8tth October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles
8th October

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Thursday 8 October 1970

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) proposed that a system of Proportional Representation (PR) should be used in elections in Northern Ireland. [PR was introduced on 30 May 1973 for local government elections.]

Thursday 7 October 1971

Brian Faulkner, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, met with Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, and the British Cabinet. The meeting was held in London. An additional 1,500 British Army troops were sent to Northern Ireland.

Monday 8 October 1973

A group of Ulster Unionists who were opposed to sharing power with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) called for the resignation of Brian Faulkner, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

Saturday 8 October 1977

Margaret Hearst (24), a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), was shot dead, while she was off duty, by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at her parent’s home near Tynan, County Armagh.

Sunday 8 October 1978

A number of groups in Derry, including Sinn Féin (SF), held a march to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 5 October 1968 civil rights march. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) staged a counter demonstration attended by Loyalists and led by Ian Paisley. Trouble developed and 67 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured in clashes with Loyalists. Two RUC officers were also injured in confrontations with Republicans

Thursday 8 October 1981

Lawrence Kennedy, an Independent councillor on Belfast Council, was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries as he stood in the entrance to Shamrock Social Club, Ardoyne, Belfast.

Tuesday 8 October 1985

The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal overturned a conviction for murder against Dominic McGlinchey, formerly leader of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). [McGlinchey was later extradited back to the Republic of Ireland.]

Sunday 8 October 1989

UDR Members Arrested Twenty-eight members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) were arrested by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) as part of the Stevens inquiry into the leaking of security force documents to Loyalist paramilitary groups.

Tuesday 8 October 1991

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), set fire to a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) hall in Kircubbin, County Down. Later in the day the UFF in a statement said that in future members of the GAA would be considered ‘legitimate targets’. [The threat was condemned by Protestant church leaders and Unionist politicians. The next day the UFF issued another statement which said that it would only attack those GAA members with strong Republican links.]

Friday 8 October 1993

John Major, then British Prime Minister, delivered a speech to the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool, England. Major stated that the only message he wanted from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was one indicating that the organisation was finished with its campaign of violence for good. Robin Eames (Dr), then Church of Ireland Primate, condemned the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) threat to the Catholic community. [Ten Catholic civilians had been killed since 8 August 1993 by the UFF and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).]

Tuesday 8 October 1996

In a statement issued from Dublin the Irish Republican Army (IRA) admitted responsibility for the bombs in Lisburn, County Antrim, on 7 October 1996.

Wednesday 8 October 1997

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), met Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, at Chequers in England. The Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD) suspended a Loyalist band, the Cloughfern Young Conquerors’ Band, from taking part in further ABD marches. The disciplinary action followed disturbances caused by the band at a parade in Derry on 9 August 1997. David Andrews, then a Fianna Fáil (FF) Teachta Dála (TD; member of Irish Parliament), was appointed as the new Irish Foreign Minister. The United States of America (USA) State Department decided to drop the Irish Republican Army (IRA) from its list of ‘terrorist’ organisations. One affect of this decision was to allow funds to be raised on behalf of the IRA. Unionists were critical of the decision.

Friday 8 October 1999

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) published a document entitled ‘Implementing the Agreement’ which discussed the extent to which the Belfast Agreement had been implemented and the extent to which the different parties recognised their obligations and complied with the requirements of the Agreement. David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, issued a statement on ‘the best way forward’. Bill Clinton, the President of the USA, gave a speech in Ottawa, Canada, during which he said:

“I spent an enormous amount of time trying to help the people in the land of my forebears in Northern Ireland get over 600 years of religious fights, and every time they make an agreement to do it, they’re like a couple of drunks walking out of the bar for the last time. When they get to the swinging door, they turn around and go back in and say, ‘I just can’t quite get there.’”

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), criticised the remarks. Later Clinton apologised for the use of an inappropriate metaphor.

Monday 8 October 2001

The Northern Ireland Assembly debated an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) motion, and later a similar Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) motion, to exclude Sinn Féin (SF) ministers from the Executive. The motions were supported by Unionist members of the Assembly but were not supported by SF or the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Due to a lack of cross-community support the two motions failed.

[Following the debates the UUP announced that its three ministers were withdrawing from the Executive. The UUP also said that the three ministers would formally resign early next week (perhaps Monday 15 October 2001). John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, would have seven days in which to decide what action to take. He could decide to call for a review of the Good Friday Agreement which would involve an indefinite suspension of the power-sharing government. Alternatively, and less likely, he could opt for fresh Assembly elections.]

Johnny Adair announced that he would not be continuing with a judicial review (at the High Court in Belfast) of the decision to keep him in prison. Adair, then a leader of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), was originally released on licence in 1999 but was re-arrested and returned to prison by the order of Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on 22 August 2000.

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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.

11 People lost their lives on the 8th October  between 1974 – 1989

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8th  October 1974


Arthur Henderson,  (31)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in abandoned car, West Street, Stewartstown, County Tyrone.

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8th  October 1975


Richard McCann,  (32)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died six weeks after being shot at Grove Filling Station, Shore Road, Skegoneill, Belfast.

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8th  October 1976


Arthur McKay,   (43)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in abandoned van while on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol, Gortmacrane, near Kilrea, County Derry.

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8th October 1976


Robert Hamilton,  (25)

Protestant
Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Governor Road, Derry.

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8th  October 1977


Margaret Hearst,   (24)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot in her mobile home, situated in the garden of her parents’ home, Doogary, Tynan, County Armagh.

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8th  October 1979
Mark McGrann,   (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while walking along East Bridge Street, at the junction with Laganbank Road, Belfast.

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8th October 1979
Paul Wright,  (21) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Undercover British Army (BA) member. Shot while driving civilian type car along Falls Road, Belfast.

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8th  October 1981


Larry Kennedy,   (35)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Independent Councillor. Shot while standing in entrance foyer at Shamrock Social Club, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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08 October 1982


Eamon Quinn, (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot at his flat, Damascus Street, Belfast.

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8th October 1984
Melvin Simpson,   (40)

Protestant
Status: ex-Ulster Defence Regiment (xUDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his workplace, building site, Ann Street, Dungannon, County Tyrone.

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8th  October 1989


Alwyn Harris,   (51)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car outside his home, Dalboyne Gardens, Lisburn, County Antrim.

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