Ulster: A Make-or-Break Year

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The Independent Online
10 April 1998 Good Friday Agreement signed by unionist, nationalist and republican parties, promising devolution, a power-sharing executive, and cross-border bodies.

23 May 71 per cent of the Northern Ireland electorate vote for the deal

25 June David Trimble's position is threatened by his Ulster Unionist Party's poor showing in the Assembly elections - failing to win enough seats to have a comfortable majority.

5 July Attempted Orangemen march down Catholic Garvaghy Road sparks violence at Drumcree church in Portadown.

12 July Three young boys die after an arson attack on the Quinn family, Catholics living on a mainly Protestant housing estate in Ballymoney, Co Antrim.

15 August 29 people killed and hundreds more injured as the Real IRA group explodes a bomb in the centre of Omagh, Co Tyrone.

10 September David Trimble and Gerry Adams meet face to face for the first time.

14 September Assembly meets for first time.

12 November Loyalist Volunteer Force banning order lifted.

4 December Talks on setting up cross border institutions collapse.

18 December Loyalist Volunteer Force becomes the first paramilitary group to decommission weapons.

16 February 1999 David Trimble narrowly wins vote in the Assembly to ratify treaties between Northern Ireland and Republic.

10 March Tony Blair's deadline for devolution passes. Violence increases as the UUP and Sinn Fein fail to find common ground on decommissioning.

17 March Gerry Adams and David Trimble travel to Washington for St Patrick's Day celebrations.