21st September – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

21st September

Thursday 21 September 1972

A member of the UDR and his wife were killed in an IRA attack near Derrylin, County Fermanagh.

Thursday 21 September 1978

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb attack on Eglinton airfield, County Derry. The terminal building, two aircraft hangers, and four planes were destroyed in the attack.

Monday 21 September 1981

Michael James Devine

James Devine, then an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner, joined the hunger strike. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was openly critical of the hunger strike.

Saturday 21 September 1991

Loyalist prisoners started a fire in the dining-hall of Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast. Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, left Northern Ireland to begin a five-day visit to the United States of America (USA).

Monday 21 – Wednesday 23 September 1992

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led a delegation from the UUP to talks in Dublin Castle, Dublin, with the Irish Government. The talks were based on Strand Two and the topics discussed included constitutional matters, security co-operation, channels of communication between the two states, and identity and allegiance. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) did not attend the talks in Dublin.

[These were the first formal discussions by Unionists in Dublin since 1922.]

Tuesday 21 September 1993

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), placed bombs at the homes of four Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillors. No one was injured in the attacks. Senior members of the SDLP expressed support for the ‘Hume-Adams’ talks.

Thursday 21 September 1995

It was revealed that the total amount of compensation paid by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) for ‘Troubles’ related incidents (to the end of March 1995) was £1.12 billion.

Sunday 21 September 1997

[Frank Steele, formerly a member of MI6, claimed that various British governments had been in contact with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) since the first contact was established on 7 July 1972.]

Monday 21 September 1998

Members of the Garda Síochána (the Irish police) and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) detained 12 men as part of their investigation into the Omagh bombing. Six were arrested in south Armagh, six in north Louth, Republic of Ireland. Jeffrey Donaldson, then a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP) and a critic of the Agreement, said that David Trimble, then First Minister designate, had mentioned in several private meetings the possibility of his resignation over the issue of decommissioning. Trimble said that he had never made such a threat.

Tuesday 21 September 1999

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) met a Sinn Féin (SF) delegation at Stormont. The meeting was part of the Mitchell Review of the Good Friday Agreement.

Thursday 21 September 2000

South Antrim By-election

A 71 year old Protestant woman in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, escaped injury after she handled a pipe-bomb that had been put through her letterbox. A similar device was put through the letterbox of a house in north Belfast.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won the Westminster by-election in South Antrim taking the seat from the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The area had previously been the second safest UUP seat. Willie McCrea (Rev.), who was a strong opponent of the Good Friday Agreement, won the seat by 822 votes to beat David Burnside the UUP candidate who was also an opponent of the Agreement.

[Commentators speculated that UUP supporters who were in favour of the Agreement had stayed at home and decided not to vote in the election.]

Friday 21 September 2001

Assembly Suspended For 1 Day John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that he was suspending the Northern Ireland Assembly at midnight.

[The suspension lasted just 24 hours. The effect of the suspension was to allow another period of six weeks (until 3 November 2001) in which the political parties would have an opportunity to come to agreement and elect a First Minister and Deputy First Minister.]

The Irish Times (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) published the results of an opinion poll conducted on a sample of 1,000 people in Northern Ireland. Of those questioned 85 per cent said they thought the Irish Republican Army (IRA) should “now begin the process of putting its weapons beyond use”. While 64 per cent of the sample indicated that they had voted in favour of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 only 52 per cent said they would vote in favour of it now.

[The survey was conducted conducted last Saturday and Monday on behalf of the Irish Times and Prime Time by MRBI Ltd.]

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that Nationalist recruits to the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) would be “accorded the same treatment as the RUC” [Royal Ulster Constabulary].

[Unionists claimed that the comments implied a threat to Catholic recuits; this was denied by SF.]

It was reported that the number of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers claiming compensation for trauma had risen to over 3,000.

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.

3 People lost their lives on the 21st   September  between 1971 – 1972


21 September 1971
James Finlay,   (31)

Status: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died eight days after being injured in premature bomb explosion at house, Bann Street, Lower Oldpark, Belfast. Explosion occurred on 13 September 1971.


21 September 1972

Thomas Bullock,   (53)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot together with his wife at their home, Aghalane, near Derrylin, County Fermanagh


21 September 1972
Emily Bullock,   (50)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot together with her husband, an Ulster Defence Regiment member, at their home, Aghalane, near Derrylin, County Fermanagh.



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