The British Government passes a law to create Northern Ireland. It gives Northern Ireland power to make its own laws through a new government based in Belfast. Work begins on the Stormont Estate to build a place for the new government to meet.
Celebrations take place as the Prince of Wales opens Parliament Buildings, the new meeting place for the Northern Ireland Government. Crowds cheer and wave hats as he arrives at the completed building.
World War II
The white building is painted with cow manure and tar to hide it from German bomber planes at night. It takes seven years to clean the building after World War II ends. Traces of the paint can still be seen today! From 1941, the Royal Air Force (RAF) uses the Senate Chamber in Parliament Buildings as a base, increasing the risk of attack.
Many nationalists march because they feel they are not treated fairly by the Northern Ireland Government. Marches soon end in riots between nationalists and unionists. Fighting becomes deadly during the summer of 1969, when people are shot and killed. A long period of violence follows, known as ‘The Troubles.’
Stormont is Suspended
As the Troubles get worse, the British government decides that the government at Stormont cannot cope with the crisis. The British government suspends Stormont, meaning that decisions about Northern Ireland are made in London rather than Belfast. Efforts to make a power-sharing government begin.
It takes almost thirty years to end the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The IRA calls a ceasefire on 31st August 1994. Loyalists call a ceasefire on 13th October 1994. The peace process is underway.
Assembly Chamber Fire
A fire caused by an electrical fault destroys the Assembly Chamber at Parliament Buildings. Care is taken to restore the Chamber as it was. Repairs cost millions of pounds. Extra viewing galleries are added.
Northern Ireland Assembly
British and Irish Governments and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland talk about their differences. After long, difficult negotiations, they agree to work together. The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement creates a power sharing government - the Northern Ireland Assembly.