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A Draft Chronology of the Conflict - 1995



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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 1995. For additional material on the peace process see the list of source documents.

1995 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sources Notes

1995

January 1995

Monday 2 January 1995
item mark There was an accidental fire in the old Commons Chamber at Stormont which caused extensive damage.

Tuesday 10 January 1995
item mark Gary McMichael, then leader of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), called for a phased release of paramilitary prisoners.

Thursday 12 January 1995
item mark It was announced that British Army patrols of Belfast housing estates, during daylight hours, would end the following weekend.

Sunday 15 January 1995
item mark The British government announced that the ban on ministers engaging in contacts with Sinn Féin (SF), the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), or the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), would end.

Monday 16 January 1995
SF Meeting With NIO Officials
item mark A delegation from Sinn Féin (SF) held a meeting with Northern Ireland Office (NIO) officials at Stormont. SF accepted that the party had an "influence" on paramilitary weapons. Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), later said that the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons was not a precondition to SF's entry into substantive talks.

Thursday 19 January 1995
item mark The appeal in the House of Lords by Lee Clegg, a private in the Parachute Regiment, against his murder conviction was dismissed by the Law Lords. [An earlier appeal on 30 March 1994 had also been turned down. However, Clegg was released from prison on 3 July 1995 having served two years of a life sentence for the murder of Karen Reilly (16) on 30 September 1990.]

Sunday 22 January 1995
item mark Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), said that the issue of the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons should not be allowed to become an obstacle to all-party talks.

Tuesday 24 January 1995
item mark The report of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission proposed that the number of Westminster constituencies should be increased by one to 18. The new constituency was to be West Tyrone. All the other constituencies, with the exception of North Antrim, had revisions to their boundaries.

Friday 27 January 1995
item mark John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), held their first formal meeting with representatives of Sinn Féin (SF).

Monday 30 January 1995
item mark Bertie Ahern, then leader of Fianna Fáil (FF), held a meeting with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) at its headquarters in Glengall Street, Belfast. Ahern also met with Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Féin (SF) members later in the day.

February 1994

Wednesday 1 February 1995
item mark The Times (a London based newspaper) published what it claimed to be extracts from the 'Framework Documents' which the British and Irish governments had drawn up. [The two governments launched the documents on 22 February 1995.]

Thursday 2 February 1995
item mark Results from the 1993 Labour Force Survey showed that Catholics remained twice as likely to be unemployed as Protestants.

Friday 3 February 1995
item mark A further five Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners were released by the Irish government.

Tuesday 7 February 1995
item mark A bomb comprised of commercial explosives was defused in Newry, County Down. [The Irish Republican Army (IRA) later denied that it was responsible for planting the bomb.] item mark Garda Síochána (the Irish police) uncovered 8,000 rounds of ammunition at Oldcastle, County Meath. [Two mortar tubes and additional ammunition were discovered on 8 February 1995.]
item mark There was a further meeting between representatives from Sinn Féin (SF) and Northern Ireland Office (NIO) officials. The British officials indicated that if progress continued to be made in the talks then ministers would also take part.
item mark John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), proposed to the Daíl in Dublin that the state of emergency (declared in the Republic in 1939 and renewed in 1976) should be lifted. The proposal was accepted. Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), called on the British government to limit or repeal its emergency legislation.

Wednesday 8 February 1995
item mark Andrew Clarke (27), a private in the British Army, was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court to 10 years' imprisonment for the attempted murder of Eddie Copeland in Belfast in October 1993.
item mark Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), announced a 63 million school building programme.

Thursday 9 February 1995
item mark Sinn Féin (SF) called off a planned meeting with Northern Ireland Office (NIO) officials after the party claimed that the room where the meeting was to have taken place was bugged.

Tuesday 14 February 1995
item mark A delegation from the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) had a meeting with John Major, then British Prime Minister, in London. Following the meeting the UUP wrote to Major to state that the party would not take part in all-party talks based on a "nationalist agenda".

Friday 17 February 1995
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, lifted the exclusion orders against 10 people. [The orders had been imposed to prevent people travelling from Northern Ireland to Britain.] item mark Following a letter from the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) on 14 February 1995 John Major, then British Prime Minister, responded that the document on North / South and London / Dublin relationships was neither a "unionist agenda nor a nationalist agenda".

Monday 20 February 1995
item mark There were clashes between Republicans and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers at the Sinn Féin (SF) offices in Derry. Seven SF members were arrested.
item mark James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), held a meeting at Westminster, London.

Wednesday 22 February 1995
Framework Documents Published
item mark John Major, then British Prime Minister, and John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held a press conference in Belfast to launch the Framework Documents: 'A New Framework For Agreement' and 'A Framework For Accountable Government In Northern Ireland'. The 'Framework for Accountable Government' proposed a single-chamber Assembly elected by proportional representation and containing 90 members. The 'Framework for Agreement' dealt with, among other things, North/South institutions. Major tried to reassure Unionists by referring to the safeguards built into the documents however most Unionists opposed the development. The Framework Documents were denounced as, "a one-way street to Dublin" by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). He claimed it represented, "a common understanding built on the fact that the British Government has no will to keep Ulster in the United Kingdom". Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the DUP, said: "Ulster has been served with an eviction notice to leave the United Kingdom. This is not a discussion document, it is a declaration of intent -- a joint government programme for Irish unity".

Saturday 25 February 1995
item mark Sinn Féin (SF) held its annual Ard Fheis at the Mansion House in Dublin. [This was the first time in four years the party had used the building.]

March 1994

Wednesday 1 March 1995
item mark The British Army (BA) ended patrols in east Belfast and Belfast city centre.

Thursday 2 March 1995
item mark James Seymour, formerly a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, died nearly 22 years after being shot by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), outside Coalisland RUC base, County Tyrone. [He had been shot on 4 May 1973 and was paralysed and partly comatose since the incident.]
death button

Monday 6 March 1995
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) published a document written by Ken Maginnis, then Security Spokesman of the UUP, outlining a plan for a seven member commission to oversee the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. The document had been given to John Major, then British Prime Minister, in January 1995. [The plan was rejected by Sinn Féin (SF) and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP).]

Tuesday 7 March 1995
'Washington Three' Conditions
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, during a visit to Washington outlined a three-point plan for the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons. Mayhew said that Sinn Féin (SF) could only enter into substantive negotiations when: there was a willingness by the IRA to "disarm progressively"; there was agreement on the method of decommissioning; and there had been a start to the process of decommissioning. [These three conditions became known as the 'Washington 3' conditions. This statement signalled a period of deadlock over the issue of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.]

Wednesday 8 March 1995
item mark Michael Howard, then British Home Secretary, lifted exclusion orders against 16 people. The orders were made under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). item mark The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) announced that security barriers in Belfast city centre would be removed.

Thursday 9 March 1995
item mark The White House in Washington announced that Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), would be allowed to raise funds in the United States on behalf of SF and that he would be invited to attend the President's St Patrick's Day reception. [The British government reacted furiously to the announcement and indeed for several days John Major, then British Prime Minister, refused for accept a call from Bill Clinton, then President of the USA. The two men met on 4 April 1995 and began to repair the damage to relations between the two administrations.] item mark The Queen paid a one day visit to Northern Ireland. During her visit the Queen met Cardinal Cahal Daly, then Catholic Primate.

Friday 10 March 1995
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) rejected all the proposals in the 'Framework Documents' (22 February 1995).

Tuesday 14 March 1995
item mark Prison officers at the Maze Prison carry out searches for "illicit material" which spark rioting by 150 Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) prisoners. [In the following week there are a number of attacks on the homes of prison officers.]

Wednesday 15 March 1995
item mark The Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) announced that a delegation would be attending the St Patrick's Day reception at the White House, Washington, despite the presence of Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

Thursday 16 March 1995
item mark A small bomb containing Semtex explosives partially exploded while being defused by British Army technical officers in Newry, County Down. [The Irish Republican Army (IRA) later denied responsibility for the device.]

Friday 17 March 1995
Adams Attends White House Reception
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), attended the St Patrick's Day reception hosted by Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), at the White House. item mark A delegation from the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) also attended the reception. The group met with Edward Kennedy, then a US Senator.

Saturday 18 March 1995
item mark At a meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), was challenged for the position of leader by Lee Reynolds, a 21 year old student. Molyneaux received 521 votes, Reynolds 88 votes, and there were 10 spoilt votes. Molyneaux said that the 15 per cent who voted against him were "taking a kick at John Major through me". [Molyneaux announced his resignation as leader of the UUP on 28 August 1995.]

Monday 20 March 1995
item mark James Kilfedder, the Ulster Popular Unionist Party (UPUP) MP, died while in London. [His death led to a Westminster by-election on 15 June 1995 in the North Down constituency.]

Wednesday 22 March 1995
item mark Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), participated in a meeting between NIO officials and representatives of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and Ulster Democratic Party (UDP).

Thursday 23 March 1995
item mark The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), said its prisoners backed the ceasefire and the policies of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP). item mark There was a delay in discussions between Sinn Féin (SF) and Northern Ireland Office (NIO) ministers when SF said it wished to discuss 'demilitarisation' rather than decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.

Friday 24 March 1995
item mark British Army (BA) patrols of the greater Belfast area were suspended at midnight.

Tuesday 28 March 1995
item mark Sinn Féin (SF) travelled to Dublin for a meeting with John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs). [The discussions were on the issue of the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.]

Wednesday 29 March 1995
item mark Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), held a second meeting with representatives of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP).

Thursday 30 March 1995
item mark The annual report of the Fair Employment Commission (FEC) noted that 62.7 per cent of the workforce was Protestant and 37.3 per cent Catholic. [Based on the 1991 Census, the estimated Catholic population was 41.5 per cent.]

Friday 31 March 1995
item mark Statistics were released on the level of paramilitary 'punishment' attacks since the ceasefires on 31 August and 13 October 1994. Republican paramilitaries had been responsible for 51 'punishment' beatings while Loyalist paramilitaries had carried out 39 such attacks.
item mark Senior representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held a meeting in Belfast. [This was the highest level contact between the two parties since disputes following the publication of the Downing Street Declaration (DSD) on 15 December 1993.]

April 1994

Saturday 1 April 1995
item mark British Army technical officers defused an incendiary device that had been found in a grocery shop in Belfast. [This was the third such device in a week.]

Tuesday 4 April 1995
item mark Garda Síochána (the Irish police) arrested four men from Northern Ireland near Balbriggan, County Dublin. The Garda recovered 20 handguns, 6 rifles, and 2,500 rounds of ammunition at the scene.
item mark Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), held a meeting in Washington with John Major, then British Prime Minister. [The meeting helped to repair the damage to relations between the two administrations following the decision on 9 March 1995 to allow Sinn Féin (SF) to raise funds in the USA.]

Tuesday 11 April 1995
item mark The Irish government granted early release to seven Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners.

Wednesday 12 April 1995
item mark The leaders of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), met for talks.
item mark Unemployment in Northern Ireland in March 1995 was recorded as 89,600 which was the lowest it had been since December 1981.

Thursday 13 April 1995
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, invited the political parties to engage in a series of bilateral talks.

Friday 14 April 1995
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) discovered 40 weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition which were believed to belong to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The cache was found in Holywood, County Down. [Three men were arrested following the discovery. A second cache of arms was later found in the town.]

Saturday 15 April 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), gave a radio interview during which he again ruled out the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons.

Sunday 16 April 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), who was in Dublin at the time said that: "if the British won't listen to reasoned and reasonable argument then let them listen to the sound of marching feet and angry voices."

Monday 17 April 1995
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) rerouted an Apprentice Boys of Derry parade away from the lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast. Approximately 200 people had joined a protest against loyal order parades passing through the area. [There was a further protest on 23 April 1995.]

Sunday 23 April 1995
item mark The Sunday Tribune (a Dublin based newspaper) published what it claimed to be an internal Irish Republican Army (IRA) document. The document had been circulated within the Republican movement before being leaked and was believed to have dated from prior to the 1994 ceasefire. The text contained the acronym 'TUAS' which people were led to believed meant 'Totally UnArmed Struggle'. [Following the ending of the first IRA ceasefire some people suggested that TUAS actually stood for 'Tactical Use of Armed Struggle'. Others suggested that the two interpretations were meant for two different audiences - inside and outside the Republican movement.]

Monday 24 April 1995
item mark The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) announced that ministers would begin exploratory dialogue with representatives of Sinn Féin (SF).

Tuesday 25 April 1995
item mark A Catholic man, who was a taxi driver, was shot and seriously injured near Lurgan, County Armagh.

Wednesday 26 April 1995
item mark The Independent Police Complaints Commission for Northern Ireland reported that the number of complaints made against the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) during 1994 was 2,503. This represented an increase of 16 per cent over the figure for 1993.
item mark The Irish News (a Belfast based newspaper) claimed that there had been secret talks between the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP). [The IRSP was considered to be closely aligned with the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).]

Thursday 27 April 1995
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) warned that Loyalist paramilitaries had moved into the drugs trade. [Loyalist leaders warned their members about drug dealing on 11 May 1995.]

Friday 28 April 1995
Catholic Civilian Killed by IRA
item mark Michael Mooney (34), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead while in the '18 Steps Bar', Ann Street, Belfast. [Although no organisation claimed responsibility it was generally believed that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had carried out the killing. It was alleged that Mooney was involved in drug dealing and this was the reason why he had been shot. A number of other men were killed by the IRA during the year. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) issued a statement on 20 December 1995 about the killings.]
death button
item mark There was a ceremony in Dublin to commemorate all Irishmen who had died in the two world wars. The ceremony was attended by: John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ken Maginnis, then Security Spokesman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and John Alderdice, then leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI). Tom Hartley, then Chairman of Sinn Féin (SF), also attended the ceremony.

Saturday 29 April 1995
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) closed an illegal drinking den in the Shankill Road area of Belfast. Following the closure four vehicles were set on fire.

May 1994

Wednesday 3 May 1995
item mark John Major, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to Derry. Sinn Féin (SF) supporters held a protest at the visit. There were a number of disturbances as 100 people rioted.

Thursday 4 May 1995
item mark There were clashes on the Newtownards Road, Belfast, as Orange Order members marched past a Nationalist area. [The rioting continued on 5 May 1995.]

Sunday 7 May 1995
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) rerouted a Republican parade away from the Protestant Suffolk area of west Belfast.
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), began a three week tour of the United States of America (USA). Before leaving he said that there was no split in the Republican movement and that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire was secure.

Wednesday 10 May 1995
SF Meeting With NIO Minister
item mark Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), led a SF delegation to Stormont for a meeting with Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). [This was the first official meeting between SF and the British Government in 23 years. Ancram sought movement on the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. SF pressed for the release of paramilitary prisoners, the disbandment of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and direct talks with the Secretary of State.]

Thursday 11 May 1995
item mark Leaders of Loyalist paramilitary organisations warned that action would be taken against any members who were found to be dealing in drugs.

Sunday 14 May 1995
item mark The Sunday Business Post (a Dublin based newspaper) published a report of an interview with Peter Temple-Morris, then co-chairman of the British-Irish Interparliamentary Body. He expressed the view that Republican frustration with the lack of progress on all-party talks might lead to an end of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire.

Monday 15 May 1995
item mark Bertie Ahern, then leader of Fianna Fáil (FF), held a meeting in Belfast with representatives of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP). item mark Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), held discussions with Gary McMichael, then leader of the UDP.
item mark The International Relations Committee in the United States of America (USA) ruled that the MacBride Principles must be applied to the $30 million given to the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

Tuesday 16 May 1995
item mark Malcolm Moss, then Northern Ireland Office (NIO) minister, shook hands with Mitchel McLaughlin, then Sinn Féin (SF) chairman, when the minister opened a shopping centre in Creggan Estate, Derry.

Wednesday 17 May 1995
item mark Unemployment in Northern Ireland in April 1995 was recorded as 88,700 (11.8 per cent) the lowest it had been since December 1981.

Thursday 18 May 1995
item mark A joint delegation from the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held a meeting with John Major, then British Prime Minister, in London to discuss social and economic matters. item mark Following the meeting the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) released a statement saying that Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, would meet with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), informally when they were both in Washington on 24 May 1995 attending an investment conference on Northern Ireland. [Later James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), announced that he would not attend the conference because of the planned meeting between Mayhew and Adams.]

Friday 19 May 1995
item mark At the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin, Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), criticised the support by Sinn Féin (SF) for imposed all-Ireland institutions without a democratic assembly in Northern Ireland. Mallon argued in favour of the model in the Framework Documents (published on 22 February 1995).

Wednesday 24 May 1995
Mayhew Meeting With Adams
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, had an 'informal' private meeting with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), at an investment conference in Washington, USA. The meeting lasted about 35 minutes. The conference was attended by 1,300 delegates. item mark Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), met a SF delegation at Stormont, Belfast. item mark The Northern Ireland Police Authority (NIPA) rejected the latest Annual Report from the Chief Constable. The Police Authority criticised the report as not meeting the required standards of public accountability.

Thursday 25 May 1995
item mark Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), addressed the investment conference in Washington, USA. He called for an end to paramilitary violence, 'punishment' beatings, and intimidation, in Northern Ireland. Clinton also announced a number of economic initiatives.

Sunday 28 May 1995
item mark There was serious rioting on the Shankill Road, west Belfast. During the disturbances 17 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured. A shot was also fired at the RUC.

Tuesday 30 May 1995
item mark An Inquest opened in Craigavon, County Armagh, into the killing of 8 Irish Republican Army (IRA) members and one other person at Loughgall, County Armagh, on 8 May 1987.

Wednesday 31 May 1995
item mark Prince Charles began a two day official visit to the Republic of Ireland. It was the first official visit by a member of the British royal family since Irish independence. While the Prince attended a reception in Dublin Castle there was a protest outside against his visit by approximately 3,000 people.

June 1994

Thursday 1 June 1995
item mark Alasdair McDonnell, then a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillor, was elected Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast. McDonnell was the first Nationalist councillor to hold this position. [The first Nationalist councillor to be elected Lord Mayor was appointed on 2 June 1997.]

Friday 2 June 1995
item mark Nine Ulster Defence Association (UDA) members were transferred from the Maze Prison to Maghaberry Prison. The move followed disputes with senior UDA members.

Tuesday 6 June 1995
item mark Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), shook hands in public at an international conference on peace and reconciliation in Belfast.

Friday 9 June 1995
item mark John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), warned that the freeing of Lee Clegg prior to the release of paramilitary prisoners might damage the peace process. Bruton was in Paris when he made the comments. [Clegg, a private in the Parachute Regiment, had been given a life sentence for the murder of Karen Reilly (16) on 30 September 1990. He had two appeals turned down. However, Clegg was released from prison on 3 July 1995 having served two years of his sentence.]

Monday 12 June 1995
item mark Anti-terrorism legislation was renewed for another year at Westminster. During the debate Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that an independent review into emergency legislation would be established.

Wednesday 14 June 1995
item mark The Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) carried a report of an interview with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF). Adams was reported as saying that the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons as a precondition to SF entry into political talks was never mentioned by the British government before the IRA's ceasefire on 31 August 1994. He went on to say that if such a precondition had been raised, "... it is possible [that] there would have been no IRA cessation on September 1 last year."

Thursday 15 June 1995
item mark There was a Westminster by-election in the constituency of North Down. The by-election was called following the death on 20 March 1995 of the sitting Member of Parliament James Kilfedder. The election was won by Robert McCartney, of the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP). [The turnout at 39 per cent was the lowest in the history of Northern Ireland for a parliamentary by-election.]

Saturday 17 June 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that preliminary talks with British ministers had run their course and were now over.

Sunday 18 June 1995
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) rerouted an Orange Order parade away from the Nationalist area of the lower Ormeau Road, Belfast.

Tuesday 20 June 1995
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that Sinn Féin (SF) could not join full political talks unless the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons began to happen first. Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of SF, said that: "in reality there is not a snowball's chance in hell of any weapons being decommissioned this side of a negotiated settlement."

Thursday 22 June 1995
item mark John Major, then British Prime Minister, came under continuing internal Conservative Party opposition to his leadership. In an effort to confront this opposition Major resigned as leader of the party but also announced that he would enter the resulting leadership contest.

Friday 23 June 1995
item mark Prince Charles paid a visit to Northern Ireland. In Belfast he met members of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) while visiting the Shankill Road. item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) launched a Unionist Labour group. The new group was supported by Michael Connarty, then Labour MP for Falkirk.

Saturday 24 June 1995
item mark There was a clash between Sinn Féin (SF) supporters and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers during a protest against an Orange Order parade in the Whiterock area of Belfast.

Monday 26 June 1995
item mark The High Court in Belfast awarded compensation to the mother of Karen Reilly (16) who was shot dead by a British soldier on 30 September 1990. [The amount of the compensation was not disclosed. Reilly had been shot dead by Lee Clegg, a paratrooper with the British Army, during a 'joyriding' incident. Clegg was released from prison on 3 July 1995.]

Tuesday 27 June 1995
item mark John Major, then British Prime Minister, and John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), agreed to ask European Commission officials to look at ways in which the Commission might assist with the issue of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. [Major and Bruton were attending a European Union summit at Cannes at the time.]

Wednesday 28 June 1995
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that if Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries did not decommission their weapons then political talks would proceed without their political representatives.

July 1994

Monday 3 July 1995
Clegg Released
item mark Lee Clegg, a paratrooper with the British Army, was released from prison on the orders of Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Clegg had received a life sentence and been imprisoned in June 1993 for the murder of Karen Reilly (18), a Catholic civilian, on 30 September 1990. The decision to release Clegg sparked serious rioting in Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland. [Rioting continued for a second night. Clegg was accepted back into the British Army and later promoted.] Sinn Féin (SF) and representatives of Loyalist paramilitaries called for the immediate release of all political prisoners. Breidge Gadd, then Chief Probation Officer for Northern Ireland, resigned from the Life Sentence Review Board in protest at the decision. John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that he expected the British authorities to apply the same rules "to other similar prisoner cases".

Tuesday 4 July 1995
item mark John Major won the contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, rejected claims that the release of Lee Clegg on 3 July 1995 was linked to the leadership contest within the Conservative Party.

Wednesday 5 July 1995
item mark Protests about Loyal Order parades led to a number of disturbances. There were confrontations between Loyalists and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers in the Ormeau Road area of Belfast. There were also confrontations between RUC officers and Nationalists in Bellaghy, County Derry. item mark There were minor disturbances between Sinn Féin (SF) protesters and Loyalists outside the Maze Prison.

Sunday 9 July 1995
Stand-Off At Drumcree
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) prevented an Orange Order parade from returning from Drumcree Church to Portadown along the Garvaghy Road, a mainly Nationalist area. The parade organisers were told by the police to return by the same route they had taken to the church. The decision sparked a stand-off between RUC officers and Orangemen. There were also disturbances and blocked roads across Northern Ireland as protests were organised by loyalists in support of the Orange Order. Later in the day Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and David Trimble, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP, attempted to broker a compromise but failed.

Monday 10 July 1995
item mark The stand-off at Drumcree continued for a second day. The numbers involved had increased to approximately 1,000 RUC officers and 10,000 Orangemen and their supporters. During the confrontation there were repeated clashes with the Orangemen and their supporters throwing bricks and bottles at the police officers who replied by firing 24 plastic baton rounds. The disturbances and blocked roads across Northern Ireland also continued as Loyalists acted in support of the Orange Order. The port at Larne was also closed in the action.

Tuesday 11 July 1995
item mark A comprise was reached which allowed the Drumcree parade to proceed down the Garvaghy Road in Portadown. Approximately 500 Orange Order members were allowed by the police to walk down the Garvaghy Road without, however, any Loyalist bands. The parade was accompanied by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and David Trimble, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP. Nationalists mounted a quiet protest but did not interfere with the parade. When the parade reached the centre of Portadown, Paisley and Trimble clasped hands and held their arms in the air in what appeared to be a gesture of triumph. [This led to considerable ill-feeling among the Nationalist residents of the Garvaghy Road and was to result in stronger protests in the following years.]

Wednesday 12 July 1995
item mark Orange Order parades took place at a number of centres across Northern Ireland. In the lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) moved hundreds of police officers into the area to prevent Nationalist residents from protesting on the street. Many residents were blocked inside their homes for the duration of the operation. Approximately 150 Orangemen, accompanied by four bands, left Ballynafeigh Hall at 9.30am to parade along the Ormeau Road. There were clashes between the Nationalist residents and the RUC. A number of vehicles were hijacked and burned. item mark During the evening there were attacks on the homes of several Catholic and Protestant families and there were arson attacks on five Orange Halls. [item mark The Irish government later accused the RUC of bias in favour of the Orange Order and made a complaint to the Anglo-Irish Secretariat at Maryfield.]

Friday 14 July 1995
item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), travelled to Dublin for a meeting with John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs). Following the meeting the four men issued a joint statement calling for all-party talks as soon as possible. item mark An article by Adams was published in the Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper). He wrote that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would not have called a ceasefire if the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons had been a major issue for the British government.

Saturday 15 July 1995
item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said it was his opinion that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would "get rid" of its arms if Sinn Féin (SF) were included in political talks.

Sunday 16 July 1995
item mark Members of the Orange Order picketed a Catholic Church in north Belfast as a protest following attacks on Orange Halls and Protestant businesses in the area.

Monday 17 July 1995
item mark There was an arson attack on a Catholic primary school on the Shore Road, Belfast.

Tuesday 18 July 1995
Secret Meeting Between British and SF

[item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), held a secret meeting in Derry with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of SF. News of the meeting was not broken until 24 July 1995; see Irish Times. John Major, then British Prime Minister, had authorised the meeting. It was also disclosed that there had been an earlier meeting between the two sides.]

Sunday 23 July 1995
item mark Three Loyalists were arrested in Scotland under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). A number of weapons were also discovered. [One of those held was Lindsay Robb, a member of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), who had met Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), on 22 March 1995.]

Thursday 27 July 1995
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), met for their first official talks at Stormont.

Friday 28 July 1995
item mark The British government transferred three Republician prisoners involved in a 'dirty' protest at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire to prisons in Northern Ireland. Four other prisoners continued with their protest at Whitemoor. [This brought the number of prisoners transferred to Northern Ireland to 21.] item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, lifted a fund-raising ban on organisations suspected of having paramilitary links. The ban had been imposed 10 years earlier.

Sunday 30 July 1995
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) prevented a Sinn Féin (SF) march from entering the centre of Lurgan, County Armagh. The reason given was the presence of a counter-demonstration of 1,500 Loyalists. The Loyalists were addressed by Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and David Trimble, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP. Three RUC officers and one civilian were injured when Loyalists rioted. Trimble called the violence "insignificant". [Later Ken Maginnis, then UUP MP, disagreed and criticised the violence as "deliberate thuggery". The Portadown Branch of the UUP criticised the RUC and in particular "a well known Roman Catholic" Bill McCreesh, then a Chief Superintendent.]
item mark The Irish government ordered the early release of 12 Republican prisoners. [This brought the total number of early releases in the Republic of Ireland to 33.]

August 1994

Tuesday 8 August 1995
Members of the Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD) threatened to prevent Catholics from attending church if Loyal Order parades were rerouted away from Nationalist areas.

Wednesday 9 August 1995
item mark Albert Reynolds, the former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons had not been highlighted in the talks leading to the Downing Street Declaration. He further stated that if the issue had been raised he would not have signed the Declaration.

Saturday 12 August 1995
item mark The Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD) held their annual parade in Derry. Due to the opening of security gates on the city walls the ABD was able to parade around the walls for the first time in 25 years. However, Republicans staged a sitdown demonstration before the parade began and were forcible removed by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). There was rioting in Derry following the parade and police fired 40 plastic bullets. item mark There were serious confrontations between the RUC and Nationalists in the lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast. An ABD 'feeder' parade passed along the street once police had cleared the route. item mark There were also disturbances at Dunloy and Rasharkin, County Antrim.

Sunday 13 August 1995
IRA "Haven't Gone Away"
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), addressed a demonstration at Belfast City Hall. During his speech a member of the crowd called out to Adams to, "bring back the IRA". In an unscripted reply Adams said: "They haven't gone away, you know". [Although cheered by the crowd Adams was criticised for the remark. Unionists and the British government said that the remark highlighted the need for the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons. Since it was first uttered, the comment has been referred to repeatedly by critics of SF and the Good Friday Agreement.]

Thursday 17 August 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that the Republican Movement was ready to make "critical compromises" to achieve peace. He appealed to Unionists to enter all-party talks.

Friday 18 August 1995
item mark Sir Hugh Annesley, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said that he believed Irish Republican Army (IRA) units were active behind the scenes. However, he believed that the IRA ceasefire would hold.

Tuesday 22 August 1995
item mark The Irish News (a Belfast based newspaper) published the results of an opinion poll on issues related to all-party talks. Of those who responded, 52 per cent supported the setting of a date for all-party talks whether or not weapons had been decommissioned.

Friday 25 August 1995
item mark The Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) released a statement which said: "There will be no first strike" [by Loyalist paramilitaries], provided the rights of the people of Northern Ireland are upheld. The statement also ruled out decommissioning of Loyalist weapons.
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the British government would produce a White Paper on reform of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and an independent review of emergency legislation. He also announced that the remission of sentence for paramilitary prisoners would be returned to 50 per cent. [The legislation to make the change to the remission rate obtained royal assent on 7 November 1995.]

Saturday 26 August 1995
item mark There were scuffles between protesters and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers at a Royal Black Institution parade in Bellaghy, County Derry. item mark Sinn Féin (SF) said that the party did not rule out the possibility of an international commission being established to oversee the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.

Sunday 27 August 1995
item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Albert Reynolds, the former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), attended a peace forum in Killala, County Mayo.

Monday 28 August 1995
item mark James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), announced that he would resign from the leadership of the party. [On 18 March 1995 Molyneaux had been challenged for his position as leader by 21 year old student who received 88 votes. David Trimble, then UUP MP, was elected leader on 8 September 1995.]

Wednesday 30 August 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that his party would consider constructively any proposals which addressed the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. However, Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of SF, ruled out the possibility of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning any weapons as a way of overcoming the deadlock in the peace process.

Thursday 31 August 1995
item mark Republicans held a number of pickets and vigils across Northern Ireland to mark the first anniversary of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire and also to increase the pressure for all-party talks. item mark Gary McMichael, then leader of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), said that Loyalist paramilitaries would decommission their arms if the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would do the same. [On 1 September 1995 an IRA spokesperson was reported as ruling out any decommissioning.]

September 1994

Friday 1 September 1995
item mark An Irish Republican Army (IRA) spokesperson was reported to have said: "There is absolutely no question of any IRA decommissioning at all, either through the back door or the front door". [The first act of decommissioning by the IRA happened on 23 October 2001.]

Monday 4 September 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), had a meeting with Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at Stormont. The meeting failed to resolve the deadlock over the issues of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and the start of all-party talks.

Tuesday 5 September 1995
item mark Tony Kane (29), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead, while sat in his stationary car, St. Agnes Drive, Andersonstown, Belfast. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was believed to be responsible for the killing. [It was alleged that Kane was a drugs dealer and this was the reason why he had been killed.]
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item mark Irish government officials cancelled a summit meeting planned for 6 September 1995 between John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and John Major, then British Prime Minister. [Irish and British officials had failed to reach agreement on the need for a commission to oversee the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.

Wednesday 6 September 1995
item mark Johnny Adair, believed to be a leader of one of the six brigades of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for directing the activities of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the UDA.

Friday 8 September 1995
Trimble Elected Leader of UUP
item mark The Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) held a meeting to choose a new leader following the resignation of James Molyneaux on 28 August 1995. David Trimble, then UUP MP, won the contest on the third count beating John Taylor, then UUP MP, who had been considered the favourite to win. Trimble won by 466 to 333 votes.

Sunday 10 September 1995
item mark There were disturbances involving Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) supporters and Orange Order members at a parade in the village of Dunloy, County Antrim. Four Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers and several civilians were injured during the clashes.

Tuesday 12 September 1995
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held his first formal talks with representatives of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) and representatives of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP). item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said he would not attend the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin. Trimble held a meeting with Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Robert McCartney, then leader of the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP), to discuss proposals for Unionist unity.

Thursday 14 September 1995
item mark The 'Unionist Commission' held an inaugural meeting in Belfast. The commission was comprised of 14 members representing a range of Unionist opinion. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was responsible for the initiative. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) was represented by two councillors acting in a personal capacity. item mark Kevin McNamara, then opposition spokesperson on the civil service, resigned his post as a protest over the Labour Party policy which he considered was "slavishly" following the approach of the Conservative government.

Saturday 16 September 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), returned from a one-week long visit to the United States of America (USA). During his visit he met with Al Gore, then Vice-President, and Anthony Lake, then National Security Adviser. It was revealed that Friends of SF had raised almost $900,000 between 24 February 1995 and 30 June 1995.

Monday 18 September 1995
item mark Mitchel McLaughlin, then Sinn Féin (SF) chairman, and Gary McMichael, then leader of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), took part in a debate during the Liberal Democrats' conference in Glasgow, Scotland. This was the first time representatives of the two parties shared a platform.

Tuesday 19 September 1995
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held his first meeting as party leader with John Major, then British Prime Minister. Trimble also had a meeting with Tony Blair, then leader of the Labour Party.
item mark A delegation from the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) travelled to Dublin for a meeting with John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs).

Wednesday 20 September 1995
item mark A delegation from the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) travelled to Dublin for a meeting with John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).

Thursday 21 September 1995
item mark It was revealed that the total amount of compensation paid by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) for 'Troubles' related incidents (to the end of March 1995) was 1.12 billion.

Friday 22 September 1995
item mark Loyalists clashed with Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers following a decision to reroute an Orange Order parade in Downpatrick, County Down. item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), proposed the establishment of a new Northern Ireland assembly. The proposal was made to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC).

Saturday 23 September 1995
item mark John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), met with John Major, then British Prime Minister, at a European Union meeting in Majorca.

Tuesday 26 September 1995
item mark John Major, then British Prime Minister, held a meeting with John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), in London. Major also had a separate meeting with Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Wednesday 27 September 1995
Ruling on Gibraltar Killings
item mark In Strasbourg the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the shooting on 6 March 1988 of three unarmed Irish Republican Army (IRA) members in Gibraltar by undercover members of the Special Air Service (SAS) breached the Human Rights Convention in relation to the right to life. The court found that the SAS killings were "unnecessary" and that the three IRA members could have been arrested. No damages were awarded but the British government was ordered to pay the legal costs of the families. [On 24 December 1995 the British government paid 38,700 to cover the legal costs.]

Thursday 28 September 1995
item mark William Elliott (31), a member of Red Hand Commando (RHC), was shot dead by members of his own Loyalist paramilitary group, while leaving a friends' house, Primacy Park, Bangor, County Down. [The killing was the result of an internal RHC dispute. It was alleged that he had been killed because of his part in the killing of Margaret Wright (31) on 7 April 1994.]
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item mark Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), held a meeting with Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). The meeting was held at the request of SF to discuss the political situation; there was agreement to meet again.

Saturday 30 September 1995
item mark Sinn Féin (SF) held a special one-day conference to review the peace process in the RDS, Dublin, attended by approximately 800 members. The delegates supported the SF leadership's position that there was "no other strategy".

October 1994

Sunday 1 October 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), made his first visit to Scotland. Loyalists held a protest against his visit. Police arrested five of the protesters.

Monday 2 October 1995
item mark The Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) carried a report of an interview with David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). Trimble was reported as calling for the establishment of a Northern Ireland Assembly and he said he would debate with Sinn Féin (SF) if the party took its seats in this proposed assembly. item mark Trimble travelled to Dublin for a meeting with John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).

Wednesday 4 October 1995
item mark William Crowe, then United States Ambassador to the UK, together with Nancy Soderberg, then Staff Director of the National Security Council, held separate meetings with a number of party representatives in Belfast. The pair met with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Sinn Féin (SF), and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI).

Monday 9 October 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that SF was committed to "the democratic and peaceful process". He went on to state that: "It is self-evident that threats of any description from any quarter have no role in any such process."

Wednesday 11 October 1995
item mark John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that he believed that Sinn Féin (SF) had satisfied the conditions of a commitment to exclusively peaceful means and thus all-party talks should begin.

Thursday 12 October 1995
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, spoke at the Conservative Party's annual conference. He said that the British and Irish governments were willing to invite an international commission to look at the question of paramilitary weapons. At the same time preliminary talks could begin.

Saturday 14 October 1995
item mark There were scuffles between Sinn Féin (SF) supporters and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers when SF attempted to hold a demonstration in the centre of Lurgan, County Armagh. item mark The last 'peace train' travelled between Dublin and Belfast.

Monday 16 October 1995
item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held separate meetings with Anthony Lake, then United States National Security Adviser, in London.

Tuesday 17 October 1995
item mark Anthony Lake, then United States National Security Adviser, held a meeting with Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). item mark Patrica Campbell, then a Catholic member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) who had been a former assistant to James Molyneaux, lodged an employment discrimination case with the Fair Employment Commission (FEC) against the UUP.

Saturday 21 October 1995
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) met for its annual conference. David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, outlined a plan to end the right of the Orange Order to directly appoint delegates to the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC). item mark Statistics produced by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) showed that since the ceasefires Catholics comprised 16.5 per cent of new appointments to the police.

Monday 23 October 1995
item mark Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), travelled to Belfast for talks with David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The two men failed to agree on the issue of the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. Spring also held a meeting with a delegation from the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) which was led by Gusty Spence, former leader of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Wednesday 25 October 1995
item mark Mary Robinson, then President of the Republic of Ireland, travelled to London for a first public engagement with the Queen. The meeting was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Queen's University, Belfast, University College, Cork, and University College, Galway. item mark Evidence was heard in a Northern Ireland court, for the first time, in the trial of a man charged with attempted murder of the Republic of Ireland.

Thursday 26 October 1995
item mark The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) announced that the oath of allegiance to the Queen made by Queen's Councils (QCs) in Northern Ireland would be repealed. Unionists criticised the decision.

Friday 27 October 1995
item mark Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), together with Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the DUP, held a meeting at the White House, Washington, with Al Gore, then United States Vice-President, and Anthony Lake, then United States National Security Adviser.

Tuesday 31 October 1995
item mark Michael Ancram, then Political Development Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), held a three hour meeting with representatives of Sinn Féin (SF). [Further discussions were to be held until 3 November 1995 when they ended over disagreements on the issue of decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons.]

November 1994

Wednesday 1 November 1995
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), had a meeting with Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), in Washington. item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that the talks between SF and the British government had failed.

Thursday 2 November 1995
item mark An article by Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), entitled 'Peace Process in Very Serious Difficulty', was published in An Phoblacht (Republican News). item mark Adams held a meeting with John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), in Dublin.

Friday 3 November 1995
item mark The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) published a document referred to as the 'Building Blocks' paper. Copies of the document had been given to the political parties and the Irish and American government during the previous week. The paper suggested that: "all-party preparatory talks and an independent international body to consider the decommissioning issue will be convened in parallel by the two governments". [Hence the process was to be called the 'twin-track' process. item mark Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), held a meeting with Michael Ancram, the Political Development Minister at the NIO, and discussed decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and also all-party talks.

Sunday 5 November 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that the British government had subverted the peace process to the point where it no longer existed.

Tuesday 7 November 1995
item mark Royal assent was given to legislation which returned the remission rate on the sentences of paramilitary prisoners from 33 per cent to 50 per cent. [The change in the law did not apply to life sentence prisoners.]

Wednesday 8 November 1995
item mark The act of parliament which returned remission of sentence for paramilitary prisoners from 33 per cent to 50 per cent became law. [Following the change in the law 83 prisoners were released on 17 November 1995. The new rules did not apply to life sentences.]
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) published a statement which it had wanted both the British and Irish governments to issue. The statement had been given to John Major, then British Prime Minister, in mid-October 1995. The statement contained the suggestion of asking George Mitchell, a former American Senator, to lead an international body to advise on the issue of paramilitary weapons. [The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rejected the proposals contained in the SDLP statement. Mitchell was asked to do this on 28 November 1995.] item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), called on the British government to urgently hold all-party talks. item mark Sinn Féin (SF) held a rally at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. [The Ulster Hall was traditionally the venue for Unionist rallies.] item mark Neil Blaney (73), the Independent Fianna Fáil (IFF) Teachta Dáil (TD) for Donegal, died.

Friday 10 November 1995
item mark Garda Síochána (the Irish police) arrested two men after seizing explosives, estimated at 1,500 pounds (700kgs), about one mile from the County Armagh border. [Further bomb making equipment and ammunition were found at a farm near Castleblayney, County Monaghan, in the following week.]

Tuesday 14 November 1995
item mark The 'Spirit of Drumcree' group held a rally in the Ulster Hall, Belfast. The group called for sweeping changes in the Orange Order including the resignation of Martin Smyth (Rev.), then Grand Master, and the breaking of the traditional link between the Order and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

Wednesday 15 November 1995
item mark Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), speaking in Washington called for a Bosnia style peace talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

Friday 17 November 1995
item mark Following the change in the law regarding remission of sentence for paramilitary prisoners, 83 people were released from jails in Northern Ireland. [The law was changed on 7 November 1995.]

Saturday 18 November 1995
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held its annual conference. The conference voted to leave open the possibility of a future electoral pact with Sinn Féin (SF).

Tuesday 21 November 1995
item mark A small bomb, described as a "crude device", exploded outside the courthouse in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Friday 24 November 1995
item mark There was a referendum in the Republic of Ireland on a change to the constitution. There was a narrow majority, 50.2 per cent, in favour of the right to divorce.

Saturday 25 November 1995
item mark The Times (a London based newspaper) carried a report that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had warned its members to prepare for a "return to war" if the deadlock in the peace process was not resolved.

Monday 27 November 1995
Catholic Killed in Sectarian Attack
item mark Norman Harley (46), a Catholic civilian, was found beaten to death at the Waterworks, off Cavehill Road, Belfast. [Harley was going through the park to visit his mother when two Protestant men beat him to death with an iron bar before going to a public house. This sectarian killing appears not to have been carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries (McKitterick, 1999; p1383).]
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Tuesday 28 November 1995
Joint Communiqué by British and Irish Governments
item mark The British and Irish Governments issued a Joint Communiqué stating that: "the two governments have agreed to launch a "twin-track" process to make progress in parallel on the decommissioning issue and on all-party negotiations". The governments hoped to have all-party negotiations begin by the end of February 1996. They also invited the parties to intensive preparatory talks. The governments also undertook to: "... establish an international body to provide an independent assessment of the decommissioning issue". [George Mitchell, a former American Senator, was asked to lead this body.]

Wednesday 29 November 1995
item mark Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), arrived in London as a prelude to a visit to Northern Ireland. Clinton gave his support to John Major, then British Prime Minister, and John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).

Thursday 30 November 1995
First Clinton Visit Began
item mark Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), visited Northern Ireland. He was the first serving President of the USA to visit the region. [Clinton made further visits to Northern Ireland in September 1998 and December 2000.] Clinton, accompanied by the First Lady Hillary Clinton, visited east Belfast, west Belfast, Derry, and then returned to Belfast to switch on the Christmas lights. He received a generally enthusiastic and warm reception. He made a key note speech at Mackie's engineering factory in west Belfast. Clinton said: "... the search for common ground demands the courage of an open mind. This twin-track initiative gives the parties a chance to begin preliminary talks in ways in which all views will be represented and all voices will be heard. It also establishes an international body to address the issue of arms decommissioning. I hope the parties will seize this opportunity." Later in the day Clinton held talks with the leaders of the five main political parties in Northern Ireland. Hillary Clinton held an informal meeting with female community representatives in the Lamplighter cafe in Belfast.
item mark The European Court of Justice ruled that aspects of the Prevention of Terrorism Act contravened European Union law by impinging on the freedom of movement guaranteed by the Treaty of Rome. item mark It was announced that Maurice Hayes would oversee an independent review of the police complaints system.

December 1994

Friday 1 December 1995
item mark Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), travelled to Dublin where he addressed the Irish parliament. Clinton held meetings with John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and Mary Robinson, then President of the Republic of Ireland. Bill Clinton was accompanied by the First Lady Hillary Clinton.
item mark The British and Irish governments sent separate invitations to eight Northern Ireland parties to take part in preliminary talks. item mark The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) shot and wounded a man in the Falls Road area of west Belfast.

Saturday 2 December 1995
item mark It was announced that 600 British soldiers serving with 45 Royal Marine Commando in Fermanagh had left Northern Ireland. The overall troop level in Northern Ireland was reported as being 17,000.

Monday 4 December 1995
item mark The home of a Catholic family in west Belfast, which faced a Protest housing estate, was attacked by Loyalists for the 56th time in nine years.
item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led their respective parties in political talks in Belfast.

Tuesday 5 December 1995
item mark David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), turned down an invitation to talks from the Irish government. Trimble wrote: "We are not prepared to negotiate the internal affairs of Northern Ireland with a foreign government". Trimble refused to endorse the 'twin-track' approach but told John Major, then British Prime Minister, that he would keep lines of communication open.
item mark Statistics revealed that in the 14 months following the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire there had been 223 paramilitary 'punishment' beatings - 148 by Republicans and 75 by Loyalists. These figures compared with 45 incidents in the 14 months prior to the ceasefire - 8 by Republicans and 37 by Loyalists.

Thursday 7 December 1995
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement which said that the British government "has sought only to frustrate movement into inclusive negotiations ... there is no question of the IRA meeting the ludicrous demand for a surrender of IRA weapons".

Friday 8 December 1995
item mark Paul Devine (35), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Claremont Street, off Lisburn Road, Belfast. [It was alleged that Devine was a drug dealer and this was the reason why he was shot. On 11 December 1995 Joe Hendron, then SDLP MP, said that the killing of Devine constituted a breach of the IRA ceasefire.]
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item mark A soccer team based in west Belfast withdrew from an Irish Cup match against a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) team. The withdrawal came after a 'strong recommendation' from Sinn Féin (SF) representatives.

Monday 11 December 1995
item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that 100 million would be redirected from the security budget to other areas of government expenditure over the following three years if the ceasefires held. [180 million had already been cut from the security budget.]

Thursday 14 December 1995
item mark It was announced that the Crumlin Road Prison would close in the spring of 1996. The closure would result in the transfer of 250 prisoners to Maghaberry Prison.

Saturday 16 December 1995
item mark The International Body on Arms Decommissioning held a meeting with Sir Hugh Annesley, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The body also received submissions from five of the political parties.

Sunday 17 December 1995
item mark The International Body on Arms Decommissioning travelled to Dublin and met a number of the Irish political parties.

Monday 18 December 1995
item mark Francis Collins (40), who had been a former member of the-Irish Republican Army (IRA), was shot dead at his shop in Lepper Street, New Lodge, Belfast. [Responsibility for the killing was claimed by Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the IRA. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) issued a statement on 20 December 1995 about the recent killings.]
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item mark The International Body on Arms Decommissioning held a meeting in Dublin with Sinn Féin (SF). Gerry Adams, then President of SF, said the meeting had been "very constructive and positive". The body also had meetings with the Irish government and church leaders. item mark Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, began another round of political talks with local parties.
item mark The annual report of the Fair Employment Commission (FEC) noted that the Catholic proportion of the workforce had risen by 2.4 per cent since 1990 to 37.3 per cent. However the figures showed that Catholics still remained twice as likely to be unemployed as Protestants.

Tuesday 19 December 1995
item mark Chris Johnston (38), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead outside his home in Cooke Street, off Ormeau Road, Belfast. [Responsibility for the killing was claimed by Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the IRA. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) issued a statement on 20 December 1995 about the recent killings.]
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item mark In a court in Glasgow, Lindsay Robb, then a Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) member, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for conspiring to obtain guns for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Wednesday 20 December 1995
item mark A senior Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer said that the police believed that that the killing of five alleged drugs dealers was carried out by, or on behalf of, the Irish Republican Army (IRA). item mark Due to the recent killings attributed to the IRA the Irish government decided not to give permanent release to 10 Republican prisoners. item mark It was claimed that the Irish security services had prevented attempts by the IRA to carry out raids on cash shipments in the Republic of Ireland.
item mark The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) held the first meeting with British and Irish ministers under the twin-track approach. item mark Sinn Féin (SF) announced that it had made proposals to Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for all-party talks to be held in January 1996.

Sunday 24 December 1995
item mark The British government paid 38,700 to cover the legal costs of the families of the three unarmed Irish Republican Army (IRA) members killed in Gibraltar by undercover members of the Special Air Service (SAS) on 6 March 1988. The British government was ordered to pay the costs following a decision on 27 September 1995 by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
item mark The Sunday Times (a London based newspaper) claimed that Libya had provided the British government with details of its assistance to the Irish Republican Army (IRA). [It was claimed that: over 130 tonnes of arms were shipped from Tripoli to Ireland; 9 million in cash had been handed over; and 20 IRA members had been trained in Libya.]

Wednesday 27 December 1995
item mark Martin McCrory (30), a Catholic civilian was shot dead at his home, Norglen Parade, Turf Lodge, Belfast. Responsibility for the killing was claimed by Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the IRA.
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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 1995.
  • 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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