This article lists the major violent and political incidents during the Troubles and peace process in Northern Ireland, from the late 1960s until today. The Troubles (Irish: Na Trioblóidí) was a period of conflict in Northern Ireland involving republican and loyalistparamilitaries, the British security forces, and civil rights groups. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the riots of 1968 to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. However, sporadic violence continued after this point. Between 14 July 1969 and 31 December 2001, an estimated 3523 people were killed in the conflict.
The UVF carried out three attacks on Irish Catholics in Belfast. In the first, a Protestant civilian died when UVF members firebombed the Catholic-owned pub beside her house. In the second, a Catholic civilian was shot dead as he walked home. In the third, the UVF opened-fire on three Catholic civilians as they left a pub, killing one and wounding the others.
Civil rights activists (including Stormont MP Austin Currie) protested against discrimination in the allocation of housing by illegally occupying a house in Caledon, County Tyrone. An unmarried Protestant woman (the secretary of a local Unionist politician) had been given the house ahead of Catholic families with children. The protesters were forcibly removed by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).
Northern Ireland's first civil rights march was held. Many more marches would be held over the following year. Loyalists attacked some of the marches and organized counter-demonstrations to get the marches banned.
A civil rights march was to take place in Derry. When the loyalist Apprentice Boys announced its intention to hold a march at the same place and time, the Government banned the civil rights march. When civil rights activists defied the ban, RUC officers surrounded the marchers and beat them indiscriminately and without provocation. Over 100 people were injured, including a number of MPs. This sparked two days of serious rioting in Derry between Catholics and the RUC. Some consider this to be the beginning of the Troubles.
A People's Democracy march between Belfast and Derry was repeatedly attacked by loyalists. At Burntollet it was ambushed by 200 loyalists and off-duty police (RUC) officers armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles. The marchers claimed that police did little to protect them. When the march arrived in Derry it was broken up by the RUC, which sparked serious rioting between Irish nationalists and the RUC. That night, RUC officers went on a rampage in the Bogside area of Derry; attacking Catholic homes, attacking and threatening residents, and hurling sectarian abuse. Residents then sealed off the Bogside with barricades to keep the police out, creating "Free Derry".
Loyalists—members of the UVF and UPV—bombed water and electricity installations in Northern Ireland, blaming them on the dormant IRA and on elements of the civil rights movement. The loyalists intended to bring down the UnionistPrime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O'Neill, who had promised some concessions to the civil rights movement. There were six bombings and all were widely blamed on the IRA. As a response, British soldiers were sent to guard installations. Unionist support for O'Neill waned, and on 28 April he resigned as Prime Minister.
People's Democracy activist Bernadette Devlin became the youngest woman ever elected to Westminster.
During clashes with civil rights marchers in Derry, RUC officers entered the house of uninvolved Catholic civilian Samuel Devenny, and beat him along with two of his teenage daughters. One of the daughters was beaten unconscious as she lay recovering from surgery. Devenny suffered a heart attack and died on 17 July from his injuries.
During clashes with nationalists in Dungiven, RUC officers beat an uninvolved Catholic bystander; Francis McCloskey (67). He died of his injuries the nex day. Many consider this the first death of the Troubles.
Battle of the Bogside – during an Apprentice Boys march, serious rioting erupted in Derry between Irish nationalists and the RUC. RUC officers, backed by loyalists, entered the nationalist Bogside in armoured cars and tried to suppress the riot by using CS gas, water cannon and eventually firearms. The almost continuous rioting lasted for two days.
Northern Ireland riots of August 1969 – in response to events in Derry, Irish nationalists held protests throughout Northern Ireland. Some of these became violent. In Belfast, loyalists responded by attacking nationalist districts. Rioting also erupted in Newry, Armagh, Crossmaglen, Dungannon, Coalisland and Dungiven. Eight people were shot dead and at least 133 were treated for gunshot wounds. Scores of houses and businesses were burnt-out, most of them owned by Catholics. Thousands of families, mostly Catholics, were forced to flee their homes and refugee camps were set up in the Republic.
Three people were shot dead during street violence in the loyalist Shankill area of Belfast. Two were Protestant civilians shot by the British Army and one was an RUC officer shot by the UVF. He was the first RUC officer to be killed in the Troubles. The loyalists "had taken to the streets in protest at the Hunt Report, which recommended the disbandment of the B Specials and disarming of the RUC".
Following an Orange Order march, intense riots erupted on the Springfield Road in Belfast. Violence lasted for three days, and the British Army used CS gas for the first time in large quantities. About 38 soldiers and dozens of civilians were injured.
Falls Curfew – a British Army raid in the Falls district of Belfast developed into a riot between soldiers and residents and then gun battles between soldiers and the 'Official' IRA. The British Army sealed-off the area, imposed a 36-hour curfew and raided hundreds of homes under the cover of CS gas. Five Catholic civilians were killed by the British Army, sixty were injured and 300 were arrested. Fifteen soldiers were shot by the OIRA.
Under pressure from the Unionist government, the British Army began a series of raids in nationalist areas of Belfast, sparking three days of violence. On 6 February, British soldiers shot dead a Catholic civilian in Ardoyne and an IRA member in Oldpark, claiming both were armed. Shortly after, the IRA shot dead British soldier Robert Curtis during rioting in New Lodge. He was the first British soldier killed in the Troubles. The next day, James Chichester-Clark, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, declared that "Northern Ireland is at war with the Irish Republican Army Provisionals".
Three off-duty Scottish soldiers were shot dead by the IRA after being lured from a pub in Belfast. Two days later, 4,000 loyalist shipyard workers took to the streets to demand the mass internment of Irish republicans.
The IRA threw a time bomb into Springfield Road British Army/RUC base in Belfast, killing British Army Sergeant Michael Willetts and wounding seven RUC officers, two British soldiers and eighteen civilians.
During street disturbances, British soldiers shot dead two Catholic civilians in Free Derry. As a result, riots erupted in the city and the SDLP withdrew from Stormont in protest.
Operation Demetrius: Internment was introduced. Armed soldiers launched dawn raids throughout Northern Ireland, arresting 342 people suspected of being involved with the IRA. Most of those arrested were Catholics who had no links with republican paramilitaries, and many reported that they and their families were beaten and threatened by soldiers. This sparked four days of violence in which 20 civilians, two IRA members and two British soldiers were killed. Fourteen of the civilians were killed by British soldiers; 11 of them in the Ballymurphy massacre. An estimated 7,000 people, mostly Catholics, were forced to flee their homes. The introduction of internment caused a major, long-term increase in violence.
McGurk's Bar bombing – the UVF exploded a bomb at a Catholic-owned pub in Belfast, killing fifteen Catholic civilians (including two children) and wounding seventeen others. This was the highest death toll from a single incident in Belfast during the Troubles.
Balmoral Showroom bombing – a bomb exploded outside a furniture showroom on the mainly-Protestant and loyalist Shankill Road, Belfast. Four civilians (including two babies) were killed and nineteen wounded. The IRA was blamed.
Bloody Sunday – 27 unarmed civilians were shot (of whom 14 were killed) by the British Army during a civil rights march in Derry. This was the highest death toll from a single shooting incident during the Troubles.
Funerals of eleven of those killed on Bloody Sunday. Prayer services held across Ireland. In Dublin, over 30,000 marched to the British Embassy, carrying thirteen replica coffins and black flags. They attacked the Embassy with stones and bottles, then petrol bombs. The building was eventually burnt to the ground.
Aldershot bombing – seven people were killed by an Official IRA car bomb at Aldershot Barracks in England. It was thought to be in retaliation for Bloody Sunday. Six of those killed were female ancillary workers and the seventh was a Roman Catholic British Army chaplain.
Abercorn Restaurant bombing – a bomb exploded in a crowded restaurant in Belfast, killing two civilians and wounding 130. Many were badly maimed.
1972 Donegall Street bombing – the PIRA detonated its first car bomb, on Donegall Street in Belfast. Allegedly due to inadequate warnings, four civilians, two RUC officers and a UDR soldier were killed while 148 people were wounded.
Northern Ireland's Government and Parliament were dissolved by the British Government. Direct rule from Westminster was introduced.
The PIRA exploded twenty-four bombs in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. There was also fourteen shootouts between the PIRA and security forces.
An 11-year-old boy was killed by a rubber bullet fired by the British Army in Belfast. He was the first to die from a rubber bullet impact.
Battle at Springmartin – following a loyalist car bombing of a Catholic-owned pub in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast, clashes erupted between the PIRA, UVF and British Army. Seven people were killed: five civilians (four Catholics, one Protestant), a British soldier and a member of the PIRA youth wing.
Four PIRA volunteers and four civilians were killed when a bomb they were preparing exploded prematurely at a house on Anderson Street, Belfast.
The Official IRA announced a ceasefire. This marked the end of the Official IRA's military campaign.
Springhill Massacre – British snipers shot dead five Catholic civilians and wounded two others in Springhill, Belfast.
There was a series of gun-battles and shootings across Belfast. The PIRA shot dead three British Army soldiers, and the British Army shot dead two civilians and a PIRA volunteer.
There was a series of gun-battles and shootings across Belfast. The PIRA shot dead three British Army soldiers, the British Army shot dead a PIRA volunteer and an OIRA volunteer, while a civilian was shot dead in crossfire.
Bloody Friday – within the space of seventy-five minutes, the PIRA exploded twenty-two bombs in Belfast. Six civilians, two British Army soldiers and one UDA volunteer were killed, while 130 were injured.
Operation Motorman – the British Army used 12,000 soldiers supported by tanks and bulldozers to re-take the "no-go areas" controlled by the PIRA.
Claudy bombing – nine civilians were killed when three car bombs exploded in Claudy, County Londonderry. No group has since claimed responsibility.
Five civilians (four Catholics, one Protestant) were killed in gun attack on the Top of the Hill Bar in Derry. It is believed the UDA was responsible.
British Army snipers shot dead a PIRA volunteer and three civilians at the junction of Edlingham Street and New Lodge Road, Belfast.
The United Loyalist Council held a one-day strike to "re-establish some sort of Protestant or loyalist control over the affairs of the province". Loyalist paramilitaries forcibly tried to stop many people going to work and to close any businesses that had opened. There were eight bombings and thirty-five arsons. Three loyalist paramilitaries and one civilian were killed.
The PIRA undertook its first operation in Great Britain, when it planted four car bombs in London. Ten members of the PIRA team were arrested at Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the country.
Five British Army soldiers were killed by a PIRA booby-trap bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone.
1973 Coleraine bombings – six Protestant civilians were killed and 33 wounded by a PIRA car bomb in Coleraine, County Londonderry. The warning given before the explosion had been inadequate.
M62 coach bombing – nine British Army soldiers and three civilians were killed when a PIRA bomb exploded on a bus as it was travelling along the M62 motorway in West Yorkshire, England. It was carrying British Army soldiers and some of their family members.
Harold Wilson defeats Edward Heath in the general election to become British Prime Minister, it is his second time in office, the first being from 1964-1970.
Dublin and Monaghan bombings – the UVF exploded four bombs (three in Dublin, one in Monaghan) in the Republic of Ireland. They killed thirty-three civilians and wounded a further 300. This was the highest number of casualties in a single incident during "The Troubles". It has been alleged that members of the British security forces were involved. The UVF did not claim responsibility until 15 July 1993.
Birmingham pub bombings – twenty-one civilians were killed when bombs exploded at two pubs in Birmingham, England. This was the deadliest attack in England during the Troubles. The "Birmingham Six" would be tried for this and convicted. Many years later, after new evidence of police fabrication and suppression of evidence, their convictions would be quashed and they would be released.
The PIRA announced a Christmas ceasefire. Before the ceasefire, they carried out a bomb attack on the home of former Prime Minister Edward Heath. Mr Heath was not in the building at the time and no one was injured.
The PIRA agreed to a truce and ceasefire with the British government and the Northern Ireland Office. Seven "incident centres" were established in nationalist areas to monitor the ceasefire and the response of the security forces.
A feud began between the Official IRA (OIRA) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). The two groups assassinated a number of each other's volunteers until the feud ended in June 1975.
A feud began between the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA), resulting in a number of assassinations.
Six Catholic civilians were killed in a UVF gun and grenade attack on Strand Bar in Belfast.
The UVF tried to derail a train by planting a bomb on the railway line near Straffan, County Kildare, Republic of Ireland. A civilian tried to stop the UVF volunteers, and was stabbed-to-death. However, his actions delayed the explosion enough to let the train pass safely.
Four British soldiers were killed by a PIRA remote-controlled bomb near Forkill, County Armagh. The attack was the first major breach of the February truce.
Miami Showband massacre – UVF volunteers (some of whom were also UDR soldiers) shot dead three members of an Irish showband at Buskhill, County Down. The gunmen staged a bogus military checkpoint, stopped the showband's minibus and ordered the musicians out. Two gunmen then hid a time bomb in the bus, but it exploded and they were killed. The other gunmen then opened fire on the musicians and fled. Three UDR soldiers were later convicted for their part in the attack, which has been linked to the "Glenanne gang".
Bayardo Bar attack – PIRA volunteers carried out a gun and bomb attack on a pub in Belfast frequented by UVF commanders. Four Protestant civilians and one UVF member were killed.
Five Protestant civilians (all Orangemen) were killed and seven were wounded in a gun attack on Tullyvallen Orange Hall near Newtownhamilton, County Armagh. One of the Orangemen was an off-duty RUC officer, who returned fire. The attack was claimed by the South Armagh Republican Action Force (SARAF), who said it was retaliation for "the assassinations of fellow Catholics in Belfast".
The UVF killed seven civilians in a series of attacks across Northern Ireland. Six were Catholic civilians and one was a Protestant civilian. Four UVF volutneers were also killed when their bomb prematurely exploded as they drove along a road in Farrenlester, near Coleraine.
Drummuckavall Ambush – three British Army soldiers were killed and one captured when the PIRA attacked a watchtower in South Armagh.
A loyalist gang nicknamed the "Shankill Butchers" undertook its first "cut-throat killing". The gang was named for its late-night kidnapping, torture and murder (by throat slashing) of random Catholic civilians in Belfast.
The Red Hand Commandos exploded a no-warning car bomb in Dundalk, killing two civilians and wounding twenty. Shortly after, the same group launched a gun and bomb attack across the border in Silverbridge. Two Catholic civilians and an English civilian were killed in that attack, while six others were wounded. There is evidence that RUC officers and UDR soldiers were involved in the attacks, which have been linked to the "Glenanne gang".
The UVF launched gun and bomb attacks on two pubs in Charlemont, County Armagh, killing four Catholic civilians and wounding many more. A British Army UDR soldier was later convicted for taking part in the attacks.
The PIRA killed three RUC officers in County Fermanagh and one RUC officer in County Down.
Nine civilians were killed during separate attacks in and around Belfast. After a suspected republican bombing killed two Protestant civilians in a pub, the UVF killed five civilians in a gun and bomb attack at the Chlorane Bar. The UDA/UFF also assassinated a member of Sinn Féin.
Ramble Inn attack – the UVF killed six civilians (five Protestants, one Catholic) in a gun attack at a pub near Antrim. The pub was targeted because it was owned by Catholics.
Christopher Ewart Biggs (the British Ambassador to Ireland) and his secretary Judith Cook were assassinated by a bomb planted in Mr Biggs' car in Dublin.
Four Protestant civilians were shot dead at a pub off Milltown Road, Belfast. The attack was claimed by the Republican Action Force.
A PIRA volunteer was shot dead by the British Army as he drove along a road in Belfast. His car then went out of control and killed three children. This incident sparked a series of "peace rallies" throughout the month. The group that organised the rallies became known as Peace People, and was led by Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams. Their rallies were the first (since the conflict began) where large numbers of Protestants and Catholics joined forces to campaign for peace.
Blanket protests began in the Maze prison, in protest at the end of special category status. The term ‘blanket protest’ comes from the protesters refusal to wear prison uniforms, instead wrapping blankets around themselves.
La Mon restaurant bombing – eleven civilians and an RUC officer were killed and thirty wounded by a PIRA incendiary bomb at the La Mon Restaurant near Belfast.
The PIRA killed an RUC officer and kidnapped another near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. The following day, loyalist paramilitaries kidnapped a Catholic priest and vowed to hold him hostage until the RUC officer was freed. However, they released the priest shortly thereafter. In December 1978 the kidnappers were charged both for the kidnapping and for the murder of a Catholic shopkeeper.
The British Army shot dead three PIRA volunteers and a passing UVF volunteer at a postal depot on Ballysillan Road, Belfast. It is claimed that the PIRA volunteers were about to launch a bomb attack.
Eleven loyalists known as the "Shankill Butchers" were sentenced to life in prison for nineteen murders. The gang was named for its late-night kidnapping, torture and murder (by throat slashing) of random Catholic civilians in Belfast.
The PIRA assassinated Richard Sykes, the British ambassador to the Netherlands, in Den Haag. The group also exploded twenty-four bombs in various locations across Northern Ireland.
Warrenpoint ambush – eighteen British Army soldiers were killed when the PIRA exploded two roadside bombs as a British convoy passed Narrow Water Castle near Warrenpoint. There was a brief exchange of fire, and the British Army shot dead a civilian. This was the British Army's highest death toll from a single attack during the Troubles. On the same day, four people (including the Queen’s cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten) were killed by a PIRA bomb on board a boat near the coast of County Sligo.
During a visit to the Republic of Ireland, Pope John Paul II appealed for an end to the violence in Northern Ireland.
Four British Army soldiers were killed by a PIRA landmine near Dungannon, County Tyrone. Another British Army soldier was killed by a PIRA landmine near Forkill, County Armagh.
Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings – eleven British soldiers and seven military horses died in PIRA bomb attacks during military ceremonies in Regent's Park and Hyde Park, London. Many spectators were badly injured.
Droppin Well bombing – eleven British soldiers and six civilians were killed by an INLA time bomb at the Droppin’ Well Bar in Ballykelly, County Londonderry.
All fifteen Unionist MPs at Westminster resigned in protest against the Anglo-Irish agreement.
Attack on Ballygawley barracks – the PIRA launched an assault on the RUC barracks in Ballygawley, County Tyrone. Two RUC officers were killed and the barracks was completely destroyed by the subsequent bomb explosion.
Loyalists held a closed meeting at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. The main speakers at the meeting were Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Ivan Foster. During the meeting a new organisation, Ulster Resistance, was formed to "take direct action as and when required" to end the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
Loughgall Ambush – eight PIRA volunteers and one civilian were killed by the Special Air Service (SAS) in Loughall, County Armagh. The eight-strong PIRA unit had just exploded a bomb at the RUC base when it was ambushed by the 24-strong SAS unit.
Remembrance Day bombing – eleven civilians and an RUC officer were killed and sixty-three others were wounded by a PIRA bomb during a Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. One of those killed was Marie Wilson. In an emotional BBC interview, her father Gordon Wilson (who was injured in the attack) expressed forgiveness towards his daughter's killer, and asked Loyalists not to seek revenge. He became a leading peace campaigner and was later elected to the Irish Senate. He died in 1995.
Milltown Cemetery attack – at the funeral of those killed in Gibraltar, Loyalist Michael Stone (using pistols and grenades) attacked the mourners, killing one PIRA volunteer and two civilians. Over sixty others were wounded. Most of the attack was filmed by television news crews.
Corporals killings – at the funeral of Kevin Brady (killed in the Milltown Cemetery attack) two non-uniformed British Army corporals were attacked by civilians and then executed by the PIRA, after being mistaken for Loyalist gunmen.
1988 Lisburn van bombing – six off-duty British Army soldiers were killed by a PIRA bomb attached to their van in Lisburn. The bomb was made in such a way so as to ensure it exploded upwards, lowering the risk of collateral damage.
Four British Army (Ulster Defence Regiment) soldiers were killed when the PIRA exploded a landmine under their patrol vehicle in Downpatrick, County Down. The blast was so powerful that the vehicle was hurled into a nearby field.
Operation Conservation – the British Army attempted to ambush a PIRA unit in South Armagh, but were counter-ambushed and one British soldier was killed.
A PIRA landmine attack on an RUC patrol vehicle in Armagh killed three RUC officers and a civilian.
Conservative MP for Eastbourne, Ian Gow, was assassinated by a PIRA bomb planted in his car.
Two Catholic civilians were killed by British Army soldiers in Belfast.
Proxy bomb attacks – the PIRA launched three "proxy bombs" or "human bombs" at British Army checkpoints. Three men (who were or had been working with the British Army) were tied into cars loaded with explosives and ordered to drive to each checkpoint. Each bomb was detonated by remote control. The first exploded at a checkpoint in Coshquin, killing the driver and five soldiers. The second exploded at a checkpoint in Killeen; the driver narrowly escaped but one soldier was killed. The third failed to detonate.
The PIRA launched a "proxy bomb" attack on a British Army (Ulster Defense Regiment) base in Magherafelt, County Londonderry. The bomb caused major damage to the base and nearby houses, but the driver escaped before it exploded.
1991 Cappagh killings – three PIRA volunteers and a Catholic civilian were shot dead by the UVF at Boyle's Bar in Cappagh, County Tyrone. The volunteers arrived in a car as a UVF gang was about to attack the pub. The UVF fired at the car (killing the volunteers) then fired into the pub (killing the civilian). According to nationalist sources, UVF Mid-Ulster Brigade commander Billy Wright was involved.
The Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) (acting on behalf of all loyalist paramilitaries) announced a ceasefire lasting until 4 July. This was to coincide with political talks between the four main parties (the Brooke-Mayhew talks).
Glenanne barracks bombing – the PIRA launched a large truck bomb attack on a British Army (Ulster Defence Regiment) base in County Armagh. Three soldiers were killed, whilst ten soldiers and four civilians were wounded. The blast left a deep crater and it could be heard over 30 miles away. Most of the UDR base was destroyed by the blast and the fire that followed. It was one of the largest bombs detonated during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Coagh ambush – the SAS shot dead three PIRA volunteers as they traveled in a car through Coagh, County Tyrone. The car burst into flames. There have been claims that two of the volunteers fled the blazing car, only to be shot and then put back inside by the SAS.
Teebane bombing – a PIRA landmine killed eight Protestant men and wounded six others at Teebane Crossroads near Cookstown, County Tyrone. The men had been working for the British Army at a base in Omagh and were returning home on a minibus. The PIRA said that the men were legitimate targets because they had been "collaborating" with the "forces of occupation". Shortly thereafter, Peter Brooke (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland) appeared on the Irish RTÉLate Late Show and was persuaded to sing "Oh My Darling, Clementine". Unionists accused him of gross insensitivity for agreeing to do so.
Allen Moore, an RUC officer, walked into a Belfast Sinn Féin office and shot dead three Catholic civilians. Moore drove away from the scene and later shot himself.
Sean Graham bookmakers' shooting – the UDA, using the covername "Ulster Freedom Fighters" (UFF), claimed responsibility for a gun attack on a bookmaker's shop on Lower Ormeau Road, Belfast. Five Catholic civilians were killed and three wounded. This was claimed to be a retaliation for the Teebane bombing on 17 January 1992. In November 1992, the UDA carried out another attack on a betting shop in Belfast, killing three Catholic civilians and wounding thirteen.
Clonoe ambush – a PIRA unit attacked Coalisland RUC base in County Tyrone using a heavy machine gun mounted on the back of a stolen lorry. Following the attack, the British Army ambushed the unit in a graveyard. Four PIRA volunteers were killed and two were wounded but escaped.
The PIRA exploded a truck bomb at the Baltic Exchange in London. Despite a telephoned warning, three civilians were killed. The bomb caused £800 million worth of damage.
Attack on Cloghoge checkpoint – the PIRA, using a van modified to run on railway tracks, launched an elaborate bomb attack on a British Army checkpoint in South Armagh. The checkpoint was obliterated. One soldier was killed and 23 wounded.
Coalisland riots – after a PIRA bomb attack on a British Army patrol near Cappagh, in which a soldier lost his legs, British soldiers raided two public houses in Coalisland and caused considerable damage. This led to a fist-fight between the soldiers and locals. Shortly thereafter, another group of British soldiers arrived and fired on a crowd of civilians, wounding seven.
The PIRA's "South Armagh snipers" undertook their first successful operation, when a British Army soldier was shot dead on patrol in Crossmaglen, County Armagh.
The PIRA exploded a 2000 lb bomb at the Northern Ireland Forensic Science Laboratory in South Belfast. The laboratory was obliterated, seven hundred houses were damaged, and 20 people were injured. The explosion could be heard from over 16 km away. It was one of the largest bombs to be detonated during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Warrington bomb attacks – A bomb exploded at a gas storage facility in Warrington. It caused extensive damage but no injuries. While fleeing the scene, the bombers shot and injured a police officer and two of them were then caught after a high-speed car chase.
Warrington bomb attacks – after a telephoned warning, the PIRA exploded two bombs in Warrington, Cheshire, England. Two children were killed and fifty-six people were wounded. There were widespread protests in Britain and Ireland following the deaths.
Castlerock killings – the UDA, using the covername "Ulster Freedom Fighters" (UFF), claimed responsibility for shooting dead four Catholic civilians and a PIRA volunteer at a building site in Castlerock, County Londonderry. Later in the day it claimed responsibility for shooting dead another Catholic civilian in Belfast.
Bishopsgate bombing – after a telephoned warning, the PIRA exploded a large bomb at Bishopsgate, London. It killed one civilian, wounded thirty others, and caused an estimated £350 million in damage.
Shankill Road bombing – eight civilians, one UDA volunteer and one PIRA volunteer were killed when a PIRA bomb prematurely exploded at a fish shop on Shankill Road, Belfast. The PIRA's intended target was a meeting of loyalist paramilitary leaders, which was scheduled to take place in a room above the shop. However, unbeknownst to the PIRA, the meeting had been re-scheduled.
Greysteel massacre – the UDA, using the covername "Ulster Freedom Fighters" (UFF), claimed responsibility for a gun attack on the Rising Sun Bar in Greysteel, County Londonderry. Eight civilians (six Catholic, two Protestant) were killed and twelve wounded. One gunman yelled "trick or treat!" before he fired into the crowded room; a reference to the Halloween party taking place. The UFF claimed that it had attacked the "nationalist electorate" in revenge for the Shankill Road bombing.
The Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) issued a statement which announced a ceasefire on behalf of all loyalist paramilitaries. The statement noted that "The permanence of our cease-fire will be completely dependent upon the continued cessation of all nationalist/republican violence".
London Docklands bombing – after a telephoned warning, the PIRA bombed the Docklands in London. The bomb killed two civilians, and brought to an end the ceasefire after 17 months and 9 days.
Political talks at Stormont began without Sinn Féin.
Manchester bombing – after a telephoned warning, the PIRA exploded a bomb in Manchester, England. It destroyed a large part of the city centre and injured over 200 people. To date, it is the largest bomb to be detonated on the British mainland since the Second World War.
Drumcree conflict – the RUC decided to block the annual Orange Order march through the nationalist Garvaghy area of Portadown. In response, loyalist protestors attacked the RUC and blocked hundreds of roads across Northern Ireland. Eventually, the RUC allowed the march to continue, leading to serious rioting by nationalists across Northern Ireland.
The PIRA's "South Armagh snipers" shot dead a British soldier manning a checkpoint in Bessbrook, County Armagh. He was the last British soldier to be killed during Operation Banner.
The Grand National horse race was cancelled, and Aintree Racecourse evacuated following a hoax bomb warning from the PIRA. It was one of a number of events that proved how easily the PIRA could disrupt the lives of the British public with minimum effort, and minimum risk to PIRA volunteers. (The race was eventually run the following Monday – 7 April – with no distruption.)
INLA prisoners shot dead Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) leader and fellow prisoner Billy Wright inside the maximum-security Maze Prison. The LVF launched a number of revenge attacks over the following weeks.
Drumcree conflict – the annual Orange Order march was prevented from marching through the nationalist Garvaghy area of Portadown. Security forces and about 10,000 loyalists began a standoff at Drumcree church. During this time, loyalists launched 550 attacks on the security forces and numerous attacks on Catholic civilians. On 12 July, three children were burnt to death in a loyalist petrol bomb attack. This incident brought an end to the standoff.
Omagh bombing – a dissident republican group calling itself the Real IRA exploded a bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone. It killed twenty-nine civilians, making it the worst single bombing of the Troubles, in terms of civilian life lost.
Former IRA volunteer and supergrassEamon Collins was found dead near Newry, County Down. The South Armagh IRA were believed to have been responsible.
Solicitor Rosemary Nelson, who had represented the Garvaghy residents in the Drumcree dispute, was assassinated by a booby trapped car bomb in Lurgan, County Armagh. A loyalist group, Red Hand Defenders, claimed responsibility.
The INLA and its political wing the IRSP stated that "There is no political or moral argument to justify a resumption of the campaign".
Direct rule officially ended as power was handed over to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Devolution was restored to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Drumcree conflict – the annual Orange Order parade was banned from marching through the nationalist Garvaghy area of Portadown. The security forces erected large barricades to prevent loyalists from entering the area. About 2,000 British soldiers were deployed to keep order. During the standoff at Drumcree Church, loyalists continually launched missiles at the security forces.
The final prisoners were released from the Maze Prison, under the conditions of the Good Friday Agreement.
Holy Cross dispute – RUC officers had to protect pupils and parents at Holy Cross Catholic Girls' School in Belfast, following attacks from loyalist protesters. The attacks resumed in September, following the school summer holidays, before subsiding in January 2002.
The worst rioting for several years took place in Belfast.
Police were attacked with blast and petrol bombs during rioting in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, following an Orange Order parade. Eighty police officers were injured and several people were arrested.
The PIRA issued a statement declaring it has ended its armed campaign and will verifiably put its weapons beyond use.
International weapons inspectors issue a statement confirming the full decommissioning of the PIRA's weaponry.
Following the rerouting of a controversial Orange Order Parade, rioting broke out in Belfast on a scale not seen for many years,
DUP leader, Ian Paisley and Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams meet face-to-face for the first time, and the two come to an agreement regarding the return of the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland.
The UVF and RHC issued a statement declaring an end to its armed campaign. The statement noted that they would retain their weapons but put them "beyond reach".
A police officer was shot dead in Craigavon, County Armagh. The Continuity IRA claimed responsibility. This was the first police fatality in Northern Ireland since 1998. Police were petrol bombed when arrests were made. In the following week there was sporadic attacks on police by youths.
The UVF were blamed for shooting dead former Red Hand Commando member Bobby Moffett in broad daylight on Shankill Road, Belfast. The killing put the UVF's claims of weapons decommissioning and commitment to peace under serious scrutiny.
Óglaigh na hÉireann claimed responsibility for detonating a 200 lb car bomb outside Strand Road PSNI station in Derry.
The RIRA claimed responsibility for detonating a car bomb near the Ulster Bank on Culmore Road, Derry.
Three PSNI officers were injured after a grenade was thrown at them on Shaw's Road, Belfast. Óglaigh na hÉireann claimed responsibility.
Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with Sinn Féin MLA and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness.
2012 North Belfast riots – there was rioting in the Ardoyne area of Belfast following the Orange Order's Twelfth marches. Up to 20 PSNI officers were injured and a number of shots were fired by republicans.
A Prison Officer was shot dead on the M1 motorway near Craigavon while driving to work. The shots were fired from another car, which drove alongside. The Real IRA claimed responsibility and said it was a response to the treatment of republican prisoners holding a dirty protest at Maghaberry Prison. He was the first Prison Officer to be killed since 1993.
Rioting by loyalists occurred across Belfast and across of Northern Ireland after an Orange Order parade was prevented by the PSNI from passing the nationalist Ardoyne shop fronts in North Belfast during The Twelfth celebrations, in accordance with a Parades Commission ruling. During which loyalists attacked with petrol bombs, blast bombs and even reportedly ceremonial swords. There were also at times clashes between loyalist and nationalist crowds. 71 PSNI officers including 3 mutual aid officers from Britain were injured in the days of rioting, and during disorder on 12 July DUP MP Nigel Dodds was injured after he was knocked unconscious by a brick thrown by loyalists. 62 people involved in the rioting were arrested across Northern Ireland.
^ ab"The troubles were over, but the killing continued. Some of the heirs to Ireland's violent traditions refused to give up their inheritance." Holland, Jack: Hope against History: The Course of Conflict in Northern Ireland. Henry Holt & Company, 1999, page 221. ISBN 0-8050-6087-1