3rd September – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

3rd September

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Friday 3 September 1971

A baby girl and an Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldier were killed in separate shooting incidents.

Tuesday 3 September 1974

Enoch Powell receives the endorsement of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in South Down to stand as the official UUP candidate in forthcoming elections.

Related image

See: Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood Speech

Wednesday 3 September 1975

Two Catholic civilians, a father and daughter, were shot dead at their home by Loyalist paramilitaries in Higtown Road, Belfast.

Monday 3 September 1979

Henry Corbett (27), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), at his home in Bawnmore Grove, Greencastle, Belfast.

Monday 3 September 1984

The inquest into the shooting of two Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) members on 12 December 1982 was postponed to await an investigation of the killings by John Stalker, then Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police.

Saturday 3 September 1988

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) turned out in force to police the funeral of an Irish Republican Army (IRA) member. [This was a reversal of an earlier low-key approach.]

Tuesday 3 September 1991

John Taylor, then a senior member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), addressed a meeting of the Young Unionist conference. He said that one in three Catholics was “either a supporter of murder or worse still a murderer”.

Friday 3 September 1993

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb, estimated at 1,000 pounds, in the centre of Armagh. The explosion caused extensive damage to property in the area.

Tuesday 3 September 1996

Hugh Torney, believed to be the former Chief of Staff of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), was shot dead in Lurgan. This killing was part of feud that had begun on 30 January 1996 with the killing of Gino Gallagher. (Hugh Torney’s faction later disbanded on 9 September 1996.)

Wednesday 3 September 1997

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), paid his first visit to the United States of America (USA) since February 1996. [During his five day trip he held a meeting with Sandy Berger, then National Security Advisor to the White House.]

Thursday 3 September 1998

Clinton Visit to Northern Ireland; New Emergency Legislation Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America, paid his second visit to Northern Ireland. Clinton delivered his keynote address at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

[Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, also delivered a speech, as did David Trimble and Seamus Mallon.]

Clinton spent most of the day in Northern Ireland before travelling to the Republic of Ireland where he spent the next two days. Bill Clinton was accompanied by the First Lady Hillary Clinton. Following his speech at the Waterfront Hall the president attended the ‘turning of the sod’ ceremony for the Springvale campus of the University of Ulster. Clinton then travelled to the site of the Omagh Bombing and spoke to survivors and relatives of the dead.

At the House of Commons the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Bill, was passed despite grave reservations by some Members of Parliament (MPs) that the measures were being rushed through without adequate debate. In the Republic of Ireland the Offences Against The State (Amendment) Bill passed into law after it was signed by the Presidential Commission. Although civil liberties groups warned that it was a bad law the bill met little opposition in the Dáil or the Seanad. The Irish government did however agree to an annual review of the legislation.

Roy Bradford, a veteran Unionist politician who had served in the 1974 Executive died at the age of 78.

Friday 3 September 1999

The remains of John McClory were buried in Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast. McClory (17) was one of the ‘disappeared’ and he and Brian McKinney (22) had been abducted on 25 May 1978 and were shot some time later by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) for allegedly stealing weapons. Their bodies were discovered on 29 June 1999 by Garda Síochána (the Irish police) in a bog in County Monaghan. The family of Peter McBride, who had been shot dead by two British soldiers on 4 September 1992, won a judicial review which sought to block the reinstatement into the British Army of the soldiers concerned.

[The two soldiers, Scots Guardsmen Fisher and Wright, had been sentenced for the murder of McBride in February 1995 but were released by the Secretary of State in August 1998.]

Monday 3 September 2001

School-children Face Loyalist Protest Catholic schoolgirls faced protests from Loyalists as they attempted to enter the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School on the Ardoyne Road in north Belfast. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers and British Army (BA) soldiers had to clear the protestors who were attempting to blockade the schoool. Crash barriers were erected to allow the children to get through the protest to the school.

Loyalists jeered and shouted sectarian abuse as the children, some as young as four years of age, were escorted by the parents into the school. As children and parents entered the front gate of the school Loyalists threw bottles and stones; one woman was injured.

[A blockade had begun on 19 June 2001 when Loyalists stood across the road by the main entrance to the Holy Cross school. The protest had continued through to the end of the school term on 29 June 2001. Most children were prevented from getting to school during the two week period but some of the children entered the building through the grounds of another school. Talks between community leaders in the area had failed to resolve the dispute which arose when Protestant residents claimed they had faced intimidation from Catholic parents something which the parents had denied.]

Later in the day the Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), issued a warning that parents and children should stay away from the Ardoyne Road. A threat was also issued against members of the RUC. During the evening there was widespread disturbance near the Holy Cross school as youths from both sides attacked security force patrols.

Three Catholic families escaped injury when their homes were badly damaged following a Loyalist pipe-bome attack. The houses were in Newington Avenue, a nationalist area at the Limestone Road community interface, and were attacked shortly before 10.00pm (2200BST). The pipe-bomb explosion caused an oil tank to catch fire and the flames spread to three houses, one of which was completely destroyed.

[One Catholic resident said that her home had been attacked three times in the past five weeks.]

A pipe-bomb exploded in the garden of a house in the White City area of Belfast. There was also violence around North Queen Street and in the Limestone Road. A small Catholic-owned coach hire company in Bellaghy, County Derry, was forced to close his business because of attacks and threats from Loyalist paramilitaries. Buses owned by the company had been attacked and people injured during the summer. David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), held private talks on the future of policing in Northern Ireland during a meeting at Stormont. Neither leader issued a statement or spoke to the media following the meeting. A UUP spokesman had described the talks as “purely exploratory”.

[This was believed to have been the first meeting between the two men since 1998.]

The Saville Inquiry into the events on ‘Bloody Sunday’ resumed in the Guildhall in Derry following the summer recess.

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.

9 People lost their lives on the 3rd  September  between 1971 – 1996


03 September 1971

Francis Veitch,  (23)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while on guard duty outside Kinawley Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) base, County Fermanagh.


03 September 1971

Angela Gallagher,   (1)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while in pram, during sniper attack on nearby British Army (BA) patrol, Iveagh Crescent, Falls, Belfast.


03 September 1972

Robert Cutting,   (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot, in error, by other British Army (BA) member, while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, junction of Lepper Street and Stratheden Street, New Lodge, Belfast.


03 September 1975

William Hamilton,  (63)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Hightown Road, near Belfast, County Antrim.


03 September 1975

Patricia McGrenaghan,   (34)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at her father’s home, Hightown Road, near Belfast, County Antrim.


03 September 1979

Henry Corbett,   (27)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his home, Bawnmore Grove, Greencastle, Belfast.


03 September 1991
Seamus Sullivan,  (24)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot at his workplace, Council Depot, Springfield Avenue, Falls, Belfast.


03 September 1993

Michael Edwards,  (39)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his home, Finaghy Park Central, Finaghy, Belfast.


03 September 1996

Hugh Torney,  (42)

Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot, while walking along Victoria Street, Lurgan, County Armagh. Internal Irish National Liberation Army dispute.


See: 4th September


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