CAIN Web Service

Irish Peace Process - Chronology of Events Leading to Peace Process (January 1988 - April 1993)



[CAIN_Home]
[KEY_EVENTS] [Key_Issues] [Conflict_Background]
PEACE: [Menu] [Summary] [Reading] [Background] [Chronology_1] [Chronology_2] [Chronology_3] [Articles] [Agreement] [Sources]

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

This is a draft (v2) of chronology of the key dates of events leading up to the beginning of the Irish Peace Process. This chronology has been compiled from a number of sources.

Chronology (1) of events leading up to the Peace Process (January 1988 - April 1993)
Chronology (2) of events during the Peace Process (April 1993 - April 1998)
Chronology (3) of events during the Peace Process (April 1998 - December 1999)
for more recent events see the draft chronologies for 2000 and 2001

1988

January 1988 to August 1988
A series of talks were held between John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

11 January 1988
John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), met with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF). This was the first in a series of discussions between the two men.

1 August 1988
An Irish Republic Army (IRA) bomb killed one soldier and injured nine at an army barracks in London. It was the first IRA bomb in Britain since the 'Brighton' bombing on 12 October 1984.

30 August 1988
Last in a series meetings between John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

14 October 1988
Members from four Northern Ireland political parties met for talks in Duisburg, West Germany. The parties involved were; Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Little progress was reported from the meetings.

19 October 1988
The British government introduced broadcasting restrictions on certain organisations proscribed in Northern Ireland and Britain. The groups concerned were, Sinn Féin (SF), Republican Sinn Féin (RSF), and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).


1989

5 March 1989
Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), made a speech in which he said that he sought a "non-armed political movement to work for self-determination" in Ireland.

24 July 1989
Peter Brooke was appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

3 November 1989
Speech by Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in which he admitted that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) could not be defeated militarily. He also said that he could not rule out talks with Sinn Féin (SF) if there was an end to violence.


1990

9 November 1990
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, made a major speech on the British position to an audience in London. In the speech he said that Britain had no "strategic or economic interest" in Northern Ireland and would accept unification of Ireland if that was the wish of the people of Northern Ireland.

15 ? November 1990
Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), made a response to Peter Brooke's speech of the 9 November 1990.


1991

29 April 1991
A ceasefire announced by the Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) began on midnight.

14 March 1991
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced to the House of Commons that talks involving the four main parties in Northern Ireland would take place during a gap in the operation of the Anglo-Irish Conference meetings. These talks were the first of a series lasting from March 1991 to November 1992 which became known as the Brooke / Mayhew Talks.

25 March 1991
All the parties involved in the Brooke / Mayhew Talks agreed to the arrangements for the talks.

26 March 1991
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the Brooke / Mayhew Talks will involve a three-strand process. This process was to include relationships within Northern Ireland, between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and between the British and Irish Governments.

3 July 1991
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced at Westminster that he was bringing this stage of the Brooke / Mayhew Talks to an end.

4 July 1991
The Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) announced the end of the ceasefire, as of midnight, that had begun on 29 April 1991.

16 September 1991 - 20 September 1991
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a series of meetings with leaders of the political parties in Northern Ireland to try to restart the talks process.

4 December 1991
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, again met the leaders of the political parties in Northern Ireland to try to begin all-party talks.

October 1991
Douglas Hurd, then British Foreign Secretary, made a speech which included a section devoted to Northern Ireland.


1992

17 February 1992
Sinn Féin held their annual conference - Árd Fheis - in a community hall in Ballyfermot, Dublin. A document, Towards a Lasting Peace in Ireland (Sinn Féin, 1992), was launched.

9 April 1992
A general election was held in the United Kingdom (UK). Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), lost his seat in West Belfast to Dr Joe Hendron of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

11 April 1992
Patrick Mayhew replaced Peter Brooke as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

27 April 1992
There was an announcement at the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference that there would be a three month break in its meetings to allow the Brooke / Mayhew Talks to recommence.

29 April 1992
The Brooke / Mayhew Talks recommenced at Stormont.

12 June 1992
The parties involved in the Brooke / Mayhew Talks agreed to begin work on Strand Two and Strand Three of the process even though discussions on Strand One were at a standstill.

19 June 1992
There was a meeting between representatives of the British and Irish Governments and the Northern Ireland parties to discuss an agenda for Strand Two of the Brooke / Mayhew Talks.

30 June 1992
Further meetings were held in London as part of the Brooke / Mayhew Talks.

1 July 1992
In a significant shift in approach the Unionist parties agreed to talks with politicians from the Republic of Ireland under Strand Two of the Brooke / Mayhew Talks.

6 July 1992 - 8 July 1992
As part of the Brooke / Mayhew Talks there were discussions in London between the British and Irish Governments and the Northern Ireland political parties.

24 July 1992
There was a summer adjournment in Strand Two of the Brooke / Mayhew Talks. The talks recommenced on 2 September 1992.

10 August 1992
Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was to be banned from midnight.

2 September 1992
Following the summer adjournment, Strand Two of the Brooke / Mayhew Talks resumed.

9 September 1992
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), walked out of the Brooke / Mayhew Talks.

21 - 23 September 1992
Jim Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led a delegation from the UUP to talks in Dublin with the Irish Government. The talks were based on Strand Two. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) did not attend the talks in Dublin.

26 September 1992
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) returned to the resumed Brooke / Mayhew Talks at Stormont.

6 November 1992
The Irish Coalition Government collapsed and a general election was called for 25 November 1992.

10 November 1992
Unionists withdrew from the Brooke / Mayhew Talks and brought the process to an end. Their action was provoked by the restart of work of the Maryfield secretariat, set up as a result of the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

24 December 1992
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) called a three-day ceasefire.


1993

Wednesday 7 April 1993
Gordon Wilson met with representatives of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to try to persuade them to stop their military campaign.

Friday 9 April 1993
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued its Easter message.


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within the University of Ulster.


go to the top of this page go to the top of this page
Last modified :