15th December – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

15th December

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Saturday 15 December 1979

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), under the new leadership of John Hume, took the decision to attend the Atkins conference.

Monday 15 December 1980

23 Republican prisoners join those already on hunger strike.

[Of the original seven hunger strikers, Sean McKenna’s medical condition was the most serious. McKenna was moved to Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast.]

Thursday 15 December 1988

Following a White Paper introduced on 25 May 1988 the British government brought forward a new Fair Employment Bill for Northern Ireland. The Fair Employment Agency (FEA) was replaced by the Fair Employment Commission (FEC). Compulsory monitoring of the religious composition of workforces of all companies with 25 or more employees was introduced.

Sunday 15 December 1991

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded an incendiary device at the National Gallery in London.

Tuesday 15 December 1992

There were reports in the press that alleged that a telephone belonging to John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), had been bugged.

Wednesday 15 December 1993

Downing Street Declaration

John Major, then British Prime Minister, and Albert Reynolds, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), issued a joint Declaration from 10 Downing Street, London (the document became known as the Downing Street Declaration).

The main aim of the two leaders was stated as: “to foster agreement and reconciliation, leading to a new political framework founded on consent and encompassing arrangements within Northern Ireland, for the whole island, and between these islands”.

Later in the House of Commons Major tried to address Unionist concerns about the Declaration by drawing attention to the matters that were not in the document:

“What is not in the Declaration is any suggestion that the British government should join the ranks of the persuaders of the value or legitimacy of a united Ireland”.

Speaking in the Dáil (the Irish parliament) Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), said that paramilitary groups would have to hand over their weapons following the end of violence.

Thursday 15 December 1994

A new coalition Government was formed in the Republic of Ireland. The coalition was comprised of Fine Gael (FG), the Labour Party (LP), and Democratic Left (DL). John Bruton, leader of FG, was elected Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). Dick Spring retained his position of Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

[Bruton had been a strong critic of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).]

A first meeting took place at Stormont between delegations from the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), and Northern Ireland Office (NIO) officials on behalf of the British Government.

Monday 15 December 1997

David Adams, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner who is a cousin of Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), began a case in the High Court in Belfast against the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). David Adams claimed that he had been seriously assaulted by RUC officers while he was being arrested in 1994.

[Later the court decided in his favour and Adams was awarded £30,000.]

The family of Robert Hamill launched an appeal for funds to allow them to bring a private prosecution against his killers and member of the RUC.

[Hamill, a Catholic civilian, was severely beaten in a sectarian attack by a gang of up to 30 loyalists in the centre of Portadown, County Armagh, on 27 April 1997 and died of his injuries on 8 May 1997. It was alleged that RUC officers in a vehicle nearby did not intervene to save his life.]

Wednesday 15 December 1999

Marion Price, a former Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner who had been convicted of causing explosions in London on 8 March 1973, was refused a visa to enter the USA. Price had been due to speak at a fundraising event in New York that had been organised by the Irish Freedom Committee.

Friday 15 December 2000

End of Loyalist Feud The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) issued a statement to announce an

“open-ended and all-encompassing cessation of hostilities”.

This marked the end of the Loyalist feud which had erupted in violence in August and had claimed the lives of seven men. The feud had also driven hundreds of families from their homes. The statement added:

“We fully recognise the pain and suffering that has been inflicted on our community and we resolve that under no circumstances will such events be repeated.”

Sinn Féin (SF) began a High Court case to challenge David Trimble’s refusal to nominate their attendance at North-South Ministerial Council meetings.

[At the time Trimble was First Minister of the Executive and was attempting to put pressure on SF on the issue of the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons.]

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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.

10  people   lost their lives on the 15th December between 1972 -1991

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15 December 1972


James Reynolds,   (16)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot from passing motorcycle while standing on street corner, Dandy Street, Greencastle, Belfast.

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15 December 1972


George Chambers,   (44)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
Shot shortly after leaving house, Kilwilkie Gardens, Kilwilkie, Lurgan, County Armagh.

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15 December 1972
Frederick Greeves,   (40)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
Off duty. Shot as he left his workplace, creamery, Moy Road, Armagh.

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15 December 1973
Ivan Johnston,  (34)

Protestant
Status: ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (xRUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, Derrynoose, near Keady, County Armagh.

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15 December 1973
James McGinn,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature explosion while carrying bomb across bridge, near Clady, County Donegal.

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15 December 1974
John Mallon,  (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died two weeks after being injured in bomb attack on Hughes Bar, Church Street, Newry, County Down. He was wounded on 29 November 1974.

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15 December 1975
Ronald Trainor,   (17)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) member. Died a short time after being injured during a bomb attack on his home, Ballyoran Park, Portadown, County Armagh.

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15 December 1976


Norman Campbell,   (19)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while closing security barrier, High Street, Portadown, County Armagh.

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15 December 1976
 Patrick McGeown,   (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Barman. Shot while inside Mocking Bird Bar, Keady, County Armagh.

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15 December 1991


Colm Mahon,   (39)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Shot at his workplace, Frames Snooker Hall, Little Donegall Street, Belfast.

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