Spence remarked that 'paramilitaries have hijacked this flags protest issue and they have turned now their guns on the police. They are exploiting this'. Glyn Roberts of Northern Ireland's traders' association accused the rioters of 'doing immense damage to Northern Ireland's reputation at a time where we're desperate to get foreign, direct investment'. Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Children's Commissioner described the involvement of children as young as ten in the rioting as 'deeply worrying'. 

In the middle of a large security operation, councillors met for the first time since voting to limit the number of days the union flag would fly from the city hall. Hundreds of loyalists picketed the meeting. It was reported that later violence ignited when nationalists attacked loyalists passing by the Short Strand area on the way back from the City Hall protest. Both sides then turned on the police. During the night, police responded to a barrage of petrol bombs and fireworks by shooting plastic bullets at the protesters.

Unionist leaders also met to discuss the flag issue.

SDLP politician Patsy McGlone confirmed that he had received a bullet and a sympathy card through the post. He called those responsible 'faceless fascists'.

A 38-year-old man appeared in court accused of carrying a gun during the flag protests. He had been arrested on December 5th. In another case, a man who had stored a gun and bullets for republican paramilitaries was given a suspended sentence after the judge accepted that he had been in fear for his life.

It was reported that in Limerick, the Continuity IRA had threatened Irish people who joined the British army.  Michael Kielly, who read the statement at the graveside of IRA volunteer Sean South, said 'the moment you don a British uniform, you become a legitimate target for the IRA'.

8th As the PSNI said that the flag protests had cost them £7 million to police, another night of violence took place in east Belfast. During the rioting, a community centre was broken into and damaged by protesters looking for ammunition to throw at police. Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said that 'Northern Ireland was being held to ransom' and the protests were having a 'devastating impact' on its image. The violence was making headlines throughout the world.

9th The Union flag was flown for one day from Belfast City Hall in honour of the Duchess of Cambridge's birthday. It was the first time it had flown since protests began. Demonstrations continued in Derry and Belfast but there were no reports of trouble. A man appeared in court accused of shining a laser at a police helicopter during the riots. Meanwhile, Barry Halliday of FAIR said that the protest might not go ahead in Dublin on January 12th, because of the problems that organising such an event at short notice could cause.

A man brought a viable pipe bomb into the office of a community justice group.

Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four called for the release of Marian Price.

10th The new unionist forum met, with Peter Robinson calling it 'the most representative group in the unionist community to meet in half a century'. Meanwhile, it was reported that policing the flag protests had cost £15 million; and loyalists picketed the new office of Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson. The protesters carried banners that read 'stop the ethnic cleansing of our identity'.

The leader of Ulster Protestant Voice, Johnny Harvey, who had been prominent in the protests, announced he was joining the PUP.

It was reported that Michael McKevitt and Liam Campbell were seeking to go before the European Court of Human Rights to overturn a ruling that found them responsible for the 1998 Omagh bomb.

11th Members of the unionist forum held meetings with residents and community workers in east Belfast.

The DUP and PUP both submitted challenges to Belfast City Council over the flag issue.

Police fired plastic bullets after being attacked by around 100 loyalists in Carrickfergus.

12th Loyalists and nationalists clashed in east Belfast after a flag protest. Twenty-nine police officers were injured. The Tanáiste said that 'this violence is being orchestrated and those behind it are known criminals, intent on creating chaos'.

A viable bomb was found during a security alert in south Belfast.

13th More than a thousand people held a rally in Belfast against the violence.

Peter Robinson said that the only way to find a solution to the protests was through the political process. In his view 'it is no accident that the violence is occurring predominantly in those areas that are considered to be suffering from deprivation. The only way forward is through the political process that has been endorsed overwhelmingly by the people in Northern Ireland'. He believed that the decision to limit the number of days on which the flag flew was a bad one, but 'the only way of addressing the bad decision is through the democratic process'.

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain commented 'there is a particular issue with the loyalist community and I do not think the government is doing enough to engage with them'.

UDA spokesman Jimmy Birch said 'they [Sinn Féin] are playing us[...]  Every time they call the tune, we take to the streets, we wreck our own areas, we fight with the police, we burn our own cars and we stop our own people going to work and coming home from work and disrupt our own people's way of life. It's wrong, we need to take a step back and we need to stop being predictable'.

In the view of
Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, 'we need an all-party, cross-community response to the flag protests and the violence which has accompanied them. [...] This will be a huge challenge. Republicans do not underestimate the problems involved, and in particular the difficulties facing unionism. But there can be no going back'.

It was reported that flag protesters had been intimidating people trying to get to the airport.

14th The PSNI Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, warned that 'the knock on the door' was coming for rioters. Peter Robinson said that people were not respecting the Union flag if they wore it as a mask or used it as a weapon. Meanwhile, Martin McGuinness claimed that two UVF leaders who were encouraging violence were well-known drug pushers.

Trouble flared at the Short Strand interface in east Belfast, with petrol bombs thrown.

Anthony Thomas Friel appeared in court charged with 'possessing pipe bombs, timer units and timer circuit boards with intent to endanger life' and with 'possessing articles for use in terrorism', including a rotary tool kit, drill bits, a heat gun, berets and gloves.

15th Brian Shivers had his conviction relating the March 2009 Massereene killings quashed.

It was reported that east Belfast bus services had been diverted due to the flag protests. However, the protests on this day were peaceful.

Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey stood by his comment that he would 'defend' his home if it came under attack by flag protesters. He said 'I'm making it very, very clear - I want not one stone thrown. But you cannot fault a family who has no other option other than to defend their home'.

A man was arrested over the December 5th attack on the home of two Alliance councillors.

16th It was reported that Brian Shivers would be retried for the Massereene killings. He was remanded in custody.

A man was injured in a shooting in west Belfast.

Police warned that there would be a 'robust' response to more flag protests.

17th The Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, met with Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to discuss the flag protests.

Loyalist paramilitary leaders issued a statement calling for the end of the protests. They said 'the rioting does absolutely nothing to promote any cause, but is damaging this community. We would add that those who come into the area to riot and cause disturbance are not welcome. There have been issues with the PSNI and their tactics, however, these have and continue to be raised and dealt with at the highest level'.

18th Six men were arrested in early morning raids for alleged offences connected to the flag protests.

letter bomb addressed to Chief Inspector Andy Lemon was intercepted.

Peter Robinson rejected a suggestion by the Alliance and SDLP parties in favour of a body similar to the Parades Commission that would regulate the flying of flags.

Snowballs were thrown at police during a union flag protest in Ballyclare.

19th In Dublin, Gerry Adams called for a poll on partition and Irish unity.

A flag protest took place outside Belfast City Hall. Later in the day, three men were arrested during a protest in Carrickfergus. One was later charged with 'waving a flag provocatively'.

20th Loyalists staged a flag protest at a Derry City of Culture concert.

21st Eleven people were arrested during flag protests. Three arrests were carried out in Derry's Waterside area.

People were moved out from their homes during a bomb alert in Lambeg.

Facebook was told to remove some pages relating to the flag protests.

22nd The DUP's Arlene Foster said that her party might support Sinn Féin's campaign for a referendum on Irish unity.

A 50-year-old man who had been arrested in connection with republican parmilitary activity was released without charge.

Facebook removed two pages relating to the organisation of flag protests.

23rd The PSNI promised a 'firmer response' to flag protests, saying they would arrest those who blocked roads, masked their faces or were involved in violence. They defended their previous handling of the flag protests.

Writing in the Belfast Telegraph, Gail Walker said that 'most Protestants in Northern Ireland agree with the principle of the protests. Not the expression of protests. Not the violence associated with them. But with the principle of them.'

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said there were no plans for a border poll.

24th IRA bomber Dolours Price was found dead in Dublin. She had been a fierce critic of Sinn Féin in recent years.

It was reported that the Parades Commission was seeking to clarify legal options over the flag protests.

A community relations strategy group said there should be an aim to get rid of the peace walls by 2022.

Independent Northern Ireland Assembly member David McClarty said that the UUP was now too close politically to the DUP, and moderate unionists should form a new party.

25th Marian Price was given bail following the death of her sister Dolours. The charges against her were that that she allegedly provided a mobile telephone for a 'terrorist purpose' shortly before two soldiers were shot dead at Massereene barracks in Antrim, and also that she aided and abetted a meeting in support of an illegal organisation on 25 April 2011.

Liam Campbell, who the previous week had avoided extradition to Lithuania, was denied bail. He was accused of gun running, and had earlier been held liable for the Omagh bombing.

A homemade bomb was found in Omagh after an incident at a house, during which an off-duty PSNI officer fired shots. A Sinn Féin spokesman said 'I spoke to several of the evacuated residents and they are very concerned that such a sinister incident involving the discharge of a firearm and a suspicious device has taken place in their community'. A DUP representative commented that 'I have no doubt it is a worrying time for the police officer and for his family given the situation that we are in today where there is a dissident threat which is severe'.

Petrol bombs were thrown at police during a flat protest in Newtownabbey.

26th A man was arrested after a flag protest in east Belfast. Earlier, hundreds of loyalists had gathered outside Belfast City Hall. They moved on to block roads in east Belfast.

27th A flag protest in the Waterside area of Derry passed off peacefully. Meanwhile, a march to mark Bloody Sunday also took place in Derry.

Journalist Anthony McIntyre said that the Belfast Project archive at Boston College, which included interviews with Dolours Price, should be destroyed.

28th Sinn Féin and the SDLP blocked a move to give the new National Crime Agency powers to recruit agents and carry out operations. According to Sinn Féin, 'we went through long arduous negotiations to have policing and justice powers devolved. Westminster is trying to take those powers away when what we want to do is assert the primacy of the executive and assembly here.' The NI Justice Minister David Ford, of the Alliance Party, said this was a mistake. The DUP backed the NCA.

UUP MLA Ross Hussey said he believed a PSNI officer had been targetted in Omagh three days previously. 'We had a situation here when the police officer realised people were at the back of his house, there was an incident where he fired the shots and then the next day the improvised explosive device was found by police in the follow-up search.' The next day, it was reported that police were treating the incident as attempted murder.

Republicans opposed to the peace process were blamed for setting fire to three vans belonging to a Derry property company. Workers of the company, Omega, had been threatened after they attempted to remove graffiti from the city's walls. Sinn Féin said 'these are local people, these are local workers, and what aim or cause is advanced by targeting local people?'

A Catholic man launched a legal attempt to find out who had posted threats against him on Facebook, on pages linked to the flag protests.

29th Homes were evacuated during a security alert in north Belfast.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson criticised unionists who believed they got nothing from the peace process.

The Alliance party published their 'shared future' strategy.

Police met the Ulster People's Forum to discuss the flag issue. Subsequently, the group called on protesters not to block roads.

30th The Police Ombudsman launched a new investigation into the killing of Denis Donaldson.

A pipe bomb was thrown at police in north Belfast.

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February 2013

1st It was reported that two men would stand trial for membership of the IRA following paramilitary activity at the funeral of Alan Ryan. One of the men was Ryan's brother Vincent.

A nationalist resident was granted leave to seek a judicial review into the legality of the flag protests. Meanwhile, Justice Minister David Ford hinted that there could be movement in relation to the flying of the union flag at Stormont.

A court heard that Damien McLaughlin had played a key role in the killing of prison officer David Black.

A man was arrested in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

Parts of a pipe bomb were found during a security alert at the Sacred Heart church in Ballyclare.

2nd A man was arrested over comments he made over social media connected to the flag protests.

A pipe bomb was found outside flats in Carryduff.

A hoax object was left outside St Mary's Star of the Sea church in Newtownabbey.

A police officer was knocked unconscious during a flag protest in east Belfast.

3rd The Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Conor, Donal McKeown, said that politicians must deal with the deeper issues underlying the flag protests.

4th The BBC said that according to a poll they carried out, more than three quarters of people wanted the flag protests to stop. The poll also suggested that a majority would reject Irish unity.

5th A security alert took place in central Belfast.

6th It was reported that projects working with young people in interface areas would be given a grant of almost £1m. A spokesman said 'we want to show young people that rioting, violence and anti-social behaviour are not the right paths'.

DUP MLA Paul Givan accused the Parades Commission of being 'anti-Protestant'.

7th It was reported that the cost of policing the flag protests had exceeded £15m

Residents on Kitchener Street in south Belfast left their homes over an alert. Meanwhile, an alert on the Antrim Road was declared a hoax.

8th UUP MLA Basil McCrea was disciplined by his party for comments he had made in relation to the flat protests.

A man in his sixties was shot in the leg in west Belfast.

A woman was injured when she was struck by a car at a flag protest - one of several 'white line' protests carried out that evening.

9th Two men appeared in a Dublin court accused of involvement in republican paramilitary activity. The men were from County Limerick.

10th Loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer's car was set alight during the early hours of the morning.

11th Gavin Coney attempted to seek bail in the UK Supreme Court. He was accused of 'preparation of terrorist acts, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life or property, and attending a place used for terrorist training.'

12th A teenager became the victim of a paramilitary-style shooting in north Belfast.

13th The use of body scanners in place was physical searches in jails was ruled out. Republicans at Maghaberry Prison had been campaigning to have scanners installed as an alternative to strip-searching.

14th A pipe bomb was found during a security alert on Forthriver Road in Belfast.

The BBC reported that relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday 1972 would be offered £50,000.

Sean Kelly, who had been convicted for the Shankill Bomb, was released unconditionally after being arrested over the shooting of a teenager. While First Minister Peter Robinson said his arrest would have 'grave consequences' for the peace process. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness shrugged off his concerns. He said 'the violence related to extreme loyalist protests in recent weeks represented a serious challenge to the political process. We in Sinn Féin kept our nerve. The assertion that this shooting in north Belfast, which I unreservedly condemn, and the facts of which are at this stage under PSNI investigation and are unclear, should threaten the political process, is frankly ridiculous.'

Bryan McManus, from Newry admitted 'terrorist fund-raising' and also possession of weapons and ammunition.

Invest NI withdrew from their engagement to address an assembly committee on the subject of the flag protests. The committee chairman said 'there seems to be a wee bit of nervousness at Invest NI about how to deal with this'.

Loyalist Robert Rodgers was given a life term for the sectarian murder of a teenage girl in 1973.

15th Two men were shot in north Belfast.

It was reported that Basil McCrea was likely to form another unionist party. He and John McAllister had quit the UUP over its decision to support a unionist unity candidate in Mid Ulster.

Two objects were found during a security alert in Newtownabbey.

A 19-year-old from Derry appeared in court accused of possessing and throwing a petrol bomb.

16th Residents were forced to leave their houses after a security alert in the Ballymagroarty area of Derry.

An Irish Premership match in north Belfast was called off due to a flag protest.

18th Three people appeared in court over the disruption of the football match two days previously.

The High Court heard that Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland had been motivated by sectarianism when he sought to restrict expansion of north Belfast's Catholic population in plans for regeneration of a former Army base.

19th Mike Nesbitt, leader of the UUP, called on union flag protesters to end their protests. Crusaders FC  appealed for the end of flag protests in the vicinity of their stadium.

20th A petrol bomb was thrown at the house of an elderly couple in Derry.

21st Rev Mervyn Gibson of the Orange Order said that since loyalist flag protest marches had taken place without a Parades Commission ruling, the Orange Order might no longer notify the Parades Commission of its own activities.

It was reported that compensation paid to victims of the Troubles could affect their benefits.

Stephen Murray of 
éirígí appeared in court charged with 'collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists, possession of articles for use in terror and aiding and abetting criminal damage'.

In the Republic, Sinn Féin proposed an extra Bank Holiday to be known as 'Republic Day'. The holiday would commemorate those who died for an Irish Republic, including members of the PIRA.

22nd Anthony Friel pleaded guilty to pipe bomb charges dating back to May 2012.

23rd More flag protests took place in Belfast, combined with an Orange Order parade marking the deaths of two UDR soldiers at the hands of the IRA in 1988.

Two men were arrested in Cork during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity. Guns were found at the scene.

A security alert at Whiteabbey, County Antrim, was declared a hoax.

24th A woman and her two dogs were injured by a blast bomb attack on her house. A member of the family implicated the LVF, but no motive was given.

25th The army and police were called to a bomb alert on Cavehill Road in north Belfast.

Teenager David Crooks was jailed for his role in flag protest rioting.

26th Bomb alerts occurred in west Belfast and Newtownabbey. It was later reported that a rocket launcher belonging to the PIRA had been found. The Newtownabbey alert was a hoax.

The Parades Commission said it had 'no role' to play in the vast majority of flag protests, as they were not parades.

27th Families left their homes in east Belfast after a report of an explosion.

It was reported that police would question Willie Frazer and Jamie Bryson over the flag protests.

28th A man was arrested in Larne in connection with republican paramilitary activity. An explosion the previous day was blamed on republicans by the police, and on a 'local dispute' by Sinn Féin.

Jamie Bryson was arrested. Fellow loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer was already in custody. In court he had refused bail, preferring to stay in prison, a stance which drew cheers from his supporters. Meanwhile, it was reported that the flag protest situation was deteriorating, and that there was an impasse between the police and the Parades Commission. A lawyer for a nationalist resident said 'this matter could not just deteriorate, but degenerate in the coming months'. The chief executive of Pubs of Ulster was also quoted as saying that trade had been severely hit by the protests.

An 'extremely crude' device exploded outside a house in east Belfast.

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March 2013

1st An SDLP councillor apologised after saying that he would need subtitles to understand a fellow councillor who was originally from Scotland. The other councillor was a member of Sinn Féin.

A 23-year-old man was charged over a suspicious object found in Larne.

Republican Sean Hughes was bailed after being charged with IRA membership. He had been arrested a few days previously in connection with the 2005 killing of Robert McCartney.

2nd Flag protester Jamie Bryson was remanded in custody. Former BNP fundraiser Jim Dowson was released on bail and prohibited from going near any parade, process or procession. Meanwhile, Alliance leader David Ford said at a conference that the flag protests were 'all about votes'.

Heavy security was needed at Belfast magistrates court as a succession of protesters faced charges.

Senior police officer Will Kerr said that a flag protest outside Belfast City Hall represented a 'sea change'. He remarked that 'a small protest took place at city hall with no attempt made to parade unlawfully into the city centre'.

A small bomb was found in the grounds of a Catholic church in Glengormley. It was reported as an attack on the church. A bomb had also been found outside a house in Derry.

Martin McGuinness said he recognised the right of anyone who wished to be recognised as British to be so, as long as the 'same respect and recognition [are] given to Irishness'.

3rd Ormeau Road in south Belfast was closed due to a bomb alert.

East Belfast MP Naomi Long said the work of the Unionist Forum was 'too little, too late'.

A man was arrested and released on bail in connection with the flag protests.

A van carrying four mortar bombs was stopped and three men were arrested, apparently minutes before republicans could attack a police station in Derry. Two of those arrested were said to be key republican figures. Police called the arrests a 'major coup'.

4th Peter Robinson said that police must address a perception that they treated loyalists more heavy-handedly than republicans. It followed the release of alleged IRA member Sean Hughes, while loyalists Willie Frazer and Jamie Bryson were still in custody.

The retrial of Brian Shivers over the Massereene killings began.

A man arrested over recent security alerts in Newtownabbey was released on bail.

Two men appeared in court to deny possessing seven pipe bombs.

Loyalist flag protesters interrupted proceedings at Stormont.

5th Two men were charged following the discovery of mortar bombs two days previously.

Kia announced that they would not sell their 'Provo' car in the UK, following complaints from the DUP.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott defended the impartiality of the PSNI.

A security alert in Belfast city centre was declared a hoax.

Further details were given on the reduction of British army numbers.

6th People were moved from their homes during a security alert in west Belfast.

Suspected republican paramilitary Peter Butterly was shot dead in County Meath. Five men were arrested.

It was reported that SDLP representative Conall McDevitt had been sent a bullet through the post.

The Lord Chief Justice's principle private secretary, Laurene McAlpine, answered Peter Robinson's comments on judicial bias by saying that judges must be free from external influence.

A suspected firearm was found in Coleraine, and a teenager arrested.

Former senior Special Branch man Peter Maguire, speaking in Dublin, claimed that the closure of garda stations was a mistake because the IRA was on the rise. He said the support for them had increased in rural areas of the Republic. According to the Independent, 'over the months since the IRA announcement [in July 2012] gardai have observed, with considerable surprise, former Provisionals who had disappeared off their radar become active again. The reactivation of these figures stepped up significantly last September with the assassination of the Dublin "Real" IRA figure Alan Ryan.'

7th Martin McGuinness revealed that he had received death threats from republican paramilitaries following his comments about the attempted mortar bombing on March 3rd. He said 'I will defend the peace process from attack from whatever quarter, be it these groups or the loyalist flag protesters over recent months'.

Peter Robinson defended his comments on policing. BBC political commentator Mark Simpson said 'tension on the streets over the flags issue may have subsided, but [...] there is no doubt that the flags issue has soured relations at Stormont. The most obvious example is how seldom the First and Deputy First Minister have been seen together in the past three months.' It was reported that policing the protests had cost £20 million.

It was reported that the Equality Commission would investigate the naming of a children's playpark after IRA hunger striker Raymond McCreesh.

8th Mr Justice McCloskey hit out at 'ill-informed' comments as he refused loyalist Jamie Bryson bail.

Forty-one families were forced out of their homes by a security alert in west Belfast. It was later identified as a hoax. An alert at Newtownabbey had been declared a hoax in the early hours of the morning.

Five police officers were injured during rioting in Newtownabbey.

9th A hoax alert closed roads in south Belfast.

Three Dublin men were charged with shooting dead Peter Butterly, and also with membership of Oglaigh na hÉireann.

A security alert occurred on the M5. It was later reported that it might have been detonated via a mobile telephone. Republican paramilitaries were thought responsible.

11th Minor sectarian violence broke out during a match between Linfield and Shamrock Rovers. A loyalist flag protest had also been taking place in the area.

12th It was reported that a gun found in Newtownabbey might have been linked to the bomb three days earlier.

13th A court heard that DNA found on burnt matches could link Brian Shivers to the Massereene killings.

14th Flag protester Willie Frazer was granted bail.

Robert Colgan was remanded in custody accused of possessing explosives and making hoax bomb calls. The arrest had been made by police investigating offences linked to the flag protests.

Three men appeared in court charged with membership of a proscribed organisation. The charges were associated with an Easter Commemoration in Derry during 2012.

15th A suspected mortar bomb was found on Ballygomartin Road in west Belfast. Police confirmed later that it had been a mortar bomb that failed to go off. Homes had been evacuated, a funeral disrupted and two primary schools closed during the alert.

A gun was found during a security alert in Ballymena.

Loyalist Robert Rodgers was jailed for the 1973 killing of Eileen Doherty. It was likely he would be freed within two years under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Three men pleaded guilty to possessing guns, which they said they had dug up in the North and had intended to re-bury in the Republic. The prosecution claimed that 'the discovery of the guns had to be seen in the context of the ongoing terrorist campaign'.

16th A hoax object was left close to St. Enda's GAA pitch in Glengormley.

17th An apparent bomb found near St. Mary's Star of the Sea Catholic church in Newtownabbey was declared a hoax.

Rioting related to the flag protests broke out on Donegall Road in Belfast.

18th A St. Patrick's Day parade in Omagh was re-routed because of what Sinn Féin called a 'proliferation' of union flags along the route.

The SDLP criticised a photo circulated on Twitter of a little girl with the letters 'IRA' written on her forehead. Meanwhile, footballer Shane Duffy denied posting a message in support of the IRA on Twitter.

The Spirit of Enniskillen Trust, a cross-community project set up after the 1987 bombing of Enniskillen, closed for financial reasons.

19th The parents of Tim Parry, a 12-year-old killed by the IRA in 1993, addressed Stormont. Meanwhile it was reported that the British government had apologised for the fatal shooting of a mentally disabled man, John Pat Cunningham, nearly forty years previously.

20th American president Barack Obama met Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness in Washington. Obama said 'there's a lot more work to be done before there's true unity in that country'. He had also held a meeting with Enda Kenny, during which Kenny spoke of 'a time of great fragility in Northern Ireland'.

Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were found liable for the 1998 Omagh bomb.

Brian McManus pleaded guilty to possessing handguns, a rifle and ammunition, which he had reactivated for republican paramilitaries. He said he had believed that the weapons would be used for defence in interface areas. He also said that threats had been made and 'things spiralled out of control'.

21st Two men were shot in the legs in Derry. The men were brothers. A witness said 'they were very distraught, crying, and screaming. Plus it was a very cold night so you can imagine the shock they were in with the cold. It was horrific to see'. Raymond McCartney of Sinn Féin said he believed 'elements close to the INLA' had been involved.

22nd A suspect device was found in an abandoned car in Enniskillen. It was confirmed as a bomb, believed to have been headed for a nearby police station.

23rd
Orange Order Grand Chaplain Mervyn Gibson said he believed the Unionist Forum was not working. In his view, 'we need to put a bit of fire under the Unionist Forum'.

24th A security alert in west Belfast ended with 'nothing untoward being found'.

25th Gary McDaid was held for questioning over the four improvised mortar bombs and a pipe bomb found in a van in Derry.

26th A security alert occurred in Rosslea, Fermanagh. It was still continuing three days later.

27th Loyalist protester Jamie Bryson was granted bail.

28th A security alert occurred in west Belfast. It was declared a hoax.

29th The American president Barack Obama made a statement to mark the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. He said 'there is urgent work still to be done - and there will be more tests to come. There are still those few who prefer to look backward rather than forward - who prefer to inspire hate rather than hope. The many who have brought Northern Ireland this far must keep rejecting their call.'

Eight men were held after searches in Clondalkin, near Dublin, connected to republican paramililtary activity.

A pipe bomb was thrown at a house in Bessbrook.

30th Kieran McManus, a young man 'known to police', was shot dead in west Belfast. It was said that he had been involved in a feud with republicans opposed to the peace process, and that he had been awaiting trial for seriously injuring a man during that feud.

A bomb exploded in Lurgan, apparently an attempt to kill police officers.

31st A gunman allegedly fired shots at a republican Easter commemoration in north Belfast.

At the Easter Commemoration in Dublin, Martin McGuinness said that more political engagement was needed to get through both to flag protesters and to republicans opposed to the peace process. 'Those who prefer conflict and confrontation must be opposed by political leaders united in a vision of a peaceful, inclusive and shared future.' In Belfast, Sinn Fein vice president Mary Lou McDonald called on still-active republican paramilitaries to put down their weapons.

Matt Baggott said that republican groups opposed to the peace process were 'trying to outdo each other'. He said 'there is a competitiveness between these groups at the moment which is completely irrational but could end up in a very real tragedy indeed.'

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April 2013

1st A suspect device was found in north Belfast.

Police came under attack during a 32CSM Easter commemoration in Derry.

2nd It was reported that police would investigate the 32CSM Easter Commemoration, during which 'police vehicles came under attack from youths throwing stones and other missiles [...] some of those involved appeared to be less than 10 years old.'

A man was shot by masked gunmen in County Armagh.

3rd After a meeting with the DUP, the Parades Commission said they would speak to the organisers of the Easter Commemoration in north Belfast at which shots were fired.

A security alert occurred in Donagh, County Fermanagh.

A pipe bomb exploded in a letter box in the Waterside area of Derry.

4th An alert in Carrickfergus ended after nothing was found.

Five men and a woman were detained over republican paramilitary activity. Four were later released without charge, while two were charged.

5th A suspicious object was found by police investigating republican paramilitary activity in Lisburn.

8th Political leaders responded to the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. While Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams argued that she had brought 'great hurt to the Irish and British people', the DUP's Peter Robinson said 'whilst we disagreed over the Anglo-Irish Agreement, Mrs Thatcher was committed to the union and later described the Anglo-Irish Agreement as one of her greatest regrets'. After republicans in Derry and west Belfast celebrated Thatcher's death, Martin McGuinness told them not to let their minds be poisoned.

9th 50-year-old Rose Lynch pleaded guilty in Dublin to killing a man, David Darcy, in November 2011. She had also been accused of IRA membership. She had believed Darcy, an innocent man, had been responsible for the killing of CIRA leader Liam Kenny.

A bomb alert took place in Newtownabbey.

10th Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said that an economic package for business might be withheld if the executive failed to make progress on a 'shared future'.

Police investigating republican paramilitary activity found guns in Craigavon.

A security alert in Ballymena was declared a hoax.

The Northern Ireland Community Relations Council said that the area had had its 'most difficult year' in a decade. Their report's author stated that 'the new reality of Northern Ireland politics, as revealed by the census, is that dominance is not an option for either community'.

British Prime Minister David Cameron marked the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, saying 'there is still a strong tendency in Northern Ireland to view politics as a zero-sum game, in which there are only winners and losers. That is not the case with the Belfast agreement. I firmly believe that all parts of the community were winners on 10 April 1998'.

11th Former senator George Mitchell, an architect of the Good Friday Agreement, said that 'it's undeniable, indeed indisputable that significant progress has been made although not as fast as many would like, not as complete as many would like, myself included, but nonetheless Northern Ireland is moving forward.'

12th Three men were jailed for having been found with an 'arsenal' of weapons that the judge said were 'clearly linked to a terrorist organisation'.

A security alert occurred and two men were arrested in Derry.

Hugh Brady, a community worker who had previously helped lift death threats issued by republican paramilitaries, said he did not believe Sinn Féin member Eamon McGinley was under threat. He said 'we have been contacted by four people. They have said that the PSNI have been in contact with them and have told them that their lives were at risk. As far as we're concerned the IRA has told us that it has issued no threat and would not be involved in issuing any threat as a result of a bar-room brawl. We have spoken to all the armed groups in the city and they have told us that they are not involved in any issuing of threats.'

A flag protestor appeared in court attempting to intervene in a legal challenge by a nationalist to the demonstrations.

At the
Sinn Féin ard fheis, Martin McGuinness said that unionist leaders needed to be more involved in the peace process. He claimed there had been a 'marked reluctance by unionist leaders to respect the Irish identity of nationalists'.

Petrol bombs were thrown during rioting by nationalist youths in the Fountain area of Derry.

13th At the Sinn Féin ard fheis, Gerry Adams made a renewed call for a border poll, while Martin McGuinness asked republican paramilitaries opposed to the peace process 'where they were' during the conflict.

A 13-year-old boy was arrested when nationalists attacked police in Derry.

14th A 20-year-old man was charged over the discovery of a pipe bomb, guns and ammunition two days previously.

UVF flags were erected in east Belfast.

15th It was reported that there had been sectarian attacks against Protestants by nationalist youths in Derry every night since Margaret Thatcher's death, and police were drafting in reinforcements to deal with trouble on the day of her funeral, due to take place on April 17th.

The PSNI were given access to tapes held by Boston College of interviews with IRA member Dolours Price.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said relations between Sinn Féin and the DUP were 'very poor'.

A man was arrested in west Belfast during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

16th Two men were arrested over an attempt to kill PSNI officers on March 9th.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness held a day of talks to 'clear the air'.

An alert on Blucher Street in Derry was declared a hoax.

DUP politicians visited the Protestant Fountain estate in Derry.

17th It was reported that plans to fly the union flag over the cenotaph in the grounds of Belfast City Hall looked set to be rejected. The proposal had been made by the DUP in December 2012, but needed Alliance support.

Protests marked Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

A district judge warned that anyone who appeared in court in connection with the disturbances in the Fountain area would find it difficult to get bail. Meanwhile, four people were arrested after petrol and bottles were found on Beechwood Avenue.

18th It was reported that planning permission for a peace centre at Long Kesh/the Maze prison had been granted.

A security alert in west Belfast was declared a hoax.

20th Up to 10,000 people marked the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the UVF. Organisers said the event, which passed off peacefully, was a 'historical pageant'. Nonetheless, the BBC and another news organisation were prohibited from filming speeches.

Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's former chief-of-staff, made an appeal to loyalists. He said 'Sinn Fein have looked after their communities, the working class Catholic communities, the SDLP have looked after their communities and the middle class Catholics. The DUP have looked after the middle class unionists but no-one has looked after the working class Protestants trapped in their ghettos. No-one has provided an economic future for them, no-one has given them leadership, so they are trapped with those gangs the UVF and the UDA'.

Police investigating republicans opposed to the peace process found £300,000 worth of contraband cigarettes in South Armagh.

22nd An advisory group on shared education recommended that schools should be legally accountable for promoting good relations and equality.

The UVF-linked PUP said it would welcome the chance to take part in a reconciliation process, but 'there are no political parties in Northern Ireland qualified to drive a process of reconciliation. All have contributed to a greater or lesser degree to the divisions that we must address. [...] However reconciliation is defined, we believe that it will not work if conceived as an extension of the political process'. Sinn Féin responded that it appreciated 'the acknowledgement that there can be no hierarchy of victims in any future process. [...] The reality is to date that many within political unionism and indeed the two governments have run away from this issue.'

23rd A 44-year-old man was arrested over republican paramilitary activity said to have taken place in Derry three years previously.

Sinn Féin urged the Northern Ireland Secretary not to give civil service commissioners a say in ex-prisoners getting top posts in Stormont. TUV leader Jim Allister had led the move to block ex-prisoners who had served more then five years from holding such posts.

The Ulster Unionists, TUV and UKIP launched a petition to have the Maze/Long Kesh peace site relocated. They wanted the original buildings demolished, saying 'over the course of a number of months we met and listened to innocent victims groups right across Northern Ireland. It is clear that there is significant opposition within these groups [...] to the Conflict Transformation Centre being built at the Maze and the retention of the hospital and H-Blocks. It is time for the DUP and Sinn Fein to start listening to the innocent victims of terrorism'.

24th Houses were evacuated and a pipe bomb found in Mallusk Gardens, Co. Antrim.

25th The government apologised for the shooting of William McGreanery in 1971.

26th
Belvoir Park Primary School was evacuated over an alert. The children and teachers took refuge in a nearby church. Suspicious objects were found but were declared non-viable.

It was reported that UVF flags were still flying despite promises to take them down.

27th At the DUP conference, Peter Robinson replied to Martin McGuinness' claim that some unionists did not want to be in government. He said 'six years after we restored devolution and entered the executive, some have questioned our commitment to this process. The real question is not whether we want to be in government or have to be in government; the fact is the people of Northern Ireland need us to be in government.'

28th An Orange Order parade for the Loyal Orange Widows' Fund, which went past the Catholic Church on Donegall Street, passed off peacefully.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said it was depressing that young people were still involved in sectarian violence, and that it was damaging Northern Ireland's reputation.

29th It was reported that further education colleges were polarised along sectarian lines. However, a spokesperson for Stormont's Department for Employment and Learning said that this reflected the locations in which the colleges were based rather than a 'chill factor' discouraging students from applying.


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May 2013

1st The DUP abandoned its campaign to have the union flag flown every day at the Cenotaph outside Belfast City Hall.

A man was arrested in Derry over republican paramilitary activity.

The DUP and UUP met with the Irish Football Association to discuss their decision not to play the British National Anthem at the Irish Cup Final. The IFA said they wanted to create a 'politically neutral environment'.

Clifton Street Orange Hall was attacked by vandals.

2nd Chief Constable Matt Baggott called for an urgent review of the policy on flags. He suggested a discussion on Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness on what should be tolerated and at what point the PSNI should step in.

It was reported that two men would be tried over a gun attack on police after rioting on the Twelfth of July the previous year.

3rd Brian Shivers was found not guilty of the March 2009 Massereene killings. Patrick Azimkar's mother said that she had not expected the verdict. 'It is as if [Patrick's] life did not matter, that the criminals are more important.' Brian Shivers' solicitor said there were questions to answer about why Shivers was ever charged.

A man was seriously injured after youths threw a petrol bomb through the window of his home in the Waterside area of Derry.

4th A security alert occurred in south Belfast.

6th In the early hours of the morning, pipe bombs were found on a windowsill in Ballymoney. They were made safe by the army.

A house in Newry was targetted in a petrol bomb attack.

7th Homes were evacuated in south Belfast over a security alert. A viable pipe bomb was found, but the other suspicious object was declared a hoax.

The Department of Finance confirmed that Sammy Wilson had given the order for the union flag to be flown from five more government buildings on eighteen designated days.

9th A court ruled that 'stop, search and question' operations involving Martin McGuinness's brother-in-law Marvin Canning and former hunger striker Bernard Fox were unlawful. 32-CSM member Canning said he had been questioned nearly a hundred times.

Unionist MLAs complained that 'UK' was not being used enough in the promotion of Derry as the UK City of Culture.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness announced that the 'peace walls' would be down by 2023.

10th It was reported that an entire prison block at Maghaberry was being set aside for protesters against the G8 summit.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt threatened to pull out of a conference arranged by Sinn Féin in response to a remark by
Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd. O'Dowd had dismissed complaints from the UUP, Alliance and the SDLP that they had been kept out of discussions on a shared future plan.

11th A pipe bomb partially exploded under a vehicle in Cookstown.

Vandalism was discovered at an Orange hall in Coleraine.

13th It was reported that Colin Duffy had dropped legal proceedings relating to his arrest and prosecution for the 2009 Massereene killings.

14th Five men were jailed over a sectarian riot that took place on July 12th 2012.

15th The Balmoral Show opened on the site of the former Long Kesh/Maze prison.

16th Police were lured into an ambush near Belfast. Up to six shots were fired. A Sinn Féin councillor said that children had been playing nearby. A bomb was found during follow-up searches of the area.

It was reported that more Catholics than Protestants were unemployed.

Lawyers said that they would challenge the detention of republican Martin Corey. Corey had been in prison for three years without trial or charges.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive revealed that homelessness caused by intimidation had risen by 25% in a year. Of 580 cases, 387 were linked to paramilitary intimidation.

A teenager was shot in both legs in north Belfast.

17th Two men were jailed over home-made hand grenades.

Talks began in Cardiff aimed at improving relationships between republicans, loyalists and police.

19th After two days of talks, republicans, loyalists and police agreed in Cardiff to resolve differences through dialogue and non-violent means. A PSNI spokesman said it would make the North safer during the summer.

20th Some unionists criticised a peace event that had been held by Rev David Latimer, a Presybterian minister. SDLP and Sinn Féin leaders attended. Rev Latimer said 'I want to assure everyone that no-one was being excluded'. However, DUP councillor Gary Middleton commented that 'had I known beforehand that the make-up of the platform was the way it was I certainly wouldn't have went'.

Speaking at Stormont, Gerry Adams called on the Irish government to focus the British government on addressing outstanding peace process issues.  He said the British 'have presided over cuts in the block grant, a shortfall in the promised peace dividend, and now they are seeking to impose a welfare cuts agenda in a way that will bring hardship to already disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens'.

A man was fined for pretending to fire a rocket launcher at police.

21st Three men were jailed for a blackmail plot during which they threatened their victims with violence from the 'Red Hand Defenders'.

A security alert occurred in Kinawley.

Ann Travers, whose brother had been killed by the IRA, accused the SDLP of 'sticking two fingers up to victims' because they had said they would block a bill aimed at preventing ex-prisoners who had committed serious offences from becoming Special Advisors at Stormont.

Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said he was 'appalled' by a teaching guide that dealt with the hunger strikes.  He believed it was sympathetic to republicans.

A man was shot in the legs and ankles in west Belfast.

22nd John Anthony Downey was arrested and charged over the 1982 Hyde Park Bombing.

It was reported that Rosemount Resource Centre was to employ workers to mediate between paramilitary groups and their targets, in an attempt to stop punishment shootings.

Police investigating republican paramilitary activity found a gun in the Short Strand area.

23rd The National Union of Journalists welcomed a statement from the PUP which declared any threats from the UVF against journalists 'completely unacceptable'.

A solicitor for Garry McDaid, charged in connection with mortars found in Derry in March, said that he had been approached in prison and encouraged to turn supergrass.

24th The BBC apologised after a floor plan for the Question Time programme described Education Minister John O'Dowd as Sinn Fein/IRA.  O'Dowd explained 'the "SF/IRA" tag was one created at the height of the unionist murder campaign against my party colleagues in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was an attempt to justify attacks on Sinn Féin members and our families'.

A three-day peace conference opened in Derry.

Residents were evacuated following reports of an explosion in south Belfast. It was later reported that a pipe bomb had partially exploded.

25th Republican ex-prisoners' association Coiste na nIarchimí held a conference under the heading 'A Better Friday Agreement'. Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey said that 'all parties have to play their role' in sorting out parade issues. The UUP, DUP and Alliance had been invited to the conference but did not attend.

26th Ballyclare residents were evacuated after a viable device was found.

27th A major peace conference began in Belfast. It was entitled 'Moving Beyond Militarism and War: Women-driven solutions for a non-violent world', and was attended by six female Nobel Peace laureates.

28th A pipe bomb attack on two police officers in north Belfast was described as attempted murder. They had been answering an emergency call in Ballysillan at two in the morning. A woman was later arrested over the attack.

The SDLP confirmed that they would not block the 'SPADs' bill which would prevent certain ex-prisoners from becoming special advisors at Stormont.

A Belfast court heard that a gang claiming to be the IRA had tried to blackmail a businessman.

29th Colin Duffy was arrested during a police investigation into republican paramilitary activity. He was later released.

It was reported that a community centre in Derry had been daubed with anti-Sinn Féin and anti-British grafitti after the centre had hosted a 'City of Culture' event.

30th Marian Price was released from custody. She had been moved to hospital in June 2012, and was set to remain there.

Two Derry men appeared in court accused of possessing 'five imitation assault rifles, two blank firing pistols and balaclavas among other items'.

A bomb was found wrapped in a plastic bag in Kells, Co. Antrim.

31st It was reported that a delegation of politicians had gone to Colombia for peace talks with the FARC. They would be discussing what is known in Colombia as 'the Irish model'.

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June 2013

1st Whiterock Orange Hall was damaged during an overnight attack.

A man was arrested in England over the attempt to kill police on May 28th.

2nd A 62-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the attack on police officers on May 28th.

3rd
Loyalist political activist Willie Frazer was re-arrested after allegedly breaching his bail conditions relating to the flag protests.

Sinn Féin's Máirtín Ó Muilleoir became the new Mayor of Belfast.

A former soldier permanently injured in an IRA blast said that convicted bomber Paul Kavanagh should lose his job as Martin McGuinness' special adviser, calling him 'dirty terrorist scum'.

4th
A gunman was reportedly seen in Belfast city centre. Subsequently the police seized replica firearms.

An alert at Carrickfergus police station was declared a hoax.

5th
A 27-year-old woman was charged in connection with the attack on police officers on May 28th.

Terry Spence of the policing union said that the police response to flag response had not been tough enough, and rubber bullets should have been used. Matt Baggott later rejected claims that police had been used as 'cannon fodder'.

A man escaped injury after a gun attack on his house in west Belfast.

Sinn Féin member Jason Ceulemans, who had been stopped in a car in which an armour-penetrating device was found, told a court that it had been taken away for destruction. Ceuelmans was also charged with 'possessing explosives, conspiracy to murder and having a walkie-talkie radio for terrorist purposes'.

A pipe bomb was found after a security alert near Kells in Co. Antrim.

6th
A man was arrested over the Duncrue towpath bomb of March 9th. He was subsequently released without charge.

An 18-year-old was shot in a 'paramilitary-style attack' in west Belfast.

7th
PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott attended his first Sinn Féin event, 'Belfast: A City of Equals in an Island of Equals'. Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams were heckled by loyalists as they entered the Europa Hotel, at which the conference was held.

A senior judge warned the flag protest rioters could expect tough sentences.

Stuart Downes, who had been arrested in England, appeared in court over the May 28th attack on police.

9th
A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Derry in the early hours of the morning.

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew said she would prefer to be back on the Northern Ireland Assembly, as 'our issues are not dealt with in London to any extent. The assembly's the place where it's at'.

A gun and ammunition were found in Cookstown as police investigated republican paramilitary activity.

A man was shot in the legs in a paramilitary-style attack in Carrickfergus.

10th A woman was arrested following an investigation into republican paramilitary activity in Beechwood, Derry. A man was also arrested.

A 'viable device' was found in Newtownabbey.

It was reported that a woman journalist in Belfast had received a death threat after writing a paedophile story relating to Óglaigh na hÉireann. It followed the attemped suicide of a young man who claimed that a member of the group had been abusing him for years.

11th It was reported that the UVF supergrasses Robert and Ian Stewart would not be returned to jail.

The Orange Order outlined plans to avoid the previous year's controversial parade past St Patrick's Catholic church in Belfast. Reverend Mervyn Gibson said 'I hope that people will understand that what happened at St Patrick's last year shouldn't have happened, and we've taken steps to ensure that it won't happen again', but he also said that the Order had not spoken to residents' groups because 'once we do something it is never enough'.

A man was arrested in Belfast by police investigating republican paramilitary activity.

12th It was reported that three men had been arrested in the Irish Republic during the previous two days over republican paramilitary activity.

13th The Orange Order called on unionist politicians to oppose a new conflict resolution centre on the site of the former Long Kesh/Maze prison. Their statement said that 'approximately one in ten of the people killed during the Troubles were members of the Orange Order'.

A woman who had been arrested over a bomb placed under a police officer's car in December 2012 was released.

The High Court heard that police had given flag protesters ample warning of the consequences of their actions.

A new unionist party, NI21, started sending out tweets in Irish.

14th A man and a woman faced charges of 'possession of explosives with intent to endanger life and possession of items for an act of terrorism'. They had been arrested four days previously.

15th A court heard that teenagers had been organising sectarian fights in Derry.

16th A security alert occurred in Newtownabbey.

Fireworks, bottles and missiles were thrown during trouble in east Belfast.

A 15-year-old was arrested in east Belfast on suspicion of possessing a petrol bomb as well as drugs.

17th Having arrived in Belfast for the G8 summit, US President Barack Obama said that 'If there's one thing on which Democrats and Republicans in America wholeheartedly agree, it's that we strongly support a peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland'.

18th A four-year-old girl was injured by a petrol bomb thrown into the Short Strand area of Belfast from the neighbouring loyalist area. Later, a petrol bomb was thrown from Short Strand into the loyalist area.

A pipe bomb was found in Derry and a pipe bomb was found in Strabane, but an 'explosive device' located near the G8 summit was revealed as a leftover from the Second World War. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Theresa Villiers defended the amount spent on security for the G8 summit, which included a huge fence, saying it was 'money well spent'. She said 'we can all imagine dissident republicans would have loved to have staged an attack when the world's media is in Northern Ireland. The fact they have been unable to do that is a tribute to work done by the PSNI'.

It was reported the police had used new facial mapping techniques and social media to catch Tiernan Porter, who had carried out a paramilitary-style punishment attack in May 2010.

The environment minister apologised after his department sent a letter to a landowner ordering him to take down a memorial to the victims of the Kingsmill massacre. DUP MLA William Irwin protested against the letter, claiming that there were 19 'illegal roadside terrorist memorials'.

19th Chief Contsable Matt Baggott said that the G8 conference had been the 'safest ever' because of the policing effort.

Two men were arrested during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott and British Prime Minister David Cameron both said that the G8 conference had been one of the most peaceful in history.

The mother of Gary McDaid, facing explosives charges after his arrest in March, said she feared for his health.

20th A Belfast high court heard that the PSNI's policy of hiring temporary staff was harming public confidence. The mother of Raymond McCord Jr, who had been murdered by loyalists in 1997, was also seeking to stop former RUC men from being rehired.

21st After a series of incidents at sectarian flashpoints, Peter Robinson, Martin McGuinness, Matt Baggott and David Ford joined together to appeal for a peaceful marching season. However, in the evening Sinn Féin's Carál Ní Chuilín and Gerry Kelly were involved in an altercation in north Belfast. They had intervened in the arrest of a 16-year-old boy and Ní Chuilín was injured when they attempted to stop the police vehicle from driving away. The DUP called the behaviour of the two republicans 'unacceptable'.

The RUC George Cross Widows Association called for the building of a peace and reconciliation centre at the former Long Kesh/Maze prison to be stopped, in case it turned into a shrine for paramilitaries. They felt the centre would be 'glorifying people who took RUC men's lives'.

A teenage 'habitual flag protester' was jailed for rioting. Three men were jailed over rioting at the Ardoyne shops during the previous July.

23rd A suspicious device on the coastal road in Holyrood which caused the evacuation of two houses turned out to be a treasure hunt box.

Petrol bombs were thrown at a house in east Belfast.

24th Peter Robinson said that Gerry Kelly had been reckless when he blocked the police vehicle three days previously.

Petrol bombs were thrown over the peace wall in the Short Strand area of east Belfast, as a week of sectarian tension continued.

26th DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt denied calling those who objected to the Maze/Long Kesh development plan 'nutters'.

Three men were arrested for making petrol bombs in east Belfast. Chief inspector Mark McEwan said 'there has been an increase in tensions at the interface, following a number of incidents that have occurred in both communities, over recent days'.

27th DUP MLA Paul Girvan withdrew a comment he had made on the radio saying he had 'no problem about burning of a tricolour on top of a bonfire'.

Daniel Curley, who had been arrested for rioting on the anniversary of introduction of internment, said he attacked police because 'they were spoiling the party'.

Three men were shot in the legs in west Belfast.


28th It was reported that loyalist protester Willie Frazer would be allowed to attend a parade marking the Battle of the Somme.

Sinn Féin lodged a complaint that a roads service employee had helped erect union flags along a road in Derry.


30th The Catholic auxiliary Donal McKeown said that the DUP's comments on the issue of integrated education were 'nakedly sectarian'. He believed that Peter Robinson had implied the Catholic Church was blocking moves towards integrated education.

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July 2013

1st A pipe bomb exploded in Newry during the early hours of the morning.

Peter Robinson responded to Bishop McKeown's criticisms by saying he had 'somewhat lost the plot'.

The mini-twelfth parade passed off without incident.

2nd A UDA gang were jailed for a blackmail attempt. Meanwhile, a 21-year-old was locked up for a 'moment of madness' when he threw a petrol bomb at police.

3rd Nine men were arrested in Dublin during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

4th A pipe bomb exploded in east Belfast in the early morning.

The Policing Board said that it had no confidence in the Historical Enquiries Team.

The family of Pearse Jordan, an IRA man shot by police in 1992, were granted permission to quash the findings of his inquest.


5th Seven men arrested in Tallaght where charged in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

The Orange Order said they would speak to the Twaddell and Woodvale Residents Association before July 12th. The Association hoped to build on the 'positive environment' following three peaceful parades.


6th A man was arrested in Belfast over republican paramilitary activity.

7th It was reported that the PSNI had gained accessed to the Boston College interviews with Dolours Price.

8th Talks between the Orange Order and north Belfast residents ended without resolution.

9th The Parades Commission ruled that the Orange Order could not hold a return parade at Ardoyne on July 12th.

A security alert occurred in north Belfast. Thirty houses were evacuated and a viable device was found. It was later reported that it had been intended to kill police.

Plans to build a bridge linking the Republic and the North were put on hold.

A man in Newtownabbey became the victim of a paramilitary-style punishment shooting.


10th The Assembly was recalled to discuss the Parades Commission ruling on the Orange march in Ardoyne. Meanwhile, the DUP's Nigel Dodds was expelled from the Commons chamber after accusing the Northern Ireland Secretary of 'deliberate deception' over the parade. He called the Commission's decision 'outrageous and scandalous', and said it was 'causing enormous pain and tensions to be rising in north Belfast and across the province and has the potential for severe trouble on our streets.'

A loyalist protest in Belfast resolved peacefully, as did the republican counter-protest held nearby.

The High Court heard that the key witness in a criminal trial had been threatened by republican paramilitaries.


11th Gardaí said that a massive arms cache found in Dublin the previous week had included IRA weapons that should have been decommissioned. The store, kept by active republican paramilitaries, included replica and real guns including an UZI 9mm sub machine gun, revolvers, double barrel shotguns, pistols, an air rifle, a tazer, a silencer and around 100,300 rounds of ammunition.

The Orange Order announced they would stage protests over the Ardoyne parade decision.

Apprentice solicitor Barbara Muldoon was cleared of taking part in an illegal procession in Belfast. The parade had been linked to a TV appearance of BNP leader Nick Griffin.


12th Orange Order leaders condemned what they called a cultural war waged by republicans. Meanwhile, a statue of the Virgin Mary that had been placed on a bonfire by loyalists was returned to its church because community leaders 'didn't want to cause offence to ordinary Catholics'.

A protest about the Ardoyne parade led to hours of violence, during which dozens of police were injured. DUP MP Nigel Dodds, who had earlier appealed for calm, was knocked unconscious.


13th Police were attacked with petrol bombs for the second night running. Another 400 police officers had been drafted in from other parts of the UK. A BBC correspondent said that the violence had been much less severe than the night before. During the day, the DUP had urged people 'to be peaceful, to show restraint', while the UUP said that 'the challenge [was] to analyse the underlying causes of tension'. Sinn Féin believed that 'what happened last night was planned. [...] They brought crowds up to these interfaces and (they had) some notion in their head, some strategy. They thought they were going to force some type of parade up through past the Parade Commission's determination.'

A hoax alert occurred in Omagh.


14th Former Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan called on the British to release war diaries relating to the murder of Jean McConville.

First Minister Peter Robinson called for an end to the rioting.

A security alert in north Belfast was revealed as a hoax.


15th Petrol bombs and blast bombs were thrown at police in east Belfast and there were reports of a pipe bomb thrown in north Belfast. Meanwhile, the Orange Order said that the police had 'questions to answer'. They believed the Parades Commission were to blame for the riots: 'There will be the blame game and point scoring by all for the events that unfolded, however the Orange institution will not be scapegoated for where the responsibility for this crisis truly lies - at the door of the Parades Commission.'

16th MLAs backed a motion by the DUP that criticised the Parade Commission's decision to ban the Ardoyne parade.

Loyalist Willie Frazer was arrested after allegedly breaching his bail conditions.


17th The Orange Order applied to stage a parade in north Belfast on 20th July. Sinn Féin said this would only 'inflame the situation'.

Two Englishmen appeared in court accused of taking part in the rioting. They said they had wanted to 'fit in with the locals'.

A man was accused of throwing a brick at police during loyalist rioting in January.

The funeral of Seamus McKenna, who had been accused of involvement in the 1998 Omagh Bomb, took place in the Republic. Heavy security was in place to ensure that there was no republican paramilitary show of strength.


18th The Parades Commission turned down the Orange Order's request to hold another parade in north Belfast. The Order responded that 'this decision by the Parades Commission to prevent this dignified parade is a further indictment of this already discredited body. Amid the obvious anger which has manifested itself over recent days, to which the commission must bear full responsibility, Grand Lodge would once again appeal for calm.'

An 11-year-old boy was injured by a petrol bomb in a Derry park.

An alert at Larne Road was revealed as a hoax, while another alert occurred in Co. Armagh.


19th Larry Keane, a republican opposed to the peace process, was attacked at midnight in Athy, Co. Kildare and died a few hours later.

A pipe bomb was found during an alert in west Belfast. However, another alert in Belfast was declared a hoax.

It was reported that a Catholic church in Ballymena, which had been the target of loyalist protests for during the 1990s, was to close.


20th A protest took place after police stopped a contentious Orange parade in north Belfast.

21st The Orange Order repeated its application to march in Ardoyne.

A man and a woman were arrested in Derry during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.


23rd Tourists were robbed while visiting the west Belfast mural wall. Sinn Féin said of the robbers that 'these criminals are not welcome in our community and the sooner they are taken out of it the better'.

24th A 19-year-old was released on bail after throwing a bottle at police during rioting in Portadown on the 19th.

The British and Irish governments appealed to the Orange Order to drop their demand for a parade in the Ardoyne.


25th The DUP said that Castlederg residents were concerned about Sinn Féin plans for a parade to commemorate two IRA members who had been killed while transporting a bomb in 1975.

A security alert took place at the Royal Mail sorting office on Tomb Road, Belfast.


26th The Apprentice Boys' Memorial Hall in Derry was attacked for the fourth night in a row. The governor of the Apprentice Boys said '[the vandals] are of a sectarian mindset whereby they feel it is right and proper to paintbomb what they see as a hall that is nothing to do with what they believe in, but that is purely destructive, it is sectarian, it is hate-filled. These people don't have a clue as regards history or culture'. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness called the attacks 'shameful'.

Houses and cars were damaged in a sectarian attack in west Belfast. Around 100 nationalist youths were involved in the vandalism. A man whose house had been targetted said 'you are used to people walking by the odd Saturday night and throwing bricks or throwing bottles but fact that there was so many of them, this time, was extremely worrying.' It was later reported that the youths had been uninvited guests at a west Belfast house party.

A man appeared in court accused of raping a woman who subsequently committed suicide. The alleged victim had not reported the crime because she believed the alleged attacker had paramilitary connections. The man's name was not made public as he was under a death threat.


27th A security alert occurred on Donegore Drive, Antrim.

The Orange Order attempted to march past the shops on Crumlin Road and was stopped by police. The Order said it would stage a protest every week until it had completed the parade.


28th The Catholic Church denied that a bishop had refused to meet the Orange Order to discuss a parade passing St Patrick's Church in Donegall Street.

29th A court ruled that Michael Stone would serve the remainder of his sentence for the Milltown Cemetery attack.

30th Controversy continued over the republican parade at Castlederg, planned for August. Sinn Féin said it would re-route the parade.

30th First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness disagreed over the Castlederg parade. While Robinson said that the parade 'glorified terrorism', McGuinness said it was an issue 'of how we deal with the past and whether or not people have a right to commemorate those people who have lost their lives'.

Three 15-year-old boys were arrested over attacks on the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall in Derry.


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August 2013

1st The republican parade at Castlederg was given the go-ahead, but with restrictions. Meanwhile, DUP councillor Ruth Patterson apologised for insensitive comments about the parade made on Facebook.

A security alert in Antrim was declared a hoax.

John Downey, who had been charged with involvement in the 1982 Hyde Park bomb, was given conditional bail.

Loyalist Robert Downey was sentenced to community service for threatening to 'wreck' the Alliance party office during the flag protests.

2nd Police arrested Ruth Patterson over her Facebook comment. The DUP said they 'failed to understand why the police chose to conduct a sensationalist arrest rather than contact Ruth and ask her to attend an Article 10 voluntary interview'. She was later charged with 'sending a grossly offensive communication'.

Houses were evaculated during a security alert in south Belfast.

An 18-year-old was questioned about a petrol bomb attack on a police car carried out the previous day.

A 16-year-old appeared in court accused of attacking police during disorder on July 12th.

3rd Pipe bombs were found at houses in Portadown and Tandragee.

Shots were fired by masked men during the night in Coleraine.

4th A man was arrested over the 2007 murder of Paul Quinn. His death had been blamed on the IRA.

5th It was reported, that the families of twenty people killed by soldiers during the Troubles were suing the chief constable.

The Secretary of State expressed her 'regret' over the naming of a play park after Raymond McCreesh, a republican hunger striker.

6th A family were the targets of a gun attack in west Belfast.

The PSNI met with the DUP to discuss the forthcoming republican march at Castlederg.

The lord mayor of Belfast, Sinn Fein's Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, was jostled by loyalist protesters during the re-opening of a park in north Belfast. It later emerged that the DUP had warned him not to go to the park.

7th A number of searches were carried out following the arrest of a woman in Cookstown. The searches were connected to republican paramilitary activity.

The Secretary of State cut short her compassionate leave so that she could deal with tensions over parades.

8th A 36-year-old woman was charged in connection with explosives.

The Secretary of State called on republicans to stop the parade at Castleberg, but said that she was not able to ban it.

Relatives of the Omagh bomb victims made a fresh call for an inquiry. They argued that there had been a failure to share intelligence that could have prevented the attack.

Community tensions were heightened after nationalists placed a stolen loyalist painting on a bonfire. An Irish journalist reported on Twitter that she 'just got attacked with bottles by a bunch of drunken rabble at the Divis bonfire site [with] tourists looking on shocked'. Four men were subsequently charged over the disorder.

9th Republicans held a city centre parade, after which there was trouble from loyalists and 56 police officers were hurt. Meanwhile, Martin McGuinness said that the Castlederg parade on the 11th would be 'dignified and lawful'.

The IRA admitted to killing prison officer Brian Stack in 1983.

The army made safe a pipe bomb found in Lisburn.

A 39-year-old man appeared in court after being stopped by police while carrying liquid mercury and 20 rounds of ammunition.

10th Newry Orange Hall was damaged in an arson attack.

The annual Apprentice Boys' march in Derry passed off without incident.

Two young men became the victims of a sectarian assault in Newtownabbey.

11th During the night, homes belonging to Coleraine District Master George Duddy and a bandsman were vandalised. Duddy said he believed the attacks were sectarian.

The republican parade at Castlederg passed with incident, despite loyalist protests.

Six men were charged over the riots on the 9th.

12th The Police Federation called for all contentious parades to be banned for the next six months. The SDLP backed them, saying that 'extraordinary circumstances require an extraordinary response'.

Unionist politicians asked a Stormont watchdog to investigate a speech made by Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly at the Castlederg march. Kelly had said nobody would 'prevent me or any other republican honouring our comrades who gave their lives in the struggle for Irish freedom and equality'. However, the TUV leader said that he had 'seriously damaged community relations' by 'celebrating the lives of two men who were blown up by their own bomb in the town they intended to attack'.

Children picked up one of two pipe bombs thrown at the police station at Woodbourne.

13th Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said that the idea of banning contentious parades for six months was not viable.

Youths threw paint at the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall in Derry.

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

15th A pipe bomb was thrown at a house in north Belfast.

16th Republican Marian McGlinchey failed in her attempt to remain anonymous while facing charges over a statement made at an Easter Rising commemoration in 2011. Her lawyers had argued that she faced a threat from loyalist paramilitaries. The statement had said that the Real IRA would continue to target the police.

The BBC faced a bill for £5000 after its 'stupidity' caused a bomb scare in a post office.

An historic Apprentice Boys' flag stolen from St Columb's cathedral and put on a nationalist bonfire was returned. Hugh Brady of the Rosemount Resource Centre said 'we contacted Creggan Community Collective and the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) who negotiated with young people in the area. [...] Fourteen year olds watch their flags being burned on the 11th night. I can understand their mentality.'

Ballymena Showgrounds were evacuated in a security alert. A pipe bomb was subsequently destroyed. The stock car racing event that was underway had to be cancelled.

17th Martin McGuinness called the DUP withdrawal of support for a peace and conflict resolution centre at the former Long Kesh/Maze prison a 'mistake'.

18th The Church of Ireland primate condemned the recent riots.

19th Marian McGlinchey was found guilty on two charges of resisting and obstructing police on a protest in July 2010.

Racist graffiti was scrawled on a house inhabited by two Nigerian men in east Belfast.

A student was fined for making derogatory comments about murdered police officer Ronan Kerr.

20th Three teenagers appeared in court accused of vandalising the Apprentice Boys' Hall in Derry.

A district judge agreed to set aside Marian Price's conviction for public order offences.

21st It was reported that Martin McGuinness had been invited to speak at the Warrington peace centre.

Controversy erupted when the film 'A Belfast Story' was promoted with balaclavas, nails and gaffer tape.

22nd Councillor Ruth Patterson appeared in court charged with 'sending an electronic message that was grossly offensive' after a comment she made about an imaginary attack on a republican parade in Castlederg.

23rd A pipe bomb was found in Rasharkin. Another alert occurred in south Belfast.

A man was arrested during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

24th In east Belfast, police found the largest stash of weapons they had seen for years. It later emerged that the guns had been buried for several years. They originated from eastern Europe and were in good condition.

25th PUP man Ken Wilkinson said he had been sent a bullet and a sympathy card in the post.

A hoax alert occurred in east Belfast.

A major security operation was launched in north Belfast as two rival parades, by the Royal Black Preceptory and the Henry Joy McCracken Flute Band, took place at the same time.

27th Roads were closed during a security alert in Cullyhanna, County Armagh.

It was reported that 106 people had been arrested over unionist riots.

It was also reported that Jean McConville's family were suing the police and Ministry of Defence.

28th A controlled explosion was carried out near Cullyhanna.

A security alert occurred in Newcastle.

It was reported that Sinn Féin would table a motion at Belfast City Council affirming 'the right of the lord mayor to attend events and carry out civic duties in any parts of the city'. This followed trouble on August 6th when the mayor, Sinn Féin's Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, was attacked by loyalist protesters.

29th Police said that the mortar-type devices found near Cullyhanna had been placed there to kill police officers.

A 45-year-old man was jailed for throwing masonry at police during a flag protest.

30th The MP for Newry and South Armagh, Conor Murphy, said that the community in Cullyhanna had suffered stress and 'bewilderment' over the mortar bombs left there.

Three men appeared in court accused of fundraising for the UDA.

31st Cliftonville players Liam Boyce and Conor Devlin received sectarian abuse while watching a Linfield versus Glentoran game.

Thousands of people joined in Royal Black parades. Sovereign Grand Master Millar Farr spoke out against what he saw as the 'attack' on their culture.

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September 2013

1st Fifteen people were arrested after a petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Ballymena.

2nd Two men were arrested in South Armagh in relation to republican paramilitary activity.

A judge ruled that three men and two women should stand trial for historic PIRA membership.

3rd It was reported that drunkenness and trouble around the Twelfth had hit trade in Belfast.

4th It was reported that a UVF mural was being put up in place of a mural of George Best in east Belfast.

Three men denied possessing an armour-piercing rocket.

Damien Duffy was denied bail on mortar bomb charges.

A pipe bomb was found in Carrickfergus.

5th It was reported that policing the parades had cost £15 million, and that the fact that the focus had been on parades had resulted in fewer arrests for criminal offences.

6th John Downey appeared in court in connection with the Hyde Park Bomb.

7th A gun was discovered during a security alert in Strabane.

8th Education Minister John O'Dowd condemned a reported threat to schools by loyalists.

Explosives and bomb-making material were found in Strabane.

MLAs returned to Stormont. The DUP proposed a motion that was critial of Gerry Kelly's actions at the republican commemoration in Castlederg, and Sinn Féin responded with a motion expressing concern at the violence over the summer and calling on politicians to promote tolerance and reconciliation.

9th Secretary of State Theresa Villiers promised the support of the British government for the upcoming talks to be chaired by former US envoy Richard Haass, which would address the issues of flags, parades and the past.

Steven Ramsey, a republican from Derry, announced he would challenge police stop and search powers after being stopped 200 times in five years.

Gerry Kelly defended his speech at Castlederg, saying 'no unionist MLA, councillor, MP, or minister, no loyalist paramilitary or loyal order spokesperson, no matter how loud they shout will prevent me or any other republican honouring our comrades who gave their lives in the struggle for Irish freedom'.

Peter Robinson said he had the support of his party and would not be stepping down from his leadership role.

Clifton Orange Hall was attacked with paint, the sixth such attack in fourteen months. Belfast County Grand Master George Chittick blamed 'blatant sectarian harassment and the stoking of tensions by republicans'.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness met privately in New York. They agreed that their dispute over the Maze/Long Kesh peace centre would not overshadow their economic mission.

10th Two men were jailed after being 'swept up' in the flag riots.

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

11th Gardaí in the Republic arrested six men during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity. Guns, ammunition and bomb components were found and four vehicles seized.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness met Duncan Niederauer from the New York Stock Exchange. Niederauer accepted that the events of the summer had been a temporary blip against a backdrop of long-term progress.

A pipe bomb was found near a primary school in Belfast.

12th A report by Amnesty International said that the system had failed victims of the Troubles.

The daughter of a woman killed in the McGurk bombing won the right to challenge the non-disclosure of a report into the massacre.

Ammunition was found during a security alert in County Armagh.

The Northern Ireland Secretary said that there would be no further inquiry into the Omagh bomb.

13th Ryan Gray was jailed for 'nakedly sectarian' rioting the previous December.

Work stopped on the UVF memorial that was replacing a George Best mural in east Belfast. Councillor John Kyle said 'there are discussions going on with the people who were behind the changing of the mural and a recognition that there had been a huge public outcry'.

14th The Orange Order said that vandalism to one of their halls could cost £10,000 to repair. A spokesman said 'this is a sectarian attack and a hate attack on this hall and I do have worries if this is a trend that's going to be set down here in Londonderry now for other rural halls that are out in very quiet locations'.

Two men were arrested in Dublin in connection with republican paramilitary activity.

15th A Catholic church in Newtownabbey was damaged when a petrol bomb was thrown at it.

17th It was reported that Bobby Fitzsimmons was suing the police for arresting him over the murder of Robert McCartney.

18th Peter Robinson said that he did not expect the Haass talks to offer easy solutions.

Martin McGuinness gave a talk at Warrington, scene of an IRA bomb that killed two children. He said his 'heart went out' to protesters at the event. He also said that the DUP's stance on the proposed peace centre 'beggared belief'.

19th The Orange Order ruled out revisiting a planned alternative to the Parades Commission because it was 'too complicated'.

DUP councillor George Duddy's house was targetted by vandals for a second time in what police called a hate crime.

20th An alert in the Markets area of south Belfast, which forced about fifty people to leave their homes, was declared a hoax.

21st More than 3000 people took part in a loyalist protest in Belfast.

Guns and ammunition were found in a police investigation into republican paramilitary activity in County Clare.

22nd A controversial loyalist mural was completed in east Belfast.

A shot was fired through a window in south Belfast. Shots were also reportedly fired at a house in Newry.

23rd Peter Robinson and Jim Allister argued at Stormont about the DUP's 'u-turn' on the Maze/Long Kesh peace centre.

The Confederation of British Industry Northern Ireland called for a reduction in the number of marches.

25th A Nigerian woman reported a racist attack on Sandy Row.

Peter Robinson denied that Stormont was in crisis, despite the words of Gerry Kelly. Relations between the DUP and Sinn Féin had been deteriorating for months.

A man was charged over a gun and ammunition found during an investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

A young woman was shot several times in east Belfast. Loyalist paramilitaries were blamed. Police said that they were treating the attack as attempted murder.

26th It was reported that flag protester James Bryson could face two separate trials.

27th British Prime Minister David Cameron denied there was any crisis at Stormont.

Loyalist protester Willie Frazer arrived at court dressed as controversial Muslim cleric Abu Hamza. He claimed he was being prosecuted under legislation that had been brought in to deal with militant Islamic preachers.

It was reported that former IRA prisoner Paul Kavanagh had been given a large amount of compensation after being forced to step down as an advisor to Sinn Féin, following a change in the law that banned anyone with a serious criminal record from holding such a role.

28th A petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Ballykeel during the night.

More than 10,000 people took part in a parade to commemorate the UVF.

29th It was reported that the Orange Order had offered talks with Ardoyne residents to resolve the issue over the Order's blocked parade.

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said that the recent disputes over flags and protests would be easier to resolve than the issues of the previous few decades.

30th Sinn Féin and local residents criticised the Orange Order's application to complete their march past the Ardoyne shops.

Martin McGuinness insisted that any development of the Maze/Long Kesh prison site would have to be based on a peace centre.

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October 2013

1st The SDLP apologised for any distress caused over the naming of a park after IRA hunger striker Raymond McCreesh.

Environment minister Mark Durkan told the assembly that he would not introduce regulations on the flying of flags on council buildings.

2nd The Orange Order were again refused permission to march in north Belfast.

3rd A security alert occurred in south Belfast. It was later declared a hoax.

Police said that they were carrying out a criminal investigation into the UVF.

4th The Special European Programmes Body withdrew its offer of funding for the peace centre at the Maze/Long Kesh, saying it was no longer viable.

5th Senior Orangeman Willian Mawhinney said that parade protests would be 'up-scaled... right up to civil disobedience if that's what it takes'.

6th The DUP's Arlene Foster defended the right of Protestants to protest about parades, but said that protests must be peaceful and remain within the law.

Sectarian graffiti was daubed on the walls of Ballyarnett Presbyterian Church.

7th Four men were arrested after a hoax bomb alert on the M1 in west Belfast.

CCTV footage was released of a man suspected to have left two bombs outside the city's council offices in September 2012.

Pipe bombs were found during two security alerts in Belfast.

A man whose wife had been killed in the Shankill bombing said that a planned commemoration for one of bombers, Thomas Begley, would cause distress to relatives. In Alan McBride's words, 'obviously families are going to hear about this and some of them are going to be distraught because while Thomas Begley is some mother's son, he's the person who took their loved ones' lives away and they're going to be filled with all sorts of grief and trauma'.

8th A bomb alert outside the Alliance party office in east Belfast was declared a hoax.

9th A Court of Appeal heard that there was no evidence to link John Paul Wootton with the killing of Constable Stephen Carrol in March 2009.

The victims commissioner Kathryn Stone said that Troubles victims were being made to feel 'like beggars'.

Andrew Parker, director general of MI5, said that the police and his own organisation had been able to disrupt the 'vast majority' of planned paramilitary actions.

A security alert in north Belfast was declared a hoax.

A 46-year-old man, Kevin Kearney, was shot dead in north Belfast. The Irish News reported that a group calling itself 'the IRA' had claimed responsibility. In a statement, this group said they had warned Kearney 'in response to complaints within our community. [...] Kearney refused to heed this warning and carried on with his activities and as a consequence the IRA made the decision to execute him.'

10th A 35-year-old man, Barry McCrory, was shot dead in his flat in Derry. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said 'those responsible claim to be dissident republicans. They are not republicans of any shade. They are entirely motivated by criminal intent.' The Guardian reported that 'both victims were members of the nationalist community who had crossed the terror group styling itself as the New IRA'.

Two security alerts came to a close without a bomb being found.

11th More than 1,000 people had to leave their homes in Derry during a security alert. A viable mortar type device was found. The Strand Road police station was believed to be the target.

Police investigating the death of Barry McCrory named a suspect they were looking for - 58-year-old Kieran McLaughlin. Meanwhile, several hundred people attended a rally against violence in Guildhall Square.

12th Irish News editor Noel Doran said that loyalists had 'got it wrong' over the flag protests.

Paint was thrown at a Catholic church in Newtownabbey.

A security alert on the M1 was revealed as a hoax.

13th It was reported that the police had suspended their investigation into the Claudy bombing.

14th At half past midnight, an armed and masked gang read out a list of names in a bar in north Belfast, ordering those on the list to leave the Ardoyne area.

Kieran McLaughlin's family appealed to him to come forward. On the same day, Kevin Kearney's funeral took place.

First Minister Peter Robison urged caution over Christmas-period flag protests.

An alert on the M1 caused major disruption.

The father of a key witness in the Stephen Carroll murder trial said that no one should believe his son, who he claimed was a pathological liar.

15th As Kevin Kearney's family said that they had been 'torn apart' by his murder, the police warned that 'others could be in danger'.

Alliance councillor Maire Hendron described a new paramilitary mural in east Belfast as a 'setback'.

It was reported that the police ombudsman was to investigate a complaint by the PUP about the conduct of police offers at Twaddell Avenue, a sectarian flashpoint in north Belfast.

16th A third man was arrested over the murder of Kevin Kearney. The first two had already been released unconditionally.

A statue of Sefton, the only horse to survive the IRA's bomb attack on Hyde Park in 1982, was unveiled in London.

17th A man with a gun was reportedly seen in east Belfast.

A man was arrested over vandalism at a Catholic church in Newtownabbey. He was later released without charge.

A man arrested over a sectarian killing in 1993, carried out by the UVF, was released without charge.

A man who had been arrested over the shooting of 24-year-old Jemma McGrath in east Belfast was released on police bail.

18th It was reported that two union flag protesters were suing Facebook after allegedly being threatened online.

A 'viable device' was found after an alert in Lurgan.

Kieran McLaughlin
appeared in court accused of the murder of Barry McCrory.

Two schoolboys were subjected to a sectarian attack in Belfast.

19th A pipe bomb was discovered in west Belfast. Sinn Féin councillor Caoimhin Mac Giolla Mhin said that 'anyone could have found this device or been injured or worse had it gone off'.

Relatives of IRA bomb victims staged a protest as Gerry Adams addressed a peace conference in London.

Masked gunmen shot a man in west Belfast. A man was arrested, but subsequently released.

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

20th Loyalists protested as a memorial service for Shankill bomber Thomas Begley took place.

Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin warned that 'sectarian disputes are on the rise and public faith in the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement has collapsed. The Assembly and Executive are dominated by the squabbles of the DUP and Sinn Féin as they focus on their own party interests'.

21st Alan McBridge, whose wife died in the Shankill bombing, said that the apology of bomber Sean Kelly was 'hollow'. 'He went out that day, I have no doubt he was trying to murder UDA men upstairs in that shop, so I'm not suggesting for a minute my wife was the intended target, but she wasn't even considered, her life wasn't even considered that it was worth anything.'

22nd A court heard that a woman on an attempted murder charge had been threatened by loyalist paramilitaries. The judge commented that 'it would be a pretty unhappy state of affairs if those criminal elements could dictate who can and can't get bail'.

23rd A pipe bomb was thrown at a police patrol in Mill Road, Newtownabbey.

24th Former senior officer of the RUC, Raymond White, denied that there had been 'widespread RUC collusion' in murders carried out by loyalists.

It was reported that Anthony McDonnell from west Belfast would be standing trial accused of 'having vehicle registrations likely to be of use to terrorists'.

A judge maintained a temporary ban on naming two drug dealers, who had been threatened by republican paramilitaries.

The Retired Police Officers Association said it would not encourage members to engage with the police ombudsman on certain investigations.

25th Two letter bombs were sent to senior police officers, allegedly by republicans.

Ryan Stephen McDowell escaped jail on charges of making pipe bombs for a group calling itself the loyalist action force.

26th Bomb alerts took place in Derry and Lurgan. After causing major disruption, they were declared hoaxes. The daughter of an elderly woman who had to be evacuated during the alerts said 'this has really set my mother back and she was left without oxygen so long yesterday that she took a turn. When we discovered that what looked like a pipe bomb was sitting at her front door, my brother had to wave down a police landrover and as soon as they saw it they had to shout at everyone to get out as quickly as possible. My mother is in no fit state to be dealing with something like this.'

27th A man was charged with firearms offences following his arrest in Derry the previous day.

28th Five people were charged with conspiracy to murder and 'terrorism offences' after their arrest in Scotland the previous week.

Former US envoy Dr Richard Haass said that he believed the majority of people were ready for compromise.

A man was charged with firearms and explosives offensives.

A man was jailed for attacking police during rioting on the Twelfth.

A letter bomb was sent to the to the Public Prosecution Service office in Derry.

29th It was reported that a letter bomb had been sent to the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers. Staff had to be evacuated from the post office at Stormont Castle. It was the fourth such bomb intercepted since the 25th. Justice minister David Ford called the increase of letter bombs an 'extremely worrying development'.

A bomb alert occurred in south Belfast.

30th A remembrance service was held for the Greysteel massacre which occurred twenty years previously.

Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce warned over sectarian chants in the wake of a game between Linfield and Cliftonville.

A court heard that a man had been blackmailed by the Official IRA. He had registered on the group's 'Richter Scale' after allegedly selling steroids.

A pipe bomb was found in north Belfast after an alert.

31st Richard Haass said that no issues were 'deal-breakers'.

In Scotland, a 56-year-old man was charged under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006.


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November 2013

1st Richard Haass met the five parties in the Northern Ireland Executive for talks. Haass said there was a 'good chance of achieving meaningful progress'.

2nd Two men were arrested in County Monaghan on suspicion of belonging to a banned republican organisation. Components and fertilizer were found that could have been used to make a massive bomb.

3rd A special service was held in County Meath for the relatives of the Disappeared.

In Dublin, two men were shot in the legs.

4th A small bomb was found and defused after police used a drone during a security alert.

The Alliance Party condemned the inclusion of a paramilitary gunman in a banner commemorating the life of Martin Meehan.

5th A man was shot in both legs in Cullyhanna.

An inquest into the death of Roseann Mallon, murdered by the UVF, heard that army surveillance tapes that could have helped solve the killing had been wiped. Meanwhile, Martin McGuinness described the fact that some families of the Disappeared did not know the location of their loved ones' bodies as a 'festering wound'.

6th Two men were arrested during a security operation in south Belfast. The BBC recorded that 'it is understood a car was stopped and there are now several police vehicles in the area'.

7th A postman who had unknowingly carried a letter bomb for more than an hour called for better training for postal workers.

The family of Derry man Eugene Dalton, who was killed by an IRA bomb in 1988, called for answers on whether the police had been protecting an informer.

8th A bomb was found under the car of a former policeman in east Belfast.

A security alert occurred at Nutts Corner in County Antrim.

It was reported that a peace fence had been built in the grounds of a church in east Belfast.

Loyalist Francis Paul McNally was sentenced for a prison attack on former solicitor Manmohan Johnny Sandhu, who had been jailed for inciting a loyalist paramilitary to murder a taxi driver.

9th Gerry Adams responded to Health Minister Edwin Poots's jibe about 'paedophile protection', calling the remarks 'vicious, obscene and offensive'.

10th The Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid a wreath at Enniskillen for Rememberance Sunday

Houses in Ballymena were evacuated during an alert.

Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP called the DUP and Sinn Féin 'the parties of disappointment, false promise, poor government, bad politics and no results'.

11th Máirtin Ó Muilleoir, Sinn Féin mayor of Belfast, attended an Armistace Day ceremony - the first Sinn Féin representative to do this. In Dublin, men and women dressed as the historical UVF in their memorial commemoration.

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

Ulster Unionist Ross Hussey said that bombers who tried to kill a police officer the week before were linked to the PIRA.

Lawyers for Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly failed to have their appeal hearings over the Omagh bombing put back.

The Pat Finucane Centre said it had obtained documents proving that the British had shot dead Christopher Quinn in 1971 despite knowing he was innocent.

Troubles victims called on politicians to make dealing with the past a priority.

12th Seamus Martin Kearney went on trial for the IRA killing of reserve police officer John Proctor in 1981.

A man was shot in both legs in Portrush.

13th Republican Joseph Hugh Allen was jailed over a pipe bomb.

14th Police and community representatives met to discuss tensions at interface areas.

Comedian Russell Brand visited a loyalist protest camp in north Belfast.

Belfast city council, which had spent £200,000 on a scheme to reduce tensions associated with bonfires, said that there was still a problem with flags and symbols being burnt.

It was reported that the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment had signed off on funding for the Museum of Free Derry in the Bogside.

15th It was reported that the families of twenty people killed by a loyalist gang that included members of the RUC and UDR were taking legal action against the government and police for collusion.

A man was charged over a hoax alert at the Alliance party offices.

16th A pipe bomb was thrown at a police patrol in Strabane.

A security alert occurred in south Belfast.

A hoax alert occurred in Dundonald.

17th The mayor of North Down condemned a loyalist paramilitary poster that said the perpetrators of crimes would be 'severely dealt with'.

18th A 15-year-old boy was shot in Coleraine during the early hours of the morning. SDLP MLA John Dallat called it a 'brutal and ruthless' act, and said he thought loyalists paramilitaries were responsible.

Terry Spence, the chairman of the Police Federation, said the UVF was not on ceasefire. He said 'the UVF have been engaged in murder, attempted murder of civilians, attempted murder of police officers, they've been engaged in orchestrating violence on our streets, and it's very clear to me that there engaged in an array of mafia-style activities. They're holding local communities to ransom.'

US diplomat Richard Haass said he thought successful political talks by the end of the year were 'do-able and desirable'.

19th The trial of republican Marian McGlinchey began.

A viable pipe bomb was found in west Belfast.

The sister of Bobby Moffett, killed by loyalists in 2010, began a legal bid to get full disclosure of a report on the shooting.

20th The NI Attorney General, John Larkin, called for an end to Troubles prosecutions - of both security forces and paramilitaries. Relatives of victims reacted with anger. The response of politicians was more varied.

Republican paramilitaries ordered a female bus driver to take a bomb to a police station. The woman drove a short way, let the passengers out and called the police.

21st Marian McGlinchey pleaded guilty to providing a phone used during the Massereene killings.

The BBC broadcast a documentary about the Military Reaction Force, a covert British organisation responsible for 'hunting down' and shooting IRA members during the Troubles. The former deputy first minister Seamus Mallon said that soldiers who shot unarmed civilians should be prosecuted.

22nd Father Alec Reid, who had acted as a go-between between the IRA and politicians during the Troubles, died.

The 'pre-negotiations phase' of the Haass talks ended.

Four hoax bomb alerts occurred in the Gobnascale area of Derry.

23rd A man was shot in the stomach and knee in Newry. Although it was not thought to be paramilitary-related, Sinn Féin Newry councillor Charlie Casey said that 'if someone comes to shoot someone in their home, in the current climate where everyone is trying to work hard towards peace, it has to be totally condemned'.

24th A masked gang hijacked a car, placed a bomb on board and ordered the driver to take the car to a shopping centre, where the bomb partially exploded. Martin McGuinness said later that 'we need to see people in communities making it clear to the extremists, whether they be so-called republicans or so-called loyalist extremists, that those days are over'.

25th Police released a man arrested in connection with the murder of Kevin Kearney.

26th The US consulate in Belfast issued a safety warning to American citizens. As the number of security checkpoints was increased, the embassy advised its citizens to 'avoid suspicious activity, vehicles or packages'.

Two Holywood bandsmen were found guilty of playing 'The Sash' outside a Catholic church.

The Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he believed that the UVF were behind a loyalist protest planned for November 30th.

A former police officer who had been banned from entering a bar for wearing a poppy won his fight to prove discrimination.

Police advised the residents of Crossmaglen not to go near suspicious objects. It was later revealed that a device had been found near the North South interconnector, which linked the electricity grids between the Republic and the North. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said 'it is not the first time our infrastructure has been attacked by terrorists. They failed. This further attempt will also fail.'

27th East Belfast MP Naomi Long said that the UVF ceasefire was no longer intact.

Four men were arrested in Coleraine and Ballymoney over paramilitary-style attacks.

A gun was found during a security alert in Dunmurry.

28th The Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said that Northern Ireland was 'open for business' despite the deteriorating security situation.

After a suspicious vehicle was found in west Belfast, more than 100 homes were evacuated.

Seamus Kearney was jailed for life for the 1981 murder of police reservist John Proctor in 1981.

The 'Hooded Men' group said they had new evidence of torture by the British army.

29th Some Belfast council workers said that they felt they were being put 'at risk' because of Irish tricolours flying from cleansing depots. A spokesman said 'it began in June this year when union flags went up on Agnes Street. Tricolours then appeared on some of the depots and it escalated from that. [...] After the flags went up, some pictures appeared on Facebook, that's when the intimidation really started. People were commenting saying "burn the scum", "burn them out", "burn the depot down". There were pictures of people outside the depot during the night with loyalist flags but it got a lot more serious when one of the guys got a death threat. He got a bullet and a sympathy card in the post. He had to go off on the sick and now he is living on his nerves.'

Loyalist William 'Mo' Courtney was found guilty of head-butting a woman.

30th A loyalist protest march took place in Belfast. Two police officers were injured and a man was subsequently charged with assault.

Men with guns 'approached' a house in west Belfast.

An incident involving a gun occurred in Ballyclare.


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December 2013

2nd Two men were arrested in the Republic over the November 2012 killing of David Black.

The daughter of loyalist Jackie Coulter blamed the UDA for trying to burn her out of her home in the Shankill. She said she had been 'speaking out about the constant drugs that's been carrying on'.

3rd The Smithwick Tribunal found that PSNI officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan were killed following collusion between gardaí and republican paramilitaries.

An exploded pipe bomb was found in Coleraine.

It was reported that an ex RUC man was suing the police for trauma over a 2002 raid on Castlereagh police station carried out by the IRA. Three days later, he was awarded £20,000.

Terence Coney was given bail over his attendance at a 'Real IRA training camp'.

Five men denied PIRA membership in court.

Dr Richard Haass suggested that a new flag could be created for Northern Ireland.

4th Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said he was 'horrified' that any member of his force could have collaborated with the IRA. Meanwhile, Ireland's justice minister Alan Shatter condemned comments by Gerry Adams, who had said Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan showed a 'laissez-faire' attitude to their own security.

5th Shots were fired at a police vehicle in north Belfast. Police later said 'they fired what we believe to be military grade weapons, Kalashnikov-type weapons, in a highly built-up area'.

Chief constable Matt Baggott said publicly for the first time that he believed the UVF had been responsible for the punishment shooting of Jemma McGrath.

Two men who had been arrested over a car bomb the previous month were released unconditionally.

It was reported that the organiser of the loyalist march which took place on November 30th would be prosecuted.

A man was arrested over a car bomb at Moira in 1998.

It was reported that police were investigating claims that an undercover unit of the British army killed unarmed civilians in Belfast during the 1970s.

6th A security alert occurred at Loughgall.

Anthony McDonnell was jailed for possessing information 'likely to be of use to terrorists'. He had information on police officers, a prisoner officer and a soldier.

7th The Apprentice Boys parade took place peacefully.

Shots were fired at police in west Belfast for a second night.

8th A man was arrested over the recent gun attacks on police.

9th It was reported that a police officer had been disciplined for deleting photos taken by an amateur photographer, saying that the images could be 'of use to terrorists'.

Richard Haass said there was a 'sense of urgency' in talks aimed at resolving disputes over flags, parades and the legacy of the Troubles.

10th It was reported that police had stopped more than 2,000 vehicles at checkpoints during the Christmas period security operation.

A security alert at Belfast City Hall was called an elaborate hoax.

Loyalist William 'Mo' Courtney appeared in court accused of threatening to kill victims campaigner Raymond McCord, and to have harassed the daughter of UDA leader Jackie Coulter.

11th Former British Prime Minister John Major, who signed the Downing Street Declaration in 1993, called the task of rebuilding society in Northern Ireland a 'work in progress'.

It was reported that the new victims commissioner Kathryn Stone would assess a new victims' service that was accused of having a negative effect on people who contacted it.

12th The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Kenneth Donohoe had not been denied a fair trial when he was convicted of IRA membership by the Special Criminal Court in 2004.

John Major said that he had no sympathy with loyalists who feared the political process was eroding their British identity.

The DUP said they would back limited immunity for people involved in Troubles-related crimes if that was requested by victims.

13th A bomb exploded in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness later called it 'despicable and appalling'.

14th At six in the morning, a pipe bomb was thrown at the Alliance Party office in Lisburn.

A shot was fired at a house in west Belfast.

15th Roads were closed during a security alert in Derry.

Shots were fired at a house in west Belfast.

16th A fire bomb ignited in a sports shop in Belfast city centre. It was later reported that the would-be bomber had set fire to himself.

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

The DUP said that the draft proposals arising from the Haass talks were 'unacceptable'.

It was reported that loyalist Liz Bingham might face charges over sectarian comments made about a helicopter accident in Glasgow.

17th It was reported that Colin Duffy was one of three men accused of IRA membership and conspiracy to murder. Henry Fitzsimons and Alex McCrory were further accused of trying to kill PSNI officers on December 5th. A crowd in the gallery 'noisily indicated support' for the three men. According to the Belfast Telegraph, 'if Duffy was feeling any nerves, he certainly wasn't showing them. [...] Not once during the proceedings did any of the men look in the direction of the judge. They ignored a request to stand when addressed by Ms Bagnall. Instead, they sat slightly slouched.' Bail was not applied for.

18th Two men were arrested and then released over a bomb attack on November 24th.

Gary Marshall was charged with the 1998 execution-style killing of Kevin Conway, which had been attributed to the IRA. A large group of supporters appeared in court, including republican campaigner Breandán Mac Cionnaith

Three people were arrested in connection with republican paramilitary activity. A grinder and a quantity of fertiliser and sugar were taken away for examination. Two of those arrested were in south Armagh and one was in Dundalk.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that while Belfast had been a 'ghost town' on the 16th, by the 18th 'the streets were filled with people bustling around laden with shopping bags [...] defiantly ignoring the bombers'.

19th It was reported that Richard Haass had ruled out the flying of the Irish tricolour from government buildings.

Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly had their appeals against their verdict of liability for the Omagh bombing dismissed.

Three men were arrested in Dundalk during a police investigation into republican paramilitary activity.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British Prime Minister David Cameron visited World War One graves together. The BBC called this 'another milestone in British-Irish relations'.

20th Former US diplomat Richard Haass promised an intense effort to reach an agreement before Christmas.

A security alert closed Belfast city centre.

21st IRA sniper Bernard McGinn died in the Republic.

An alert followed a telephoned bomb warning in Derry.

Teenagers Keith McConnan and Orla O'Hanlon appeared in court on explosives charges.

A 50-year-old man was arrested over the firebomb attack that took place on the 16th of December.

Three men arrested over a shooting in May were released.

The five main political parties spent the day discussing the Haass proposals.

22nd It was reported that Richard Haass's latest proposals were that the flags issue should be dealt with by a separate process.

23rd It was reported that Colin Duffy had been under 24 hour police surveillance for months before his latest arrest. The Sunday Life claimed that this had taken place following the killing of David Black.

Talks with US diplomat Richard Haass continued through the night. However, they failed to reach agreement.

There were unconfirmed rumours that Lisnaskea police station had been attacked by automatic gunfire.

24th A security alert began at Carrickfergus very early in the morning.

It was reported that the singer Julian Cope had pulled out of the January 2014 Out to Lunch festival in Belfast because of recent bomb scares.

Formula 1 driver Eddie Irvine called republican paramilitaries still involved in security alerts 'clowns and idiots'.

26th Richard Haass said that 'we would like to think there is reason to return'. It was reported that talks would continue in 2014.

27th Gerry Adams argued that 'we must all rise above partitionism if we are to manage a process of replacing division by the unity of the people of the island whatever form they wish this to democratically take. This means defining an entirely new relationship between Britain and Ireland.' Regarding the recent talks, he said 'it is our view that progress was made and that agreement is possible when the talks recommence'.

28th Richard Haass returned to Belfast for a final effort.

State papers from 1983 made several revelations, including that Margaret Thatcher had expressed regret at children being hit by rubber bullets, but said their use was necessary; that the government had shown concern about a possible Protestant 'brain drain'; that radioactive waste had been secretly dumped at Belfast and Derry; that the government had considered proscribing Sinn Féin after the Harrods bomb; that the decision to marginalise Sinn Féin in 1983 had created problems regarding government press conferences; that the DUP's Ian Paisley had wanted a controversial painting, 'King Billy and the Pope', to be displayed in his room at Stormont; and that plans for a west Belfast plant for aircraft manufacturers Shorts was blocked by the Treasury who felt the location was 'driven by sectarian considerations'.

29th The Haass talks continued. The DUP did not participate as they did not negotiate on Sundays.

30th A bomb alert in Belfast was declared a hoax.

The Haass talks entered their final day.

31st It was reported in the morning that the Haass talks had ended without result. The main unionist parties had rejected the proposals. David Ford of the Alliance party accused them of pandering to extreme elements in the loyalist community.

A sign went up in Moygashel, Co. Tyrone, warning landlords not to rent property to foreign nationals. Local residents soon took it down. The mayor of Dungannon, Sean McGuigan, later called it an attempt by a small number of individuals to stir up tensions in the area.


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