1st February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

1st February

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Thursday 6 February 1969

The New Ulster Movement (NUM) was formed. This pressure group was established to promote moderate and non-sectarian policies and to assist those candidates who supported Terence O’Neill, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, in the election on 24 February 1969.

Tuesday 1 February 1972

Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, announced the appointment of Lord Widgery, then Lord Chief Justice, to undertake an inquiry into the 13 deaths on ‘Bloody Sunday’ (30 January 1972).

[The response of the people of Derry to this choice of candidate, was for the most part one of scepticism and a lack of confidence in his ability to be objective. Indeed a number of groups in Derry initially called for non-participation in the tribunal but many were persuaded later to given evidence to the inquiry.]

There was an Opposition adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the subject of ‘Bloody Sunday’. During the debate the then Minister of State for Defence gave an official version of events and went on to say:

“We must also recognise that the IRA is waging a war, not only of bullets and bombs but of words…. If the IRA is allowed to win this war I shudder to think what will be the future of the people living in Northern Ireland.”

The Ministry of Defence also issued a detailed account of the British Army’s version of events during ‘Bloody Sunday’ which stated that:

“Throughout the fighting that ensued, the Army fired only at identified targets – at attacking gunmen and bombers. At all times the soldiers obeyed their standing instructions to fire only in self-defence or in defence of others threatened.”

Harold Wilson, then leader of the Labour Party, said that a United Ireland was the only solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. William Craig, then Home Affairs Minister, suggested that the west bank area of Derry should be ceded to the Republic of Ireland.

See Bloody Sunday

Thursday 1 February 1973

Patrick Heenan (50), a Catholic man, was killed in a grenade attack carried out by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

[It was later established that the UFF was a cover name which members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) used to claim the responsibility for the killing of Catholics.]

A British soldier was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Strabane.

Frank King, a Lieutenant-General, succeeded Harry Tuzo as General Officer Commanding (GOC) the British Army in Northern Ireland.

Friday 1 February 1974

Liam Cosgrave, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and seven of his ministers flew to Hillsborough, County Down, for a meeting with members of the Northern Ireland Executive. The meeting agreed to establish working groups consisting of civil servants from North and South which would consider which ‘executive functions’ would be given to the Council of Ireland.

[The report from the civil servants recommended that only tourism, conservation, and ‘aspects of animal health’, should come under the control of the Council of Ireland.]

Sunningdale; Ulster Workers’ Council Strike

Monday 1 February 1982

Representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held a meeting with James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and they told him that they were opposed to his policy of ‘rolling devolution’. Michael Foot, then leader of the Labour Party, began a three day visit to Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 1 February 1983

Peter Barry, then Irish Foreign Minister, held a meeting with James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in London. Barry expressed his view that the Northern Ireland Assembly would not prove successful.

Friday 1 February 1985

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), announced that he was accepting an invitation to a meeting with the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Hume said he would urge the IRA leadership to end the campaign of violence. However he was heavily criticised by Unionists and others.

[The meetining took place on 23 February 1985.]

1 February 1989

Details of the meeting on 14 October 1988 between members of the four main Northern Ireland political parties in Duisburg, West Germany were revealed in a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) programme. The parties involved were; Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Friday 1 February 1991

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), described rumours of a possible Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire as being “unfounded speculation”.

Sunday 2 February 1992

During a television interview Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, refused to rule out the possibility of the British government doing a post-election deal with Unionists. He stated that if talks were not successful a solution might be imposed that was more integrationist than devolutionist.

Tuesday 1 February 1994

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) carried out a bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in Portadown, County Armagh. An Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was injured in the explosion.

There was an Irish Republican Army (IRA) mortar attack on a British Army (BA) observation post at Cloghoge, County Armagh.

David McGaughey (Rev.), then Presbyterian moderator-designate, said that he would not take part in ecumenical services.

The National Committee on American Foreign Policy was address in New York by John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and John Alderdice, then leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI). [The whole of Adams’ visit to the USA was a major publicity coup for SF.]

Wednesday 1 February 1995

The Times (a London based newspaper) published what it claimed to be extracts from the ‘Framework Documents’ which the British and Irish governments had drawn up.

[The two governments launched the documents on 22 February 1995.]

Thursday 1 February 1996

A large number of bullets were fired into the home of a reserve member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). No group admitted responsibility. The Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) ran a report that Sinn Féin (SF) was unhappy with the final report from the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, based in Dublin.

Sunday 1 February 1998

A march was held in Derry to mark the 26th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’. A estimated crowd of 30,000 people walked over the same route as the original march from the Creggan estate to the Bogside area of the city.

Some of the relatives of those killed on 30 January 1972 said the announcement of the new inquiry (on 29 January 1998) gave them hope that the truth would be uncovered. Some buses taking people back to Belfast following the march were attacked with stones as they travelled through the mainly Protestant village of Drumahoe, County Derry.

See Bloody Sunday

The Sunday Life (a Northern Ireland newspaper) carried a story that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had acquired a set of confidential British Army intelligence files. The story claimed the files were accidentally dumped when an army barracks was demolished in Kilkeel, County Down.

A survey of opinion reported in the Sunday Independent (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) indicated that almost half of those questioned thought that internment should be introduced on both sides of the border if Loyalist or Republican paramilitaries rejected any agreement and continued violence.

Monday 1 February 1999

An explosive device was discovered at a Catholic church in Antrim. The device was made safe by British Army technical officers.

Unionists on Belfast City Council voted to withdraw funding of £50,000 that was to given to the organising committee of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade on 17 March 1999.

John Kelly, a Christian Brother, was jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to more than 100 charges of sexual assault on 11 boys over a period of 12 years. The assaults took place in Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Wicklow, Kildare and Tipperary.

Thursday 1 February 2001

Two pipe-bomb attacks on Catholic homes in Ballynahinch were condemned as a “blatant attempt at murder”. A family of six was asleep in Loughside Drive when the first device exploded shortly after 2.00am, smashing a window. Around 10 minutes later a second device went off two doors away, near where neighbours had walked past to investigate the first blast. No-one was injured. The attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Friday 1 February 2002

Loyalist paramilitaries attached a bomb to the bottom of a car belonging to a Catholic family who live near Dungannon, County Tyrone. The family moved from their home when the bomb was discovered following suspicious activity around their home. The police said the bomb would have “caused death or serious injury” if it had exploded.

The British Army discovered guns and ammunition in north Belfast. The weapons were found during a search of an area of wasteland at the back of Braehill Crescent, near Ballysillen Avenue. The weapons included sawn-off shotguns, a rifle and magazines, and 400 rounds of assorted ammunition.

John Hume, former leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was presented with the Gandhi Peace Prize, India’s premier prize, at a ceremony in the president’s residence in Delhi. A jury chaired by Atal Behari Vajpayee, then Indian Prime Minister, unanimously decided to confer the award. Hume was described as a man who had been “instrumental in heralding a new era of justice, peace and reconciliation in Ireland”.

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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.

4 People   lost their lives on the 1st February   between  1972 – 1985

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01 February 1972
 Ian Bramley,  (25)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while leaving Hastings Street Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) base, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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01 February 1973
Patrick Heenan,  (50)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Killed by hand grenade thrown into firm’s bus while travelling to work, Kingsway Park, Tullycarnet, Belfast.

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01 February 1973
William Boardley,  (30)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while at British Army (BA) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Meeting House Street, Strabane, County Tyrone.

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01 February 1985


James Graham,  (39)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while driving school bus, Derrylin, County Fermanagh.

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