7th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

7th February

Wednesday 7 February 1973

United Loyalist Council Strike

The United Loyalist Council (ULC), led by William Craig, the then leader of Ulster Vanguard, organised a one-day general strike. The ULC was an umbrella group which co-ordinated the activities of the Loyalist Association of Workers (LAW), the Ulster Defence Association (UDA; the largest of the Loyalist paramilitary groups), and a number of other Loyalist paramilitary groups.

The aim of the strike was to “re-establish some kind of Protestant or loyalist control over the affairs in the province, especially over security policy” (Anderson, 1994, p4). Many areas of Northern Ireland were affected by power cuts and public transport was also badly affected. These in turn had the affect of closing many businesses, shops and schools. Loyalists paramilitary groups used ‘persuasion’ or intimidation to force many people from going to work and also to close any premises which had opened.

A number of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) stations were attacked by crowds of Loyalists. There were also many violent incidents throughout the day with the worst of them centred around Belfast. Four people were killed in separate shooting incidents in Belfast. Three of these were members of Loyalist paramilitary groups of whom two were killed by members of the British Army.

There had been eight explosions and 35 cases of arson. The strike was not very well supported by the Protestant population of Northern Ireland. Many Unionists were upset by the level of violence that accompanied the strike.

Thursday 7 February 1974

Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, calls a general election for 28 February 1974. Francis Pym, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, tried to argue for a later election date because of his worry that the Executive would not survive the outcome.

Saturday 7 February 1976

Four civilians died in three separate attacks.

Thomas Quinn (55), a Catholic civilian, was beaten and had his throat cut. His body was found at Forthriver Way, Glencairn, Belfast. Members of he Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang known as the ‘Shankill Butchers’ were responsible for the killing.

Lenny Murphy – Leader of the Shankill Butchers

 

 

See Shankill Butchers

 Two Protestant civilians, Rachel McLernon (21) and Robert McLernon (16), were killed by an Irish Republican Army (IRA) booby-trap bomb in Cookstown, County Tyrone. Thomas Rafferty (14), a Catholic civilian, was killed by a booby-trap bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in Portadown, County Armagh.

Tuesday 7 February 1978

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was reported in the Irish Times as stating that it is “the British dimension which is the obstacle keeping us away from a lasting solution”.

Sunday 7 February 1982

Martin Kyles (19), a Catholic civilian, died two days after being shot by British Soldiers as he travelled (‘joy riding’) in a stolen car in the grounds of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Falls Road, Belfast.

Friday 7 February 1986

The High Court in Belfast ordered that Belfast City Council should end the on-going adjournment of council business in protest to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The court also instructed the council to remove the large ‘Belfast Says No’ banner from the front of the City Hall. The court action had been brought by the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI).

Saturday 7 February 1987

Incendiary devices planted in County Donegal and in Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland, were believed to be the responsibility of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

Thursday 7 February 1991

Mortar Attack on Downing Street

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) launched an attack on 10 Downing Street, London, while the British Cabinet was holding a meeting. There were no injuries. The attack took the form of three home-made mortars fired from a parked van in nearby Whitehall and represented a serious breach of security in the area. One of the mortars fell in a garden at the back of Downing street and caused some damage.

[It was reported later that ministers dived under the cabinet table during the attack.]

See IRA Mortar Attack on Downing Street

The Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) announced that scientific evidence against the ‘Birmingham Six’ had been dropped. The announcement came during proceedings at their renewed appeal. In a ruling by the House of Lords the broadcasting ban on ‘proscribed’ organisations was upheld.

Monday 7 February 1994

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of Sate, paid a visit to Derry and stated that inter-party talks were on target.

Tuesday 7 February 1995

A bomb comprised of commercial explosives was defused in Newry, County Down.

[The Irish Republican Army (IRA) later denied that it was responsible for planting the bomb.]

Garda Síochána (the Irish police) uncovered 8,000 rounds of ammunition at Oldcastle, County Meath.

[Two mortar tubes and additional ammunition were discovered on 8 February 1995.]

There was a further meeting between representatives from Sinn Féin (SF) and Northern Ireland Office (NIO) officials. The British officials indicated that if progress continued to be made in the talks then ministers would also take part.

John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), proposed to the Daíl in Dublin that the state of emergency (declared in the Republic in 1939 and renewed in 1976) should be lifted. The proposal was accepted. Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), called on the British government to limit or repeal its emergency legislation.

Wednesday 7 February 1996

Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), and Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a meeting in Dublin. Dick Spring proposed the establishment of ‘proximity’ style talks similar to those adopted at the Dayton, Ohio Negotiations in the United States of America (USA) between warring groups from Bosnia. The idea was rejected by unionist politicians.

Wednesday 7 February 2001

There was a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in the mainly Protestant Fountain estate in Derry. A couple and their children escaped injury when a device was left at their home in the early hours of the morning. The device partially exploded causing minor damage to an outer wall about 1.00am. The couple raised the alarm after discovering the six-inch device under a car.

The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

There were pipe-bomb attacks on Catholic homes in Limavady. One device exploded in the front garden of a house at Eventide Gardens, the other at a house on Edenmore Park. Patrick Vincent, whose home was targeted, said he did not know why his family had been singled out. The pipe-bomb exploded outside a bedroom of the house where he lives with his pregnant girlfriend.

The attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

A Loyalist, whose family escaped injury in a pipe-bomb attack on their home in Lurgan, County Armagh, claims the police knew it was going to happen. The family were at home when the bomb exploded at 12.40am. It caused scorch damage to the front door and also damaged the front of a neighbour’s house.

The man blamed the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) for the attack and for two previous attempts on his life

Thursday 7 February 2002

The full Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) met for the second time in three days to continue discussions on the investigation of the Omagh bomb (15 August 1998). The NIPB had met with Nuala O’Loan, then Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI), and Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), on Tuesday 5 February 2002.

The NIPB decided to appoint a senior police officer from England to oversee the investigation. It was planned that this new officer would have equal status to the current senior investigating officer.

[This was seen as a compromise between the recommendation of O’Loan and the position adopted by Flanaghan.]

The Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday granted permission to police officer to give their evidence from behind screens.

[Many of the 20 former and serving officers had applied to be screened from the public gallery. It was also believed that 2 officers would ask to given their evidence in Britain.]

See Bloody Sunday

The Prince of Wales travelled to Northern Ireland for a series of engagements during a two day visit.

 

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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.

11  People   lost their lives on the 7th February  between  1971 – 1987

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1971


Albert Bell,  (25)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Found shot by the side of the Belfast to Crumlin Road, Ballyhill, near Belfast, County Antrim.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1973


Brian Douglas,  (26)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Fireman, shot fighting blaze during street disturbances, Bradbury Place, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1973
Andrew Petherbridge, (18)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during street disturbances, at the junction of Newtownards Road and Newcastle Street, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1973
Robert Bennett,  (31)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during street disturbances, Albertbridge Road, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1973
Clarke Clarke,  (18)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot in entry, off Hallidays Road, New Lodge, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1976


Robert McLernon,  (16)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb hidden in abandoned crashed car, Tyresson Road, Cookstown, County Tyrone.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1976


Rachel McLernon,  (21)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb hidden in abandoned crashed car, Tyresson Road, Cookstown, County Tyrone.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1976


Thomas Rafferty, (14)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Killed by booby trap bomb concealed behind row of derelict cottages, Derryall Road, Portadown, County Armagh.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1978


John Eaglesham,   (58)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while delivering mail, The Rock, near Pomeroy, County Tyrone.

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1982
Martin Kyles,  (19)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Died two days after being shot while travelling in stolen car, in the grounds of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Falls Road, Belfast

  —————————————————————————

07 February 1987


Iris Farley,  (72)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Died five weeks after being shot during gun attack on her off duty Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) member son, at their home, Markethill, County Armagh.

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