23rd November – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

23rd November

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Monday 23 November 1970

Arthur Young resigned as Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). He had announced his decision to resign on 23 September 1970. He returned to his former role as Commissioner of the City of London Police. He was succeeded by the deputy Chief Constable, Graham Shillington.

Friday 23 November 1973

William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, gave details of the agreement on the Executive to the House of Commons at Westminster.

Saturday 23 November 1974

A Catholic civilian and a Protestant civilian were shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries at Clifton Street, Belfast.

Loyalists also shot dead a Catholic civilian on the Hightown Road, near Belfast.

Two Protestant civilians were killed at their workplace on Crumlin Road, Belfast, by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Monday 23 November 1981

Loyalist ‘Day of Action’ Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), organised a Loyalist ‘Day of Action’ to protest at the British government’s policy on security in Northern Ireland. A series of rallies where held in Protestant areas of Northern Ireland and a number of businesses closed.

The DUP and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held separate rallies at Belfast City Hall. The ‘Third Force’ held a rally in Newtownards, County Down, which was attended by an estimated 15,000 men. [ Day of Action.]

Saturday 23 November 1985

Unionist Rally Against AIA There was a huge Unionist rally, estimated at over 100,000 people, at Belfast City Hall to protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

[The slogan in the campaign against the AIA was ‘Ulster Says NO’ and it was one that was to appear throughout the region and to remain for a considerable number of years.]

Monday 23 November 1987

An amendment bill on extradition was published in the Republic of Ireland. The amendment required prima-facie evidence of a case before someone could be extradited from the Republic of Ireland.

Wednesday 23 November 1988

A Catholic civilian, and his granddaughter, were killed in an attack on the RUC basee in Benburb, County Armagh.

Wednesday 23 November 1994

The British Army (BA) withdrew 150 soldiers who had been assigned to guard the Maze Prison.

Saturday 23 November 1996

Sinn Féin (SF) held a special conference in Athboy, County Meath, Repubic of Ireland. The main topic of discussion was the peace process. The media were not allowed to cover the event.

Sunday 23 November 1997

An 18 year old man was injured in a ‘punishment’ shooting in Donegall Street, Belfast.

[The Irish Republican Army (IRA) were thought to be responsible for the attack.] Sinn Féin (SF) held a rally in the Europa Hotel, Belfast. Addressing the rally Gerry Adams, then President of SF called for party unity. There was some criticism of the party’s policy on the peace process from those attending the rally

Monday 23 November 1998

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), addressed the Fianna Fáil (FF) Ard Fheis and said that he believed a united Ireland was inevitable within 20 years. Ahern also called for an impartial police service in Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 23 November 1999

RUC Awarded the George Cross It was announced that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was to be awarded the George Cross, Britain’s highest civilian award for gallantry. The British government rejected suggestions that the timing of the award was designed to placate Unionists and the RUC at a time when the force was facing major change. Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the RUC, said it was a momentous day.

Sinn Féin (SF) criticised the award.

Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), both addressed a meeting of UUP members in Edenderry Orange Hall in Portadown, County Armagh. Both men were heckled during the meeting. There were scuffles between anti-Agreement protestors and police outside the building. And abuse was shouted at Mandelson and Trimble as they entered and left the building. Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), made a statement to members of the Dáil that if any party ‘defaulted’ on its responsibilities under the Good Friday Agreement then the two governments would “step in and assume their responsibilities”.

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), issued a statement saying that the leadership had decided to defer its decision on the appointment of an interlocutor to liaise with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) until after the Irish Republican Army (IRA) has met its commitments.

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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 23rd November between 1971 – 1988

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23 November 1971
Bridget Carr,   (24) nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
From County Donegal. Died four days after being shot during sniper attack on nearby British Army (BA) patrol, while walking along Lifford Road, Strabane, County Tyrone.

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23 November 1974
Thomas Gunn,  (34)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot in abandoned taxi, Hightown Road, near Belfast, County Antrim

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23 November 1974
 John McClean,  (24)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his workplace, Edenderry Filling Station, Crumlin Road, Belfast.

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23 November 1974


Heather Thompson,   (17)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at her workplace, Edenderry Filling Station, Crumlin Road, Belfast.

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23 November 1974


Mary Shepherd,  (41)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot at her workplace, Arkle Taxi Company, Clifton Street, Belfast.

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23 November 1974
William Hutton,   (50)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot while waiting for a taxi at Arkle Taxi Company, Clifton Street, Belfast.

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23 November 1976


Joseph Glover,  (60)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Businessman. Shot at his workplace, Crawford Square, Derry.

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23 November 1979


Gerald Melville,   (45)

Catholic
Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his home, Hightown Road, Glengormley, near Belfast, County Antrim

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23 November 1984


William McLaughlin,   (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA)

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Sinn Fein (SF) activist. Shot, shortly after leaving Department of Health and Social Services office, Church Road, Newtownabbey, County Antrim.

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23 November 1988


Bernard Lavery,  (67)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed together with his granddaughter in van bomb attack on Benburb Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

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23 November 1988


Emma Donnelly,  (14)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed together with her grandfather in van bomb attack on Benburb Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

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