pop up description layer
Chronology of "Victim" Issues 
in Northern Ireland

Compiled by 
Brandon Hamber
Research Associate, Democratic Dialogue
School of Psychology, The Queen’s University, Belfast.
Email: mail@brandonhamber.com

Web: http://www.brandonhamber.com

Research Assistance Gary McKeown

Last Update 1 March 2002


This chronology, developed as part of Democratic Dialogue's "Victim" Policy Project, is an outline of some of the recent events and policy developments concerning victims and survivors of political violence in Northern Ireland.  The chronology attempts to focus specifically on policy-related issues concerning those affected by the conflict, ongoing issues and debates about memorials and rememberance, events related to official inquiries or court cases, as well as activities undertaken by victim groups and academics that are reported in the press and relevant to the broad remit of the site. 

It is a work in progress and will be continually updated and revised.  Some key political developments are also highlighted in the chronology and my thanks to the CAIN Web Service and Robin Wilson from Democratic Dialogue for assisting with dates relevant to the political process, as well as a plethora of press clippings. Suggestions and additions are welcome. 

If reference is made to the Chronology in research works please ensure the source is acknowledged. Extracts of the Chronology cannot be published without permission of Democratic Dialogue.

To subscribe to the mailing list to receive a periodic email of recent key victim-related issues added to the Chronology, please send an email to chronology@utvinternet.com with the word 'Subscribe' in the subject line
 

Chronology of "Victim" Related Issues in Northern Ireland

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002

1997


13 January 1997
After a Christmas break the multi-party talks resume at Stormont.

5 March 1997
Adjournment of the multi-party talks until 3 June 1997 so parties can contest the general election. 

1 May 1997
A Labour Party victory in British General Election.  Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam is appointed as Secretary of State of Northern Ireland. 

20 July 1997
Irish Republican Army (IRA) declares a renewal of its ceasefire

26 August 1997
Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) is set up to oversee the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.

24 October 1997
Victims Commission announced by Mo Mowlam to be headed by Sir Kenneth Bloomfield to look at ways of recognising the pain and suffering of victims of violence related to ’The Troubles’ in the last 30 years.

12 November 1997
In response to criticism, Mo Mowlam confirms that the Victims’ Commission is in operation.

25 November 1997
Sir Kenneth Bloomfield holds his first news conference and announces that he is ‘here to listen’ and will be embarking on a consultation process to receive as many views as possible on ways to address the pain and loss of all sections of the community, and to recommend a form of memorial which will be as broadly acceptable as possible.

1998


3 January 1998
Loyalist prisoners withdraw their support for the peace process, but Loyalist political leaders insist the 1994 ceasefire is still intact.

9 January 1998
Mo Mowlam successfully changes the prisoners’ decision after visiting them at the Maze.

12 January 1998
Following the Christmas break the multi-party talks resume at Stormont. 

26 January 1998
The multi-party talks switch venue from Stormont in Belfast to Lancaster House in London to try and enhance the search for peace.

29 January 1998
Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, announces that an inquiry under the Tribunal of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 is to be held into the events on Sunday 30 January 1972, known as “Bloody Sunday”, when 13 people died and a similar number were wounded at the hand of British Paratroopers in Derry during a civil rights march. See links to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and related dates 29 January1998 ; 3 April 1998 and 2 August 2001 .  Due to the extensive nature of the Inquiry only some key events on the inquiry are recorded on this Chronology, for detailed information, historical documents, updates and press statements see the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the Bloody Sunday Trust .

13 February 1998
Sir Kenneth Bloomfield meets with a cross section of people bereaved and traumatised by the Troubles.  The meeting is organised by the WAVE Trauma Centre and Sir Kenneth Bloomfield says he will also be taking up invitations to visit groups in Cookstown, Armagh, Enniskillen and Derry/Londonderry.

26 March 1998
Independent chairperson of the talks, George Mitchell, sets 9 April deadline for the finding of an agreement.

3 April 1998
Lord Saville opens the Bloody Sunday Inquiry into what happened on the streets of Derry on Sunday 30th January 1972 when British paratroopers open fire on a civil rights march killing 13 people and wounding over a dozen people.  See related dates 29 January1998 ; 3 April 1998 and 2 August 2001 .  Due to the extensive nature of the Inquiry only some key events on the inquiry are recorded on this Chronology, for detailed information, historical documents, updates and press statements see the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the Bloody Sunday Trust .

6 April 1998
George Mitchell distributes a possible draft agreement based on the progress of the talks.

10 April 1998
On Good Friday, parties in the talks sign an Agreement at Stormont.  George Mitchell closes the talks.  Largely through an initiative of the Women’s Coalition , a paragraph is inserted into the Agreement on the importance of dealing with the needs of victims of the conflict.

Mid April 1998
Parties start to make their views known on a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote for the Agreement, as a referendum on the Agreement is to take place in May.  This dominates politics for the next few weeks.

14 April 1998
Nine IRA prisoners are released by Republic of Ireland from Portlaoise Prison. 

22 April 1998
The Irish Parliament, allowing the changes needed under the Agreement to come into effect, passes the 19th Amendment to the Constitution Bill.

24 April 1998
The last meeting of the Northern Ireland Forum is held.  Despite the fact that since May 1996 seventy one plenary sessions were held only 30 members out of 110 attend the final session.

29 April 1998
The Living with the Trauma of the Troubles Report is launched by the Health and Social Services Minister, Tony Worthington.  He says the report, “provides a snapshot of available services and identifies gaps and shortfalls, making recommendations to improve the availability and quality of these services”.  The Department’s Social Services inspectorate set up the project to explore the availability of services to individuals who suffered social and psychological trauma.

Early May 1998
Tony Blair announces that £5 million will be made available to support the victims of violence in Northern Ireland and this will a ‘down payment’ to support the recommendations of the forthcoming Bloomfield Report .

13 May 1998
Sir Kenneth Bloomfield’s Report ‘We Will Remember Them ’ is launched.  A three month consultation period is announced to hear views on the report, but Mo Mowlam says that she wants to move quickly on some of the recommendations although some required further consultation.  On the same day, Mo Mowlam announces that Adam Ingram would become the Government’s “listening ear”.  Mr Ingram, Minister of State of Northern Ireland Office, is charged with overseeing the implementation of the Bloomfield Report .  The Secretary of State also made mention at the launch that £4.5 million pounds were recently made available to establish a Police Foundation and that £5 million ‘down payment’ on the victim issue had been made.  The Bloomfield Report is broadly accepted, but Republicans and victims of State violence accuse Sir Kenneth Bloomfield of not focusing on victims of State violence sufficiently and make it known that they are unhappy that Adam Ingram has responsibility for security and victims.

14 May 1998
Views on the Bloomfield report dominate the press. The Ulster Unionist security spokesperson, Ken Maginnis, says his party is "grateful" for the report and delivery on the proposals now needs to take place. The report is also welcomed by the SDLP . Peter Robinson of the DUP says that the recognition given in the report to "victims of terrorism" is welcome, even if "woefully late and inadequate". Sinn Féin expresses the sharpest criticism of the report. The Irish Times reports Gerry O hEara, Sinn Féin 's Northern Chairman, as saying the report, failed to address the concerns of relatives killed by the "British crown forces". He adds, "The appointment of a Minister of Victims is a good idea but we would urge this be a new post given to someone who is an expert in this field, rather than a current minister and one that also holds responsibility for the crown forces".

22 May 1998
Referendum on the Agreement is held.  71.12% of people vote ‘Yes’.

Late May 1998
Post the Referendum, decommissioning as an issue, starts to be raised and continues to dominate the political agenda.

19 June 1998
The Northern Ireland (Sentences) Bill, which will result in the release of paramilitary prisoners, is debated in the House of Commons. 

25 – 27 June 1998
Northern Ireland Assembly Election takes place and seats allocated in the New Assembly.

Mid to late June 1998
The Northern Ireland (Sentences) Bill is published.

30 June 1998
An initial support package, in response to the recommendations made by Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, for victims of violence is announced.  Under this £700,000 is allocated to a trauma centre provided by the South East Belfast Community Trust and £200 000 for community groups.  The formation of the Touchstone Group to test key issues arising from the consultation process is set up and a Victims Liaison Unit.  Later in the day Mr Ingram praised the resilience of young people affected by the Troubles at a launch of two publications by the Cost of the Troubles Study , namely Do You See What I See and Half the Battle.  The latter publication by Marie Smyth, looks at the statistical evidence that children have been direct victims of the Troubles.  The book reveals that 26% of all victims have been under the age of 21, and specifically the 19-20 age group, have the highest death rate of any group in Northern Ireland. 

1 July 1998
David Trimble ( UUP ) and Séamus Mallon (SDLP ) jointly elected as First and Deputy First Ministers (Designate) at the first meeting of the Assembly.

5 – 17 July 1998
'Drumcree IV' and Orange marches are blocked by police after leaving a service and not allowed to proceed up the Catholic Garvaghy Road.  A stand off ensues. Sporadic violence throughout the period and death of the three Quinn children on 12 July 1998. 

15 July 1998
Northern Ireland Bill introduced into the House of Commons. 

Friday 24 July 1998
In the House of Commons the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 is passed.

28 July 1998
The Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 becomes law.  On the same day, the Victims Liaison Unit announces that it is undertaking consultation on Bloomfield Report and encourages people to make their views and suggestions known.  It also says that it will hold a series of local meetings to facilitate discussion.

12 August 1998
New support for victims of violence is announced by Mr Ingram.  £250,000 is granted to an educational bursary scheme, £1 million is committed to a Memorial Fund, £60, 000 to pilot schemes for community and voluntary groups to help with the young, elderly and disabled.  It is also announced that Sir Kenneth Bloomfield will now head a review of “Fitness of Purpose” of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme .  Such a review was, in fact, a recommendation made by Sir Kenneth Bloomfield in the We Will Remember Them Report .

15 August 1998
The Omagh bomb explodes at 3:10pm.  Twenty-nine people die as a result of  the "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) bomb. The bomb is the single worst incident in the history of the Northern Ireland conflict, although 33 people were killed in a single day in 1974 by Loyalist Bombs in Dublin and Monaghan.

18 August 1998
The "real" IRA announces that "all military operations have been suspended".   On the same day, Mo Mowlam calls on the press to give the families of victims of the Omagh bomb space and privacy in their need to grieve.

31 August 1998
The Republic of Ireland publishes the Offences Against The State (Amendment) Bill.  This curtails the right to silence and introduces longer detention periods and five new offences, including "direction of terrorism".

1 September 1998
On the same day that Gerry Adams, announces in a statement that: "Sinn Féin believe the violence we have seen must be for all of us now a thing of the past, over, done with and gone,” the Minister for Victims, Adam Ingram, announces an Early Release Information Scheme for Victims.  The scheme will ensure that victims are kept informed, if they so wish, about prisoners to be released under the early release arrangements.

3 September 1998
President Clinton visits Northern Ireland and in the House of Commons the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Bill is passed, despite the fact that many MPs feel it has not been discussed properly. 

5 September 1998
Decommissioning as an issue continues to surface and David Trimble repeats his view that decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons is a prerequisite for entry into Executive for Sinn Féin

7 September 1998
"Real" IRA announces a full cessation of armed operations.

11 September 1998
The first prisoners are released, including 3 republican and 3 loyalist prisoners.

14 September 1998
The Northern Ireland Assembly meet for the first time since July 1998; but decommissioning as an issue continues to rumble.

16 September 1998
Mr Ingram, the Minister responsible for victims, reiterates the importance of victims’ families as a high priority.  He makes special mention of the families of the disappeared and says the “issue of the disappeared people is a high priority”.

Late September 1998
Amid disagreement between the major parties on decommissioning, Sinn Féin says decommissioning is not within its gift and accuses Trimble of trying to impose conditions on SF’s entry into the Executive and trying to renegotiate the Agreement. Mallon states that the issue of decommissioning has "almost become a soap opera".

30 September 1998
Sir Kenneth Bloomfield asks all interested parties to contribute to the review of the Criminal Compensation Scheme and its fitness for purpose.  He makes it clear that he will be looking at a new statutory framework for “all criminal injury cases, not only those resulting from terrorism”.

1 October 1998
It is advertised in the press that those wishing to make written contributions to the review of criminal injuries compensation can do so.

6 October 1998
It is announced that a £5 million living memorial is to be built on the site of the Poppy Day bombing in Enniskillen. The development will include a community centre, residential accommodation and an art gallery and will commemorate the eleven people killed and 63 injured when an IRA bomb exploded during a Remembrance Day service in 1987.

17 October 1998
Announcement that the Nobel Prize for Peace will be awarded jointly to John Hume and David Trimble.

31 October 1998
The theoretical deadline for the establishment of the North-South Ministerial Council, and so of the Executive, was not met mainly due to the ongoing decommissioning issue. 

11 November 1998
Announced that the Maze will be closed by the year 2000 if the Agreement was fully implemented. 

17 November 1998
The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) ceasefire is accepted and LVF prisoners become eligible for release.  On the same day, Mo Mowlam announces that the group FAIR would be joining the government’s Touchstone Group.  The group is said to advise Mr Ingram on his programme for victims and is a direct link to people affected by the Troubles.  The group is described by Mo Mowlam as “influential”.  She also says progress is being made on the Memorial Fund, the Bursary Scheme and Sir Kenneth Bloomfield’s Compensation Review and that staff has been appointed to the Trauma Centre in South Belfast.

19 November 1998
The Northern Ireland Act becomes law.

30 November 1998
Mo Mowlam applauds the courage of victims whilst attending an exhibition called ‘Do you know what happened’ organised by the Cost of the Troubles Study .  The exhibition is based on photos and stories of 70 people affected by the conflict.  She also says that the period of consultation about the We Will Remember Them Report has ended.  She adds that the Trauma Centre in South Belfast will open early in the New Year, the Criminal Compensation Review is progressing and details of the bursary scheme will be tabled before Christmas.

1 December 1998
The book entitled Past Imperfect: Dealing with Past in Northern Ireland and Countries in Transition , edited by Brandon Hamber , is launched in Derry. The book examines options for dealing with e past in Northern Ireland. It notes that although the time may not be right to have a full scale truth commission, the issues of truth and justice will remain on the agenda and need to be addressed.

10 December 1998
Nobel Peace Prizes are awarded at a ceremony in the City Hall, Oslo to Hume and Trimble.

18 December 1998
After extensive negotiations 6 new North-South implementation bodies are signaled and it is agreed the number of Northern Ireland ministries is to be increased from 6 to 10.  On the same day, Mr Adam Ingram, visits the site of the new Trauma Centre and gives his support and encouragement to the project.  He says he feels this is evidence of the “real and tangible steps which have been taken to help those affected by the troubles”.

23 December 1998
The Trustees to the Memorial Fund are announced and the Trustees are to be under the Chairmanship of Professor George Bain.

1999


8 January 1999
The educational bursary scheme for those directly affected by the Troubles and whose education suffered as a result is launched by Mr Ingram.  The amount of £250,000 is invested into the scheme, part of measures announced in August 1998.  Awards up to £2,500 can be made available for any purpose directly associated with the individual’s educational needs.  It is also stated that if demands are greater than the £250,000 allocated then more money from the original £5 million allocated to victims will be used.

13 January 1999
Mo Mowlam says if parties agree that devolution would take place on 10 March 1999.

22 January 1999
Mr Ingram, as Victims Minister, says that comments made in the last 24 hours show that there are strong feelings about the victims issue and given the 30 years of violence this is understandable.  He also comments that talking is the best way to resolve problems.  [Need to clarify what the above remarks are in relation to]

25 January 1999
On behalf of SF, Bairbre de Brún and Alex Maskey attends a meeting with Mo Mowlam about the upsurge in paramilitary punishment attacks.

26 January 1999
It is also reported that a dispute has broken out between victim's groups who relatives were killed by the IRA and the Minister of Victims, Adam Ingram. The dispute began when Mr Ingram announced that he would be meeting the family members of the eight IRA men shot dead by the SAS during a paramilitary attack on an RUC station in Loughgall 12 years ago. Unionists and the victim's group, Families Acting for Innocent Relatives ( FAIR ) reacted angrily to the decision. 

7 February 1999
Mo Mowlam concedes that the deadline for the devolution of powers may well be missed causing worry about the peace process.

8 February 1999
Mr Ingram pledges to keep the pressure up to get the necessary information needed to locate the bodies of those who disappeared during the Troubles. He says that government will use every opportunity to maintain the pressure on people in positions of influence to influence the release of information on the whereabouts of the bodies, and adds this issue is not for the government alone but all parties who signed up to a democratic future in Northern Ireland.

12 February 1999
The tenth anniversary of the murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane, sees a confidential report compiled by the British Irish Rights Watch delivered a to the British and Irish governments and to the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.  The report, some 64 pages long, details all that is known about murder the murder of Patrick Finucane and about the operations of the Force Research Unit, a unit within British army intelligence that assisted loyalists to target people for murder.  See related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001

15 February 1999
A report containing proposals for structures of government is put before Ministers Trimble and Mallon

16 February 1999
The Irish Times reports that six months after the Omagh bombing hundreds are still struggling to come to terms with what happened on the day. The Sperrin Lakeland Trust's trauma team treating those affected says that have already dealt with 350 referrals, nearly a third children. An estimate of £6.5 million is put on the cost of treating the injured and traumatised over the next four years.

21 February 1999
The Northern Ireland Office criticizes reports that families of the Omagh bomb only received £7,500 each in compensation.  In a press statement it is clarified that the £7,500 was the first of three payments and a Standard Bereavement Award.  The second payment will be for the reimbursement of Reasonable Funeral Costs and the final payment, to be determined by the Compensation Agency , will be for pecuniary loss.  It is stressed that the “Government recognises that no amount of money can compensate for the loss of human life…The [Compensation] Agency can only make payments as a gesture to the bereaved family”. 

23 February 1999
Mo Mowlam, as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, opens the Family Trauma Centre for Victims of the Troubles in Belfast (1 Wellington Park).  She says “we must not forget the damage the past 30 years has inflicted on people, damage that is not just physical but psychological…the professional, multi-disciplinary approach of the Centre will provide the opportunity for people to come to terms with their trauma.  This work is not easy but is essential". 

24 February 1999
Colm Murphy is charged in connection with the Omagh bombing.

8 March 1999
Mo Mowlam announces she is extending the deadline for the creation of the Northern Ireland Executive until Easter week; Trimble reacts angrily.  On the same day, the Victims Minister, Adam Ingram, pays tribute to the victims of the Omagh bombing and all those helping to reconstruct the community in its aftermath.  Mr Ingram visits a number of groups and programmes on the day, including the Community Trauma and Recovery Team and the Omagh Inter-Agency Co-ordination Group, and shows specific interest in a study on the wider impact of the bombing carried out by the Sperrin Lakeland Trust.  He also makes mention of the importance of compensation and highlights the ongoing compensation review of Sir Kenneth Bloomfield.

15 March 1999
A booby trap car bomb kills Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson, Co Armagh. The Red Hand Defenders claim responsibility (See link to Rosemary Nelson Campaign Website and related dates of 15 March 1999 ;20 February 2001 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001).

18 March 1999
Bertie Ahern, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, and Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), issue a tripartite statement urging the leaders of political parties in Northern Ireland to meet the deadline set for all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement .

19 March 1999
RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan to refer the recent British Irish Rights Watch report into the murder of Pat Finucane to the Deputy Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, Mr John Stevens, for investigation.  The Derry based Pat Finucane Centre criticises the decision saying that nothing short of a full inquiry into the death of Patrick Finucane shall suffice and that they have no confidence in Mr Stevens as his previous investigations into allegations of collusion by have yet to be published.  See related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001

29 March 1999
Dr Majorie Mowlam, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announces the Government's intention to consider amending the law to ensure that any evidence which emerges in locating the remains of the victims of such violence would not be used in criminal proceedings. She effectively offers an amnesty when she notes, “If there is further progress, we would need to discuss the details.  But if it would facilitate the process, I would be willing to consider changing the law to ensure that any evidence which emerges in locating the remains will not be used in subsequent criminal proceedings.  I understand that this is the position of the Irish Government also”.

1 April 1999
The Hillsborough Declaration was agreed by Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern setting out a framework for progress towards establishing the Executive. 

2 April 1999
It is announced that over 300 people will be receiving support from the educational bursary scheme set up in response to the “We Will Remember Them” report announced in August 1998 and launched in January 1999.  Those directly affected by the Troubles (e.g. who have lost a parent or immediate partner), who have suffered physical or psychological effect and where the individual’s education has been clearly affected are eligible to apply for the bursaries.  The news of the bursaries is welcomed by Mr Ingram, Victims Minister, and he says the government is determined to continue to give the issue of victims high priority. 

7 April 1999
Martin McGuinness says the Irish Republican Army (IRA) will not accept decommissioning as a precondition to Sinn Féin entering into the Executive.

12 April 1999
It is reported that a half-size replica of the Vietnam Wall Memorial will go on tour around Ireland during the week. The 250-foot replica will have the names of the more than 58,000 service personnel who died in the Vietnam War, including 14 Irish-born citizens.
 

13 April 1999
Hillsborough Declaration drafted by the British and Irish Premiers at Hillsborough Castle, is formally rejected by Sinn Féin claiming it moves away from the Good Friday Agreement .  A series of unsuccessful talks follow in the next few weeks.

26 April 1999
Mr Ingram addresses the Down High School Current Affairs Committee and says that there is more to the Agreement than decommissioning and the formation of an Executive.  He says that the Agreement is also about recognising the suffering of victims of violence.

27 April 1999
Mo Mowlam announces that under agreement of the British and Irish governments legislation will be passed to help locate the graves of the disappeared.  The legislation will set up a Commission in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and information or evidence given to the Commission will not be used in criminal proceedings.

13 May 1999
The Northern Ireland (Location of Victims' Remains) Bill , which will make provision connected with Northern Ireland about locating the remains of persons killed before 10th April 1998, is introduced in the House of Lords.
 

15 May 1999
British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, announces an "absolute" deadline of 30 June 1999 for the formation of the Executive and the devolution of power to the Assembly. 

17 May 1999
Ulster Unionist Party ( UUP ) says it will not change its position on decommissioning and challenges Mr Blair to state openly that devolution will proceed before "actual decommissioning".  On the same day The Northern Ireland Memorial Fund says that it will grant £4000 pounds to each of the families of the nine individuals whose graves have been identified by the IRA.  The Memorial Fund says the money is not compensation but a humanitarian gesture to assist families to make arrangements for the burial of their loved ones – the offer will only be extended to the families at such time as the whereabouts of their loved ones’ remains are identified

26 May 1999
The Northern Ireland (Location of Victims' Remains) Act 1999 receives Royal Assent. The Act is designed to facilitate the provision of information about the whereabouts of the remains of those 'disappeared' in Northern Ireland to an international Commission, established by Treaty between the British and Irish Governments
 

4 June 1999
The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains says that it has met with an intermediary and the names of six individuals and possible locations of victims’ remains have been made known.  All the possible locations are in the Republic of Ireland.  The Commission says that people should not become disheartened, but warns that it does not want to raise false hopes.

8 June 1999
Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern announce a series of intensive talks to break the deadlock on the formation of the Executive. 

22 June 1999
Ahern says that it will be possible to persuade paramilitaries to disarm only "in the context of a confidence in functioning democratic institutions"; effectively saying that the Executive should be formed before decommissioning.

29 June 1999
Mr Ingram, Victims Minister, welcomes the allocation of £200 000 to aid victims’ groups working with the Troubles.  The allocation as part of £5 million set aside for assisting victims of the Troubles.  It is noted that the Community Relations Council will administer the grant and grants of up to £10 000 will be made to groups who can demonstrate that there is an unmet need which cannot be filled by an existing group or service. On the same day, the remains of John McClory and Brian McKinney, who were adducted by the IRA in May 1978 accused of stealing arms from the organisation, were found buried in remote bogland near the border in Co. Monaghan after a 30-day excavation.

30 June 1999
Tony Blair’s "absolute deadline" for the establishment of the Executive passes and he agrees to an extension.

2 July 1999
The Way Forward document is published by the British and Irish governments outlining a way to set up the Executive and to decommission arms.  On the same day the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning Report is issued; and the Review of Criminal Injuries Compensation also issue its report.  Sir Kenneth Bloomfield states that the report suggests “a number of changes to improve the fitness of purpose of the law and arrangements for compensating future victims of terrorism and other violence crimes in Northern Ireland”.  Recommendations, amongst others, include a hybrid mixture of a tariff and common law approach to compensation, widening the scope for a greater number of people with “psychiatric injury” to be compensated and the potential to reopen cases where there has been a material change in the victim’s medical condition.

3 July 1999
The Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam, thanks Sir Kenneth Bloomfield for the work done on the Compensation Review and highlights the fact that 64 recommendations are made in the report and will need consideration.

4 July 1999
For the fifth year in a row tensions rise as the Orange Order is refused permission to parade down the mainly Catholic Garvaghy Road in Portadown, but the day passes without the same level of violence and confrontation as previous years.

5 – 11 July 1999
Tony Blair and David Trimble publish newspaper pieces,  Blair encourages the Unionists to accept the ‘Way Forward’ and Trimble saying the document has not been rejected, but he needs more reassurance.  A series of meetings and discussions follow. IRA leadership reportedly meets in Dublin to consider the document.

12 July 1999
‘Twelfth’ parades pass off without incident.

13 July 1999
David Trimble’s attempt to have fail-safe legislation on decommissioning fails to get concession in the House of Commons.

14 July 1999
David Trimble challenges the authority and prestige of Tony Blair throwing the peace process into crisis when he says that the UUP will not form an Executive using the  d'Hondt procedure. 

15 July 1999
Attempts to form an Executive collapse and Seamus Mallon resigns as Deputy First Minister designate.

20 July 1999
It is confirmed that Senator George Mitchell will chair the review of the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement .

28 July 1999
Mo Mowlam, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, retains her position after a cabinet reshuffle. 

30 July 1999
Charles Bennett (22), from West Belfast, is found dead on waste ground shot.  The execution style shooting suggests that he was an alleged informer.

3 August 1999
It is confirmed by security forces that the IRA is responsible for the death of Charles Bennett.  On the same day, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield announces that a consultation exercise on the recommendations of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Report will ensue.

5 August 1999
The Report of the Republic of Ireland's Victim's Commission, chaired by the former Tanaiste, Mr John Wilson is published. The report, entitled A Place And A Name, calls for an annual North-South Day of Remembrance, as well as greater compensation, counselling and advice for victims of the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. In addition, and amongst other recommendations, the report recommends erecting a memorial building in the Border area as a tribute to all those from the Republic of Ireland who died or suffered because of the Troubles.

9 August 1999
Relatives and victims of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings welcome the recommendation of the Wilson commission that people suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress as a result of the attacks 25 years ago should receive financial support and compensation.

14 August 1999
Violence in Derry and Belfast following Apprentice Boys parades.

17 August 1999
Mo Mowlam meets Martin McGuinness to assess whether the IRA has broken the ceasefire by killing Mr Bennett.

26 August 1999
Mo Mowlam says that she is in no doubt the IRA was involved in the murder of Mr Bennett.  However, she says she rules it has not broken the ceasefire and the latter is intact.

1 September 1999
The south Armagh-based victims' group, Families Acting for Innocent Relatives ( FAIR ) holds its conference entitled Voice of the Forgotten Victims, in Portadown. The event is attended by DUP leader, Ian Paisley, Ulster Unionist MPs, John Taylor, Rev Martin Smith and Mr Willie Ross. On the same day, the remains of two of the "disappeared", Brian McKinney (22) and John McClory (17), both killed by the IRA in 1978 and only found by Gardia in late June 1999 were collected by their families after forensic tests had been carried out on the bodies in Dublin to confirm their identities.

2 September 1999
A mural which symbolically represents all the children killed in the Troubles is unveiled in the Bogside, Derry. The mural is a painting of Annette McGavigan (14) who was shot dead during rioting close to her home while she was coming home from the local shop after buying an ice cream in September 1971. She was the 100th victim of violence in Northern Ireland.

6 September 1999
Review of Good Friday Agreement under the Chairmanship of George Mitchell begins. 

9 September 1999
The Report of the Patten Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland is released. 

23 September 1999
Sinn Féin ’s submission to the Mitchell Review is published.

27 September 1999
Mr Ingram announces that £4 million will be made available to support the work of victims’ groups.  He announces that the money will split, £3 million for victims groups and £1 million for the Memorial Fund (bringing the Memorial Fund contribution to £2 million in total).  He says: “For the first time in 30 years government recognises the need to specifically address the needs of victims of terrorism”.

8 October 1999
The UUP publishes Implementing the Agreement document in which it outlines the extent to which the Agreement has been implemented by its lights.

9/10 October 1999
At the UUP conference Trimble defends the Agreement, but the conference unanimously passes a motion dismissing the Patten recommendations .

11 October 1999
Mr Peter Mandelson replaces Mo Mowlam as Secretary of State following a Cabinet Reshuffle.

13 October 1999
A new group calling itself Border Relatives, whose members are relatives of those killed in loyalist paramilitary attacks along the Border in the 1970s, calls on the Irish government to extend the scope of the Wilson enquiry to cover the bombing of the Three Star Inn in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, in 1976. 

18 October 1999
The State Violence - State of Truth conference, hosted by Relatives for Justice , takes place in Dungannon, Co Tyrone. Those attending the conference reitterate their demands for the disclosure of truth about the deaths of their relatives. They affirm that their relatives were killed by the British army, the RUC , or as a result of security force collusion with loyalist gangs.

21 October 1999
The Irish Times reports that relatives of the those killed in the Omagh bombing are preparing to take the British government to the European Court of Human Rights for failing to protect its citizens by lowering security after the Belfast Agreement

23 October 1999
Senator George Mitchell announces an extension on the review of the Agreement. 

26 October 1999
Mr Ingram officially opens the premises of a victims group known as FACT (Families Against Crime by Terrorism), which is based in Lisburn representing about 25 – 30 families.

Early November 1999
Talks continue and Séamus Mallon calls on Sinn Féin and the Ulster Unionist Party to end their "miserable dispute" over decommissioning and devolution.

16 November 1999
All parties issue statements committing themselves to the Agreement.  Gerry Adams talks of working with Unionists and not against them and David Trimble says that nationalists have a right to pursue a united Ireland.

17 November 1999
The IRA issues a statement endorsing the leadership of Sinn Féin in the negotiations and agreeing to nominate a representative to begin discussions with the de Chastelain International Decommissioning Commission.

18 November 1999
The review of the Good Friday Agreement ends and Senator George Mitchell returns to the US. 

23 November 1999
The Royal Ulster Constabulary ( RUC ) is awarded the George Cross, Britain's highest civilian award for gallantry. 

27 November 1999
The Mitchell Review is backed by the UUP   Council by 480 votes to 349 following a meeting in Belfast.

29 November 1999
Ten ministers are appointed to the power-sharing executive and Seamus Mallon, deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP ), is reinstated as Deputy First Minister Designate. 

30 November 1999
Devolution is approved under the Northern Ireland Act of 1998 by the House of Commons and Lords allowing for the transfer of power from Westminster to the Assembly at Stormont.   On the same day a small grants scheme is launched for victims in Northern Ireland by the Memorial Fund, allowing for those experiencing financial difficulty to get essential goods and services.

2 December 1999
Powers were devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly officially at midnight on 1 December 1999. 

2000


25 January 2000
The SDLP releases a consultation document which calls on the recognition that "anyone who has suffered over the last 30 years" is a victim. The document contains a number of proposals, which they claim build upon the Bloomfield Report including, amongst others, the establishment of a video archive of victims, core funding for victims' groups, the establishment of an advocate for victims and the establishment of a victims register.

26 January 2000
First Minister Trimble and Deputy First Minister Mallon welcome the announcement by the Prime Minister that those who died in the Holocaust will be remembered in an annual ceremony.  The day of remembrance will begin in 2001 on the 27th of January – the day Auschwitz was liberated by the Allies.  Mr Trimble says: “We in Northern Ireland have an understanding of the trauma inflicted by violence, sectarianism and hate, but we can never identify with the sheer scale of the suffering inflicted by during the Holocaust”.

31 January 2000
Mr Ingram, Victims Minister meets with Mr Trimble and Mr Mallon and it is announced that a new Victims Unit is to be set up in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister.

February 2000
It is revealed that a granite monument to an IRA commander in Downpatrick was erected without council approval of planning permission. Republicans erected the memorial on the spot where Colum Marks, the IRA's commander in Downpatrick, was shot dead by undercover RUC officers in 1991 (see related dates 3 October 2000 ; 23 January 2001 and 25 July 2001 )

24 February 2000
The British Irish Rights Watch release a document entitled Justice Delayed…Alleged State Collusion In The Murder Of Patrick Finucane And Others about State collusion in the murder of Pat Finucane in 1989.  The report highlights "considerable evidence of an official cover-up" in the case.  On the same day, a petition signed by over 1,200 lawyers worldwide calls for an independent and international inquiry into the murder.  See related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001

1 March 2000
The Hear and Now two-day conference organised by the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust takes place in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. The conference, attended mainly by victims groups, focuses on how to ensure that victims' voices are heard in the political process.

6 March 2000
Mr Ingram welcomes a £350 000 initiative to address the needs of victims of violence in the Castlereagh area.  The project is launched by the Castlereagh Partnership for Peace and Reconciliation and the funds will be used to deliver a number of programmes such as the Castlereagh Hospital Project, which will offer free and confidential advice, information and support for victims of crime and their families.

19 April 2000
A memorial plaque commemorating the nine people killed on July 21, 1972 when the IRA set off more than 20 bombs in Belfast is unveiled in the Belfast City Hall. The unveiling was attended by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Bob Stoker and relatives of those killed on the day known as Bloody Friday. Reference on the plaque to the 'innocent victims of violence' is criticised by the Relatives for Justice group.

May 2000
Two advisory panels are established by Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust to look at the training needs of victim/survivor groups.  This is the forerunner to the REAL programme. The Memorial Fund introduces a Chronic Pain Management Scheme which aims to address some of the difficulties experienced by chronic pain sufferers, by providing grants to enable them to receive several private treatments a year.

9 May 2000
The book, edited by Marie Therese Fay and Marie Smyth, and entitled Personal Accounts from Northern Ireland's Troubles: Public Conflict, Private Loss is launched in Belfast. The book brings together a comprehensive collection of firsthand accounts of victims of the Troubles.

15 May 2000
About 500 people attend a wreath-laying ceremony in Monaghan for the 33 people killed in the Dublin-Monaghan bombs of May 1974. 

22 May 2000
Mr Ingram praises the creative work of young people trying to deal with the ravages of the Troubles at the launch of a visual art exhibition by WAVE youth.  The group also screens a short film called Spit the Bricks .

June 2000
A Victims Unit within the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister is established.  Junior Ministers, Mr Denis Haughey MLA and Mr Dermot Nesbitt MLA are allocated the specific responsibility for victims in the OFMDFM .

28 June 2000
Junior Ministers Nesbitt and Haughey confirm their commitment to raising awareness of victims’ needs across the devolved administration and say that they are in the process of setting up a Victims Unit in OFMDFM .  The Ministers were speaking at a Victim Support (NI) launch of an information pack for families of victims of homicide.

July 2000
The 1-year Victim Support Grant Scheme administered by the Community Relations Council, and funded through the VLU closes.  The scheme has dispensed £200 000, with an addition £25 000 granted by the VLU as demand outstripped the budget. In addition, the Memorial Fund’s youth trip to Alton Towers theme park in England takes place.  Ninety one children accompanied by their parents/guardian spend two days away – the children were nominated by victim groups and selected due to their contribution in work with support groups of children.

6 July 2000
The book Unfinished Business: State killings and the quest for Truth written by Bill Rolston is launched in west Belfast. At the launch, Sinn Féin 's Martin McGuinness urges relatives of those killed by the security forces to keep up their campaign for justice.

26 July 2000
Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State, announces the Government’s response to the review of Criminal Injuries Compensation undertaken by Sir Kenneth Bloomfield.  In essence, he announces that the scheme will move closer to the Great Britain model, i.e. a tariff scheme will be introduced.   However, he notes that the tariff will be based on Northern Ireland average payments (Northern Ireland payments are generally higher than in Great Britain).  He also notes that there will be improved bereavement support arrangements, flexibility in time limits and in some cases and on certain medical grounds claims may be reopened for a limited time.  It will also no longer be necessary to witness the crime leading to death or injury of a loved one to make a claim for psychiatric damage.  He also says a points scheme will be introduced to regulate the effect of previous criminal behaviour on awards and this will also apply to convictions for terrorist activities.  In response to Sir Kenneth’s recommendation that there was inadequate support for past victims of the Troubles, he promises a further commitment from next April.

27 July 2000
Mr Trimble says that the Assembly must be allowed to examine the Secretary of State’s proposals concerning compensation and says that the Government’s response is disappointing.  He specifically highlights the fact that the across-the-board change to a tariff-based scheme is “particularly” disappointing, considering Sir Kenneth has offered an alternative, i.e. a hybrid scheme allowing more serious injuries to be dealt with on a common law basis while a tariff system would address less serious claims. On the same day, the Relatives for Justice group host a press conference urging Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State, to publicly apologise for the death of their loved ones who were killed by security forces during the conflict in and about Northern Ireland.

28 July 2000
A range of victims' groups from across the political spectrum and individuals respond with anger, despair and sadness as prisoners are released as part of the Belfast Agreement .

21 August 2000
An interdenominational service takes place and a statue is unveiled to commemorate the deaths of nine people in a bombing in Claudy, Co Derry, in July 1972.

30 August 2000
It is reported in the Irish News that between 1969 and 1999 close to 100 children, aged 15 and under, were killed as a result of the conflict and many more were injured.

September 2000
Regular funding begins and new premises are secured for the RUC Widows Association, in accordance with Recommendation 88 of the Independent Commission on Policing .

August/September 2000 (Date to be verified
The Secretary of State’s Garden Party at Hillsborough is held in honour of those whose “lives have been affected by the Troubles”.  It is attended by some 2,500 guests mostly from those affected by the conflict of the past 30 years or who have worked with those affected.

18 September 2000
Mr Ingram meets the OFMDFM Junior Ministers, Nesbitt and Haughey, with the aim of recognising the importance of the role of the devolved administration in relation to victims.  He says he is encouraged by the good working relationship between the Victims Liaison Unit and the Victims Unit in OFMDFM .

26 September 2000
Mr Ingram announces that £700,000 of the £3 million for victims groups announced in January is to be allocated and administered by Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust .  He says that to date about £1.7 million has been allocated to a wide range of groups delivering services to victims and survivors of the Troubles, as well as to the establishment of a Capacity Building Training Programme.

28 September 2000
The OFMDFM Junior Ministers, Nesbitt and Haughey, say that the administration must be proactive in meeting the needs of victims.  The Ministers were chairing a meeting of an interdepartmental working group established to ensure timely and co-ordinated response to victims’ issues.  The interdepartmental working group is made up of senior representatives from across all 11 government departments.

3 October 2000
The SDLP and Sinn Féin block a Unionist attempt to a have a memorial removed from the council-owned park in Downpatrick . In February (see February 2000 )it was revealed that the controversial memorial to an IRA commander and five other men was erected without planning permission.

12 October 2000
Helen McKendry, whose mother Jean McConville was abducted and killed by the IRA in 1972, rejects a British government compensation payment of £10,000, which she describes as an "insult" and a "slap in the face". 

24 October 2000
First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Trimble and Mallon, lay a draft Programme for Government before the Assembly.  The Draft commits the Executive to preparing a victims strategy by April 2001.

25 October 2000
The Irish Times reports that a almost one in three young people in Northern Ireland have witnessed people being killed or severely injured on at least one occasion. The statistic was revealed as a result of a survey conducted by the Joint Society for a Common Cause and the Community Conflict Impact on Children.

27 October 2000
The Steele Report is received by Government.  Mr Steele was asked to look at a proposed fund to help seriously injured police officers and retired police officers, and their families, as well as police widows.  The proposal was Recommendation 87 of the Independent Commission on Policing .

5 September 2000
A document entitled Needs of Those Affected by the Troubles is launched in the Craigavon Civic Centre. The report, compiled by the Barnados Nova Project, notes that the trauma of the Troubles, despite the ceasefires in 1994, live on.

November 2000
The Memorial Funds pays for a weekend away for 144 victims/survivors in Edinburgh.  Those on the trip, nominated by groups, have an average age of 65 years – the aim is to show some recognition for those who suffered particularly early on in ‘the Troubles’.

7 November 2000
It was announced that £2 million to fund lump sums for RUC widows, whose husbands were killed as a result of terrorist activity before 1982, would be made following the recommendations in the Steele Report.  The government also announces that a new fund is to be established to help seriously injured police officers, retired officers and their families, as well as widows.  It was added that the government would establish a trust to administer the fund.  The Steele Report recommended payments of more than £11 million over three years, £6 million in the first year (the £2 million allocated would be part of that) and £2.5 million in years 2 and 3.

2001



23 January 2001
The Irish News reports that ratepayers will be asked to decide on the future of a controversial memorial to an IRA member, which, it was revealed in February 2000 , was erected in a Downpatrick park without planning permission. The council will place pubic advertisements in three weekly newspapers over the next month seeking views on the controversy (see related dates February 2000 ;3 October 2000 and 25 July 2001 )

25 January 2001
The Victims Liaison Unit and the Victims Unit in OFMDFM issue a joint letter outlining the delineation of functions between the two units.  In sum, the letter states that since devolution many of the issues facing victims have become the responsibility of the devolved administration.  Accordingly the Victims Unit in OFMDFM has been given specific responsibility for victim matters.  However, it is also noted that many of the important issues have not be devolved ("reserved and exceptional matters") and therefore it is necessary to retain the VLU in the NIO.  For example, therefore, the Victims Unit in OFMDFM will have the responsibility of supporting Ministers in the devolved administration, developing a suitable programme for PEACE II (See related dates about PEACE II).  The Unit will also be responsible for ensuring that victims needs are met in the devolved administration and ensure that a commitment to victims is sustained in the Programme for Government.  The VLU, by contrast, will support the Ministers in the NIO and continue with core funding of groups, whilst managing the provision of grant aid to the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund.  In addition, the VLU will be responsible for dealing with victims’ issues in reserved and exceptional fields, particularly in the areas of compensation, criminal justice, security and dealing with the ‘disappeared’.

31 January 2001
Mr Ingram announces that the Government will be providing an additional £1 Million to Victim Support Northern Ireland over the next three years.  He says the Government is committed to addressing the needs of victims of crime; Victim Support Northern Ireland provides assistance to about 40 000 victims of crime each year and has seven branches throughout Northern Ireland.

End of January 2001
Advertisements appear in newspapers, both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, calling for interested organisations to submit tender applications for the appointment of Intermediary Funding Bodies (IFBs) to distribute grants provided by the European Commission and Central Government for particular activities under the PEACE II programme (See related dates about PEACE II).

7 February 2001
The Irish News reports that the Newry and Mourne district council says that they cannot sublet land to the H-Block Armagh Committee's bid to erect a permanent hunger strike memorial. Democratic Dialogue launches the report Future Policies for Past focusing on victim-issues in Northern Ireland on the same day.

20 February 2001
Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Mr. Bertie Ahern, following a meeting with the family of Rosemary Nelson, supports the call for an independent, judicial public inquiry to be established into all of the circumstances surrounding her death.  See link to Rosemary Nelson Campaign Website and related dates of 15 March 1999 ;20 February 2001 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 .

21 February 2001
The Northern Ireland Office announces that £12 million will be allocated to dealing with victims issues, of which £3 million will be allocated to the Memorial Fund to be spread over three years.  The further £9 million is not yet allocated and it is announced that the OFMDFM Junior Ministers, Nesbitt and Haughey, are to meet Mr Ingram, Victims Minister, to discuss the allocation.  In addition, to the £12 million it is noted that £6.67 million will be available for victims through PEACE II (See related dates about PEACE II).  Of this, £1.67 million will come from the Northern Ireland Executive. On the same day, the Irish News reports that a dispute has flared over plans to erect a second IRA memorial on council-owned land in Castlewellan. An application has been lodged to build the memorial in the Lower Square are of the town. The Down council is already embroiled in controversy following revelations in February 2000 that a similar memorial was erected without permission in a Downpatrick park.

6 March 2001
Speaking at the launch of the booklet entitled Here and Now…and Then published by the NI Voluntary Trust, which examines developments in victims and survivors work, the OFMDFM Junior Ministers, Nesbitt and Haughey, announce that they will develop a strategic approach to meet the needs of victims of violence.  The Assembly meanwhile endorses a revised Programme for Government , which confirms the commitment to putting in place a cross-departmental strategy and detailing how government will tackle the issue of victims, but rolls forward the timescale for preparation of the strategy to 2001/2.

22 March 2001
It is confirmed by the Secretary of State, DR John Reid,that lump sum payments to widows of RUC officers killed before 1982 will be made within the next "couple of days". Each widow will receive £2000 for every year she has been widowed, double the amount recommended by the Steele Report. The total cost of payments will be £4.2 million.

29 March 2001
A tribute to those “who gave their lives in the service of the crown during the troubles in Northern Ireland since 1969” is gifted by the Secretary of State to the National Memorial Arboretum.  The Arboretum, in Staffordshire, was created in “recognition of all British servicemen and women who died in wars and other conflicts around the world”, says the Northern Ireland Information Service.  The Northern Ireland Memorial will form part of the site.  On the same day, the OFMDFM Junior Ministers, Nesbitt and Haughey, announce that a further £420 000 is to be allocated to victims.  The Northern Ireland Memorial Fund is to receive £340 000, the Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern Health Boards’ Advisory Panels just over £43 000, and these is to be £20 000 to the Ulster Community Hospital Trust to support an audit of the needs of people with disfigurements, £13 000 to the Towards Understanding and Healing Project run by Derry City Council and £3 000 to the Fragile People Living in Fragile Peace Conference. Mr Nesbitt also says that the announcement brings the total allocated to victims to £25 million including the PEACE II allocations (See related dates about PEACE II). On the same day, Mr Ingram opens a seminar for policy makers and funders focusing on raising awareness of the specific needs of victims of the Troubles.  In his opening he notes that while statutory, community and voluntary services have received criticism from victims over the years, there are also “many unsung stories where people’s lives have been turned around by the help they have received”.  Nonetheless, he adds, that “we cannot however, bury our heads in the sand and ignore some genuine criticism of service provision”.  The seminar is part of the REAL (Recognition, Empowerment, Awareness and Learning) capacity building programme funded through the VLU, Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust and CRC .

5 April 2001
Members of the Justice for the Forgotten meet Tim Dalton, Secretary General of the Department of Justice in Dublin. The group, which campaigns for the bereaved and injured of the Dublin and Monaghan bombs of 1974, voice their concern in the delay of implementation of the recommendations of the Republic of Ireland's Victim's Commission published in August 1999. At the meeting they also discuss potential funding of the Victim's Support Centre which would provide counselling and support for relatives of the deceased and injured.

10 April 2001
An article published in the News Letter reports that some victims are still awaiting compensation three years after the Omagh bombing.

12 April 2001
It is reported in the Belfast Telegraph that a study by the University of Ulster has found that 75% of republican ex-prisoners in North Belfast have suffered some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

19 April 2001
The Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Adam Ingram, publishes a letter in the News Letter in response to an article published on 10 April, saying that the Compensation Agency in processing all outstanding claims for victims of the Omagh bombing as quickly as possible. He says that more than 800 claims have already been made and £3.6 million paid out.

20 April 2001
It is reported in the Irish Times that the team set up to counsel the people in the wake of the Omagh bombing is expected to complete its work by the end of the month. Since its formation in the wake of the August 1998 bombing the team has dealt with about 600 people.

4 May 2001
The European Court of Human Rights finds that the official inquiries, including the relevant inquests, following the death of a ten IRA men, had been inadequate, and as such were in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The cases of eight armed IRA men and one civilian who died in an ambush by British forces at Loughgall in 1987, two unarmed IRA men who were shot dead by the RUC in Lurgan in 1982 and west Belfast in 1992, as well as a former Sin Fein member who was assassinated in Castlederg by loyalists in 1991 were considered in the judgement. Compensation of £10,000 per person was awarded (Click here for European Court of Human Rights Press Release and to access the judgement). Also see related dates 8 August 2001 .

6 May 2001
A rally is held the Short Strand to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Bobby Sand's death. Mr Adams, President of Sinn Féin , joins about 500 people as they march around the nationalist enclave on the edge of East Belfast.

8 May 2001
A meeting between victim's groups whose members are relatives of security force personnel and civilians killed by the IRA and the UUP concludes concludes by saying they may pursue a European Court of Human Rights action against IRA. The meeting appears to be a response to the European Court of Human Rights of 4 May 2001.

12 May 2001
It is reported in the Belfast Telegraph that almost 60% of people quizzed in a recent survey, conducted by Professor Ed Cairns from the University of Ulster , agreed that Northern Ireland will not know peace until communities learn to forgive each other.

14 May 2001
It is announced that the Irish Government will exhume the bodies and give full state funerals to the 10 IRA men who were executed by the British during the war of independence in the 1920s.

16 May 2001
It is reported that plans are underway to build a heritage centre overlooking the scene of the Battle of the Somme where the 36th Ulster Division suffered heavy casualties on July 1, 1916.

17 May 2001
Survivors of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings and the relatives of those killed attend wreath-laying ceremonies and a special Mass to mark the 27th anniversary of the 1974 atrocity in which 33 people were killed and hundreds injured in bomb attacks by loyalist paramilitaries in North Street in Monaghan and Talbott Street in Dublin. In Northern Ireland, the United Campaign Against Plastic Bullets call on politicians to include a ban on plastic bullets as part of their election manifestos. Non-live rounds have resulted in the death of 17 people in Northern Ireland. In addition, at 5.45pm the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, declares the Real IRA a "foreign terrorist organisation".

18 May 2001
The Omagh Victims' Support and Self-Help Group have a heated exchange with the NI Compensation Agency representative, claiming they still await settlement on compensation three years after the bombing in Omagh. 

24 May 2001
The Republic of Ireland's justice minister, John O'Donoghue, announces government plans to allocate up to £162,000 to the Justice for the Forgotten group to open a support centre for victims of the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombs. In the evening, and unrelated, it is claimed that 3,500 RUC officers are involved in a multi-million pound legal action seeking compensation for post traumatic stress disorder. They are allegedly claiming psychological damage caused by IRA and loyalist violence. It is believed that the compensation bill could top £10 million.

25 May 2001
Ex-President Bill Clinton unveils an inscription etched on window dedicated to the victims of Remembrance Day bomb at the William Jefferson Clinton Peace Centre in Enniskillen. He then meets the Omagh Bomb relatives and backs their civil action against those suspected of involvement in the Omagh bombing. Campaigners, it is reported in the Irish News , have raised £250,000 for the action, but need another quarter of a million to fund the civil action.

28 May 2001
The editorial of the New York Times calls for an independent judicial enquiry into the killings of Pat Finucane (see related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ) and Rosemary Nelson (see link to Rosemary Nelson Campaign Website and related dates of 15 March 1999 ;20 February 2001 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ). 

31 May 2001
The Secretary of State, DR John Reid, visits the Bridge Trauma Centre and meets the staff of the Omagh Community Trauma and Recovery Team, as well as representatives of the local community and voluntary organisations who helped people of Omagh following the Omagh bomb in August 1998. He praises the courage and determination of those affected by the bomb and pays tribute to the work of those who helped people affected by the consequences of the bombing.

1 June 2001
Survivors of Trauma publish an open letter in the Irish News , as well as a list of names of those who died as a result of the conflict since 1969 in the BT14 area. The letter asks anyone who has had a loved one left off the list to contact the group. The list will form part of a commemorative glass wall at the Survivors of Trauma Centredisplaying the names of those killed in the Ardoyne, Cliftonville, Ligoniel and Ballysillan areas. 

7 June 2001
The general election takes place and the DUP and Sinn Féin gain extra seats (Click for Election Results ). The UUP remains the largest party only one seat ahead of the DUP . Sinn Féin becomes the largest Nationalist party. The moderate SDLP are pushed into fourth place as Sinn Féin take two more seats. The UUP suffers similar losses in the local council elections which see Sinn Féin become the largest single party on Belfast City Council. On the same day, the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund announces the introduction of two new schemes to aid those who have been physically injured as a result of the Troubles. The Fund will provide grants to meet the costs associated with purchasing alternative prosthesis and wheelchairs under the Amputee Assessment Scheme and the Wheelchair Assessment Scheme respectively.

8 June 2001
Minister of Finance and Personnel, Mr Mark Durkan, welcomes the announcement by the Special EU Programmes Body that Intermediary Funding Bodies (IFBs) have been appointed to administer the money which comes from the PEACE II Funding Programme. Mr Durkan says that the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust, Cooperation Ireland, Playboard (NI) and the NI Community Relations Council are among organisations and consortia that are being considered for appointment to oversee the distribution of £120 million worth of European funding into a wide range of areas including, amongst others, childcare and family support and promoting citizenship and adult literacy (See related dates about PEACE II).

22 June 2001
Mr Haughey, MLA and Minister in the OFMDFM , praises the work of the Western Health and Social Services Board's Trauma Advisory Panel which works with people affected by the Troubles. He also highlights the main functions of the Panels, which operate in each of the Health and Social Services Boards, as promoting networking and good practice between groups; enhancing skills and knowledge; and actively promoting and publishing its work.

25 June 2001
Thousands of people join Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to witness the opening of a garden of remembrance which honours members of the IRA 'D Company', a squad which drew its members from the Falls Road. In an apparent criticism that victims of Republican violence in the Falls area were not remembered by the memorial, Mr Adams said, "We remember here all of those who died not just our republican dead but all those who died from this Falls area".

26 June 2001
The Commission of the Disappeared admits that hopes of resuming searches for the remaining victims were fading. A spokesperson for the Commission says that no new information has been received since the exhaustive searches for the bodies of IRA murder victims was called off in May 2000.

1 July 2001
First Minister David Trimble resigns triggering a six-week period in which to resolve the impasse over decommissioning. He nominates fellow UUP minister Reg Empey as caretaker of the Executive.

4 July 2001
Ciaran Cummings (19) is gunned down as he waits for a lift to work. The attack is widely believed to be sectarian and carried out by loyalists.

5 July 2001
A new website ( http://www.victimsni.gov.uk ) is launched by the Government's Victim Unit in Northern Ireland. The site gives details of organisations offering support to victims and information on sources of funding available to individual victims and victims groups.

8 July 2001
The Drumcree March passes without incident.

9 July 2001
The political parties and the British and Irish Governments begin talks at Weston Park, Shropshire-Staffordshire to try and break the political stalemate in Northern Ireland and put together a workable package to ensure the full implementation of the Belfast Agreement .

10 July 2001
In the High Court in Belfast Mr Justice Kerr upholds applications for a judicial review of decisions not to compensate widows of John McClogan and Mark McNeill who were shot in separate incidents. The widows of two murder victims were refused compensation by Minister of State, Adam Ingram, because of their previous convictions and that they had previously engaged in the "commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism". 

14 July 2001
The political parties and the British and Irish Governments ends talks at Weston Park, which took place from 9 to 11 July and then on 12 to 14 July, reporting no major breakthroughs, although two governments say they will deliver "a take it or leave it" package within the coming days to all the pro-Agreement parties.

18 July 2001
Law and Order Minister Jane Kennedy reveals that a lump sum of over £4 million was paid to widows of murdered RUC Officers before the present compensation scheme was introduced.

23 July 2001
The group, Relatives for Justice , holds a "historic" meeting with DR Reid, Secretary of State. The group met a Secretary of State for the first time at Castle Buildings and discussed a number of issues including human rights, policing and plastic bullets.

24 July 2001
Secretary of State, DR John Reid, visits the Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust at the Maryfield Complex. The Trust, with which DR Reid said he is "extremely impressed", provides for the rehabilitation of ex-officers who were injured on duty as well as retraining for those leaving the service due to potential downsizing. The Prime Minister announced the formation of the Trust in May 1998 and it was set up in March 1999.

25 July 2001
The dispute over whether to remove a monument to an IRA commander in Downpatrick that was erected without council approval of planning permission continues. Votes in a poll carried out by the Down council in May have still not been counted because of a row over whether council officials alone should be present when the forms are opened. The News Letter reports that the councillors will try and resolve the dispute in an evening meeting (see related dates February 2000 ;3 October 2000 and23 January 2001 )

27 July 2001
It is reported by the Irish News that a party, including a bouncy castle and clowns, is to be held to "help cheer up children traumatised" by a loyalist gun attack that took place on July 20, 2001 when gunmen opened fire at the Ashton Community Centre. No one was injured in the attack. The purpose of the party say playgroup organisers is to hold a special celebration to "help youngsters overcome their trauma". On the same day, it is reported by the Belfast Telegraph that a memorial to four security forces, UDR Privates Roger Love and Paul Blakely and RUC Officers William Turbett and John Graham, killed by paramilitaries is to be dedicated on 1 September in Richhill, Co Armagh. The dispute about the monument to an IRA commander and five others in Downpatrick continues, although it agreed by councillors that an independent assessor will be brought in to count the votes (see related dates February 2000 ;3 October 2000 ;23 January 2001 and 25 July 2001 ).

29 July 2001
Gavin Brett (18) is killed as he stands with friends near St Edna's GAA club on the Hightown Road, Glengormley.

30 July 2001
The Red Hand Defenders - widely believed to be a cover name for the UDA/UVF and LVF - claim responsibility for the killing of Gavin Brett.

31 July 2001
The relatives of the Omagh Bomb slam the Northern Ireland politicians for failing to deliver on their promise of peace. Spokesperson for the families, Michael Gallagher, says outside Stormont Buildings that "these people [politicians] have taken the money and said they could resolve our problems, yet three years on we're still seeing young people and fathers and mothers being murdered on the streets of Northern Ireland".

1 August 2001
The British and Irish governments present a package of proposals to the pro-Agreement parties aimed at rescuing and implementing the Belfast Agreement . Amongst other proposals, the establishment of a "Police Fund, which will assist families of officers killed by terrorist action, and the RUC GC Foundation, which will mark the sacrifices and honour the achievements of the RUC " is proposed. In addition, it is proposed that a judge of international standing from outside both jurisdictions be appointed to investigate allegations of collusion in the cases of the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan, Pat Finucane (see related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ), Lord Justice and Lady Gibson, Robert Hamill, Rosemary Nelson (see link to Rosemary Nelson Campaign Website and related dates of 15 March 1999 ;20 February 2001 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ) and Billy Wright. It was also proposed that no further outstanding prosecutions be pursued against those released under the early release scheme. On the same day, the Real IRA leave a 44lb car bomb outside the Belfast International Airport. Controlled explosions were carried out on the suspected vehicle by Army technical officers.

2 August 2001
The Saville tribunal (the Bloody Sunday Inquiry ) rules that the soldiers who fired in 1972 on civil rights marches on Bloody Sunday must return to Derry to testify at the inquiry.  See related dates 29 January1998 ; 3 April 1998 and 2 August 2001 .  Due to the extensive nature of the Inquiry only some key events on the inquiry are recorded on this Chronology, for detailed information, historical documents, updates and press statements see the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the Bloody Sunday Trust .

3 August 2001
Several people are injured when a bomb explodes outside the Ealing Broadway station in London. The Real IRA are suspected as to have carried out the attack. 

6 August 2001
Denis Haughey and Dermot Nesbitt, MLAs in the OFMDFM with responsibility for victim issues, announce the publication of the Consultation Document on a Victims' Strategy . The consultation document seeks the views of individual victims, victim groups and other interested parties on how the devolved administration can best meet the needs of those who have suffered as a result of the conflict of the last 30 years. The consultation period will be from 7 August to 9 November 2001. The final strategy will be published in late 2001 and be in place until 2004. On the same day, Relatives for Justice unveil a Remembering Quilt as part of the 14th west Belfast Feile an Phobail. The quilt consists of 250 squares with each dedicated to a person who was killed during the Troubles. Over one thousand people contributed to the quilt. 

7 August 2001
A final effort is made to find the remains of Jean McConville who was kidnapped and murdered by the IRA in 1972. After an unsuccessful dig at a County Louth beach, the Gardia say they will only resume searching if new "reliable" information is made available. 

8 August 2001
The Belfast Telegraph reports that former Tory Party official, Harvey Thomas (62), has offered forgiveness to Patrick Magee, the IRA bomber convicted of the 1984 Grand Hotel bombing in Brighton. Thomas, one of Margaret Thatcher's trusted advisers at the time, narrowly escaped death when the bomb exploded killing five people and injuring dozens. He revealed he come face-to-face with Magee at a pre-arranged meeting in Dublin and offered Magee forgiveness. Magee was released on the early release scheme as part of the Belfast Agreement. He was sentenced to eight life sentences. On the same day, the government's decision not to challenge the European Court of Human Rights ruling that awarded compensation to the families of IRA men killed in Loughgall (see 4 May 2001 for information on ruling) is made public. The decision is criticised by Unionists and victims' group, FAIR .

9 August 2001
The IRA releases a statement confirming a plan agreed with Gen de Chastelain to put arms "beyond use". The UUP say they cannot return to the Assembly without actual decommissioning (See related date 14 August 2001 ). 

10 August 2001 
Northern Ireland Secretary, John Reid, suspends the devolved institutions for 24 hours starting from Saturday 11th and in so doing ensures a six week review period. 

11 August 2001 
Three years after the atrocity, family members of those killed in the bombing in Omagh in 1998, gather at 3pm in the town to officially launch their campaign to sue the Real IRA and five men allegedly linked to it for civil damages 

12 August 2001 
Thousands of people take part in the 20th anniversary march and rally commemorating the republicans who died during the 1981 hunger strikes. 

14 August 2001 
The IRA releases a press statement retracting its offer made on 9 August 2001 , saying the Unionist rejection of it was "totally unacceptable". 

15 August 2001 
A memorial service is held in the Garden of Remembrance in Omagh to commemorate the 3rd Anniversary of the 1998 bombing, which claimed the lives of 29 people. 

16 August 2001 
Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, launches an investigation into claims that the RUC received prior warning of the Omagh bombing days before the Real IRA attack in 1998. 

18 August 2001 
A high-profile UFF march passes off peacefully on the Shankill Road. The march, which organisers claimed was attended by 10 000 people, was called to mark the murder of prominent UFF member Jackie Coulter who was shot by the UVF last year. It was feared that the march would re-ignite tension and feuding between the UFF and UVF. 

19 August 2001
Speaking in the Observer , Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six says he is "disgusted" with a £1 million compensation offer. Mr Hill was wrongly accused of the 1974 IRA pub bomb in Birmingham and jailed for 16 years before being released. He says the amount offered is significantly different to others who have suffered miscarriages of justice.

21 August 2001
SDLP , US Government and Roman Catholic Church announce endorsement of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland.

22 August 2001
A Belfast high Court ruled that the adjournment of the inquest into the death of unarmed IRA man Pearse Jordan was wrong. The case had been postponed pending an outcome of the European Court of Human Rights verdict on the shootings of 12 men between 1982 and 1992.

23 August 2001
A report “They shoot children, don’t they” by Liam Kennedy, Professor of Modern History at Queen's University Belfast has stated that vicious paramilitary assaults on children and juveniles in Northern Ireland have nearly doubled in the two years following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. The report said their was urgent need for the establishment of an anti-intimidation unit in Northern Ireland. On the same day, republicans were blamed for an attack on a 20 year old man found with gunshot wounds to ankles and wrists in West Belfast, and a 24 year old man was shot in the leg in the Breezemount area of Bangor. On the same day, the Belfast Community Restorative Justice programme (CRJ), claimed that its programme had saved at least 40 people from paramilitary assaults and expulsions in the 2 years since it was founded, and has dealt with 1400 cases. Also members of Down council voting on the future of a memorial to murdered IRA man Colm Marks are concerned over issues of the security of their votes. Councillor Eammon O’Neill has said they will be counted and shredded later by an independent official (see related dates 3 October 2000 ; 23 January 2001 ; 25 July 2001 and 27 July 2001 ).

27 August 2001
Sinn Féin say revised police proposals are unworkable. Also Sinn Féin and the SDLP have called for an investigation by the police ombudsman into the £100,000 out of court settlement paid by the RUC to two brothers Bernard and Kevin Griffen. Two RUC officers were jailed after it was found they had beaten Bernard Griffin, threatened to have him killed by loyalists and then Griffen’s home was later raided by police who claimed to have found a coffee-jar bomb, and both he and his brother were charged. The charges were withdrawn and the brothers launched a court action resulting in the out of court settlement. On the same day the British government has denied holding up an official enquiry into the 1974 loyalist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan. The Irish government has been requesting information since December 1999, Mr Barron a retired judge heading the inquiry is examining claims that the expertise for the attacks was supplied by rogue elements within the British army. 

28 August 2001
The retired Judge heading the inquiry into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings has played down fears the inquiry is about to collapse. The inquiry is awaiting information from the British government who say the information is being put together but is taking a long time due to the number of files and papers. 

29 August 2001
The death of David McDowell found battered to death on the Shankhill Road on 16 August 2001 is now being treated by murder squad detectives as sectarian. Two men injured in a republican paramilitary style attack the previous Thursday have been arrested and are to be questioned about the killing of Mr McDowell. 

30 August 2001
The Irish News presents an analysis of the report “Movement of a population under threat” produced by Ulster Scots group Fokk Richts (which translates as Human Rights). The report suggests that as many as 250,000 Protestants have had to leave their homes due to intimidation in the last 30 years. Also Down district council has won a court injunction to prevent the erection of a second IRA memorial on council owned land. 

31 August 2001
Fears have been raised by the nationalist residents of Castlewellan about the erection of an IRA memorial. There are fears that it could be a target for loyalist bombers due to its proximity to the local Roman Catholic church. Republicans have announced the memorial will be unveiled on Sunday despite a court injunction to prevent it. On the same day Omagh bomb victim Donna Marie MiGillion and her husband Gary have a child.

3 September 2001
A memorial dedicated to the memory of four security forces men killed by the IRA was unveiled in a ceremony at Richill, Co. Armagh. Additionally a memorial dedicated to IRA dead has been unveiled in Castlewellan, Co. Down despite an injunction obtained by Down district council to halt work on the monument (see related dates 31 August 2001 ; 3-7 September 2001 and 17 September 2001 ).  On the same day, the parents of sectarian murder victim Gavin Brett, were honoured as Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton dedicated the final show of their West end musical “The Beautiful Game” to the memory of Gavin. 

4 September 2001
A silent vigil takes place to demand the dismissal of two British Army soldiers who shot dead north Belfast teenager Peter McBride. The two soldiers served six years of life sentences for murder and after their release a review board allowed them to remain in the army. On the same day a special meeting of Down council is to be held after republicans went ahead with the unveiling of a controversial IRA memorial in Castlewellan (see related dates 31 August 2001 ; 3-7 September 2001 and 17 September 2001 ). 

5 September 2001
Victim Support Northern Ireland(VSNI) has said it dealt with more than 45,000 people in the past year an 18% increase on the previous year, similar figures are given by other groups and to be discussed at the Victims Support Northern Ireland conference on 8th September. On the same day, the Irish News reports that there has been a marked increase in the number of sectarian attacks on the Fountain estate in Derry. Also Down district council are to take further legal action following the unveiling of an IRA memorial on council land in Castlewellan (see related dates 31 August 2001 ; 3-7 September 2001 and 17 September 2001 ). 

7 September 2001
Down councillors ask the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Commission for their views on the erection of an IRA memorial in Castlewellan (see related dates 31 August 2001 ; 3-7 September 2001 and 17 September 2001 ). 

11 September 2001
Four planes are hijacked in the United States. Two are flown into the World Trade Centre in New York causing the collapse of the buildings, another is crashed into the Pentagon, and the fourth crashes in Pennsylvania. On the same day, Irish Labour leader Ruairi Quinn, calls on the British government to co-operate in an enquiry into the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings. Also members of the Pat Finucane Centre for Human Rights meet Des Browne 
Minister for Human Rights to discuss a number of issues. 

12 September 2001
The memorial to Ciaran Cummings, shot dead by loyalist gunmen on 4 July 2001, was vandalised. The plaques and tributes were set on fire. 

17 September 2001
John Hume announces retirement as leader of the SDLP . Also SDLP South Down MLA Eamonn O’Neill presents the SDLP viewpoint on the erection of a memorial for Republican dead in Castlewellan. He argues that memorials are a important in the healing and remembering process, but that should be weighed against their ability to cause further divisions. Also on this day the Downpatrick memorial to IRA man Colm Marks is vandalised (see related dates 31 August 2001 ; 3, 4, 5, 7 September 2001 and 17 September 2001 ). 

18 September 2001
An announcement is made stating that memorials to murdered officers of the RUC will not be removed in an effort to create a neutral working environment for the New Policing Service for Northern Ireland. 

21 September 2001
The Ulster Unionist Party sign up to the new policing board. 

25 September 2001
The Stormont Executive is to set up a working group focusing on the removal of terrorist murals and flags from walls and roads. Unanimous support was given to Alliance MLA for Strangford Kieran McCarthy who tabled the motion. Mr McCarthy said “Some of the items celebrate some of the most brutal killings and murders of our troubles, causing immense offence to the victims.” 

26 September 2001
The nine independent members of the new Police Board are announced. 

27 September 2001
A Queen’s University survey into the lifestyles of teenagers finds that 22.3% have been assaulted or physically threatened because of their religion, and 38.5% has been taunted because of their religion. Catholic teenagers are more likely to have been the victims of a sectarian assault or threatening behaviour than protestants. On the same day, Families Acting for Innocent Relatives(FAIR) criticise the guest list, which includes associates of ETA and the Palestinian Liberation Order, for the Sinn Féin party conference to be held at the weekend. They say they plan to protest against the gathering. 

28 September 2001
Martin O’Hagan becomes the first journalist to be murdered in the history of the troubles, shot dead by loyalist gunmen.  Also on this day Joan Wilson, who lost her daughter Marie in the Enniskillen bombing, her son Peter in a car crash and her husband Gordon Wilson in 1995, has written a book on coping with bereavement entitled “All Shall Be Well”. Also the UUP say they are concerned about inclusion of IRA names on Millennium Memorial in Newry. 

30 September 2001
A demonstration is held outside the Sinn Féin conference at the RDS conference centre in Dublin, by representatives from Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR) and the Enniskillen Poppy Day massacre victim Jim Dixon. 

4 October 2001
The Police Ombudsman, Nuala O’Loan,  makes available a copy of the police investigation (The Drury Report) into the death of Sammy Devenney in September 1969. Samuel Devenney died from a heart attack three months after he was beaten in his home by the RUC in what is widely perceived as one of the first deaths of the troubles. The Devenney family had long asked for the report which has now been given to them by the Police Ombudsman. The report details the beatings of Mr Devenney and his family, and says that four officers knew of the attacks but did not come forward fearing retribution by colleagues.  It further states that the medical inquiry by seven doctors failed to conclude whether the death was caused by the beatings or not. 

7 October 2001
Air and missile strikes begin in Afghanistan.

8 October 2001
The News Letter and the Irish News reports on the launch of the Healing through Remembering Project . The Project seeks to identify and document possible mechanisms and options for healing through remembering for those people affected by the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. The Project seeks to undertake a range of in-depth discussions with organisations, communities, politicians and individuals on the issues of truth-telling and healing. This will lead to the production of a document that outlines the range of options for dealing with the past and truth recovery in Northern Ireland. Once produced the document will be submitted to the various governments. The project calls an any one interested in the making a submission on the topic to do so, this can be done online by visiting the project site at www.healingthroughremembering.org .

10 October 2001
The inquest into the death of Patrick Pearse Jordan, shot dead by the RUC in 1992, was delayed again due to changes in the law governing inquests. On the same day, the Black Institution present £3000 to the benevolent funds of the RUC and the UDR.

12 October 2001
Mark Durkan, Finance Minister, announces that European Union PEACE II money will be dispersed to thousands of projects. The money available amounts to £366 million and will be spread amongst a plethora of projects, particularly those supporting victims and survivors of violence. Also a large amount will go towards those promoting reconciliation and healing of the divisions in Northern Ireland
(See related dates about PEACE II). On the same day, the 'Troubled Minds Project' makes a presentation to Parliament Buildings. Also relatives of victims of the Omagh bomb laud a decision by the FBI to close a website in the US which supported the Real IRA.

18 October 2001
Andrea Hopkins is appointed as the legal advisor on human rights to the RUC .

19 October 2001
The Pat Finucane Centre for Human Rights complains to The Long March Committee that ending their upcoming protest outside the Bloody Sunday Inquiry shows insensitivity. The Committee is organising a protest rally aimed at highlighting the "flight of thousands of protestants from the west bank of the river Foyle" during the Troubles.

22 October 2001
Gerry Adams makes a speech saying that Sinn Fein had put the view to the IRA leadership that if a "ground-breaking move" could be made on the arms issue it could save the peace process from collapse.

23 October 2001
The IRA decommission some of their arms to the satisfaction of General de Chastelain and the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). The ICCD says they regard the event as significant and confirm that the IRA has put a quantity of arms completely beyond use. On the same day, a memorial service is held in the Shankhill road Garden of Remembrance to mark the eighth anniversary of the Shankhill bombing. Also a compensation pay-out is made by the RUC to three people who feared a sectarian massacre after undercover police burst into the Derryhirk Inn in Lurgan in March 1997. The three people are said to have suffered post-traumatic psychiatric damage after the event. Additionally, a memorial to the 1981 hunger strikers is unveiled in Crossmaglen.

24 October 2001
Victim Support Northern Ireland Chief Executive, Oliver Wilkinson, tells a committee at Stormont that more research should be carried out into the practices of the "mushrooming" victims support groups.  He also calls for the appointment of a Victims Commissioner to oversee the more than 50 victims groups operating in Northern Ireland. He also notes that the issue has been politicised and condemns the practice of differentiating between victims affected by paramilitary violence and those affected by state violence.

26 October 2001
Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR), based in South Armagh, say they are considering legal action against the Secretary of State for allowing demilitarisation saying it would breach victims' human rights to be protected by the State. On the same day, it is announced that a commemorative plaque to two IRA volunteers killed in 1987 in the Creggan is to be unveiled in Derry on Sunday evening. It is part of series of events to mark places in the Creggan where IRA volunteers died.

31 October 2001
At a service to remember victims of violence in St Annes Cathedral former Victims Commissioner, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, urges the IRA to make a new effort to reveal the whereabouts of the remaining "disappeared".

1 November 2001
A march for pro-union victims of the Troubles organised by the same group that organised the "Long March" say they will no longer stage a rally at Guildhall Square in Derry/Londonderry where the Saville Inquiry is being conducted, but behind the Guildhall.

5 November 2001
The son of a policeman murdered by the IRA in 1985 delivered an address at a remembrance service outside Rathfriland police station in which he condemned the changes made in the police service.

6 November 2001
Archbishop Desmond Tutu visits Northern Ireland to lecture on the need for a bill of rights. He is hosted by the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) and the Global Citizens Circle .

8 November 2001
Tributes were paid to members of the RUC at the inaugural meeting of the Police Board. On the same day, security Minister, Jane Kennedy, revealed to the House of Commons that loyalists had been responsible for three times as many paramilitary attacks as republicans this year. Loyalists had been responsible for a total of 620 out of 840 incidents this year, she said. Also the wife of a Garda shot dead by IRA gunmen has sent a letter of protest to the Republic’s justice minister complaining about a temporary three day release being given to Kevin Walsh one of the killers of her husband. She said she had a strong understanding of the feelings of families in Northern Ireland who had seen their loved ones’ killers released from prison under the terms of the Good Friday agreement.

9 November 2001
UTV ’s Insight program re-examines the circumstances surrounding the death of nationalist councillor Patsy Kelly in 1974. Also, relatives of victims of the 1974 loyalist bomb attacks in Dublin and Monaghan accuse Tony Blair of hypocrisy for supporting the bombing of Afghanistan while failing to supply government held documents to the Barron Inquiry. The Justice for the Forgotten Group launched a campaign to embarrass the British government into co-operating with the Inquiry. On the same day, organisers of a unionist victims’ march in Derry say they have chosen the city as it epitomised the abuse of pro-unionist rights over the past thirty years. They claim “Londonderry has seen its west bank ethnically cleansed of almost 16,000 of its Protestant population”. The event organised by the Long March Committee is scheduled to take place the following day. Additionally the first official meeting of the for Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Commission for the Republic of Ireland took place to consider a joint strategy for protecting human rights on the island.

12 November 2001
The IRA's announcement that it is to mint medals for its members to commemorate their part in the war against the British angers some victims' groups.

14 November 2001
It is announced that Secretary of State, John Reid, is to meet the Irish judge investigating the Dublin and Monaghan bombings following accusations that the British government have been stalling in their co-operation with the Inquiry. On the same day,British Irish Rights Watch express concern that the police probe into the murder of journalist Martin O’Hagan is being suppressed to protect an informer. They also submitted a dossier to the United Nations special rapporteur, Adib Hussein, on freedom of expression.

15 November 2001
The survivors and bereaved families of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings welcome Secretary of State, John Reid’s decision to meet the judge heading the Inquiry onto the 1974 bombings. A spokeswoman for Justice for the Forgotten the group representing those affected by the attacks hoped the Secretary of State would hand over files held by the British government on the bombings.

16 November 2001
The Irish News reports that republican paramilitary style punishment attacks have stopped abrubtly since the September 11 attacks in the US. SDLP Assembly member, Alban Magginness, welcomed the drop saying “it underlines the point that IRA beatings and attacks are centrally controlled and that they are now an embarrassment and a political obstacle to (republicans)” .

19 November 2001
A Republican memorial to 10 IRA hunger strikers in Toome is removed as a gesture of goodwill after objections were raised by local Unionists.

20 November 2001
Republicans in Castlewellan say they would rebuild a memorial dedicated to the IRA dead from South Down, which was extensively damaged in an attack on the 17 November.

21 November 2001
Victims Support NI and the NSPCC team up to appeal for volunteers who will help victims giving evidence in the new Courts Complex in Belfast. The agencies aim to have 17 trained volunteers to help giving evidence in court less of an ordeal for witnesses. On the same day, a Sinn Féin councillor from Omagh district attacks David Trimble’s call at the Ulster Unionist Party conference for all councils in Northern Ireland to erect memorials to the RUC .

22 November 2001
Two wreaths are stolen from a memorial to security forces in Armagh and one is returned with the RUC crest removed.  On the same day, a war memorial in Strabane is covered in green paint weeks after the wreaths on it were removed. Also on this day a report examining the health effects of the troubles in North and West Belfast claims that the 30 years of violence has had a strong effect on the health of the residents of North and West Belfast and hindered the work of health and social services staff. The report entitled "Caring through the troubles: health and social services delivery in north and west Belfast" was commissioned by the North and West Belfast Social Services Trust in partnership with the Eastern Health and Social Services Board. Additionally, the mother of Peter McBride murdered by two British Army soldiers appeals for a decision from the second judicial review to have her son’s killers expelled from the army. The two soldiers (Mark Wright and James Fisher) were convicted of the murder of Peter Wright and sentenced to life in prison, they were given early release in 1998 and allowed to return to the British Army. This was the second judicial review after Jean McBride won the first one to have them expelled from the army, without result, however, as the army did not heed the ruling.

23 November 2001
It is announced that Two Stormont senators killed by paramilitaries in the 1970s will be honoured by having their names inscribed in the wall outside the senate chamber. Senator Jack Barnhill a unionist senator was shot dead by the Official IRA near his home in Strabane in 1971 and Senator Paddy Wilson a prominent member of the SDLP was murdered along with a protestent friend Irene Andrews in 1973.

25 November 2001
A special rememberance mass for victims of state violence, and other victims, organised by Relatives for Justice take places on in Armagh’s St Patrick’s cathedral. Leading unionist and nationalist politicians attend along with representatives of the British and Irish governments.

26 November 2001
At the DUP conference, DUP councillor David Simpson claims that concessions to republicans were “gnawing at the hearts” of those who lost relatives to IRA violence. The claims were made when Mr Simpson was seconding a successful motion to set up a special committee to provide support to victims helping them to access funding.

27 November 2001
The trial of former UDA quartermaster, William Stobie, concerning the murder of Patrick Finucane collapses as the prosecution says it could not call upon the evidence of former Sunday Life journalist Neil Mulholland in case he became suicidal.

29 November 2001

The Ulster Democratic Party the political ally of the UDA is dissolved after the UDA cut links to the party. On the same day, the parents of murdered teenager, Adam Lambert, say they reacted with “shock, but not surprise” at the news that their son’s killer, Stephen Harbison, had been arrested in Spain on drug-traficking and arms charges. Adam Lambert (19) was shot in the back while working on a building site on the loyalist Highgrove estate in West Belfast the day after the 1987 Poppy Day bomb in Enniskillen. Harbinson was jailed for the murder a year later and was subsequently released under the terms of the Good Friday agreement. Also on this day the mother of Stephen Restorick the last soldier to be killed by the IRA says she is seeking compensation for the mental injury she suffered as a result of seeing images of the aftermath of her son’s killing. The argument over the compensation concerns whether "the aftermath of the shooting can extend to the following day and to someone not there at the time.” The case is to be decided by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

30 November 2001
The Derry-based human rights organisation the Pat Finucane Centre appeals for witnesses to the double murder of two men in South Armagh in 1975. Two men, one from Co. Derry and the other from Co Tyrone, were taken from their car and shot at the roadside after stopping at an illegal checkpoint. The men were returning from the GAA football semi-finals. Paul O’Connor from the Pat Finucane Centre asks anyone who was diverted from their route or drove through the checkpoint that day to speak with him. On the same day, families of the victims of the Omagh bombing represented by the Omagh Victims Legal Action Group request a meeting with the British government to urge them to stop the fundraising activities of the political wings of dissident republicans. Additionally, claims are made in the News Letter that compensation money gained by the victims of punishment shootings is being taken from the victims by those who mutilated them. Also, DUP leader, Ian Paisley, tells the European Parliament in a debate about international terrorism that the needs of the victims of terror should not be ignored when tackling terrorism.

3 December 2001
Omagh bomb victim Donna-Marie McGillion is honoured by Best Magazine as one of the bravest women in Britian. A tribute service at St Anne’s Catheral in Belfast pays tribute to the sacrifices made by the members of the RUC . On the same day, relatives of those killed in the loyalist bombing of McGurks bar in North Belfast in 1971 call for a new inquiry into the atrocity. Fifteen people were killed and 16 injured when the UVF placed a bomb in the hallway of McGurk’s bar in North Queen Street on December 15, 1971.

5 December 2001
A memorial to the victims of the bombing of McGurks bar in 1971 is unveiled. A six foot celtic cross bearing the names of the victims has been erected at the corner of Great George’s Street and North Queen Street where McGurks bar once stood. Wreaths were laid at the memorial by relatives of the victims.

5 December 2001
Pastor Kenny McClintock, the go-between for the LVF and the decommissioning body, backs Republican demands for an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane. He says he sympathises with the family and calls for reciprocal backing for similar inquiries into the deaths of loyalists and Protestants. On the same day, the family of Stephen Restorick, the last soldier to be shot dead in Northern Ireland, has their appeal for compensation rejected - the compensation was for mental illness suffered after their son was shot. The rejection is made on the grounds that they were not present in the immediate vicinity of their son's death and did not have direct involvement. Additionally on this day, applications by two Nationalist groups in Kilkeel to erect memorials in the town are made, i.e. one to commemorate those who played a part in the struggle for Irish freedom including those involved in the 1798 Rebellion, the other to commemorate the deaths of the IRA hunger strikers in the Maze prison in 1981.

6 December 2001
Gerry Adams writes to Tony Blair demanding a full investigation into security force collusion in the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane. Renewed calls come after the collapse of the trial of William Stobie, an ex-UDA quartermaster accused of plotting the murder of Mr Finucane. Also British Agent Brian Nelson admits that he was connected to the murder of at least eight Nationalists. On the same day, detectives investigating the murder of Ciaran Cummings arrest three people. Ciaran Cummings was shot in July at the Greystown roundabout. It was the first openly sectarian murder in Northern Ireland for three years.

10 December 2001
Human Rights Minister, Des Browne, delivers a message about human rights in the News Letter and Irish News to celebrate International Human Rights day.

11 December 2001
A 6.75 million funding package for 'victims' is announced by the government. 3 million is to go to the core funding scheme for groups working with victims and survivors over the next two years. 1.5 million will go the devolved government's strategy for addressing the needs of survivors and victims. NIO victims minister Des Browne pledged 1.5 million to the recently established Centre for Trauma and Transformation, which draws on lessons learned from the treatment of victims after the Omagh bombing. 750,000 will go to the reintroduction of a Community Relations Council-run grants scheme for small, or newly established victims' groups for projects involving children and adults affected by the Troubles. On the same day, William Stobie, a self-confessed police informer who had been acquitted of plotting to murder Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, is shot dead. The Red Hand Defenders, a cover name reportably for the UDA/UFF and LVF, claim responsibility. William Stobie. There are claims that he may have been assassinated due to his support for an inquiry into the shooting of the lawyer. Also this day, in a new book Patrick Magee, former IRA bomber responsible for planting the bomb in the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Conservative Party conference, claims that all Republicans have an obligation to meet their victims adding that meeting victims was a necessary preparation for a future settlement (
See related dates about PEACE II). Additionally, the father of a north Belfast man, Raymond McCord, murdered by the UVF in 1997, calls for an independent inquiry into the operations of Special Branch.

13 December 2001
The EU Peace and Reconciliation II initiative (Peace II) is launched at an event celebrating the success of the first initiative. Peace I, as the first programme was known, supported over 439 projects and created hundreds of jobs and involved over 40,000 people. The Peace II funds include 22 million for organisations involved in cross border programmes and will support projects that address the legacy of violence (
See related dates about PEACE II). The experience of IRA bomber Patrick Magee meeting the daughter of one of his victims of the bomb he planted in the Grand Hotel in Brighton is the subject of 'Everyman' broadcast on BBC2 (see related entries 11 December 2001, 13 December 2001).

14 December 2001
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness press Tony Blair for an independent inquiry into claims of collusion surrounding several killings in Northern Ireland, including that of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane. The increased pressure comes following the murder of ex-police informer William Stobie.

15 December 2001
The parents of two young victims of the IRA bomb in Warrington meet with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness at the Tim Parry-Johnathan Ball Young People's Centre in Warrington. Mr McGuinness is said to have praised both sets of parents for their work in influencing the peace process adding that the killing of Johnathan and Tim in 1993 was "wrong" and "should not have happened". Colin Parry father of one of the victims said he took Mr McGuinness' comments "to be a clear and unequivocal apology".

19 December 2001
Mr Denis Haughey, MLA, Minister in the OFMDFM, launches a new self help publication aimed at victims and survivors of the Troubles. The directory, entitled 'Towards Healing - A Self Help Directory' contains information on a wide range of support and services available in the Fermanagh area and further afield. The directory is available on www.sperrin-lakeland.co.uk


24 December 2001
An article in the Irish News reports that paramilitary groups have been responsible for 17 murders in 2001. The majority of the killings are loyalist paramilitary killings.

27 December 2001
The father of murdered Loyalist, Billy Wright, says his family cannot move on until the truth about his son's death emerges.

28 December 2001
Police statistics reveal that the conviction rate amongst murder committed by Loyalists is higher than for Republicans - since 1969 charges have been brought against almost half of the 878 murders believed to have been conducted by Loyalists. In the same period, police statistics say charges were brought against 29% of the 1084 murders believed to have been carried out by Republicans.

2002



3 January 2002
An article in the Irish News highlights the start of Peace II in 2002, which will provide more than 500 million in European funding for projects and groups involved in Peace and reconciliation over the next five years (
See related dates about PEACE II).

6 January 2002
Relatives of 10 Protestant workmen murdered by the IRA in South Armagh remember their relatives on the 26th anniversary of the massacre by the laying of floral tributes and through a roadside ceremony at the site at Kingsmill.

9 January 2002
The inquest into the death of Pearse Jordan an unarmed IRA man shot dead by police on November 25, 1992 starts.

12 January 2002
Catholic postal worker, Daniel McColgan, is murdered by loyalists at the Barna Square postal sorting office in Rathcoole (see related entries on 12 January 2002, 14 January 2002 ,15 January 2002, 18 January 2002)
.

14 January 2002
It is reported that floral tributes laid at the spot where postal worker Daniel McColgan was murdered are vandalised less than 24 hours after the killing (see related entries on 12 January 2002, 14 January 2002 ,15 January 2002, 18 January 2002)
.

15 January 2002
It is announced that thousands of postal workers in Belfast are to stage a 24-hour stoppage to mark the funeral of murdered Catholic colleague Daniel McColgan. At midday, 300,000 postal workers in Britain and Northern Ireland also observe a two-minute silence (see related entries on 12 January 2002, 14 January 2002 ,15 January 2002, 18 January 2002)
.

16 January 2002
It is announced by Bairbre de Brun, Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, that an additional £104,000 will be made available to the North and West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust for services to assist those suffering from the traumatic events in North Belfast. On the same day, new statistics show that of 99 murders by paramilitaries since the start of 1998 and that there has only been one conviction. The figures quoted in the Irish News come from Lost Lives author, Brian Feeney - the official police statistics claim that there have been 79 people killed by paramilitaries in this time period. Additionally today, it is announced that Northern Ireland Secretary, John Reid, is to meet with the Irish judge heading the investigation into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings which killed 33 people. The meeting comes after pressure from bereaved relatives and victims and the group, Justice for the Forgotten, asking for the British authorities to hand over security documents related to the bombings.

17 January 2002
The 10th Anniversary of the Teebane massacre in which eight protestant workmen were killed and six were seriously injured when a bomb was detonated underneath their van as they returned from working at the Lisanelly barracks in Omagh. A short service is conducted and floral tributes laid by relatives at the scene of the murders.

18 January 2002
Rallies across Northern Ireland organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions see thousands stop work as a mass gesture of opposition to the murder of postman Daniel McColgan (see related entries on 12 January 2002, 14 January 2002 ,15 January 2002, 18 January 2002)
. On the same day, the families of Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane reject proposals to appoint international judges to investigate the killings, claiming it was a stalling device to prevent the truth being told. Additionally, Relatives for Justice, a group representing the victims of State violence, presented Richard Haass, US Special Envoy, with documents containing information related to human rights, allegations of Special Branch collusion, plastic bullets and outstanding policing issues.

20 January 2002
A tribute to the Colours of the (Co Down) 3rd Battalion of the UDR took place in the Killinchy Presbyterian Church. The names of the 20 UDR soldiers from the Battalion and 1 RIR soldier who died in the Troubles were read out at the ceremony.

21 January 2002
Secretary of State, John Reid and the Northern Ireland Office are accused by the father of murdered Loyalist, Billy Wright, of failing to answer questions over the death of his son in the Maze prison in 1997. Also today a call is made by First Minister, David Trimble, in the Assembly for the police to open their records to show which murders have been resolved and which remain unsolved.

22 January 2002
Thomas Green, who served a 13-year sentence, was cleared of the sectarian murder of Catholic painter, John O'Neill. Mr Green was freed under the Good Friday agreement, but always maintained his innocence.

23 January 2002

Security Minister, Jane Kennedy, visits Newtownstewart to discuss the security concerns of victims group West Tyrone Voice and affirms their "important role in helping to address the very real needs of people who live with the tragic legacy of violence". On the same day, plans to hold a Holocaust Ceremony are announced by First Minister David Trimble (see related entries on 23 January 2002; 27 January 2002).

24 January 2002
A report by the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust and the Institute for Conflict Research, is launched focusing on the Real Programme. The report details research into the achievements of support, carried out by the Workers Educational Association, to victims groups assisting those bereaved or injured in the Troubles. The report highlights the need for long term and sustainable provision, also looking at staff training, stress management, principles and ethics and the impact of the political environment. The report is launched by Mr Dermott Nesbitt, MLA, Minister in OFMDFM, who takes the opportunity to reiterate that the goverment will be launching a victims strategy in March. He also says that the European Programme for Peace and Reconciliation contains specific measures for victims and that £6.67 will be made available, of which £1.67 million will come from the Executive.

27 January 2002

Security Minister, Jane Kennedy, represents the Government at Northern Ireland's first Holocaust Memorial Day. She joins First Minister David Trimble and Deputy First Minister Mark Durkan, and representatives of Northern Ireland's Jewish community and other invited guests, at the Waterfront Hall to remember victims of the Holocaust and other acts of genocide (see related entries on 23 January 2002; 27 January 2002).

28 January 2002
A memorial garden in the military headquarters in Thiepval barracks in Lisburn dedicated to the 20 British Army bomb disposal experts killed in the line of duty in Northern Ireland is opened.

31 January 2002
The Director of Public Prosecutions is challenged as to why no prosecutions have been undertaken in the cases of nine people killed by the security forces in Derry. The families of these victims announce that they intend to pursue their action in the European Court of Human Rights.

1 February 2002
The directors of the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund Board, which gives financial support to victims of the Troubles, appointed a new chairman Dennis Licence (managing director of the First Trust Bank) to the charity. On the same day, an article in the News Letter highlights the change in style in loyalist murals from a strongly militaristic approach to a memorial style. Giving the example of a mural on the Newtownards road that is a memorial to those who lost their lives in republican atrocities during the Troubles.

4 February 2002
The inquest into the death of Pearse Jordan, the last man to be shot dead by the RUC, is postponed until March 5 (See related entries 4 February 2002 ; 12 February 2002 ; 13 February 2002). Also DUP MLA, Sammy Wilson, claims more than 5 million has been spent, more than twice the cost of the originally allocated budgets, investigating the murders of Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane . Additionally, Sinn Féin members gather at the party offices on the Falls Road to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the shooting of three men in the offices. A plaque was unveiled to commemorate the deaths of Sinn Féin members Paddy Loughran, Pat McBride, and Michael Dwyer.

5 February 2002
Flowers are laid at Sean Grahams bookmakers to mark the 10th anniversary of the deaths of five Roman Catholics who died when two UFF gunmen fired indiscriminately at customers and staff. A new memorial was erected to their memory. On the same day, a memorial service is held in New Lodge to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the killing of six Catholic men outside Lynch's Bar in New Lodge on February 3rd 1973.

6 February 2002
A decision on whether to grant the facilities of Newtownhamilton Community Association to the victims group Families Acting for Innocent Relatives is deferred for one week (See related dates 6 February 2002 ; 21 February 2002 ; 22 February 2002). The council has objected to the highly politicised profile of Families Acting for Innocent Relatives and says it is contrary to the councils stated objective to be "non-political". Additionally the family of a Derry man shot dead by the British army 26 years ago have demanded to know if the soldier who shot him, Corporal David Walter Scott, served his full five year prison sentence. The family believe he may have been released early.

10 February 2002
Vandals steal wreaths from the site of the 1992 bookmakers murders on the Ormeau Road.

11 February 2002
The widow of Pat Finucane accuses the British and Irish governments of delaying tactics in appointing an international judge to investigate the murder of her husband (
See related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ; 11 February 2002 ; 12 February 2002 ; 13 February 2002)..

12 February 2002
Strangford, MP Iris Robinson, launches a campaign calling for a public inquiry into the bombing of the La Mon House Hotel. The 24th anniversary of the bombing is on the 17 February. On the same day, a leading US human rights group - The Lawyers Commission for Human Rights (LCHR) - reject British Government plans to appoint an international judge to investigate the killing of Pat Finucane. Today is the 13th anniversary of the death of the Belfast solicitor and the group claim that the planned appointment could prevent the truth from emerging for years to come. The calls for an independent inquiry also received a setback when the police announce the Stevens Inquiry into the death may last another 12 months with the addition of the news that Ken Barrett, a loyalist alleged to have taken part in the murder, has agreed to co-operate with the Inquiry. Mr Barrett fled Northern Ireland after the murder of William Stobie and was taken into protective custody by the Stevens team (
See related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ; 11 February 2002 ; 12 February 2002 ; 13 February 2002). Also Relatives for Justice launch their strategic plan "Tarraingt Le Cheile - Providing Support". The plan aims to extend and develop a range of programs, including drop-in facilities, outreach and befriending to complementary therapies and counselling. Additionally today, the coroner for Greater Belfast John Leckey confirms that 160 police witness statements on the murder of Pearse Jordan, the last man to be shot dead by the RUC, had not been disclosed to the inquest (See related entries 4 February 2002 ; 12 February 2002 ; 13 February 2002).

13 February 2002
Councillors in North Down agree to set aside funds to erect a memorial to the former Ulster Special Constabulary, including the B Specials. It will be placed alongside current memorials to the RUC and UDR. Only the Alliance Party councillors vote against the decision. On the same day, solicitors Madden and Finucane call for the release of the witness statements into the murder of Pearse Jordan claiming that the failure to release them calls into question the fairness of the inquest (See related entries 4 February 2002 ; 12 February 2002 ; 13 February 2002). Additionally Tony Blair, in prime minister's question time, calls for the paramilitary organisations to allow those exiled from Northern Ireland to be allowed to return in peace. Also today, detectives investigating the murder of William Stobie seize a number of items for forensic examination (
See related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ; 11 February 2002 ; 12 February 2002 ; 13 February 2002).

14 February 2002
The Alliance Party tries to gain support for a motion in the Assembly demanding that loyalist and republican paramilitaries lift threats imposed on exiles and allow them to return to Northern Ireland. Also today, Families Acting for Innocent Relatives accuse the government of paying lip service to victims needs and says that the funding is not reaching the people in need. His comments come after receiving a letter from the governments Victims Liason's Unit which acknowledged the difficulties to victims and their families of providing an amnesty for terrorists, but questioned the sense in “remorselessly and indefinitely pursuing the cases.

17 February 2002
The 24th Anniversary of the bombing of the La Mon House Hotel.

18 February 2002
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern meet to discuss issues between the two countries. They discuss a shortlist of possible judges who could be appointed to investigate six high profile murders in Northern Ireland. Amongst those murders are those of lawyers Pat Finucane (
See related dates 12 February 1999 ;19 March 1999 ;24 February 2000 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ; 11 February 2002 ; 12 February 2002 ; 13 February 2002 ; 18 February 2002) and Rosemary Nelson (See related dates of 15 March 1999 ;20 February 2001 ;28 May 2001 ;1 August 2001 ; 18 February 2002) also those of Maze prisoner Billy Wright and Portadown teenager Robert Hamill.

19 February 2002
The Irish News reports on beliefs that dissident republicans planned to attack security forces in Coalisland to mark the 10th anniversary of the deaths of four IRA men killed in an SAS ambush. A rocket launcher and primed warhead were found at the scene and four men were arrested and questioned by police.

20 February 2002
Victim Support Northern Ireland launch a report entitled "Criminal Neglect: No Justice Beyond Criminal Justice" in which they claim the wider needs of crime victims in the areas of housing, healthcare and financial support have been neglected despite 25 years of improvements in the criminal justice system.

21 February 2002
Newry and Mourne District Council turn down an application by victims' group Families Acting for Innocent Relatives to use Newtownhamilton community centre for their outreach meetings. Unionist MLA, Danny Kennedy, says it is evidence of discrimination against the unionist minority in Newtownhamilton (See related dates 6 February 2002 ; 21 February 2002 ; 22 February 2002). Sinn Féin councillor Brendan Lewis says the main grounds for rejecting the group were that "while it is a victims group it is a victims group that discriminates". On the same day, the colours of the 8th (Co Tyrone) Battalion of the UDR are laid up in a service in St Annes Parish Church, Dungannon. During the service a roll of honour is read naming the 34 soldiers of the battallion, one soldier from the RIR and seven former members killed by the IRA during the Troubles. Also on this day, t
he Lisburn Partnership hold a consultation day aimed at informing peace groups and community organisations how they can benefit from Peace II funding (See related dates about PEACE II).

22 February 2002
Families Acting for Innocent Relatives says it is planning to take legal action against Newry and Mourne District Councillors after they rejected an application for the group to use the Newtownhamilton community centre (See related dates 6 February 2002 ; 21 February 2002 ; 22 February 2002). Also on this day, a ceremony is conducted to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Official IRA bombing of Aldershot British army base. Seven people were killed in the car bomb attack on 22 February 1972.

25 February 2002
University of Ulster researchers, Marie Smyth and Mike Morrisey, laucnh a book examining the plight of victims in Northern Ireland. The book entitled "Northern Ireland After the Good Friday Agreement" is published by Pluto Press, London. Also today, Secretary of State, John Reid, announces in the House if Commons that Northern Ireland's prison officers are to be rewarded for their service during the Troubles with a medal granted by Royal Warrant. Twenty nine prison officers were killed during the Troubles.

27 February 2002
The widow of IRA victim Garda Jerry McCabe accuses Sinn Féin of hypocrisy after Caoimhghin O'Caolin the party's only Dail deputy said he would not urge the public to help investigators track the killers.

28 February 2002
A man is arrested in connection with the murders of two teenagers Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine from Portadown, stabbed to death on 18 February 2000.
 
© Brandon Hamber
Email: mail@brandonhamber.com
Web: http://www.brandonhamber.com

To subscribe to the mailing list to receive a periodic email of recent key victim-related issues added to the Chronology, please send an email to chronology@utvinternet.com with the word 'Subscribe' in the subject line

Click here to go to the Democratic Dialogue Site
Click here
to see other work and publications by Brandon Hamber

You are visitor number