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'Remembering': Victims, Survivors and Commemoration
A Chronology of the issue of Victims
compiled by Martin Melaugh
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1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
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2009  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec     Notes
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2009

January 2009
See also: Calendar of victims-related media material - January 2009

Tuesday 13 January 2009
gif image of small grey square Hamill Inquiry: Public hearings in the Robert Hamill Inquiry began in Belfast.  Hamill, a Catholic man, was beaten and mortally wounded in a sectarian attack; he died on 8 May 1997. The Inquiry was established following allegations that police officers who were near the scene of the attack did not intervene to save him.

Wednesday 14 January 2008
gif image of small grey square Hamill Inquiry: The lead counsel in the Hamill Inquiry said that the post mortem of Robert Hamill showed he had died as a result of widespread brain injuries caused by punching, kicking and stamping. His injuries were said to have been similar to those caused by a car crash.

Wednesday 21 January 2009
gif image of small grey square Omagh bomb: An official report by Peter Gibson, then Intelligence Services Commissioner, rejected claims that intelligence about the Omagh bombing was deliberately held back. He said information on the bombers was shared with police, but could not have stopped the 1998 attack.
gif image of small grey square Omagh bomb: Families of some of those killed in the Omagh bomb issued a fresh appeal for a full public Inquiry.
gif image of small grey square Nelson Inquiry: Ronnie Flanagan, the former RUC chief constable, gave evidence at the Nelson Inquiry and said that Special Branch knew the identities of those who had killed Rosemary Nelson shortly afterwards. He added that, in the absence of intelligence of a direct threat, police could not have saved her.

Thursday 22 January 2009
gif image of small grey square Consultative Group on the Past: Representatives from the Consultative Group on the Past met Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, ahead of the report's publication next week. They were in London to brief Brown on the main recommendations of the report.

Friday 23 January 2009
gif image of small grey square Consultative Group on the Past: Representatives from the Consultative Group on the Past gave a briefing to the media in Belfast ahead of the official launch of the report. Reports of the contents of the report were widely reported in Northern Ireland. Most of the reports focused on a proposed payment of £12,000 to be paid to all the families of those who had been killed in the conflict. This payment was chosen to match a €15,000 that had been paid to families by the Irish government. There was an immediate and adverse reaction to this particular proposal. [The reaction lasted through to the launch and beyond.]

Saturday 24 January 2009
gif image of small grey square Consultative Group on the Past: Mark Durkan, then leader of the SDLP, appealed for no knee-jerk reaction to the recommendations contained in the Consultative Group on the Past. He said the proposals could point to a way forward for society.

Wednesday 28 January 2009
gif image of small grey square Consultative Group on the Past: Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, then co-chairs of the Consultative Group on the Past, launched their report at a public meeting in the Europa Hotel in Belfast. Before the launch there was a protest outside the building by unionist groups. Protestors then moved inside the hotel and disrupted the start of the launch event. Lord Eames said it was time for a "final step out of the conflict by dealing with the legacy of the past".  The proposals contained in the report were estimated to cost up to £300m. The most controversial proposal was that the family of every person killed as a result of the conflict would receive a £12,000 payment as a form of recognition. Most unionists objected to this proposal because the payments would go families of Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries. Some victims' groups also objected to the measure. The proposals also included a legacy commission which would be led by an international figure.  It was envisaged that this commission would take over the historical cases undertaken by the police ombudsman and also the Historical Enquiries Team.

 


February 2009
See also: Calendar of victims-related media material - February 2009

Sunday 1 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Consultative Group on the Past: Jarlath Burns, one of the authors of the report of the Consultative Group on the Past, said that some senior unionists have been "almost duplicitous" in their public views of the report.  Burns said senior unionist politicians spoke to the report team confidentially.  He said it was "a bit dishonest and almost duplicitous, some comments from people who had actually told us privately completely different things."
gif image of small grey square Film: 'Hunger', the film about the last weeks of Hunger Striker Bobby Sands, took the best film award at the London Evening Standard Film Awards.

Monday 2 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Wright Inquiry: William McCrea, then DUP MP, told the Wright Inquiry that a government source had informed him of a threat to kill Billy Wright a month before he was shot dead.  He said that he did not tell police about the threat at the time because he did not know who he could trust.
gif image of small grey square Bloody Sunday Inquiry: The families of those killed on Bloody Sunday began a legal challenge over the delay in the release of the final report Inquiry.

Tuesday 3 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Historical Enquiries Team: Detectives from the Historical Enquiries Team arrested a 37 year old man in connection with the killing of Loyalist Tommy English during a Loyalist feud in October 2000.

Friday 6 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Wright Inquiry: Alistair Finlay, then PSNI Assistant Chief Constable, told the Wright Inquiry that two security force agents were present at an INLA meeting which plotted the killing of Billy Wright.  The meeting took place 12 days before Wright was shot dead. Finlay said police knew about the meeting, but did not know what been discussed
gif image of small grey square Wright Inquiry: Ian Paisley Jnr, then DUP MLA, informed the Wright Inquiry that he had been told by a Prison Officer that thousands of documents were destroyed by the prison service following the killing of Billy Wright. Paisley refused to name his source. His decision not to reveal his source was challenged in the High Court by the Inquiry.

Wednesday 11 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Wright Inquiry: Gordon Brown, then British Prime Minister, held a meeting in Downing Street with families of those killed by the Omagh bomb. They discussed claims in a BBC programme that GCHQ, did not pass on intelligence information that could have helped in the Omagh investigation.

Thursday 12 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Commemoration: A candle-lit vigil was held to mark the 20th anniversary of the killing of Pat Finucane. Finucane was shot dead by Loyalists on 12 February 1989. Amnesty International is launching a campaign for a fully independent inquiry into the killing.

Sunday 15 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Film: 'Hunger', the film about the last weeks of Hunger Striker Bobby Sands, won six awards at the Irish Film and Television Awards. The awards included best film, and best film actor for Michael Fassbender's portrayal of Bobby Sands.

Monday 16 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Consultative Group on the Past: Gerry Kelly, a senior member of Sinn Féin, appeared on the BBC programme 'Hardtalk' and said the plan to give £12,000 to the relatives of all those killed in the Northern Ireland Troubles was a mistake. Kelly said: "It's easy in hindsight to say that, but clearly it was a mistake because it caused so much controversy. ... The real issue is that there has to be truth."

Thursday 19 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Omagh bomb trial: Two PSNI officers who were accused of lying by a judge during the Omagh bomb trial were cleared of any criminal conduct. The Police Ombudsman and the Public Prosecution Service concluded that there was no evidence evidence to support the claim that they deliberately lied.

Wednesday 25 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Consultative Group on the Past: Shaun Woodward, then Secretary of State, spoke on the BBC radio Nolan show and ruled the proposal for a £12,000 payment to all families bereaved as a result of the conflict.  The proposal was one of a number contained in the report of the Consultative Group on the Past.  Woodward said it was clear the "time is not right for such a recognition payment ... There isn't a consensus on it".

Friday 27 February 2009
gif image of small grey square Omagh bomb trial: Families of those killed by the Omagh bomb failed in a legal bid to force the disclosure of mobile phone conversations covertly recorded on the day.

 


March 2009
See also: Calendar of victims-related media material - March 2009

Wednesday 4 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Cost of Inquiries: Shaun Woodward, then Secretary of State, gave a figure of £307m as the projected cost of the Bloody Sunday, Hamill, Nelson and Wright Inquiries. He was responding to questions during Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons. Woodward said that the Bloody Sunday Inquiry would cost about £190m, including Ministry of Defence charges.  The combined cost of the Hamill, Nelson and Wright Inquiries was estimated at £117m.

Thursday 5 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Consultative Group on the Past: Denis Bradley, then co-chairman of the Consultative Group on the Past, appealed for the IRA to engage with the proposals in the Group's report. Bradley spoke to an Irish all-party parliamentary committee in Dublin and said: "The only door that has been closed is that of the IRA ... I think it is going to be a disgrace if the IRA stand offside."
gif image of small grey square Victim: A 72-year-old man was arrested in connection with the killing of an RUC officer on 25 February 1977. The man was questioned about the killing of Sergeant Joe Campbell outside a police station in Cushendall, County Antrim.

Friday 6 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Victims' Commissioner: There were unionist calls for Patricia MacBride to be sacked based on an account of her brother on a Web site. MacBride's brother, Antoine Mac Giolla Bhrighde, was a member of the IRA and was killed by security forces on 2 December 1984. In 2005 she wrote about his funeral and that of hunger striker Frank Hughes. This account was subsequently placed on the Shared Troubles site. UUP Jim Nicholson, then UUP MEP, said she should be sacked. McBride defended her position and said what she wrote was a reflection of the feelings of a teenage girl about the death of her eldest brother.

Saturday 7 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Victims: The Real IRA claimed responsibility for a gun attack which killed two British Soldiers and injured a number of other people at Massereene army base in Antrim town. Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, were shot as they accepted a pizza delivery outside the main gates of the base. [These were the first British soldiers to be killed in Northern Ireland since 12 February 1997.]

Monday 9 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Victim: Stephen Paul Carroll, a PSNI officer, was shot dead by dissident Republicans in Craigavon, County Armagh. He was killed 48 hours after two soldiers were shot dead in Antrim.
gif image of small grey square Wright Inquiry: Hugh Annesley, former RUC Chief Constable, gave evidence at the Billy Wright Inquiry.

Wednesday 11 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Peace Rallies: A series of rallies were held across NI to allow people to show their opposition to the upsurge in violence which resulted in the killing of two soldiers and a policeman.  Silent protests took place in Belfast, Derry, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newry.  A peace vigil was also held in Craigavon, County Armagh, near the site where Stephen Paul Carroll was shot dead.
gif image of small grey square Hamill Inquiry: A witness at the Robert Hamill inquiry is to be reported to the police on the suspicion he lied giving evidence.  The witness was initially charged over the murder. These charged were later dropped. During his appearance at the Inquiry the witness claimed to have lost his memory and could no longer recall the attack.

Thursday 12 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Memorial Service: A memorial service was held at Massereene barracks in Antrim in honour of the two soldiers killed on 7 March 2009. Following the service, the soldiers' remains were formally handed over to family representatives.

Monday 16 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Omagh bomb trial: As part of their campaign to secure a full public Inquiry families of those killed in the Omagh bomb went to Stormont to brief the House of Commons' Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. The Committee had travelled from London to Belfast for a series of evidence gathering sessions.

Friday 20 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Victim: An adjournment was sought in the case of a man who was due to be sentenced for a lessor offence connected with the killing of Thomas Devlin on 10 August 2005. A prosecution lawyer asked for the adjournment, saying it was "anticipated that the accused will be charged" with killing Devlin.

Thursday 26 March 2009
gif image of small grey square Hamill Inquiry: A woman was reported to the High Court for failing to appear before the Robert Hamill Inquiry. The Inquiry was told she was unable to attend for medical reasons. However, she had not submitted any medical evidence to support her claim.

 


Notes
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.

See also:
The main CAIN chronology of the conflict
The Sutton Index of Deaths 1969-2001

 

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