Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland year in pictures - April to June 2014

April

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April saw the 102nd anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which was commemorated in an annual service at the Titanic Memorial Gardens at Belfast City Hall.

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A replica of the iconic Downpatrick High Cross was installed in front of Down Cathedral, in time for Easter. The original cross, which is 1,100 years old, was removed five months earlier to be preserved as the centrepiece of a display in Down County Museum.

May

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In May, a young County Antrim boy, Oscar Knox, died after a two-and-a-half year battle with neuroblastoma. His long battle against the aggressive form of cancer captured the hearts of many people in Northern Ireland. His family tweeted: "Our beautiful, amazing and much loved son Oscar James Knox gained his angel wings yesterday afternoon. Sleep tight little man."

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After months of anticipation, one of the world's most prestigious cycle races, the Giro d'Italia, arrived in Northern Ireland for the 'Big Start'. The first day of racing saw cyclists take part in a time trial through the streets of Belfast, passing many well known landmarks, being broadcast to a global television audience.

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Ireland's hopes came to an end on day one when Dan Martin broke his collarbone in a crash while racing along Belfast's Newtownards Road. The 27-year-old rider went down after riding over a manhole cover in wet conditions.

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Day two took the race north towards the Giant's Causeway before heading back to Belfast along the coast road on a route totalling 219km. Germany's Marcel Kittel won a sprint towards the finish line at Belfast City Hall to take the stage victory. The third and final day of the races time in Northern Ireland saw the riders cycle from Armagh to Dublin.

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Elections were held across Northern Ireland to select members of the European Parliament and for the eleven new 'super councils' which were created as part of the reform of local government. There was criticism of the speed of the count for the European Elections which took two days to complete.

June

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The Blackford Dolphin oil rig, which had become part of the east Belfast skyline for over six months, left the Harland and Wolff shipyard heading back to the North Sea. The rig initially came in for a 60-day refit in November 2013, but was found to need much more extensive repair work.

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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh met cast and production members from Game of Thrones during a tour of the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast. The Royal couple were on a three day visit to Northern Ireland which also saw them visit Crumlin Road Gaol.

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The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh also visited Coleraine as part of their trip. The Royal couple met members of the Royal British Legion from Northern Ireland and the Republic during the visit to the town hall.

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