27th November – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

27th November

Thursday 27 November 1969

A Commissioner for Complaints, John Benn, was appointed to deal with matters related to local government and public bodies.

Saturday 27 November 1971

Two Customs officials, Ian Hankin (27) a Protestant and James O’Neill (39) a Catholic, were shot by an Irish Republican Army (IRA) sniper who fired upon a British Army (BA) patrol investigating a bomb attack on a Customs Post near Newry, County Armagh. A British soldier was shot dead in Belfast.

Wednesday 27 November 1974

Roy Jenkins



Roy Jenkins, then British Home Secretary, introduced the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Bill into the House of Commons, Westminster. One of the provisions of the Bill provided the police with powers to arrest and detain suspected terroristts for up to 48 hours in the first instance, and for up to seven days if the police applied to the Home Secretary for additional time.

The provision also allowed for exclusion orders to be made against people suspected of involvement in terrorism. Jenkins described the provisions in the Bill as “draconian measures unprecedented in peacetime”.

[The Bill became law on 29 November 1974.]

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out two bomb attacks near an Army museum in Tite Street, Chelsea, London. Initially a small bomb exploded in a post office pillar-box at 8.30pm. Approximately 20 minutes later a second, larger bomb, exploded behind a hedge just a short distance away from the first explosion. Twenty people were injured in the second explosion including an explosives officer, six policmen and two ambulance men.

[The tactic of the ‘come-on’ bomb was one which the IRA used on many occasions in Northern Ireland.]

Thursday 27 November 1975

Ross McWhirter (50), who had publicly criticised Irish Republican Army (IRA) violence, was shot dead by the IRA at his home in Village Road, Enfield, London. McWhirter was a founder of the Guinness Book of World Records and had offered a £50,000 reward for the capture of the IRA members responsible for the bombings in London.

Saturday 27 November 1976

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed two Catholic civilians in separate booby-trap bomb attacks in Lurgan, County Armagh and Bogside, Derry. The bombs had been intended for the security forces.

The Peace People held a rally in London which was attended by approximately 30,000 people. Republican sympathisers held a small counter demonstration and chanted ‘troops out’.

Thursday 27 November 1980

Humphrey Atkins, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, told the House of Commons that there was still no consensus amongst the parties in Northern Ireland and little prospect for a devolved government in the region.

Sunday 27 November 1983

Dominic McGlinchey, believed to be chief of staff of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), admitted that his organisation had been involved in the Darkley killings on 20 November 1983


Wednesday 27 November 1985

The House of Commons approved the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in a vote of 473 votes to 47. During her speech Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, said that the government would not give way to threats or violence.

Tuesday 27 November 1990

During the Conservative Party leadership contest Margaret Thatcher failed to win outright victory and withdrew from the race. John Major was elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and the new British Prime Minister.

Wednesday 27 November 1991

Four members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) were arrested outside the home of Laurence Kennedy, then leader of the Northern Ireland Conservative Party.

Saturday 27 November 1993

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held its annual conference in Cookstown, County Tyrone. In his address John Hume, then leader of the SDLP, stated that John Major, then British Prime Minister, held

“the key to peace”.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held its annual conference at Castlereagh in Belfast. Ian Paisley, then leader of the DUP, told delegates that Northern Ireland faced “the greatest threat to the Union since the Home Rule Crisis”.

Monday 27 November 1995

Catholic Killed in Sectarian Attack Norman Harley (46), a Catholic civilian, was found beaten to death at the Waterworks, off Cavehill Road, Belfast.

[Harley was going through the park to visit his mother when two Protestant men beat him to death with an iron bar before going to a public house. This sectarian killing appears not to have been carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries (McKitterick, 1999; p1383).]

Thursday 27 November 1997

Jack Mahood was shot and injured in his taxi depot in north Belfast.

[The attack was blamed on the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Mahood had been a member of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) negotiation team who resigned over differences on matters of policy.]

Friday 27 November 1997

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) published a list of the main initiatives introduced since the IRA ceasefire of 20 July 1997 to reduce the impact of security measures.


Friday 27 November 1998

British soldiers who were serving in Derry on 30 January 1972 were offered immunity from prosecution when they provide evidence to the Saville inquiry into the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’.

Saturday 27 November 1999

The Ulster Unionist Council (UUC), the policy-making body of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, to discuss the Mitchell Review. The Council decided by 480 votes to 349 to back the deal. The decision opened the way for the UUP to enter the power-sharing Executive with Sinn Féin (SF).

The UUC also attached a condition that the Council should meet again in February 2000 “to take a final decision” on the matter. At a press conference after the vote David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said:

“We’ve done our bit. Mr Adams its over to you. We’ve jumped, you follow”.

[It was later revealed that Trimble had lodged a post dated resignation letter with a party official which would come into effect if Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning did not occur.]

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held its annual conference at the La Mon House Hotel near Belfast. During his speech Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that Northern Ireland was facing its gravest crisis and that no unionist should be holding negotiations with the Irish government, the SDLP, or Sinn Féin. He accused the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) of betrayal and said Trimble was as “much of an enemy of Ulster as the IRA”.




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 27th November between 1971 – 1995


27 November 1971
Ian Hankin,  (27)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Customs official. Shot by snipers firing at British Army (BA) patrol which had just arrived after bomb attack on Killeen Customs Post, near Newry, County Armagh.


27 November 1971
James O’Neill,  (39) Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Customs official. Shot by snipers firing at British Army (BA) patrol which had just arrived after bomb attack on Killeen Customs Post, near Newry, County Armagh.


27 November 1971
Paul Nicholls, (18)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, St James Crescent, Falls, Belfast.


27 November 1972
Rory Gormley, (14)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while travelling in car, junction of Downing Street and Ariel Street, Shankill, Belfast


27 November 1973
Desmond Morgan  (18)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during attempted hijacking of vehicle, Coalisland, County Tyrone.


27 November 1975
Ross McWhirter,  (50)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his home, Village Road, Enfield, London.

see : Ross McWhirter 


27 November 1976
Philomena Green ,  (16)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in derelict house, Mary Street, Lurgan, County Armagh. House had been used as British Army (BA) observation post.


27 November 1976
Frank McConnellogue,   (46)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in entry, off Lecky Road, Bogside, Derry.


27 November 1978
Robert Bachelor,  (36)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot just after leaving his workplace, Institution Place, off Durham Street, Belfast.


27 November 1982
John Martin,   (34)

Status: ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (xRUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his garage, The Mall East, Armagh.


27 November 1995
Norman Harley,   (46)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found beaten to death, Waterworks, off Cavehill Road, Belfast.


see : Ross McWhirter 


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