16th October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

16th October

Wednesday 16 October 1968

Public Record

 ‘Telephone Message from Co. Inspector Meharg – 1.20 p.m.’, (6 October 1968),

.[  Civil Rights Campaign; Derry March. ]

The People’s Democracy (PD) organised a march of 1,300 students from the Queen’s University of Belfast to the City Hall in the centre of the city. [ Civil Rights Campaign; People’s Democracy; Derry March. ]

Saturday 16 October 1971

A British soldier was killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Derry.

Monday 16 October 1972

Two members of the Offical IRA were shot dead by the British Army in County Tyrone.

A 15 year-old Protestant youth member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), and a 26 year-old UDA member were killed when run over by British Army vehicles during riots in east Belfast. The UDA said that following the incidents the British Army and British government are “now our enemies”.

Tuesday 16 October 1973

Representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), met again at Stormont Castle, Belfast, for additional talks on the possibility of devolved government for Northern Ireland. The position of the parties on matters related to law and order were beginning to move closer to each other although there remained serious differences of opinion on specific issues.

Wednesday 16 October 1974

Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, announced that nine Republican prisoners from the Maze Prison had been hospitalised following disturbances at the prison the previous day.

Fifteen prison officers and 16 soldiers were also hurt during the disturbances. The unrest spread to Magilligan Prison where a number of huts were destroyed.

[Damage at Magilligan Prison on 16 October 1974 was estimated at £200,000.] In Armagh Women’s Prison the governor and three women prison officers were held captive before being released following mediation by clergymen.

Saturday 16 October 1976

Michael Clerkin (24), then a member of the Garda (Irish police), was killed by a booby-trap bomb near Portlaoise, County Laois, Republic of Ireland. The bomb was planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Three members of the IRA were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely at Belfast Gas Works, Ormeau Road, Belfast.

Friday 16 October 1981 [ 1981 Hunger Strike.]

Public Record [ proni on cain 1981 Hunger Strike.]

Tuesday 16 October 1984

Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, said that she was not in favour of any “sudden new initiative” on Northern Ireland.

Thursday 16 October 1986

Terence Mullan (31), a Catholic civilian, and his mother Kathleen Mullan (79), were shot dead at the family house in Ballynahinch, County Down. The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), carried out the attack.

An article in the republican newspaper An Phoblacht / Republican News confirmed that sometime in the previous weeks the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) had held a meeting of the General Army Convention, the organisation’s supreme decision-making body. This was the first gathering of the General Army Convention that had taken place in 16 years.

The meeting was held in secret and debated those aspects of the PIRA’s constitution that dealt with its opposition to the taking of seats in Dáil Éireann – its policy on abstentionsim. Motions were accepted (by the necessary two-thirds majority) allowing members of the PIRA to discuss and debate the taking of parliamentary seats, and the removal of the ban on members of the PIRA from supporting any successful republican candidate who took their seat in Dáil Éireann.

Tuesday 16 October 1990

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) shot dead a Catholic man, Dermot McGuinness, in north Belfast. Later the Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed a former police reservist, Steven Craig, in the same area.

Wednesday 16 October 1991

The Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) held a meeting in London.

Friday 16 October 1992

Sheena Campbell (29), a law student who had been a Sinn Féin (SF) candidate in the Upper Bann by-election in 1990, was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) while in the York Hotel, Botanic Avenue, Belfast.

Saturday 16 October 1993

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), addressed the UUP annual conference in Craigavon, County Armagh. He repeated his criticism of the Hume-Adams Initiative. He also stated that there would have to be a lengthy period of “quarantine” following the end of violence before representatives of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) could be included in political talks.

Monday 16 October 1995

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held separate meetings with Anthony Lake, then United States National Security Adviser, in London.

Thursday 16 October 1997

A bomb was delivered by post to the constituency office of David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The device was defused by the British Army.

[A group called the Revolutionary Republican Strike Force (RRSF) later claimed responsibility for the bomb and a number of previous similar devices.]

Peter Robinson, then Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Member of Parliament (MP), and Robert McCartney, then leader of the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP), addressed a public meeting in Carryduff, east Belfast. A number of Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) members were present and they heckled the speakers.

Saturday 16 October 1999

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), addressed the annual Fianna Fáil (FF) Wolfe Tone commemoration at Bodenstown in County Kildare, Republic of Ireland. Ahern praised Sinn Féin (SF) and Loyalist parties for their courageous political leadership in recent years and called for their efforts to be recognised.

The Progressive Unionist Party’s (PUP) annual conference in east Belfast heard Hugh Smyth, then leader of the PUP, ask SF to state that the ‘war is over’ and there would be no first strike from Republicans. Mr Smyth said this would match what the loyalist paramilitaries had said.

Billy Hutchinson, who acts as interlocutor for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Red Hand Commando (RHC) with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), made a similar plea to Republicans. The Guardian (a London based newspaper) carried a story claiming that Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, had authorised secret talks between government officials (and MI5 officers) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Thatcher’s approval for the reopening of the ‘back channel’ (the name given to the system of contact which involved a go-between called the ‘mountain climber’) was given in late 1990. [The story of Thatcher’s involvement was at odds with her often publicly stated assertion that she never talked to terrorists.]

Tuesday 16 October 2001

A home-made bomb, estimated at 130 pounds, was discovered by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) near Sixmilebridge, County Tyrone, at 8.00pm (20.00BST).

The device was made safe by the British Army. A man and woman were arrested in connection with the device.

[Dissident Republican paramilitaries were believed to be responsible for the incident. Four other people, two men and two women, were arrested later in connection with the bomb.]

Two pipe-bombs were thrown at Catholic homes in Hallidays Road, north Belfast, at around 11.00pm (23.00BST). Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to be responsible. A pipe-bomb was thrown at a house in Glencollier Street, north Belfast at around 7.30pm (19.30BST).

There was fighting among rival groups of Catholics and Protestants in the Serpentine area of Belfast at around 8.45pm (20.45BST). One Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was injured during the disturbances.

A man (18) was shot in both ankles in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack in Belfast. He was abducted and taken by car to Mica Drive where he was shot. John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the name of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) would change to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on 4 November 2001

. [The new arrangements for policing were outlined in the Police Act which itself was based on the recommendations of the Patten Report.]

There was continuing media speculation that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was considering another step on the issue of decommissioning. In an interview on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that he would be willing to accept the determination of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) with regard to any IRA move on weapons. If the IICD accepted and verified that a start had begun to decommissioning Trimble said he would seek re-election as First Minister.

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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.

  18 People lost their lives on the 16th October  between 1971– 1992

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16 October 1971


Joseph Hill,  (24) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper during street disturbances, Columcille Court, Bogside, Derry.

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16 October 1972


Patrick Mullan,   (34)

Catholic
Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while travelling in car at British Army (BA) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), outside St Patrick’s Hall, Coagh, County Tyrone

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16 October 1972


Hugh Herron,  (38)

Catholic
Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while travelling in car at British Army (BA) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), outside St Patrick’s Hall, Coagh, County Tyrone.

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16 October 1972
John Clarke,   (26)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Knocked down by British Army (BA) Armoured Personnel Carrier, which mounted pavement during street disturbances, Hornby Street, off Newtownards Road, Belfast.

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16 October 1972
William Warnock,  (15)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Knocked down by British Army (BA) Armoured Personnel Carrier, while at barricade during street disturbances, Newtownards Road, Belfast.

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16 October 1973


William Campbell,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, near Capital Cinema, Antrim Road, Belfast.

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16 October 1976
Michael Clerkin,  (24) nfNIRI
Status: Garda Siochana (GS),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in derelict house, Mountmellick, near Portlaoise, County Laois.

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16 October 1976


Paul Marlowe   (31)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion at Belfast Gas Works, Ormeau Road, Belfast.

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16 October 1976


Francis Fitzsimmons,   (28)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion at Belfast Gas Works, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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16 October 1976


Joseph Surgenor,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion at Belfast Gas Works, Ormeau Road,Belfast.

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16 October 1981
Billy McCullough,  (32)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot outside his home, Denmark Street, Shankill, Belfast.

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16 October 1982
Karen McKeown,   (20)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Died three weeks after being shot outside church hall, off Albertbridge Road, Belfast

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16 October 1986
Terence Mullan,   (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his home, Dromore Road, Ballynahinch, County Down.

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16 October 1986
Kathleen Mullan,   (79)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at her home, Dromore Road, Ballynahinch, County Down.

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16 October 1990


 Dermot McGuinness,   (42)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while walking along Rosapenna Street, off Oldpark Road, Belfast.

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16 October 1990
Steven Craig,   (24)

Protestant
Status: ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (xRUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while in car park of Chester Park Inn, Antrim Road, Belfast.

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16 October 1991


Brian McCabe,   (33)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Died two days after found shot in abandoned car, Tamar Street, Belfast.

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16 October 1992


Sheena Campbell,  (29)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Sinn Fein (SF) member. Shot while in York Hotel, Botanic Avenue, Belfast.

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