1988 in Northern Ireland
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- 11 January - SDLP leader, John Hume and Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin, have a surprise meeting in Belfast.
- 6 March - Operation Flavius: A Special Air Service team of the British Army shoots dead a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) Active Service Unit (Danny McCann, Seán Savage and Mairéad Farrell, unarmed at the time) in Gibraltar.
- 16 March - Milltown Cemetery attack: Three men are killed and 70 are wounded in a gun and grenade attack by loyalist paramilitary Michael Stone on mourners at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast during the funerals of the three IRA members killed in Gibraltar.
- 19 March - Corporals killings in Belfast: British Army corporals Woods and Howes are abducted, beaten and shot dead by Irish republicans after driving into the funeral cortege of IRA members killed in the Milltown Cemetery attack.
- 15 June - The IRA kills six British soldiers in a bomb attack in Lisburn.
- 20 August - Eight British soldiers are killed by an IRA bomb attack on their bus in Ballygawley.
- 12 October - As Pope John Paul II addresses the European Parliament, Ian Paisley heckles and denounces him as the Antichrist.
- 19 October - Broadcasting ban against Sinn Féin and other paramilitary linked groups begins.
- 11 November - Belfast Castle is reopened to the public following major renovation by Belfast City Council.
Arts and literature
- 3 October - Marie Jones' play Under Napoleon's Nose is premiered on a schools tour.
- Glenn Patterson's first novel, Burning Your Own, is published.
- Winners: Glentoran
- October 16 - In golf, Ireland (Eamonn Darcy, Ronan Rafferty, Des Smyth) wins the Dunhill Cup at St Andrew's.
- Robert Dunlop wins the 125cc race at the Cookstown 100.
- 12 January - Chris Casement, footballer.
- 11 February - Gavin McKenna, cricketer.
- 4 July - Conor MacNeill, actor.
- 23 September - Mark Gallagher, footballer.
- 1 December - Ryan Harpur, footballer.
- 15 April - Patrick Murdock, Model.
- 2 February - Frederick Blaney, cricketer (born 1918).
- 6 March - Mairéad Farrell, volunteer of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, killed by SAS soldiers during Operation Flavius (born 1957).
- 6 March - Daniel McCann, volunteer of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, killed by SAS soldiers during Operation Flavius (born 1957).
- 6 March - Seán Savage, volunteer of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, killed by SAS soldiers during Operation Flavius (born 1965).
- 2 November - Stewart Parker, poet and playwright (born 1941).
- 22 December - Jack Bowden, cricketer and hockey player (died 1916).
- BBC News Road to Peace Timeline.
- Larkspirit Irish History