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Thursday, March 18, 1999 Published at 16:55 GMT

1976-80: The violence continues

The Maze prison's H-block

SAS January 1976 is marked by 15 deaths in South Armagh. A Special Air Service unit is moved into the area.

Convention fails The Convention is recalled in February, but breaks down in uproar in March and is formally dissolved.

Women's peace movement Three children from the same family are killed in Anderstown when soldiers shoot dead a car hijacker in August. The aunt of the victims, Mairead Corrigan, is one of the founders.

Later changing their name to the Peace People, their marches are attended by thousands in Belfast and London. Corrigan and co-founder Betty Williams are awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize.

Maze protest An IRA prisoner refuses to wear prison uniform in protest at not being given special category status and classed as an ordinary criminal. Instead, he wears only a blanket.

Strikes The Paisleyite UUAC organises a strike in May 1977 in support of majority rule, but fails to get a big response and calls it off after a week.

Jubilee The Provisional IRA threatens to disrupt the Queen's jubilee visit to the province in August, but fails to do so.

Human rights The European Court of Human Rights rules in January 1978 that British treatment of internees in 1971 was not torture, but was "inhuman and degrading".

Firebombing Twelve people are killed and 23 injured when a Provisional IRA firebomb goes off at a hotel in County Down in February.

Anniversary violence A republican march in October 1978 in memory of a 1968 civil rights demonstration is met by a DUP counter-protest. Two RUC officers are injured in clashes with the republicans, 67 in fighting with the loyalists.

A week later, 32 RUC men are injured in another loyalist protest.

Crumlin killing The deputy governor of Crumlin Road prison, Albert Miles, is shot dead by the Provisional IRA in November.

'Shankill Butchers' Eleven loyalists known as the "Shankill Butchers" for their brutality are jailed for life for murder in February 1979.

Airey Neave On March 30, the day after the announcement of a British general election, Conservative Northern Ireland spokesman Airey Neave is killed by an INLA car bomb at the House of Commons. The INLA is banned in July

The Conservatives under Mrs Thatcher win the May election. In Northern Ireland, the DUP wins two seats from the UUP.

Europe The Rev Ian Paisley, John Hume and John Taylor are elected as Nothern Ireland's first Euro-MPs in July. Paisley becomes the first MEP to speak when he points out that the Union Flag is flying upside down in Strasbourg.

[ image: The wreckage of Lord Mountbatten's boat]
The wreckage of Lord Mountbatten's boat
Lord Mountbatten of Burma - the Queen's uncle - and three other people are killed by a Provisional IRA bomb in County Sligo on August 27.

On the same day, 18 soldiers are killed by another PIRA bomb at Warrenpoint, County Down, the worst single-day death toll for 10 years.

Papal plea Pope John Paul II, on a visit to the Irish Republic in September, appeals for an end to the violence. The IRA rejects his plea.

Talks The Stormont Constitutional Conference opens in January 1980, but is adjourned indefinitely in March.

H-Block In June, the European Commission of Human Rights rules that the "dirty protest" in the Maze is self-inflicted.

In October, seven H-Block prisoners begin a hunger strike is support of demands such as right to wear their own clothes. It is called off in December.

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In this section

1997-98: Second IRA ceasefire to the Nobel Peace Prize

1995-96: Clinton's visit and the end of the IRA ceasefire

1993-94 The Downing Street Declaration and the IRA ceasefire

1990-92: Start of the talks process

1988-89: Gibraltar killings and release of the Guildford Four

1985-87: The Anglo-Irish Agreement

1981-84: Hunger strikes and the Brighton bomb

1976-80: The violence continues

1972-75: The failure of Sunningdale

1970-72: Internment and Bloody Sunday

1968-69: The troops are sent in

1939-67: Relative calm before the storm

1923-38: The fixing of the Irish border

1921-22: The Irish Free State and civil war

1917-20: The road to partition

1910-16: The 'winning' of Home Rule to the Easter Rebellion

1850-1909: Parnell, Gladstone and the battle for Home Rule

1695-1850: A time of revolution and the Great Famine

1170-1691: From Strongbow to the establishment of Protestant ascendancy