20th August – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles – Ballygawley Bus Attack

20th  August

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Friday 20 August 1971

The Northern Ireland Government published a white paper entitled ‘A Record of Constructive Change‘, (Cmd. 558).

[The Command Paper set out the Northern Ireland Government’s reponse to criticism that it had failed to meet its commitments under the ‘Downing Street Declaration‘ of 19 August 1969.]

A man died nine days after being mortally wounded in Belfast.

Thursday 20 August 1981

Michael Devine

Tenth Hunger Striker Died Michael Devine (27) died after 60 days on hunger strike. Devine had been a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). The family of Patrick McGeown, who had been on hunger strike for 42 days, agreed to medical intervention to save his life. A by-election was held in Fermanagh / South Tyrone to elect a Member of Parliament (MP) to Westminster to the seat that became vacant on the death of Bobby Sands. Owen Carron, who had been Sands’ campaign manager, was proposed by Sinn Féin (SF). Carron won the by-election with an increased number of votes over the total achieved by Sands. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) had again decided not to contest the election.

Tuesday 20 August 1985

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed Seamus McAvoy (46) at his home in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. McAvoy had sold portable buildings to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and was the first person to be killed for providing goods or services to the security forces in Northern Ireland.

[This killing marked the beginning of a campaign against what the IRA termed ‘legitimate targets’.]

Saturday 20 August

See bottom of page for more details on Ballygawley Bus Bombing

1988 Ballygawley Bombing

Eight British Army soldiers were killed when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb at Ballygawley, County Tyrone. A further 28 soldiers were injured.

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IRA kill 8 British soldiers in landmine attack!.

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See Ballygawley Bus Attack Post

Saturday 20 August 1994

Loyalists carried out a bomb attack on a Catholic public house in the Markets area of Belfast. Republicans held a ‘Time for Peace – Time to Go’ rally in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. There was an estimated crowd of 10,000 people at the rally.

Tuesday 20 August 1996

John Alderdice, then leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), was awarded a life peerage to the House of Lords. His name had been sponsored by the British Liberal Democrats.

Wednesday 20 August 1997

Up to 30 men who claimed to be members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) badly damaged a public house, The Golden Hind, in Portadown, County Armagh. The pub was allegedly a frequent meeting place for members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

Friday 20 August 1999

There were disturbances between Nationalists and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers in the Seacourt Estate in Larne, County Antrim. During the trouble a shotgun was fired and stones thrown.

Nine men, including Gerard Rice, then spokesman for the Lower Ormeau Concerned Community, were charged with obstruction following the protest on 14 August 1999. There was a meeting between the Bogside Residents’ Group and the Apprentice Boys of Derry to discuss the Lundy’s Day parade planned for December.

Monday 20 August 2001 SDLP Support Policing Plan

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held a meeting to decide on whether or not to accept the ‘Patten Report – Updated Implementation Plan 2001’ that was issued on 17 August 2001. Following the meeting the party announced that it would nominate representatives to the proposed 19 member Policing Board which would oversee the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). John Hume, then leader of the SDLP, said:

“We will respond positively to an invitation to join the Policing Board and we will be encouraging people from all sections of the community to join the new police service.”

The SDLP issued a document outlining its reasons for the change in policy.

[The decision represented a historic shift in SDLP policy given that the party had withheld support from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) since 1970. The decision was welcomed by the Irish government, the British government, the Catholic Church, and the Department of Sate in the United States of America (USA).]

There was a gun attack on a house at Mounthill Drive, Cloughmills, County Antrim, at approximately 10.30pm (2230BST). Two shots were fired at a bedroom window of the dwelling but none of the family of five in the house at the time were injured. The estate where the shooting happened was mixed and the house was owned by a Protestant family.

[The RUC have not established a motive for the attack.]

A ‘paint-bomb’ was thrown at the home of a Protestant man in Hesketh Park, north Belfast. The bottle of paint broke a window and caused paint damage to fittings and furnishings. The man had taken part in a Loyalist stand-off in Ardoyne in June which prevented primary school-children from going to the Catholic Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School. Nelson McCausland, then Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor, accused Republicans of being responsible for the attack.

There were two security alerts in west Belfast. One suspect device was thrown at a house in Tullymore Gardens in Andersonstown, while the other device was discovered on the Hannahstown Road. Sinn Féin accused the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) of being responsible for the attacks.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland published an annual report on the religions composition of the workforce in the region: A Profile of the Workforce in Northern Ireland, Summary of 2000 Monitoring Returns. The report showed that the overall composition of the monitored workforce was 60.4 per cent Protestant and 39.6 per cent Catholic. Other surveys showed that the economically active population is 58 per cent Protestant and 42 per cent Catholic. The imbalance between Catholic and Protestant employment rates has narrowed over the past 10 years. However the last year saw the smallest improvement at 0.1 per cent.


Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the follow  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

“There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

13 people lost their lives on the 20th August between 1971 – 1988

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20 August 1971
John McKerr,   (49)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died nine days after being shot while standing outside Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

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20 August 1972
James Lindsay,   (45)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot, Glencairn Road, Glencairn, Belfast.

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20 August 1973

Charles O’Donnell,   (61)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed by bomb thrown into his home, Grampian Avenue, Strandtown, Belfast.

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 20 August 1981

Mickey Devine,  (27)

Catholic
Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died on the 60th day of hunger strike, Long Kesh / Maze Prison, County Down.

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 20 August 1985

Seamus McEvoy,  (46) Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his home, Eglinton Road, Donnybrook, Dublin. Contractor to British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) .

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 20 August 1988

Jayson Burfitt,   (19) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone

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 20 August 1988
Richard Greener,   (21) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

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20 August 1988

Mark Norsworthy,  (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

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 20 August 1988


Stephen Wilkinson,   (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

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 20 August 1988


Jason Winter,   (19) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

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20 August 1988


Blair Bishop,   (19) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

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 20 August 1988
Alexander Lewis,   (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

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20 August 1988


Peter Bullock,   (21) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

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See: Ballygawley Bus Bombing

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