22nd December – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

22nd December

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Sunday 22 December 1974

ira cease fire 2.jpg

Irish Republican Army (IRA) Ceasefire The Irish Republican Army (IRA) observed a ceasefire between midnight on 22 December 1974 to midnight on 2 January 1975. The ceasefire was called to allow the British government to respond to proposals put by the IRA to Protestant clergymen on 10 December 1974.

[The IRA initially extended this ceasefire, then called it off on 17 January 1975, and then renewed it from 10 February 1975. Government officials also held talks with Sinn Féin (SF) until 17 January 1975. Many commentators felt that an announcement of British withdrawal from Northern Ireland was a possibility at this time.]

The IRA carried out a bomb attack on the home of Edward Heath, a former British Prime Minister, in Wilton Street, Belgravia, London. A small bomb with a short fuse was thrown onto the first-floor balcony of Heath’s flat. The bomb caused extensive damage but Heath was not present and there were no injuries. [Attacks in London ended for the period of the IRA ceasefire but began again on 19 January 1975.]

Monday 22 December 1975

The authorities in the United States of America (USA) foiled an attempt to ship weapons to the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Tuesday 22 December 1987

John McMichael, then deputy leader of the Ulster Defense Association (UDA), was killed by a booby-trap bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Following his death there were many accusations of collusion between senior UDA members and the IRA in the killing. [This incident was seen by many commentators as part of a process of change in the leadership of the UDA. A younger group of men were to assume the leadership of the organisation and were to introduce a change in the tactics of the UDA.

See John McMichael

Thursday 22 December 1988

It was announced that, despite the European Court of Human Rights ruling on detention (on 29 November 1988), Britain would retain a seven-day detention period.

Friday 22 December 1989

The European Community announced a £100 million grant for transportation in Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 22 December 1992

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), replied to a speech made by Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on 16 December 1992. Adams proposed a United Nations (UN) and European Community (EC) role in finding a political solution. He also said that SF’s exclusion from political talks was undemocratic.

Wednesday 22 December 1993

John Major, then British Prime Minister, travelled to Northern Ireland and held a series of meetings with the leaders of the main constitutional parties. Ulster Marketing Surveys carried out a poll of opinion in Northern Ireland on the Downing Street Declaration. The poll was conducted on behalf of Independent Television News (ITN). Of those questioned 56 per cent said that they were in favour of the declaration.

Thursday 22 December 1994

Catholic Man Killed by Loyalists Noel Lyness (47), a Catholic civilian, was found beaten to death in an entry, off Ebor Street, Village, Belfast. Lyness who was a mature student at Queen’s University Belfast was the victim of a sectarian attack and had been killed by Loyalists but no paramilitary group claimed responsibility.

[In the following years there were to be a number of Catholics killed by both Loyalists gangs and Loyalist paramilitary groups which were followed by the policy of ‘no claim, no blame’. This meant that if no Loyalist paramilitary group claimed the killing the could be no political sanctions taken against them. In an effort to further hid their identity Loyalists resorted to beating their victims to death, or stabbing with knives, or shooting with shotguns (this method meant there were no bullets for the police to trace).]

The British government granted Christmas parole to 97 paramilitary prisoners.

[All the prisoners returned to jail following the Christmas holiday.]

In the Republic of Ireland 30 paramilitary prisoners were granted Christmas parole and a further nine prisoners were given early releases.

Sunday 22 December 1996

Eddie Copeland, a senior republican figure, was injured when a bomb exploded below his car in the Ardoyne area of Belfast. The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) were thought to be responsible for the attack.

Monday 22 December 1997

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), had talks with Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America, while on a visit to Washington. Clinton said that he was encouraged by the way the multi-party talks were progressing.

Wednesday 22 December 1999

Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, published a paper which set out the British government’s strategy for achieving “normal security and policing”.

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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.

5 people   lost their lives on the 22nd December between 1976  – 1994

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22 December 1976


Samuel Armour,  (37)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car, outside his home, Curragh Road, Maghera, County Derry.

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22 December 1979


Stanley Hazelton,   (48)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot by sniper while driving his car near Glaslough, County Monaghan.

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22 December 1987


John McMichael,  (38)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car outside his home, Hilden Court, Hilden, Lisburn, County Antrim.

See John McMichael

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22 December 1991
Aidan Wallace,   (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Devenish Arms, Finaghy Road North,

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22 December 1994
Noel Lyness,  (47)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found beaten to death, in entry, off Ebor Street, Village, Belfast

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