31st August – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

31st  of  August

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Tuesday 31 August 1971

An inquiry into allegations of brutality by the security forces against those interned without trial was announced.

[The report of the inquiry, the Compton Report was published on 16 November 1971.]

A British soldier died one day after being mortally wounded in Belfast.

Friday 31 August 1973

Two members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were shot by British Army soldiers in Ballymurphy, Belfast. [One IRA member died on the day and the other died on 22 September 1973.]

Monday 31 August 1981

Hugh Carville, then an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner, joined the hunger strike.

Wednesday 31 August 1988

Sean Dalton and Shelia Lewis, two Catholic civilians were killed by an Irish Republican Army (IRA) booby-trap bomb in the Creggan area of Derry. A third person, Gerard Curran, was injured and died on 31 March 1989. The three had gone to the flat of a neighbour they hadn’t seen for a number of days. Dalton detonated the bomb when he climbed through a window of the flat.

The bomb was intended for members of the security

Wednesday 31 August 1994

IRA Cessation of Military Operations The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement which announced a complete cessation of military activities: “Recognising the potential of the current situation and in order to enhance the democratic process and underlying our definitive commitment to its success, the leadership of the IRA have decided that as of midnight, August 31, there will be a complete cessation of military operations.

All our units have been instructed accordingly.” Following the announcement a cavalcade of cars covered in Irish flags travelled through Catholic west Belfast in apparent celebration. People also attended a rally that was addressed by Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

[The British government reacted with scepticism to the announcement on the basis that the statement did not contain the word ‘permanent’. This was to be a feature of the Conservative government’s approach until it was replaced by a Labour government following the election on 1 May 1997. Unionists were also sceptical. Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), warned of ‘civil war’.]

Albert Reynolds, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that he accepted the IRA statement as implying a permanent ceasefire. Sean McDermott (37), a Catholic civilian, was abducted and killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). He was found shot, in his car, off Old Ballynoe Road, near Antrim. Four IRA prisoners were transferred from prisons in England to a prison in Northern Ireland.

Thursday 31 August 1995

Republicans held a number of pickets and vigils across Northern Ireland to mark the first anniversary of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire and also to increase the pressure for all-party talks. Gary McMichael, then leader of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), said that Loyalist paramilitaries would decommission their arms if the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would do the same.

[On 1 September 1995 an IRA spokesperson was reported as ruling out any decommissioning.]

Thursday 31 August 1995

Republicans held a number of pickets and vigils across Northern Ireland to mark the first anniversary of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire and also to increase the pressure for all-party talks. Gary McMichael, then leader of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), said that Loyalist paramilitaries would decommission their arms if the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would do the same.

[On 1 September 1995 an IRA spokesperson was reported as ruling out any decommissioning.]

Sunday 31 August 1997

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, gave an interview which was published by the Sunday Times. In it he indicated that what was likely to come out of the talks process was a devolved assembly for Northern Ireland together with co-operation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He also said that there would be a referendum on any future agreement. Garry McMichael, then spokesperson for the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), said that he would recommend that the UDP leave the multi-party talks if Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, did not give a “satisfactory definition of consent”. William Ross and William Thompson, then both Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Members of Parliament (MPs), called on their party leader to withdraw from any further involvement in the “squalid” Stormont talks process.

Tuesday 31 August 1999

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, resisted Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) demands for a postponement of the review of the Good Friday Agreement. He made it clear to Mr Trimble that he supported the decision by Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State of Northern Ireland, that the IRA ceasefire was still intact. The victims’ group FAIR (Families Acting for Innocent Relatives) called for the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement. The call was made at a conference in Portadown, County Armagh, which was attended by anti-Agreement MPs.

Friday 31 August 2001

Three men from County Louth, Republic of Ireland, were due to appear before Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in London on charges under Britain’s Terrorism Act (2000). The men had been arrested in Slovakia on 5 July 2001 and were extradited to Britain on 30 August 2001. British Army bomb disposal officers were called to a Catholic school in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast to defuse a pipe-bomb. The 14 member ‘officer board’ of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) is expected to hold a meeting to discuss recent political developments and in particular the party’s response to the ‘Patten Report – Updated Implementation Plan 2001’ that was issued on 17 August 2001.


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.

14 People lost their lives on the 31st of  August between 1971 – 1994

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31 August 1971


Clifford Loring,  (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died one day after being shot at British Army (BA) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Stockman’s Lane, Belfast.

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31 August 1972
Patrick Devenney,  (27)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Body found shot in sack, Rugby Road, Belfast.

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31 August 1972


Eamon McMahon,   (19)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found tied up and beaten to death in River Bann, Portadown, County Armagh

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31 August 1973


Patrick Mulvenna,   (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA), Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during gun battle from concealed British Army (BA) observation post while alighting from car, Ballymurphy Road, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

————————————————————–

31 August 1973


James Bryson,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA), Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during gun battle from concealed British Army (BA) observation post while alighting from car, Ballymurphy Road, Ballymurphy, Belfast. He died 22 September 1973.

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31 August 1975
Joseph Reid,  (46)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his farm, Farnaloy, near Keady, County Armagh.

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31 August 1977
William Smith,   (28) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, outside Girdwood British Army (BA) base, Antrim Road, Belfast.

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31 August 1980


Allen Wallace   (49)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty reservist. Abducted while driving milk lorry, near Newtownhamilton, County Armagh. Found shot, Trainor’s Bridge, near Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, on 12 September 1980.

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31 August 1985


Martin Vance,  (33)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Rocks Chapel Road, Crossgar, County Down.

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31 August 1988
Sean Dalton,  (55)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in neighbour’s home, Kildrum Gardens, Creggan, Derry

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31 August 1988
Sheila Lewis,   (60)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in neighbour’s home, Kildrum Gardens, Creggan, Derry

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31 August 1988
Gerard Curran,   (-9)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Injured by booby trap bomb in neighbour’s home, Kildrum Gardens, Creggan, Derry. He died 31 March 1989.

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31 August 1991


Francis Crawford,  (57)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Take-away delivery driver. Shot when lured to bogus call, Vicinage Court, near Carlisle Circus, Belfast.

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31 August 1994
Sean McDermott,  (37)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot, in his car, off Old Ballynoe Road, near Antrim.

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Main source CAIN Web Service

See: 1st September

1 thought on “31st August – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

  1. Francis crawford,sir i was on qrf that day,first on the scene and you were all ready gone,i just want too let your family know that we would have done everything possible,but there was nothing we could do my friend,you were gone before we arrived frank,it still hurts,and it’ll always be on my mind till the day i die,i suffer ptsd with the lisburn bombing and with your passing,maybe this is my deliverience,so i shall go on,respect my friend,from a young scottish soldier

    Liked by 1 person

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