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

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December 2019 Latest



January 2019

1st The Irish Republican Socialist Party said in their New Year statement that 'republicans and socialists must get involved in the wider mainstream debate on a united Ireland to prevent the right-wing establishment from monopolising the social, cultural and economic narrative and to further divide the people for their selfish elitist class interests.' Sinn Fein said that they were 'ready for talks, to establish a new Executive working in genuine power-sharing, and operating standards of governance.'

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement, Republican Sinn Féin, Peadar Toibin, Saoradh, Continuity Sinn Féin and Republican Network for Unity also issued New Year statements.

Gun shots were fired in the Upper Springfield Road area of west Belfast. On the following day, a family reported that they had been forced from their home because of ongoing attacks. However, the motives for these attacks was not clear.

2nd A shot was fired through the door of a house in Banbridge, County Down.

3rd Taoiseach Leo Varadkhar said in a call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Brexit was a problem of the UK's making.

Shots were fired at Sinn Féin's Turf Lodge office. A week later, Pat Sheehan said the party would not be intimidated by the attack.

4th Shots were fired from a car on the Callan Bridge Road in Armagh City.

Speaking in Bavaria, Leo Varadkhar said that 'Despite the ever-shifting sands on the trek towards a settled Brexit destination, two things have stayed constant. The first is European support for Irish concerns and safeguarding peace on our island. The second is our understanding of what must be defended. We are determined to protect the Good Friday Agreement: peace in Britain and Ireland; power-sharing in Northern Ireland, and ever closer co-operation North and South.'

5th It was reported that Dylan Quinn from Co. Fermanagh was protesting against the lack of government by walking from Enniskillen to Stormont.

6th The head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling, warned of an upsurge in smuggling in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

A gang carried out a racist attack on five Romanian men in a house. The woman who went to their aid said it was 'like a scene from the Troubles'.

7th An inquest found there was no evidence of collusion in the 1994 loyalist murder of a pensioner from Dungannon, Roseann Mallon.

The DUP criticised the 'very rigid' approach taken by the Migration Advisory Committee on post-Brexit immigration policy. The MAC reommendations would have put new restrictions on lower skilled migrants, but the DUP said that 'appropriate future access to low-skilled labour in Northern Ireland is important'.

8th Fermanagh and Omagh District Council said that they would consider whether to take action over a plaque placed on the Omagh bomb memorial. The plaque had been placed by Kevin Skelton, whose wife died in the bombing. It made reference to a 'dissident republican terrorist car bomb'.

9th Research by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce showed that 79% of the firms who took part predicted damage to the economy if the political stalemate continued.

10th The DUP described a meeting with the Irish Foreign Minister as 'useful but frank'.

Ernie Wilson, who believed his son's suicide was caused by the recent conflict, called for suicides to be included in the official record.

12th Former Taoiseach John Bruton said that Britain had decided to 'tear up' the Good Friday Agreement with Brexit.

An arsenal of replica firearms was discovered in Belfast after police arrested a man reported to have been seen with a machine gun.

The BBC reported on how Dublin was preparing for a possible no-deal Brexit.

13th An exhibition opened to mark fifty years of Free Derry corner. On January 5th 1969, a group of young men daubed the words 'You are now entering Free Derry' on the gable wall of a house on Lecky Road in the Bogside.

14th Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy defended his attendance at the inauguration of the Venezuelan president,and denied that the election was fraudulent.

15th The DUP's Arlene Foster said that the EU had 'hard questions to answer' after British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a huge defeat on her Brexit deal.

16th The mother of Colin Horner, who had been murdered by loyalist paramilitaries, warned people not to join the paramilitaries. That same day, four men were jailed for life for his murder. Horner's three-year-old son had witnessed the shooting in a Bangor car park.

17th The Association of British Insurers advised motorists in the North to carry an insurance document if they crossed the border after a no-deal Brexit.

The DUP said that the British Prime Minister Theresa May was in 'listening mode' and there was optimism a Brexit deal could be reached.

18th A man, Wayne Boylan, was shot dead in Warrenpoint. The PSNI said there was no clear motive, but did not rule out paramilitary involvement.

19th A bomb exploded outside the courthouse in Derry.

A poll in the Republic showed a gain for Sinn Féin.

Police made an appeal for information over the 1993 IRA shooting of Constable Michael Ferguson. They said they were close to a break-through.

20th The Taoiseach condemned the car bomb attack in Derry the previous night as a 'cynical act of terror'. The PSNI arrested two men.

The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson said that the time had come for 'megaphone diplomacy' between unionists and the Irish government to end.

The American 'Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger' exhibition opened in the North for the first time.

21st The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the backstop was the only deal possible.

Theresa May said that she would continue talking to the DUP and others who had concerns over the backstop.

The grandfather of a teenage girl, Allie McAleer, who was filmed walking with friends past a bomb just before it blew up, spoke of his shock.

A third security alert occurred in Derry after a hijacked van was abandoned close to a secondary school.

22nd Residents in Derry were allowed back home after three security alerts. The New IRA were held responsible.

The PSNI said that a series of security alerts in Derry were designed to 'frustrate' an investigation in a bomb that exploded in the city centre.

Margaritis Schinas , the European Commission's chief spokesman, said it was obvious there would be a hard border in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Guardian reported on how Irish firms were preparing for Brexit.

23rd Police seized a suspected firearm during a search operation in Derry.

24th The Irish government denied rumours of 600 gardaí being moved to the border in the event of a hard Brexit.

25th It was reported that 'Soldier N', a paratrooper who might have been charged over Bloody Sunday, had died.

Independent Unionist MP Lady Hermon said that a no-deal Brexit would be an enormous threat to the stability of the UK.

TaoiseachLeo Varadkar warned that troops could return to the border.

26th The PSNI carried out a reconstruction of the bomb attack in Derry.

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