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
Developments 2016
Developments 2017



December 2016 January 2018 February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
July 2018
August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018
December 2018 Latest



January 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24th Talks began again at Stormont.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

31st Police were given more time to question Scappaticci.

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February 2018

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

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

'IRA spy' Scappaticci was released on police bail.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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