26th October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

 26th October


Tuesday 26 October 1971

A man was found shot dead in Belfast.

An Assembly, attended only by Nationalist politicians, and acting as an alternative to Stormont, met in Dungiven Castle.

[The Assembly only ever met on two occasions.]


Monday 26 October 1981

Kenneth Haworth

Kenneth Haworth (49), a police explosives officer, was killed when the bomb he was trying to defuse exploded in Oxford Street, London.

Kenneth Robert Howorth, GM, (28 September 1932 – 26 October 1981), was a British explosives officer with London’s Metropolitan Police Service who was killed whilst attempting to defuse a bomb planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in Oxford Street.

Howorth served for twenty-three years with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) with postings to Austria, Japan, Tripoli in Libya, Stonecutters Island in Hong Kong and various United Kingdom bases. He reached the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 (Conductor) before leaving to join the Metropolitan Police Service as a civilian explosives officer in 1973.[1]

On 26 October 1981, police received warnings that bombs on a busy shopping street in central London would explode within thirty minutes. A booby-trapped improvised explosive device (IED), planted by the IRA, was discovered in the basement toilet of a Wimpy restaurant on Oxford Street. While attempting to defuse the bomb, Howorth was killed instantly when it detonated.[2]

Howorth was survived by his wife Ann (died 25 November 2003), his son Steven and his daughter Susan. In 1983, he was posthumously awarded the George Medal for gallantry.

In 1985, IRA volunteers Paul Kavanagh and Thomas Quigley, both from Belfast, were convicted of his murder (along with other attacks including the Chelsea Barracks nail bomb in September 1981) and each handed five life sentences with a minimum tariff of thirty-five years. They were released in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement

The Long Walk

See: The Long Walk – Iconic Pictures & Story behind them


Thursday 26 October 1989

A member of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and his six-month old daughter were killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) attack in Germany.

Tuesday 26 October 1993

Gerry Adams carrying the coffin of IRA bomber Thomas Begley in 1993

Two Catholic civilians were shot dead and five others injured, in a Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), gun attack at Kennedy Way in west Belfast.

At the funeral service of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) member killed in the Shankill Road Bombing on 23 October 1993, Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), helped carry the coffin.

See Shankill Road Bomb

Thursday 26 October 1995

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) announced that the oath of allegiance to the Queen made by Queen’s Councils (QCs) in Northern Ireland would be repealed. Unionists criticised the decision.

Sunday 26 October 1997

A Protestant parish hall in Millfield, Belfast, was damaged in an arson attack. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) rerouted a planned parade by Ballynafeign Orange Lodge through the Nationalist lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast.

Monday 26 October 1998

Hew Pike (Sir),

Hew Pike (Sir), then a Lieutenant-General in the British Army, became the commanding officer of the army in Northern Ireland. Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), announced that Whiterock army base in west Belfast would close. Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that there was no chance of the North-South Ministerial Council being established before the 31 October 1998 deadline.

David Trimble, then First Minister designate, said that the 31 October was not an absolute deadline. Martin McGuinness, the Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), accused Unionists of trying to rewrite the Good Friday Agreement. In a book of memoirs Conor Cruise O’Brien said that Unionists may one day have to negotiate entry into a United Ireland.

[Following the revelation of the book’s content O’Brien felt obliged to resigned from the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP).]

Tuesday 26 October 1999

Two men e arrested near Dungannon, County Tyrone, after the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) discovered explosives in their van. Army technical experts then carried out a controlled explosion on the vehicle. The men are thought to be involved with dissident Loyalists; the van contained a pipe-bomb and two hand grenades.

Clifford Peebles

One of the men arrested was Clifford Peebles, then a preacher based in Woodvale in north Belfast.

[The men appeared in Cookstown courthouse on 29 October 1999.]

Thursday 26 October 2000 A pipe-b

A pipe-bomb was discovered underneath an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer’s car close to the courthouse in Antrim. A fuse had been lit but had burned out without detonating the pipe-bomb. Loyalist paramilitaries were blamed for the attack on the officer who was a witness in a Northern Ireland arms trial.

Friday 26 October 2001

A British Army soldier (18) was seriously injured when Loyalist paramilitaries threw a pipe-bomb at a group of soldiers in the Ardoyne Road, north Belfast, at 9.00pm (2100BST).

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) claimed that the soldiers had been lured into an ambush and that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was responsible for the attack. Several RUC officers were also injured in the attack. Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in the Waterside area of Derry. The attack happened shortly after midnight (0015BST) and there was extensive damage to the house but no injuries to the six occupants. The dwelling was home to a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillor.

[The RUC said that it was the most powerful pipe-bomb ever to have been used and it contained four inch nails. The incident was part of an extensive series of on-going attacks across Northern Ireland on Nationalist political representatives and Catholic families.]

A Catholic boy (14) was attacked and beaten up by a gang of Loyalist youths in Galgorm Road, Ballymena, County Antrim

. [The boy is believed to be Kieran O’Loan the son of Nuala O’Loan, then Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, and it is thought he was singled out for attack.]

Two people were arrested during the the Loyalist protest outside the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Loyalists had tried to block the road and prevent parents from gaining access to the school.



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 26th  October  between 1971 – 1993


26 October 1971

Robert McFarland,  (26)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot in Altcar Street, Short Strand, Belfast.


26 October 1976

Joseph Wilson,  (55)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his workplace, supermarket, Eglish Street, Armagh.


26 October 1981

Kenneth Howorth,   (49) nfNIB
Status: British Police (BP),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed while attempting to defuse bomb in a cafe, Oxford Street, London.


26 October 1983

Gerard Barkley,  (27)

Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Found shot near Redhills, County Cavan. Alleged informer.

See: IRA Internal Security Unit – Nutting Squad


26 October 1988
Wilson Smyth,   (41)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car at his workplace, postal sorting office, Tomb Street, off Corporation Street, Belfast.


26 October 1988

Huge McCrone,  (20)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot by sniper while driving his car shortly after leaving Kinawley Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Fermanagh.


26 October 1989
Maheshkumar Islania,   (34) nfNIE
Status: Royal Air Force (RAF),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot during gun attack on his car while at petrol filling station, Wildenrath, West Germany.


26 October 1989
Niurati Islania,  (0) nfNIE
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during gun attack on her Royal Air Force (RAF) member father’s car while at petrol filling station, Wildenrath, West Germany.


26 October 1990

Thomas Casey,   (57)

Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Sinn Fein (SF) member. Shot outside neighbour’s home, Kildress, near Cookstown, County Tyrone.


26 October 1993
James Cameron,  (54)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his workplace, Council Depot, Kennedy Way, Andersonstown, Belfast.


26 October 1993

Mark Rodgers, (28)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his workplace, Council Depot, Kennedy Way, Andersonstown, Belfast.


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