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 2013
Developments 2014
Developments 2015

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

January 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gardaí said that the threat of republican violence was increasing.

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

8th A security alert took place in Derry.

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

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

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

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

The funeral of civil rights activist Paddy Doherty took place.

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

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

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

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

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

21st A security alert occurred in east Belfast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A remembrance ceremony took place for the Kingmill Massacre.

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

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

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

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

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

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February 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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March 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shots were fired at a house in Craigavon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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April 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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