15th October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

15th October

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Tuesday 15 October 1968

Nationalist Party Withdrew as ‘Official’ Opposition The Nationalist Party of Northern Ireland (NPNI) withdrew from its role as ‘official’ opposition within the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont.

Friday 15 October 1971

Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Belfast.

Tuesday 15 October 1974

A number of huts in the Maze Prison were destroyed by fires which had been started by Republican prisoners. British troops were called into the prison to re-establish control.

[The estimated cost of damage to the Maze Prison, during disturbances on 15 October 1974, was put at £1.5m.]

Monday 15 October 1979

The Economic and Social Research Institute, based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, published the results of an opinion poll that had been carried out between July and September 1978. One finding in the poll was that 21 per cent of people in the Republic expressed some level of support for the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Wednesday 15 October 1980

Noel Lyttle (44) and Ronnie Bunting (32), both members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), were killed by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) in the Turf Lodge area of Belfast.

[Bunting was the son the Major Ronald Bunting who had been a close associate of Ian Paisley.]

[ 1981 Hunger Strike.]

Wednesday 15 October 1986

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement in which it said that it would support Sinn Féin (SF) in the decision to end the policy of ‘abstentionism’. [This policy meant that any member of SF elected to the Dáil would refuse to take the seat. The policy was debated by SF at its Ard Fheis on 2 November 1986.]

Saturday 15 October 1988

Jim Craig, a leading member of the Ulster Defense Association (UDA), was shot dead by members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) in a pub in Belfast. Victor Rainey, an innocent member of the public was also shot dead and four people injured in the same incident. Craig was killed as part of an internal UDA feud.

See:  James Craig UDA – Life & Death

Tuesday 15 October 1991

A bill that would have endorsed the MacBride principles was vetoed by the Governor of California, United States of America (USA).

Friday 15 October 1993

The Equal Opportunities Unit of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) reported that Catholics were fairly represented in most levels of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, the exception being in those posts at a senior level. A number of workers from the Shorts factory attended a protest meeting following the killing of Joseph Reynolds on 12 October 1993. Reynolds, a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), as he walked to work at Shorts. Five other workers were also injured in the attack.

Tuesday 15 October 1996

Cecil Walker, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP), announced in an interview that he would stand as an independent candidate in any forthcoming general election if he was deselected by his local constituency group. David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), denied that he was involved in any effort to have Walker deselected.

Monday 15 October 2001

Loyalist paramilitaries threw three pipe-bombs at a Catholic home in Newington Street, north Belfast, shortly after 10.00pm (22.00BST). Two of the devices exploded and the third was made safe by the British Army. No-one was injured but a number of windows were broken. The attackers were believed to have come from the Loyalist Tiger’s Bay area. Security forces found eight pipe-bombs in Cavehill Country Park, Upper Hightown Road, north Belfast.

A number of component parts for bombs and a handgun were also recovered. Bryce Dickson, then Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, visited called for an end to the Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. He said that:

“The treatment of these children is inhumane and their right to effective education is being affected.” Protestant parents living in north and west Belfast said that there had been increasing numbers of attacks on buses carrying pupils from the Girls’ and Boys’ Model secondary schools, Belfast Royal Academy, and Castle High School. The parents called for additional security measures to protect their children. Some parents said that they would walk their children to school if the police were unable to protect them.

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning would only be accepted by Unionists if it was verified, permanent, and followed by the dismantling of the IRA organisational structures. David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting with Richard Haass, then a United States special envoy, in Washington, USA.

Trimble described the meeting as “constructive”. Fred Cobain, then Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for north Belfast, revealed that he had secret talks with leaders of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) during the summer of 2001.

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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.

  13  People lost their lives on the 15th October  between 1971– 1993

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15 October 1971


Cecil Cunningham,   (46)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot from passing car while sitting in stationary Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) car, junction of Woodvale Road and Twaddell Avenue, Belfast.

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15 October 1971


John Haslett,  (21)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot from passing car while sitting in stationary Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) car, junction of Woodvale Road and Twaddell Avenue, Belfast.

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15 October 1972
James Doherty,   (6)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died one week after being shot while in the garden at his home, Norglen Crescent, Turf Lodge, Belfast.

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15 October 1979
Herbert Kernaghan,   (36)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while making deliveries to school, Rosslea, County Fermanagh.

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15 October 1980


Ronnie Bunting,  (32)

Protestant
Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his home, Downfine Gardens, Turf Lodge, Belfast.

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15 October 1980


Noel Little,  (44)

Catholic
Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at Ronnie Bunting’s home, Downfine Gardens, Turf Lodge, Belfast.

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15 October 1981
Mary McKay,  (68)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at her home, Stewart Street, Markets, Belfast.

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15 October 1983
Alan Stock,  (22) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb hidden in wall while on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Lone Moor Road, Creggan, Derry.

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15 October 1988


James Craig,  (47)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA), Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while in The Castle Inn, Beersbridge Road, Belfast. Internal Ulster Defence Association (UDA) dispute.

See: James Craig UDA – Life & Death

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15 October 1988
Victor Rainey,   (68)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while in The Castle Inn, Beersbridge Road, Belfast. He was not the intended target. Internal Ulster Defence Association (UDA) dispute.

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15 October 1990


Samuel Todd,  (40)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died two days after being shot while sitting in Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) civilian type van, at security barrier, High Street, Belfast.

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15 October 1991


John McGuigan,  (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his workplace, timber yard, Ravenhill Road, Belfast.

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15 October 1993


Patrick McMahon,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while walking along Newington Avenue, New Lodge, Belfast

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