Northern Ireland news

The DUP: A short history

Ian Paisley arrested outside St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral in May 1980 during a protest against Taoiseach Charles Haughey. Picture from Pacemaker

DUP Timeline

September, 1971 - The DUP is co-founded by Rev Ian Paisley

October, 1971 - Four MPs join the DUP at Stormont - Rev Paisley, William Beattie, Desmond Boal and Johnny McQuade

June 1973 - Eight DUP members are elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly

May 1979 - Rev Paisley, Peter Robinson and Johnny McQuade are elected as MPs

June 1979 - Rev Paisley is elected as an MEP

November 1985 - Hundreds of thousands of people gather at Belfast City Hall in a mass 'Ulster Says No' rally, backed by the DUP, UUP and other unionists, in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement

November 1986 - Rev Paisley, Mr Robinson and Ivan Foster announce the formation of the Ulster Resistance Movement (URM). The following year, the DUP says it has cut ties with the URM

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley junior (left) pictured with his father during the Drumcree stand off in 1996

1998 - The Good Friday Agreement is signed. The DUP is strongly opposed to the peace deal

October 2002 - Power-sharing at Stormont collapses after Sinn Féin's offices at Stormont are raided by the police

November 2003 - The DUP becomes the largest party in the assembly

January 2004 - Ulster Unionists Jeffrey Donaldson, Arlene Foster and Norah Beare defect to the DUP. Mr Donaldson joins the DUP team at Westminster

May 2005 - Nine DUP MPs elected to Westminster

October 2006 - Talks lead to the St Andrews Agreement

March 2007 - Thirty DUP MLAs elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly following the restoration of power-sharing

May 2007 - Rev Paisley becomes First Minister. His friendship with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness leads to them being branded as the 'Chuckle Brothers'

June 2008 - Peter Robinson succeeds Rev Paisley as DUP leader and becomes First Minister

Then First Minister Peter Robinson and his wife Iris in 2008. Picture from Press Association

May 2011 - DUP increases its number of MLAs to 38

December 2015 - Mrs Foster becomes DUP leader following resignation of Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson embraces Arlene Foster after she was formally elected as leader of the DUP in December 2015. Picture by Liam McBurney, Press Association

January 2016 - Mrs Foster becomes First Minister

January 2017 - Stormont collapses due to the 'cash for ash' scandal

June 2017 - Following the General Election, the DUP signs a confidence and supply agreement with the Conservative government

January 2020 - Stormont returns after parties sign the New Decade, New Approach Deal

May 2021 - Mrs Foster resigns following an internal DUP coup. Edwin Poots becomes leader

June 2021 - Mr Poots resigns following controversy over his decision to nominate Paul Givan as First Minister

June 2021 - Sir Jeffrey Donaldson is appointed as new DUP leader

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DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. Picture by Peter Morrison, Press Association

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