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The Northern Ireland Assembly, November 1982 - June 1986
- A Chronology of Main Events



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Text and Research: Martin Melaugh
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

This page contains a chronology of the main events associated with the Northern Ireland Assembly which was in existence from November 1982 to June 1986. The reader should also consult the main chronologies for other entries related to this event.

The Northern Ireland Assembly (November 1982 to June 1986)
- A Chronology of Main Events

 

Sunday 13 September 1981
Humphrey Atkins, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was appointed as deputy Foreign Secretary. James Prior was appointed by the British government to take over the post of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Saturday 31 October 1981 (or 1 November 1981 ?)
Sinn Féin (SF) held its Ard Fheis (annual conference) in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Danny Morrison, then editor of An Phoblacht, gave a speech in which he addressed the issue of the party taking part in future elections: "Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in one hand and the Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?" [This statement was subsequently often quoted as: 'the Armalite in one hand and the Ballot box in the other'.]

Monday 1 February 1982
Representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held a meeting with James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and they told him that they were opposed to his policy of 'rolling devolution'. Michael Foot, then leader of the Labour Party, began a three day visit to Northern Ireland.

Sunday 14 March 1982
John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said that the plans for 'rolling devolution' were "unworkable".

Monday 5 April 1982
White Paper Published
The British government published its White Paper, 'Northern Ireland: A Framework for Devolution' (Cmnd 8541). The paper set out proposals for the establishment of an elected 78 member Assembly at Stormont. The Assembly would then be asked to reach agreement on how any powers devolved to it from Westminster would be administered. The proposals indicated that it would need the agreement of 70 per cent of Assembly members before powers would be devolved. It was also envisaged that power would be passed to particular Northern Ireland Departments one at a time; because of this the scheme became known as 'rolling devolution'. [The ideas contained in the White Paper had been discussed for some time prior to its publication and most of the political parties had expressed opposition to it.]

Saturday 8 May 1982
Nicholas Budgen, then an Assistant Government Whip, resigned his post because of his opposition to the Northern Ireland Bill which would introduce a new Assembly.

Monday 10 May 1982
In a Commons debate on the Northern Ireland Bill, which set out proposals for a new Assembly at Stormont, James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said: "A policy of continuing with Direct Rule does not offer a long-term answer. We either move to a position of total integration ... or we seek a gradual devolution of power ...".

Wednesday 14 July 1982
James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that elections to the new Assembly at Stormont would be held on 20 October 1982.

Monday 19 July 1982
James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, paid a visit to the United States of America (USA) to explain his 'rolling devolution' plans.

Friday 23 July 1982
The 'Northern Ireland Act 1982, which established the rules for the proposed Assembly, became law.

Wednesday 25 August 1982
The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) announced that it would contest the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly elections but those elected would not take their seats. [Following this decision Sinn Féin (SF) confirmed that it would oppose the SDLP in a number of constituencies. SF made clear that its preference would have been to support a complete boycott of the poll by all shades of northern nationalism, however it stated that under no circumstances would any of its successful candidates sit in the new assembly. Instead the party’s decision to take part in the poll was "... to give the nationalist electorate (in Northern Ireland) an opportunity to reject the uncontested monopoly in leadership which the SDLP has had ...". [In the end SF decided to field 12 candidates in 6 of the 12 Northern Ireland constituencies.]

Wednesday 20 October 1982
Assembly Elections
Elections to the new 78 seat Northern Ireland Assembly took place across Northern Ireland. This was the first election in Northern Ireland since the beginning of 'the Troubles' to be contested by Sinn Féin (SF) which won 10.1 per cent of the first preference votes and secured 5 of the seats. The Social Democratic and Labour Party's (SDLP) performance was relatively poor and it obtained 18.8 per cent of the vote and 14 seats. Both the SDLP and SF had adopted a policy of abstentionism and therefore refused to take their seats. The largest vote went to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP); 29.7 per cent and 26 seats. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) obtained 23.0 per cent and 21 seats. The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) obtained 9.3 per cent of the vote, which was less than SF, but got 10 seats, double that of SF. [The emergence of SF as a political force in Northern Ireland was to cause almost panic in British establishment circles. Many commentators speculated that SF would replace the SDLP as the main voice of Nationalists in Northern Ireland. It was to counter the rise of SF that the British government went on to sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement on 15 November 1985.]

Tuesday 2 November 1982
Representatives of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held a meeting with James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and told him that the party would continue its boycott of the Assembly.

Thursday 11 November 1982
The first sitting of the new Northern Ireland Assembly took place at Stormont, Belfast. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Féin (SF) did not take up their seats.

Tuesday 30 November 1982
James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, addressed the Northern Ireland Assembly and announced that the strength of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) would be increased by 500 officers and the RUC Reserve by 300.

Tuesday 14 December 1982
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) announced that party members would not take their seats on the Northern Ireland Assembly scrutiny committees until the powers of the Speaker were clarified. [This boycott continued until February 1983.]

30 January 1983
At the annual conference of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) the delegates reaffirmed the party's boycott of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Tuesday 1 February 1983
Peter Barry, then Irish Foreign Minister, held a meeting with James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 23 February 1983
The Political Committee of the European Parliament took the decision to commission a report on Northern Ireland to see if the (then) European Economic Community (EEC) could help find a solution to the conflict. The British government opposed what it saw as external interference in its internal affairs.

Wednesday 2 March 1983
The Northern Ireland Assembly passed a motion urging the British government to do all in its power to stop the proposed inquiry into the Northern Ireland conflict by the Political Committee of the European Parliament. The Assembly also established a Security and Home Affairs Committee.

Friday 11 March 1983
The Irish government announced that it was establishing a forum which became known as the New Ireland Forum. The Forum was proposed by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). [Many commentators considered the Forum to be a response to the perceived threat that was presented by Sinn Féin (SF) to the electoral position of the SDLP as the main Nationalist party in Northern Ireland. All the constitutional Nationalist parties in Ireland, with the exception of SF, were invited to attend the Forum. The first meeting of the Forum took place on 30 May 1983 and the final report was published on 2 May 1984.]

Thursday 24 March 1983
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), all refused invitations to take part in the New Ireland Forum.

Wednesday 20 April 1983
There was a Northern Ireland Assembly by-election in Armagh. The by-election occurred because Seamus Mallon, then Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was removed from his seat because he had been a member of the Irish senate at the time of the election. The SDLP had called on voters to boycott the election and the turnout was 34.1 per cent. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) candidate, Jim Speers, won the by-election beating the only challenger, Tom French, the Workers' Party (WP) candidate.

Tuesday 10 May 1983
The Northern Ireland Assembly began what was to become an all-night sitting to discuss devolution of powers from Westminster to the Assembly. Despite lengthy talks the parties were unable to agree a common approach.

Monday 30 May 1983
First Meeting of New Ireland Forum
The first meeting of the New Ireland Forum took place in Dublin Castle, Republic of Ireland. Sinn Féin (SF) was excluded because the renunciation of violence was made an essential prerequisite to joining the Forum. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) all refused to attend. The Forum consisted of eight members of Fine Gael (FG), nine members of Fianna Fáil (FF), five members of Irish Labour, and five members of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Thursday 9 June 1983
General Election in UK
In the United Kingdom (UK) General Election the Conservative Party was returned to power with an increased majority. In Northern Ireland the election was contested across the new 17 constituencies. [When the counting was completed the major news story was the election of Gerry Adams, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), in the West Belfast constituency where he beat the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) Gerry Fitt and Joe Hendron of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) won 11 seats (with 34% of the vote), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 3 seats (20.6%), Ulster Popular Unionist Party (UPUP) 1 seat, Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 1 seat (17.9%), and SF 1 seat (13.4%). Unionist candidates therefore took 15 of the 17 seats. Many commentators again speculated on the possibility of SF replacing the SDLP as the main voice of Nationalism in Northern Ireland.]

Friday 8 July 1983
The Northern Ireland Assembly voted by 35 to 11 for the introduction of the death penalty for terrorist murders.

Sunday 10 July 1983
James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that the reintroduction of the death penalty in Northern Ireland would lead to an increase in 'violent disorders' in the region.

Wednesday 7 December 1983
Edgar Graham, then a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Assembly member, was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at the Queen's University of Belfast. Graham was also a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the university.

Monday 12 December 1983
The Political Committee of the European Parliament held the first of a series of meetings to consider its draft report on Northern Ireland. The Rapporteur was Mr N.J. Haagerup and the report called for power-sharing and the preparation of a plan by the (then) European Economic Community (EEC) to aid the economic development of Northern Ireland. [The Committee had been asked to prepare the report on 23 February 1983. The report was passed by the European Parliament on 29 March 1984.]

Saturday 25 February 1984
There was a Loyalist demonstration at Stormont, Belfast, against the proposal to change the name of Londonderry District Council to Derry District Council. [There was no proposal to change the official name of the city.]

Wednesday 29 February 1984
The Northern Ireland Assembly voted by 20 votes to 1 against a proposal to extend the 1967 Abortion Act, which covered Britain, to Northern Ireland.

Thursday 1 March 1984
Frank Millar, Ulster Unionist Party, won a Northern Ireland Assembly by-election. He was returned unopposed.

Thursday 26 April 1984
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) issued a series of proposals for the future of Northern Ireland. The UUP suggested that the area should have a regional council with administrative powers.

Wednesday 2 May 1984
Report of New Ireland Forum
The New Ireland Forum Report was published. The authors of the report criticised Britain's policy of ‘crisis management’ since 1968. The report set out three possible options for the future of Northern Ireland: join with the Republic in a United Ireland; joint authority over the region by the Republic of Ireland and Britain; a federal or confederal arrangement. Charles Haughey, then leader of Fianna Fáil (FF), said that unity was the only option. The report rejects the use of violence to achieve political change in Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 23 May 1984
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) announced that it was ending its boycott of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Monday 2 July 1984
James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, addressed the House of Commons and rejected the three main options proposed in the Report of the New Ireland Forum.

Monday 10 September 1984 or Tuesday 11 September 1984 ??
Douglas Hurd replaced James Prior as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Rhodes Boyson became the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

Thursday 20 September 1984
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) put forward proposals for devolution of power to Northern Ireland. The scheme would have involved a majority cabinet government with a Bill of Rights and minority representation on department committees.

Friday 12 October 1984
Brighton Bombing
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb attack on the Grand Hotel, Brighton, England, which was being used as the base for the Conservative Party's annual conference. Four people were killed in the attack and another person died later from injuries received. [The attack was an attempt to kill Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, and members of her cabinet and it very nearly succeeded. It was later discovered that the bomb had been planted with a long delay timing device in one of the rooms of the hotel. The IRA later issued a statement directed at Thatcher: "Today, we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once - you will have to be lucky always."] Neil Kinnock, then leader of the Labour Party, said during a television interview that Irish Unity would not be achieved for many decades.

Saturday 13 October 1984
Douglas Hurd, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, delivered a speech to the Conservative Party annual conference in Brighton, England. Hurd rejected the three main options that had been proposed in the report of the New Ireland Forum.

Tuesday 16 October 1984
Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, said that she was not in favour of any "sudden new initiative" on Northern Ireland.

Monday 19 November 1984
Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), travelled to Chequers in England for an Anglo-Irish summit meeting with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister. Following the meeting Thatcher ruled out the three options proposed in the Report of the New Ireland Forum: "A united Ireland was one solution. That is out. A second solution was confederation of the two states. That is out. A third solution was joint authority. That is out." [Thatcher's ‘out, out, out’ comments were considered by many Nationalists as being perfunctorily dismissive.]

Wednesday 21 November 1984
[It was reported that Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), had told his party members that the behaviour of Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, during the summit meeting on 19 November 1984 had been "gratuitously offensive".]

Tuesday 4 December 1984
Douglas Hurd, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, told the Northern Ireland Assembly that Unionists would have to move their political position in order to find an accommodation with Nationalists.

Friday 30 August 1985
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), attended a meeting at Downing Street, London, with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister. The two Unionist leaders had asked for the meeting to protest at the continuing Anglo-Irish talks between the two governments.

Monday 2 September 1985
Tom King replaced Douglas Hurd as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 30 October 1985
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), attended a meeting at Downing Street, London, with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister. The two Unionists again protested at the continuing Anglo-Irish talks between the two governments. They warned that a consultative role in Northern Ireland affairs for the government in the Republic of Ireland would lead to a Loyalist backlash.

Friday 15 November 1985
Anglo-Irish Agreement Signed
Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, and Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) at Hillsborough, County Down, on behalf of the two governments. The first part of the document stated: "The two Governments (a) affirm that any change in the status of Northern Ireland would only come about with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland." The Agreement established the Inter-Governmental Conference that for the first time gave the Irish government a consultative role in matters related to security, legal affairs, politics, and cross-border co-operation. The Agreement also stated that the two governments would support any future wish by the people of Northern Ireland to enter into a united Ireland. Many Nationalists saw this as an important development. Unionists were outraged at the Agreement and began a long campaign to have the AIA removed. [The AIA was only superseded when the Good Friday Agreement was implemented on 2 December 1999.] Loyalist paramilitaries also reacted and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) declared all members of the Anglo-Irish Conference and Secretariat to be 'legitimate targets'. Ian Gow, then British Treasury Minister, resigned in protest at the signing of the Agreement.

Saturday 16 November 1985
The Northern Ireland Assembly voted by 44 votes to 10 for a motion calling for a referendum to be held on the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Unionists also announced that on 17 December 1985 all 15 Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Members of Parliament (MPs) would resign their seats and so cause by-elections in most of the parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland. Unionists also said they would withdraw from all advisory boards in Northern Ireland and refuse to meet with government ministers.

Tuesday 19 November 1985
The 18 District Councils that were controlled by Unionists voted for a policy of adjournment against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The councils also threatened to refuse to set the 'rates' (local government taxes). [These developments sparked a long period of disruption in local government in Northern Ireland.]

Wednesday 20 November 1985

Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was physically attacked by Loyalist protesters as he arrived for a function at Belfast City Hall. The protests were against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [George Seawright, then a Loyalist councillor, was jailed for nine months in October 1986 for his part in this protest.]

Thursday 21 November 1985
In the Republic of Ireland there was a vote in the Dáil on the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Although Fianna Fáil (FF) voted against the Agreement the motion was passed by 88 votes to 75. Charles Haughey, then leader of FF, said he would not oppose developments that were of benefit to Nationalists living in Northern Ireland.

Saturday 23 November 1985
Unionist Rally Against AIA
There was a huge Unionist rally, estimated at over 100,000 people, at Belfast City Hall to protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [The slogan in the campaign against the AIA was ‘Ulster Says NO’ and it was one that was to appear throughout the region and to remain for a considerable number of years.]

Monday 25 November 1985
Unionists lost a High Court action in London during which they sought leave to challenge certain aspects of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Tuesday 26 November 1985
In the House of Commons at Westminster a two-day debate on the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) began.

Wednesday 27 November 1985
The House of Commons approved the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in a vote of 473 votes to 47. During her speech Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, said that the government would not give way to threats or violence.

Thursday 5 December 1985
Unionist members in the Northern Ireland Assembly established a Grand Committee of the Assembly to examine the impact of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) on government departments.

Friday 6 December 1985
The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) took the decision to withdraw from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Tuesday 17 December 1985
Unionist MPs Resign
All 15 Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) resigned their seats in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Their intention was to highlight opposition to the Agreement in Northern Ireland during the by-elections that would be caused.

Friday 3 January 1986
Pascal O'Hare, then a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Assembly Member, resigned from the party because he believed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) secured the union with Britain and reduced the chance of a united Ireland.

Tuesday 14 January 1986
Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that the forthcoming Westminster by-elections, brought about in protest to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA), would not change the government's support for the Agreement.

Thursday 23 January 1986
Westminster By-Elections
Fifteen Westminster by-elections were held across Northern Ireland. The by-elections were caused when Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) resigned their seats in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Unionists fought the election under the slogan 'Ulster Says No' and wanted the elections to act as a referendum on the AIA. The SDLP decided not to nominate candidates in safe Unionists seats but instead fought in four marginal constituencies. [When counting of the votes was completed it became clear that Unionists had increased their vote on the 1983 general election. The vote for Sinn Féin (SF) was down by 5 per cent on the 1985 local government election. Seamus Mallon of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) won the Newry and Armagh seat from Jim Nicholson of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). As most of the constituencies were uncontested by Nationalist candidates, Unionists put up dummy candidates called 'Peter Barry' in four seats. Peter Barry was at the time Irish Foreign Minister.]
Brian Mawhinney, then Member of Parliament (MP) for Peterborough, was appointed as a junior minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). Mawhinney was originally from Northern Ireland.

Friday 24 January 1986
Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that he was encouraged by the swing away from Sinn Féin (SF) in the Westminster by-elections.

Tuesday 25 February 1986
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meeting with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, to discuss the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Following the meeting the two Unionist leaders said that they welcomed Thatcher's promise to consider their proposals for talks on devolution for Northern Ireland. [When Moylneaux and Paisley returned to Northern Ireland and held talks with other Unionist representatives in the region, including the leaders of workers in the power stations and the shipyard, they decided that they would hold no further discussions with the Prime Minister until the AIA was overturned.] Belfast City Council voted to refuse to set a 'rate' (local government tax) in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [In seventeen other councils across Northern Ireland, where Unionists were in a majority, a similar decision was taken.]

Wednesday 26 February 1986
Leaders of Unionism announced that there would be a general strike, or 'Day of Action', on 3 March (1986) against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Monday 3 March 1986
Unionist 'Day of Action’
There was a widespread general strike, or 'Day of Action', in Northern Ireland in support of Unionist demands for the ending of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Most aspects of life across the region were disrupted as factories and shops closed. Public transport including air travel was also affected. [While many Protestants supported the strike and voluntarily stayed at home there was also a high level of intimidation with masked Loyalists setting up barricades. There were riots in Loyalist areas during the evening and night and shots were fired at the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Later RUC figures showed that there had been 237 reported cases of intimidation, 57 people arrested, and 47 RUC officers injured. The government and the security forces were later criticised for not keeping the main roads open and for not trying to end the intimidation.]

Tuesday 4 March 1986
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), issued a joint statement which condemned the violence and the intimidation during the 'Day of Action' (3 March 1986). Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, speaking in the House of Commons said that Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) had made common cause with men in paramilitary uniforms.

Monday 10 March 1986
Unionist leaders said that they would resume talks with the British government if the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was suspended.

Tuesday 11 March 1986
The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) arrested three Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Assembly Members when they tried to enter Stormont Castle where the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference was in session. [The DUP members were attempting to cut through a wire fence when they were arrested.]

Wednesday 23 April 1986
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), announced a 12-point plan of civil disobedience in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Among the measures was a 'rates' (local government taxes) strike.

Friday 25 April 1986
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Executive voted to end the special relationship with the British Conservative Party. [The relationship dated from the first Home Rule crises. The Conservative and Unionist Party was the official title of the conservatives.]

Thursday 29 May 1986
Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, informed the House of Commons of the decision to dissolve the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Monday 23 June 1986
Northern Ireland Assembly Dissolved
The Northern Ireland Assembly was officially dissolved. A group of 200 Loyalist protesters gathered outside Stormont and when trouble erupted the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) baton-charged the crowd. Inside the debating chamber 22 Unionist politicians refused to leave the building. [Early the next day the RUC removed the Unionist politicians, including Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).]

Wednesday 2 July 1986
Unionist politicians established their own version of the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast City Hall. [These proceedings were maintained for several months until November 1986 when they were discontinued.]


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