4th January – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

4th January

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Saturday 4 January 1969

Burntollet Ambush The fourth, and final, day of the People’s Democracy (PD) march took the marchers from Claudy to Derry. Seven miles from its destination, the People’s Democracy (PD) march was ambushed and attacked by a loyalist mob at Burntollet Bridge.

The ambush had been planned in advance and around 200 loyalists, including off-duty members of the ‘B-Specials’, used sticks, iron bars, bottles and stones to attack the marchers, 13 of whom received hospital treatment. The marchers believed that the 80 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers, who accompanied the march, did little to protect them from the Loyalist crowd.

As the march entered Derry it was again attached at Irish Street, a mainly Protestant area of the city. Finally the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) broke up the rally that was held in the centre of the city as the march arrived. This action, and the subsequent entry of the RUC into the Bogside area of the city, led to serious rioting.

Friday 4 January 1974

The Ulster Unionist Council (UUC, the policy making body of the Ulster Unionist Party; UUP) met and voted, by 427 votes to 374, to reject the ‘Council of Ireland’ as proposed in the Sunningdale Agreement.

[Following this vote Brian Faulkner resigned on 7 January 1974 as leader of the UUP.]

Sunday 4 January 1976

Six Catholic civilians from two families died as a result of two separate gun attacks by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Three members of the same family, John Reavey (24), Brian Reavey (22) and Anthony Reavey (17) were shot at their home in Greyhillan, Whitecross, County Armagh.

   

[Anthony Reavey died on 30 January 1976.] At another family home in Ballydougan, near Gilford, County Down, Barry O’Dowd (24), Declan O’Dowd (19) and Joseph O’Dowd (61), were all shot dead.

Friday 4 January 1980

Alexander Reid (20), a Catholic civilian, was found beaten to death in a derelict garage in Berlin Street, Shankill, Belfast.

Thursday 4 January 1990

The Government established the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.

Saturday 4 January 1992

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb, estimated at 800 pounds, in Bedford Street in the centre of Belfast. The bomb caused extensive damage to property in the area.

Monday 4 January 1993

A proposal to introduce proportional power-sharing on Belfast City Council was rejected by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Tuesday 4 January 1994

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), sent two parcel bombs to Sinn Féin (SF) and An Phoblacht (Republican News) offices in Dublin. Two members of a bomb disposal team were injured when one of the devices exploded.

At a Fair Employment Tribunal a Catholic woman was awarded damages of £25,000 for persistent sectarian harassment at a security firm.

Monday 4 January 1999

There was an attempted armed robbery of £500,000 from a Brinks-Allied van in Dalkey, County Dublin. The raiders almost got away with the money stolen from the van when they rammed it with a truck. The getaway car stalled and was abandoned along with the money as the gang escaped. A man was injured when the raiders shot at him while hijacking his car.

Mary Harney, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister), said that there was no distinction between Sinn Féin (SF) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and called on the IRA to decommission its weapons.

Thursday 4 January 2001

A Catholic family were forced to leave their home following a pipe-bomb attack and gun attack. There were no injuries during the attack. A window was broken when a pipe-bomb exploded in the front garden while one bullet lodged in the window frame and a second was found on the living room floor. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries

Friday 4 January 2002

A report based on a survey of 4,800 households in 12 neighbouring estates beside ‘peace lines’ in west Belfast has provided evidence that segregation between Catholic and Protestants has increased in the past 10 years.

The report also showed an increase in violence in the areas. 68 per cent of people aged 18 to 25 years said that they had never had a meaningful conversation with anyone from the other community. The report was prepared by Peter Shirlow (Dr), then a lecturer at the University of Ulster, who presented his findings to the Royal Geographical Society and Institute of British Geographers conference in Belfast on Saturday 5 January 2002.

The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) issued a statement calling for an end to trouble in north Belfast. Nationalist politicians were very sceptical about the impact of the statement but said they were willing to meet with Loyalist paramilitaries.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) issued a statement claiming that attacks on Nationalists was putting an “impossible” strain on the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) ceasefire. The IRSP said it “viewed with increasing concern the escalating attacks on the Nationalist working-class by hate-filled Loyalism” and warned that a “Republican response is inevitable”.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) released figures for the number of paramilitary ‘punishment’ attacks during 2001. Overall there were 331 such attacks in 2001; an increase of over 25 per cent on the 2000 figure. Loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for 121 shootings and 91 beatings while Republicans were responsible for 66 shootings and 53 beatings.

The Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) reported that 19 people had been killed in Northern Ireland during 2001 as a result of sectarian or paramilitary activity. Loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for 13 deaths, while Republicans killed 4 people, it was not reported who was responsible for the two other deaths.

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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.

8 People   lost their lives on the 4th January  between  1973– 1980

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04 January 1973
 James Hood,   (48)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Straidarran, near Feeny, County Derry.

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04 January 1976


John Reavey,  (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot during gun attack on his home, Greyhillan, Whitecross, County Armagh

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04 January 1976


Brian Reavey,   (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot during gun attack on his home, Greyhillan, Whitecross, County Armagh.

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04 January 1976


Anthony Reavey,   (17)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot during gun attack on his home, Greyhillan, Whitecross, County Armagh. He died 30 January 1976

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04 January 1976


Barry O’Dowd,  (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) member. Shot during gun attack on his home, Ballydugan, near Gilford, County Down.

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04 January 1976


Declan O’Dowd,   (19)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA), K

illed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) member. Shot during gun attack on his home, Ballydugan, near Gilford, County Down.

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04 January 1976


Joseph O’Dowd,   (61)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA)

, Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) member. Shot during gun attack, while in relative’s home, Ballydugan, near Gilford, County Down.

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04 January 1980
Alexander Reid,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Found beaten to death in derelict garage, Berlin Street, Shankill, Belfast

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