21st December – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

21st December

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Tuesday 21 December 1971

A man was shot dead by British soldiers in Belfast. A publican was killed as he tried to remove a bomb from his pub.

Saturday 21 December 1974

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) left a bomb inside Harrods department store in London. The bomb caused damage and started a fire but there were no injuries. An unexploded bomb was discovered and defused at the King’s Arms public house in Warminster, Wiltshire.

Thursday 21 December 1978

Three British soldiers were shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in a gun attack on their foot patrol in Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

Wednesday 21 December 1977

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a series of fire-bomb attacks on hotels in Northern Ireland and damaged five hotels.

Thursday 22 December 1977

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced that there would be ceasefire at Christmas.

Thursday 21 December 1978

Three British soldiers were shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in a gun attack on their foot patrol in Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

Monday 21 December 1981

It was revealed that the State Department of the United States of America (USA) had revoked Ian Paisley’s, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), visa to visit the USA because of statements he made in Northern Ireland.

Over 100 US Congressmen had lobbied the State Department to revoke the visa.

Saturday 21 December 1985

Des O’Malley formed a new political party, the Progressive Democrats, in the Republic of Ireland.

Sunday 21 December 1986

Thomas McCartan (31), then a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), was shot dead by the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) in Andersonstown, Belfast. This was the first killing in an INLA / IPLO feud that was to last until 22 March 1987.

Tomás Ó Fiaich, then Catholic Primate of Ireland, said that he believed the morale of Nationalists had improved since the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Saturday 21 December 1991

The Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) killed two Protestant civilians in a gun attack on a public house in the Village area of Belfast. Hours later a Catholic civilian was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), in the same area.

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) killed a Protestant civilian in Moy, County Tyrone.

Tuesday 21 December 1993

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), called for “direct and unconditional dialogue” with the two governments. Adams also stated that the Downing Street Declaration needed to be clarified.

[The matter of clarification was one that was to resurface frequently during 1994.]

Wednesday 21 December 1994

John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held a meeting in Dublin with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

Sunday 21 December 1997

Following rioting in Derry on 13 December 1997, 13 people appeared in court on charges relating to riotous behaviour.

Tuesday 21 December 2000

A bomb was thrown at a house in Hillview Road, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, around 12.35am while a couple and their two children were asleep. A window was broken, and there was damage to the front door and porch. There were no injuries.

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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.

13 people   lost their lives on the 21st December between 1971  – 1991

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21 December 1971
John Lavery,   (60)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Publican. Killed by bomb which exploded as he attempted to carry it out of his bar, Lisburn Road, Belfast.

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21 December 1971


Gerard McDade,  (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot shortly after being detained by British Army (BA) patrol, Kerrera Street, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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21 December 1972
James Mullan,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot from passing car while walking along Clandeboye Road, Bangor, County Down

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21 December 1974


Joseph McDermott,   (37)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot, Upper Mealough Road, Carryduff, County Down.

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21 December 1975


Christine Hughes,   (43)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at her home, Mountainview Parade, off Crumlin Road, Belfast

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21 December 1978
Graham Duggan,   (22)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot from passing van while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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21 December 1978
Kevin Johnson,   (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot from passing van while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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21 December 1978
Glen Ling,   (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot from passing van while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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21 December 1986
Thomas McCartan,   (31)

Catholic
Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Shot outside his home, Commedagh Drive, Andersonstown, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) feud.

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21 December 1991


Robin Farmer,   (19)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot during gun attack on his former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) member father, at their shop, Killyman Street, Moy, County Tyrone.

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21 December 1991
Barry Watson,  (25)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Shot during gun attack on Donegall Arms, Roden Street, Village, Belfast.

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21 December 1991
Thomas Gorman,   (55)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Shot during gun attack on Donegall Arms, Roden Street, Village, Belfast.

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21 December 1991
William Johnston,   (28)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his home, Fortuna Street, Village, Belfast.

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