18th January – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles





Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

18th January


Monday 18 January 1971

James Chichester-Clark, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, attended a meeting in London with Reginald Maudling, then British Home Secretary.

Tuesday 18 January 1972

Brian Faulkner, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, banned all parades and marches in Northern Ireland until the end of the year. [ Bloody Sunday; Internment; Law Order. ]

Wednesday 18 January 1978

European Court Decision on Treatment of Internees

The European Court of Human Rights made its ruling on the case of alleged ill-treatment of internees during 1971. The case had been initially referred to the European Commission by the Irish government on 10 March 1976. On 2 September 1976 the European Commission on Human Rights decided that Britain had to answer a case of ill-treatment of internees and referred the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Commission found that the interrogation techniques did involve a breach of the Convention on Human Rights because they not only involved inhuman and degrading treatment but also torture. The European Court of Human Rights however decided that the Commission was wrong to use the word ‘torture’ but did agree that the internees had been subjected to ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’.

Tuesday 18 January 1983

Peter Barry, then Irish Foreign Minister, began a fact-finding visit to Belfast.

Wednesday 18 January 1984

James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced a public inquiry into the scandal at the Kincora Boy’s Home in Belfast.

Tuesday 18 January 1994

Sinn Féin (SF) launched a ‘peace commission’ which was set up to hear opinions on the future of the region.

 The first session was held in Derry on 27 January 1994.

Saturday 18 January 1997

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) fired two ‘horizontal type mortars’ at a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Landrover patrol in Downpatrick, County Down. There were no injuries.

An attempted mortar attack in Derry was foiled by the security forces in Derry.

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), confirmed that he would be the SDLP candidate for Foyle (in Derry) at the next general election.

[There had been suggestions that he might stand aside in favour of one of his colleagues. Hume at this time was both a Member of Parliament (MP) and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).]

Sunday 18 January 1998

Fergal (Rick) McCusker (28), a Catholic man, was abducted and shot dead by the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) at around 1.15 am in Maghera, County Derry.

McCusker was walking home after having been out drinking with friends. His body was discovered behind the premises of a youth club. McCusker had recently returned to Northern Ireland having worked for a while in the United States of America. He was the fourth Catholic to be killed since 27 December 1997.

Jean Kennedy Smith



Jean Kennedy Smith, then United States of America (USA) Ambassador to Ireland, came under attack from Ray Seitz, formerly US Ambassador to Britain (1991 to 1994), who branded her “an ardent IRA apologist”. Seitz made the claims in a recently published book of memoirs. Reacting to the claims, the White House said President Clinton had every confidence in Kennedy Smith.

Monday 18 January 1999

The Northern Ireland Assembly debated the proposed structures of government and the arrangements for the North-South bodies. Peter Weir, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), voted against his own party line on the issue of the new structures for government.

[Weir was a member of the pressure group ‘Union First’ and opposed to the Good Friday Agreement. He was deprived of the UUP whip on 19 January 1999.] Representatives of the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition (GRRC) had a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, at Downing Street, London. Blair called for renewed efforts to find a compromise to the Drumcree issue. Brice Dickson, then a Professor at the University of Ulster, was appointed as the head of the new Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC). [Some people complained of a lack of Unionist representation on the Commission.]

Friday 18 January 2002

Anti-Sectarian Rallies

Rallies were held across Northern Ireland at 1.00pm (1300GMT) to protest against Loyalist paramilitary death threats to postal workers and school staff and to call for an end to all paramilitary activity. The rallies took place in Belfast, Cookstown, Derry, Enniskillen, Newry, Omagh, and Strabane, and were attended by an estimated 25,000 people. Representatives of all major trade unions as well as ordinary men and women took part in the demonstrations.

Part of a resolution read out at the rallies stated: “we call on all those engaged in acts of sectarianism or paramilitary activity to stop”.

[The rallies were organised following the killing by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) of Catholic postman Daniel McColgan (20) on Saturday 12 January 2002.]


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.

6 People   lost their lives on the 18th January  between  1972 – 1998


18 January 1972
Sydney Agnew,  (40)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his home, The Mount, off Albertbridge Road, Belfast. Witness to the hijacking of a bus.


18 January 1973

Francis Liggett,   (25)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during attempted armed robbery at Royal Victoria Hospital, Falls Road, Belfast


18 January 1980

Graham Cox,   (35)

Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while driving home from Magilligan Prison, Limavady Road, Stradreagh, near Derry.


18 January 1983

 John Olphert,  (39)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty reservist. Shot at his supermarket, Nelson Drive, Caw, Derry.


18 January 1989

Ian Catney,  (27)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his workplace, his mother’s shop, Smithfield, Belfast.


18 January 1998

Fergal McCusker,   (28)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
Found shot, behind youth centre, off Tircane Road, Maghera, County Derry 



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