7th October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles
7th October

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Friday 7 October 1977

Desmond Irvine (38), then Chairman of the Northern Ireland Prison Officers’ Association, was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Wellington Park, Belfast. The Irish Independence Party (IIP) was launched. The IIP was a Nationalist political party which advocated British withdrawal from Northern Ireland. The founding members of the IIP were Frank McManus and Fergus McAteer. The IIP was seen as a potential challenge to the domination of nationalist politics by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Thursday 7 October 1982

A member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and a Prison Officer were killed in a connected incident in Kilmore, County Armagh.

Wednesday 7 October 1987

Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), resigned as deputy leader. (??)

Sunday 7 October 1990

In an interview John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was called for the abandonment of the present proposals for the commencement of political talks.

Thursday 7 October 1993

Hume Meets Taoiseach John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), travelled to Dublin to meet Albert Reynolds, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minster), and Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs). Hume gave them a report on the meetings he had held with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

Adams, who was also in Dublin, said that a declaration by the British government on the right of Irish self-determination would lead to an end of the campaign of violence by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). At the trial of three former British police officers in London was ended by the judge because of what he termed “saturation” publicity surrounding the case. The three officers had been accused of perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in the case of the Birmingham Six.

Monday 7 October 1996

IRA Bombing of Army Headquarters The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded two bombs in the British Army Headquarters, Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn, County Antrim (responsibility for the bombs was claimed on 8 October 1996).

31 people were injured, four seriously, in the attack. (Warrant Officer James Bradwell (43) died four days later (11 October) of injuries received in the blasts).

The bombs were each estimated to have contained 800 pounds of home-made explosive. The car bombs were smuggled into what is considered to be the top security base in Northern Ireland. The bombs were the first attack against the security forces in Northern Ireland by the IRA since their ceasefire on 31 August 1994.

The bombing coincided with the start of the Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth, and a meeting between loyalist prisoners and representatives of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) in the Maze Prison

Tuesday 7 October 1997

Substantive Talks Began at Stormont A bomb was sent by mail to the office of Jeffrey Donaldson, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP) . Donaldson was in America at the time and the device was defused by the British Army. Those parties taking part in the talks returned to Stormont to being discussing substantive issues. However, David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, was not present as he was still on a two-day visit to the United States of America (USA). During the visit Trimble had a meeting with Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America. The talks in Belfast were also overshadowed by the resignation of Ray Burke, then Irish Foreign Minister.

Alan Clark, formerly a British Defence Minister, spoke at a fringe meeting of the Conservative Party conference and said that “the only solution for dealing with the IRA [Irish Republican Army] is kill 600 people in one night”.

[Clark later said that he was only joking.]

Thursday 7 October 1999

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), addressed a rally, estimated at 500 people, which was organised to ‘Defend the RUC’. The rally was held in Newtownards, County Down, and was planned as being the first in a series. Esmond Bernie, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MLA, told a party meeting that he would accept “jumping together” with Sinn Féin (SF) into government. He was prepared to accept this ahead of decommissioning if SF ministers agreed to resign if Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning of arms did not occur. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) announced that Nigel Dodds would stand as a candidate for the party at the next general election in north Belfast. Previously in the 1997 general election Cecil Walker, then UUP MP, had not been opposed by any Unionist candidate.

[At the 2001 general election Dodds won the seat.]

Saturday 7 October 2000

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), delivered a strong speech in defence of power-sharing at the annual conference of the UUP. Most delegates give him a standing ovation but there was a significant section of the delegates who booed.

Sunday 7 October 2001

There was a gun attack on Lavery’s Bar, Bradbury Place, Beflast. A gunman fired a shotgun from a passing car. No one was injured in the attack. There was an attack on the home of a prison officer in Portadown, County Armagh.

A gang of men forced their way into the house and set it on fire. The daughter (17) of the prison officer was alone in the house at the time of the attack and suffered from the effects of smoke inhalation. A young child found a pipe-bomb that had been left at a Gaelic Athletic Club (GAA) in Swatragh, County Derry.

The British Army defused the device which had been discovered at 5.00pm (17.00BST). [Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to have been responsible for the attack.] Bomb-making equipment was discovered in a disused house in Haliday’s Road, Belfast. Security forces removed a number of items including a quantity of ammunition and combat clothing.

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Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

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

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
Thomas Campbell

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 7th October  between 1972 – 1985

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07 October 1972


Olive McConnell,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in car bomb attack, outside Long Bar, Leeson Street, Lower Falls, Belfast

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07 October 1972


Alexander Moorehead,  (16)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)
Shot while walking along Mourne Park, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone

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07 October 1977


Desmond Irvine,   (38)

Protestant
Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot shortly after leaving trade union office, Wellington Park, Malone, Belfast.

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07 October 1982
Fred Williamson,   (33)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Shot by sniper while driving to work, Kilmore, near Armagh. Car went out of control and hit Elizabeth Chambers’ car coming in opposite direction causing her death.

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07 October 1982


Elizabeth Chambers,   (26)

Protestant
Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Killed when off duty Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) member Fred Williamson’s car went out of control and hit her car, coming in opposite direction, Kilmore, near Armagh. Fred Williamson had been shot by sniper.

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07 October 1985
Damien McCrory,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, by the side of road, Drumrallagh, Strabane, County Tyrone. Alleged informer.

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