The Troubles in Ireland: A Brief History

Timeline created by armagh
In History
  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) Created</a>
    NICRA was created to work peacefully towards eliminating outdated laws that discriminated against practicing Catholics, a legacy of the Unionist-dominated government of the U.K. during the 1800’s.
  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Civil Rights Marches Begin</a>
    On the 24th of August 1968 NICRA and a number of other civil rights groups held the first Catholic civil rights march in the county of Tyrone. The marchers demonstrated peacefully despite being officially banned from marching after Loyalist opponents protested the event.
  • Battle of Bogside

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Battle of Bogside</a>
    Catholic nationalists protesting a Protestant parade in the city of Derry began to riot after police officers from the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) were ordered to disperse the crowd. The riots continued for three days in a lower-class area of town known colloquially as the “Bogside” until British Army troops were deployed to restore order.
  • Internment Introduced

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Internment Introduced</a>
    Under public pressure to respond to escalating terrorist activities from paramilitary organizations like the IRA (Irish Republican Army) the British government implements Operation Demetrius, a joint effort by the RUC and British army to arrest and detain Irish citizens suspected of having paramilitary ties. After two days an estimated 350 people are captured and held without evidence or trial, and 10 civilians are killed during either the internment operation or the protests that followed. Prot
  • Bloody Sunday

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Bloody Sunday</a>
    A NICRA march in Derry turns violent and 27 protestors are wounded or killed by the British Army after the demonstrators converge on police barricades set up in the center of town. Whether or not the military was at fault in the shootings is still being disputed, but a huge surge in republican paramilitary enrollment among organizations like the IRA was recorded after the events of Bloody Sunday were published in the international press.
  • Direct Rule Imposed

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Direct Rule Imposed</a>
    In an effort to put a halt to rapidly escalating violence from the IRA and other republican paramilitary groups the British government abolished the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont and returned to a policy of direct rule. Though the people of Northern Ireland still sent members to the U.K. Parliament, direct rule under the British government meant that all significant policy decisions (including healthcare, policing and employment issues) were decided by the Northern Ireland office of th
  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Prevention of Terrorism Act</a>
    A growing British presence in Northern Ireland drove members of the IRA and other republican paramilitary groups to step up their attacks, and after a devastating series of bombings the British government passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act in an effort to bring peace to the region. Police forces operating under the new laws were able to arrest and detain citizens suspected of terrorist connections without charge,
  • Fatal Hunger Strikes

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Fatal Hunger Strikes</a>
    Protests by incarcerated republicans began after the British government refused to recognize them as political prisoners, beginning with blanket protests in 1976 (in which the inmates refused to wear clothes) and escalating to a series of hunger strikes during which former IRA commander and newly-elected MP Bobby Sands died of starvation. Despite the deaths of nine other protestors and severe rioting following Sands’ death the prisoners were never granted political status, and the strike ended O
  • Anglo-Irish Agreement

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Anglo-Irish Agreement</a>
    Weary of conflict, the leaders of the U.K. and Ireland meet at Hillsborough Castle to discuss an end to the Troubles. Taoiseach (leader of Ireland) Garret Fitzgerald and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign into law the Anglo-Irish Agreement, under which the Irish government accepts that Northern Ireland will never join the Republic until a majority agree to do so but accedes to an advisory position on the governance of the region. The treaty fails to bring an end to the violence and a
  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Downing Street Declaration</a>
    The Downing Street Declaration proclaimed that the citizens of Northern Ireland were free to join the Republic of Ireland contingent on a majority vote. The Declaration (issued jointly by the leaders of the U.K. and Ireland) further acknowledged the need for a peaceful settlement and invited political parties linked with paramilitary groups to take part in the peace process (contingent on their rejection of violent activity.) Paramilitary groups on both sides (including the IRA) declared a cease
  • Peace Talks

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Peace Talks</a>
    Peace talks involving all major political parties began, led by American senator George Mitchell. Mitchell proposed a system of non-violent disarmament and advocated for immediate compliance, should begin but disagreements over the process led to the talks being abandoned and the renewal of terrorist activities by the IRA and other paramilitary organizations.
  • Belfast Agreement

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Belfast Agreement</a>
    The Belfast Agreement marked the peaceful resolution of political struggle between the British and Irish governments. Signed on Good Friday in Belfast by leaders of both countries, it was further endorsed by the major political parties of Northern Ireland and the voters of the Republic. A major victory in the peace process, the agreement stipulated a number of conditions including an immediate ceasefire by all paramilitary groups, the release of all political prisoners and the acknowledgement of
  • Omagh Bombing

    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Omagh Bombing</a>
    A car bomb detonated on a busy Saturday morning in the shopping district of Omagh, County Tyrone killed 29 people and wounded 220 more, the largest body count of any single violent incident in Northern Ireland. A police investigation found a splinter group of the IRA known as the “real IRA” to be responsible for the attack, and worldwide condemnation for the massacre by the leaders of the IRA, the British government and many world powers is believed to have been a major factor in maintaining las