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Ireland’s history - Irish History Timeline A comprehensive timeline of Irish history from 8000 BC to the present
Irish History Timeline 2000 – 2002 During this time devolution was continually suspended and restored High Points In History A Short History Of Ireland With no progress on decommissioning the new NI secretary Peter Mandelson suspended devolution in order to stop Trimble withdrawing from the Assembly and causing its collapse 2000 Feb 3rd John Gilligan extradited from the UK to Ireland on drugs and murder charges Feb 11th Devolution suspended over decommissioning dispute March 25th David Trimble narrowly won a leadership challenge for the Ulster Unionist party May 6th The IRA stated that it would put its weapons beyond use May 15th The Republic was named as a top tourist destination May 17th Dispute on which flags should fly from public buildings reached the British parliament May 29th Devolution restored two days after David Trimble won his party’s backing to reenter the Assembly despite a lack of IRA decommissioning June 26th IRA weapons dump inspected Sept Bertie Ahern came under pressure to cut taxes in order to combat inflation Oct 18th Trimble banned Sinn Féin from NorthSouth councils Dec 12th Bill Clinton came to Dublin as part of his peace mission for Northern Ireland 2001 Jan 6th Decapitated body of George Legge recovered he had been killed during Loyalist feuding Jan 17th Huge bomb found and defused near Armagh Jan 23rd Republicans carried out a mortar attack on a British army base at Derry Feb 21st David Trimble met Tony Blair in London to discuss the peace process March 4th Real IRA set off a bomb outside the BBCs main news centre in London March 8th Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern met for talks with the major political parties in Belfast March 31st Loyalists murdered Protestant Trevor Thomas Lowry apparently believing he was a Catholic April 13th A small explosion at a post office depot in London was blamed on the RIRA April 21st Catholic civilian Christopher OKane shot dead apparently by republican paramilitaries May 3rd Martin McGuinness confirmed that he had been the IRAs secondincommand at the time of Bloody Sunday May 4th Drug dealer Paul Daly shot dead May 6th The RIRA set off another nowarning bomb at the post office depot in Hendon London June 7th Westminster election Sinn Féin and the DUP both made major gains with SF overtaking the SDLP as the major Nationalist party June 7th Irish voters rejected the Nice Treaty in a referendum The treaty had to be approved by all 15 EU memberstates before the EU could expand to include a dozen applicant countries from eastern Europe June 18th Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern met with representatives from the SDLP the UUP and Sinn Féin to discuss the peace process June 19th Loyalists began to protest outside the Catholic girls primary school Holy Cross The blockade was to continue until June 29th and recommence in September June 23rd John Henry McCormick a Catholic civilian was killed in his home by Loyalists July 4th Catholic teenager Ciaran Cummings was murdered by Loyalists July 9th Weston Park talks began between Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair July 12th Twelfth of July celebrations in Belfast were accompanied by the worst rioting in years July 19th The first of a series of Loyalist attacks on GAA clubs July 29th Loyalists killed Protestant teenager Gavin Brett in a driveby shooting Secretary of State John Reid warned that he was reviewing the UDA ceasefire Aug 1st Bomb hoax at Belfast airport On the same day the British and Irish governments published their implementation plan for the Good Friday Agreement Aug 2nd A bomb in London caused several injuries Aug 10th The Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended for one day This had the affect of postponing the election of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister for six weeks Aug 13th Three IRA men were arrested in Colombia where they were believed to have been training FARC militants Aug 14th The IRA withdrew its decommissioning proposals in response to the suspension of the Assembly and the UUPs rejection of an earlier disarmament proposal on August 7th Aug 17th A policing implementation plan for Northern Ireland was published Aug 20th The SDLP spoke out in support of the policing plan Sept 3rd Holy Cross protest began again RUC and British soldiers had to clear protesters away as Loyalists threw bottles and stones at the children some as young as four On the 5th of Sept a petrol bomb was thrown at the children The 7th of Sept saw a silent protest as a mark of respect for the death of a Protestant 16 year old Thomas McDonald Protests continued throughout September some silent when the children were passing but on 26th Sept fireworks were thrown at both children and parents On Oct 1st balloons filled with urine were thrown The following day Quentin Davies Conservative Shadow Secretary of State accompanied the parents and children in a show of solidarity The protest stretched into October despite condemnations from the government proposed legal action and an alleged threat from the Catholic Reaction Force On 17th Oct Loyalist paramilitaries exploded a bomb nearby damaging a house On the 7th of Nov the mother of one of the children launched a legal action against John Reid for failing to protect her child That same day Archbishop Desmond Tutu met both victims and protestors The protest finally ended on 26th Nov Sept 12th Republicans carried out a bomb attack on a security patrol in Derry Sept 14th The Republic of Ireland held a day of mourning to commemorate the September 11th attacks on America Sept 22nd The Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended for one day Sept 28th Loyalist paramilitaries killed the journalist Martin OHagan John Reid said he would give the Loyalists a final chance to renounce violence On the same day a concrete block was thrown at children being taken to Hazelwood Integrated College injuring six of them Sept 29th At the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis Gerry Adams said that terrorism was ethically indefensible but drew the line between terrorism and freedom fighting Oct 8th The Northern Ireland Assembly debated a motion to exclude Sinn Féin from the Executive Oct 9th Adams and McGuinness met Tony Blair at Downing Street to discuss the impasse in the peace process Oct 12th Secretary of State John Reid specified the UDA ending recognition of their ceasefire David Trimble who was in Washington responded that Reid should specify the IRA next time they killed someone Oct 14th The Irish government held a funeral for eighty IRA men who had been killed during the Irish War of Independence and were being reburied at Glasnevin Cemetry Oct 18th Three Unionist ministers formally resigned from the Executive The UUP no longer wanted to share power with SF in the absence of decommissioning Oct 22nd Gerry Adams publicly called on the IRA to decommission John Reid responded that the British government would not be grudging or ungenerous The IRA began decommissioning on the 23rd the International Commission on Decommissioning confirmed that this had occurred Oct 29th A Catholic civilian Colin Foy and a Protestant civilian Charles Folliard were killed in separate incidents Foy by a RIR soldier and Folliard allegedly by the INLA Nov 6th David Trimble was elected First Minister of Northern Ireland with Mark Durkan as the Deputy First Minister Nov 8th Taoiseach Bertie Ahern met George Bush in Washington Bush reiterated his support for the peace process Nov 4th A RIRA car bomb went off in Birmingham England with no casualties Nov 11th Ulster Young Militant Glen Hugh Branagh was killed when a pipe bomb he was holding during a riot exploded Dec 12th William Stobie who had been implicated in the murder of Pat Finucane was himself murdered by Loyalists The trial against him had collapsed on Nov 26th 2002 Jan The Euro replaced the punt in the Republic of Ireland 9th Jan Mikhail Gorbachev received the Freedom of Dublin March An attempt by the Irish government to tighten already strict antiabortion laws was defeated by a small majority in a constitutional referendum in the Republic 2nd April In the Republic Brendan Comiskey Catholic Bishop of Ferns resigned over criticism of his handling of abuse cases in the diocese 5th April The first recruits of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland graduated 8th April The IRA stated that it had put a second tranche of arms beyond use 17th May Voters in the Republic reelected Fianna Fáils Bertie Ahern as taoiseach in a continuing coalition with the Progressive Democrats The main opposition party Fine Gael lost over a third of its seats in parliament 21st July On the 30th anniversary of Bloody Friday the IRA offered its sincere apologies and condolences to victims who had been noncombatants Oct The Ulster Unionists and DUP members were on the verge of pulling out of the Assembly because of the IRA’s continued activity punishment beatings Colombia spying etc 14th Oct Devolution was suspended again by NI Secretary John Reid In response the IRA broke off contact with de Chastelain’s independent decommissioning body But there was hope in that the Assembly had achieved some things like abolishing the elevenplus establishing a Racial Equality Unit and resurfacing roads The footandmouth crisis was also handled well 19th Oct Irish voters endorsed the Nice Treaty by a comfortable margin in a second referendum 30th Oct The IRA announced it was suspending talks with the decommissioning body 2003 9th Jan In a statement the IRA described the Northern Ireland peace process as under threat 21st Jan The Spire of Dublin on OConnell Street was officially completed 16th Feb 100000 people in Dublin and 30000 in Belfast marched against the impending invasion of Iraq 7th April US President George W Bush arrived in Northern Ireland for discussions with Tony Blair and also met Taoiseach Bertie Ahern 10th April The British and Irish governments suspended a blueprint for devolution in Northern Ireland at the last minute 1st May British PM Tony Blair postponed assembly elections until the autumn because the IRAs position was unclear Blair accused the IRA of refusing to rule out all paramilitaryrelated behaviour 6th May The IRA released a statement on the peace process 17th May David Trimble narrowly won the backing of his party the UUP for London and Dublins proposals 31st Aug The remains of Belfast mother Jean McConville were found 31 years after her murder by the PIRA 4th Sept Richard Kerr former deputy director of the CIA joined the fourstrong Independent Monitoring Commission Its other members included John Grieve a former Metropolitan officer Lord Alderdice the first Presiding Officer of the NI Assembly and Joseph Brosnan former Secretary General of the Department of Justice in Ireland 19th Oct Sinn Féin the Ulster Unionists and British and Irish officials met behind the scenes 21st Oct The IRA endorsed a statement by Gerry Adams on republican commitment to disarmament Arms chief John de Chastelain said that a third act of IRA decommissioning had been witnessed but Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble stated that this was not enough 22nd Oct Talks resumed to try and break the impasse 26th Nov The Assembly election took place The DUP and Sinn Féin emerged as the largest parties 18th Dec Rebel Ulster Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson quit the party along with two newly elected assembly members Four days later David Trimble announced his intention to remain leader of the party 2004 1st Jan Ireland took over as the President of the European Commission 5th Jan Lagan MP Jeffrey Donaldson joined the DUP with the two other assembly members who had resigned 3rd Feb A review of the Good Friday Agreement began at Stormont 20th Feb Dissident republican Bobby Tohill was snatched from a Belfast bar in what Chief Constable Hugh Orde described as an abduction attempt by the PIRA Secretary of State Paul Murphy described this as a serious breach of the peace process 2nd March The UUP leader pulled his team from the review because Sinn Féin had not been excluded over the Tohill incident 23rd March Tony Blair and the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern met the parties in Belfast 27th March David Trimble was reelected as Ulster Unionist Party leader 29th March A smoking ban came into effect in all pubs restaurants and workplaces in the Republic 8th April The IRA announced that its guns remain silent despite loyalist violence and bad faith on the part of both the British and Irish governments 20th April The IMC backed the chief constable over the Tohill affair and recommended financial sanctions against both Sinn Féin and the PUP over continuing IRA and loyalist violence 1st May Ireland as holder of the EU presidency hosted ceremonies to welcome the EUs ten new member states 11th June The European election Sinn Féins Bairbe de Brun took over from the SDLPs Martin Morgan while the UUP and DUP held one seat each m 25th June US President George W Bush arrived at Shannon Airport for an EUUS summit 30th June French President Jacques Chirac said that Irelands presidency of the EU was the best presidency ever 22nd July DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said unionists would guarantee political stability if republicans would give up paramilitarism 8th Sept Former Taoiseach John Bruton was appointed the EU Ambassador to Washington 10th Sept Tony Blair said that talks at Leeds Castle would show if there was the will to end violence and share power 18th Sept Three days of negotiations at Leeds Castle ended without agreement However the mood was cautiously optimistic 1st Oct Mary McAleese was elected unopposed for a second term as President of Ireland She was inaugurated on Nov 11th 4th Oct DUP leader Ian Paisley had a landmark meeting in Dublin with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern 16th Oct Taoiseach Bertie Ahern held talks with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in Dublin 23rd Oct Sinn Féin chairman Mitchel McLaughlin claimed the DUP were trying to humiliate the IRA over its demand for visible decommissioning DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson said his party had been clear and consistent on IRA decommissioning 28th Oct The IMC reported that the IRA showed signs of winding down its capability The UDA remained involved in organised crime and the UVF were a ruthless organisation retaining a capacity for more widespread violence Paramilitary violence had considerably reduced but remained at a disturbingly high level 12th Nov The British government officially recognised the UDAs ceasefire in order to bring loyalists more fully into the political process 17th Nov The two governments put their proposals to the DUP and Sinn Féin The DUP responded a week later No direct negotiations could take place because the DUP refused to talk to Sinn Féin Both parties backed a £1bn peace fund 2628 Nov US president George W Bush telephoned Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams to offer his support 29th Nov Gerry Adams held a groundbreaking first meeting with the head of Northern Irelands police force 30th Nov Ian Paisley informed the IRA that a deal to restore devolution would be now or never but the IRA should wear sackcloth and ashes and repent Gerry Adams responded that this was offensive 1st Dec Gerry Adams stated that current talks could go no further 4th Dec Ian Paisley met the decommissioning body chief General John de Chastelain for the second time in a week His opinion was that it was unrealistic to set deadlines for a political deal when the IRA hadnt discussed decommissioning with de Chastelain Meanwhile Adams appealed to republicans not to be provoked by Paisleys unacceptable language 7th Dec Gerry Adams recommended that his party accept the BritishIrish proposals 8th Dec Blair and Ahern came to Belfast to make their proposals public Part of the plan was for the IRA to allow photographs to be taken of its weapons being put beyond use 9th Dec The IRA rejected Ian Paisleys demands for a photographic record of its decommissioning 13th Dec The British and Irish prime ministers held separate meetings with Sinn Féin leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness Bertie Ahern said afterwards that the demand for photographs was not workable 16th Dec In Bogatá Colombia Niall Connolly Martin McCauley and James Monaghan the Colombia Three were given lengthy jail sentences for training Marxist rebels Two days later they were said to have fled the region 21st Dec Armed robbers stole £26 5m from the Northern Bank in Belfast provoking speculation of IRA involvement 2005 1st Jan Cork officially became the European Capital of Culture 7th Jan Chief Constable Hugh Orde claimed that the IRA had carried out the Northern Bank robbery Ahern said that confidence in the peace process had been damaged 24th Jan Former Minister for Justice in the Republic Ray Burke was jailed for tax evasion as a result of legislation he introduced 30th January Belfast Catholic Robert McCartney was killed in a brawl with IRA members in a city centre bar Over the next year his sisters were to head a highprofile campaign to see his killers brought to justice 2nd Feb An IRA statement announced that they were withdrawing their offer on arms decommissioning 3rd Feb The IRA issued a warning about the peace process 7th Feb Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern laid the foundation stone of a new town in the Republic Adamstown 16th Feb The IRA denied any involvement in the killing of Robert McCartney 17th Feb Seven people were detained in the Republic over suspected involvement in the Belfast bank heist 25th Feb The IRA released their initial report into the Robert McCartney murder 4th March The 100th Sinn Féin ArdFheis opened in Dublin 8th March The IRA released a fivepage document detailing their investigation into the Robert McCartney murder declaring their readiness to shoot those responsible 17th March US President George W Bush met Robert McCartneys sisters and partner at the White House Unlike previous years Northern Irelands politicians were not invited to the White House St Patricks Day celebrations 21st March Police seized money in Dublin and Cork which they believed was linked to the Northern Bank robbery 23rd March The IRA reiterated their condemnation of the Robert McCartney murder in their Easter message 6th April Gerry Adams appealed to the IRA to help rebuild the political process The IRA responded positively on 26th April 16th April The Gaelic Athletic Association voted to open up Croke Park for soccer and rugby 6th May The DUP won nine constituencies in the general election David Trimble was defeated and later stepped down to be replaced by Sir Reg Empey Only one MP remained to the UUP Sinn Féin became the largest nationalist party at Westminster Peter Hain took over from Paul Murphy as Northern Ireland Secretary 13th June The Irish language was officially recognised as a working language by the European Union 28th July The IRA announced a formal end to their armed campaign Tony Blair called this a step of unparalleled magnitude but Ian Paisley was sceptical 1st Aug The British government set out a twoyear plan to scale down the armys presence in Northern Ireland and change policing It also announced its intention to repeal counter terrorist legislation particular to Northern Ireland 19th Aug Former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam died aged 55 She had overseen the talks leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement 15th Sept The population of Ireland reached its highest since 1861 The increase was caused by returning Irish people and newcomers from Europe and Asia 25th Sept An IRA statement verified that all arms had been put beyond use This was confirmed by General John de Chasterlain next day Further confirmation came from independent witnesses Reverend Harold Good and Father Alec Reid 22nd Nov Peter Hain unveiled major changes in Northern Irelands local government reducing the number of district councils from 26 to seven 8th Dec Stormontgate charges were dropped The three accused Ciaran Kearney William Mackessy and Sinn Féins Denis Donaldson whose arrests had led to the collapse of the powersharing executive in 2002 claimed the case against them had been politically motivated President Mary McAleese met Queen Elizabeth II at Hillsborough Castle It was the first time the two heads of state had met in Ireland A car bomb heading to Blanchardstown was intercepted by the Gardai and members of Special Branch The individual arrested was believed to be connected to the Continuity IRA 16th Dec Sinn Féin member Denis Donaldson admitted to having been a British agent for two decades He had headed the partys administration office at Stormont before being arrested in October 2002 over an alleged spy ring He claimed there was no republican spy ring at Stormont 2006 11th Jan The government dropped controversial proposals to allow paramilitary fugitives to return home without prosecution Sinn Féins rejection of it meant it was unworkable The legislation had been widely opposed 25th Feb Rioting took place in Dublin as Republican protestors attacked a Unionist Love Ulster parade 17th March More than 400000 people took part in the worlds largest St Patricks Day Festival in Dublin 4th April Former Sinn Féin member Denis Donaldson was found shot dead in his Donegal cottage The PIRA claimed they had no involvement whatsoever in his death Three years later the RIRA claimed responsibility 6th April Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern arrived in Northern Ireland to unveil a blueprint for restoring devolution 16th April Up to 120000 people lined the streets of Dublin to mark the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising 26th April Prince Philip of Britain met McAleese and Ahern in Dublin 10th May Gerry Adams said his party would not participate in discussions on issues such as education and water charges because that would be pointless He promised to nominate Ian Paisley for first minister when the assembly returned but Paisley asserted that there would be no first or deputy minister until Sinn Féin met its obligations 15th May The Northern Ireland Assembly was recalled with the view to electing an executive 21st May Armed Gardai forcibly removed thirty Afghan refugees who had sought sanctuary in St Patricks cathedral and carried out a weeklong hunger strike 22nd May Belfast City airport was renamed the George Best Belfast City Airport on what would have been George Bests 60th birthday Best an internationally famous footballer from Belfast had died the previous year June Death of former Taoiseach Charles J Haughey He was given a state funeral 1st July Leading members of all political parties in Ireland North and South marked the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme Dublin airport was evacuated twice in a week over bomb scares 19th July Preliminary census findings for the Republic of Ireland reported a population of 4234925 million an increase of 8 6 since 2002 24th Nov Loyalist Michael Stone who had previously attacked an IRA funeral in 1988 attempted to bomb the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont on the day nominations for the first and deputy minister were due to be made His intention was to kill Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness 2007 22nd Jan Police ombudsman report in Northern Ireland confirmed that police colluded with Loyalists in over a dozen murders during the Troubles 28th Jan Sinn Féin voted to support the police of Northern Ireland for the first time in the partys history 7th March Elections held for the Northern Ireland Assembly 13th March Record of interview released in which Peter Mandelson former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland criticised Tony Blairs policy towards Sinn Féin 26th March Ian Paisley of the DUP and Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin held their first facetoface talks agreeing a target date of May 8th for returning to power sharing 3rd May The UVF and Red Hand Commando announced an end to all paramilitary activity 8th May New powersharing government formed in Northern Ireland headed by Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness 22nd May Roisin McAliskey rearrested on the request of the German authorities 24th May Election in the Republic won by Bertie Aherns Fianna Fáil 31st May Fianna Fáil opened negotiations with the Green Party 14th June Coalition between Fianna Fail and the Greens announced 25th June Charges dropped against soldiers and police in the Pat Finucane case 20th July Shoottokill case reopened 31st July The British armys military operation officially came to an end at midnight passing responsibility for security onto the police force 22nd Oct The PIRA were blamed for the murder of Paul Quinn They would later be cleared by the IMC 11th Nov The UDA announced that the Ulster Freedom Fighters were to be stood down at midnight 20th Dec Sean Hoey found not guilty of the Omagh bombing 2008 Feb 1st Bertie Ahern visited Ian Paisleys constituency Feb 7th Threats from dissidents forced the return of checkpoints to Ulster Feb 14th Real IRA member Andrew Burns shot dead Feb 16th Ian Paisleys son Ian Paisley Junior resigned as a minister Feb 24th Two Polish workers were murdered in Dublin March 4th Ian Paisley stepped down as First Minister of Northern Ireland March 18th The extent of secret links between the IRA and the British were made public March 19th Queen Elizabeth came to Belfast March 30th Mass loyalist attack on a pub in Derry April 2nd Taoiseach Bertie Ahern announced his resignation April 11th A taser was used for the first time during an arrest in Ireland May 6th Bertie Ahern stepped down as Taoiseach Brian Cowen was confirmed as the new Taoiseach next day May 11th Firebomb found in Cookstown toystore May 13th Officer hurt by boobytrap bomb in Tyrone May 20th A man was arrested over the 1977 murder of British army officer Robert Nairac May 27th Drug dealer hurt in a punishment shooting in Armagh June 1st Ian Paisley resigned as First Minister of Northern Ireland Sinn Féin antagonised by the use of the Unionist veto on matters such as education and policing suggested that they might disrupt the handover to Peter Robinson by not nominating Martin McGuinness as deputy First Minister However both he and Peter Robinson were confirmed in their roles on June 5th June 12th Ireland voted on the Lisbon Treaty the only country in the European Union to do so The result declared on June 13th was no June 16th American President George Bush visited Northern Ireland June 27th Terence Davidson was cleared in court of the murder of Belfast man Robert McCartney July 1st A massive goldmine was found in County Monaghan July 10th Northern Irelands policing board concluded that there was no chance of a prosecution over the Omagh bombing August 20th Ian Paisley Junior defended his call for lethal force against dissident republicans Sept 3rd The IMC declared the IRA Army Council no longer operational Sept 30th The Irish government guaranteed its banks in the face of the credit crunch Oct 9th Chris Ward was found not guilty of the Northern Bank Robbery Oct Abortion rights in Northern Ireland was discussed in Parliament Oct 29th 12000 parents and teachers protested over education cuts announced in the Budget Nov 9th The murder of rugby player Shane Geoghegan by Limerick gangsters sent shockwaves throughout Ireland Nov 18th A deal was reached over the deadlock at Stormont which had arisen over differences between the DUP and Sinn Féin about policing and justice Dec 6th David Cameron of the Conservative Party announced closer ties with the Ulster Unionists On the same day the Irish Republic recalled all pork over fears that pigs had eaten contaminated food 2009 Jan 15th The Irish government announced it was to nationalise the AngloIrish Bank Jan 23rd A proposed scheme to recompense the families of paramilitary dead on an equal footing with civilian victims in Northern Ireland met with controversy It was rejected by the British government on Feb 25th Jan 31st A 300lb car bomb was defused in Castlewellan County Down It was believed to have been left by dissident republicans who were targetting the Ballykinler army base Feb 3rd Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced a €2 billion cut in public services and public sector pensions Feb 11th Dissident republicans were believed to have been involved in a drugsrelated murder in Derry Feb 12th The Irish government announced plans to rescue the Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland Feb 21st Massive protest in Dublin about the governments handling of the recession Feb 26th Civil servants staged a protest against planned pension cuts Feb 27th The largest bank robbery in the Republic of Irelands history targetted the Bank of Ireland in Dublin Seven suspects were arrested and €4 million was recovered the next day March 4th The threat level from dissident republicans in Northern Ireland was raised from substantial to severe March 5th It was announced that British army officers would go back undercover in Northern Ireland a movecriticised by Sinn Féin March 7th Two British soldiers were shot dead and four people were wounded during a pizza delivery at Massereene army base The following day Gordon Brown condemned the attacks while Gerry Adams called them an attack on the peace process Responsibility was claimed by the Real IRA Gordon Brown travelled to Belfast on March 9th to discuss the security situation March 9th A police officer was shot dead in Craigavon after responding to a call from a woman who said her house was being attacked The Continuity IRA admitted responsibility Two men were arrested on March 10th and more arrests followed including that of top Republican Colin Duffy March 11th Peace protests were held in Northern Ireland as the Pope spoke out to condemn the violence March 17th Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Northern Irish leaders met US President Barack Obama in the White House March 21st Ireland won the Grand Slam for the first time in 61 years March 24th Amid reports that at least two of those arrested including Colin Duffy had gone on hungerstrike a 17yearold youth and a 37yearold man former Sinn Féin councillor Brendan McConville were charged with the murder of policeman Stephen Carroll The following day six detainees won a legal challenge to their detention but Colin Duffy was promptly rearrested On March 26th a third man was remanded on a charge of withholding information Republican Sinn Féin claimed in a statement that the shootings had been regrettable but necessary acts of war On March 27th Colin Duffy was charged with the murder of the soldiers On April 2nd a 19yearold was arrested over the soldier deaths March 27th Financial advisor Ted Cunningham became the first person to be successfully prosecuted for the Northern Bank Robbery He was sentenced to ten years jail on April 24th March 30th Republicans opposed to the peace process organised a day of chaos Next day a school was shut down by a further bomb scare and a convicted rapist was shot in a paramilitarystyle attack On April 1st an alleged drug dealer was injured in another punishment shooting and another man was also shot By April 5th it emerged that the PIRA had warned the Irish government that they had lost control of Ardoyne On April 27th Martin McGuinness who had received death threats accused dissident republicans of turning the Bogside into a ghetto April 2nd The day after unemployment in the Republic reached fresh heights Bombardier announced mass redundancies meaning that 2 of Northern Irelands manufacturing workforce had been laid off in four days April 7th A severe budget was announced in the Republic April 27th High Points In History A Short History Of Ireland Businessman Geoff Kerr was shot dead in Antrim by a criminal gang posing as delivery men The man charged over the murder on May 3rd was a member of a Loyalist criminal gang led by a British agent April 30th The Republic reported its first case of swine flu The North followed suit on May 13th May 7th The IMC reported that republicans opposed to the peace process posed a serious threat but were not capable of a sustained campaign Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward vowed that dissident republicans would not derail the peace process and also called on Loyalists to disarm May 20th A major report on child abuse within Catholic institutions was released May 22nd Irelands first sextuplets were born in Belfast May 24th Catholic youth worker Kevin McDaid was beaten to death by a Loyalist mob in an unprovoked attack following a CelticRangers football match June 8th A civil case brought by the families of the victims of the 1998 Omagh bomb found four members of the RIRA Michael McKevitt Liam Campbell Seamus Daly and Colm Murphy responsible for the murders June 17th In the early hours of the morning twenty Romanian families fled their homes in Belfast after suffering racist attacks On June 23rd it was reported that the families would leave Northern Ireland June 18th The British government was informed that the UVF had disbanded their weapons On June 27th the UVF and Red Hand Commandos announced that they had completed decommissioning while the UDA confirmed that it had begun to decommission its arsenal June 25th The International Monetary Fund said Ireland was suffering the worst recession of any advanced economy July 13th Twelfth celebrations in Belfast led to battles between republicans and police which Sinn Féin blamed on the Real IRA Rioting continued in Belfast for another two nights August 7th A young woman Darina Calpin became the firstperson in the Republic to die of swine flu Her death followed that of Lee Porter a soldier from Coleraine who died on July 31st in England The first swine flu victim to die in the North Caroline Hoy passed away on August 20th August 21st A passenger train travelling from Balbriggan to Dublin narrowly escaped disaster when the rail track collapsed immediately after the train had passed over it August 22nd Long Kesh escapee Pól Brennan who had been arrested in America after his work permit had expired was deported from the US to the Republic of Ireland Sept 6th British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was criticised after it emerged that he had declined to put pressure on Libya regarding compensation for IRA victims The following day in the face of resistance from Colonel Gadaffis son Downing Street denied any Uturn on compensation Sept 8th The British Army defused a 600lb bomb found on the border Sept 17th The jailing of three CIRA members for a planned mortar attack in 2007 led to three nights of rioting in Lurgan Oct 2nd People in the Irish Republic voted in favour of the Lisbon Treaty Oct 11th The INLA announced an end to their armed struggle Nov 6th Thousands of people across the Republic marched against cuts in public service spending Nov 23rd After a week of severe floods across Ireland Environment Minister John Gormley claimed that the weather conditions had been the worst in 800 years Nov 24th A quarter of a million public sector workers went on strike in the Republic to protest against budget cuts Nov 26th A report by the Commission of Investigation said that the church had deliberately covered up clerical child abuse Dec Three women challenged the Republics abortion law at the European Court of Human Rights Dec 17th The Republic officially came out of recession after GDP rose by 0 3 in the third quarter 2010 Jan 1st The blasphemy law came into force making certain opinions punishable by a heavy fine It was immediately challenged by a coalition of atheists Jan 6th The UDA confirmed that they had decommissioned their arsenal Jan 9th Iris Robinson politician and wife of NI First Minister Peter Robinson was forced to resign from the DUP after it was revealed that she had failed to declare £50000 she had received from two property developers to help her 19yearold lover start a business Two days later Peter Robinson stepped down as First Minister for a period of six weeks He returned as First Minister during policing and justice talks on Feb 3rd Jan 23rd Sinn Féin warned of a crisis for Stormont after talks on policing and devolution faltered mainly due to disagreements on the policing of Unionist parades and to differences over when devolution should occur Taoiseach Brian Cowen and British PM Gordon Brown met on the 25th to discuss the crisis The talks ended without resolution on the 27th Feb 5th A deal was reached regarding the devolution of policing and justice Feb 15th16th The Pope met Irish bishops and condemned child abuse Feb 22nd A car bomb exploded in Newry the first such bomb in around a decade Police described it as a miracle that no one had been killed or injured Dissident republicans were blamed March 9th The NI Assembly voted in favour of devolving policing and justice March 20th The Pope apologised for clerical sexual abuse in Ireland March 30th It was announced that the Irish government was to provide the Anglo Irish Bank with a bailout of €8 3bn Next day the Anglo Irish reported a €12 7bn loss April 12th On the day that policing and justice were devolved the RIRA forced a taxi driver to take a bomb to an army base A passing civilian suffered minor injuries in the explosion April 22nd A bomb exploded outside Newtownhamilton police station in County Armagh Two people were injured AprilMay An ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano caused Irish airspace and other European airports to be closed intermittently stranding passengers and costing the air industry millions April 30th Top RTÉ broadcaster Gerry Ryan was found dead at his home apparently after taking cocaine May 28th Loyalist paramilitary Bobby Moffett was shot dead in broad daylight by rival Loyalists June 5th Irish ship the Rachel Corrie was seized by Israeli authorities after trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza June 15th The Saville Report into Bloody Sunday was published It found that none of the victims had been carrying guns although it did not accept that the nail bombs found in the pocket of Gerald Donaghey had been planted by the British The British soldiers had been out of control and had been the first to fire after which republican paramilitaries returned fire People had been shot running away lying injured and going to help the injured British Prime Minister David Cameron apologised on behalf of the British Government Six of the British soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday criticised the Report claiming Lt Col Derek Wilford was being used as a scapegoat According to the Report he had ignored orders by his superior Brigadier Pat McClellan and should never have sent the Paratroopers into an unfamiliar area where it was impossible to distinguish rioter from marcher July 11th12th Eight men died in the Republics most disastrous car accident on record Violence flared in the North around the Twelfth with 27 police injured during riots on the night of the 11th and around 100 police involved in containing an antiOrange Order protest in Ardoyne on the 12th during which baton rounds were fired Meanwhile police described rioting in Derry as some of the worst in a decade Rioting continued on the nights of the 13th and 14th July 15th Derry was named the UKs inaugural City of Culture Aug 14th On the day of the Apprentice Boys March a bomb went off in a bin in Lurgan injuring three children The bomb was the latest in a string of incidents more detailed timeline here Aug 24th A report was published into the Claudy bombing of 1972 naming Catholic priest Father James Chesney as the mastermind of the attacks that killed nine people including children He had not been prosecuted at the time to avoid stirring up further sectarian animosity Sept 14th A public inquiry found no evidence of state collusion in the killing of LVF leader Billy Wright by republicans at Long Kesh in 1997 Sept 21st The National Treasury Management Agency raised €1 5bn of fresh loans by selling Irish government bonds Two days later the announcement that Irish national output had dropped by 1 2 in the second quarter of 2010 sparked speculation of a doubledip recession which Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan denied On Sept 30th the Governor of the Central Bank revealed that the bailout of the Anglo Irish Bank could cost €34bn The total cost of bailing out the banks could be as high as €45bn On the same day the Allied Irish Bank was nationalised Oct 23rd Thousands of people protested in Belfast against government spending cuts Nov 3rd A student protest in Dublin against increased registration fees led to violence Nov 4th The government announced record cuts to the budget including €6bn worth of cuts in 2011 Nov 12th13th It was reported that the Irish government was in preliminary talks with the EU over a financial bailout On Nov 15th Taoiseach Brian Cowen said that Ireland would make no application to the EU or the IMF for funding The European Central Bank vice president had said that money would be available for Ireland if necessary The following day British chancellor George Osbourne said it was in Britains interest to support Ireland On Nov 18th the Irish government accepted the idea of receiving financial assistance with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan saying he felt no sense of shame about fighting hard for this country The government ruled out changing Irelands low corporation tax On Nov 21st the Irish government confirmed that Ireland would be making a formal application for a bailout and the deal was affirmed that evening A tough budget was unveiled on Nov 24th Nov 27th saw a major demonstration in Dublin against the governments handling of the financial crisis The following day it was announced that an €85bn bailout had been agreed Dec 7th The Irish government produced an austerity budget Dec 16th The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland had failed to implement the constitutional right to abortion when a womans life was at risk Dec Ireland suffered a second heavy winter In Northern Ireland an unprecedented number of leaks in the water system caused around 40000 people to lose access to water 2011 Jan 18th Taoiseach Brian Cowen survived a Fianna Fáil confidence vote However on the 22nd he announced he would be stepping down as leader of Fianna Fáil but would continue running the government until the next election The following day the Green Party announced that it would no longer be part of the coalition with Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin was elected leader of Fianna Fáil on the 26th Feb 10th Six people died when a commuter flight from Belfast crashed while landing in Cork Feb 25th A general election was held in the Republic of Ireland Fine Gael emerged the clear victors with Sinn Féins vote increasing and Gerry Adams winning Louth March 31st Stress tests by the Central Bank revealed that Irish banks needed a further €24 billion capital April 2nd Ronan Kerr a young Catholic who had recently joined the PSNI was killed when a bomb exploded under his car April 17th The rating agency Moodys downgraded Irelands bank bonds to junk Late AprilEarly May Unprecedented gorse fires hit both the Republic and Northern Ireland May 16th Streets in London were closed off after the first bomb warning from republicans in a decade The threat was in response to the Queens imminent visit to the Republic of Ireland May 17th 20th On May 17th the British Queen began a fourday visit to the Republic of Ireland the first visit by a reigning British monarch in a century Dublin was under lockdown and security was extremely tight One of the Queens first acts was to lay a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance On the second day she visited Croke Park the scene of the first Bloody Sunday in 1920 She also laid a wreath for soldiers killed in the First World War At Dublin Castle that evening she expressed regret that AngloIrish relations had not always been entirely benign On May 19th she visited the Kildare stud and the following day she finished her tour at Cork May 23rd US President Barack Obama visited the Republic His visit was cut short by a renewed threat from volcanic ash June 20th21st East Belfast suffered two nights of rioting apparently orchestrated by the UVF during which both republicans and loyalists fired shots and a press photographer was injured July 12th While the North suffered riots the credit rating agency Moodys cut Irelands bonds to junk status and warned of further possible downgrades The Irish government warned that this would damage Irelands economic recovery and the EU criticised the behaviour of the credit rating agencies July 13th The Cloyne Report into abuse in the Co Cork diocese was published It condemned the failure to report all cases of abuse to the police On the 20th Taoiseach Enda Kenny criticised the Catholic church for downplaying abuse Five days later the Vatican confirmed that its ambassador to Ireland Giuseppe Leanza had been recalled to Rome July 18th A protest against austerity measures took place in Dublin Aug 2nd Senator David Norris withdrew from the Irish presidential race after a scandal involving his former lover Ezra Nawi Two weeks later Gay Bryne also announced his decision not to run for president apparently taken aback by the intensity of the media campaign against him Aug 14th Around thirty people were injured after a bus overturned in Belfast Aug 18th Two women from Northern Ireland Elizabeth Graham and Kathy Dinsmore were murdered in Turkey by the boyfriend of Ms Grahams daughter Sept 3rd The International Monetary Fund announced it would release €1 5bn to Ireland Sept 18th Martin McGuinness was officially announced as Sinn Féins candidate for the Irish presidency Other nominees included the industrialist Seán Gallagher social activist Mary Davis Labours Michael Higgins and Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael David Norris reentered the race along with former pop star Dana Rosemary Scallon on the 27th Sept 23rd The first Irish case of death by spontaneous combustion was recorded Oct 22nd Two thousand people took part in an antiausterity march in Dublin Oct 24th Flooding in Dublin caused the City Council to declare a major alert That night Garda Ciaran Jones was swept away by the River Liffey after stopping to warn motorists of the danger Northern Ireland was also hit by floods Oct 29th Michael D Higgins emerged as the next President of Ireland Nov 25th A PSNI Gaelic football team played for the first time at Croke Park Dublin Nov 26th Thousands of people marched against austerity measures in Dublin Dec 13th The highest known wave to hit Irish shores was recorded off the coast of Donegal Dec 15th The International Monetary Fund released €3 9 billion in loans to Ireland 2012 Jan Three babies died from a bacterial infection at Belfasts Royal Jubilee Hospital Jan 19th Derry was hit by two bombs with no injuries reported Next day Brian Shivers was convicted of the Massereene killings of March 2009 while Colin Duffy walked free Feb 22nd The UVF supergrass trial over the killing of Tommy English collapsed with nine men acquitted of all charges March 3rd The preserved heart of St Laurence OToole was stolen from Christ Church Cathedral March 13th Fourteen people were held in Northern Irelands largest ever antifraud operation March 15th Providence Resources announced they had opened Irelands first oil well March 24th Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern announced that he would resign from Fianna Fáil in the wake of the Mahon Tribunals final report The tribunal found that Ahern had failed to account truthfully for a number of financial transactions but it did not accuse him of corruption March 31st Around 4000 people protested in Dublin against the Household Charge April 26th The sixth Troika review found that Ireland was meeting its bailout targets May 31st The Republic held a referendum on the EU fiscal treaty The referendum passed by a large margin June 12th Minister for Defence Alan Shatter told the Dáil that the Government apologised for the way in which men who deserted the Defence Forces to join the Allied Forces during World War II had been treated after the war June 26th The Queen of England began a tour of Northern Ireland On June 27th she attended a charity event where she met Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin and shook hands with him That afternoon a huge Jubilee party was held at Stormont July 26th The Guardian reported that some of the main republican groups opposed to the peace process had united to form a new IRA Aug Ireland celebrated its most successful Olympic Games since 1956 Sept 2nd Rioting took hold for three nights in north Belfast Sept 15th Three men from the same family died after falling into a slurry pit in Hillsborough One was named as Ulster Rugby star Nevin Spence Oct 18th The first private clinic to offer abortions opened in Belfast amid protests Oct 28th Savita Halappanavar died at a hospital in Galway after being refused an abortion The case came to international attention a couple of weeks afterwards Nov 1st Prison officer David Black was shot dead by the new IRA in Northern Ireland the first prison officer to be killed in nearly twenty years Dec 3rd A decision to limit the number of days on which the Union flag was flown from Belfast town hall sparked weeks of protests rioting and harassment of Alliance party members Dec 21st Fine Gael TD Shane McEntee committed suicide Cyberbullying was blamed in part for his death 2013 Jan 1st Ireland took on a sixmonth presidency of the EU Derry became the UK City of Culture and tourism initiative The Gathering began Jan The Unionist flag protests continued and became more violent making international headlines Jan The Food Safety Authority of Ireland revealed that horse meat had been found in some burgers on sale in Ireland and the UK ABP Food Group temporarily stopped production Jan 19th Around 25000 attended an antiabortion vigil for life in Dublin Jan 25th Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe became the first member of the force to be fatally shot on duty since 1996 Jan 29th Tycoon Kevin McGeever was found barefoot emaciated and scarred after having been kidnapped eight months previously Feb 5th A report into the Magdalene Laundries was published The Taoiseach Enda Kenny said they were the product of a harsh Ireland March 22nd After heavy snow the whole of Belfast was affected by a power cut Severe weather continued to pummel the North for days with a military helicopter flying food to animals in remote areas April 5th After an emotional debate the Irish Medical Organisation rejected a motion supporting the regulation of abortion During this month the inquiry into Savita Halappanavars death continued Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he did not intend to hold another referendum on abortion rights April 13th Thousands of people attended an antiausterity march in Dublin May 3rd Brian Shivers originally found guilty of the Massereene killings was found not guilty in a retrial May 7th Irish soldiers who had fought for the Allies during World War Two and had subsequently been accused of desertion were granted an official amnesty and apology May Controversy raged over whether Ireland was a tax haven for companies like Apple Meanwhile the Croke Park talks took place regarding public sector pay June The G8 summit was held in Enniskillen amid massive security A large protest was held on June 17th but the summit passed off without serious incident July The controversy over abortion continued with a large prolife march taking place in Dublin on the 6th August An Irish woman Michaela McCollum was arrested in Peru with another woman on drugs smuggling charges They would later be sentenced to prison August 30th Nobel prize winning poet and playwright Seamus Heaney died Sept The Church of Ireland appointed its first female bishop Oct 6th Voters in the Republic rejected a government proposal to abolish Seanad �ireann Oct 9th10th Republicans shot dead Kevin Kearney and Barry McCrory Dec Ireland successfully exited its bailout the first eurozone member state to do so Dec Police in the North mounted a large security operation in the runup to Christmas Dec The Haass talks in Belfast ended without agreement after weeks of debate after the main unionist parties rejected them 2014 Jan 2nd Cork centre flooded Jan 13th An inquiry began into abuse in Northern Irelands childrens homes and borstals Jan 17th The chairman of the National Asset Management Agency said he believed the property crash was over Jan 31st Two Irish students died in a fire at a hall of residence in Belgium Feb 1st People were evacuated in Limerick following flooding Feb 1st 19yearold Jonny Byrne died while playing NekNomination Feb 5th Death of student Patrick Halpen in London Feb 15th Thousands of people marched in Dublin calling for greater recognition of the Irish language Feb 17th Kingsmill survivor Alan Black told a coroners court that state agents had been involved Feb 21st The case against John Downey over the Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings collapsed because of a letter the PSNI had sent to Downey assuring him he would not face criminal prosecution This sparked an inquiry into On the Runs letters Feb Graham Norton criticised RT�s decision to pay the opponents of gay marriage �85000 Feb Workers at Allsop Space in Dublin held a sitin protest March 13th Three people including NI peer Lord Ballyedmond died in a helicopter crash in Norfolk March German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the Irish bailout programme had been a tremendous success story March Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh refused to march in the citys St Patricks day parade because of the organisers refusal to allow a LGBT presence April A goatsheep hybrid was born in Kildare April 30th Gerry Adams was arrested over the murder of Jean McConville and held for four days May 8th Fiveyearold Oscar Knox died after a long battle with cancer May Anna Lo of the Alliance Party announced her retirement from Northern Irish politics which came about partly because of racist abuse from loyalists June A mass grave containing nearly 800 childrens bodies in Tuam came to international attention June A study by the European Union showed that Ireland had the highest number of young cannabis users June 16th Protesters in east Belfast turned a Nigerian immigrant away from his new home Earlier in the month two Pakistanis said they would leave Northern Ireland after a racist attack July 1st Nine people were jailed for the murder of Catholic community worker Kevin McDaid July A row erupted over a series of cancelled Garth Brooks concerts in Dublin July Two divers drowned off the Cork coast July 21st An antifracking protest took place in Co Fermanagh July The UN called Irelands abortion laws restrictive Around the same time Belfast Magistrates Court heard testimony from Bernadette Smyth of the Marie Stopes clinic who said she had been harassed by an antiabortion campaigner Aug 10th Clashes between loyalists and republicans broke out in Belfast during a republican parade marking the anniversary of internment without trial Aug 21st Death of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds Aug 23rd Thousands of people attended a protest about the pensions issue involving former Waterford Crystal workers Sept The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry investigated the treatment of children sent to Australia and also abuse at Kincora and Rubane Sept Two men went on trial for burning to death a familys pet dog They were later found guilty Sept 11th After the DUP and Sinn F�in clashed over Stormont Gerry Adams said the political process was in serious difficulty Sept 12th Death of former DUP leader and First Minister Ian Paisley Oct The remains of Disappeared victim Brendan Megraw were found in County Meath Oct Water charges protests took place across the country Oct Ma�ria Cahill claimed that the IRA had covered up sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager Nov The DUPs Gregory Campbell caused controversy by mocking the Irish language at Stormont Nov 15th Guns and bomb parts were seized during a raid on republican paramilitaries in Dublin Dec During a court case in which Ian Bailey attempted to sue the state over his wrongful arrest for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier Marie Farrell walked out of the witness box Dec 3rd A pregnant woman was declared dead in hospital Despite this her body was kept connected to a life support machine in order to save the foetus Judges eventually ruled that the machine should be shut down Dec 10th Around 100000 people protested against new water charges Dec 28th President Michael Higgins signed the Water Services Bill into law 2015 Jan Irishman Barry Lyttle punched his brother Patrick in the head causing him to go into a coma while the pair were in Sydney Patrick recovered and supported his brother Jan 8th Following the killings of journalists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris following the magazines publication of Mohammed cartoons Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland condemned the attack while advising Irish publications to avoid things that might cause problems like that Jan The DUP was told it would not be allowed to take part in UK General Election debates despite the presence of the SNP and Plaid Cymru Jan Industrial action by NI Water meant that more than 1600 homes in Northern Ireland were temporarily without water Feb 10th A bill allowing the termination of abnormal foeteses was defeated in the D�il Feb 10th A tribunal in the North ruled that obese individuals could have disability rights March 27th Graham Dwyer was found guilty of the murder of Elaine OHara in a highly unusual case March Property billionaire Brian O�Donnell became involved in a battle to save his home from repossession April Irish student Karen Buckley was murdered in Glasgow Alexander Pacteau later pleaded guilty to the killing April 1st The Irish government announced that it was planning to pardon Harry Gleeson hanged for murder in 1941 April 18th Thousands of people protested against water charges in Dublin April It was reported that hate crime figures in Belfast had risen by 43 in eight months May 5th ExIRA man Gerard Jock Davison was shot dead Fellow DAAD founder Kevin McGuigan was later named as a prime suspect in the killing May 22nd A referendum was held on samesex marriage in the Republic A majority voted in favour June 1st Paying for sex became a crime in the North June 3rd The Irish tricolour was flown briefly over Stormont causing unionist outrage June 6th Paul McCauley who had been left in a coma after being attacked by loyalists in 2006 passed away June 13th Thousands marched in Belfast in support of gay marriage June 16th Five Irish students and one IrishAmerican died when a balcony collapsed at Berkeley University July 5th Thousands marched against abortion in Dublin July 6th The oldest Irishborn woman Kathleen Snavely died aged 113 in New York July A proposed Frankie Boyle gig in Belfast caused controversy among disability groups Aug 12th Former IRA man Kevin McGuigan was murdered in Belfast His killing led to a political crisis at Stormont after the PSNI said they believed the IRA was still active Aug The family of Limerick man Jason Corbett who had died in the US tried to get custody of his children His widow a person of interest in his killing but not the mother of the children announced that she would fight for custody Sept 10th First Minister Peter Robison stepped down from his role and withdrew most of the DUP MLAs in protest at the ongoing crisis over the existence of the IRA Sept Students from Queens University Belfast built a bridge out of Meccano across Clarendon Dock Oct 2nd Playwright Brian Friel died aged 86 Oct Homeless families occupied a show home in Blanchardstown to protest the ongoing housing crisis Oct 10th Ten travellers including a baby died in a fire at Carrickmines Oct 11th Adrian Crevan Mackin who was due to face trial for IRA membership in Dublin shot dead garda Tony Golden who had gone to his home to investigate a domestic disturbance before killing himself Oct Former Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm hired top American lawyers to prevent his extradition to Ireland Nov A report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons in England and Wales called Maghaberry Prison in Northern Ireland the most dangerous ever inspected Nov 21st The L� Aoife left Cork harbour to help deal with the refugee crisis in Malta Nov 30th The High Court in Belfast ruled that Northern Irelands abortion legislation was in breach of human rights law Dec Pastor James McConnell went on trial in Belfast over grossly offensive remarks about Islam He was found not guilty the following month Dec 17th Arlene Foster became the first woman to lead the Democratic Unionist Party 2016 Jan 2nd Prominent Loyalist Mark Harbinson appeared in court charged with firearm offences He had initially fled to England after weapons were found at his home Jan 31st Death of TV personality Terry Wogan Feb 2nd Fianna F�il activist Brian Mohan lost his legal case against femaleonly quotas Feb 5th Gangster David Byrne was shot dead during a boxing weighin in Dublin The CIRA claimed responsibility March 1st The case against Seamus Daly accused of involvement in the Omagh bombing collapsed March 14th Former Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm was extradited from the US to face fraud changes March Events commemorating the centenary of the Easter Rising took place April 1st Northern Irish drugs mule Michaella McCollum was released from custody in Peru April 3rd A Remembrance Wall for the 1916 Rising was unveiled at Glasnevin Cemetery It caused controversy by commemorating British as well as Irish casualties Oct 16th Munster rugby coach Anthony Foley died suddenly in Paris Oct 24th The Ashers bakery lost their court case over their refusal as Christians to bake a cake decorated with a progay marriage slogan Nov 5th Islamic State claimed that an Irishman Terence Kelly had blown himself up in a suicide attack in Mosul Iraq Dec A 103yearold woman was reported to have spent 15 hours on a trolley at Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore Dec 3rd Northern Irish Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness pulled out of a trip to China on medical grounds Dec Gerry Adams was involved in a dispute with the son of Brian Stack a prison officer from the Republic of Ireland killed by the IRA 2017 Jan 9th Martin McGuinness resigned from his position as Deputy First Minister over the Renewable Heat Incentive RHI scheme scandal