19th October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

19th October


Saturday 19 October 1968

Derry Citizen’s Action Committee (DCAC; established on 9 October 1968) organised an illegal sit-down at Guildhall Square as part of large civil disobedience campaign. The event passed off peacefully.

Sunday 19 October 1969

Loyalist Bomb

Thomas McDowell (45), a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was severely injured when a bomb he was planting exploded prematurely at a power station near Ballyshannon in County Donegal. [McDowell died from his injuries on 21 October 1969. McDowell was also a member of the Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPV) a paramilitary style organisation formed by Ian Paisley (Holland, 1999: p23).

Tuesday 19 October 1971

A group of five Northern Ireland Members of Parliament (MPs) began a 48 hour hunger strike against Internment. The protest took place near to 10 Downing Street in London. Among those taking part were John Hume, Austin Currie, and Bernadette Devlin.

Thursday 19 October 1972

William Craig, then leader of Ulster Vanguard, spoke a meeting of right-wing Members of Parliament (MPs) at Westminster. He said that he could mobilise 80,000 men to oppose the British government: “We are prepared to come out and shoot and kill. I am prepared to come out and shoot and kill. … I am prepared to kill, and those behind me will have my full support.”

Thursday 19 October 1978

 Hunger Strike.  Public Record Click to read [ proni on cain  

Monday 19 October 1981

Hunger Strike.  Public Record Click to read [ proni on cain

Tuesday 19 October 1982

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) carried out a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in Glengall Street, Belfast. The building was badly damaged by the blast.

Friday 19 October 1984

A British soldier and a Protest civilian were shot dead in separate incidents.

Wednesday 19 October 1988

Broadcasting Ban The British government introduced broadcasting restrictions (‘broadcasting ban’) on those organisations proscribed in Northern Ireland and Britain. Douglas Hurd, then British Home Secretary, announced restrictions on the broadcasting of direct statements by members of specific proscribed organisations. The organisations affected were; Sinn Féin (SF), Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) and the Ulster Defense Association (UDA). The restrictions also applied to individuals who were canvassing support for the named organisations. [Media organisations eventually used a number of methods to try to overcome the effects of the ban. One approach was to employ actors to mimic the voices of those being interviewed.]

Thursday 19 October 1989

Guildford Four Released Three of the ‘Guildford Four’ were released by the Court of Appeal after they had spent 14 years in jail. Those released were Patrick Armstrong, Gerard Conlon, and Carole Richardson. Paul Hill was held in custody pending a hearing in another case but was released later. The court decided that the original confessions had been fabricated by the police. [John May was later appointed to head an inquiry into the circumstances of the Maguire family and the ‘Guildford Four’. However, no police officers were ever prosecuted for their part in the fabrication of confessions.]

Tuesday 19 October 1993

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting in London with John Major, then British Prime Minister, and repeated his party’s opposition to the Hume-Adams Initiative. Major told the House of Commons that he “knew nothing” of the details of the Hume-Adams Initiative. Michael Howard, then British Home Secretary, signed an ‘exclusion order’ which banned Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), from entering Britain. Adams had been invited by Tony Benn, then a Member of Parliament (MP), to address a meeting at Westminster, London.

Saturday 19 October 1996

The march by the Apprentice Boys of Derry around the city’s walls passed off without trouble. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held its annual conference. In his address to the conference, David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), blamed the Drumcree crisis on the Anglo-Irish Secretariat.

Sunday 19 October 1997

A number of newspapers in the Republic of Ireland carried further leaked memos from an unknown civil servant in the Department of Foreign Affairs about Mary McAleese, then Fianna Fáil (FF) candidate for President of the Republic of Ireland. The Irish government announced that there would be a Garda Síochána (the Irish police) investigation into the leaks.

Monday 19 October 1998

Both David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and First Minister designate, and Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), travelled to London for separate meetings with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister. Trimble told the Prime Minister that SF should not be given seats on the Executive without prior decommissioning of weapons. Both McGuinness and Trimble blamed the other for the impasse over decommissioning.

Tuesday 19 October 1999

A joint Garda Síochána (the Irish police) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) investigation uncovered a cross-Border money-laundering operation located in a bureau de change. Gardaí recovered more than £1 million in cash and as much as £100 million is believed to have been laundered from drug trafficking and other crimes over the last six years for gangs operating in Belfast and Dublin.

George Mitchell chaired talks that formed part of the review of the Good Friday Agreement in the US Ambassador’s residence of Winfield House in Regent’s Park, London. Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held talks in Dublin with David Andrews, then Minister for Foreign Affairs. Both men said they were “very optimistic” about the prospects for the outcome of the Mitchell Review of the Agreement.

Mark Fulton, then leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), began an action in the High Court, Belfast, to obtain a transfer from Maghaberry Prison to the Maze Prison. Fulton was serving a four year sentence for firearms offences.

See: Mark “Swinger” Fulton

Friday 19 October 2001

John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, travelled to Dublin for a meeting with Brian Cowen, then Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs. The two men discussed the decision of the Unionist ministers to withdraw from the Northern Ireland Executive. Both were heartened that the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) had stated its willingness to return to office if there was a start to the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons.

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), are expected to hold a meeting to discuss the latest setbacks in the peace process. The two leaders are attending a European Union summit in Belgium. The High Court in Belfast rejected an attempt by James Cooper, then chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), to have the result of the election in the Fermanagh / South Tyrone seat on 7 June 2001 declared invalid. The judge in the case decided that the number of votes cast after the offical closing time of 10.00pm (22.00BST) would not have materially affected the outcome of the election. The case had been heard on 17 September 2001.


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 19th  October  between 1975 – 1984


19 October 1975
Billy Wright,  (34) nfNIRI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
Died two weeks after being shot at his hairdresser’s shop, Cabra Road, Dublin.


19 October 1977
George Wilson,  (64)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his home, Ainsworth Pass, Shankill, Belfast.


19 October 1979
James Robinson,   (20)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while driving milk van along Blackfort Road, near Fintona, County Tyrone.


19 October 1981

Stephen Hamilton,   (24)

Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot while travelling in stolen car at the junction of Ballygomartin Road and Woodvale Road, Belfast


19 October 1984

 Fred Jackson,  (48)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) member, during attempted ambush of Irish Republican Army (IRA) unit, Tamnamore, near Dungannon, County Tyrone.


19 October 1984
Timothy Utteridge,   (19) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA), foot patrol, Norglen Road, Turf Lodge, Belfast.


See: Mark “Swinger” Fulton


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