5th December – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

5th December


Wednesday 5 December 1973

During a meeting of the Assembly pro-Executive Unionist members were physically attacked by Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Vanguard members. Police were called to the Assembly.

Thursday 5 December 1974

The Prevention of Terrorism Act, introduced in Britain on 29 November 1974, was extended to Northern Ireland.

Friday 5 December 1975

End of Internment The last 46 people who had been interned without trial were released. The end of Internment was announced by Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, who said that those found guilty of crimes would be brought before the courts.

[During the period of Internment, 9 August 1971 to 5 December 1975, 1,981 people were detained; 1,874 were Catholic / Republican, while 107 were Protestant / Loyalist.]

Sunday 5 December 1976

The Peace People organisation held a rally in Drogheda, County Louth, Republic of Ireland.

Wednesday 5 December 1979

Jack Lynch resigned as Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). [He was replaced by Charles Haughey on 7 December 1979.]

Thursday 5 December 1985

Unionist members in the Northern Ireland Assembly established a Grand Committee of the Assembly to examine the impact of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) on government departments.

Sunday 5 December 1993

Two Catholic civilians were shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), in Ligoniel, Belfast.

Monday 5 December 1994

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), held a meeting in Washington with Jean Kennedy, then United States Ambassador to Ireland. The meeting was also attended by State Department officials. Adams asked for equal treatment for all parties at the Belfast investment conference on 13 December 1994.

Tuesday 5 December 1995

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), turned down an invitation to talks from the Irish government. Trimble wrote: “We are not prepared to negotiate the internal affairs of Northern Ireland with a foreign government”. Trimble refused to endorse the ‘twin-track’ approach but told John Major, then British Prime Minister, that he would keep lines of communication open.

Statistics revealed that in the 14 months following the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire there had been 223 paramilitary ‘punishment’ beatings – 148 by Republicans and 75 by Loyalists. These figures compared with 45 incidents in the 14 months prior to the ceasefire – 8 by Republicans and 37 by Loyalists.

Thursday 5 December 1996

A Police Authority of Northern Ireland (PANI) report indicated that 80 per cent of Catholics, and 30 per cent of Protestants, want the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to be reformed or replaced.

Friday 5 December 1997

Gerry Devlin (36), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries as he entered the car park of St Enda’s Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club in Glengormley, County Antrim. Devlin was a GAA official and he was on his way to pick up his brother at the time of his killing.

[The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) was blamed by many commentators for the killing but a number of others believed that the LVF was aided by other Loyalist paramilitary groups.]

Mary McAleese, then President of the Republic of Ireland, paid her first official visit to Northern Ireland. During a visit to her former school on the Falls Road she met and shook hands with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF). She also visited Newry and the Ardoyne area of Belfast. The Forum for Peace and Reconciliation held a meeting in Dublin.

[This was the first meeting of the Forum since the Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb at Canary Wharf on 9 February 1996.]

Saturday 5 December 1998

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), travelled to Dublin for a meeting with Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).

Tuesday 5 December 2000

Trevor Kell (35), a Protestant civilian who worked as a taxi driver, was shot dead shortly after being lured by bogus call to a house in Hesketh Road, off Crumlin Road, north Belfast.

[It is not known which paramilitary organisation was responsible for his killing.]

Wednesday 5 December 2001

There was a hoax bomb alert at Belfast International Airport, County Antrim, which caused major disruption to the travel plans of hundreds of people arriving at, or departing from, the airport. Two warnings were received at approximately 5.00pm (1700GMT) which stated that several bombs had been left in the car park by the terminal building. No bombs were found but the alert lasted for three hours.

Brian Currin, then a South African lawyer, announced that he was resigning as chief mediator on the Orange Order’s Drumcree parade. Curriin said he could not continue because the Orange Order had withdrawn from the talks. Some politicians called on the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to become directly involved in finding a solution.




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.

8  People lost their lives on the 5th December  between 1972 – 2000


05 December 1972

William Bell,  (30)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while repairing roof of house, corner of Berwick Road and Glenbryn Park, Ardoyne, Belfast.


05 December 1972
Roy Hills,   (28)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb attached to rocket launcher, abandoned near Kitchen Hill British Army (BA) base, Lurgan, County Armagh.


05 December 1972
William Bogle,  (27)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside post office, Main Street, Killeter, near Castlederg, County Tyrone.


05 December 1983

Joseph Craven,   (26)

Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Shot from passing motorcycle shortly after leaving Department of Health and Social Services office, Church Road, Newtownabbey, County Antrim.


05 December 1993

John Todd,   (31)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while sitting in stationary car outside taxi depot, Ligoniel Road, Ligoniel, Belfast


05 December 1993

Brian Duffy,   (15)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while sitting in stationary car outside taxi depot, Ligoniel Road, Ligoniel, Belfast


05 December 1997

Gerry Devlin,  (36)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
Shot, outside St. Enda’s Gaelic Athletic Association Club, Hightown Road, Glengormley, near Belfast, County Antrim.


05 December 2000

Trevor Kell,  (35)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Taxi driver. Shot shortly after being lured by bogus call to a house, Hesketh Road, off Crumlin Road, Belfast.



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