2010 - Year in review
2010 - Year in review

A look back at the main stories from the year past.


An affair by Iris Robinson, the wife of the DUP First Minister Peter Robinson, with 19 year-old Kirk McCambley makes headlines around the world and sparks corruption investigations.

PSNI member Peadar Heffron is critically injured in a dissident republican attack after a booby-trap bomb explodes under his car in Randalstown.


The SDLP’s Margaret Ritchie become the first female leader of her party following the only leadership contest in its 40-year history.

Gary Taylor and Nigel Brown are convicted of the murder of 15-year-old north Belfast schoolboy Thomas Devlin in 2005.

A large bomb explodes at Newry Courthouse, causing extensive damage.

‘Real IRA’ member Kieran Doherty is found dead in controversial circumstances in an attack claimed by the organisation in Derry.


The director of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) reviews a previous decision not to prosecute a retired RUC policeman for perjury in connection with the Robert Hamill murder case.

The Murphy report investigating institutional child abuse is published in the 26 Counties. It is discovered that Cardinal Sean Brady was present when two young victims of notorious abuser Brendan Smyth were persuaded to sign a vow of silence in 1975. The cardinal refuses to resign.


A bomb explodes at MI5 headquarters at Palace Barracks in Holywood, County Down, as the April 12 handover of devolution of policing and justice powers are handed over to the assembly.

Alliance Leader David Ford becomes the first justice minister in the north for almost 40 years.


The Real IRA carries out a bomb attack on Newtownhamilton police station in County Armagh.

A British general election sees Labour’s Gordon Brown replaced by Britain’s first Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government.

In the North, Peter Robinson loses the seat he has held for 31 years with East Belfast won by the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long.

Michelle Gildernew retains her Westminster seat by the narrowest margin. Reg Empey’s UUP fails to win any seats in a Conservative Party pact. Both unionist leaders face pressure to resign.

Loyalist Robert Moffett is shot dead on Belfast’s Shankill Road in an apparent dispute with the UVF. Dawn Purvis, leader of the UVF-linked PUP, resigns over the murder.

Strand Road police station in Derry is the target of a mortar bomb attack claimed by Oglaigh na hEireann.


There is jubilation on the streets of Derry and in Guildhall Square after the Saville inquiry completely exonerates the 14 unarmed men and boys shot dead in January 1972.

New British Prime Minister David Cameron officially apologises for the British army’s “unjustified and unjustifiable” actions on January 30 1972.

After the longest inquiry in British legal history and a 40 year wait for justice. Lord Saville confirms that members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on dozens of unarmed civilians without warning or threat.


Three nights of riots are sparked in Ardoyne when an Orange Order march is forced past the flashpoint interface in north Belfast. Police fire plastic bullets and a female police officer is injured. There was trouble in other areas across the north, including an attempt to set fire to a passenger train in Lurgan. Dissidents confront veteran republican Bobby Storey in Ardoyne.

Dissidents detonate their first culvert bomb. The device blasts a crater in the road between Belleek and Cullyhanna in south Armagh.


A report by the Police Ombudsman into the 1972 Claudy bombing that killed nine people, including three children, claims that Fr James Chesney was the IRA’s director of operations in south Derry at the time. Bishop Edward Daly says he does not believe the claims made by the RUC. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness later confirms he met the priest on his deathbed.

A bomb in a hijacked taxi explodes outside Strand Road police station in Derry in an attack claimed by Oglaigh ne hEireann.


The Real IRA detonates 2001b of explosives in Derry. The bomb damages a bank and a nearby hotel.

Tt is announced that 4 billion pounds is to be cut from the British subvention to the north.


Three PSNI members are injured after a grenade is thrown at them outside shops at Shaw’s Road in west Belfast.

The 26-County economy goes into m ltdown as it negotiates a bailout package with the EU and IMF.

Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty wins the Donegal South West by-election as the Fianna Fail government hits crisis point. Angry protests in Dublin greet the budget.


A record freeze, which sees temperatures in Ireland drop to -20 degrees, causes transport chaos. A rapid thaw wrecks water-pipes and leaves tens of thousands without any water.

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