Belfast in History

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 118

  • 1910-10-20 The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland.
  • 1911-05-31 RMS Titanic launched in Belfast
  • 1914-02-26 HMHS Britannic, sister to the Titanic, is launched at Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
  • 1955-03-24 British Army patrols withdraw from Belfast after 20 years
  • 1968-10-09 2,000 students from Queen's University Belfast try to march to Belfast City Hall in protest against 'police brutality', but blocked by loyalists led by Ian Paisley; leads for formation of student civil rights group People's Democracy
  • 1968-10-16 The People's Democracy (PD), formed on Oct 9, organise a march of 1,300 students from the Queen's University of Belfast to the City Hall in the centre of the city, Northern Ireland
  • 1968-10-24 The People's Democracy (PD) stage a protest demonstration at Stormont Parliament buildings, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1968-12-20 The People's Democracy (PD) announce that its members will undertake a protest march from Belfast to Derry beginning 1 January 1969
  • 1969-01-01 People's Democracy (PD) begin a march from Belfast to Derry, inspired by ML King's Selma to Montgomery march in the US
  • 1969-01-04 A People's Democracy march between Belfast and Derry is repeatedly attacked by loyalists and off-duty police officers
  • 1969-04-24 Loyalist members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPV) explode a bomb at a water pipeline between Lough Neagh and Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1969-05-10 In an interview with the 'Belfast Telegraph' former Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill states: "if you give Roman Catholics a good job and a good house, they will live like Protestants, ... They will refuse to have 18 children"
  • 1969-07-12 As the 'marching season' reaches its height there is serious rioting in Derry, Belfast and Dungiven; many familles in Belfast are forced to move from their homes
  • 1969-10-11 Three people shot dead during street violence in the loyalist Shankill area of Belfast
  • 1970-01-13 Riots begin in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast
  • 1970-01-14 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers patrol the Falls Road area of Belfast for the first time since 1969
  • 1970-01-15 Riots break out in the Ardoyne area of Belfast
  • 1970-03-06 A Catholic man is shot dead by British soldiers in Belfast, North Ireland
  • 1970-03-31 Following an Orange Order parade, intense riots erupt on the Springfield Road in Belfast; violence lasts for three days, and the British Army used CS gas for the first time in large quantities
  • 1970-04-01 Serious riots continue in the Ballymurphy estate in Belfast between Catholic residents and the British Army
  • 1970-06-27 Following the arrest of Bernadette Devlin, intense riots erupt in Derry and Belfast leading to a prolonged gun battle between Irish republicans and loyalists
  • 1970-06-28 Around 500 Catholic workers at the Harland and Wolff shipyard are forced to leave their work by Protestant employees as serious rioting continues in Belfast
  • 1970-07-03 The British Army imposed a curfew on the Falls Road area of Belfast as they search for weapons; during the operation they come under attack from the Official IRA (OIRA) and republican rioters
  • 1970-07-06 Irish Minister for External Affairs Partick Hillery pays an unofficial visit to the Falls Road area of Belfast, an areas only just subject to a curfew by British Army
  • 1970-07-30 Riots hit Belfast, North Ireland
  • 1970-07-31 Daniel O'Hagan (19), a Catholic civilian, is shot dead by the British Army during a serious riot in the New Lodge Road area of Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1970-09-04 An Irish Republican Army (IRA) member, Michael Kane (35), is killed in the premature explosion of the bomb he was planting at an electricity transformer in Belfast
  • 1970-09-30 A Protestant man is shot and killed by Loyalists in Belfast, North Ireland
  • 1970-10-30 There are serious riots in the Catholic Ardoyne area of Belfast which last for three nights
  • 1970-12-23 A Protestant man is shot dead at his home in Belfast, North Ireland
  • 1971-01-10 Irish Republican Army (IRA) carry out a 'punishment attack', tarring and feathering 4 men accused of criminal activities in Belfast
  • 1971-01-23 Riots break out in the Shankill Road area of Belfast, North Ireland
  • 1971-01-27 The body of a man who had been shot dead is found in Belfast
  • 1971-02-03 A series of house searches by the British Army in Catholic areas of Belfast, resulting in serious rioting and gun battles
  • 1971-02-06 Bernard Watt (28), a Catholic civilian, is shot and killed by the British Army (BA) during street disturbances in Ardoyne, Belfast
  • 1971-02-06 James Saunders (22), a member of the IRA, is shot and killed by the British Army during a gun battle near the Oldpark Road, Belfast
  • 1971-02-26 Two Royal Ulster Constabulary officers are shot and killed by the Irish Republican Army while on a mobile patrol in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, North Ireland

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1971-03-05 "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin is first played live at Ulster Hall, Belfast by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones.

Rock Vocalist Robert Plant
Rock Vocalist
Robert Plant
Musician John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones
Rock Star Jimmy Page
Rock Star
Jimmy Page
  • 1971-03-12 Thousands of Belfast shipyard workers march demanding the introduction of Internment for members of the Irish Republican Army
  • 1971-03-27 The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) holds its first Annual Conference in the Ulster Hall in Belfast
  • 1971-04-10 The Republican commemorations is held in Belfast of the Easter Rising (in 1916 in Dublin), revealing conflicts between the two wings of the Irish Republican Army
  • 1971-05-15 Irish Republican Army member William 'Billy' Reid is shot dead by British soldiers in Belfast
  • 1971-05-22 A British soldier is killed by members of the Official Irish Republican Army in Belfast
  • 1971-05-25 The Provisional Irish Republican Army throw a time bomb into Springfield Road British Army base in Belfast, killing British Army Sergeant Michael Willetts and wounding seven officers
  • 1971-07-11 The Irish Republican Army set off a number of bombs in the centre of Belfast injuring a number of people
  • 1971-08-07 A Catholic man is shot dead by a British soldier in Belfast
  • 1971-08-08 A British soldier is shot dead by the Irish Republican Army in Belfast
  • 1971-08-10 During the internment round-up operation in west Belfast, the Parachute Regiment kill 11 unarmed civilians in what became known as the Ballymurphy massacre
  • 1971-08-11 4 people are shot dead in separate incidents in Belfast; three of them by the British Army, as violence continues following the introduction of Internment and Operation Demetrius
  • 1971-09-02 There are further Irish Republican Army bombs set off across the region, including one in Belfast which wrecked the headquarters of the Ulster Unionist Party
  • 1971-09-06 William Craig and Ian Paisley speak at a rally in Belfast before a crowd of approximately 20,000 people and call for the establishment of a 'third force' to defend 'Ulster'
  • 1971-09-13 Two North Ireland Loyalists are mortally injured when the bomb they were preparing exploded prematurely in a house in Bann Street, Belfast
  • 1971-10-23 Two female members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) are shot dead by the British Army in the Lower Falls area of Belfast
  • 1971-10-24 A member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) is shot dead by undercover Royal Ulster Constabulary officers during a bomb attack in Belfast
  • 1971-10-25 A man dies two days after being shot during an Irish Republican Army attack on the British Army in Belfast
  • 1971-11-18 A British soldier is shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Belfast
  • 1971-12-04 McGurk's Bar bombing: the UVF explode a bomb at a Catholic-owned pub in Belfast, killing fifteen Catholic civilians and wounding seventeen others; this was the highest death toll from a single incident in Belfast during 'the Troubles'
  • 1971-12-06 A woman dies trying to salvage property from the Salvation Army Citadel in Belfast after bomb which started a large fire in an adjoining building
  • 1971-12-11 A bomb explodes outside a furniture showroom on the mainly-Protestant and loyalist Shankill Road, Belfast; four civilians (including two babies) were killed and nineteen wounded
  • 1972-01-02 An anti-internment rally is held in Belfast, North Ireland
  • 1972-01-03 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) explodes a bomb in Callender Street, Belfast, injuring over 60 people
  • 1972-01-17 Seven men who were held as internees escape from the prison ship HMS Maidstone in Belfast Lough, North Ireland
  • 1972-03-01 Two Catholic teenagers shot dead by the Royal Ulster Constabulary while 'joy riding' in a stolen car in Belfast
  • 1972-03-04 Abercorn Restaurant bombing: a bomb explodes in a crowded restaurant in Belfast, killing two civilians and wounding 130
  • 1972-03-09 Four members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) die in a premature explosion at a house in Clonard Street, Lower Falls, Belfast
  • 1972-03-15 Two British soldiers killed when attempting to defuse a bomb in Belfast; an RUC officer iskilled in an IRA attack in Coalisland, County Tyrone
  • 1972-03-18 Ulster Vanguard hold a rally of 60,000 people in Belfast; William Craig tells the crowd: "if and when the politicians fail us, it may be our job to liquidate the enemy"
  • 1972-03-20 Donegall Street bombing: the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonate its first car bomb on Donegall Street in Belfast; four civilians, two RUC officers and a UDR soldier killed while 148 people were wounded
  • 1972-04-07 Three members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) die in a premature bomb explosion in Belfast
  • 1972-04-15 A member of the Official Irish Republican Army is shot dead by British soldiers at Joy Street in the Markets area of Belfast close to his home
  • 1972-04-15 A member of the British Army is shot dead by the Official IRA in the Divis area of Belfast.
  • 1972-04-22 An 11-year-old boy killed by a rubber bullet fired by the British Army in Belfast; he was the first to die from a rubber bullet impact
  • 1972-05-10 An Irish Republican Army bomb starts a fire that destroys the Belfast Co-operative store
  • 1972-05-13 Battle at Springmartin: following a loyalist car bombing of a Catholic-owned pub in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast, clashes erupte between the PIRA, UVF and British Army
  • 1972-05-14 A 13 year old Catholic girl is shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries in Ballymurphy, Belfast
  • 1972-05-17 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) fires on workers leaving the Mackies engineering works in west Belfast (Although the factory was sited in a Catholic area it had an almost entirely Protestant workforce)
  • 1972-05-26 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) plant a bomb in Oxford Street, Belfast, killing a 64 year old woman
  • 1972-05-28 Four Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and four civilians killed when a bomb they were preparing exploded prematurely at a house in Belfast
  • 1972-06-11 Gun battle between Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries break out in the Oldpark area of Belfast
  • 1972-06-19 A Catholic civilian is shot dead by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in the Cracked Cup Social Club, Belfast
  • 1972-07-02 Two Catholic civilians are shot and killed in Belfast by Loyalist paramilitaries, probably the Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
  • 1972-07-03 The Ulster Defence Association and the British Army come into conflict about a 'no-go' area at Ainsworth Avenue, Belfast
  • 1972-07-05 Two Protestant brothers are found shot dead outside of Belfast (There was speculation that they were killed by Loyalists because they had Catholic girlfriends)
  • 1972-07-09 Springhill Massacre: British snipers shoot dead five Catholic civilians and wounded two others in Springhill, Belfast.
  • 1972-07-13 A series of gun-battles and shootings erupt across Belfast between the Provisional Irish Republican Army and British Army soldiers
  • 1972-07-18 The 100th British soldier to die in the Northern Ireland "troubles" is shot by a sniper in Belfast
  • 1972-07-21 Bloody Friday: within the space of seventy-five minutes, the Provisional Irish Republican Army explode twenty-two bombs in Belfast; six civilians, two British Army soldiers and one UDA volunteer were killed, 130 injured
  • 1972-07-22 2 Catholics are abducted, beaten, and shot dead in a Loyalist area of Belfast
  • 1972-08-14 2 British soldiers are killed by an IRA booby trap bomb in Belfast
  • 1972-08-14 A Catholic civilian is shot dead during an IRA attack on a British Army patrol in Belfast
  • 1972-09-02 The headquarters of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in Belfast is severely damaged by an IRA bomb
  • 1972-09-14 2 people are killed and 1 mortally wounded in a Ulster Volunteer Force bomb attack on the Imperial Hotel, Belfast
  • 1972-10-10 3 members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) die in a premature explosion in a house in Balkan Street, Lower Falls, Belfast
  • 1972-10-14 North Irish Loyalist paramilitaries raid Headquarters of the 10 Ulster Defence Regiment in Belfast and stole rifles and ammunition
  • 1972-10-16 A Protestant youth member (15) of the Ulster Defence Association, and a UDA member (26) are run over by British Army vehicles during riots in east Belfast
  • 1972-10-17 The Ulster Defence Association open fire on the British Army in several areas of Belfast
  • 1972-10-31 2 Catholic children (6 and 4) playing on the street are killed in a Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) car bomb attack on a bar in Ship Street, Belfast
  • 1973-02-04 British Army snipers shoot dead a Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer and three civilians at the junction in Belfast during the 'Troubles' in N Ireland
  • 1974-05-02 Six Catholic civilians killed and eighteen wounded when the UVF explode a bomb at Rose & Crown Bar on Ormeau Road, Belfast
  • 1975-04-12 Six Catholic civilians are killed in a Ulster Volunteer Force gun and grenade attack on Strand Bar in Belfast, North Ireland

Famous Birthdays

  • 1813-12-19 Thomas Andrews, Irish chemist and physicist (ozone), born in Belfast (d. 1885)
  • 1880-10-23 Una O'Connor, Belfast Ireland, actress (David Copperfield)
  • 1888-11-24 Cathleen Nesbitt, Belfast Ireland, actress (Agatha-Farmer's Daughter)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1898-11-29 C. S. Lewis [Clive Staples], Belfast, sci-fi author (Silver Chair), (d. 1963)

Author and Theologian C. S. Lewis
Author and Theologian
C. S. Lewis
  • 1900-08-21 Eileen Percy, Belfast Ireland, silent film actress (Let's Go)
  • 1911-06-05 Arthur Vick, vice chancelor (Queens University, Belfast)
  • 1921-05-12 Henry Mackie, designer of the Belfast Calorimeter
  • 1926-04-09 Lord Fitt, MP (Belfast Ireland)
  • 1931-12-31 Bob Shaw, Belfast, Northern Ireland, sci-fi author (Light of Other Days, The Ragged Astronauts)
  • 1939-01-23 Ray Elliott, Irish rock pianist/saxophonist (Them), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1939-12-08 James Galway, Belfast Ireland, flutist (18k gold flute, Royal Phil)
  • 1942-10-14 Billy Harrison, Belfast Ireland, rock guitarist (Them)
  • 1944-11-26 Alan Henderson, Belfast, rock bassist (Them)
  • 1945-08-31 [George I] Van Morrison, Belfast, singer (Here Comes the Night)
  • 1946-05-22 George Best, Northern Irish footballer (Manchester United, Northern Ireland), born in Belfast
  • 1946-10-31 Stephen Rea, Belfast, Northern Ireland, film and stage actor (Crying Game, Michael Collins)
  • 1947-09-03 Eric Bell, rock guitarist (Thin Lizzy Belfast, N Ireland
  • 1954-08-02 Sammy McIlroy, Irish soccer star (Manchester United), born in Belfast, United Kingdom
  • 1960-12-10 Kenneth Branagh, Belfast, actor/director (High Season, Dead Again)
  • 1967-11-02 Derek Porter, Belfast Ireland, Canadian rower (Oly-gold/silver-92/96)
  • 1982-05-01 Jamie Dornan, Irish actor (Fifty Shades of Grey), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Famous Deaths

  • 1982-11-16 Lenny Murphy, Leader of Belfast's notorious Shankill Butchers (b. 1952)
  • 1994-07-30 Henry Mackie, designer of the Belfast Calorimeter, dies at 73
  • 2007-01-03 Sir Cecil Walker, Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament for North Belfast 1983-2001 (b. 1924)