1981 To 19901980s IRL:Hunger Strikes dominate the beginning of this decade. In 1976 the British government had removed 'special prisoner status' for those imprisoned for crimes which the prisoners claimed were political acts. The prisoners had campaigned for 'political prisoner status' since 1976 by using both the 'blanket protest' - refusing to wear prison clothes and donning a blanket instead - and the 'dirty protest' where prisoners refused to clean their cells and smeared excrement on the walls. In June The European Commission on Human Rights rejects claims by four H-block prisoners. To regain the initiative, the Provisional IRA announces a hunger strike which commences Oct 27th and ends Dec18th.
1980 IRL: First National H-Block March (Jan 1st). Seven Republican prisoners go on hungerstrike in H- Blocks (Oct 27th). Thirty more Republicans join hungerstrike (Dec 15th). The belief that a settlement is imminent brings end to strike (Dec 18th).
World: Six U.S. embassy aides escape from Iran with Canadian help (Jan 29th). F.B.I.'s undercover operation “Abscam” (for Arab scam) implicates public officials (Feb 2nd). The USA breaks diplomatic ties with Iran (April 7th). Eight U.S. servicemen are killed and five are injured as helicopter and cargo plane collide in an abortive desert raid to rescue American hostages in Teheran (April 25th). The US Supreme Court upholds limits on federal aid for abortions (June 30th). The Shah of Iran dies at 60 (July 27th). Anastasio Somoza Debayle, ousted Nicaragua ruler, and two aides are assassinated in Asunción, Paraguay capital (Sept 17th). Iraq troops hold 90 square miles of Iran after invasion. An 8 year long Iran-Iraq war begins (Sept 19th). Ronald Reagan is elected President of the USA in a Republican slandslide (Nov 4th). Three U.S. nuns and a lay worker are found shot in El Salvador (Dec 4th). John Lennon of the Beatles is shot dead in New York City (Dec 8th). Smallpox is declared eradicated.
1981 Consecration of north transcept on June 2nd in the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra. The preacher is the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Robert Runcie. On June 6th., the anniversary of D-Day, the Royal Irish Rangers Chapel is dedicated by the Right Reverend Arthur Butler, Bishop of Connor.
IRL: A new hunger strike commences on March 1st. Bobby Sands is the first hunger striker of 1981. He dies on May 5th. By September he and nine others are dead as a result of the hunger strike. They are considered martyrs - around 100,000 people attend Bobby Sands' funeral. Although no concessions are won from the British government, support for the Political wing of the Provisional IRA increases considerably. Sands had been elected as MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (April 9th). The local council elections held in May indicate the growing polarisation in Northern Ireland which the hunger strikes reinforce. The hunger strikes end on Oct 3rd due to concessions given by James Prior, the Conservative Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The Conservative Party under Edward Heath defeats Labour in the General Election.
1981 World: Ronald Reagan takes oath as 40th president of the USA (Jan 20th). U.S.-Iran agreement frees 52 hostages held in Teheran since 1979 (Jan 20th). The hostages are welcomed back in USA (Jan 25th). President Reagan together with a press secretary and two law-enforcement officers are wounded by a gunman, (March 30th). Pope John Paul II is wounded by a gunman (May 14th). The US Supreme Court rules, 4–4, that former president Nixon and three top aides may be required to pay monetary damages for an unconstitutional wiretap of the home telephone of a former national security aide (June 22nd). President Reagan nominates Judge Sandra Day O'Connor, 51, of Arizona, as the first woman on the Supreme Court (July 7th). AIDS is first identified.
1982 IRL: Over 200 people are arrested on the word of informers. These “supergrass” trials will run for two years. Seventeen people are killed in INLA bombing of The Dropping Well disco in Ballykelly, Co Derry (Dec 6th).
World: British forces overcome Argentinian forces in the Falklands war (April 2nd–June 15th). Israel invades Lebanon in an attack on the P.L.O. (June 4th). Alexander M. Haig, Jr., resigns as US Secretary ofSstate (June 25th). Princess Grace of Monaco, 52, dies of injuries when her car plunges off a mountain road. Her daughter Stephanie, 17, suffers serious injuries (Sept 14th). Lebanese Christian Phalangists kill hundreds of people in two Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut (Sept 15th). Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet leader, dies at 75 (Nov 10th). Yuri V. Andropov, 68, is chosen as his successor (Nov 15th). A permanent artificial heart is implanted in a human for the first time in Dr. Barney B. Clark, 61, at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City (Dec 2nd).
1983 IRL: Republicans organise a mass escape from Long Kesh prison. Gerry Adams becomes President of Sinn Féin and MP for West Belfast. Three elders are shot dead during a service in Darkley Pentecostal Church, Co Armagh. The shooting is claimed by Catholic Reaction Force (Nov 21st). In December PIRA bombsHarrods in London. Abortion is banned in Republic
World: Pope John Paul II signs a new Roman Catholic code incorporating changes brought about by Second Vatican Council (Jan 25th). The second space shuttle, Challenger, makes a successful maiden voyage, which includes the first U.S. space walk in nine years (April 4th). The U.S. Supreme Court declares many local abortion restrictions unconstitutional (June 15th). Sally K. Ride, 32, fbecomes the first U.S. woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger (June 18th). USA admits shielding former Nazi Gestapo chief ,Klaus Barbie, 69, the “butcher of Lyon,” who is wanted in France for war crimes (Aug 15th). Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., 50, political rival of Philippines president Marcos, is slain in Manila (Aug 21st). A South Korean Boeing 747 jetliner bound for Seoul apparently strays into Soviet airspace and is shot down by a Soviet SU-15 fighter after it had tracked the airliner for two hours; all 269 aboard are killed, including 61 Americans (Aug 30th). A terrorist explosion kills 237 U.S. Marines in Beirut (Oct. 23rd). USA and Caribbean allies invade Grenada (Oct. 25th).
1984 IRL: An assassination attempt on Gerry Adams fails.
Oct. 12: Four people are killed in an IRA bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, HQ of the Conservative Party conference, in a bid to kill the party leader, Margaret Thatcher (Oct. 12:th). US activists begin campaign for MacBride Principles.
World: US Bell System broken up (Jan 1st). France gets first deliveries of Soviet natural gas (Jan 1st). USA and Vatican exchange diplomats after 116-year hiatus (Jan 10th). President Reagan orders U.S. Marines to withdraw from the international peacekeeping force in Bierut (Feb 7th). Soviet Union leader Yuri V. Andropov dies at 69 and is succeeded by Konstantin U. Chernenko, 72 (Feb 9th). Italy and Vatican agree to end Roman Catholicism as the state religion (Feb 18th). President Reagan ends the U.S. role in Beirut by relieving the Sixth Fleet from he peacekeeping force (March 30th). US Congress rebukes President Reagan on use of federal funds for mining Nicaraguan harbors (April 10th). Soviet Union withdraws from summer Olympic games in U.S., and other communist bloc nations follow (May 7th). José Napoleón Duarte, a moderate, is elected president of El Salvador (May 11th). Three hundred are slain as the Indian Army occupies Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar (June 6th). Brian Mulroney and the Conservative party win the Canadian election in a landslide (Sept 4th). The Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards. 1,000 are killed in anti-Sikh riots. Her son Rajiv succeeds her (Oct 31th). President Reagan is re-elected with Vice President George Bush in a landslide with 59% of vote (Nov 6th). Toxic gas leaks from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, kill 2,000 and injure 150,000 (Dec 3rd).
1985 John Shearer appointed dean.
IRL: SDLP leader, John Hume, meets IRA at a secret venue (Feb 23rd).The political leaders of Britain and Ireland, Margaret Thatcher and Garrett FitzGerald, meet to discuss the situation in Northern Ireland. The resulting Anglo-Irish agreement (Nov 15th) gives Dublin some control for the first time over Northern Ireland affairs. Unionists feel betrayed. They are outraged and the agreement is never fully implemented.
1985 World: Ronald Reagan, 73, takes oath for second term as 40th president of the USA (Jan 20th). Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addresses the US Congress, endorsing Reagan's policies (Feb 20th). USSR leader Chernenko dies at 73 and is replaced by Mikhail Gorbachev, 54 (March 11th). Two Shi'ite Muslim gunmen capture a TWA airliner with 133 aboard, 104 of them Americans (June 14th); 39 remaining hostages are freed in Beirut (June 30th). P.L.O. terrorists hijack the Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro, with 80 passengers, plus crew (Oct 7th) An American, Leon Klinghoffer, is killed (Oct 8th). The Italian government is toppled by a political crisis over the hijacking (Oct 16th). Reagan and Gorbachev meet at summit (Nov 19th). They agree to step up arms control talks and to renew cultural contacts (Nov 21st). Terrorists seize an Egyptian airliner after takeoff from Athens (Nov 23rd) 59 are found dead as Egyptian forces storm plane on Malta (Nov 24rd).
1986 IRL: Unionists hold an extensive Day of Action against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (March 3rd). NI Assembly is dissolved. Police baton-charge 200 loyalist protesters outside Stormont (June 23rd).
World: Spain and Portugal join the European Economic Community (Jan 1st). President Regan freezes Libyan assets in USA (Jan 8th). US Voyager 2 spacecraft reports secrets of Uranus (Jan 26th). Space shuttle Challenger explodes after launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida, killing all seven aboard (Jan 28th). Haiti president Jean-Claude Duvalier flees to France (Feb 7th). President Marcos flees Philippines after ruling 20 years, as newly elected Corazon Aquino succeeds him (Feb 26th). Prime Minister Olof Palme of Sweden is shot dead (Feb 28th). Austrian president Kurt Waldheim's service as a Nazi army officer is revealed (March 3rd). USA warplanes attack Libyan “terrorist centres” (April 14th). Desmond Tutu is elected archbishop in South Africa (April 14th). A major nuclear accident at Soviet Union's Chernobyl power station alarms the world (April 26th). Muslim captors release Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco (July 26th). A secret USA initiative to send arms to Iran is revealed (Nov. 6th). President Reagan denies exchanging arms for hostages and halts arms sales (Nov 19th). The diversion of funds from arms sales to Nicaraguan Contras is revealed (Nov 25th).
1987 IRL: Eight IRA men shot dead by SAS in Loughgall, Co Armagh (May 8th).
IRA bomb explodes during Remembrance Day celebration in Enniskillen killing 11 people (Nov 8th).
World: William Buckley, U.S. hostage in Lebanon, is reported slain (Jan 20th). US Supreme Court rules that Rotary Clubs must admit women (May 4th). Iraqi missiles kill 37 in an attack on U.S. frigate “Stark” in the Persian Gulf (May 17th). The Iraqi president apologizes (May 18th). Prime Minister Thatcher wins a rare third term in Britain (June 11th). Klaus Barbie, 73, Gestapo wartime chief in Lyon, is sentenced to life by a French court for war crimes (July 4th). Oliver North, tells a US congressional inquiry that higher officials approved his secret Iran-Contra operations (July 7th–10th). Admiral John M. Poindexter, former National Security Adviser, testifies that he authorized the use of Iran arms sale profits to aid Contras (July 15th–22nd). Secretary of State George P. Shultz testifies he was deceived repeatedly on Iran-Contra affair (July 23rd–24th). Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger tells the inquiry of official deception and intrigue (July 31st, Aug 3rd). President Reagan says that the Iran arms-Contra policy went astray and he accepts responsibility (Aug 12th). A severe earthquake strikes Los Angeles, leaving 100 injured and six dead (Oct 1st).
1988 IRL: Hume meets Adams for talks, both denying that an IRA ceasefire is on the agenda (Jan. 11th). SAS shoot three members of an IRA bomb team in Gibraltar (March 6th). Michael Stone attacks mourners at the funeral in Belfast of one of the Gibraltar team and killsthree people (March 16th).Two army corporals are killed by mourners at the West Belfast funeral of a Stone victim (March 19th).
Eight soldiers are killed by bomb attack on an army bus at Ballygawley, Co Tyrone (Aug 20th). British government imposes a broadcasting ban on Sinn Féin members (Oct 19th).
World: Robert C. McFarlane, former US National Security Adviser, pleads guilty in Iran-Contra case (March 11th). U.S. Navy ship shoots down Iranian airliner in Persian Gulf, mistaking it for a jet fighter; 290 killed (July 3rd). Terrorists kill nine tourists on an Aegean cruise (July 11th). Plane blast kills Pakistani president Mohammad Zia ul-Haq (Aug 17th). Republicans sweep 40 states in election. Bush beats Dukakis and Dan Quayle becomes Vice President (Nov 8th). Benazir Bhutto becomes prime minister of Pakistan. She is the first Islamic woman prime minister (Dec 1st). A Pan-Am 747 airliner explodes mid-air after a terrorist bomb and crashes in Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 aboard and 11 on the ground (Dec 21st).
1989 City: On the 8th January at 8.25 p.m. an airliner owned and operated by British Midland is forced to crash land when both engines in the new plane fail. It hits the westerly embankment of the M1 at Kegworth in GB and splits into three parts. There are 8 crew members on board, 117 passengers and 1 baby making a total of 126. Of these, 47 are killed, 5 have minor injuries and 74 are seriously injured.1989. There is a memorial in St Anne’s Cathedral. The Laganside Corporation is formed to regenerate land on both sides of the river Lagan.
IRL: The Guildford Four are released.
World: U.S. planes shoot down two Libyan fighters over international waters in Mediterranean (Jan 4th). George Herbert Walker Bush inaugurated as 41st U.S. president (Jan 20th). Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini declares author Salman Rushdie's book “The Satanic Verses” to be offensive and sentences him to death (Feb 14th). An oil tanker “Exxon Valdez” sends 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound (March 24th). Tens of thousands of Chinese students take over Beijing's Tiananmen Square in rally for democracy (April 19th). U.S. jury convicts Oliver North in Iran-Contra affair (May 4th). More than one million in Beijing demonstrate for democracy; chaos spreads across nation (mid-May). Mikhail S. Gorbachev is named Soviet president (May 25th). Thousands are killed in Tiananmen Square as Chinese leaders take a hard line toward demonstrators (June 4 et seq.). Army general Colin R. Powell becomes the first black chairman of the USA Joint Chiefs of Staff (Aug 9th). P. W. Botha quits as South Africa's president (Aug 14th). US Voyager 2 spacecraft speeds by Neptune after making startling discoveries about the planet and its moons (Aug 29th). Deng Xiaoping resigns from China's leadership (Nov 9th). After 28 years the Berlin Wall is open to people from the West (Nov 11th). The Czech Parliament ends the Communists' dominant role (Nov 30th). An uprising in Romania overthrows the Communist government (Dec. 15) President Ceausescu of Romania and his wife are executed (Dec 25th). U.S. troops invade Panama seeking to capture of Gen. Manuel Noriega (Dec 20th) Resistance to the U.S. collapses (Dec 24th). The Dalai Lama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.