5th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

5th February

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Saturday 5 February 1972

Two IRA members were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely. A man died from injuries received in an explosion six days earlier.

Monday 5 February 1973

Following a decision to intern two Loyalists, suspected of the murder of a Catholic man, there was a call for a general strike under the auspices of the United Loyalist Council (ULC) .

[Although Internment had been introduced on Monday 9 August 1971 and hundreds of Catholics / Nationalists had been arrested and interned, this was the first time that Protestants had been held under the Detention of Terrorists Order. This decision was to lead to a strike by Loyalists and an upsurge in Loyalist violence.]

Wednesday 5 February 1975

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) published a discussion paper on power-sharing, The Government of Northern Ireland: A Society Divided. This was the third discussion paper published in advance of the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention. Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, announced that new blocks (‘H-Blocks’) were to be built at the Maze Prison while waiting for a new prison at Maghaberry, County Antrim, to be completed.

Thursday 5 February 1981

In a statement Republican prisoners warned that there could be further hunger strikes if they were not granted special category status.

Wednesday 5 February 1986

John Hermon, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), instructed leaders of the Northern Ireland Police Federation (NIPF), the main union for RUC officers, not to give interviews to the media without receiving clearance from RUC headquarters. The chairman of the Federation later stated that the Police Act (1970) protected the organisation’s freedom of speech.

Friday 5 February 1988

John Stalker, who initially investigated the ‘shoot to kill’ inquiry, alleged that he was removed from the inquiry because his investigations would have caused political embarrassment.

Wednesday 5 February 1992

Sean_Graham_2

Shooting at Bookmaker’s Shop The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), shot dead five Catholic civilians, including a 15 year old boy, in a gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop on the lower Ormeau Road in Belfast.

[The UDA at this time was a legal organisation and there were calls for it to be proscribed. A statement from the UFF concluded with the words “Remember Teebane”.]

See Sean Graham bookmakers’ shooting

See Teebane Bus Bomb

A member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was shot dead by the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) in County Fermanagh.

Friday 5 February 1993

Roger Wheeler, then a Lieutenant-General in the British Army, replaced John Wilsey as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the army in Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 5 February 1997

Billy McCaughey, an ex-officer of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) who had served 16 years for a sectarian murder, denied that he was organising the pickets each Saturday night outside the Catholic chapel at Harryville, Ballymena.

Thursday 5 February 1998

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), published his response to remarks made by John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). In the response Adams set out SF’s opposition to any new Assembly at Stormont. David Andrews, then Irish Foreign Minister, paid a visit to Northern Ireland. He travelled to Kilkeel and Newcastle, County Down before travelling to Belfast. In Belfast Andrews laid a wreath at the site of the shooting of five Catholics on the Lower Ormea Road in 1992. Unionist politicians criticised the visit.

Friday 5 February 1999

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), warned against any attempt to “park” (to suspend) the Good Friday Agreement.

Monday 5 February 2001

There was a pipe-bomb attack on a Catholic family in Ardoyne, north Belfast. The device failed to explode and was found in the living room. Two adults and three children, aged one to 15, were uninjured in the incident. The man, a former republican prisoner, said he received a warning from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) on Friday night that he was being targeted by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD).

The man discovered the device at 8.45am when he was preparing to take his children to school.

[The RHD is a cover name that has been used in the past by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).]

There was a pipe-bomb attack on a Cathoic family in north Belfast. The father said he was sitting watching television in the house shortly after midnight when he heard two men talking outside. He said one of the men smashed the window and the other threw something into the front room. He and his family escaped injury when a fire-ball tore through the house and gutted the building. Both attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Tuesday 5 February 2002

Jane Kennedy, then Security Minister, announced new security measures and new peace lines at a number of interface areas in Northern Ireland. The schemes mainly involved extensions to existing peace lines and the cost was estimated at £670,000.

[The following details, of the schemes involved, were published. North Belfast – 250 metre fence at Newington Avenue / Halliday’s Road (completed); 250 metre extension of a fence at Alliance Avenue / Glenbryn Park; security fencing at Wyndham Street. West Belfast – extension to the existing fence at Ainsworth Avenue / Springfield Road to Kirk Street / Workman Avenue; extension to the existing fence at Bombay Street. East Belfast – closure of the road and construction of a security structure at Madrid Street. Portadown – series of security measures in the Corcrain Road area. Derry – modification of the fence at Harding Street.]

The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) held separate private meetings with Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and Nuala O’Loan, then Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI).

The meetings were to allow the NIPB to hear reports on the investigation of the Omagh bombing (15 August 1998) and also to see if it could come to a decision on the public disagreement between O’Loan and Flanagan.

[However it was clear that the NIPB was deeply divided on the issue with one Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member calling, prior to the meeting, for the resignation of O’Loan.]

It was revealed that the Department of Health and Social Services had spend £180,000 implementing the bilingual policy adopted by Bairbre de Brún (SF) then Minister of Health. The policy means that all public notices, documents, and advertising campaigns, are available in both English and Irish. The total also includes translations into other languages including Chinese, Punjabi, and Ulster Scots.

Two men who admitted being members of the “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA) were jailed for 18 months each by the Special Criminal Court (three judges but no jury) in Dublin. A special branch officer testified that the men had played only a peripheral part in the organisation.

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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.

12  People   lost their lives on the 5th February  between  1972 – 1992

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05 February 1972
 Paul McFadden,  (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died six days after being injured in van bomb explosion at Castle Arcade, off Castle Lane, Belfast. Inadequate warning given.

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05 February 1972
Phelim Grant,  (-9)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion while travelling on barge, near Crumlin, Lough Neagh, County Antrim.

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05 February 1972


Charles McCann,   (-9)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion while travelling on barge, near Crumlin, Lough Neagh, County Antrim.

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05 February 1977


Robert Harrison,   (50)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on joint Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Gilford, County Down

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05 February 1980


Aubrey Abercrombie,   (44)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his farm, Edenmore, near Kinawley, County Fermanagh.

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05 February 1987


Anthony McCluskey,   (32)

Catholic
Status: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Found shot, Middletown, County Armagh. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

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05 February 1992
Joseph MacManus,  (21)

nfNI
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)
From County Sligo. Shot while involved in gun attack on an off duty Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) member, Scardens Upper, near Belleek, County Fermanagh.

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See Sean Graham Shooting

05 February 1992


Peter Magee,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


 Jack Duffin,   (66)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


James Kennedy,  (15)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


William McManus,   (54)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


Christy Doherty,  (52)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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