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Thursday, March 18, 1999 Published at 16:53 GMT


1985-87: The Anglo-Irish Agreement

Enniskillen massacre 1987: 11 people dead after IRA bomb explodes at Remembrance Day parade

Nationalist talks SDLP leader John Hume accepts IRA invitation for talks in January 1985, though says he will press for an end to violence. Unionists and Conservatives oppose the exchange but the meeting lasts only a few minutes.

Parade violence Loyalists demonstrate in July against a potential ban on marching through Catholic areas of Portadown. The march is allowed and nationalists clash with police in protest.

Dominic McGlinchey The INLA leader, who had been extradited from the Irish Republic on a murder charge, has his conviction quashed in October and is returned to the south.


[ image: Garret FitzGerald signs Anglo-Irish Agreement with Margaret Thatcher]
Garret FitzGerald signs Anglo-Irish Agreement with Margaret Thatcher
Anglo-Irish Agreement British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement on November 15 1985.

The deal gives the Irish Republic a consultative role in Northern Ireland, setting up an inter-governmental conference of ministers and civil servants with its own secretariat.

Unionists outraged and all 15 MPs resign to force by-elections on the issue. In January 1986, unionists increase their share of the vote but lose Newry and Armagh to the SDLP.

A day of action against the AIA is called for March 3 and is marked by loyalist violence. Further trouble between the RUC and loyalists continues. The government remains committed to it throughout the year despite Fianna Fail, the Irish Republic opposition, saying it wants to renegotiate the treaty.

Ulster Unionists The Ulster Unionist Party votes to end its special relationship with the Conservative Party over the AIA, ending ties going back a century.

'Shoot to kill' The deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester, John Stalker, is removed from the inquiry into the RUC's alleged "shoot to kill" policy on June 5.

He is later suspended from duty and accused of associating with known criminals, but later exonerated. In July, two senior RUC officers are suspended over the allegations.

Assembly dissolved The Northern Ireland Assembly is dissolved on June 23 1986 - 22 members, mostly DUP, have to be physically removed.

Parade violence July 1986 is marked by severe violence between police and loyalists over marching routes through Catholic areas. Hundreds of people are injured.

Flags Belfast-based Short Brothers, one of the province's biggest employers, orders the removal of flags and emblems in August because of alleged intimidation of Catholics.

The following year, production is halted for a few days because flags are still being displayed.

Petition Unionist MPs deliver 400,000 signature petition to Buckingham Palace on February 12 1987 against the AIA.

Elections In the Irish Republic, Fianna Fail becomes the largest party in a February 12 poll but is short of a majority. Leader Charles Haughey becomes Taoiseach for the third time on speaker's casting vote.

In June, Conservatives retain power in the UK. In Northern Ireland, the SDLP takes the UUP's seat of South Down, formerly held by Enoch Powell.

Ambush Eight IRA men are killed when their attack on an RUC post in Loughgall in May is met by a waiting SAS unit.

Arms seizure A consignment of 150 tons of weapons and ammunition destined for the IRA is intercepted on the French coaster Eksund in November.


[ image: IRA bomb destroys Remembrance Day parade in Enniskillen]
IRA bomb destroys Remembrance Day parade in Enniskillen
Enniskillen massacre A Remembrance Day parade in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, on November 8 is hit by an IRA bomb - 11 people are killed and 63 wounded.

The father of one of those killed, Gordon Wilson, becomes a leading figure in the peace movement.



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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