10th December – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

10th December


Friday 10 December 1971

Kenneth Smyth (28), a Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) member, and Daniel McCormick (29), a former UDR member, were killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Strabane, County Tyrone.

A man was shot dead by British soldiers in Belfast.

Monday 10 December 1973

Loyalists announced the establishment of the Ulster Army Council (UAC) to resist the proposed Council of Ireland. The UAC was an umbrella group for the main Loyalist paramilitary groups and included the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Tuesday 10 December 1974

Feakle Talks

Canon William Arlow


[Senior representatives of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) held secret talks with a group of eight Protestant clergymen from Northern Ireland at Smyth’s Village Hotel in Feakle, County Clare, Republic of Ireland. The IRA was represented by Ruairi O’Bradaigh, Daithi O’Conaill, Maire Drumm and three others. Among the group of clergymen were: Dr Arthur Butler, Dr Jack Weir, Revd Ralph Baxter and Revd William Arlow. The clergymen presented the IRA with a policy document that had been cleared with the British government (Coogan, 1995; p.217). The meeting ended abruptly went the IRA representatives got a tip-off that the officers in the Irish Special Branch were on their way to arrest them. The talks at Feakle set in train a process that was to lead to a meeting between the clergymen and the Secretary of State on 18 December 1974 and to an IRA ceasefire that began on 22 December 1974.]


Wednesday 10 December 1986

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), was reported, at the launch of his book Politics of Irish Freedom, as saying that he had never been a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Thursday 10 December 1992

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), carried out a series of seven incendiary bomb attacks on shops in Dublin and in other Irish towns near to the border.

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) carried out a gun attack and wounded a man who worked for Belfast City Council. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted three incendiary bombs in an industrial estate in Belfast and damaged three buildings.

The IRA also carried out two bomb attacks at a shopping centre in Wood Green in London. Eleven people including a number of police officers were injured in the attack

Friday 10 December 1993

John Major, then British Prime Minister, held a meeting with Albert Reynolds, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), at a European Community summit in Brussels.

John Smith, then leader of the Labour Party, paid a visit to Derry during which he said that Sinn Féin (SF) could enter all-party talks after the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had ended its campaign of violence.

Tuesday 10 December 1996

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the extra security costs associated with the disturbances surrounding Drumcree and the ending of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire would have to be met from the existing budget. Hence there were to be cuts of £120 million from the provision for public services with training for the unemployed and housing facing the greatest cutbacks.

Wednesday 10 December 1997

Liam Averill, then an Irish Republican Army (IRA) life-sentence prisoner, escaped from the Maze Prison. Averill managed to escape from the highest security prison in the United Kingdom (UK) by dressing up as a woman during a Christmas party for prisoners’ families and getting onto the coach taking the families out of the prison.

The Independent (a London newspaper) published a leaked internal Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) document which claimed to show that one in three of the Catholic officers of the RUC had suffered discrimination or harassment from Protestant officers.

[At this time Catholics made up 8 per cent of the total number of officers in the RUC.] Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), rejected criticism that he or his party were “equivocal” about, or sympathetic towards, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

Paisley had been criticised by an article in the Irish News, and by the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP).

The Orange Order was forced to move the location of a meeting to re-elect Robert Salters as Grand Master of the Orange Order because of protest action. The protest was carried out by the Spirit of Drumcree (SOD) whose leader, Joel Patton, criticised the leadership of the Order and also the “undemocratic” means to elect the senior posts.

Thursday 10 December 1998

Nobel Peace Prize John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), received their Nobel Peace Prizes at an awards ceremony in the City Hall, Oslo. [Hume speech; Trimble speech]

Friday 10 December 1999

Five men representing the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), held a meeting with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). The five men were: Johnny Adair, William Dodds, John Gregg, Jackie McDonald, and John White.

The IICD later issued a report.

 The announcement that the Castlereagh Holding Centre in east Belfast would be closed by the end of December 1999 was welcomed by Sinn Féin (SF). The recommendation had been contained in the Patten Report. Bríd Rodgers (SDLP), then Minister of Agriculture, had eggs thrown at her by loyalist protestors as she was on an official visit to a training centre in Portavogie, County Down.

Six human rights organisations called for an independent Inquiry into the killing of Rosemanry Nelson, a Lurgan solicitor killed on 15 March 1999

Monday 10 December 2001

A man (30) was beaten in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack (?) at his home in Glencolier Street, north Belfast. A number of masked men beat him with wooden bats. The man was treated in hospital for bruising to his arms and legs.




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 10th  December between 1971 -1980


10 December 1971

Kenneth Smyth,   (28)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while travelling to work in car, Clady, near Strabane, County Tyrone.


10 December 1971

Daniel McCormick,   (29)

Status: ex-Ulster Defence Regiment (xUDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while travelling to work in car, Clady, near Strabane, County Tyrone.


10 December 1971

 Joseph Parker,   (25)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during altercation with British Army (BA) patrol, Toby Hall, Butler Street, Ardoyne, Belfast.


10 December 1972
Stewart Middlemass,   (33)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb attached to rocket launcher in Fort Monagh British Army (BA) base, Turf Lodge, Belfast.


10 December 1973

James Hesketh,  (21)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Leeson Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.


10 December 1980
Colin Quinn,   (19)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Shot shortly after leaving his workplace, Fox Row, off Durham Street, Belfast.


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