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After years of sectarian attacks and loyalist protests Harryville Catholic Church in Ballymena is no more

Harryville Church protests Close

 Work under way to demolish Harryville Catholic church in Ballymena

Work under way to demolish Harryville Catholic church in Ballymena

Masked loyalists picketing Harryville Catholic Church, Ballymena. Loyalist Picketing of Church.  2/2/1997

Masked loyalists picketing Harryville Catholic Church, Ballymena. Loyalist Picketing of Church. 2/2/1997

David Tweed:Former Rugby/Ballymena Councillor at Harryville protests. 1997. Presseye.

David Tweed:Former Rugby/Ballymena Councillor at Harryville protests. 1997. Presseye.

Churches:protesters gather outside Harryville Church,Ballymena.

Churches:protesters gather outside Harryville Church,Ballymena.

Residents gathered to watch the unveiling of the new mural opposite the Catholic church in Harryville, Ballymena, County Antrim. The old loyalist paramilitary mural close to a Catholic church which was the scene of weekly protests in the 1990s was removed at the weekend. It was replaced by an Ulster Scots mural featuring symbols such as a shamrock and Red Hand of Ulster. 2/4/06

Residents gathered to watch the unveiling of the new mural opposite the Catholic church in Harryville, Ballymena, County Antrim. The old loyalist paramilitary mural close to a Catholic church which was the scene of weekly protests in the 1990s was removed at the weekend. It was replaced by an Ulster Scots mural featuring symbols such as a shamrock and Red Hand of Ulster. 2/4/06

Fr Frank Mullan:Priest at Church of Our Lady,Harryville, Ballymena, shows damage done during an arson attack. 9/12/96. Robert Ingram.

Fr Frank Mullan:Priest at Church of Our Lady,Harryville, Ballymena, shows damage done during an arson attack. 9/12/96. Robert Ingram.

Protestant and Catholic church members join forces to clean up another sectarian paint bomb attack at Harryville chapel in Ballymena. PACEMAKER 12/8/2005

Protestant and Catholic church members join forces to clean up another sectarian paint bomb attack at Harryville chapel in Ballymena. PACEMAKER 12/8/2005

A sectarian attack at the Church of Our Lady in Harryville, Ballymena, after a tin of paint was thrown at the front of the building

A sectarian attack at the Church of Our Lady in Harryville, Ballymena, after a tin of paint was thrown at the front of the building

Cleaners remove the paint at Harryville Church after an attack

Cleaners remove the paint at Harryville Church after an attack

As the Queen was visiting Belfast city centre in 1977, soldiers came under attack a few hundred yards away in the republican Falls Road area. An army captain was seperated from his unit and was being heavily stoned and kicked when a 'snatch squad' of his troops rushed the crowd to rescue him from the mob.

As the Queen was visiting Belfast city centre in 1977, soldiers came under attack a few hundred yards away in the republican Falls Road area. An army captain was seperated from his unit and was being heavily stoned and kicked when a 'snatch squad' of his troops rushed the crowd to rescue him from the mob.

RUC: Police officers at the 12th parades at Portadown 1985.

RUC: Police officers at the 12th parades at Portadown 1985.

The body of catholic man lies in an entry off the Shankill Road in West Belfast after being murdered by members of the Shankill butchers. 25/10/82. Pacemaker Press

The body of catholic man lies in an entry off the Shankill Road in West Belfast after being murdered by members of the Shankill butchers. 25/10/82. Pacemaker Press

Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy

Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy

Pacemaker Press

William Moore aka Shankill Butcher gang member. Pacemaker Press

William Moore aka Shankill Butcher gang member. Pacemaker Press

Con Neeson who was killed by the Shankill butchers in the late 70's. Pacemaker Press

Con Neeson who was killed by the Shankill butchers in the late 70's. Pacemaker Press

Shankill Butcher Edward McIlwaine. Pacemaker Press

Shankill Butcher Edward McIlwaine. Pacemaker Press

Robert "Basher" Bates: Shankill butcher

Robert "Basher" Bates: Shankill butcher

Pacemaker Press

A man with slashed wrists after an attack by the Shankill Butchers. Pacemaker Press

A man with slashed wrists after an attack by the Shankill Butchers. Pacemaker Press

Some of the knives used by the Shankill Butchers in their attacks. Pacemaker Press

Some of the knives used by the Shankill Butchers in their attacks. Pacemaker Press

THE TROUBLES GALLERY - Drumcree

THE TROUBLES GALLERY - Drumcree

Orangemen On The Garvaghy Road, July 2000

Orangemen On The Garvaghy Road, July 2000

Portadown March at Drumcree bridge July 2002 Portadown District Orangemen parade down to the barrier at Drumcree before trouble flared

Portadown March at Drumcree bridge July 2002 Portadown District Orangemen parade down to the barrier at Drumcree before trouble flared

Drumcree, Northern Ireland. A makeshift road block on main road into Portadown town centre

Drumcree, Northern Ireland. A makeshift road block on main road into Portadown town centre

An injured woman is led away, Drumcree July 1997

An injured woman is led away, Drumcree July 1997

A petrol bomber on the Garvaghy Road

A petrol bomber on the Garvaghy Road

Orangemen go no further as they reach the barrier at Drumcreee preventing them from marching on the Garvaghy Rd.

Orangemen go no further as they reach the barrier at Drumcreee preventing them from marching on the Garvaghy Rd.

Tempers flare as Orangemen are blocked from walking the Garvaghy Rd, Drumcree, July 2000

Tempers flare as Orangemen are blocked from walking the Garvaghy Rd, Drumcree, July 2000

Orangemen at Drumcree

Orangemen at Drumcree

Drumcree July 2000

Drumcree July 2000

Drumcree - July 6th 2002. Soldiers erect a security fence at Drumcree Church in Portadown.

Drumcree - July 6th 2002. Soldiers erect a security fence at Drumcree Church in Portadown.

PSNI riot team firing plastic bullets

PSNI riot team firing plastic bullets

Drumcree Orange Parade At Portadown July 1998. Portadown Grand Master Harold Gracey gives a speech to the crowds outside Drumcree Church of Ireland.

Drumcree Orange Parade At Portadown July 1998. Portadown Grand Master Harold Gracey gives a speech to the crowds outside Drumcree Church of Ireland.

Orange Order: Drumcree, Portadown

Orange Order: Drumcree, Portadown

GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.

GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.

GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.

GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.

DAVID TRIMBLE MAKES HIS WAY TO GREET THE PORTADOWN ORANGEMEN AFTER THEY MARCHED DOWN GARVAGHY RD 1996.

DAVID TRIMBLE MAKES HIS WAY TO GREET THE PORTADOWN ORANGEMEN AFTER THEY MARCHED DOWN GARVAGHY RD 1996.

4/7/03 Garvaghy road residents spokesman Brendan MacCoinnaith pictured in Portadown.

4/7/03 Garvaghy road residents spokesman Brendan MacCoinnaith pictured in Portadown.

Drumcree Orange Order Demonstration Scarfs drapped around the Road Sign of Drumcree near Portadown

Drumcree Orange Order Demonstration Scarfs drapped around the Road Sign of Drumcree near Portadown

Nationalist protesters walk to Garvaghy Road July 1997. Residents Coalition in Drumcree Portadown to voice their anger at Loyalist Parades through their area

Nationalist protesters walk to Garvaghy Road July 1997. Residents Coalition in Drumcree Portadown to voice their anger at Loyalist Parades through their area

Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Brid Rodgers and Brendan McKenna in attendance at Garvaghy Road demonstration, Portadown

Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Brid Rodgers and Brendan McKenna in attendance at Garvaghy Road demonstration, Portadown

Northern Ireland Troubles gallery.....Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Security Forces kept a Loyalist counter demonstration at a safe distance from Nationalist marchers near Oben Street, Portadown

Northern Ireland Troubles gallery.....Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Security Forces kept a Loyalist counter demonstration at a safe distance from Nationalist marchers near Oben Street, Portadown

Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. A young Loyalist waves the Union Jack at Royal Ulster Constabulary police in riot gear, from the Loyalist side of the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland, as a nationalist-republican protest march,  passed by peacefully down the Nationalist Garvaghy road.

Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. A young Loyalist waves the Union Jack at Royal Ulster Constabulary police in riot gear, from the Loyalist side of the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland, as a nationalist-republican protest march, passed by peacefully down the Nationalist Garvaghy road.

STAND-OFF BETWEEN PSNI AND ORANGEMEN.

STAND-OFF BETWEEN PSNI AND ORANGEMEN.

Disturbances On Garvaghy Road Portadown May 1998. Rioters hurl stones at RUC riot police on the Garvaghy Road, Portadown, Northern Ireland, during disturbances following an Orange parade in the area.

Disturbances On Garvaghy Road Portadown May 1998. Rioters hurl stones at RUC riot police on the Garvaghy Road, Portadown, Northern Ireland, during disturbances following an Orange parade in the area.

An RUC officer fires plastic bullets at rioting nationalists on the Garvaghy Road

An RUC officer fires plastic bullets at rioting nationalists on the Garvaghy Road

Garvaghy Road Residents Meet With David Trimble May 99. Brendan McKenna arrives at Craigavon Civic Centre to meet the First Minister David Trimble in an effort to solve the Drumcree stand off.

Garvaghy Road Residents Meet With David Trimble May 99. Brendan McKenna arrives at Craigavon Civic Centre to meet the First Minister David Trimble in an effort to solve the Drumcree stand off.

RIR Support The Orangemen At Drumcree January 2000. Members of the Royal Irish Regiment with a flag supporting Orangemen in Drumcree.

RIR Support The Orangemen At Drumcree January 2000. Members of the Royal Irish Regiment with a flag supporting Orangemen in Drumcree.

Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001

Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001

O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), in the quiet Co Down village of Loughinisland where UVF gunmen burst in opened fire, during a World Cup match on June 18, 1994.

O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), in the quiet Co Down village of Loughinisland where UVF gunmen burst in opened fire, during a World Cup match on June 18, 1994.

O'Tooles Bar (The Heights) in the Co. Down village of Loughinisland. Six men were shot dead by two UVF gunmen, while they were watching the 1994 World Cup on television.

O'Tooles Bar (The Heights) in the Co. Down village of Loughinisland. Six men were shot dead by two UVF gunmen, while they were watching the 1994 World Cup on television.

The ruins of McGurks Bar. Dec 1971

The ruins of McGurks Bar. Dec 1971

Kathleen Feeney, 14,  who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973

Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973

Funeral courtege of Kathleen Feeney, 14,  who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973

Funeral courtege of Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973

Police and rioters clash in Londonderry after an Apprentice Boys march, 1969.

Police and rioters clash in Londonderry after an Apprentice Boys march, 1969.

Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, pictured leaving court in Belfast after charges against him involving IRA membership were dropped 1976.

Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, pictured leaving court in Belfast after charges against him involving IRA membership were dropped 1976.

Belfast IRA men with a drogue bomb in 1987

Belfast IRA men with a drogue bomb in 1987

Royal Highland Fusilier, Robert Thompson from Hamilton, Scotland who was killed in Northern Ireland. July 27 1980

Royal Highland Fusilier, Robert Thompson from Hamilton, Scotland who was killed in Northern Ireland. July 27 1980

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast.  9/10/1968.

First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. 9/10/1968.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

The first Civil Rights (Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association) from Coalisland to Dungannon, held on 24/8/1968. Pictured is a member of the official party leading the civil rights marchers, appealing to the crowd, and requesting that there should be no violence during the march in Dungannon.

The first Civil Rights (Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association) from Coalisland to Dungannon, held on 24/8/1968. Pictured is a member of the official party leading the civil rights marchers, appealing to the crowd, and requesting that there should be no violence during the march in Dungannon.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley near Belfast City Hall. Pictured is Ciaran McKeown(with beard).  9/10/1968.

First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley near Belfast City Hall. Pictured is Ciaran McKeown(with beard). 9/10/1968.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.

Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

Civil rights marchers are confronted by a strong force of polive in Duke Street.   October 1968

Civil rights marchers are confronted by a strong force of polive in Duke Street. October 1968

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.

Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.

<b>Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery</b>  IRA checkpoint, the early 1970's

<b>Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery</b> IRA checkpoint, the early 1970's

IRA Bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel

IRA Bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel

La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb
Victim, Sandra Morris

La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Sandra Morris

La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb
Victim, Carol Mills

La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Carol Mills

La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb
Victim, Christine Lockhart

La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Christine Lockhart

SDLP press conference with John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Austin Currie and Paddy Devlin.  11/09/75

SDLP press conference with John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Austin Currie and Paddy Devlin. 11/09/75

Behind the barbed wire of long kesh internment camp   are SDLP  MPs(from left)Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, John Hume and Ivan Cooper. They were visiting internees. 21/09/71

Behind the barbed wire of long kesh internment camp are SDLP MPs(from left)Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, John Hume and Ivan Cooper. They were visiting internees. 21/09/71

Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force

Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force

Ulster Vanguard Movement: Ulster Vanguard Association Rally at Stormont. 29/03/72

Ulster Vanguard Movement: Ulster Vanguard Association Rally at Stormont. 29/03/72

William Craig:Leader of the Vanguard Unionist Progressive party.

William Craig:Leader of the Vanguard Unionist Progressive party.

Ulster Vanguard Movement: A section of the crowd at the Vanguard Association Rally at Ormeau Park.  18/03/72

Ulster Vanguard Movement: A section of the crowd at the Vanguard Association Rally at Ormeau Park. 18/03/72

Ulster Defence Association/U.D.A: 1972.  Delegates at the talks between Vanguard, Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Association of Workers.

Ulster Defence Association/U.D.A: 1972. Delegates at the talks between Vanguard, Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Association of Workers.

Ulster Vanguard Movement:September 1972.

Ulster Vanguard Movement:September 1972.

Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. Pacemaker Press

Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. Pacemaker Press

Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. 18/01/92. Pacemaker Press

Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. 18/01/92. Pacemaker Press

William Bleakes, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

William Bleakes, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

Cecil James Caldwell, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

Cecil James Caldwell, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

David Harkness, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

David Harkness, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

Nigel McKee, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

Nigel McKee, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

Robert Irons, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

Robert Irons, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press

Catholic school children and their parents make their way to Holy Cross school under a heavy police and British Army presence in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2001.  (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Catholic school children and their parents make their way to Holy Cross school under a heavy police and British Army presence in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2001. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

School children and parents with RUC officers who had to escort them to the Holy Cross Primary School Ardoyne today. Photo by: Niall Marshall

School children and parents with RUC officers who had to escort them to the Holy Cross Primary School Ardoyne today. Photo by: Niall Marshall

Paulette Donnelly with her parents arriving at Holy Cross Girls primary School after walking through &quot;Corridor of Hate&quot; on Friday (7/9/01).

Paulette Donnelly with her parents arriving at Holy Cross Girls primary School after walking through "Corridor of Hate" on Friday (7/9/01).

Holy Cross School, November 2001. Children laugh and sing as they make there way up the Ardoyne Road this morning after loyalist protests were suspended and things start to get back to normal for the first time since school term started in September of this year

Holy Cross School, November 2001. Children laugh and sing as they make there way up the Ardoyne Road this morning after loyalist protests were suspended and things start to get back to normal for the first time since school term started in September of this year

Ardoyne residents try to overturn an army landrover in Ardoyne avenue after trouble flared up again outside the nearby Holycross school. Picture: Pacemaker

Ardoyne residents try to overturn an army landrover in Ardoyne avenue after trouble flared up again outside the nearby Holycross school. Picture: Pacemaker

Alice Lee Bunting in tears as she makes her way to Holy Cross Primary School

Alice Lee Bunting in tears as she makes her way to Holy Cross Primary School

Fr Aidan Troy at the front gates of Holy Cross Girls School

Fr Aidan Troy at the front gates of Holy Cross Girls School

Holy Cross Primary School.

Holy Cross Primary School.

Holy Cross Primary School.

Holy Cross Primary School.

Holy Cross Primary School.

Holy Cross Primary School.

Smoke spreads as a pipe bomb explodes after it was thrown at police and army lines by protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.

Smoke spreads as a pipe bomb explodes after it was thrown at police and army lines by protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.

Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. The postman was the only sign of normality this morning on the Ardoyne Rd as despite all that has been happening - the mail got through.

Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. The postman was the only sign of normality this morning on the Ardoyne Rd as despite all that has been happening - the mail got through.

Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. Riot police and army march Holy Cross school children and their parents past burnt out cars and protesting loyalists on their second day back to school in Ardoyne, North Belfast this morning.

Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. Riot police and army march Holy Cross school children and their parents past burnt out cars and protesting loyalists on their second day back to school in Ardoyne, North Belfast this morning.

An injured police officer is helped by two of his colleagues after a pipe bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.

An injured police officer is helped by two of his colleagues after a pipe bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.

Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

An injured police officer is helped into an ambulance by his colleagues after a blast bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, this morning, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

An injured police officer is helped into an ambulance by his colleagues after a blast bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, this morning, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.

Police officers carry an injured dog away to get medical help after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists

Police officers carry an injured dog away to get medical help after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists

Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.

Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.

Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.

Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.

Protestant school children who were separated from their parents, scream for their mothers who were held behind armed police and army lines, before the catholic Holy Cross school children were brought to school in Ardoyne this morning.

Protestant school children who were separated from their parents, scream for their mothers who were held behind armed police and army lines, before the catholic Holy Cross school children were brought to school in Ardoyne this morning.

Catholic schoolchildren are shepherded past protestant protesters at Ardoyne Road.

Catholic schoolchildren are shepherded past protestant protesters at Ardoyne Road.

Holy Cross Primary School Protest And Riots Sept 2001

Holy Cross Primary School Protest And Riots Sept 2001

Holy Cross Primary School Protest In Belfast

Holy Cross Primary School Protest In Belfast

Catholic children walking to the Holy Cross Primary School.

Catholic children walking to the Holy Cross Primary School.

A pupil from the Holy Cross school in North Belfast interferance where trouble has been erupting for several weeks.

A pupil from the Holy Cross school in North Belfast interferance where trouble has been erupting for several weeks.

Ardoyne Road parents and their children on their way to Holy Cross Girls Primary School in what is now the tenth week of the dispute and loyalist protest.

Ardoyne Road parents and their children on their way to Holy Cross Girls Primary School in what is now the tenth week of the dispute and loyalist protest.

Army bomb disposal experts blow up a second device in a grate beside a protestants car parked near the entrance to the Holy Cross Catholic Shool after having dealt with a suspect bomb across the road in the Protestant Wheatfield Primary And Nursery school.

Army bomb disposal experts blow up a second device in a grate beside a protestants car parked near the entrance to the Holy Cross Catholic Shool after having dealt with a suspect bomb across the road in the Protestant Wheatfield Primary And Nursery school.

Security forces keep a watchful eye as a young girl and her father walk up the Ardoyne Road in North Belfast to Holy Cross school. Police stepped up their security outside North Belfast schools after recent threats and trouble as parents walked their children to school.

Security forces keep a watchful eye as a young girl and her father walk up the Ardoyne Road in North Belfast to Holy Cross school. Police stepped up their security outside North Belfast schools after recent threats and trouble as parents walked their children to school.

Father Aiden Troy - Chairman of Board of Governors of Holy Cross School - discusses the sitation with a senior police officer on Ardoyne road

Father Aiden Troy - Chairman of Board of Governors of Holy Cross School - discusses the sitation with a senior police officer on Ardoyne road

A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which became known as Bloody Sunday,  January 31, 1972.

A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which became known as Bloody Sunday, January 31, 1972.

Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Stewart Gardner, Argylls second lieutenant of Dollar shot dead at Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. September 22nd 1972.

Stewart Gardner, Argylls second lieutenant of Dollar shot dead at Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. September 22nd 1972.

Government of Northern Ireland: The Executive. December 1973.

Government of Northern Ireland: The Executive. December 1973.

&lt;b&gt;The Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

<b>The Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery</b><br/>The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

Pictured is Jimmy Stewart, who lost both legs in the Abercorn Restaurant explosion. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

Pictured is Jimmy Stewart, who lost both legs in the Abercorn Restaurant explosion. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.

A casualty of the riots in Northern Ireland in 1972

A casualty of the riots in Northern Ireland in 1972

Northern Ireland murder victim Irene Andrews who was murdered by John White on the 26th June 1973.

Northern Ireland murder victim Irene Andrews who was murdered by John White on the 26th June 1973.

Belfast Fire Brigade Station officer McCleery, being carried from a bomb explosion, Cromac Street, circa 1971.

Belfast Fire Brigade Station officer McCleery, being carried from a bomb explosion, Cromac Street, circa 1971.

Peter Robinson of the DUP pictured in the Israeli Border Area with AK47 rifles while on a fact finding mission to the Middle East. Pacemaker Press Intl. Dec. 1984

Peter Robinson of the DUP pictured in the Israeli Border Area with AK47 rifles while on a fact finding mission to the Middle East. Pacemaker Press Intl. Dec. 1984

Armed soldiers behind a wall on Londonderry's Bogside.

Armed soldiers behind a wall on Londonderry's Bogside.

John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.

John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.

John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.

John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.

Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others.

Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others.

John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue, Feb 5th 1972. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.

John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue, Feb 5th 1972. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.

Funeral of Walter Moore, who was shot while in a shop at the rear of Oldpark RUC base, Oldpark Road Belfast

Funeral of Walter Moore, who was shot while in a shop at the rear of Oldpark RUC base, Oldpark Road Belfast

Gordon Wilson. Irish Senator who's daughter Marie was a victim of the Ennieskillen Remembrance Day explosion in 1987. Pictured with his grandson Timothy.

Gordon Wilson. Irish Senator who's daughter Marie was a victim of the Ennieskillen Remembrance Day explosion in 1987. Pictured with his grandson Timothy.

The funeral of Marie Wilson, killed along with 10 others in no warning explosion during a Remembrance Day Service at Enniskillen Cenotaph.  8/11/1987

The funeral of Marie Wilson, killed along with 10 others in no warning explosion during a Remembrance Day Service at Enniskillen Cenotaph. 8/11/1987

William Hughes who was killed in shooting incident due to a mistake by gunmen. The car they were sitting in near Coagh, Co. Tyrone looked like a police car. In the hail of gunfire directed at the car, William Hughes died. His daughter Ann and her fiance Malachy Foye were wounded.

William Hughes who was killed in shooting incident due to a mistake by gunmen. The car they were sitting in near Coagh, Co. Tyrone looked like a police car. In the hail of gunfire directed at the car, William Hughes died. His daughter Ann and her fiance Malachy Foye were wounded.

Anglo Irish Agreement Protest Rally outside Belfast City Hall, with Unionists showing a united front. 'Ulster Says No'.  10/12/1985

Anglo Irish Agreement Protest Rally outside Belfast City Hall, with Unionists showing a united front. 'Ulster Says No'. 10/12/1985

The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993

The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993

The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993

The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993

Hugh O'Toole, owner of O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), Loughinisland, in which six men were shot dead watching the 1994 World Cup on television.

Hugh O'Toole, owner of O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), Loughinisland, in which six men were shot dead watching the 1994 World Cup on television.

Reggie and Walter Chapman: Protestant brothers brutally murdered on a lonely roadside in S. Armagh. Kingsmill Massacre/Shooting. 5/1/1976. Their Bessbrook funeral. 8/1/1976.

Reggie and Walter Chapman: Protestant brothers brutally murdered on a lonely roadside in S. Armagh. Kingsmill Massacre/Shooting. 5/1/1976. Their Bessbrook funeral. 8/1/1976.

Alan Black, a survivor of the Kingsmill, Armagh Massacre/Shooting, when he was shot with his 10 workmates in an ambush on their way home from work by gunmen.  5/1/1976

Alan Black, a survivor of the Kingsmill, Armagh Massacre/Shooting, when he was shot with his 10 workmates in an ambush on their way home from work by gunmen. 5/1/1976

Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured are Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the DUP, intervening as Cedric Wilson is led away from the Europa. 11/4/1990.

Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured are Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the DUP, intervening as Cedric Wilson is led away from the Europa. 11/4/1990.

Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured Rev Ian Paisley. 11/4/1990.

Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured Rev Ian Paisley. 11/4/1990.

Mr Roddy Connolly of Bray, unveils a plaque at 420 Falls Road, Belfast, where his father, James Connolly, the 1916 leader, lived from 1907-10 while working in the north for the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. Connolly was born 100 years previous to the plague being unveiled (pictured here in 1968). The plaque was donated by  MP Mr Gerry Fitt (also pictured).

Mr Roddy Connolly of Bray, unveils a plaque at 420 Falls Road, Belfast, where his father, James Connolly, the 1916 leader, lived from 1907-10 while working in the north for the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. Connolly was born 100 years previous to the plague being unveiled (pictured here in 1968). The plaque was donated by MP Mr Gerry Fitt (also pictured).

Lord Gerry Fitt, founding member of SDLP and Civil Rights Organiser. Pic shows Gerry Fitt, then a republican MP, is held by police as the Civil Rights demonstrators clash with them in Duke Street, Londonderry. Pic includes nationalist leader Eddie mcAteer (centre) caught up in the struggle. 7/10/1968.

Lord Gerry Fitt, founding member of SDLP and Civil Rights Organiser. Pic shows Gerry Fitt, then a republican MP, is held by police as the Civil Rights demonstrators clash with them in Duke Street, Londonderry. Pic includes nationalist leader Eddie mcAteer (centre) caught up in the struggle. 7/10/1968.

Ronnie Flanagan, former RUC chief constable

Ronnie Flanagan, former RUC chief constable

Richard Alan Baird (28) killed by a remote controlled bomb hidden in a parked van. The bomb was detonated when a RUC mobile patrol drove past in Bessbrook Co. Armagh.  Also killed in the blast were Paul Gray (25) , Robert Lockhast (44)  and Noel Webb (30) 17/4/1979

Richard Alan Baird (28) killed by a remote controlled bomb hidden in a parked van. The bomb was detonated when a RUC mobile patrol drove past in Bessbrook Co. Armagh. Also killed in the blast were Paul Gray (25) , Robert Lockhast (44) and Noel Webb (30) 17/4/1979

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams pictured canvassing with Martin McGuinness, Alex Maskey and Danny Morrison shortly after he was shot and injured in a UDA gun attack in Belfast city centre.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams pictured canvassing with Martin McGuinness, Alex Maskey and Danny Morrison shortly after he was shot and injured in a UDA gun attack in Belfast city centre.

Scene where Michael Tighe (17) was shot dead by RUC when found with rifles in a shed in Lurgan.  24/11/1982.

Scene where Michael Tighe (17) was shot dead by RUC when found with rifles in a shed in Lurgan. 24/11/1982.

An army bomb disposal expert in flameproof  suit and padded body armour tackles an incendiary bomb at a clothing shop in the cetre of Belfast in 1984.

An army bomb disposal expert in flameproof suit and padded body armour tackles an incendiary bomb at a clothing shop in the cetre of Belfast in 1984.

Crumlin Road Jail. The scene outside as traffic on the Crumlin road is searched by the RUC following the escape. 17/11/1971

Crumlin Road Jail. The scene outside as traffic on the Crumlin road is searched by the RUC following the escape. 17/11/1971

RUC Constable Michael Frederick Leslie Marshall, killed in an IRA ambush in Beleek. Forensics examine Constable Marshall's Sierra 21.10.1989

RUC Constable Michael Frederick Leslie Marshall, killed in an IRA ambush in Beleek. Forensics examine Constable Marshall's Sierra 21.10.1989

A man is taken away by troops in the Markets area, Belfast as searches followed vicious shooting battles between gunmen and army. 11/8/1971.

A man is taken away by troops in the Markets area, Belfast as searches followed vicious shooting battles between gunmen and army. 11/8/1971.

Sir John Herman, former RUC chief constable and his bride Sylvia

Sir John Herman, former RUC chief constable and his bride Sylvia

Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988

Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988

RUC constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during street disturbances on the Shankill Road Belfast. He was the first RUC man killed in the troubles. October 1969

RUC constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during street disturbances on the Shankill Road Belfast. He was the first RUC man killed in the troubles. October 1969

Mrs Arbuckle, wife of constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during the Shankill Road riots receives the Union Jack which covered the coffin during the funeral service at Roselawn Cemetry

Mrs Arbuckle, wife of constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during the Shankill Road riots receives the Union Jack which covered the coffin during the funeral service at Roselawn Cemetry

Miami Showband massacre... A Ford Escort which was one of the cars used by loyalist gunmen, is left abandoned near the murder scene. 31/7/1975

Miami Showband massacre... A Ford Escort which was one of the cars used by loyalist gunmen, is left abandoned near the murder scene. 31/7/1975

Miami Showband

Miami Showband

Darkley (Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Hall). The scene where three elders were shot dead by the INLA. The terrorists broke in during a church service. 20/11/1983

Darkley (Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Hall). The scene where three elders were shot dead by the INLA. The terrorists broke in during a church service. 20/11/1983

The children who escaped death by inches at Darkley, from left, Graham Ritchie, Helen Wilson, Nigel Wilson, Andrew Reid (standing) and Keith Ritchie, photographed the day after the INLA attack.

The children who escaped death by inches at Darkley, from left, Graham Ritchie, Helen Wilson, Nigel Wilson, Andrew Reid (standing) and Keith Ritchie, photographed the day after the INLA attack.

Sir John Hermon, the former Chief Constable of the RUC at the funeral of the RUC's 100th victim of the Troubles, Constable Neill Quinn. Newry  22/6/1081

Sir John Hermon, the former Chief Constable of the RUC at the funeral of the RUC's 100th victim of the Troubles, Constable Neill Quinn. Newry 22/6/1081

Betty Williams, former leader of the NI Peace People, pictured with Mairead Corrigan.

Betty Williams, former leader of the NI Peace People, pictured with Mairead Corrigan.

UDA members being carried in a Land Rover along the Shankill Road.  22/05/72.

UDA members being carried in a Land Rover along the Shankill Road. 22/05/72.

A soldier recieves first aid after being injured by debris after a car bomb exploded on the Crumlin Road. 29/05/72

A soldier recieves first aid after being injured by debris after a car bomb exploded on the Crumlin Road. 29/05/72

/

Work under way to demolish Harryville Catholic church in Ballymena

It survived four decades of sectarian attacks, but now one of Northern Ireland's best known churches has been reduced to rubble.

Demolition work began yesterday at Our Lady's in Harryville – a predominantly loyalist area of Ballymena – bringing its troubled 45-year existence to an end.

The Catholic Church condemned the building to its fate for health and safety reasons.

Our Lady's, the scene of a series of bitter loyalist demonstrations which went on for nearly two years in the 1990s and the target of sectarian vandals since it opened in 1968, had fallen into a state of disrepair.

The landmark building on the Larne Road suffered leaks and structural damage, prompting an estimated £650,000 repair bill which the Church deemed an unjustifiable expense.

It was closed in February 2012, with many parishioners moving to Crebilly, a few miles away on the outskirts of Ballymena.

With the 2007 closure of St Mary's Primary School just up the road, the demolition ends any official Catholic presence in the area.

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The land is owned by the Church, which says it has no immediate plans for the site.

SDLP councillor for the area Declan O'Loan, who watched the building come down yesterday, said he did so with a heavy heart.

"It is very sad to see this beautiful modern church being demolished," he said.

"This was a place of great spiritual importance for people and many will have marked key moments in their family lives there.

"But I think most parishioners have recognised that it no longer served a meaningful purpose in the parish after the movement of the Catholic population from Harryville, and that it would not justify the major spend required to fix the building."

Mr O'Loan said "the awful days of the protest against the people going to the church" – which went on for 20 months between 1996 and 1999 – and "the frequent attacks of one sort and another on the church building" would never be forgotten.

It was brought into sharp focus in 1996 when a series of demonstrations began outside its doors in response to nationalist objections to an Orange Order parade in nearby Dunloy.

The protests, which often disrupted Masses and frequently turned into riots, eventually ended after the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

STORY SO FAR

The Church of Our Lady in Harryville was at the epicentre of a loyalist protest which received worldwide media coverage in the late 1990s. The demonstrations were most intense for two years from September 1996 and finished in 1999. Mass was said against a backdrop of shouting, firecrackers and police sirens. The church was also attacked in the run-up to its closure in February 2012.

From the archives: How Harryville made the headlines


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