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A Chronology of the Conflict - 1990



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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 1990

1990 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sources Notes

1990

January 1990

Monday 1 January 1990
item mark The new Fair Employment Act became law in Northern Ireland.

Thursday 4 January 1990
item mark The Government established the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.

Tuesday 9 January 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, delivered a speech in Bangor, County Down, in which he sought to break the political stalemate by seeking to encourage a fresh round of inter-party talks aimed at restoring devolved power to Northern Ireland. In particular he stressed that sufficient "common ground" existed for progress to be made and urged Unionist politicians to resume contact with the British government. Whilst reluctant to make any commitment to suspend the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) to allow for Unionists to engage in discussions, Brooke did hold out the promise that he would seek to work the AIA in a sensitive manner.

Wednesday 10 January 1990
Stevens Inquiry Fire
item mark The room being used by the Stevens Inquiry, into allegations of collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and the security forces, was destroyed by a fire. The room was in a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station in Belfast. [A later RUC investigation concluded that the fire was an accident. Many commentators felt it unlikely that the fire was simply a coincidence. On 17 April 2003 Stevens wrote in the summary report of his third inquiry: "This incident, in my opinion, has never been adequately investigated and I believe it was a deliberate act of arson." (paragraph: 3.4).]

Saturday 13 January 1990
item mark Three men, who were in the process of robbing a betting shop in West Belfast, were shot dead by a British Army undercover unit. Two of the men were in possession of imitation guns. The shootings renewed claims that there was a 'shoot to kill' policy among the security forces.
death button

Tuesday 16 January 1990
item mark John Taylor, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament, called for an end to the Unionist boycott of talks with Northern Ireland Office ministers.
item mark Tommy Lyttle, then leader of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), appeared in court on charges relating to the Stevens Inquiry.

Saturday 20 January 1990
item mark Brian Nelson appeared in court on charges relating to the Stevens Inquiry. [On 28 January 1990 the 'Sunday Tribune' (a newspaper published in the Republic of Ireland) alleged that Nelson had worked for British Army intelligence for a number of years.]

Monday 29 January 1990
item mark The 'Belfast Telegraph' newspaper published the results of an opinion poll of people in Northern Ireland. One result showed that 68 per cent of Protestants and 62 per cent of Catholics felt that the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) had made no difference to the political situation in Northern Ireland.

February 1990

Friday 9 February 1990
item mark Tommy Lyttle, then leader of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), appeared in court on charges of having a threatening letter sent to the sister of Brian Nelson.

Saturday 10 February 1990
item mark A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol came under gunfire on the Shankill Road, Belfast. The shooting incident was attributed to the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) which, it was claimed, was resentful of the work of the Stevens Inquiry. Hugh Annesley, then Chief Constable of the RUC, issued a strategy document for the future of the RUC.

Monday 12 February 1990
item mark Harold McCusker, then Deputy Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper Bann, died as a result of cancer at the age of 50.
item mark The Green Party, a political party with a mainly environmental platform, was launched in Northern Ireland.

Sunday 18 February 1990
item mark In a radio interview Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated that whilst there would be not be a complete suspension of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) to allow for talks to begin, it might be possible to use gaps in the Anglo-Irish Conference for political negotiations to take place.

Monday 19 February 1990
item mark A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) programme on the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was shown as part of the 'Panorama' series. The programme highlighted the number of members of the UDR who had been convicted of serious offences. [The programme sparked an intense debate on the future of the regiment.]

Tuesday 20 February 1990
item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, met to discuss the possibility of political talks.

Wednesday 21 February 1990
item mark Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and William McCrea, then DUP Member of Parliament (MP), hand in a 'Hands off the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)' petition to Downing Street.

Saturday 24 February 1990
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) announced that its councilors would resume meeting with Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Ministers on issues of 'specific importance to any council area or relevant board'.

Monday 26 February 1990
item mark The inaugural meeting of the British-Irish Interparliamentary Body (BIIB) took place in London. The meeting was boycotted by Unionists.

Tuesday 27 February 1990
item mark The Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) published an article which outlined a set of proposals on Northern Ireland which were purported to have been handed to Tom King, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, in January 1988 by James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). These proposals contained suggestions about the future governance of Northern Ireland. Whilst claiming that the report was not entirely accurate Molyneaux also stressed that Unionists were prepared to discuss the ideas further in future negotiations, if and when the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was suspended.

March 1990

Thursday 1 March 1990
McGimpsey Appeal on Irish Constitution
item mark An appeal to the Irish Supreme Court by Chris McGimpsey and Michael McGimpsey on the issue of Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution was rejected. The Court ruled that Articles 2 and 3 are a 'claim of legal right' over the 'national territory'. The Court stated that the articles represented a 'constitutional imperative' rather than merely an aspiration.

Friday 2 March 1990
item mark There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) in London.

Wednesday 7 March 1990
item mark Sam Marshall (31), a former Republican prisoner, was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in Lurgan, County Armagh. He, and two other Republicans, had earlier been to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police station in the town to sign in as part of their bail conditions. The attack on the three men happened minutes after they had left the police station. [Republicans claimed that there had been police collusion in the attack because only the men, their solicitors and the police knew of the timing of their appearance at the police station. Republicans also claimed that the men were under security force surveillance at the time of the killing, this was denied by the RUC.]
[On 5 March 2012 some details from an Historical Enquires Team (HET) report into the incident were released. The HET review found that at least eight armed undercover British soldiers were deployed near the killing, while their commander monitored the operation from a remote location. The armed soldiers were in six cars. When the three men left the police station, two soldiers followed them on foot and "partially witnessed" the shooting. There were two plainclothed soldiers with camera equipment in the observation post at the entrance to the police station. The guns used by the UVF were never recovered but were linked through ballistic tests to three other killings and one attempted killing. (Source: BBC)]
death button

Tuesday 13 March 1990
item mark The Irish Supreme Court upheld the appeal of Dermot Finucane and James Clarke against extradition to Northern Ireland. The two men had escaped from the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, on 25 September 1983. The decision caused uproar among Unionist politicians and the British Government.

Wednesday 14 March 1990
There were disturbances in the Crumlin Road Prison over the issue of the segregation of Republican and Loyalist prisoners. [The issue was to lead to further distrubances during the year.]

Friday 23 March 1990
item mark James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that there would be no agreement on talks while Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution remained. Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that there was no question mark over the future of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

Friday 30 March 1990
item mark It was announced that the report of the Stevens Inquiry would not be published.

April 1990

Sunday 1 April 1990
item mark On the 20th anniversary of the setting up of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, describes the regiment as committed to 'justice, decency and democracy'.

Thursday 5 April 1990
item mark The report of the Stevens Inquiry was presented to Hugh Annesley, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Friday 6 April 1990
item mark The Irish Supreme Court rejected an application for the extradition of Owen Carron. Carron had been charged with a firearms offence in Northern Ireland but had fled to the Republic of Ireland before his trial. This decision, following earlier decisions on 1 March 1990 and 13 March 1990 causes further strains on relations between the British and the Irish Governments.

Monday 9 April 1990
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a large landmine near Downpatrick, County Down, killing four soldiers of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).
death button

Wednesday 11 April 1990
Official Visit by Taoiseach
item mark Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), made the first official visit to Northern Ireland by a Taoiseach since that by Seán Lemass in 1965. Haughey addressed a conference organised by the Institute of Directors in Belfast. Four hundred loyalists staged a protest against the visit.

Sunday 15 April 1990
item mark Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn Féin (SF), addressed an Easter Rising commemoration and stated that the 'struggle' in Northern Ireland would continue as long as there was a British presence in Ireland.

Monday 16 April 1990
item mark There was further trouble at Crumlin Road Prison when Republican prisoners damaged furniture in protest at the lack of segregation. This disturbance followed incidents at the prison on 14 March 1990.

Friday 27 April 1990
item mark The convictions of the 'Winchester Three' were overturned by the Court of Appeal in England. The three people had been sentenced for conspiring to murder Tom King, a former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Upon their release the three people were arrested and deported from Britain under the Prevention of Terrorism legislation.

May 1990

Friday 4 May 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, told Unionist leaders that proposed political talks would consider an alternative to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Tuesday 8 May 1990
item mark Tomás Ó Fiaich, then a Cardinal and Catholic Primate of All Ireland, died aged 66 from a heart attack while on a visit to Lourdes, France.

Friday 11 May 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, met with Unionist leaders and agreed that there would be a gap in the meetings of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) to allow talks to begin.

Sunday 13 May 1990
item mark Loyalist prisoners climbed on to the roof of the Crumlin Road Prison in continuing protests over the issue of segregation.

Tuesday 15 May 1990
item mark The funeral of Tomás Ó Fiaich, who had been a Cardinal and Catholic Primate of All Ireland, took place in Armagh. The presence of Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Martin McGuinness, the Vice-President of SF, at the funeral caused some controversy.

Thursday 17 May 1990
Summary of Stevens Report Published
item mark A summary of the report of the Stevens Inquiry was published. The main finding of the report was that there had been evidence of collusion between members of the security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries. However it was the view of the inquiry that any collusion was "restricted to a small number of members of the security forces and is neither widespread nor institutionalised".
item mark There was a Westminster by-election in the constituency of Upper Bann. David Trimble, of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), won the by-election with a majority of almost 14,000 votes. The Conservative Party candidate, Colette Jones, lost her deposit.

Tuesday 22 May 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a long meeting with Unionist leaders in London. James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), announced that they were 'well satisfied with the results'.
item mark The Bank of Ireland published a report which estimated that the cost of 'the Troubles' to the British and Irish Governments was £410 million.

Thursday 24 May 1990
item mark There was further trouble at Crumlin Road Prison over the issue of segregation.
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, met with John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), in London for talks.

Sunday 27 May 1990
item mark In a gun attack in Roermond, Netherlands, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed two Australian lawyers on holiday. It was claimed that the men were mistaken for off-duty British Army soldiers. [It was believed that the killings led to a drop in support for the IRA in Australia.]
death button

Monday 28 May 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, met with Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and Gerry Collins, then Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Tuesday 29 May 1990
item mark The Northern Ireland Police Federation passed a vote of 'no confidence' in the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

June 1990

Friday 1 June 1990
item mark Two British soldiers were killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in separate incidents in England and Germany.
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Wednesday 6 June 1990
item mark A former member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and his wife were killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bobby trap bomb in Belfast.
death button

Friday 8 June 1990
item mark Banbridge District Council introduced a form of 'power-sharing'.

Wednesday 13 June 1990
item mark Terence O'Neill, Lord of the Maine and a former Northern Ireland Prime Minister, died in Hampshire, England.

Thursday 14 June 1990
item mark The Home Office in London announced that there were irregularities in the forensic evidence that led to the convictions of the Maguire family.

Friday 15 June 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, met with representatives of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). It was announced that talks would begin after the summer holidays.

Saturday 30 June 1990
item mark Two members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were shot dead in Belfast by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
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July 1990

Monday 2 July 1990
item mark While on a visit to Dublin Nelson Mandela, then Vice-President of the African National Congress (ANC), said that there should be talks between the British Government and the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Thursday 5 July 1990
item mark In a statement to the House of Commons Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that he was unable to report agreement on the schedule for proposed talks. The main difficulties centred on disagreements over when the Irish government should become formally involved in the negotiations. In addition no compromise had been reached on Unionist demands that Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution would have to be repealed if the talks were to succeed.

Wednesday 11 July 1990
item mark A Review of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 and 1987 was published by Colville.

Thursday 12 July 1990
item mark The case of the Maguire family was referred to the Court of Appeal.

Friday 13 July 1990
item mark The case of the Maguire family was referred to the Court of Appeal.
Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, met with Gerry Collins, then Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs, to review the ongoing stalemate in the political progress.

Sunday 15 July 1990
item mark Two civilians were shot dead in separate incidents in Belfast and Lisburn.
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Tuesday 17 July 1990
item mark After a five hour meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) involving Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, no progress was made on setting a date for political talks to begin.

Friday 20 July 1990
IRA Bomb Stock Exchange
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a large bomb at the London Stock Exchange causing massive damage.

Monday 23 July 1990
item mark A report in The Times (a London based newspaper) detailed further disagreements between some of the Northern Ireland parties over the proposed political talks. Whilst Unionists declared that they would only enter negotiations with the Irish government as part of a United Kingdom delegation, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) outlined their opposition to any use of the term 'United Kingdom' and as an alternative argued for the use of 'Britain' and 'Ireland'.
Following a reshuffle of ministerial posts at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Peter Bottomley was dropped.

Tuesday 24 July 1990
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb near Armagh killing three members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and a Catholic nun who was driving past the scene of the attack.
death button

Thursday 26 July 1990
item mark As the British House of Commons went into recess for the holidays, Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated that he would renew his initiative in September.

Monday 30 July 1990
Ian Gow Killed
item mark Ian Gow, then the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Eastbourne, was killed outside his home by an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb that had been planted on his car. Gow had been a vocal critic of the IRA and a close friend of Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister.

August 1990

Tuesday 21 August 1990
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) celebrated the 20th anniversary of its formation.
item mark It was announced that John Wilsey, a Lieutenant-General in the British Army, would replace John Waters as army General Officer Commanding (GOC) in Northern Ireland.

Friday 24 August 1990
item mark Brian Keenan, was released after 1,574 days being held hostage in Beirut. [A civic reception was held for Keenan in Belfast on 17 September 1990.]

Tuesday 28 August 1990
item mark Funding for an Irish language group Glór na nGael was withdrawn by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

Wednesday 29 August 1990
item mark David Waddington, then British Home Secretary, announced that the case of the 'Birmingham Six' would be sent to the Court of Appeal.

September 1990

Friday 7 September 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, attempted to relaunch the talks process in a speech in Ballymena, County Antrim.

Friday 14 September 1990
item mark There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) in Dublin.

Sunday 23 September 1990
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed an off-duty Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldier at Oxford Island, Lough Neagh, County Armagh. [This shooting was the first in a series of fresh killings. On 6 October 1990 a Catholic man was shot dead by the Protestant Action Force (PAF) at the same location.]
item mark Loyalists shot and killed two Protestant civilians in Lisburn, County Down.
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Wednesday 26 September 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated that he might produce his own proposals for the future of Northern Ireland.

Sunday 30 September 1990
'Joy riders' Shot Dead
item mark Martin Peake (17) and Karen Reilly (18), both Catholic civilians, were shot dead by British Army paratroopers in Belfast. The two teenagers were travelling ('joy riding') in a stolen car. At the time it was claimed that the stolen car had failed to stop at an army check point and struck a member of the army foot patrol. [Later it was revealed that the injuries suffered by the soldier were deliberately inflicted after the incident by another soldier. In June 1993 Lee Clegg, a private in the Parachute Regiment, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Clegg's subsequent early release and return to his regiment caused uproar in the nationalist community.]
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October 1990

Monday 1 October 1990
item mark At a fringe meeting at the British Labour Party conference Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), stated that Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, should abandon the agenda drawn up in the summer for the proposed political talks.

Friday 5 October 1990
item mark The British Labour Party voted against organising or campaigning in Northern Ireland.

Saturday 6 October 1990
item mark A Catholic man was shot dead by the Protestant Action Force (PAF) at Oxford Island, Lough Neagh, County Armagh. This shooting was viewed by many as retaliation for the shooting of a Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldier at the same location on 23 September 1990. [There was a further attack in the area on 10 November 1990.]
death button

Sunday 7 October 1990
item mark In an interview John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was called for the abandonment of the present proposals for the commencement of political talks.

Tuesday 9 October 1990
item mark A British Army undercover team shot dead two Irish Republican Army (IRA) members on a farm near Loughgall, County Armagh.
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Saturday 13 October 1990
item mark Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were shot by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in the center of Belfast. One of the officers died from his wounds two days later on 15 October 1990.

Tuesday 16 October 1990
item mark The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) shot dead a Catholic man, Dermot McGuinness, in north Belfast. item mark Later the Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed a former police reservist, Steven Craig, in the same area.
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Tuesday 23 October 1990
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed a Protestant taxi driver, William Aitken, in Belfast.
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Wednesday 24 October 1990
'Proxy Bomb' Attacks
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) launched three bomb attacks at British Army check points. The attacks became know as 'proxy bombs' or 'human bombs' because three Catholic men, whom the IRA claimed had worked for the security forces, were tied into cars which had been loaded with explosives and ordered to drive to the check points. At the Coshquin checkpoint near Derry five soldiers and the man who was forced to drive the car were all killed. item mark In a second attack, at Killeen near Newry, a soldier was killed. item mark The third bomb, that had been driven to Omagh, County Tyrone, failed to detonate. item mark The attacks resulted in widespread outrage. item mark The Protestant Action Force (PAF) shot and killed a Catholic taxi driver, Francis Hughes, near Moy, County Tyrone.
death button

Saturday 27 October 1990
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) conference was held in Newcastle, County Down. James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), attacked Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution.

Wednesday 31 October 1990
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the talks initiative was 'on hold'.
item mark The Fianna Fáil (FF) and Progressive Democrat (PD) coalition Government in the Republic of Ireland survived a vote of no confidence following the sacking of Brian Lenihan, then deputy leader of FF.

November 1990

Tuesday 6 November 1990
item mark Cahal Daly was announced as the new Catholic Primate of All Ireland.

Friday 9 November 1990
Brooke Speech
item mark Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, made a major speech on the British position on Northern Ireland to an audience in London. Brooke stated that Britain had no 'selfish economic or strategic interest' in Northern Ireland and would accept the unification of Ireland by consent.
item mark In a surprise result Mary Robinson was elected as President of Ireland having won on the second count. Many commentators saw her election as symptomatic of a change in the Republic of Ireland to a more liberal, tolerant society.

Saturday 10 November 1990
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed two members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and two civilians in County Armagh.
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Tuesday 13 November 1990
item mark Alan Dukes resigned as leader of Fine Gael.

Wednesday 14 November 1990
item mark Desmond Ellis was extradited from the Republic of Ireland to Britain.

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

Friday 16 November 1990
item mark Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, visited Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 20 November 1990
item mark John Bruton was elected as the new leader of Fine Gael.

Thursday 22 November 1990
Thatcher Resigns
item mark Margaret Thatcher resigned as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

Saturday 24 November 1990
item mark The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held their annual conference. The Apprentice Boys of Derry rejected £277,500 from the International Fund for Ireland to cover part of the costs of a heritage centre.

Tuesday 27 November 1990
item mark During the Conservative Party leadership contest Margaret Thatcher failed to win outright victory and withdrew from the race. John Major was elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and the new British Prime Minister.

Thursday 29 November 1990
item mark The Government announces a reshuffle of ministerial posts at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

Friday 30 November 1990
Additional British Army troops are flown into Northern Ireland.

December 1990

Saturday 1 December 1990
item mark A former Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldier was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Kilrea, County Derry.
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Wednesday 12 December 1990
item mark An attempt by the Workers' Party (WP) to begin a process of amending Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution is defeated in the Dáil.

Wednesday 19 December 1990
item mark Kenneth Baker, then British Home Secretary, announced the retention of the 'broadcasting ban' and extended the ban to cable and satellite television.

Thursday 20 December 1990
item mark A large number of prisoners, including many coming to the end of life sentences, were release on parole for the Christmas period. Neil Kinnock, then leader of the British Labour Party, paid a visit to Northern Ireland.

Sunday 23 December 1990
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announce a three-day ceasefire over the Christmas period. This was the first Christmas ceasefire for 15 years.

Friday 28 December 1990
item mark In an interview published in the Belfast Telegraph (a Belfast based newspaper) Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said he believed that there had been "real advances" during the year. Although admitting that no substantial progress he pointed to the fact that there had at least been "new thinking about difficult issues, re-analysis of positions and goals, and re-evaluation of the validity of traditional aims in the context of the nineteen-nineties."

Sunday 30 December 1990
item mark Fergal Caraher, a member of Sinn Féin (SF), was shot and killed and his brother wounded when British Army troops opened fire on their car at a check point at Cullyhanna, County Armagh.
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Sources
item mark 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 1990.
  • Various newspapers
  • For a full list of, and links to, on-line sources see the Guide to the Internet.

    Notes
    item mark 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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