21st August – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles


21st   August

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Friday 21 August 1970 SDLP Formed

The Social and Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) was established. The first leader of the party was Gerry Fitt and the deputy leader John Hume. Other prominent members included, Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, Ivan Cooper, Paddy O’Hanlon and Paddy Wilson. [The party effectively took over from most of the various Nationalist and Labour party groupings and became the main political voice of Nationalists in Northern Ireland until Sinn Fein began to contest elections in the early 1980s.]

Saturday 21 August 1976

Approximately 20,000 people, mainly women from Protestant and Catholic areas of Belfast, attended a Peace People’s rally at Ormeau Park, Belfast.

Wednesday 21 August 1991

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a large bomb, estimated at 500 pounds, near an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station in Kilrea, County Derry. The explosion causes damage to nearby homes and churches.

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), wrote a letter, seeking ‘open-ended discussions’, to the British and Irish governments and to political and Church leaders in Northern Ireland.

Friday 21 August 1992

Hugh McKibben (21), then a member of the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO), was shot dead at the Lámh Dhearg Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) social club on the outskirts of Belfast. His was killed by the Belfast Brigade of the IPLO during an internal IPLO feud. Two other men were wounded in the attack.

Saturday 21 August 1999

The remains of Tom Williams were exhumed from Crumlin Road Prison and handed over to his surviving family members. Williams had been a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and was hanged in 1942 for the killing of Patrick Murphy a Constable in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Monday 21 August 2000 Loyalist Paramilitary Feud

Two men, Jackie Coulter and Bobby Mahood, were killed as the Loyalist paramilitary feud erupted into further violence. Coulter, who had Ulster Defence Association (UDA) connections and was an associate of Johnny Adair, died immediately at the scene. Mahood, who had been seriously wounded, died later in hospital.


Loyalist sources said that Mahood had Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) connections but he opposed the Belfast Agreement and the policies of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP). The killings were carried out by the UVF and were part of a feud between the UDA and the UVF.

U.V.F Logo
U.V.F Logo

In addition to the shootings there were also attacks on offices used by the two Loyalist parties closely associated with the UDA and the UVF. Troops were deployed on the streets of Belfast to try to control the situation.

[Seven people were killed during the feud which officially ended on 15 December 2000.]

Tuesday 21 August 2001

Two pipe-bombs were thrown at two separate houses at Inchcolme Avenue, Ballymena, County Antrim, at about 12.30am (0030BST). The front door of one house was damaged and a window broken in the other house. There were no injuries in the two attacks.

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

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) announced that it required more time to respond to the ‘Patten Report – Updated Implementation Plan 2001’ (issued on 17 August 2001). James Cooper, then Chairman of the UUP, said that:

“While we are not opposed in principle to nominations to the police board, we still have a number of concerns.”

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) also missed the British government’s deadline of midday in which to respond to the policing proposals.

[The DUP were critical of the new implementation plan and were expected to make a detailed response at a later date.]

John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that he believed that the new Police Board would be operational at the end of September 2001. Nigel Baylor (Rev), then Church of Ireland rector, criticised as “insulting” the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) parade and ‘show of strength’ on the Shankill Road in Belfast on Saturday 19 August 2001.

Baylor had led the service at the funeral of Gavin Brett (18), who had been shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries on 29 July 2001.

[Although the Red Hand Defenders (RHD) had claimed responsibility for the killing most people blamed the UDA.]

The Guardian (a British newspaper) carried a report  on the results of an opinion poll on the future of Northern Ireland carried out by ICM in Britain. Of those questioned, 41 per cent stated that they thought there should be a united Ireland. Only 26 per cent felt that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom (UK). The report stated: “For unionists, many of whom consider themselves British and refer to Britain as ‘the mainland’, today’s findings amount to a cold shoulder from their fellow citizens. Only one in four wants the province to stay part of the country.”

[This survey maked a significant shift in public opinion in Britain from the 1980s and 1990s when there was a majority in favour of Northern Ireland remaining within the UK.]

William Esson, then a reserve judge with the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, announced that he was resigning from the inquiry for reasons of ill health.

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.

6 people lost their lives on the 21st  August between 1975 – 2000


21 August 1975

John Finlay,   (30)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot while walking to work along Brougham Street, Belfast.


21 August 1975
David Davidson,   (30)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot at his workplace, scrapyard / garage, Antrim Road, Ballyvessy, near Glengormley, County Antrim.


21 August 1978

Patrick Fee,  (64)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while travelling to work in his firm’s van, Scribbagh, near Garrison, County Fermanagh. The van driver, an off duty Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) member, the intended target.


21 August 1992

Isobel Leyland,  (40)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during sniper attack on nearby Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol, while walking at the junction of Ardoyne Avenue and Flax Street, Ardoyne, Belfast


21 August 2000

Jackie Coulter,   (46)

Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while sitting in stationary jeep, Crumlin Road, Belfast. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.


21 August 2000

Bobby Mahood,  (48)

Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while sitting with UDA member Jackie Coulter, in stationary jeep, Crumlin Road, Belfast. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s