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Northern Ireland: Conflict Timeline

1801

Act of Union - Ireland and Britain formally united

1905 Creation of Sinn Fein - a political party with the aim of freeing Ireland from British rule
1913 Creation of Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) - formed of Protestants who opposed Irish Home Rule
1916 Easter Uprising - Irish Catholics proclaim an Irish Republic in Dublin, brutally suppressed by the British Army. The Easter Uprising volunteers become known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA)
1920 Partition of Ireland: The 6 northern counties remain part of the United Kingdom with a parliament in Belfast, while the 26 other counties form the Irish Free State with a parliament in Dublin. Conflict over partition led to intra-communal violence that left hundreds dead in 1922.
1948 Irish Free State granted full independence from Britain and becomes the Republic of Ireland.
1967 Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) formed to agitate for full civil and political rights for Catholics in Northern Ireland. 19th century anti-Catholic laws remained on the statute books as the Northern Ireland parliament was dominated by Protestant Unionists.
1968 Duke Street March was a demonstration of the Civil Rights Association that was violently attacked by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. It is also commonly referred to as the beginning of the "Troubles."
1969 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) splits into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA (PIRA).
1971 Internment (detention without trial) of IRA members legalized.
1972 Bloody Sunday - British paratroopers fire on a peaceful civil rights protest in Derry killing 14 people. Belfast parliament is suspended and Northern Ireland will be ruled direct from London. The IRA responds with increased attacks on British targets.
1980s Hunger strikes and violent attacks on British targets in Northern Ireland and Britain.
1994 IRA and Loyalist groups declare a ceasefire.
1996 Multi-party peace talks break down over disarmament, violence resumes.
1998 (April) Six months of peace talks lead to the Good Friday Agreement and a formal end to hostilities.
1998 (Aug.) A bomb set by the Real IRA kills 29 civilians in Omagh, the worst single bombing of the Troubles for civilian victims.
1999 Direct rule ends as power is handed to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
2000 Continuing controversy over the decommissioning of weapons leads to the re-instatement of Direct Rule and the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly from February to May.
2001 The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) is replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) with recruitment set to be 50% Catholic and 50% Protestant.
2005 The PIRA announces that they have decommissioned.
2007 A new Northern Ireland Assembly is elected.
2009 (Mar.) Two British army soldiers are shot dead, then one British police officer. Dissident Republicans claim responsibility. Fears grow of a new phase of violence, but there are strong public displays of opposition to any more violence, and the killings are rejected by all political parties.
2010 (Jan.) Scandal involving Iris Robinson, MLA and wife of Peter Robinson, the First Minister of the NI Assembly, leads to Peter Robinson temporarily stepping down as First Minister -- he resumes his role in February.
2011 (April) Ronan Kerr, a 25-year-old Catholic PSNI officer, was killed after a bomb exploded under his car in Omagh, County Tyrone, for which the Real IRA claimed responsibility. Hundreds of people peacefully marched through Omagh in protest against the violence.
2011 (May) Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Ireland, the first visit of a British Monarch since 1911 to the Republic of Ireland.
2011 (June/ July) 2011 Northern Ireland riots were a series of riots starting originally in Belfast, before spreading to other parts of NI, and are considered the most serious in the area for a decade.
2011 (Sept.) Supergrass trials in Belfast cause Loyalist riots after the controversial Supergrass hearings of the 1980s.

 

 

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