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A Draft Chronology of the Conflict - 2001



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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

A Chronology of the Conflict - 1968 to the Present 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003            

The following is a draft chronology of the conflict for the year 2001. For additional material on the peace process see the list of source documents.

2001 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sources Notes

2001

January 2001

Tuesday 2 January 2001
item mark Several families were moved from their homes in north Belfast after two pipe-bombs were found. The devices were discovered near Saint Matthew's Church of Ireland church on Cambrai Street. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries. [Loyalist pipe-bomb attacks on Catholic families continued on an almost nightly basis throughout the year.]

Thursday 4 January 2001
item mark A Catholic family were forced to leave their home following a pipe-bomb attack and gun attack. There were no injuries during the attack. A window was broken when a pipe-bomb exploded in the front garden while one bullet lodged in the window frame and a second was found on the living room floor. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Friday 5 January 2001
item mark Ken Maginnis, then Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament (MP), and a strong ally of David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), announced that he would step down as MP at the next Westminster election. [There was media speculation about what impact his departure would have on the balance of power between the pro- and anti-Agreement elements within the UUP.]

Saturday 6 January 2001
item mark The body of George Legge (37), a former senior member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), was found dumped in a field at Clontonacally Road in Carryduff, County Antrim. Police said that he had been badly beaten before being stabbed to death. [It was believed that the UDA was responsible for the killing which was part of an internal UDA dispute. There was media speculation that Legge had been involved in drugs and had fallen out of favour with the UDA. He had been drinking in a public house, the 'Bunch of Grapes' in east Belfast, and it is thought that he was first attacked there. There was a malicious fire at the rear of the pub shortly after the discovery of Legge's body. The Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) reported that Legge had been decapitated.]
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Sunday 7 January 2001
item mark There were pipe-bomb attacks on two families in Ballymena, County Antrim. It is understood that 11 people, including six children, escaped injury in the two attacks which took place within an hour of each other during the evening. In the first incident, a pipe-bomb was thrown through the living room window of a house on Ballymena’s Cushendall Road at 8.30pm. At around 9.20pm a pipe-bomb was thrown at a house in Clonavon Road near Ballymena town centre. Three adults and three children in the house escaped injury. The attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Tuesday 9 January 2001
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in Larne. The device was thrown through the front window of the house but only partially exploded. A mother and her son were in the living room at the time but the two escaped uninjured. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) described the incident as attempted murder. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Thursday 11 January 2001
item mark A father-of four was injured when a bomb was thrown through a rear window and partially exploded on the floor of his Larne home. His children, three girls and a boy aged between 11 and 21, were upstairs and asleep at the time. item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on the constituency office of Alban Maginness, then SDLP Assembly member. The office is on the Antrim Road in Belfast. Four members of a scout group were meeting upstairs in the building near Duncairn Gardens, on an interface between the Protestant and Catholic communities, when the attack happened. Two men had placed the device inside the front door of the building and it exploded at 9.00pm. .Maginness blamed the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) for the attack.

Friday 12 January 2001
item mark A pipe-bomb was thrown at a house at Lettercreeve in the Ballee area of Ballymena. The device bounced off a window and landed in the garden. The family in the house at the time escaped injury. item mark There was also a pipe-bomb attack on a public house in Ahoghill, County Antrim. British Army (BA) technical officers were called to deal with a device that had been left on a windowsill of the pub in the Diamond area. The bar was used by both sides of the community and there was some doubt about the motive for the attack. item mark A 16 year old boy from Kilrea, County Derry, picked up a pipe-bomb that had been left at his family home before realising what it was. His mother said she was baffled as to why her family had been targeted.

Tuesday 16 January 2001
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in Coleraine, County Derry. A couple and their two children, aged seven and 13, were in the house at the Heights in Coleraine when the device exploded just after midnight. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries. item mark British Army (BA) bomb disposal experts defused a pipe-bomb at the north Belfast home of the brother of Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Loyalists paramilitaries were believed to be responsible for leaving the device in the front garden of the house on the Cavehill Road. No-one was in the house at the time.

Wednesday 17 January 2001
item mark A pipe-bomb was thrown at a Catholic-owned public house in Antrim at about 8.30pm. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said that they were treating the attack as sectarian. Police said that a man wearing a hooded top attempted to throw the device through a window. It failed to explode, and was taken away for examination. No-one was injured. item mark In Ballymoney, County Antrim, a Catholic family targeted in a pipe-bomb attack have said they believed the motive was sectarian. The pipe-bomb was discovered in the garden of their house after a telephoned warning. Both attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Tuesday 23 January 2001
item mark A 70 year old man carried a pipe-bomb out of his home in Garvagh, County Derry, after it was thrown through a window and landed at his feet about 1.00am. Not realising what it was, he lifted it and took it outside. His 60 year old neighbour, who lives alone, had been asleep when a similar device was hurled through her window. The householders, both Protestant, said they had no idea why their homes had been targeted. The attacks were not thought to have been sectarian.

Tuesday 23 January 2001
Republican Mortar Attack
item mark There was a mortar attack on a British Army base in Derry. Dissident Republican Paramilitaries were believed to have been responsible for the attack.
item mark Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, held meetings with the pro-Agreement political parties to try to break the impasse over the remaining issues of police reform, demilitarisation, and paramilitary disarmament.

Wednesday 24 January 2001
Mandelson Resigned
item mark Five members of a Catholic family - including a six year old girl - escaped injury when a pipe-bomb exploded in the living room of their home shortly before 1.00am. The device caused extensive damage to the interior of the terraced house and blew in all the windows downstairs. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.
item mark Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, resigned from the British cabinet (for the second time in his political career) over his alleged role in the Hinduja passport affair. His departure came in the midst of a further crisis over the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. John Reid, then Secretary of State for Scotland, was appointed to succeed Mandelson. He was the first Catholic to hold the post.

Thursday 25 January 2001
item mark Six 'improvised bombs' were found on the roof of a school in a Loyalist area of east Belfast. More than 160 pupils and staff had to be evacuated while British Army (BA) bomb disposal officers dealt with the devices. There was speculation that the devices were being stored prior to use on Catholics homes in the nearby Nationalist Short Strand area.

Friday 26 January 2001
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack in Ballymoney. It took place in the same housing estate where the Quinn children were killed on 12 July 1998. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said it could not rule out a sectarian motive for the attack. item mark There were pipe-bomb attacks on the homes of two Catholic families in the Waterside area of Derry. The two families were related. [Only one of the devices was found at the time, the remains of the second device was discovered on Sunday 28 January 2001.] The attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Monday 29 January 2001
item mark Six members of one family escaped injury after a pipe-bomb was left in their refuse bin. The device was uncovered just after midnight at the rear of a house in a predominantly Nationalist estate in Greencastle. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries. item mark A Catholic couple escaped injury when a pipe-bomb was thrown through the living room window of their home in Coleraine, County Derry, shortly before midnight. item mark Just over an hour earlier the home of a Catholic mother-of-two was targeted in the Harpurs Hill area of Coleraine. The woman was in her kitchen when a pipe-bomb was thrown through the window. It landed on the floor but failed to explode. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said that both attacks were sectarian. The attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Wednesday 31 January 2001
item mark A Catholic worker at the Wishing Well Family Centre on the predominantly Protestant Alliance Road, Belfast, escaped injury when a pipe-bomb was hurled through her car window. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries. At around the same time the RUC received two bomb warnings in the nearby Nationalist Ardoyne area,

February 2001

Thursday 1 February 2001
item mark Two pipe-bomb attacks on Catholic homes in Ballynahinch were condemned as a "blatant attempt at murder". A family of six was asleep in Loughside Drive when the first device exploded shortly after 2.00am, smashing a window. Around 10 minutes later a second device went off two doors away, near where neighbours had walked past to investigate the first blast. No-one was injured. The attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Friday 2 February 2001
item mark Components for 11 pipe-bombs were uncovered in Larne, County Antrim, following a planned search of derelict houses in the predominantly Protestant Antiville estate. The discovery was described as a "manufacturing base" in the town that was the scene of numerous sectarian attacks in previous months.

Saturday 3 February 2001
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on a public house in the village of Whitehead, County Antrim. Customers escaped injury after the device failed to explode when it was thrown through a window. item mark A pipe-bomb explosion in north Belfast came close to killing an entire family. Two parents and their three children escaped around midnight when a fire caused by the explosion gutted their house in the New Lodge area of north Belfast. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Sunday 4 February 2001
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) described a pipe-bomb used in an attack in Newcastle, County Down, in which a couple were injured, as a "relatively sophisticated device". The 24 year old woman and 25 year old man sustained minor leg injuries after they lifted the device from the top of their car. The police said a 13 year old boy also suffered a minor cut to his arm as he was walking past when the device exploded. item mark A north Belfast family escaped injury when a pipe-bomb was thrown through the window of their home. The family fled from their home in the New Lodge area as it caught fire. The RUC said they were treating the attack as attempted murder.

Monday 5 February 2001
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on a Catholic family in Ardoyne, north Belfast. The device failed to explode and was found in the living room. Two adults and three children, aged one to 15, were uninjured in the incident. The man, a former republican prisoner, said he received a warning from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) on Friday night that he was being targeted by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD). The man discovered the device at 8.45am when he was preparing to take his children to school. [The RHD is a cover name that has been used in the past by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).] item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on a Cathoic family in north Belfast. The father said he was sitting watching television in the house shortly after midnight when he heard two men talking outside. He said one of the men smashed the window and the other threw something into the front room. He and his family escaped injury when a fire-ball tore through the house and gutted the building. Both attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Wednesday 7 February 2001
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in the mainly Protestant Fountain estate in Derry. A couple and their children escaped injury when a device was left at their home in the early hours of the morning. The device partially exploded causing minor damage to an outer wall about 1.00am. The couple raised the alarm after discovering the six-inch device under a car. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries. item mark There were pipe-bomb attacks on Catholic homes in Limavady. One device exploded in the front garden of a house at Eventide Gardens, the other at a house on Edenmore Park. Patrick Vincent, whose home was targeted, said he did not know why his family had been singled out. The pipe-bomb exploded outside a bedroom of the house where he lives with his pregnant girlfriend. The attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries. item mark A Loyalist, whose family escaped injury in a pipe-bomb attack on their home in Lurgan, County Armagh, claims the police knew it was going to happen. The family were at home when the bomb exploded at 12.40am. It caused scorch damage to the front door and also damaged the front of a neighbour's house. The man blamed the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) for the attack and for two previous attempts on his life.

Saturday 10 February 2001
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on a Catholic home in Derry. A couple and their two nieces, aged five and three, escaped injury when the device was thrown through the kitchen window of their home in the Waterside area. It exploded, causing minor damage to the house. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Sunday 11 February 2001
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) uncovered a 'bomb factory' in a block of flats in a Loyalist area of north Belfast. A significant amount of explosives and component parts for making pipe-bombs were seized during raids of three flats in Ross House in the Mount Vernon area. Police later linked the find to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). item mark The home of a Catholic family was damaged in a pipe-bomb attack in north Belfast. The device was thrown at the back of the house shortly before 1.30am. A number of windows were smashed and a door was damaged. The people inside the house, two men and a woman, escaped injury. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Tuesday 13 February 2001
item mark British Army (BA) technical experts have made safe a pipe-bomb in Belfast that had been picked up by a 4 year old girl and carried into her home. The target of the attack was a Catholic family living on the Springfield Road in the west of the city. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Wednesday 21 February 2001
Political Discussions
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), travelled to London for a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, at Downing Street. Trimble stated that the Good Friday Agreement was moving towards a review because of a lack of progress on disarmament. Blair also held meetings with other pro-Agreement parties. Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said there was a real risk that the Agreement might collapse within a week.

Friday 23 February 2001
item mark An advertising campaign was launched to try to attract a large number of recruits to the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The target was to attract equal numbers of Protestants and Catholics. Nationalists and Republicans argued that they had not yet endorsed the new force which is due to replace the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Sinn Féin (SF) had attempted in court to stop the adverts.

Monday 26 February 2001
item mark Brian Keenan made a speech warning that there could be a return to armed conflict if the political process broke down. [Keenan was reportedly the then Chief of Staff of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army (IRA).]

March 2001

Sunday 4 March 2001
Bomb Explosion in London

item mark A car-bomb exploded outside British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Television Centre in west London at 12.30am (00.30GMT). A warning had been received at 11.20pm (23.20GMT) on Saturday evening. The bomb (thought to have contained 20 kilograms of home-made explosives) exploded as bomb squad officers tried to carry out a controlled explosion on a taxi left near Television Centre. One man was injured in the explosion and there was some damage to surrounding buildings. [The bomb was thought to have been planted by the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA). There was speculation that the bomb was in retaliation for last year's Panorama programme which named four men allegedly responsible for the Omagh bombing.]

Thursday 8 March 2001
Political Talks in Northern Ireland
item mark Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held new talks in Belfast with the political parties. It appeared that the two governments were resigned to being unable to achieve any breakthrough deal before the British general election. However the two men hoped for an interim agreement to keep the peace process alive. item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) stated that it was willing to meet with John de Chastelain (Gen.), then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). [This was to be the first meeting since June 2000. Most Unionists were not impressed by the IRA offer of talks and demanded action on disarmament.]

Wednesday 14 March 2001
item mark Adrian Porter (34), a member of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), died several hours after being shot at his home in Conlig, near Bangor, County Down. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) were responsible for the killing which was part of a feud between the LVF and the UVF.
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Saturday 31 March 2001
Loyalists Mortally Wound Protestant Man
item mark Trevor Thomas Lowry (49), a Protestant civilian, was badly beaten, and mortally wounded, in an attack in Glengormley, Newtownabbey, County Antrim. He was found at 11.30pm (2330BST) and taken to hospital. [Lowry died on Tuesday 3 April 2001.] Police said that they believed the attack was a sectarian one carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries who thought that Lowry was a Catholic. [In April 2001, members of the (Ulster) Young Militants (YM), the youth wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), appeared in Belfast High Court accused of his murder. It was reported that Lowry was repeatedly stamped upon during the attack.]

April 2001

Monday 2 April 2001
item mark A Protestant civilian was mistaken for a Catholic and beaten to death by Loyalists in Belfast.
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Tuesday 10 April 2001
item mark The Northern Ireland Assembly was recalled from recess for an emergency debate, initiated by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), about a display of Easter lilies in the reception hall of Stormont. The lilies had been commissioned by Sinn Féin (SF). [Easter lilies are a Republican symbol and most Unionists were opposed to the display. However the motion was rejected as it did not receive cross-community support. "What sort of lunacy has descended on this Assembly that we have to be urgently reconvened over a bowl of lilies?" asked Alban Maginness of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).]

Wednesday 11 April 2001
item mark Grahame Marks (37), a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was shot dead at his home, Tullyhue Park, Tandragee, County Armagh. The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) were responsible for the killing which was part of a feud between the LVF and the UVF.
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Thursday 12 April 2001
Census Day

item mark The Census was conducted across Britain and Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland contained two questions on Religion. [The Religon Report of the Census would not be published for a year or two but there was speculation about how large an increase there would be in the percentage of Catholics in the region. Analysis of the 1991 Census put the figure for Catholics at 41.5 per cent of the population. There was speculation that the figure could now be as high as 45 per cent.]
item mark Security forces made safe a "barrack buster" bomb which had been discovered at Altmore Forest, Galbally, County Tyrone. The bomb was believed to have been manufactured by the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA).

Friday 13 April 2001
item mark The "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) issued a statement to mark the 85th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin. The statement read: "Partition has failed and those who attempt to uphold it will fail. As for republicans, we will continue to attack the problem at its root and make no apology for undertaking this necessary task."

Saturday 14 April 2001
Bomb Explosion in London
item mark There was a bomb explosion at a Post Office delivery depot in north London at 11.28pm (2328BST). There had been no warning of the bomb but no one was injured in the explosion which caused "minor" damage to the building at The Hyde in Hendon. The "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) was thought to have been responsible for the attack.

Saturday 21 April 2001
Christopher O'Kane (37), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead near to his home in Tullyally, Derry. [It was believed that Republican paramilitaries carried out the killing although no organisations claimed responsibility.]
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May 2001

Thursday 3 May 2001
item mark Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), formally confirmed that he had been the "second-in-command" of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Derry when the events of 'Bloody Sunday' took place on 30 January 1972. The statement was made in advance of his expected appearance at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Friday 4 May 2001
item mark Paul Daly (38), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead while sitting in his stationary car, outside a relative's home, in Stephen Street, off Carrick Hill, north Belfast. [It is not known which paramilitary organisation was responsible for his killing.]
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Sunday 6 May 2001
Bomb Explosion in London
item mark There was a bomb explosion at a Post Office delivery depot in north London at 1.53am (0153BST). The explosion happened at the same building where another bomb had exploded on 14 April 2001. Again there was no warning of the bomb and one man was injured in the explosion. The "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) was thought to have been responsible for the attack.

Tuesday 8 May 2001
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that he would resign as First Minister on 1 July 2001 unless the Irish Republican Army (IRA) began to decommission its weapons. [Trimble did resign on 1 July 2001.]

Thursday 17 May 2001
item mark Sean MacStiofain (73), former Chief of Staff of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army (IRA), died in a hospital in the Republic of Ireland after a long illness. He became Chief of Staff of the Provisionals after they split from the Official IRA in 1970. [MacStiofain had been born John Stephenson in London.]

Wednesday 23 May 2001
item mark Bill Clinton, former President of the USA, paid another visit to Northern Ireland beginning in Derry. He said: "I came here to reaffirm my belief in the Good Friday Agreement because it is still the right path to the future for peace, reconciliation, and fairness,"

Sunday 27 May 2001
item mark Stephen Manners (40), an ex-member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was shot dead while in Jimmy Mac's Bar, North Street, Newtownards, County Down. [It was believed that Loyalist paramilitaries carried out the killing although no organisations claimed responsibility.]
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June 2001

Thursday 7 June 2001
Westminster General Election

item mark There was a Westminster General Election across Britain and Northern Ireland. There were also local government District Councils elections on the same day. [Following the count of the votes both Sinn Féin (SF) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) made significant gains. Sinn Féin replace the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) as the largest Nationalist party. Seven of Northern Ireland's 18 seats changed hands as a result of the election.]

Monday 18 June 2001
New Political Talks
item mark Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), launched another attempt to find a resolution of the outstanding issues in the peace process. The two leaders held talks with represetatives of the three main pro-Agreement parties: the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Sinn Féin (SF).

Tuesday 19 June 2001
School-children Face Loyalist Protest
item mark Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers had to protect children and parents entering the Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in north Belfast after they were attacked by Loyalist stone throwers. Police described the attack as "vicious". The school is on the Ardoyne Road next to the Loyalist Glenbryn estate. Following the incident a blockade of the school developed. [The blockade was to continue each morning during the remainder of the school term (until 29 June 2001) with Loyalists standing across the road and RUC officers refusing Catholic children and their parents permission to proceed along the road to the school. Some of the school-children and their parents were forced to enter the building through the grounds of another school. The protests resumed on 3 September 2001 when the school reopened for the new term.]

Wednesday 20 June 2001
item mark The Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne north Belfast was forced to close when Loyalists from the Glenbryn estate blockaded the entrance to the school. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers advised children and parents not to attempt to enter the school. item mark During the evening there were serious distrubances in the area around the Holy Cross school as hundreds of Loyalists and Nationalists were involved in riots with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Shots were also fired at the police during the evening. During the riots the RUC fired a number of the new 'L21 A1' plastic baton rounds. [This was the first time the new rounds had been used.]

Thursday 21 June 2001
item mark There was another Loyalist blockade of the road to the Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers advised children and parents not to attempt to enter the school. Eventually about 60 of the school's 230 pupils entered the school throught the grounds of another school. Gerry Kelly, then a senior member of Sinn Féin (SF), said: "It's like something out of Alabama in the 1960s". item mark Three Protestant families left their homes in Ardoyne Avenue, north Belfast, after they said that they were afraid of a Nationalist attack. item mark During the evening and night there were serious distrubances in the area around the Holy Cross school. Loyalists fired ten shots, and threw six blast bombs and 46 petrol bombs at police lines.

Friday 22 June 2001
item mark There was another Loyalist blockade of the road to the Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers again prevented children and parents from attempting to enter the school through the front gate. Some of the school's pupils entered the school throught the grounds of another school.

Saturday 23 June 2001
Loyalists Kill Catholic Man
item mark John Henry McCormick (25), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead in the Ballysally area of Coleraine, County Derry. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers said that they believed he had been shot by Loyalist paramilitaries. [The RUC had visited McCormick on Thursday 21 June 2001 and advised him of a threat to his life. The family had been attacked with a pipe-bomb during May 2001.]
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item mark There was an annual general meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC), the policy-making body of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) repeated his threat to resign as first minister on 1 July 2001. Trimble successfully avoided a leadership challenge and was elected unopposed by Council members.

Friday 29 June 2001
item mark The Loyalist blockade of the road to the Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast, continued on the last day of the school term. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers again prevented children and parents from attempting to enter the school through the front gate. [The Loyalist blockade of the school had begun on 19 June 2001 and resumed when the school opened for the new term on Monday 3 September 2001.]

July 2001

Sunday 1 July 2001
Trimble Resigned As First Minister
item mark The resignation of David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), as First Minister took effect as of midnight on Saturday. Trimble called on Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, to suspend the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA) and the other institutions established under the Good Friday agreement. [The procedures of the NIA allowed for a six-week period during which a new First Minister and Deputy First Minister would have to be elected otherwise new elections to the Assembly would have to be called. Another option would be for the British government to suspend the Assembly and the institutions and reintroduce Direct Rule. The final option was for there to be a temporary suspension which would have the effect of extending the period in which to find agreement. The Assembly was suspended for 24 hours beginning on Friday 10 August 2001.]

Monday 2 July 2001
item mark John de Chastelain (Gen.), then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), issued a brief statement to say that there had been no progress on Irish Republican Army (IRA) disarmament.

Wednesday 4 July 2001
Loyalists Kill Catholic Teenager
item mark Ciaran Cummings (19), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) while on his way to work in County Antrim. Cummings was shot as he waited for a lift to work at the Greystone roundabout outside Antrim town at 7.30am (0730BST). The gunmen used a motorcycle in the 'drive-by' killing. [The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name used by members of the UDA, claimed responsibility for the killing.]
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Sunday 8 July 2001
item mark The annual Orange Order parade at Drumcree, County Armagh, which had been the setting for violent confrontation for several years, passed off peacefully under a heavy security presence. [However, in the following days there were violent clashes in north Belfast.]

Monday 9 July 2001
Weston Park Talks Began

item mark Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), began a series of intensive political talks with the pro-Agreement parties in the secluded setting of Weston Park, a stately home-cum-hotel on the Shropshire-Staffordshire border in England. [Although the talks went on until Saturday there was no agreement on a way forward. The two Prime Minister said they would publish a document which tried to resolve the remaining issues.]

Wednesday 11 July 2001
item mark There was widespread violence in a number of areas of Belfast on the eve of the 'Twelfth' of July Orange Order parades. Violence also flared at a Loyalist bonfire in Portadown in the late evening and early hours of the 'Twelfth'. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said that 21 of its officers were injured during the rioting and water canon had to be used to disperse crowds of Loyalists.
item mark Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), decided to arrange a resumption of the Weston Park Talks following a break for the 'Twelfth'. [The decision raised hopes that an agreement could be found.]

Thursday 12 July 2001
Serious Violence in Belfast

item mark Orange Order parades took place across Northern Ireland. Speakers at Orange rallies across the region attacked the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement. About a hundred members of the Ballynafeigh Lodge were prevented by a Parades Commission ruling from marching along the Nationalist Lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast. The Parades Commission had also re-routed the main parade in Derry.
item mark The worst riots for a number of years took place as the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) sealed off part of the Nationalist Ardoyne area of Belfast to allow an Orange Order parade to pass close to the Catholic area. The RUC reported that 10 officers had been injured in the disturbances. Nationalists claimed that a number of people had been injured by the RUC with at least 12 people being struck by plastic bullets. [Senior police later accused the Irish Republican Army (IRA) of orchestrating the violence. The claim was rejected by Sinn Féin (SF).] There was also violence in the east of Belfast when a Orange Order parade passed the Nationalist Short Strand area.

Firday 13 July 2001
item mark Political talks resumed at Weston Park in England.

Saturday 14 July 2001
item mark Political talks to try to secure the peace process finally broke down at Weston Park in England. The British and Irish governments said they would now put together a document containing a package of proposals for the parties, on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. [The document was finally presented to the parties, and made public, on 1 August 2001.]

Thursday 19 July 2001
item mark There was an arson attack on a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) clubhouse in Kilkeel, County Down. Loyalist paramilitaries were thought to have been responsible for the attack. [This was the first in a new series of attacks on GAA clubs across Northern Ireland; other attacks on 29 July 2001, 22 August 2001, 23 August 2001.]

Thursday 26 July 2001
item mark There was speculation that the forthcoming implementation plan would include a review of the Parades Commission in an effort to secure Unionist support for the peace process.

Sunday 29 July 2001
Loyalists Kill Protestant Teenager
item mark Gavin Brett (18), a Protestant civilian, was killed by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in a 'drive-by' shooting in Glengormley, County Antrim. Brett was hit by automatic gunfire in a random attack as he stood with Catholic friends outside a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club on the outskirts of Glengormley, near Belfast. [The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name used by members of the UDA, claimed responsibility for the killing.]
death button

Tuesday 31 July 2001
item mark Following a security briefing John Reid, then Secretary of State, warned the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) that he was reviewing its ceasefire following the killing of Gavin Brett on 29 July 2001. However, Dr Reid said that he believed that the UDA had not abandoned its ceasefire.

August 2001

Wednesday 1 August 2001
Implementation Plan Published and Bomb At Belfast Airport

item mark British Army technical officers defused a car-bomb was left in the main car park at Belfast International Airport. There had been an initial warning at 5.00am (0500BST) but security forces were unable to locate the bomb. Following a second warning the vehicle was found close to the main terminal building. The car park was closed but flights in and out of the airport were not affected. The "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) was thought to have been responsible for the attack.
item mark The British and Irish governments published their Implementation Plan for the Good Friday Agreement. The document addressed the remaining issues of policing, normalisation, stability of the institutions, and decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. The political parties were given until Monday 6 August 2001 to give their response to the proposals.
item mark The funeral of Gavin Brett (18), who had been shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries on 29 July 2001, took place at Carnmoney Parish Church. Nigel Baylor (Rev), then Church of Ireland rector, said that those responsible for the killing "have done nothing but bring shame on the name of Protestantism".

Thursday 2 August 2001
Bomb Explosion in London
item mark Republican paramilitaries carried out a car bomb attack in the Ealing area of London. The explosion occurred just before midnight and caused six injuries and some damage to property. A telephone warning was received at 11.33pm (2333BST) but the area was still being cleared when the explosion happened. The bomb (estimated at 40 kilograms of home-made explosives) was thought to have been planted by the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA). [Police in London criticised the warning as being imprecise as to the location; the warning referred to 'Ealing Broadway Road' instead of 'The Broadway, Ealing' (?).]
item mark Former soldiers who were involved in the shootings in Derry on 'Bloody Sunday', 30 January 1972, announced that they would seek a judical review of a ruling by the Inquiry that they must give their evidence in Derry rather than in Britain. [The soldiers had won an earlier ruling allowing them to retain anonymity when giving evidence.]

Firday 3 August 2001
item mark The Ardchomhairle of Sinn Féin held a meeting to consider the party's response to the British and Irish governments' Implementation Plan. The meeting took place in County Louth, Republic of Ireland. The Ardchomhairle is comprised of 41 members, including Gerry Adams, then President of SF, Mitchel McLaughlin, then Chairman, Pat Doherty, then Vice-President, and Martin McGuinness. Sinn Féin rejected Monday's deadline and said that the party needed to see the detail and guarantees on policing reform and demilitarisation. [In the days following the meeting SF said it needed to see more detail on policing, demilitarisation and criminal justice before it could support the package].

Monday 6 August 2001
item mark The date set as the deadline for the political parties to give their response to the British and Irish governments' Implementation Plan for the Good Friday Agreement.
item mark A statement was issued by John de Chastelain (Gen.), then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), in which he announced that an Irish Republican Army (IRA) representative had proposed a method for putting weapons completely and verifiably beyond use. De Chastelain told the British and Irish governments that the proposal met with the Commission's remit in accordance with the governments' scheme and regulations. De Chastelain said in the statement: "Based on our discussions with the IRA representative, we believe that this proposal initiates a process that will put IRA arms completely and verifiably beyond use." Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), declared the statement as a "hugely historical breakthrough".
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) office board consisting of 14 members met on Monday evening to consider its response to the Implementation Plan (1 August 2001) and also the statement by the IICD.

Tuesday 7 August 2001
item mark Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) met for two hours to discuss the British and Irish government's Implementation Plan (1 August 2001) and also the statement by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) (6 August 2001). Following the meeting the UUP rejected both the Implementation Plan and the latest moves on the decommissioning of weapons held by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, stated that: "We have seen a step by republicans but of course it falls far short of what we need, which is to see decommissioning actually begin. We're now heading towards a difficulty at the end of the week,".
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) responded positively to the Implementation Plan. John Hume, then leader of the SDLP, addressed a press conference in Belfast and said the party had made a detailed study of the proposals: "We are responding with a very strong ‘Yes’, ... We have some concerns, but that is totally natural," He also said: "We are fully committed to the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement".

Thursday 9 August 2001
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement about its meetings with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said the statement did not go far enough and his party wanted to see a beginning to actual decommissioning. item mark The UUP and Sinn Féin (SF), and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), held separate meetings with John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at Hillsborough Castle, County Down. The UUP argued for a suspension of the institutions of devolved government, whereas SF favoured fresh elections to the Assembly.

Friday 10 August 2001
Assembly Suspended For 1 Day
item mark Two men were shot in separate paramilitary 'punishment' attacks in west Belfast. A 17-year-old youth was shot in both legs and arms in Andersonstown after he had been taken from his home. The second man was shot in both legs in Twinbrook.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that he was suspending the Northern Ireland Assembly, at midnight, for a short period and hoped the period of suspension would last just for the coming weekend. [The suspension lasted just 24 hours. The effect of the suspension was to allow another period of six weeks (until 22 September 2001) in which the political parties would have a second opportunity to come to agreement and re-elect the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.]
item mark There was a report in the Irish Times (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) on the scale of Loyalist paramilitary pipe-bomb attacks across Northern Ireland during 2001. Of the 134 pipe-bombs used during the year to date 50 had exploded and the rest were either defused or failed to explode. There had been 44 pipe-bomb attacks in Belfast; 19 in Coleraine; 12 in Ballymena; 6 in Larne; and 5 in Ballymoney. Sam Kinkaid, then Assistant Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said that the attacks have been carried out by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).
item mark Some of the relatives of those killed by the Omagh Bomb (15 August 1998) announced that they were beginning a civil action against the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA). [The legal action would involve the families sueing five men (alleged to be members of the rIRA) for compensation. This action was thought to be the first of its kind.]

Saturday 11 August 2001
Assembly Restored
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, signed an order which restored the Northern Ireland Assembly and the other institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. [The latest period of suspension had lasted 24 hours and had the effect of postponing by six weeks the deadline for the election of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (22 September 2001).]
item mark The main Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD) parade passed off without serious trouble. Around 10,000 ABOD members together with 170 bands marched around the city centre to commemorate the relief of the Siege of Derry in 1689. A feeder parade in Belfast was prevented from marching past the Nationalist Ardoyne area following a Pardes Commission ruling. The ABOD members decided to protest against the decision by blocking the Crumlin Road. The standoff with the police lasted for six hours.

Sunday 12 August 2001
item mark Two men were shot and injured in a Loyalist paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Greencastle, County Antrim. Another man was shot and injured in a separate Loyalist paramilitary 'punishment' attack in the Rathcollle estate, Newtownabbey, County Antrim.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said in an interview on the BBC Television's Breakfast With Frost programme that he believed that the parties were "tantalisingly close" to reaching agreement. He defended his decision to suspend the political institutions as the best of the options open to him. Speaking on the same programme Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), said the suspension, together with the Unionist response to the developments on decommissioning, had caused "a serious situation".

Monday 13 August 2001
Suspected IRA Men Arrested in Colombia
item mark Three Irish men were arrested at Bogotá Airport in Colombia, South America, for travelling on false documents. Colombian authorities reported that two of the men were travelling on false British passports while the third man was using a false Irish passport. [There was speculation that the three men were members of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army (IRA). It was reported that the men had been in area of the country that was under the control of left-wing guerrillas. There was further media speculation that the men had been involved in helping to train some of the guerrillas. The men were later identified as Niall Connolly, who had lived in Cuba for a number of years, James Monaghan, formerly a member of the Sinn Féin ardcomhairle, and Martin McCauley, who had been an election worker for Sinn Féin in Armagh.]
item mark Two Catholics, one of them a 14 year-old boy, were injured when Loyalists threw a blast-bomb among a Nationalist crowd in north Belfast. The attack happened during disturbances involving hundreds of Loyalists and Nationalists. item mark A hoax nail bomb and fireworks were thrown at two houses in Glengormley, County Antrim. The British Army were also called to deal with a hoax pipe-bomb in the same area.
item mark Thomas McCauley, formerly from Belfast, was stabbed to death in Waterford, Republic of Ireland. [McCauley was given a Republican funeral on Friday 17 August 2001. He was reported as having been a member of the IRA who had broken his links with the movement some time ago.]

Tuesday 14 August 2001
IRA Withdraws Decommissioning Proposals
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced in a statement that it had withdrawn its plan on how to put its weapons beyond use. The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) had announced on 6 August 2001 that the IRA had agreed a plan on how it was going to decommission its weapons. This IRA move had been rejected by David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), who said that the UUP wanted to see decommissioning actually begin (7 August 2001). The UUP rejection, together with the British government's decision to suspend the Assembly and the institutions, were the reasons given by the IRA for the decision to withdraw the plan. The IRA statement concluded that: "Conditions therefore do not exist for progressing our proposition. We are withdrawing our proposal. The IRA leadership will continue to monitor developments. Peacekeeping is a collective effort". John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said the move would "play into the hands of those sceptics who have always doubted their intention". Brian Cowen, then Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, said the decision was "very disappointing". All shades of Unionist opinion reacted with scorn to the news on decommissioning and also to the arrests of three suspected IRA members in Colombia (13 August 2001).
item mark A 12 year-old Catholic boy was beaten in what police described as a sectarian attack in south Belfast. item mark In north Belfast the British Army carried out a controlled explosion on a lorry, one of two vehicles that had been hi-jacked by Loyalists. item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on a Catholic family in north Belfast at 11.15pm (2315BST). Two men were seen running away from the area after the attack.
item mark Graham Shillington (90), a former Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), died in a nursing home in County Armagh. Shillington had been Chief Constable from 1970 to 1973.
item mark The Irish Times (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) reported on the results of a survey into the level of knowledge that people in the two parts of Ireland had about the other. The survey found that, of those questioned, residents in the Republic had "considerable ignorance" about the Northern Irish Protestant tradition, although 48 per cent said they would like to learn more. Only 19 per cent of Northern Protestants felt they had a good or excellent understanding of the traditions and culture of the Republic. The survey had been carried out on behalf of Co-operation Ireland.

Wednesday 15 August 2001
item mark A remembrance service was held in Omagh, County Tyrone, to mark the third anniversary of the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) bomb attack on the town that left 29 people, and two unborn children, dead (15 August 1998). The service took place at the Garden of Remembrance near the site of the bombing. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the Garda Síochána (the Irish police) held a joint press conference to appeal to members of the public for more information on the bombing. A relative of one of those killed interrupted the conference to criticise both the RUC and the Garda for their lack of progress in the investigation of the bombing.
item mark Two men were treated in hospital after being shot and wounded in separate paramilitary 'punishment' attacks in west Belfast. The first shooting happened at about 8.30pm at Lower Glen Parade, when the man was shot in both ankles. The other man was shot in one ankle at Vere Foster Walk at about 10.40pm. item mark There was rioting in the Duncairn Gardens area of north Belfast. Nationalist residents claimed that the RUC had to interven to rescue two young girls who had been surrounded by a Loyalist mob. item mark There was a series of bomb hoaxes in four towns in County Derry. British Army personnel dealt with suspect devices that were found in Desertmartin, Moneymore, Maghera, and Magherafelt. The hoaxes caused widespread disruption.
item mark Sinn Féin released a report containing details of what the party claimed was more that 180 sectarian attacks carried out this year (to date) by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) a Loyalist paramilitary group.

Thursday 16 August 2001
item mark The body of a man was discovered in west Belfast at 4.30am (0430BST) at the junction of Shankill Road and Lanark Way. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said that the man had suffered extensive head wounds. [Police were trying to establish a motive for the killing.] item mark A pipe-bomb exploded in the garden of a house belonging to a Catholic family living in Ingledale Park in north Belfast. There were no injuries during the attack. [Loyalist paramilitaries were thought to have carried out the attack.] item mark There was a 'nail-bomb' attack on the home of a Protestant family in Westland Road in north Belfast. There were no injuries during the attack. [Republican paramilitaries were thought to have been responsible for the attack.] item mark At around 11.00pm (2300BST) a gang of four masked men broke into a flat in Maralin Avenue, Lisburn, County Antrim. A man who was in the flat was beaten with wooden batons. He suffered bruising to the arms, legs and body. item mark Arsonists broke into St Peter's Catholic Church in Stoneyford, near Belfast, and started a fire. A retired fireman entered the building and brought the fire under control. Loyalists from the Lisburn area were believed to have been responsible for the attack.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that he was providing an additional £10 million available for policing which would bring the total buget for the current financial year to £645 million. The additional spending was to cover a short-term deficit.
item mark Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), took a break from his holiday in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland, to travel back to Dublin for a meeting with John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The two men were expected to discuss the recent setbacks in the peace process. Before the meeting Hume had called on the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to "restore immediately its contact with General de Chastelain and its commitment to a scheme for resolving the decommissioning issue".

Friday 17 August 2001
Policing Implementation Plan Published
item mark A number of shots were fired at a house in the Westacres area of Craigavon, County Armagh. Nobody was injured in the attack which happened at around 12.20am (0020BST). item mark A gang of seven or eight masked men broke into a house at Donegore Drive in Antrim shortly after midnight. They were armed with a handgun, a machete, and knives. There were seven people in the house at the time and all were assaulted and injured.
item mark The revised proposals for the policing service were published. Entitled 'The Patten Report | Updated Implementation Plan 2001' [PDF document; 366KB] the report was issued by the British government. John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, urged everyone to back the Implementation Plan and said it offered "unprecedented opportunities for a new start, a real partnership to policing". He set a deadline of midday on Tuesday (21 August 2001) for the political parties to respond to the plan. The Northern Ireland Police Federation welcomed the fact that many of the recommendations in the plan were dependent on an assessment of the security situation. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rejected the plan stating that the measures it contained went far beyond the Patten Report. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) said it would consider the plan in detail before responding. [Some of the pro-Agreement political parties had been shown a copy of the plan prior to its publication. Sinn Féin (SF) had rejected the document for not going far enough and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) stated that it would not consider the issue of policing without IRA decommissioning.] The Irish government called on the SDLP and SF to support the Implementation Plan and to nominate representatives to the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
item mark Nuala O'Loan, then Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, announced that her office would investigate claims that security sources had prior warning about the Omagh bomb (15 August 1998). The claim was made by former British Army informant who uses the pseudonym Kevin Fulton. Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), welcomed the investigation but said the claim was "preposterous".

Saturday 18 August 2001
item mark The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) held a parade down the Shankill Road in Belfast. The paramilitary march involved an estimated 15,000 members of the organisation. Around 100 masked members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name used by the UDA, together with 16 bands took part in the parade. The event was held to commemorate Jackie Coulter (46) who was shot dead during the Loyalist feud on 21 August 2000.

Sunday 19 August 2001
item mark Catholic bishops in Northern Ireland issued a statement calling on people to support the latest proposals on policing in the region: "We believe the time is now right for all those who sincerely want a police service that is fair, impartial and representative to grasp the opportunity that is presented and to exercise their influence to achieve such a service."

Monday 20 August 2001
SDLP Support Policing Plan
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held a meeting to decide on whether or not to accept the 'Patten Report - Updated Implementation Plan 2001' that was issued on 17 August 2001. Following the meeting the party announced that it would nominate representatives to the proposed 19 member Policing Board which would oversee the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). John Hume, then leader of the SDLP, said: "We will respond positively to an invitation to join the Policing Board and we will be encouraging people from all sections of the community to join the new police service." The SDLP issued a document outlining its reasons for the change in policy. [The decision represented a historic shift in SDLP policy given that the party had withheld support from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) since 1970. The decision was welcomed by the Irish government, the British government, the Catholic Church, and the Department of Sate in the United States of America (USA).]
item mark There was a gun attack on a house at Mounthill Drive, Cloughmills, County Antrim, at approximately 10.30pm (2230BST). Two shots were fired at a bedroom window of the dwelling but none of the family of five in the house at the time were injured. The estate where the shooting happened was mixed and the house was owned by a Protestant family. [The RUC have not established a motive for the attack.] item mark A 'paint-bomb' was thrown at the home of a Protestant man in Hesketh Park, north Belfast. The bottle of paint broke a window and caused paint damage to fittings and furnishings. The man had taken part in a Loyalist stand-off in Ardoyne in June which prevented primary school-children from going to the Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School. Nelson McCausland, then Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor, accused Republicans of being responsible for the attack. item mark There were two security alerts in west Belfast. One suspect device was thrown at a house in Tullymore Gardens in Andersonstown, while the other device was discovered on the Hannahstown Road. Sinn Féin accused the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) of being responsible for the attacks.
item mark The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland published an annual report on the religions composition of the workforce in the region: A Profile of the Workforce in Northern Ireland, Summary of 2000 Monitoring Returns. The report showed that the overall composition of the monitored workforce was 60.4 per cent Protestant and 39.6 per cent Catholic. Other surveys showed that the economically active population is 58 per cent Protestant and 42 per cent Catholic. The imbalance between Catholic and Protestant employment rates has narrowed over the past 10 years. However the last year saw the smallest improvement at 0.1 per cent.

Tuesday 21 August 2001
item mark Two pipe-bombs were thrown at two separate houses at Inchcolme Avenue, Ballymena, County Antrim, at about 12.30am (0030BST). The front door of one house was damaged and a window broken in the other house. There were no injuries in the two attacks. [The RUC have not established a motive for the attacks.]
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) announced that it required more time to respond to the 'Patten Report - Updated Implementation Plan 2001' (issued on 17 August 2001). James Cooper, then Chairman of the UUP, said that: "While we are not opposed in principle to nominations to the police board, we still have a number of concerns." item mark The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) also missed the British government's deadline of midday in which to respond to the policing proposals. [The DUP were critical of the new implementation plan and were expected to make a detailed response at a later date.] item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that he believed that the new Police Board would be operational at the end of September 2001.
item mark Nigel Baylor (Rev), then Church of Ireland rector, criticised as "insulting" the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) parade and 'show of strength' on the Shankill Road in Belfast on Saturday 19 August 2001. Baylor had led the service at the funeral of Gavin Brett (18), who had been shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries on 29 July 2001. [Although the Red Hand Defenders (RHD) had claimed responsibility for the killing most people blamed the UDA.]
item mark The Guardian (a British newspaper) carried a report {external_link} on the results of an opinion poll on the future of Northern Ireland carried out by ICM in Britain. Of those questioned, 41 per cent stated that they thought there should be a united Ireland. Only 26 per cent felt that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom (UK). The report stated: "For unionists, many of whom consider themselves British and refer to Britain as 'the mainland', today's findings amount to a cold shoulder from their fellow citizens. Only one in four wants the province to stay part of the country." [This survey maked a significant shift in public opinion in Britain from the 1980s and 1990s when there was a majority in favour of Northern Ireland remaining within the UK.]
item mark William Esson, then a reserve judge with the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, announced that he was resigning from the inquiry for reasons of ill health.

Wednesday 22 August 2001
item mark There were a series of bomb alerts around Northern Ireland. Approximately 30 elderly people had to be moved from their homes in Armagh after a suspicious object was found under a van. A suspected 'pipe bomb' was found in the letter box at the constituency office of Martin McGuinness, then Member of Parliament (MP) for Mid-Ulster. Approximately 40 buildings on Burn Road, Cookstown, County Tyrone, were evacuated to allow British Army technical officers to deal with the device. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), claimed responsibility for both these attacks. Loyalist paramilitaries left a pipe-bomb outside the Boleran Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club in Garvagh, County Derry. There was another pipe-bomb attack on Gulladuff GAA club, near Maghera, County Derry. item mark The Foyle Bridge in Derry had to be closed after a claim that a bomb had been left nearby. The train line under the bridge was also closed disrupting services between Derry and Belfast. Later in the day the Craigavon Bridge was also closed during the evening rush hour. This brought traffic in the centre of the city to a standstill and effectively cut off the Cityside from the Waterside. People were faced with a 30 mile detour via the next bridge at Strabane, County Tyrone. [Both alerts were thought to have been caused by warnings from the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA).]
item mark Colombian authorities announced that the three Irishmen arrested on 13 August 2001 would be held while a criminal investigation was undertaken. The three men face charges of allegedly training Marxist rebels and carrying false passports.
item mark Liam Kennendy (Dr.), then Professor of Modern History at Queen's University of Belfast, published his findings on paramilitary 'punishment' attacks in a report entitled 'They Shoot Children Don't They'. One of the findings of the report was that between 1990 and 2000, 372 teenagers had been beaten and 207 shot by Loyalist and Republican paramilitary groups in what is commonly termed 'punishment' attacks. The report showed that during 1999 and 2000 there were 47 'punishment' attacks on under 18 year olds compared with 25 in the previous two years. The report was prepared for the Northern Ireland Committee Against Terrorism and the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of the House of Commons. The report will also be submitted to the Northern Ireland Assembly. [See also table of 'punishment' attacks.]

Thursday 23 August 2001
item mark The security alert on the railway line by the Foyle Bridge in Derry continued for a second day causing disruption to traffic in the city. Later in the afternoon British Army technical officers defused a bomb at the site. The bomb, estimated at 60 kilograms, was based on 'home-made' explosives and was planted by the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA). item mark British Army personnel dealt with two pipe-bombs that were uncovered during a search of the Desertmartin Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club near Magherafelt, County Derry. There were two other pipe-bomb attacks on GAA clubs at Garvagh and Gulladuff in County Derry the previous day. There was a security alert in Dungannon, County Tyrone, following a warning that a bomb had been left outside the courthouse on Killyman road. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), claimed to have left the device. The group was also thought to be responsible for the attacks on the GAA clubs. item mark Loyalist paramilitaries carried out two pipe-bomb attacks on two houses in Deerpark Parade, north Belfast. The attacks happend at approximately 11.00pm (2300BST) and although there were no injuries people living in the two houses suffered from shock. One of the houses was owned by a Catholic family and it was believed that both devices were intended for that property. The family who had lived in the house for 35 years said that they were going to leave the area as their home had been attacked 23 times during 2001. [The RHD later claimed responsibility for the attack.] item mark A Protestant family escaped injury when a there was a 'nail-bomb' attack on their home in Westland Road, north Belfast. The attack happened at approximately 3.00am (0300BST). [Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers said that they had not established a motive for the attack.] item mark A Catholic man received multiple cuts to his head when when he was hit by a 'paint bomb'. The attack happened at 9.30pm (2130BST) in Westland Gardens area of north Belfast. Around the same time the home of an elderly Catholic couple who lived nearby was attacked by 'paint bombs'. item mark Two men were taken to hospital following seperate Republican paramilitary 'punishment' shootings in west Belfast. One man from the Moyard Crescent area of west Belfast was shot at 10.15pm (2215BST) in the ankles and the elbows. In the other attack, just after 10.00pm (2200BST), in the Beechmont Parade area a man received gunshot wounds to his ankles and one hand. [Both men were arrested in hospital on Friday 24 August 2001.]
item mark Three men were charged with the possession of documents, between 1987 and 1990, that would have been useful to anyone planning or carrying out acts of terrorism. The charges were brought about as a result of the work of the Stevens Inquiry which is investigating allegations of collusion between the security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. The documents contained details of "suspect" Republican paramilitary members in Newry, County Down, and Dundalk, Republic of Ireland. [The men appeared before Belfast High Court on 24 August 2001 and were released on bail.]
item mark The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) published a report on the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Northern Ireland. The report found that discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people was widespread in the region. The report 'Enhancing the Rights of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People in Northern Ireland' was compiled by the University of Ulster. item mark Fowlk Richts, an Ulster Scots human rights group, provided details (Irish Times) of a report it had passed to the British government and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on the number of Protestants that had been forced from their homes since 1970. The report stated that an estimated 250,000 protestants had moved home because of direct threats, or indirect threats, or intimidation. [The figure of 250,000 appears to be much higher than previous estimates. The major periods of forced movement of population occurred during 1969 and 1971 particularly in the Belfast area. Studies at that time showed that of those families forced to move approximately 60 per cent were Catholic and 40 per cent were Protestant; see, for example, Darby (1971).]

Friday 24 August 2001
item mark A shot was fired at the front door of the home of a young couple and their 18-month old son in Ballymoney Road, Ballymena, County Antrim. No one was injured in the attack which happened shortly after 1.00am (0100BST). item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) found a quantity of ammunition during a planned search in the Ballysally estate, Coleraine, County Derry. One man was arrested in connection with the discovery.
item mark A man (31) appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court to answer four charges related to threatening to kill, attempting to unlawfully imprison, kidnapping, and assault causing actual bodily harm. He was remanded in custody until 21 September 2001. The charges refer to an alleged attempted abduction on the Crumlin Road in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast on Wednesday 22 August 2001. The man was arrested on Thursday 23 August 2001. item mark Two men who were being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds were arrested by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The men had been shot and injured in separate Republican paramilitary 'punishment' attacks on 23 August 2001. The men were believed to have been questioned by police about the killing of man in the Shankill area of Belfast on 16 August 2001.

Saturday 25 August 2001
item mark Four men were treated for gunshot wounds following two separate paramilitary 'punishment' attacks. Three men in their 20s were shot in the legs in an attack at approximately 9.30pm (2130BST) in the Kilcooley estate in Bangor, County Down. In the second attack a man was shot in the ankles and the wrist in Victoria Parade, north Belfast. item mark The British Army defused a pipe-bomb in the garden of a Catholic-owned house in Shearwater Way in the Waterside area of Derry. [The attack was believed to have been carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.]
item mark A man was been arrested in the Shankill Road area of Belfast. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said the man was being questioned about serious crime in north Belfast. [It was thought that the arrest related to pipe-bomb attacks on Catholic homes.]
item mark The Royal Black Institution held a series of parades across Northern Ireland on the 'last Saturday in August' which marks the end of 'marching season'. The Belfast districts held their demonstration in Carrickfergus, County Antrim. There were also parades in Counties Tyrone, Derry, Down, and Armagh. A number of the parades had restrictions placed on them by the Parades Commission.
item mark Sinn Féin held a press briefing at which which the party's response to the revised policing implementation plan was outlined. The party said that it would "campaign vigorously" against the plans.
item mark The Irish News (a Northern Ireland newspaper) carried a report that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) had agreed to pay an out-of-court settlement of £100,000 to a Catholic teenager who had been beaten by police and later accused of possessing explosives.

Sunday 26 August 2001
item mark A man (46) was treated in hospital for gunshot wounds and other injuries following a paramilitary 'punishment' shooting and beating in County Tyrone. The man was attacked by a number of masked men in the living room of a house at Foyagh Road in Castlecaulfield. The attack happened just after 11.00pm (2300BST). item mark The British Army defused a second pipe-bomb in Shearwater Way in the Waterside area of Derry. It was the second device found in the street in two days. [The attack was believed to have been carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.] item mark Two 'temporary' classrooms in the grounds of Corpus Christi Chapel on Westrock Drive, Belfast, were badly damaged in a fire which was reported just before 8.00pm (2000BST). Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers who attended at the scene of the fire were attacked by people throwing stones. Two police vehicles were damaged during the violence.
item mark [The bodies of three young men were found in two houses in west Belfast. It was believed that the three men had all taken drugs and alcohol at a party the previous evening. The police were investigating the possibility all three may have taken prescription drugs.]

Tuesday 28 August 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries planted a car bomb in Castle Street in the centre of Ballycastle, County Antrim, while thousands of people were in the town to celebrate the annual Auld Lammas Fair. The bomb was discovered by a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer and the area was cleared. British Army bomb disposal officers defused the bomb which turned out to be a large blast incendiary device. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name that has been used by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), claimed responsibility for the bomb. [Security forces later suggested the possibility that the bomb was actually the work of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The Lammas Fair attracts thousands of visitors each year. The attack was widely condemned.] item mark Police searched two houses in the Tiger's Bay area of north Belfast and uncovered 14 suspected 'acid bombs' and materials for making other devices. [It was later reported that a woman would appear at Belfast Magistrate's Court on 29 August 2001 charged with having offensive weapons.]

Wednesday 29 August 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in Ballynahinch, County Down. Two devices exploded at the house shortly before 3.00am (0300BST); there were no injuries in the attack. The owner of the house blamed the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) for the attack. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name that has been used by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), claimed responsibility for the attack. [There were other attacks on Catholic families in the same street on 1 February 2001.] item mark Two pipe-bombs were discovered and defused in Ballycastle, County Antrim. The bombs were discovered close to where a car bomb had been left on 28 August 2001. The first device was found near the Marine Hotel and the second 'pipe bomb' was later found at the Boyd Arms public house in the Diamond area of the town.
item mark Sean Farren, then Minister for Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment, said that there was clear evidence that the UDA ceasefire was in some areas "completely non-existent". Speaking in the aftermath of the bombing attempt in Balllycastle, County Antrim, on 28 August 2001 he said that the British government must acknowledge the UDA ceasefire was not operating in some parts of the North and must take action against those behind the recent attacks. item mark A delegation from Sinn Féin led by Mitchel McLaughlin, then SF Chairman, held talks with Des Browne, then junior Northern Ireland minister, to discuss the problems still facing the peace process. item mark Browne later said that the British government was keeping a close eye on Loyalist paramilitary ceasefires following recent bomb attacks. He said: "the implications for those Loyalist groups engaged in these despicable acts ... will be very serious".
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) press office confirmed that two senior officers, thought to be from Special Branch, had travelled to Colombia to assist the investigation into the activities of the three Irishmen arrested on 13 August 2001.

Thursday 30 August 2001
item mark A man was shot (twice ?) and wounded during a gun attack at Bellavale Terrace, Coalisland, County Tyrone. He managed to drive off before being taken to Dungannon Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station where he received initial treatment for his wounds. He was later taken on to Craigavon hospital. [Vincent Currie, then a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillor, claimed that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were responsible for the attack. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a Loyalist paramilitary group, later claimed responsibility for the attack but this was dismissed as unlikely by most commentators.] item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) stated that Loyalist paramilitaries had carried out 129 pipe-bomb attacks so far this year. Of these 53 had exploded and 89 were defused. item mark Mitchel McLaughlin, then Sinn Féin Chairman, accused John Reid, then Secretary of State, of turning a blind eye to ongoing Loyalist attacks.
item mark The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) published its Annual Report which marked the 30th anniversary since it was established in 1971. The report showed that a total of 22,000 people were on the public sector housing waiting list and of these 10,366 were classified as being in urgent need. According to the report there were 44,000 dwellings unfit for human habitation in Northern Ireland.

Friday 31 August 2001
item mark Three men from County Louth, Republic of Ireland, were due to appear before Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London on charges under Britain's Terrorism Act (2000). The men had been arrested in Slovakia on 5 July 2001 and were extradited to Britain on 30 August 2001. item mark British Army bomb disposal officers were called to a Catholic school in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast to defuse a pipe-bomb.
item mark The 14 member 'officer board' of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) is expected to hold a meeting to discuss recent political developments and in particular the party's response to the 'Patten Report - Updated Implementation Plan 2001' that was issued on 17 August 2001.

September 2001

Saturday 1 September 2001
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held a meeting of its 120 member executive to decide its response to the 'Patten Report - Updated Implementation Plan 2001' that was issued on 17 August 2001. The meeting unanimously supported a motion outlining: "the leader's determination to resolve satisfactorily with the Secretary of State a number of fundamental issues regarding the Policing Board and the police implementation plan before any further decision is given by the Ulster Unionist Party to nominating members to the Policing Board".
item mark In an interview with the BBC David Ervine, then leader of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), suggested that individual members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) may have been responsible for the attempted car bomb attack on the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, County Antrim, on 28 August 2001.

Sunday 2 September 2001
item mark There was rioting in the Limestone Road area of north Belfast. A number of petrol bombs were thrown at the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the British Army (BA).

Monday 3 September 2001
School-children Face Loyalist Protest
item mark Catholic schoolgirls faced protests from Loyalists as they attempted to enter the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School on the Ardoyne Road in north Belfast. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers and British Army (BA) soldiers had to clear the protestors who were attempting to blockade the schoool. Crash barriers were erected to allow the children to get through the protest to the school. Loyalists jeered and shouted sectarian abuse as the children, some as young as four years of age, were escorted by the parents into the school. As children and parents entered the front gate of the school Loyalists threw bottles and stones; one woman was injured. [A blockade had begun on 19 June 2001 when Loyalists stood across the road by the main entrance to the Holy Cross school. The protest had continued through to the end of the school term on 29 June 2001. Most children were prevented from getting to school during the two week period but some of the children entered the building through the grounds of another school. Talks between community leaders in the area had failed to resolve the dispute which arose when Protestant residents claimed they had faced intimidation from Catholic parents something which the parents had denied.] Later in the day the Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), issued a warning that parents and children should stay away from the Ardoyne Road. A threat was also issued against members of the RUC. During the evening there was widespread disturbance near the Holy Cross school as youths from both sides attacked security force patrols. item mark Three Catholic families escaped injury when their homes were badly damaged following a Loyalist pipe-bome attack. The houses were in Newington Avenue, a nationalist area at the Limestone Road community interface, and were attacked shortly before 10.00pm (2200BST). The pipe-bomb explosion caused an oil tank to catch fire and the flames spread to three houses, one of which was completely destroyed. [One Catholic resident said that her home had been attacked three times in the past five weeks.] item mark A pipe-bomb exploded in the garden of a house in the White City area of Belfast. There was also violence around North Queen Street and in the Limestone Road. item mark A small Catholic-owned coach hire company in Bellaghy, County Derry, was forced to close his business because of attacks and threats from Loyalist paramilitaries. Buses owned by the company had been attacked and people injured during the summer.
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), held private talks on the future of policing in Northern Ireland during a meeting at Stormont. Neither leader issued a statement or spoke to the media following the meeting. A UUP spokesman had described the talks as "purely exploratory". [This was believed to have been the first meeting between the two men since 1998.]
item mark The Saville Inquiry into the events on 'Bloody Sunday' resumed in the Guildhall in Derry following the summer recess.

Tuesday 4 September 2001
item mark Approximately 50 children, together with their parents, attempted to enter the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School by the main entrance on the Ardoyne Road in north Belfast. Loyalist protestors tried to block access to the school and shouted abuse and threw stones at the children and their parents. Some of the children were forced to turn back from the school. There was a heavy security force presence in the area from early morning to secure a route to the front door of the school. A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was injured when a blast-bomb was thrown by Loyalists in Glenbryn Parade near the school. [This was the second day of the current round of Loyalist protest at the school. A stand-off at the school had begun on 19 June 2001.] item mark Thomas McDonald (16), a Protestant boy, was knocked down and killed by a 'hit-and-run' motorist as he cycled through the Longlands estate in north Belfast. A woman (32) was later arrested by the RUC. [RUC officers stated that they were investigating a possible sectarian motive for the incident. On 6 September 2001 the woman appeared before Belfast Magistrate's Court charged with murder. A 15 year old boy and a 20 year old man were charged in the same court with attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the killing.] item mark There was serious rioting during the evening and night in the Glenbryn area close to the Holy Cross school. A crowd of Loyalists from the area attacked patrolling security forces with bricks, bottles, stones, fireworks, and ballbearings. Two RUC officers were injured during the riot. A volley of shots was also heard in the Glenbryn estate. A blast bomb was thrown in the Twaddell Avenue area as police baton-charged rioters. A police officer was injured in the blast. Two cars were hijacked and set on fire and rioters pushed them towards police vehicles.
item mark The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission published a series of proposals detailing what it believed should be contained in any future bill of rights for Northern Ireland. [Details at NIHRC website {external_link}]

Wednesday 5 September 2001
item mark Loyalists threw a blast bomb towards Catholic children and their parents as they were attempting to enter the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School on the Ardoyne Road in north Belfast. There was panic as the device exploded. Four Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured by the blast and a woman collapsed with shock. All were taken to hospital. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name that has been used by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), said it was responsible for the attack. [This was the third day of the current round of Loyalist protest at the school.] Later in the evening Protestant residents and Catholic parents held separate meetings to discuss the dispute. item mark The RUC released figures on the rioting overnight. In the 24 hours up to 5.00am (0500BST) 41 RUC officers and two members of the British army had been injured. Fifteen blast bombs and 250 petrol bombs were thrown, and four civilian cars were damaged. item mark An articulated lorry was hijacked by two gunmen on the main bypass road at Newry, County Down, at approximately 12.15am (0015BST). The vehicle was placed across the road and set on fire.

Thursday 6 September 2001
item mark Loyalists held another protest on the Ardoyne Road in north Belfast as Catholic parents and their children made their way to Holy Cross Girls' Primary School. The protest was peaceful but very noisy as protesters used air horns (klaxons), blew whistles, and banged metal bin lids, as the children passed along the security cordon. Four parents in the 'Right to Education' group were warned by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) that death threats had been made against them by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name that has been used by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). The RHD said they would be killed if they were seen taking their children to the school. item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, cut short his holiday and returned to Northern Ireland because of the situation in north Belfast. item mark There was much less violence in the area overnight than on previous nights. item mark An Orange Order hall was damaged in an arson attack in Warrenpoint, County Down.
item mark Sean Neeson, then leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), announced that he was stepping down as party leader. [It is expected that a new leader will be appointed in October.]

Friday 7 September 2001
item mark Loyalists held a silent protest as Catholic children and parents passed along a security cordon to get to the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School. The decision on a silent protest was as a mark of respect for Thomas McDonald (16) the Protestant boy killed in Belfast on Tuesday (4 September 2001) who was due to be buried later in the day. Catholic parents held a minute's silence before beginning their walk to the school. Inside the school grounds prayers involving clergymen from both denominations were said. [This was the fifth day in the current round of protest at the school which first began on 19 June 2001.]
item mark During the evening two men were found in the Nationalist New Lodge area of Belfast with gunshot wounds following a Republican paramilitary 'punishment' attack. One had been shot in both ankles, the other had been shot in both wrists and both ankles. The men, one aged 18 years and the other aged 19 years, had been abducted by a gang of up to 15 men on Thursday evening.

Saturday 8 September 2001
item mark A Catholic primary school Newington Avenue in north Belfast was damaged in an arson attack.

Monday 10 September 2001
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on a house in the Woodburn estate, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. The attack took place in the early hours of Monday morning when the device exploded in the living room of the dwelling. There were no injuries but there was some damage to the property. item mark British Army bomb disposal officers had to defuse a pipe-bomb that had been left in a public house in Portstewart, County Derry. The device had been left in the pub the previous day by Loyalist paramilitaries.
item mark The first part of the protest by Loyalists at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School passed off quietly as Catholic children and parents made their way into the school along a security cordon. However, as the parents returned from the school the protest turned noisy and more abusive. Protesters used air horns (klaxons), blew whistles, and banged metal bin lids, as the Catholic parents made their way back down the Ardoyne Road. Some of the Loyalist protesters shouted "Fenian scum" at the parents. [This was day 6 of the most recent protest.]
item mark Richard Haass, then a United States special envoy, held a meeting with John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in London about the current political situation in Northern Ireland. The two men also discussed the protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in north Belfast. [Haass is expected to travel to Northern Ireland on Tuesday to meet with representatives of the main political parties.] item mark Gerry Kelly, then a senior member of Sinn Féin (SF), introduced a private members' motion in the Northern Ireland Assembly proposing that the "Assembly supports the right to education of children attending the Holy Cross Primary School in north Belfast". Unionist members proposed an ammendment to the motion to make it apply to all schools in the area. The amended motion was passed by the Assembly.

Tuesday 11 September 2001
item mark Richard Haass, then a United States special envoy, was in Dublin for a meeting with Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), when news of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington were passed to the two men. Richard Haass decided to continue with his meetings in Dublin and then to travel to Belfast for pre-arranged meetings with political leaders in Northern Ireland.
item mark The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School followed the pattern of yesterday. Loyalist protesters remained silent as Catholic children and parents made their way into the school along a security cordon. However, protesters used air horns (klaxons), blew whistles, and banged metal bin lids, as the Catholic parents made their way back down the Ardoyne Road. item mark Aidan Troy (Fr), then Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School, together with a local Protestant clergyman, held a meeting with representatives of the Concerned Residents of Upper Ardoyne (CRUA) who were engaged in a protest at the school. The meeting was described as "exploratory". item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a meeting with representatives of the residents of the Glenbryn estate who were engaged in the protest at the Holy Cross school in Ardoyne, north Belfast. The meeting lasted for 2 hours but residents made no comment after the meeting.

Wednesday 12 September 2001
item mark There was a bomb attack at 12.30am (0030BST) on an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol in Derry. Three RUC officers were investigating a burning car at a building site when a bomb exploded at the side of the road. The officers were treated for shock. [The attack was thought to have been carried out by dissident Republican paramilitaries.]
item mark The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School followed the pattern of Monday and Tuesday. However, before going to the school the children and parents held a a prayer service and a minute's silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States of America (USA) on 11 September 2001.
item mark Richard Haass, then a United States special envoy, had a series of meetings with political leaders in Northern Ireland.
item mark Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), announced that Friday would be a national day of mourning for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the USA.
item mark Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), announced that the target of 50:50 recruitment of Catholics and Protestants to the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was being achieved. New policing legislation following recommendations in the Patten Report had laid down 50:50 recruitment rule. During the first phase of the application process 8000 people had applied for jobs of whom 550 were deemed qualified and a minimum of 260, possibly as many as 300, would be offered places on the trainee program. [The first recruits to the PSNI will begin their training in the period between 14 October and 4 November 2001. They are expected to be on duty by the spring of 2002.]

Thursday 13 September 2001
item mark The British Army had to deal with a pipe-bomb that had been discovered found at Carrowdore near Newtownards, County Down. item mark Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers discovered a gun, ammunition, a telescopic sight, and bomb-making parts in a hedge on the Knockagh Road in Monkstown, County Antrim.
item mark The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School followed the pattern of earlier in the week.
item mark The Northern Ireland Assembly met to discuss the motion: "This Assembly condemns the shocking and inhuman acts of terrorism carried out in the United States of America on Tuesday and, on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland, extends its sympathy to the government and people of America and all who have suffered so grievously." The motion was a joint one submitted by Reg Empey (Sir), then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Minster of Development and Enterprise, and Seamus Mallon, then Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) deputy First Minister. Empey and Mallon described the attacks as "shocking and inhuman acts". The motion was passed unanimously. However, during the debate Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), led his party members out of the chamber when Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), rose to speak.
item mark Iain Duncan Smith was elected leader of the Conservative Party. Quentin Davies of the Conservative Party was appointed the new shadow spokesman for Northern Ireland.

Friday 14 September 2001
item mark People throughout Northern Ireland will observe three-minutes of silence at 11.00am (11.00BST) as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in the United States of America (USA). item mark The Republic of Ireland is holding a national day of mourning for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States of America (USA). Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and Mary McAleese, then President of the Republic of Ireland, will lead the mourning at an ecumenical service in Dublin. The Irish Government asked shops, banks, schools, government offices, and businesses, to close and people attended religious services. Pubs and hotels also closed and there was limited public transport. The Republic is expected to a virtual standstill.
item mark Loyalist protesters at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School have said they will call off their protest at the school for one day only as a mark of respect for what happened in the USA.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, is to hold a meeting in London with David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The meeting will discuss the future of policing in Northern Ireland.

Saturday 15 September 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries attempted to kill a Catholic taxi driver at Parkmount Terrace, Shore Road, north Belfast, at 06.00am (06.00BST). Two youths fired a shot at the taxi which struck the vehicle but misted the driver. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name used by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), claimed responsibility for the attack. Police recovered a handgun in the area. Alban Maginness, then a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Assembly member for the area, said the attack again called into question the Loyalist ceasefires.
item mark A house in Donard Drive, Lisburn, County Antrim, was attacked with a petrol bomb at approximately 11.00pm (23.00BST). The house was unoccupied at the time of the attack and the kitchen was extensively damaged by fire.

Sunday 16 September 2001
item mark A man (41) was shot in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Spelga Park, Lurgan, County Armagh. The man was shot in the legs. item mark A man (43) was shot at a house in Matilda Avenue, near Donegall Road, south Belfast. A gunman entered the house and fired a single shot on Sunday evening. The man was treated for injuries which were not said to be life threatening. item mark A man was shot in the arms and legs in the Glenfield estate, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. The attack happened at 9.00pm (21.00BST).

Monday 17 September 2001
item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), announced that he would stand down as leader of the party. Hume (64), who had been leader of the party since 1979, made the announcement at a media briefing at Stormont. He said he had suffered from serious health problems and would be cutting down on his workload. It is thought he will officially stand down at the annual conference of the party scheduled for November 2001. [Hume stepped down as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) at Stormont, also on health reasons, on 4 December 2000. He is currently a Member of Parliament (MP) and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).]
item mark The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School week began its third week.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, wrote to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Sinn Féin (SF), to ask the parties to nominate members to the proposed new Policing Board. Only the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) has so far indicated that it is willing to support the new Board.
item mark A case was heard at Belfast High Court into the result of the Westminster election result in the Fermanagh / South Tyrone seat on 7 June 2001. James Cooper, then chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), argued that the rules were breached when a polling station in the village of Garrison, County Fermanagh, remained open for 10 minutes after the official closing time of 10.00pm (22.00BST). Michelle Gildernew, then a member of Sinn Féin (SF), won the contest by 53 votes. [Cooper has alleged that a large number of SF members "invaded" the polling station and forced the presiding officer to remain open. The case was resumed on Tuesday after which judgement was reserved to a future date.]

Tuesday 18 September 2001
item mark There was a gun attack on a man sitting in a car in the Loyalist Killycomaine estate, Portadown, County Armagh, shortly before 8.00am (08.00BST). The man was uninjured. A group of men in a second car fired several shots before driving off. [The attack is believed to have been carried out by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers are considering the possibility that the incident is related to an on-going feud between the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) and the UVF in the Portadown area..]
item mark The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School continued. The protest was silent as Catholic children and parents entered the school but protesters jeered, shouted abuse, waved flags, held up banners, and whistled as the parents returned from the school. item mark Catholic parents were scheduled to have a meeting with John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at Hillsborough, County Down, about the situation at Holy Cross school.
item mark Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), announced that he would not be standing for leader of the party in the forthcoming leadership contest in November. He also announced that he wished to stand down as deputy leader of the party. Following the announcement Alban Maginness declared that he would stand as a candidate for the deputy leadership post.
item mark British and Irish officials are expected to meet in London this afternoon at the beginning of a new round of political talks to try and resolve remaining issues in the peace process. The current deadline for agreement between the political parties is 22 September 2001.

Wednesday 19 September 2001
item mark There were disturbances in the Strand Road area of Derry as a crowd of up to 200 people clashed with Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers at 2.00am (02.00BST). Two RUC officers were injured and ambulance personnel were also attacked. Four people were arrested for public order offences. item mark The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School continued. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) arrested eight men for public order offences related to the school protest.
item mark Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), met to discuss the difficulties in the peace process and the deadline (22 September 2001) for the election, or re-election, of a First Minister and Deputy First Minister to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
item mark Mark Durkan (41), then Minister of Finance and Personnel, announced his intention of standing for the leadership of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) at the party's annual conference in November 2001.

Thursday 20 September 2001
item mark The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School continued but protesters reverted to the earlier tactic of making a lot of noise as school children passed. item mark Six men appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court on public order offences related to the school protest on 3 September 2001. A 17-year-old is due to appear before a juvenile court later. The six men were remanded on bail but instructed not to take part in the protest. As a result of the arrests the group representing the Loyalist residents, Concerned Residents of Upper Ardoyne (CRUA), announced that it had "suspended all business until further notice".
item mark Two men were shot an injured in paramilitary 'punishment' attacks. One man was shot in the leg in Hatfield Street, south Belfast. Another man (21) was shot in an attack at Bennet's Lane, Lisanally, County Armagh.
item mark A statment by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on the issue of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons was published by An Phoblacht / Republican News. Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that the statement was a step in the right direction but did not go far enough.
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) announced the names of three members it had nominated to the proposed new 19 member Policing Board which would oversee the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The three were Eddie McGrady, then Member of Parliament (MP) for South Down, Alex Attwood, then party chairman, and Joe Byrne, then Assembly member for West Tyrone. item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), held a meeting at Stormont with John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, about the issue of policing. The meeting took place a few hours before the midnight deadline for parties to nominate members to the new Policing Board. Following the meeting the UUP said that it would nominate members. The DUP also said that it would nominate members.
item mark An survey {external_link} commissioned by the BBC Northern Ireland 'Hearts and Minds' programme found that, of those questioned, 41 per cent favoured fresh elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly if agreement could not be reached before the deadline of 22 September 2001. 31 per cent were in favour of a one-day suspension of the Assembly and 28 per cent preferred an indefinite suspension.

Friday 21 September 2001
Assembly Suspended For 1 Day
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that he was suspending the Northern Ireland Assembly at midnight. [The suspension lasted just 24 hours. The effect of the suspension was to allow another period of six weeks (until 3 November 2001) in which the political parties would have an opportunity to come to agreement and elect a First Minister and Deputy First Minister.]
item mark The Irish Times (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) published the results of an opinion poll conducted on a sample of 1,000 people in Northern Ireland. Of those questioned 85 per cent said they thought the Irish Republican Army (IRA) should "now begin the process of putting its weapons beyond use". While 64 per cent of the sample indicated that they had voted in favour of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 only 52 per cent said they would vote in favour of it now. [The survey was conducted conducted last Saturday and Monday on behalf of the Irish Times and Prime Time by MRBI Ltd.]
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that Nationalist recruits to the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) would be "accorded the same treatment as the RUC" [Royal Ulster Constabulary]. [Unionists claimed that the comments implied a threat to Catholic recuits; this was denied by SF.]
item mark It was reported that the number of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers claiming compensation for trauma had risen to over 3,000.

Saturday 22 September 2001
Assembly Restored
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, restored devolved powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly at midnight.
item mark There were sectarian clashes in the Tiger's Bay / North Queen Street area of Belfast. During the disturbances two blast bombs were thrown. There were no injuries.
item mark There was a meeting of the party officers of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). Following the meeting David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, said that his party would table a motion in the Northern Ireland Assembly to exclude Sinn Féin (SF) ministers from the Executive. Trimble also announced that if the motion failed the UUP would withdraw its ministers from the Executive. [This move would effectively bring down the power-sharing government. The UUP secured enough signatures to table the motion on 2 October 2001.]

Sunday 23 September 2001
item mark At around 2.00am (02.00BST) there were clashes at a sectarian interface at Cliftonpark Avenue, north Belfast. Loyalist paramilitaries fired a number of shots at a Nationalist crowd and a woman (19) was reported to have been shot in the leg. item mark A pipe-bomb was discovered in Newington Street, north Belfast. The device was defused by the British Army. item mark A pipe-bomb exploded at a community centre in the Brookfield Mill, near the Ardoyne, north Belfast. A second pipe-bomb was also thrown but failed to explode. A number of Catholic workmen in the area were uninjured. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries. There were further sectarian clashes in the Tiger's Bay / North Queen Street area of Belfast during the afternoon. The rival crowds were dispersed by security forces. item mark [The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), later admitted responsibility for several attacks in north Belfast.]
item mark It was reported that members of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee met in Dundalk, Republic of Ireland, to discuss the political situation in Ireland following the attacks in America on 11 September 2001. [Some commentators believe that the Committee has political links with the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) but this has been denied by both organisations. There was media speculation that the rIRA may be considering a ceasefire following the attacks in America.]

Monday 24 September 2001
item mark Loyalists held a protest on the Crumlin Road, north Belfast. More than 100 protesters blocked the main road in what they said was a protest against attacks by Republicans.
item mark There was further serious rioting in north Belfast during Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday. item mark The British Army was called to make safe an explosive device found in Newington Avenue, north Belfast, just before 11.00pm (23.00BST). item mark There were three incidents when shots were fired [from an automatic weapon (?)] and a number of pipe-bombs and blast bombs were also thrown. Eight shots were fired from the Nationalist end of Hallidays Road, north Belfast, at a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol. Later in the evening approximately 15 shots were fired at a Protestant house at the end of the same street. No one was injured in during these attacks. [Unionist politicians called on the British government to review the status of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire. Sinn Féin (SF) accused Loyalist paramilitaries of stoking up the recent violence.] item mark RUC officers also investigated two loud explosions at Clanchattan Street. Sinn Féin claimed that blast bombs had been thrown across the interface at Catholic owned homes. A pipe-bomb also exploded near a house at Hallidays Road. There were no reported injuries. item mark Alan McQuillan, then Assistant Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said the rioting was the worst that Belfast had experienced for 20 years.
item mark A man (19) was shot in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Newtownabbey, County Antrim. The man was forced into a van at about 8.00pm (2000BST) and was taken to the Fairview area where he was shot. item mark A man (27) was shot in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Bangor, County Down. The man was taken from the Kilcooley estate at about 9.30pm (21.30BST) and driven to the Old Bangor Road where he was shot.
item mark Mark Durkan (Social Democratic and Labour Party; SDLP), then Minister of Finance and Personnel, announced a period of consultation on the draft Programme for Government (2002-2003) {external_link} [draft document - PDF file; 395KB].
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), held a meeting in Stormont to discuss their separate attempts to obtain enough votes bring froward a motion to exclude Sinn Féin (SF) from the Northern Ireland Assembly. The UUP and the DUP had been unable to agree who should introduce the motion to the Assembly. The UUP motion is short of three signatures while the DUP is short by one.

Tuesday 25 September 2001
item mark A man (19) was shot in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Laburnum Street in Twinbrook, Belfast. The man was taken from his home at 8.15am (08.15BST) by a number of masked men and was shot in both ankles. item mark During the evening the British Army were called to defuse two pipe-bombs that had been thrown at Catholic homes in Rosapenna Street close to the Ardoyne area of north Belfast. The devices had been thrown over the 'peace-line'. item mark Component parts for pipe-bombs were discovered during a security force search in Ballysillan Avenue, north Belfast.
item mark There was speculation in the media about the names of the nine 'independent' members of the new Policing Board. The official list is expected to be published by John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in a few days.
item mark Iain Duncan Smith, then Conservative Party leader, said that any new war against terrorism must include Northern Ireland. This was his first major speech in London since being elected party leader on 13 September 2001.

Wednesday 26 September 2001
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) discovered a pipe-bomb in north Belfast. The device was found at the Everton Complex, Ardoyne Road, at about 3.00am (03.00BST) and was made safe by the British Army.
item mark Tension remained high in north Belfast during the evening and a Loyalist protest, which blocked the Crumlin Road, turned into a serious riot as the RUC came under gun fire, and pipe-bomb, blast bomb, and petrol bomb attack. The RUC said they had moved to prevent Loyalists from attacking Catholic homes. Thirty-three RUC officers were reported to have been injured in the riot. The RUC said that approximately 50 shots were fired at police lines, six blast bombs were thrown, along with 125 petrol bombs. The RUC returned fire with four bullet rounds and also fired nine 'L21 A1' plastic baton rounds.
item mark The Loyalist protesters at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School threw fireworks at Children and parents returning from the school during the afternoon. item mark It was reported that the Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name used by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), had renewed its threat against parents taking their children to school.
item mark The Police Federation criticised an internal RUC draft report suggesting how the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) could maintain a neutral working environment. The Federation said that a "clean walls policy" could airbrush out any reference to the RUC.
item mark Shorts, the aerospace manufacturers based in Belfast, announced it would have to lay off 900 people in the period up to the end of January 2002 because of the anticipated fall in demand for aircraft caused by the attacks in the United States of America. It was also announced that another 1,100 people may may have to be made redundant after January.

Thursday 27 September 2001
item mark There was a second night of shooting and rioting following Loyalist protests in north Belfast. Loyalist paramilitaries fired approximately 30 shots at security forces on Cambrai Street, off the Crumlin Road. One woman was injured when she was shot in the leg. 13 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured as a result of the rioting.
item mark Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the RUC, stated in an interview on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 'Newsline' programme that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was involved in the most recent shooting and rioting in north Belfast.
item mark British Airways announced that it was cutting back on a number of its European and United States routes. The service between Belfast and London is one of the ones to close on 27 October 2001. Up to 160 employees are expected to lose their job.

Friday 28 September 2001
Loyalists Kill Journalist
item mark Martin O'Hagan (51), a Catholic civilian, who worked as a journalist for the Sunday World (a Dublin based newspaper) was shot dead at 10.45pm (22.45BST) by Loyalist paramilitaries as he walked towards his home with his wife in Lurgan, County Armagh. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), claimed responsibility for the killing. O'Hagan was the first journalist to be killed during the course of 'the Troubles'. [The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) believed that the LVF was responsible for the killing. O'Hagan had written a number of stories about the activities of the LVF and had been threatened on a number of occasions.]
death button
item mark Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the RUC, made a further appeal to political and community leaders to do all they can to try to bring an end to the on-going violence in north Belfast. He again stated his belief that Loyalist paramilitaries, in particular the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), were involved in the shooting and rioting. item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State, stopped short of officially declaring that the UDA ceasefire was over. In a statement Reid said the he would give the UDA one last opportunity to end the violence in north Belfast. [Reid had warned the UDA on 31 July 2001 that he was keeping that organisation's ceasefire under review.]
item mark A concrete block was thrown at a school bus in north Belfast. Seven children were injured in the incident. The bus was taking children, aged 12 to 16 years, to Hazelwood Integrated College when it was attacked at Skegoniel Avenue. [Integrated schools in Northern Ireland are attended by Catholic and Protestant pupils.]

Saturday 29 September 2001
item mark Sinn Féin (SF) held its Ard Fheis (annual conference) at the RDS in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Richard Egan, then United States Ambassador to Ireland, attended part of the proceedings to listen to the presidential address by Gerry Adams. Adams warned that the political institutions established by the Good Friday Agreement would collapse unless Unionists lifted their threats to exclude SF from the Northern Ireland Assembly. Adams also said, in response to the attacks in America on 11 September 2001, that "terrorism is ethically indefensible". However he drew a distinction between terrorists and freedom-fighters: "We will not be part of any effort to criminalise or to deem as terrorists those men and women who fought when they considered they had no other choice ...".
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced the names of the nine independent members who will join the new Northern Ireland Policing Board. The ten political members had already been nominated by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Sinn Féin (SF) had refused to nominate members to the board. The nine independent members were named as: Desmond Rea (Prof.) chairman, Denis Bradley vice-chairman, Viscount Brookeborough, Brian Dougherty, Barry Gilligan, Tom Kelly, Pauline McCabe, Rosaleen Moore, and Suneil Sharma.

October 2001

Monday 1 October 2001
item mark The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School resumed at the beginning of a new week. Protesters held a noisy protest but also threw ballons, filled with urine, at parents and children. item mark Reg Empy (Ulster Unionist Party; UUP), then Acting First Minister, and Seamus Mallon (Social Democratic and Labour Party; SDLP), then Acting Deputy First Minister, meet with local representatives in Ardoyne, north Belfast, to discuss the situation at the Holy Cross school. Empy said there was no excuse for the on-going protest at the school. [The protest first began on 20 June 2001 and the current phase started on 3 September 2001.]
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), called on the British government to crackdown on the money made by paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. Trimble made his call at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, England. [Gordon Brown, then Chancellor, had earlier announced that he was freezing the alleged assets, held in the UK, of the Taleban government in Afghanistan.]
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) began a two-day conference on Human Rights and Policing at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast. The conference will address issues of police accountability, policing a diverse society and the European perspective on policing.

Tuesday 2 October 2001
item mark Quentin Davies, then Conservative MP and Shadow Secretary of State, accompanied parents and children as they returned home through the Loyalist protest outside the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Davies described the protest as "utterly unacceptable". [It was reported (Irish Times) that one protester, who seemed uncertain of Davies identity, shouted: "Away back to the Free State, Fenian scum".]
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) managed to secure 30 signatures to allow it to table a motion in the Northern Ireland Assembly to exclude Sinn Féin (SF) ministers from the Executive. The UUP motion had been short by two signatures but the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) members put their names to the motion. The UUP has said that if the motion fails the party will withdraw its ministers from the Executive. [The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had tabled a similar motion on Monday 1 October 2001 but the UUP motion will be the one debated. The planned move by the UUP will result in the (long-term) suspension of the power-sharing government.]

Wednesday 3 October 2001
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister. The meeting had been arranged to discuss the problems in the peace process. [Trimble is in favour of a "soft landing", that is an indefinite suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly, rather than fresh Assembly elections.]

Thursday 4 October 2001
item mark Nuala O'Loan, then Police Ombudsman, held a media briefing in Derry to announce that she was upholding a complaint that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) never communicated directly with the family of Samuel Devenny (42) about the investigation into the attack on him by RUC officers. The attack took place in Devenny's home on 19 April 1969 and he died as a result of his injuries on 17 July 1969. O'Loan stated that disciplinary action could not now be taken against the former RUC officers. A report into the incident carried out by Metropolitan police officers under Kenneth Drury, then Detective Chief Superintendent, failed to identify the RUC officers concerned because of "a conspiracy of silence".
item mark Sinn Féin (SF) lost a high court challenge to the ruling by Peter Mandelson, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, that the union flag should be flown over ministerial offices in Northern Ireland on 17 days each year. Martin McGuinness and Bairbre de Brún had contested the Flags Order that had been introduced by Mandelson when the Northern Ireland Executive failed to reach agreement over the issue in 2000.
item mark The results of an opinion poll, the Northern Ireland Omnibus survey, were published. Of those questioned almost 70 per cent felt that the new Policing Board will help ensure a satisfactory standard of policing.
item mark A man was shot in the leg in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Ardoyne, north Belfast, at appoximately 9.00pm (21.00BST). item mark A number of fireworks were thrown at a house in Thornburn Road, north Belfast. item mark The British Army defused three pipe bombs during a series of security alerts in the Hillview Road area of north Belfast.

Friday 5 October 2001
item mark A number of shots were fired at a house belonging to a Catholic family in Coleraine, County Derry. The shooting happened shortly after midnight. [Loyalist paramilitaries were thought to have been responsible for the shooting.]
item mark Lord Chief Justice Carswell in the High Court in Belfast upheld an earlier judgement that David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), had acted unlawfully under section 52 of the Northern Ireland Act in preventing Sinn Féin (SF) ministers from attending meetings of the North-South Ministerial Council. Trimble, when First Minister, had decided not to nominate Martin McGuinness (SF), then Minister for Education, and Bairbre de Brún (SF), then Minister for Health, to attend the Council meetings. [Trimble had first suggested the action on 28 October 2000 and introduced the ban in November 2000 and SF had contested the decision on 15 December 2000. SF won the first court case but Trimble had appealed the decision. Trimble announced that he would appeal the latest decision to the House of Lords.]

Saturday 6 October 2001
item mark The 150 member council of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) met to elect a new leader. The two people who stood in the election were David Ford and Eileen Bell. Ford won the leadership contest.
item mark Republicans held a rally in the centre of Dublin, Republic of Ireland, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes.

Sunday 7 October 2001
item mark There was a gun attack on Lavery's Bar, Bradbury Place, Beflast. A gunman fired a shotgun from a passing car. No one was injured in the attack. item mark There was an attack on the home of a prison officer in Portadown, County Armagh. A gang of men forced their way into the house and set it on fire. The daughter (17) of the prison officer was alone in the house at the time of the attack and suffered from the effects of smoke inhalation. item mark A young child found a pipe-bomb that had been left at a Gaelic Athletic Club (GAA) in Swatragh, County Derry. The British Army defused the device which had been discovered at 5.00pm (17.00BST). [Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to have been responsible for the attack.] item mark Bomb-making equipment was discovered in a disused house in Haliday's Road, Belfast. Security forces removed a number of items including a quantity of ammunition and combat clothing.

Monday 8 October 2001
item mark The Northern Ireland Assembly debated an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) motion, and later a similar Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) motion, to exclude Sinn Féin (SF) ministers from the Executive. The motions were supported by Unionist members of the Assembly but were not supported by SF or the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Due to a lack of cross-community support the two motions failed. [Following the debates the UUP announced that its three ministers were withdrawing from the Executive. The UUP also said that the three ministers would formally resign early next week (perhaps Monday 15 October 2001). John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, would have seven days in which to decide what action to take. He could decide to call for a review of the Good Friday Agreement which would involve an indefinite suspension of the power-sharing government. Alternatively, and less likely, he could opt for fresh Assembly elections.]
item mark Johnny Adair announced that he would not be continuing with a judicial review (at the High Court in Belfast) of the decision to keep him in prison. Adair, then a leader of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), was originally released on licence in 1999 but was re-arrested and returned to prison by the order of Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on 22 August 2000.

Tuesday 9 October 2001
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of SF, travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meetings with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister. The meeting was requested by SF to discuss the impass in the peace process. Following the meeting Adams said that the institutions (of government) would collapse if Unionists withdrew from the Executive.
item mark The Loyalist protest continued outside the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Aidan Troy (Fr.), then chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, said that he was considering taking legal action to try to end the protest: "The weeks of suffering for these small girls were never justified. ... This is no longer a legitimate protest; it is a form of child abuse." item mark The cost of policing the Loyalist protest at the school was reported as having reached £1 million.
item mark Mark Durkan (Social Democratic and Labour Party; SDLP), then Minister of Finance and Personnel, called on Republicans to save the peace process by beginning the process of decommissioning. item mark There was speculation in some of the media that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was considering a move on decommissioning. The British and Irish governments expressed doubt over the speculation.
item mark A man (30s) was shot in both legs in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Castlewellan, County Down. He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, where his condition was desicribed as "serious but not life threatening".

Wednesday 10 October 2001
item mark Bryce Dickson, then Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, visited the scene of the Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Dickson was there to observe the nature of the protest. He spoke to some of the Loyalist protesters but was criticised by some of the parents of the children for not walking the route of the protest along with them. item mark Many of the protesters have begun to hide their identity and some were wearing ghoul masks (of characters in horror movies). item mark Michael Tan (Dr), then a General Practicioner in Ardoyne, stated that some of the families were close to "breaking point" and parents and children were in need of professional psychological care. item mark One of the Loyalist protesters displayed a threatening letter allegedly sent by a group called the Catholic Reaction Force. item mark Jane Kennedy, then Security Minister at the NIO, said the existing security wall between the Loyalist and Nationalist areas of Ardoyne would be extended. However, she said there would be no gates across the route used by the Catholic parents and children.
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), addressed the annual conference of the Conservative Party in Blackpool, England. Trimble emphasised the strong continuing links between the two parties and also explained his decision to withdraw the UUP from the power-sharing Executive at the Assembly in Northern Ireland. He also criticised Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, for the handling of the peace process and for "slithering into appeasement" of the IRA.

Thursday 11 October 2001
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) described an attack on a Catholic man (22) as attempted murder. A Loyalist gang attacked the man on the Westlink between Grosvenor Road and Broadway, Belfast, at 3.15am (0315BST). The gang got out of a passing car as the man walked home and hit him several times with a hammer and stabbed him in the arm. The man suffered a broken cheek bone and needed stitches for the knife wound.
item mark There was serious rioting in a number of Loyalist areas of west and north Belfast. In the Shankill area of west Belfast a Loyalist crowd attacked security forces that were involved in a search of a house. Two RUC officers and a British soldier were injured in a sustained petrol bomb attack. A pipe-bomb was discovered during the search and one man was arrested. The RUC later found three blank-firing pistols, a quantity of ammunition, a timer power unit, £900 worth of cannabis, and paramilitary regalia, during a follow-up search. There were further disturbances during the evening with cars hijacked and set on fire.
item mark There was a blast-bomb attack on a Catholic home in the New Lodge area of north Belfast at around 10.30pm (22.30BST). Sinn Féin (SF) blamed the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) for the attack. The house attacked was the one closest to the dividing line between Catholics and Protestants living in that part of north Belfast. Shots were also heard in the area, as a crowd gathered following the attack.
item mark The Presbyterian Church in Ireland called for an end to the Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross school. item mark There was a meeting of Catholic parents of children attending the Holy Cross school. The meeting had been called to learn about the outcome of face-to-face discussions with residents from the neighbouring Protestant Glenbryn estate held earlier this week. However, the meeting was interrupted by the news that Loyalist residents were staging a protest on the Ardoyne Road.

Friday 12 October 2001
Loyalist Paramilitary Groups 'Specified'
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, gave a press conference at Hillsborough Castle, County Down, and announced that he was "specifying" the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), and the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF). This meant that the British government considered the UDA, UFF, and LVF ceasefires to be at an end. The move was welcomed by Nationalists but some Unionists said that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) should also have been specified. In response to this criticism Reid said that: "the nature and scale of the organisations' violence ... [was] ... different from any other organisations. [Reid had given the Loyalist paramilitaries a warning about their activities on 28 September 2001. The action did not result in additional sanctions against the paramilitary groups. However, those prisoners who were released on licence can be return to jail if there is evidence that they have been engaged in paramilitary activities. The Loyalist groups had first called a ceasefire on 13 October 1994.]
item mark Two men were shot in separate paramilitary 'punishment' attacks in Belfast. One man (23) was shot six times in the thighs as he lay in bed. Three masked men had entered the house where he was sleeping in Fortwilliam Park, north Belfast. The man was also beaten after being shot. A young man (17) was shot once in the calf as he lay in bed in a house in Dundonald, east Belfast. Both men were treated in hospital for their wounds. item mark The British Army was called to deal with an "improvised explosive device" in Portadown, County Armagh. A suspicious object had been noticed under a vehicle in the driveway of a house in Hartfield Square shortly before 4.00am (04.00BST).
item mark The trial of Colm Murphy, charged in connection with the Omagh bombing, began in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin. Murphy was accused of conspiring with another person to cause an explosion. Murphy, originally from County Armagh, had an address at Ravensdale, County Louth, Republic of Ireland. He was also charged with membership of an illegal organisation.

Saturday 13 October 2001
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that British government must "specify" the Irish Republican Army (IRA) the next time the organisation kills someone. [Trimble was in Washington, USA, for talks with Richard Haass, then a United States special envoy. Trimble is expected to return to Northern Ireland on Wednesday 17 October 2001.]
item mark The Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) held its annual conference in Belfast. David Ervine, then leader of the PUP, said that he believed that the IRA would put its weapons beyond use in the near future. [The PUP has links with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).]
item mark Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) held its Ard Fheis (annual conference) in Dublin. RSF called on Nationalists not to support the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Sunday 14 October 2001
item mark Martin McGuinness, the Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that he was working "flat out" to convince the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to put its weapons beyond use. [McGuinness made the comments on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 'Radio Ulster' programme. There was continuing media speculation that the IRA was close to making a move on decommissioning.]
item mark Aidan Troy (Fr), then Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School, called on Loyalist protesters to immediately end the daily protest at the school. Troy was speaking at Sunday mass and said that a member of the congregation had made the point that the only other country where girls are prevented from having an education was Afghanistan.
item mark It was revealed in the media that David Burnside, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP, had held a meeting with the 'inner council' of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) sometime during the summer of 2001. [Burnside later defended his decision to hold private talks with the Loyalist paramilitary group and said he would meet the group again if asked. Burnside said that he would not meet with the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Burside was an opponent of the Good Friday Agreement.]
item mark The Irish government held a state funeral for 10 Irish Republican Army (IRA) men who had been executed by British authorities during Ireland's War of Independence 80 years ago. The men had originally been buried in Mountjoy Prison but were reburied in Glasnevin cemetery following a mass at the Pro-Cathedral. The most famous of the 10 men was Kevin Barry an 18-year-old medical student who took part in the rebellion and was hanged in 1920. He is remembered today in a still-popular song that bears his name.

Monday 15 October 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries threw three pipe-bombs at a Catholic home in Newington Street, north Belfast, shortly after 10.00pm (22.00BST). Two of the devices exploded and the third was made safe by the British Army. No-one was injured but a number of windows were broken. The attackers were believed to have come from the Loyalist Tiger's Bay area. item mark Security forces found eight pipe-bombs in Cavehill Country Park, Upper Hightown Road, north Belfast. A number of component parts for bombs and a handgun were also recovered.
item mark Bryce Dickson, then Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, visited called for an end to the Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. He said that: "The treatment of these children is inhumane and their right to effective education is being affected." item mark Protestant parents living in north and west Belfast said that there had been increasing numbers of attacks on buses carrying pupils from the Girls' and Boys' Model secondary schools, Belfast Royal Academy, and Castle High School. The parents called for additional security measures to protect their children. Some parents said that they would walk their children to school if the police were unable to protect them.
item mark Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning would only be accepted by Unionists if it was verified, permanent, and followed by the dismantling of the IRA organisational structures.
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting with Richard Haass, then a United States special envoy, in Washington, USA. Trimble described the meeting as "constructive". item mark Fred Cobain, then Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for north Belfast, revealed that he had secret talks with leaders of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) during the summer of 2001.

Tuesday 16 October 2001
item mark A home-made bomb, estimated at 130 pounds, was discovered by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) near Sixmilebridge, County Tyrone, at 8.00pm (20.00BST). The device was made safe by the British Army. A man and woman were arrested in connection with the device. [Dissident Republican paramilitaries were believed to be responsible for the incident. Four other people, two men and two women, were arrested later in connection with the bomb.] item mark Two pipe-bombs were thrown at Catholic homes in Hallidays Road, north Belfast, at around 11.00pm (23.00BST). Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to be responsible. A pipe-bomb was thrown at a house in Glencollier Street, north Belfast at around 7.30pm (19.30BST). item mark There was fighting among rival groups of Catholics and Protestants in the Serpentine area of Belfast at around 8.45pm (20.45BST). One Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was injured during the disturbances. item mark A man (18) was shot in both ankles in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Belfast. He was abducted and taken by car to Mica Drive where he was shot.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the name of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) would change to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on 4 November 2001. [The new arrangements for policing were outlined in the Police Act which itself was based on the recommendations of the Patten Report.]
item mark There was continuing media speculation that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was considering another step on the issue of decommissioning. In an interview on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that he would be willing to accept the determination of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) with regard to any IRA move on weapons. If the IICD accepted and verified that a start had begun to decommissioning Trimble said he would seek re-election as First Minister.

Wednesday 17 October 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries exploded a bomb close to where parents and children were returning from the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School on the Ardoyne Road, north Belfast. The bomb had been placed at the rear of a house on Alliance Avenue and it exploded at 3.10pm (15.10BST) causing extensive damage to the house. No one was injured but the householder, and a number of parents and children, were described as being in "shock".

Thursday 18 October 2001
Unionist Ministers Resign
item mark There was a pipe-bomb attack on a public house in Newtownards, County Down, at approximately 12.15am (00.15BST). The explosion caused minor damage to the pub. [Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to be responsible.]
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting at Stormont with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF). [The meeting discussed the possibility of the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons and what political steps would be likely to follow. It appears that this meeting failed to resolve outstanding issues.] Trimble also had meetings with representatives of the other main political parties.
item mark The three Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) ministers formally resigned from the Northern Ireland Executive at midnight. The two Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) ministers also resigned at the same time. The move was taken because the UUP no longer wished to share power with SF in the absence of decommissioning by the IRA. Dermot Nesbitt, then a UUP Junior Minister, remained in his position within the Office of the First Minster and Deputy First Minister. This prompted Mark Durkan, then leader in-waiting of the SDLP, to say that: "David Trimble has taken his team off the field, but left behind the mascot". [John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has seven days in which to decide what action to take. He could decide to call for a review of the Good Friday Agreement which would involve an indefinite suspension of the power-sharing government. Alternatively, and less likely, he could opt for fresh Assembly elections.]

Friday 19 October 2001
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, travelled to Dublin for a meeting with Brian Cowen, then Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs. The two men discussed the decision of the Unionist ministers to withdraw from the Northern Ireland Executive. Both were heartened that the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) had stated its willingness to return to office if there was a start to the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons. item mark Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), are expected to hold a meeting to discuss the latest setbacks in the peace process. The two leaders are attending a European Union summit in Belgium.
item mark The High Court in Belfast rejected an attempt by James Cooper, then chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), to have the result of the election in the Fermanagh / South Tyrone seat on 7 June 2001 declared invalid. The judge in the case decided that the number of votes cast after the offical closing time of 10.00pm (22.00BST) would not have materially affected the outcome of the election. The case had been heard on 17 September 2001.

Saturday 20 October 2001
item mark A gunman fired two shots at two men in Mountcrescent, Downpatrick, County Down. The attack happened at approximately 9.30am (0930BST). There were no injuries. The gunman ran off and escaped in a waiting vehicle. item mark There was rioting on the Ardoyne Road, north Belfast, at approximately 2.00pm (1400BST). A number of civilians and three Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured during sectarian clashes.

Sunday 21 October 2001
item mark There were sectarian clashes in a number of interface areas of north Belfast. During disturbances in the Limestone Road and Halliday's Road area a Protestant man (20s) was shot and injured by Republicans. [The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said it was not clear which organisation was responsible for the shooting.] item mark Later in the day two young Catholic girls were injured when Loyalists threw a blast-bomb into the Limestone Road, of north Belfast. One of the girls, aged 8, received shrapnel wounds and the other girl aged 11 suffered from extensive shock and both were taken to hospital. The bomb had been thrown over the rooftops of a row of terraced houses at approximately 8.30pm (2030BST). John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, described those responsible for the attack as: "quite simply, scum".
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), confirmed on Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE) that he had been in contact with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on the issue of arms decommissioning. He said: "If the IRA is persuaded to make some move on this issue, it will because it wants to rescue the process. The decision has to be theirs". [On Monday 22 October 2001 Adams publically called on the IRA to make: "a ground-breaking move on the arms issue", which it did on 23 October 2001.] item mark Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), travelled to Washington, USA, for meetings with senior members of the American government and also members of the Irish-American community. item mark [There was continuing media speculation over the weekend that the IRA was considering a significant act of weapons decommissioning; the speculation proved to be correct.]

Monday 22 October 2001
Adams Asks IRA to Decommission
item mark At around 1.00am (0100BST) rioting resumed in the Limestone Road and Halliday's Road area of north Belfast. Petrol bombs and fireworks were thrown at the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, gave a speech in Belfast in which he said that the British government would not be "grudging or ungenerous" in the event of decommissioning of weapons by paramilitary groups. Later in the day Reid met a number of political leaders to discuss the issue of decommissioning. item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), held separate meetings with John Reid and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). item mark Adams later made what he described as a significant speech at 5.00pm (1700BST). In his speech he said: "Martin McGuinness and I have also held discussions with the IRA and we have put to the IRA the view that if it could make a ground-breaking move on the arms issue that this could save the peace process from collapse and transform the situation." [The IRA responded on Tuesday 23 October 2001.] item mark The announcement was welcomed by Nationalists, the Irish government, the British Government, and the American administration. Those Unionists who had supported the Good Friday Agreement also welcomed the announcement. item mark Adams also confirmed that one of the three men arrested in Columbia, South America, on 13 August 2001, was SF's representative in Cuba. Adams said that Niall Connolly, who had lived in Cuba for a number of years, had been asked to represent SF in Cuba by a senior member of the party. However, Adams said that the "decision was taken without the knowledge or authorisation of the international department or any other party structure including the party chairperson or myself".

Tuesday 23 October 2001
IRA Began Decommissioning
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries threw a pipe-bomb at the home of a Catholic family on the Deerpark Road, north Belfast, at approximately 9.00pm (2100BST). The RUC said the family, "narrowly escaped death or injury". There was some damage to the house and a car.
item mark At around 4.00pm (1600BST) the Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement that announced that the organisation had begun to decommission its weapons. The IRA statement included the sentence: "Therefore, in order to save the peace process we have implemented the scheme agreed with the IICD [Independent International Commission on Decommissioning] in August [2001]." item mark Later in the day the IICD issued a statement, part of which read: "We have now witnessed an event - which we regard as significant - in which the IRA has put a quantity of arms completely beyond use. The material in question includes arms, ammunition and explosives." item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting with John de Chastelain (Gen.), then chairman of the IICD, to discuss the act of decommissioning by the IRA. Following the discussions Trimble announced that he would would be recommending to a meeting of the UUP executive on Saturday (27 October 20001) that the UUP ministers retake their seats on the Northern Ireland Executive. item mark The announcements by the IRA and the IICD were welcomed by the British and Irish governments, by the American administration, by Nationalists, and by some Unionists. The Democratice Unionist Party (DUP) and some members of the UUP claimed the move by the IRA was "one-off gesture" or a "stunt".

Wednesday 24 October 2001
item mark Two men were arrested when RUC officers stopped a car near Moira, County Down, and discovered a sub-machine gun. The car was on the Moira interchange at the M1 motorway. [The two men were believed to be members of a dissident Republican paramilitary group. The incident happened at approximately 4.00pm (1600BST).] item mark There were disturbances on the Crumlin Road, north Belfast. Loyalists blocked the main road at approximately 4.30pm (1630BST) thus preventing Catholic school children from getting home. Nationalists tried to get up the Crumlin Road to escort their children home and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) moved between the two groups. Bricks and bottles were thrown by both groups. [The Crumlin Road is the 'alternative' route that Loyalists want Catholic children and their parents to use when going to and from the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School on the nearby Ardoyne Road.] item mark A man (40) was shot in the leg at 8.00pm (2000BST) in the Kilcooley Estate, Bangor, County Down. [The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were investigating the motive for the shooting.]
item mark There were a number of statements in the House of Commons. item mark Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, welcomed the decommissioning by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that he had reappointed the three UUP Ministers to the Northern Ireland Executive "without prejudice" to the decision to be taken by the UUP executive on Saturday 27 October 2001. However, Trimble asked Blair, "what sanctions will the government apply to them [those who had not decommissioning by February 2002] so as to avoid others having to apply sanctions?". [Trimble was thus explicitly setting a new deadline in the peace process.] item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that work had begun on the dismantling of two British Army observation towers in south Armagh. One on Sturgan mountain and one on Camlough mountain. He also announced that work would begin on Thursday 25 October 2001 on demolishing a sangar at Newtownhamilton police station in south Armagh, and also on demolishing the British Royal Irish Regiment (British Army) base in Magherafelt, County Derry. Reid also pledged to introduce a progressive programme of security normalisation as the paramilitary threat lessened. [The demolition work is expected to take a year to complete. There was no word on the other watch towers (12?) in south Armagh. It is envisaged that there would be further cuts in the number of British Army troops based in Northern Ireland. It is also likely that the British government will make further movement on police-reform legislation, review criminal justice, and honour human rights and equality measures. Some of the security (and other) measures were ones outlined in the British and Irish governments' Implementation Plan published on 1 August 2001.]
item mark Cyril Ramaphosa and Martti Ahtisarri, the two independent arms inspectors, announced that they had resigned their positions. They said that they were no longer required given that the IICD and the IRA were dealing with the weapons issue. [The arms inspectors had been appointed on 14 May 2000.]
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) called on Loyalist paramilitaries to begin the process of decommissioning their weapons.

Thursday 25 October 2001
item mark The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) announced that it was appointing two of its Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) as Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive. The DUP used the opportunity to rotate the two positions amongst its senior members. Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the DUP, was appointed as Regional Development Minister, and Nigel Dodds, then DUP MLA, as Social Development Minister.

Friday 26 October 2001
item mark A British Army soldier (18) was seriously injured when Loyalist paramilitaries threw a pipe-bomb at a group of soldiers in the Ardoyne Road, north Belfast, at 9.00pm (2100BST). The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) claimed that the soldiers had been lured into an ambush and that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was responsible for the attack. Several RUC officers were also injured in the attack. item mark Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in the Waterside area of Derry. The attack happened shortly after midnight (0015BST) and there was extensive damage to the house but no injuries to the six occupants. The dwelling was home to a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillor. [The RUC said that it was the most powerful pipe-bomb ever to have been used and it contained four inch nails. The incident was part of an extensive series of on-going attacks across Northern Ireland on Nationalist political representatives and Catholic families.] item mark A Catholic boy (14) was attacked and beaten up by a gang of Loyalist youths in Galgorm Road, Ballymena, County Antrim. [The boy is believed to be Kieran O'Loan the son of Nuala O'Loan, then Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, and it is thought he was singled out for attack.]
item mark Two people were arrested during the the Loyalist protest outside the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Loyalists had tried to block the road and prevent parents from gaining access to the school.

Saturday 27 October 2001
item mark The 110-member Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) policy-making executive met to hear a recommendation from David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, that their ministers should retake their posts in the Northern Ireland Executive. The executive endorsed Trimble's plan and called on the UUP MLAs to support his re-election as First Minister. [However, two UUP MLAs, Peter Weir and Pauline Armitage, have said that at the moment they could not vote for Trimble. The vote is likely to take place on Friday 2 November 2001.]
item mark There were further disturbances during the evening in the Glenbryn area, off the Ardoyne Road, north Belfast.

Sunday 28 October 2001
item mark There was serious rioting in the Limestone Road area of Belfast. Six blast bombs were thrown at Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers, 23 of whom were injured. British Army technical experts were called to deal with an unexploded device in nearby North Queen Street. A number of cars were also hijacked and burnt in the same area. item mark There were also two blast bomb attacks in other areas of north Belfast. One person was treated for shock when a blast bomb exploded at a house at Seaview drive, off the Shore Road. item mark The South Armagh Farmers and Residents Group (SAFRG) together with Sinn Féin (SF) organised a protest at a British Army observation tower at Glassdrummond, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. Police in riot gear were called to prevent the demonstrators from cutting their way through security fences. Six RUC officers were injured during the disturbances. The protesters called for 'demilitarisation' of the south Armagh area.
item mark [An Irishman died in clashes between Colombian troops and the country's second-largest guerrilla group. The man was believed to be wearing rebel clothing. The Colombian army did not know whether the man was a member of the left-wing National Liberation Army, or ELN, or a guerrilla kidnap victim.]

Monday 29 October 2001
Catholic Civilian and Protestant Civilian Shot Dead
item mark Colin Foy (27), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead at Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, shortly after midnight. The man was drinking with his brother in the Four Ways Hotel in the town when he was shot dead. A Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) soldier went to a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police station in the neighbouring village of Clogher immediately following the incident and gave himself up to police. The RUC stated initially that the shooting was not sectarian. Sinn Féin (SF) said the killing was "blatently sectarian". [The RIR soldier was later charged with murder.]
item mark Charles Folliard (30), a Protestant civilian, was shot and fatally injured in Strabane, County Tyrone, at approximately 11.30pm (2330GMT). Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers initially said that they believed that dissident Republican paramilitaries were responsible for the killing and said that: "a sectarian motive is one of the avenues we are looking at." The man was shot as he was leaving the home of his 16 year old Catholic girlfriend. [Folliard had been involved with Loyalist paramilitaries and was jailed for 14 years in 1991 for conspiracy to murder a Catholic colleague at the quarry where he then worked and also for possessing firearms. Folliard was released in 1997. On 8 November 2001 detectives said that they believed that the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) was responsible for the killing.]
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item mark [Another man was shot dead shortly after 1.00am (0100GMT) in Craigavon, County Armagh. Two men have been interviewed in connection with this shooting. Currently this shooting is not thought to be related to the conflict.]
item mark Two men planted a small bomb (estimated at 5kg of explosives) on a bus and ordered the driver to take the bus to Woodburn Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station, Stewartstown Road, west Belfast. The men claimed to be from the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA). British Army technical officers were in the process of dealing with the device when it exploded around 8.00pm (2000GMT) resulting in damage to the bus but causing no injuries. item mark British Army technical experts were called to deal with a pipe-bomb at Skerrymore Place, Portrush, County Antrim, just before 8.00am (0800GMT). The device had been left at the home of a Catholic family. The Army also had to deal with a pipe-bomb at Voltaire Gardens in the Whitewell Road area of north Belfast shortly before 3.30pm (1530GMT). Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to be responsible for both devices. item mark There was further rioting in north Belfast. Six blast bombs were thrown at RUC officers and British Army soldiers in the Limestone Road area of north Belfast. A number of RUC officers were injured in the disturbances. A number of cars were hijacked and burnt. Two blast bombs were thrown at Catholics houses in the area.
item mark Sinn Féin's (SF) Ard Chomhairle (ruling executive) held a meeting in Navan to discuss the recent decommissioning move by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), were among the group of 40 people who attended the meeting. item mark The Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) announced that it may table a motion, in the Northern Ireland Assembly on Friday 2 November 2001, to reduce the 30 days notice required for Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to re-nominate themselves as 'Unionist', 'Nationalist', or 'Other'. [The NIWC plan appears to be to change the community nomination of its two MLAs from 'Other' to one 'Unionist' and one 'Nationalist', and the 'Unionist' MLA would vote for David Trimble to be re-elected as First Minister.]
item mark Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, officially opened the Academy for Irish Cultural Heritages at the University of Ulster's Magee Campus.

Tuesday 30 October 2001
item mark Brian Cowen, then Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, called on the British government to demilitarise places such as south Armagh and west Tyrone "very quickly". He was speaking in New York, USA, at a meeting of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.
item mark A Protestant man was charged at Belfast Magistrates' Court with 'riotous behaviour' in connection with sectarian clashes at Limestone Road, north Belfast, on Sunday 28 October 2001.
item mark Kenneth Bloomfield (Sir), former head of the Northern Ireland civil service, said that a commissioner should be appointed to safeguard the interests of victims of 'the Troubles'.

Wednesday 31 October 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries fired several shots at a Catholic taxi-driver who had gone to a house on the edge of the Loyalist Mourneview Estate, Lurgan, County Armagh. Several bullets struck the car. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers said they were treating the attack as "attempted murder". [The attack may have been carried out by the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).] item mark A Catholic woman was injured when Loyalist paramilitaries threw a pipe-bomb at her home in Newington Street, north Belfast. The bomb exploded at the back of the house breaking all the windows at the rear of the three-storey house. The woman was treated for cuts. item mark Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a 'punishment' shooting on two men (both in their 30s) in a field at Ballyreagh Road, Newtownards, County Down. One was shot in both knees and the other was shot in one leg. Both were treated in hospital.
item mark A man (41) is due to appear in court in Belfast charged with 'riotous behaviour' following disturbances in the Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, on Tuesday 30 October 2001.
item mark Peter Weir and Pauline Armitage, both Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) then Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, held a meeting with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). The two were seeking assurances that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning initiative was both substantial and part of a continuing process. [Both MLAs have stated that at present they do not intend to vote on Friday 2 November 2001 for David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), as First Minister.]

November 2001

Thursday 1 November 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a 'punishment' beating attack on a man in Bangor, County Down, at approximately 10.35pm (2235GMT). The man was seriously injured in the attack. item mark British Army technical officers were called to deal with a "crude explosive device" that had initially been left in a community centre in north Belfast. Children had moved the device to Roseleigh Street before their parents raised the alarm. [It is believed that Loyalists left the device.]
item mark Pauline Armitage, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), announced that she would not be voting for her party leader David Trimble to be re-elected as First Minister on Friday 2 November 2001. item mark The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said that John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, should call fresh Assembly elections if David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, does not get re-elected as First Minister.
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, together with two UUP colleagues, joined with members of the 'Loyalist Commission' to hold a joint meeting with Jane Kennedy, then Security Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). [The Loyalist Commission is comprised of representatives of three Loyalist paramilitary groups - the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), and the Red Hand Commando (RHC) - and Protestant church and community representatives from north Belfast. Members of the UUP help set up the new group.] The meeting was to discuss the situation in Glenbryn, Ardoyne, north Belfast, where Loyalist residents are blockading the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School. [To date this year Loyalist paramilitaries have carried out five sectarian murders and over 200 pipe-bomb attacks.]

Friday 2 November 2001
item mark There was a meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly to try to elect a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister. David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), stood for re-election to the post of First Minister. Mark Durkan (leader in waiting of the Social Democratic and Labour Party; SDLP), then Minister of Finance and Personnel, stood for the post of Deputy First Minister. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) opposed the election of Trimble and the party obtained enough Unionist support to prevent his election. Trimble needed 30 'Unionist' votes to secure his re-election but only managed to obtain 29 votes. The motion therefore fell although 72 voted in favour of it as opposed to 30 against. The Northern Ireland Women's Coalition had earlier won a motion to reduce the 30 days notice required for Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to re-nominate themselves as 'Unionist', 'Nationalist', or 'Other'. The NIWC then changed the community nomination of its two MLAs from 'Other' to one 'Unionist' and one 'Nationalist'. Despite this move Trimble failed to be elected. [John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, faced a decision on what action to take. He could have suspended the Assembly for either an open-ended period and thus re-introduce Direct Rule. Another option was to call fresh Assembly elections. Another possibility was that the Secretary of State could have suspended the Assembly for one day (this has already been done twice before) which would allow a further six week period in which to find agreement. In the event Reid decided to simply ignore the deadline. The Assembly met again on Monday 5 November 2001 but it was at a meeting on Tuesday 6 November 2001 that Trimble and Durkan were elected.]

Saturday 3 November 2001
item mark Saturday (midnight) marked the new deadline for the election of a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister by the parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA). [The date represented a period of six weeks since the political institutions were restored to power following their last 24 hour suspension (22 September 2001). John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, allowed the deadline to pass without taking any action. The intention was to try to elect a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister on Monday 5 November 2001. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) announced that it would seek a legal challenge to the decision taken by Reid.]

Sunday 4 November 2001
New Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
item mark The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) came into being with a change to the name of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The powers of the new Northern Ireland Policing Board took effect. The first batch of the 308 recruits to the PSNI, recruited on the basis of 50 per cent Catholic and 50 per cent Protestant, began their training. [The Patten report containing recommendations for the police service in Northern Ireland was published in September 1999 and an 'Updated Implementation Plan 2001' was published on 17 August 2001. The report called for sweeping changes to the RUC's name, badge, structure, ethos, and recruitment procedures.]

Monday 5 November 2001
item mark A man and a youth were injured in separate paramilitary 'punishment' shootings. The man (19) was shot in both legs in an attack in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, at approximately 7.15pm (1915GMT). In the other attack a teenager (16) was shot in one leg at Cavehill Road, north Belfast, at around 9.30pm (2130GMT).
item mark The Northern Ireland Assembly met to debate the motion on the election of David Trimble as First Minister and Mark Durkan as Deputy First Minister. The move followed a series of meetings over the weekend between pro-Agreement parties and John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. [There was a plan that some MLAs from the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) would redesignate from 'Other' to 'Unionist', for a period of 24 hours, and vote in favour of Trimble and Durkan for the two posts. However, anti-Agreement Unionists used a procedural device (a 'petition of concern') to postpone the vote on the two motions although the actual debates could go ahead. The voting on the two motions took place on Tuesday 6 November 2001.] item mark The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) took legal action in Belfast High Court against John Reid's decision not to call fresh elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The deadline for the election of a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister had been midnight on Saturday 3 November. The action was dismissed but the DUP returned to the High Court on Thursday 8 November 2001.
item mark Loyalist protesters at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School said that they had reached an "understanding" with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) over the weekend. As a result of which the police were not wearing full riot gear when the protest took place. The residents had undertaken to stand back from police vehicles. A representative of Catholic parents on the Right to Education Group said: "The police should have sat down with both sides to talk about this".

Tuesday 6 November 2001
First, and Deputy First, Ministers Elected
item mark David Trimble was elected as First Minister and Mark Durkan was elected as Deputy First Minister at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has attempted to delay the vote, on the motion to elect the two men, for a second day by introducing a 'petition of concern'. However the petition was not accepted by the Presiding Officer (speaker) of the Assembly and the vote was taken. 99 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) cast their votes of whom 70 voted in favour of the motion and 29 against. Of the 60 Unionists who voted, 31 voted in favour and 29 against. All 38 Nationalist members voted in favour. item mark Following the vote there were scuffles between pro- and anti-Agreement members in the hall outside the Assembly chamber where David Trimble and Mark Durkin were giving a press briefing. [Some of the media commentators dubbed it "The brawl in the hall".]
item mark The new Northern Ireland Policing Board met formally for the first time. The membership of the board was announced on 29 September 2001. Of the political parties eligble for places on the Board, Sinn Féin refused to take its seats.

Wednesday 7 November 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a gun attack on a Catholic man in the Waterside area of Derry. The man (35) had been sitting in the cab of a lorry at Rossdowney Drive when a gunman approached and fired several shots at him. Windows in the vehicle were broken but the driver was uninjured and was able to drive away. Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers said they were treating the attack as attempted murder. [This was the second attempted murder in the area in the last 2 weeks; the previous attack was on 26 October 2001.]
item mark Jane Kennedy, then Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Security Minister, said that there had been over 840 paramilitary attacks since 1 January 2001. Of this total 620 had been carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries and 223 were carried out by Republican paramilitaries. Kennedy was replying to questions asked by Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons, London.
item mark The mother of a child attending the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast, began legal proceedings in the High Court against John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). In an affidavit the parent said that the police had not given adequate protection to her daughter and had failed to identify, arrest, or prosecute protesters, who broke the law in full public view.
item mark Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from South Africa, met some parents and children at Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Tutu also met some of those involved in the protest at the school. Tutu was on a visit to Northern Ireland.

Thursday 8 November 2001
item mark The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) began legal action in Belfast High Court against John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in an attempt to get him to call fresh Northern Ireland Assembly elections. The judge gave the DUP permission to present their case for judicial review. [This is likely to take place in 2 weeks.]
item mark The Portadown District of the Orange Order withdrew (for the second time) from a mediation initiative to try to resolve the ongoing dispute surround the annual Orange parade at Drumcree, Portadown, County Armagh. [Brian Currin, then a south African lawyer, was leading the mediation effort between the Orange Order and Nationalist residents in the Garvaghy Road.]
item mark There was a meeting in Belfast between the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) and the Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Ireland (HRCRI). The meeting discussed how the two organisations could work together and how a new joint committee, drawn from the two commissions, should operate. [The NIHRC was established in March 1999 and the HRCRI began in July 2001.]
item mark Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), was in Washington, for a meeting with George Bush, then President of the United States of America (USA). Bush reiterated his strong support for the Irish peace process.

Friday 9 November 2001
item mark Peter Weir, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MLA, was expelled from the party for voting against the re-election of David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, as First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Weir had been suspended from the party on a previous occasion. Pauline Armitage, then UUP MLA, was suspended (for three months?) from the party for also voting against Trimble.
item mark Loyalist protesters called off their blockade at the Holy Child Girls Primary School for one day. Some of the school-children sat their "11-plus" transfer examination. Mary McAleese, then President of the Republic of Ireland, called for a complete end to the Loyalist protest at the school. McAleese was speaking at an engagement in Northern Ireland. The current round of protest has been ongoing since 3 September 2001.

Saturday 10 November 2001
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held its annual conference in Newcastle, County Down. John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), stepped down and was replaced by Mark Durkan as leader of the party. Hume became leader of the party in 1979. As no other members of the SDLP had stood for election to the post of leader Durkan was appointed unopposed. Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), also stepped down and was replaced by Brig Rogers following a contest in which five candidates had stood for the post. Mallon had been elected deputy leader of the party in 1979. [On Sunday 11 November 2001 Durkan delivered his inaugural speech as party leader.] item mark The Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) held its annual conference in Bangor, County Down. The NIWC criticised the lack of women on the new Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB).

Sunday 11 November 2001
Protestant Teenager Killed
item mark Glen Hugh Branagh (16), a Protestant teenager, was killed in north Belfast when a pipe-bomb he was holding exploded prematurely. [It was later confirmed that Branagh was a member of the (Ulster) Young Militants (YM), the youth wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Members of YM were accused of killing a Protestant man, mistaken for a Catholic, during an attack on 31 March 2001.] Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers stated that during a riot a youth, wearing a distinctive top and mask, was seen as he was about to throw a pipe-bomb at the security forces on North Queen Street; the bomb went off while he was still holding it. The crowd then called the police officers forward to give medical assistance. Although treated at the scene Branagh died later in hospital. Two other men were injured in the explosion. [Loyalists claimed that the bomb had been thrown by Nationalists and that Branagh had picked the device up. This claim was denied by PSNI officers who said they saw quite clearly what had happened.]
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item mark Prior to this incident there had been serious rioting in the area between rival Protestant and Catholic residents. Later in the evening there were further disturbances and police fired 9 plastic baton rounds. A Catholic girl (14) was injured when she was hit in the stomach by a plastic bullet. Catholic residents also claimed that a boy (11) and a teenager (17) were also hit by plastic bullets. Twenty-four police officers and two British soldiers were injured during the rioting. item mark There were several shooting incidents in Belfast during the evening and in the early hours of Monday 12 November 2001. A gunman fired a shot from a car at four youths sitting in a bus shelter on the Antrim Road, north Belfast. There were reports that a gunman had fired a shot into the Clarendon Bar, Garmoyle Street in the Docks area of Belfast at about 10.00pm (2200GMT).
item mark There were a series of events across Northern Ireland to mark Remembrance Day. Among the wreaths laid at memorials were, for the first time, ones on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Monday 12 November 2001
item mark A man (23) was found shortly after 12.00am (0000GMT) with a gunshot wound to his leg at Bryson Court, New Mossley to the north of Belfast. [It was thought that he had been the victim of a paramilitary 'punishment' attack.] item mark At approximately 1.00am (0100GMT) two masked men both believed to be armed with shotguns forced their way into a house in Eliza Street, Belfast. They fired a shot through a bedroom door in the house but a man (33) inside the room was uninjured in the attack.
item mark There was a change in the policing tactics used at the Loyalist protest of Holy Cross Girls' Primary School. Instead of gathering together all the Catholic parents and children and escorting them as a group to the school the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) specified a time period in which parents could walk to the school. Approximately 400 police officers (one in eight of the total in Belfast) were present to ensure that the children were able to get to school. The day's operation cost an estimated £100,000. Some Catholic parents complained that the new police tactics left them more exposed to Loyalist protesters. Police arrested a nationalist who was taking a video of Loyalist protesters.
item mark The British government published a draft Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill, 2001. If implemented the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA) could take responsibility for policing and the criminal justice system after NIA elections on 1 May 2003. The provisions in the draft Bill included: the creation of an independent prosecution service; a judicial appointment commission to propose appointment or removal of judges; the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland to head the judiciary - rather than the Lord Chancellor in London; the appointment of an Attorney General for Northern Ireland; the appointment of a Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice; the appointment of a Law Commission; and new judges would take an oath to the office for which they were responsible rather than to the Queen.
item mark There was a session of the Northern Ireland Assembly. [Of the 108 elected members approximately 30 attended the session.]

Tuesday 13 November 2001
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a gun attack on a man, and his father, while they were driving home at 10.30pm (2230GMT) on a road near Ballycastle, County Antrim. A bullet struck the vehicle but neither of the two men were injured. item mark A man (18) was shot in both legs in the Mount Vernon area of Belfast at appoximately 11.30pm (2330GMT). He was treated in hospital for his injuries. The attack was believed to have been a paramilitary 'punishment' shooting.
item mark Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), suggested in the Dáil that the British government had been slow to co-operate with the Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings on 17 May 1974 in which 33 people were killed. It was announced that Justice Henry Barron, from the Republic of Ireland, would meet John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to ask for access to British files on the bombings. Barron first requested the files on 10 November 2000. [There have been persistent allegations that British security forces colluded with Loyalist paramilitaries in the bombings.]

Wednesday 14 November 2001
item mark There was a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The two Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Ministers refused to attend the meeting. This was the first meeting to be jointly chaired by David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, and Mark Durkan (SDLP), then Deputy First Minister. The Executive considered the continuing violence in north Belfast, the Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School, and the forthcoming budget.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that funding of £1 million would be made available for a new Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Garden of Remembrance and an RUC Museum. Reid also announced the composition of the Boards of Trustees of the RUC George Cross Foundation (Jim McDonald, chairman) and the Northern Ireland Police Fund (Sir John Semple, chairman).

Thursday 15 November 2001
item mark Six people were arrested in London and Liverpool, England, under the Terrorism Act. The arrests were believed to be in connection with recent bomb attacks in England by the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA). [Following the arrests police began a search of a disused farm in Tingley village, West Ardsley, near Leeds. A seventh person was arrested on Sunday 18 November 2001.]
item mark Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh paid a one-day visit to Northern Ireland. The Queen visited the Waterside area of Derry (her last visit to the city was in 1953), Hillsborough Castle, Lisburn, and Banbridge.

Friday 16 November 2001
item mark A Catholic man was shot and injured in a gun attack at 7.15am (0715GMT) in Clady, County Derry. He was treated for a gunshot wound to his hand. He had been waiting by the roadside for a lift to work when a gunman fired shots from a passing car. [The attack was probably carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.]
item mark Thirty-six former and serving soldiers who were due to appear at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in Derry have won a case at the High Court in London allowing them to give evidence by video-link from England. Lord Saville, then chairman of the Inquiry, had originally ruled that the soldiers should given evidence in person in Derry. In their case at the High Court the soldiers argued that they would be targeted by Republicans if they were forced to travel to Derry.
item mark Bairbre de Brún (SF) then Minister of Health, is due to hold a north-south ministerial meeting. This will be the first meeting of its kind since David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, decided not to nominate Sinn Féin (SF) ministers during a debate at a Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) meeting on 28 October 2000. item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held a meeting in an attempt to persuade those members who are opposed to the Good Friday Agreement that a Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) meeting is not necessary. Over 60 party members have signed a petition calling for a UUC meeting to examine the party's strategy regarding the decommissioning of weapons by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The meeting was described as 'heated' and the outcome was that the UUC meeting is to go ahead and will take place on Saturday 1 December 2001.

Saturday 17 November 2001
item mark The home of a Catholic family in Serpentine Road, Belfast, was attacked with a petrol-bomb around 2.00am (0200GMT). There was some damage to the living room but no injuries. item mark Another Catholic home in Serpentine Gardens was also attacked. This family said that they were moving out of their home after living in the area for 14 years. item mark There was rioting in the Limestone Road and Duncairn Gardens area of north Belfast during the afternoon and into the evening. Security forces moved into the area to separate groups of residents from the two communities.
item mark The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) held a special congress in Dublin and voted to remove Rule 21 from its rulebook. The rule prevented members of the security forces in Northern Ireland from joining any GAA club. Approximately 80 per cent of the delegates voted to remove the rule. Among the six counties in Northern Ireland, County Down had voted to drop the rule while the other five counties had voted to retain the rule.
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held its Annual Conference in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast. David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), delivered a speech to the conference.

Sunday 18 November 2001
item mark Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers found a petrol-bomb 'factory' in north Belfast. Three crates containing 50 primed petrol bombs were found along with 500 empty bottles at Clanchatten Street off the Limestone Road. One man was arrested for disorderly behaviour during the search operation. item mark There were further disturbances on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. Rival crowds from the Catholic and Protestant communities clashed for the third night running. The PSNI said that 12 of officers were injured during the rioting. Two people were arrested.

Monday 19 November 2001
item mark A number of weapons and some bomb-making material were discovered during a planned search of some houses in the Kilwilkee Estate, Lurgan, County Armagh. A number of people were also arrested. [The cache was believed to have belonged to dissident Republican paramilitaries.]
item mark It was disclosed in the media that the Catholic father (31) of a girl attending the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast, had begun a hunger-strike. The man said that he felt so frustrated by the Loyalist protest at the school that he was refusing food in an attempt to end the blockade. item mark It was also revealed in the media that a split had occurred in the Loyalist residents group. It was reported that as many as five committee members from the 'Concerned Residents of Upper Ardoyne' may have resigned. They are believed to include spokesmen Stuart McCartney and Jim Potts.
item mark The Bloody Sunday Inquiry chairman said that he was considering calling the authors of a new book to give evidence. Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston had published a book on the life of Martin McGuinness (SF), then Health Minister, and his role in the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The Inquiry was particularly interested in claims made in the book about IRA activities on Bloody Sunday.
item mark The British government published seven potential emblems for use by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The emblems were designed to be politically neutral. The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) has until 14 December 2001 to make a decision on an emblem for the PSNI; if no decision is reached the Secretary of State would decide the matter. All seven of the emblems were rejected by Unionists as being unacceptable.
item mark Mark Durkan, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was invited to address a meeting of the North Down Association of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). This was the first such exchange. During his speech Durkan said: "Growing together need not diminish the integrity of any tradition or identity whereas growing apart has damaged all". Sylvia Hermon (Lady), then UUP MP, said that in the event of complete decommissioning by Sinn Féin (SF) the party would also be invited to address the association.

Tuesday 20 November 2001
item mark Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers together with British Army soldiers stopped a car in County Armagh and found a bomb estimated to contain 200 pounds of home-made explosives. The driver of the car was arrested. Dissident Republican paramilitaries were believed to be responsible for the bomb. item mark The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) issued a warning that Loyalist paramilitaries were intending to attack Catholic workmen at building sites in Derry; particularly those working in the Waterside area. The police said that approximately 40 building sites had been warned. [Loyalists attempted to kill a Catholic worker in the city on 7 November 2001.] item mark The security forces were called to deal with four 'explosive devices' that were thrown at Catholic homes in Rosapenna Street, Oldpark, north Belfast. The devices were large fireworks wrapped in nails. Two of the devices were thrown over a wall and two were thrown into the front of houses in the street from a passing car.
item mark The Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB) provided two buses for those Catholic parents and children who wished to use them to get through the Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School. [However, most of the parents and children made their way to the school on foot.]

Wednesday 21 November 2001
item mark Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers stopped a car at approximately 9.20pm (2120GMT) on the Ballycastle Road, Coleraine, County Derry, and found two guns, ammunition, balaclavas, gloves, and other items. Four men travelling in the car were arrested. [Police linked the arrests to a Loyalist paramilitary organisation.] item mark Two men were shot in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Kilburn Street, Belfast. One man aged 18 was shot and wounded in a leg, and the other man aged 19 was shot in each thigh. item mark An incendiary device partially ignited in a shop in Hill Street, Newry, County Down. The device was found at approximately 6.45pm (1845GMT). Police said that the device was probably planted by dissident Republican paramilitaries. item mark There were disturbances at Gunnell Hill, in the Whitewell district of north Belfast. Police moved into the area when rival groups of Protestants and Catholics clashed at approximately 8.15pm (2015GMT). There were also reports of missiles being thrown in Serpentine Road and Serpentine Gardens.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, delivered a speech at the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University in which he said that Protestants in Northern Ireland must not be made to feel alienated. He also called on the churches to do more to tackle sectarianism in both communities.
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in Lisburn Council, County Antrim, recommended that the Union Flag should fly over the new council offices on 19 days each year. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) accused the UUP of doing a deal over the matter with Sinn Féin (SF); this was denied by both the UUP and SF.
item mark Translink announced that it would withdraw bus services from four routes in west Belfast following continuing attacks on drivers and vehicles.
item mark Catholic bishops in Northern Ireland published a report 'Building Peace - Shaping the Future' which examined the contribution of Catholic schools to the peace process. The report argued that the perception that the schools are promoting division in society is "superficial, misleading and unjust".

Thursday 22 November 2001
item mark David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, and Mark Durkan (SDLP), then Deputy First Minister, held a meeting with residents from the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, north Belfast, who are involved in the Loyalist blockade of the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School. Before calling an end to the protest the residents representatives asked for CCTV to be introduced, along with road-calming measures, and increased security in the upper Ardoyne area. [The protest was called off at a meeting of the residents on Friday 23 November 2001.]
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced the names of four new appointees to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. They were: Christine Eames (Lady), wife of the Church of Ireland Primate; Christopher McGimpsey (Dr), then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) councillor; Kevin McLaughlin; and Patrick Yu. Ken Maginness (Lord), then UUP member of the Lords, who was interviewed but turned down for one of the four posts, criticised the appointments as having a "pro-Nationalist bias".
item mark Two men who had been arrested on 15 November 2001 were charged with offences related to bomb attacks on London and Birmingham.

Friday 23 November 2001
item mark The residents of the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, north Belfast, held a meeting during the evening and afterwards announced that the Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School would be "suspended". This decision followed a meeting with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on Thursday 22 November 2001. [The blockade of the school had first begun on 19 June 2001 and continued until the end of term on Friday 29 June 2001. The protest resumed after the summer break on Monday 3 September 2001. In total the protest at the school lasted 14 weeks.] item mark Earlier in the afternoon there had been a rally in the centre of Belfast in support of the pupils of Holy Cross School. Approximately 500 people attended the rally.

Saturday 24 November 2001
item mark The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held its 30th annual conference in Newcastle, County Down. The main speech was given by Ian Paisley, then leader of the DUP, who entered the hall led by a lone piper. Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the DUP, also gave a speech in which he appealed those members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) who were opposed to the Good Friday Agreement to join the ranks of the DUP. He said that the UUP had "had its day".

Sunday 25 November 2001
item mark There was further serious rioting in north Belfast. At approximately 4.00am (0400GMT) a crowd of about 50 Loyalists made their way from the Tiger's Bay area towards a Catholic area on North Queen Street. A Nationalist crowd confronted them and a shot was fired from the Nationalist side which injured a Protestant man. Another man was injured by an explosive device thrown by Nationalists. Both men were taken to hospital. item mark There was a petrol-bomb attack on a house in Cookstown, County Tyrone. There was no one in the house at the time. There was considerable damage done to the building. item mark There was a petrol-bomb attack on a house in Derry. The woman who lived in the property was woken by the sound of breaking glass and found the front door alight. item mark Two flats were damaged in an arson attack in the Baloo area of Bangor, County Down. Several people had to be rescued by the fire brigade and one woman was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Monday 26 November 2001
item mark The trial of William Stobie (48) collapsed when a central witness was considered incapable of giving evidence. Stobie had been accused of aiding and abetting in the murder of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had decided that Neil Mulholland, a former journalist, was no longer a credible witness due to his mental state. In the absence of evidence the judge, Lord Chief Justice Sir Robert Carswell, returned a verdict of not guilty. [Stobie was a self-confessed Ulster Defence Association (UDA) quartermaster and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) informer. He was also accused of aiding and abetting in the murder of Adam Lambert (19), a Protestant civilian, who was shot dead on 9 November 1987 because he was mistaken for a Catholic. Stobie had been arrested as a result of investigations by the Stevens (III) Inquiry.] item mark Following the collapse of the Stobie trial the British government announced that it would appoint a judge of international standing to begin a fresh investigation into the Finucance killing and several other killings. There had been agreement during the Weston Park talks, which began on 9 July 2001, that such a judge would be appointed to investigate a series of killings where there were allegations that the security forces in Northern Ireland had colluded with Loyalist paramilitaries in the killings.
item mark There was no Loyalist protest outside the Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Catholic children and their parents were able to make their way to the school with a very much reduced security force presence. The Loyalist protest began on 19 June 2001. Protestant residents in the Glenbryn estate called off the protest on Friday 23 November 2001. The protest was ended after a meeting between the protesters and David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, and Mark Durkan (SDLP), then Deputy First Minister, on Thursday 22 November 2001. The meeting agreed that a package of security and economic measures would be introduced in the area. The cost of policing the protest was estimated at £3 million.
item mark Research from the Northern Ireland 'Life and Times Survey' {external_link} had shown that opposition to inter-church marriages was easing. While Catholics express a greater acceptance of 'mixed' marriages the gap with Protestant opinion was narrowing.

Tuesday 27 November 2001
item mark A man (23) was beaten in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack in Carrickfergus, County Antrim. Three masked men entered into the man's flat at approximately 9.00pm (2100GMT) and beat him with hammers and a baseball bat. The man was taken to hospital with suspected broken arms.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that George Quigley (Sir), former chairman of Ulster Bank, would chair a review of the Parades Commission. Any recommendations from the review would not be implemented until after the summer of 2002.
item mark Two human rights organisations, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) and the British-Irish Rights Watch (BIRW), called for a public independent judicial inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989, and other controversial killings. The two organisations also said that the appointment of a judge to investigate the cases, as announced by the British government on Monday 26 November 2001, was inadequate.
item mark Nigel Dodds (DUP), then Minister for Social Development, announced a £16.5 million housing development plan for north Belfast. Most of the money was for the removal of unfit housing and to enable new building. The announcement was criticised by both Sinn Féin (SF) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). SF said that £15.5 million of the total was to be spend in Loyalist areas and was a "calculated insult" to Nationalists. The SDLP said that there was concern in the community that the Minister, "was not focusing on Catholic areas where there was a chronic housing shortage".

Wednesday 28 November 2001
item mark It was announced that the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) had been dissolved. The UDP was associated with the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). While the UDP supported the Good Friday Agreement an increasing number of members of the UDA opposed the Agreement and had engaged in on-going violence that led to the UDA being 'specified' by the British government on 12 October 2001.
item mark Martin McGuinness (SF), then Northern Ireland Education Minister, held a sectoral meeting in Dublin with Michael Woods, then Irish Education Minister, as part of the North-South Ministerial Council. The meeting discussed youth and teacher exchanges, as well as cross-border schools. It was the first meeting between the two education ministers since David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, introduced a ban on Sinn Féin (SF) ministers attending such meetings on 28 October 2000. The ban had been introduced in an attempt to force the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to decommission its weapons.
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), send a two-page letter to all 860 members of the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) in advance of the meeting on 1 December 2001. The letter outlined his motion and called on the delegates to support his decision not to set a new deadline for withdrawing from the Northern Ireland Executive.
item mark Mark Durkan, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Deputy First Minister, held a meeting in London with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister. This was Durkan's first meeting with the Prime Minister in his new capacity as leader of the SDLP.
item mark As the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill was getting a reading in the House of Lords an amendment was proposed. Conservatives had argued that the Bill made a false distinction between international terrorism and acts of terrorism in the United Kingdom (UK). The amendment was passed by 149 votes to 139.

Thursday 29 November 2001
item mark The main road and rail link between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was closed following a series of bomb warnings received by police on both sides of the border. The first warnings were received just after 7.00pm (1900GMT) and the railway line at Killen Bridge between Newry, County Down, and Dundalk in the Republic of Ireland was closed. Around the same time a group of armed men hijacked a lorry and then set fire to blocking the main A1 road between Newry and Dundalk.

Friday 30 November 2001
item mark There was a two-hour meeting of the British-Irish Council in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The British-Irish Council was one of the institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement. Representatives from Britain, Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Scotland, and Wales, attended the meeting. The main item on the agenda was the campaign against drugs. [The previous meeting of the council was in London in December 1999. Other planned meetings were postponed following problems and delays in the peace process.] item mark Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held a separate meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, following the British-Irish Council meeting. The two prime ministers discussed a number of issues including the peace process in Northern Ireland. item mark There was also a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council in Dublin involving ministers from the British and Irish governments. [This was the first cross-border meeting since David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, had imposed a ban, on 28 October 2000, on Sinn Féin (SF) members attending such meetings.]

December 2001

Saturday 1 December 2001
item mark There was a meeting of the 840 member Ulster Unionist Council (UUC), the policy-making body of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The meeting was called by those opposed to the Good Friday Agreement and was intended to influence the party's policy on the decommissioning of weapons by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The anti-Agreement members of the UUP put forward a number of motions that would have imposed a series of sanctions on Sinn Féin (SF) if the IRA did not complete decommissioning by the end of February 2002. However, David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, won 56 per cent of the votes in support of his alternative motion.

Sunday 2 December 2001
item mark A Catholic man was run down by a car as he stood on a pavement in the North Queen's Street area of north Belfast. The car involved in the incident was found burnt out in the Loyalist Tigers Bay area. The man received head injuries, was knocked unconscious and was taken to hospital. Eoin O'Brion, then a Sinn Féin (SF) councillor, said that it was a blatant attempt by Loyalist paramilitaries to murder a Catholic. item mark There were disturbances in the Whitewell area of north Belfast. Catholic residents claimed that a Loyalist gang had attacked their homes. Police moved into the area and made two arrests. item mark Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers arrested four men who were travelling by car across the Foyle Bridge in Derry. The police said that several "items" were recovered. The bridge was closed for a while.
item mark There was a special service of thanksgiving for the "service, dedication, sacrifice and leadership" of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The service was held at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast and led by Robin Eames (Dr), then Archbishop of Armagh.

Monday 3 December 2001
item mark Frankie Mulholland (43), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries shot as he sat in a car on the Upper Crumlin Road, close to Horseshoe Bend, north Belfast, at approximately 8.00pm (2000GMT). A second man in the car was taken to hospital suffering from shock. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), claimed responsibility for the attack. [At the time police said they were investigating a motive for the killing but thought it might be drugs related.]
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item mark Two Catholic teenagers escaped injury when a pipe-bomb was thrown at them close to the Hillman Street and Duncairn Gardens interface in north Belfast. Three men had thrown the device over the peaceline. Residents claimed that the attack was sectarian. Component parts of a pipe-bomb were found in the front garden of a house in Whitewell Road, north Belfast. British Army technical officers were called to deal with the device. item mark A number of armed and masked men hijacked a van and left it on the Derry to Strabane Road. The road was closed as a result and a number of families evacuated from their homes.
item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, addressed a meeting of the British-Irish Interparliamentary Body (BIIB) in Bournemouth, England. Reid said that the Good Friday Agreement was the "golden thread" on which political progress in Northern Ireland must be based and if the Agreement was implemented in full it would mean the same rights and respect for everyone. item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), called on Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, to investigate accusations of collusion between the British security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries in the killing of Nationalists in Northern Ireland. item mark Mark Durkan (SDLP), then Minister of Finance and Personnel, presented his budget to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Assembly debated the budget on Tuesday 11 December 2001. Durkan announced an additional €39m (?) funding for public services from the cross-departmental Executive Programme Funds. Among the 30 spending proposals was a special fund to help victims of violence. Other sectors to benefit from the extra funding were health, community regeneration, education, equality promotion, and sport. item mark Sylvia Hermon (Lady), then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP, became the first member of the UUP to address a meeting of Fianna Fáil (FF). Hermon had been invited to give a speech to the Dublin South association of FF. [Hermon had previously invited Mark Durkan, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), to address a meeting North Down Association of the UUP on 19 November 2001.]
item mark John de Chastelain (Gen.), then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), travelled to Dublin to present a progress report on contacts with Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries.
item mark The General Consumer Council issued a report entitled 'The Price of Being Poor' which claimed that 2,000 people in Northern Ireland die prematurely because of poverty. It was estimated that 25 per cent of all households in the region have income below the poverty line.

Tuesday 4 December 2001
item mark The British Army defused a bomb (estimated at 35 kilograms of home-made explosives) which was found under a railway line at Killeen Bridge near Newry, County Down, close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. The operation brought a six-day security alert in the area to an end. The track between Newry and Dundalk, County Louth, Republic of Ireland, had been closed since Thursday 29 November 2001 after police had received a number of telephoned bomb warnings. item mark A man was beaten in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack close to the Conlig reservoir near Bangor, Conuty Down, at approximately 9.30pm (2130GMT). The man had been abducted earlier in Bangor and driven to the reservoir where he was beaten with baseball bats and sticks. He was later taken to hospital with a broken ankle, broken finger, and other injuries to his body and arms.
item mark A memorial was unveiled in north Belfast to mark the 30th anniversary of a Loyalist paramilitary bombing in which 15 men, women, and children, died. The bomb had been planted by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at The Tramore Bar (McGurk's bar) in North Queen Street on Saturday 4 December 1971. [Only one of the bombers, the driver of the getaway car, was ever convicted. Immediately after the bombing, and for some time later, the security forces and various official sources maintained that the bomb had gone off inside the bar indicating that it was being prepared by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and thus represented an 'own goal'.]
item mark Bairbre de Brún (SF), then Minister of Health, announced additional funding of £250,000 to try to reduce teenage pregnancies in Northern Ireland. The region has one of the highest rates in Europe. In 1995, there were 1,434 pregnancies to teenagers in the province, but this figure rose to 1,795 in 1999. The money was to be spent on projects that support action on teenage pregnancy.
item mark Tom Constantine, then Oversight Commissioner for Policing Reform, said that there had been an excellent start to the reforms of the police service but that he had concerns about a lack of progress in some areas. Constantine was appointed to oversee the implementation of the changes which are required to transform the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) into the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
item mark Jane Morrice (NIWC), then deputy speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, introduced a motion calling for the Euro to be given dual currency status in Northern Ireland because of its land border with the Republic of Ireland. The Euro is due to be introduced into the Republic on 1 January 2002. The Assembly did not support the motion.
item mark It was disclosed that Peter Mandelson, the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, had written an article for the January 2001 issue of 'GQ' magazine in which he stated that the British government had "no stomach" to fight the Irish Republican Army (IRA). He also said that Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), could see a United Ireland in his lifetime. [Later John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, dismissed the views and said that there was nothing inevitable about a change in the constitutional status of Northern Ireland.]

Wednesday 5 December 2001
item mark There was a hoax bomb alert at Belfast International Airport, County Antrim, which caused major disruption to the travel plans of hundreds of people arriving at, or departing from, the airport. Two warnings were received at approximately 5.00pm (1700GMT) which stated that several bombs had been left in the car park by the terminal building. No bombs were found but the alert lasted for three hours.
item mark Brian Currin, then a South African lawyer, announced that he was resigning as chief mediator on the Orange Order's Drumcree parade. Curriin said he could not continue because the Orange Order had withdrawn from the talks. Some politicians called on the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to become directly involved in finding a solution.

Thursday 6 December 2001
item mark A draft report by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) into the handling of prior warnings about the Omagh Bombing was leaked to the BBC in Northern Ireland. [The final report was published on Wednesday 12 December 2001. The contents of the leaked report caused serious friction between Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and Nuala O'Loan, then PONI. John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, criticised the leaking of the report and said media speculation was damaging. Ken Maginnis, formerly Ulster Unionist Party spokesman on security, said the Ombudsman had walked through "police interests and community interests like a suicide bomber". Later Jimmy Spratt, then Chairman of the Police Federation, criticised Nuala O'Loan and called on her to resign. However, David Cook, formerly Chairman of the Northern Ireland Police Authority, said Mr Spratt should be the one to go.]
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), held a media briefing in Belfast at which he called on the British government to establish an International Public Judicial Inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989. The call followed the collapse of the case against William Stobie on 26 November 2001 and also the continuing alleged links between the British security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries.
item mark Colin Powell, then Secretary of State in the USA, designated as 'terrorist' three groups based in Northern Ireland by listing them in the Terrorist Exclusion List. The groups were: the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA), the Orange Volunteers (OV), and the Red Hand Defenders (RHD). This designation has the effect of excluding members or supporters from the USA and will also prevent them from collecting funds in the country. [However, in the middle of 2001 there was speculation that the RHD (and the OV) was being used as a covername (a pseudonym, or 'flag of convenience') by members of the LVF and the UDA / UFF under which these organisations could carry out attacks without taking the blame. If this is true then the RHD (and OV) is a non-existent organisation.]

Friday 7 December 2001
item mark John Hume, former leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was awarded the Mahatma Ghandi Peace Prize by the India government.

Saturday 8 December 2001
item mark The Civic Forum held its 8th plenary meeting in Cookstown, County Tyrone. The meeting called for additional funding to be made available to tackled sectarian tensions across Northern Ireland.
item mark The American government announced that it would resume training officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) following the suspension of the arrangements in 1999. The training had been suspended over concerns about the human rights record of officers in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Any PSNI officers involved will have to be vetted to ensure they have not abused human rights in the past. The training will also include a component on human rights.
item mark Brendan O'Leary (Prof.), then a Professor at the London School of Economics, said that partition was no longer "an internationally approved instrument" in attempting to resolve territorial disputes. O'Leary was speaking at a conference convened by the Keough Institute for Irish Studies in the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He said that Northern Ireland had been persistently unstable and the United Kingdom had suffered the highest level of internal political violence of any established European democracy.

Sunday 9 December 2001
item mark A series of protests were organised by Sinn Féin Youth (SFY) at British Army observation posts in south Armagh to protest at the lack of progress on demilitarisation of the area. The protests turned violent and 21 police officers, 3 soldiers, and a number of protesters were injured as petrol bombs, fireworks, and stones were thrown, and the security forces fired a number of plastic bullets. The protest began at Creevekeeran watchtower, and then the protesters moved to Drummuckavall watchtower, before finishing with another protest at the joint police and army barracks at Crossmaglen.
item mark There was serious rioting in the Whitewell Road area of north Belfast at approximately 11.00pm (2300GMT). An eight year old girl suffered cuts to her face when the car she was travelling in was attacked by rioters. item mark Petrol bombs were also thrown on to the M2 motorway from the Longlands Estate. item mark Earlier, a petrol bomb was thrown at a house in Serpentine Gardens and another house in Merston Gardens had its windows broken.

Monday 10 December 2001
item mark A man (30) was beaten in a paramilitary 'punishment' attack (?) at his home in Glencolier Street, north Belfast. A number of masked men beat him with wooden bats. The man was treated in hospital for bruising to his arms and legs.

Tuesday 11 December 2001
item mark The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday began an appeal in the Court of Appeal in London against a decision that military witnesses should not have to travel to Derry to give their evidence. Soldiers who were on duty in Derry on 30 January 1972 had claimed in the High Court that their lives would be in danger if they were forced to attend the Inquiry in the Guildhall in Derry. The High Court had ruled in their favour and against Lord Saville. [The appeal lasted two days. The court's decision was announced on 19 December 2001 when the Court upheld the decision of the High Court that the soldiers would not have to travel to Derry to give evidence.] item mark John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that he would challenge in the High Court the new rates of pay awarded to Queen's Councils (QCs) and barristers at the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday. The new daily rate for a senior barrister was set to rise by £250 to £1,750. The barristers can also claim up to £250 per hour, to a maximum of £750 per day, for preparation work and £125 an hour travelling to and from the Guildhall. Junior barristers' daily fees will rise from £750 to £875, and preparation rates from £100 to £125 an hour. They also receive £62.50 for travelling time. [The cost of the Inquiry to date has been estimated at £60 million.]
item mark Figures released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) showed that the unemployment rate for Catholics (8.8 % in 2000) remained higher than that for Protestants (5.2 %). The gap in the figures had narrowed from 1993 when there was an unemployment rate among Catholics of 18.1 per cent as opposed to 9.4 per cent for Protestants. The report showed that the religious composition of Northern Ireland's economically active population was 43 per cent Catholic and 57 per cent Protestant, which closely mirrored those in employment at 42 per cent Catholic and 58 per cent Protestant. However, among the unemployed, the religious composition was 56 per cent Catholic and 44 cent Protestant. There was a higher proportion of Catholics than Protestants who had qualifications above 'A-Level'.
item mark The Audit Office published a report into the financial practices and accounting by government departments in Northern Ireland. The report criticised several departments for poor management of public funds and it showed that in some cases millions of pounds was unaccounted for or had been paid our incorrectly. The biggest loss occurred in the social 8security budget with £50 million being lost through fraud or error. item mark Then Northern Ireland Assembly debated and voted on the budget for the financial year 2003-2004. Of the 108 members of the Assembly, 76 were present and cast votes and of these 49 voted in favour of the budget.
item mark At the Special Criminal Court in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, twin brothers were sentenced to jail for having a "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) bomb-making 'factory'. Alan Patterson was jailed for nine years and his brother Kenneth Patterson received a sentence of seven years.
item mark Four men were arrested in the Republic of Ireland after police and customs officers seized a consignment of up to 80 million smuggled cigarettes. The haul, valued at IR£13 million, is thought to be the biggest haul of contraband tobacco in the Irish Republic. [It was not clear at the time if there were any paramilitary connections with the smuggling.]

Wednesday 12 December 2001
Loyalists Kill William Stobie and Ombudsman's Report on Omagh
item mark William Stobie (51) was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries as he left his home, at approximately 6.15am (0615GMT), in Forthriver Road, in the Glencairn area of Belfast. Stobie was a self-confessed former Ulster Defence Association (UDA) quartermaster and a Loyalist police agent. The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the UDA, claimed responsibility, however some nationalists alleged that there had been security force collusion in the killing. [Stobie had been accused of aiding and abetting in the murder of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989, but the case against him collapsed on 26 November 2001.]
item mark Derek Lenehan (27), originally from Dublin and a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), died several hours after being found shot in the legs, by the side of New Road, near Forkhill, County Armagh. It was believed that he had been shot by the INLA as a result of an internal INLA dispute.
death button
item mark Nuala O'Loan, then Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI), met the relatives of the victims of the Omagh bombing (15 August 1998) and presented them with the findings and recommendations of her report into the bombing and the handling of the subsequent police investigation. The report found that there had been two non-specific warnings given to police prior to the bombing. One telephone warning about a planned attack in Omagh on 15 August 1998 was received on 4 August 1998, but Special Branch officers took the decision not to pass on the information to the local police commander in Omagh. A second warning given three days before the bombing by "Kevin Fulton" (a pseudonym), then a police agent, did not mention the town of Omagh. The report states that had the information been passed on and security checkpoints been put in place, the bombers may have been deterred. The report also accused Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), of flawed judgement and of damaging the chances of arresting those suspected of being responsible for the Omagh bomb. The report also recommended that, "an independent senior investigative officer from outside Northern Ireland be appointed to conduct the investigation and that that investigation be properly resourced and it be given access to all material." [O'Loan had decided to publish the findings of the report when Flanagan failed to respond to the draft report by the deadline.] Immediately after the release of the findings Ronnie Flanagan gave a press conference in Belfast at which he threatened to begin legal action on a "personal and organisational basis" to have the report withdrawn. He claimed the report was full of "wide and sweeping conclusions" and was unfair. He also said that if the conclusions were true he would publicly commit suicide. [Flanaghan later withdrew the remarks about suicide. O'Loan later responded and said that the findings of the report were based on facts and were carefully established.]
item mark The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) agreed a new emblem for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The British government had published seven draft emblems on 19 November 2001 but they were all rejected by Unionist members of the Board. [The NIPB recommendation required final approval before being adopted.]
item mark The Equality Commission held a conference in Belfast to examine ways of improving the law on equality in Northern Ireland. The Commission wanted to discuss ways of bringing together all the current equality laws.

Thursday 13 December 2001
item mark A Catholic family of five escaped injury after a pipe-bomb exploded outside their home at 5.00am (0500GMT) in Articlave, County Derry. [Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to have been responsible for the attack. The police later arrested a man (19) who appeared in court on Friday 14 December 2001 on explosives and intimidation charges.]
item mark David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, and Mark Durkan (SDLP), then Deputy First Minister, travelled to Downing Street, London, for talks with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister. The meeting dealt with matters related to the devolved institutions and administration in Northern Ireland. Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Martin McGuinness, then Vice-president of SF, also held a meeting with Blair. The SF representatives raised the issue of alleged security force collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries. In particular the recent killing of William Stobie on 12 December 2001 and the killing of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989.

Friday 14 December 2001

Satday 15 December 2001

Sunday 16 December 2001

** TO BE COMPLETED **


Sources
This chronology has been compiled from a number of sources:
  • Bew, P. and Gillespie, G. (1999) Northern Ireland A chronology of the Troubles 1968-1999. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan Ltd.
  • Elliott, S. and Flackes, W.D. (1999) Northern Ireland A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: The Blackstaff Press.
  • Fortnight Magazine's monthly chronology of 'the Troubles'.
  • Sutton, M. (1994) An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications. The Sutton Index of Deaths 1969-2001 - see in particular the list of deaths for 2001.
  • Various newspapers
  • For a full list of, and links to, on-line sources see the Guide to the Internet.

    Notes
    Each entry contains information, where relevant, on the following topic areas:

  • Major security incidents
  • Political developments
  • Policy initiatives
  • Economic matters
  • Other relevant items
    Information contained within square brackets [   ] may contain commentary or information that only became publicly available at a later date. Any piece of information which is followed by a question mark in parenthesis (?) is a best estimate while awaiting an update.

    A Chronology of the Conflict - 1968 to the Present 1968 1969
    1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
    1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
    1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
    2000 2001 2002 2003            

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


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