11th December – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles


Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

11th December

Wednesday 11  December 1968

Terence O’Neill, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, sacked William Craig, then Home Affairs Minister, because of differing opinions on the legality of Westminster intervention on devolved matters.

Saturday 11 December 1971

balmoral furnish bomb

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed four Protestant civilians in a bomb attack on a furniture shop on the Shankill Road in Belfast. Two of those who were killed in the explosion were children.

The dead were: Hugh Bruce (70), Harold King (29), Tracey Munn (2) and Colin Nicholl (1).

Wednesday 11 December 1974

A debate on the reintroduction of capital punishment for acts of terrorism was held in the House of Commons, London. The specific motion came in the form of an amendment which was proposed by a Conservative MP. Following a five-hour debate the amendment was defeated by a free vote of 369 to 217.

While the debate was taking place the Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb attack on the Long Bar of the Naval and Military Club in Piccadilly, London. At 6.30pm IRA members threw a small bomb through the window of the bar; no one was injured.

As two IRA members were leaving the scene they were followed by a taxi cab and they fired two shots at the driver; the driver was not injured. Almost at the same time a second group of IRA members carried out a gun attack on the Cavalry Club; again there were no injuries.

Wednesday 11 December 1985

The first meeting of the new Inter-Governmental Conference established under the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was held.

Protestant workers from a number of firms in Belfast staged walk-outs and marched to Maryfield where the Anglo-Irish Secretariat was based. There were violent clashes between the demonstrators and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) with 38 officers being injured.

Saturday 11 December 1993

The Irish Times (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) reported the results of a poll on Anglo-Irish relations. Of those questioned 59 per cent were in favour of talks between John Major, then British Prime Minister, and Albert Reynolds, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). The figure for Catholic respondents was 88 per cent in favour while the figure for Protestants was 37 per cent.

Sunday 11 December 1994

Gary McMichael, then leader of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), said it was unrealistic to expect paramilitaries to hand in weapons at this stage.

Monday 11 December 1995

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that £100 million would be redirected from the security budget to other areas of government expenditure over the following three years if the ceasefires held. [£180 million had already been cut from the security budget.]

Wednesday 11 December 1996

Robert Saulters was elected as Grand Master of the Orange Order following the resignation of Martin Smyth. He repeated earlier comments he had made about Tony Blair, then leader of the British Labour Party, being “disloyal” for marrying a “romanist” (Roman Catholic).

Chuck Feeney, an Irish-American businessman, confirmed that he had donated $240,000 to the establishment of Sinn Féin’s (SF) office in Washington.

Thursday 11 December 1997

Sinn Féin Delegation at Downing Street Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), led a SF delegation into 10 Downing Street, London to meet Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and other members of the British government. These were the first talks between a British Prime Minister and leaders of SF at Downing Street for 76 years. The meeting lasted one hour and afterwards Adams said that it was a “good moment in history”.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) criticised the meeting and rejected calls for a direct meeting between David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Adams. Francie MacKey, then a SF councillor based in Omagh, County Tyrone, called on SF to renounce the Mitchell Principles. MacKey also announced that the would join the 32 County Sovereignty Committee.

Tuesday 11 December 2001

The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday began an appeal in the Court of Appeal in London against a decision that military witnesses should not have to travel to Derry to give their evidence. Soldiers who were on duty in Derry on 30 January 1972 had claimed in the High Court that their lives would be in danger if they were forced to attend the Inquiry in the Guildhall in Derry. The High Court had ruled in their favour and against Lord Saville.

[The appeal lasted two days. The court’s decision was announced on 19 December 2001 when the Court upheld the decision of the High Court that the soldiers would not have to travel to Derry to give evidence.]

John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that he would challenge in the High Court the new rates of pay awarded to Queen’s Councils (QCs) and barristers at the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday. The new daily rate for a senior barrister was set to rise by £250 to £1,750. The barristers can also claim up to £250 per hour, to a maximum of £750 per day, for preparation work and £125 an hour travelling to and from the Guildhall. Junior barristers’ daily fees will rise from £750 to £875, and preparation rates from £100 to £125 an hour. They also receive £62.50 for travelling time.

[The cost of the Inquiry to date has been estimated at £60 million.]

Figures released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) showed that the unemployment rate for Catholics (8.8 % in 2000) remained higher than that for Protestants (5.2 %). The gap in the figures had narrowed from 1993 when there was an unemployment rate among Catholics of 18.1 per cent as opposed to 9.4 per cent for Protestants. The report showed that the religious composition of Northern Ireland’s economically active population was 43 per cent Catholic and 57 per cent Protestant, which closely mirrored those in employment at 42 per cent Catholic and 58 per cent Protestant.

However, among the unemployed, the religious composition was 56 per cent Catholic and 44 cent Protestant. There was a higher proportion of Catholics than Protestants who had qualifications above ‘A-Level’. The Audit Office published a report into the financial practices and accounting by government departments in Northern Ireland. The report criticised several departments for poor management of public funds and it showed that in some cases millions of pounds was unaccounted for or had been paid our incorrectly. The biggest loss occurred in the social 8security budget with £50 million being lost through fraud or error. Then Northern Ireland Assembly debated and voted on the budget for the financial year 2003-2004. Of the 108 members of the Assembly, 76 were present and cast votes and of these 49 voted in favour of the budget.

At the Special Criminal Court in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, twin brothers were sentenced to jail for having a “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA) bomb-making ‘factory’. Alan Patterson was jailed for nine years and his brother Kenneth Patterson received a sentence of seven years. Four men were arrested in the Republic of Ireland after police and customs officers seized a consignment of up to 80 million smuggled cigarettes. The haul, valued at IR£13 million, is thought to be the biggest haul of contraband tobacco in the Irish Republic.

[It was not clear at the time if there were any paramilitary connections with the smuggling.]




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.

7 people   lost their lives on the 11th  December between 1971 -1976


11 December 1971
 Harold King,   (29)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb attack on Balmoral Furnishing Company, Shankill Road, Belfast.


11 December 1971
Huge Bruce,  (70)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb attack on Balmoral Furnishing Company, Shankill Road, Belfast


11 December 1971

Tracey Munn,   (2)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb attack on Balmoral Furnishing Company, Shankill Road, Belfast


11 December 1971

Colin Nicholl,   (0)

Status: Civilia (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb attack on Balmoral Furnishing Company, Shankill Road, Belfast


11 December 1972
James Ward,   (53)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot as he walked past North Queen Street Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) base, Belfast.


11 December 1973

Maurice Rolston,  (37)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car outside his home, Newcastle, County Down.


11 December 1976
Howard Edwards, (24)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Elmwood Road, Bogside, Derry





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