21st February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

21st February

Monday 21 February 1972

Justice, Lord Widgery

The first session of the Widgery Tribunal was held in Coleraine, County Derry. A total of 17 sessions were held between the 21 February 1972 and the 14 March 1972. 114 witnesses gave evidence. A further three sessions were held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on the 16, 17 and 20 March.

Four members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) died when a bomb they were transporting in a car exploded prematurely on the Knockbreda Road, Belfast.

Friday 21 February 1975

Robert Lowry, then Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, was appointed as the Chairman of the Constitutional Convention.

Monday 21 February 1977

Margaret Thatcher, then leader of the Conservative Party, visited Belfast and Derry.

Saturday 21 February 1981

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a series of fire bomb attacks on eight shops in Belfast and three in Derry which resulted in damage to all 11 stores.

Tuesday 21 February 1984

sas shootout

Two members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and a British Army (BA) soldier were killed in a gun battle between an undercover BA unit and the IRA at Dunloy, County Antrim.

Wednesday 21 February 1990

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and William McCrea, then DUP Member of Parliament (MP), hand in a ‘Hands off the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)’ petition to Downing Street.

Thursday 21 February 1991

The High Court in Belfast ruled that actions taken by Belfast City Council to try to exclude Sinn Féin (SF) from the business of the Council were illegal.

Monday 21 February 1994

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a mortar attack on an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station in Beragh, County Tyrone. The attack caused extensive damage to the police station and to the surrounding village.

In a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television programme Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State, confirmed that two “unauthorised” meetings had taken place between representatives of the IRA and British officials in 1993. However, Mayhew stated that no official had been given permission to say that Britain intended to withdraw eventually from Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 21 February 1996

An area of the centre of Belfast was evacuated because of a bomb scare. It is the first bomb scare in Northern Ireland since the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire.

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), met with members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) Council to discuss the ending of the IRA ceasefire.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) published a document outlining proposals for a 90 member elected body to be based in Stormont, Belfast.

Sunday 21 February 1999

Seven people were arrested in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in connection with the Omagh bombing.

[One man was later charged on 24 February with offences related to the bombing but most of those arrested were released without charge by 25 February 1999.]

Wednesday 21 February 2001

Political Discussions

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), travelled to London for a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, at Downing Street. Trimble stated that the Good Friday Agreement was moving towards a review because of a lack of progress on disarmament.

Blair also held meetings with other pro-Agreement parties. Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said there was a real risk that the Agreement might collapse within a week.

Thursday 21 February 2002

Matthew Burns (26) was shot and killed and his brother Patrick Burns was shot and injured as they sat in a car in Castlewellan, County Down, at approximately 7.00pm (1900GMT). Matthew Burns had survived a bomb attack and a paramilitary punishment attempt within the past two years.

[Sinn Féin later denied claims that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had killed Burns over alleged drug-dealing.]

A man was shot in the wrist in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack in north Belfast. The man was taken from his house and driven to an alleyway off the New Lodge Road he was shot.

There was major traffic disruption when an explosive device (pipe-bomb) was found on the Castledawson to Toomebridge Road, County Antrim.

The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) held a meeting to discuss the appointment of a successor to Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The NIPB was split on the matter of whether Flanagan should be asked to remain on while a successor was found or whether his Deputy should be asked to fill the post in the interim period. It took the casting vote of the Chairman who supported the former option.

Edward_Daly_Bloody_Sunday

Lawyers representing relatives of the victims of Bloody Sunday began an action at the Court of Appeal to challenge a decision by the High Court in Belfast (on Tuesday 19 February 2002) not to prevent police witnesses being screened when giving evidence at the Inquiry.

[The families said that they were challenging the ruling because they believed it could be followed by applications by soldiers to also give evidence from behind screens.]

See Bloody Sunday

Two Irishmen appeared at the Old Bailey in London charged in relation to “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA) bomb attacks in London and Birmingham during 2001.

[The men were remanded in custody to reappear in court on May 20th. Two other men are in custody charged in connection with the bombs.]

 

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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.

13 People   lost their lives on the 21st February between 1972– 1988

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1972
 Gerard Steele,   (27)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion while travelling in car along Knockbreda Road, near to Castlereagh Road roundabout, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1972
Gerard Bell,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion while travelling in car along Knockbreda Road, near to Castlereagh Road roundabout, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1972
Joseph Magee,  (31)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion while travelling in car along Knockbreda Road, near to Castlereagh Road roundabout, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1972
Robert Dorrian,   (28)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion while travelling in car along Knockbreda Road, near to Castlereagh Road roundabout, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1973
Michael Doyle,   (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while on guard duty outside Fort Pegasus British Army (BA) base, Whiterock Road, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1973
Leonard Durber,  (26)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died four months after being hit on the head by missile thrown from crowd, during street disturbances, while travelling in British Army (BA) civilian type car, Newtownards Road, Belfast. He was injured on 5 October 1972.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1974
Hugh Devlin,   (82)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Killed in bomb attack on Spa Inn, Spamount Street, New Lodge, Belfast.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1983


Gordon Wilson,   (29)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb, hidden in derelict building, while on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, Lower English Street, Armagh.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1984


Paul Oram,  (26)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in gun battle between undercover British Army (BA) members and Irish Republican Army (IRA) members, Dunloy, near Ballymoney, County Antrim.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1984


Declan Martin,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Killed in gun battle between undercover British Army (BA) members and Irish Republican Army (IRA) members, Dunloy, near Ballymoney, County Antrim.

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1984


Henry Hogan,  (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Killed in gun battle between undercover British Army (BA) members and Irish Republican Army (IRA) members, Dunloy, near Ballymoney, County Antrim

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1985


Francis Murphy,   (30)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while driving Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) civilian type minibus, Drumsallen, near Armagh

  —————————————————————————

21 February 1988


Aidan McAnespie,  (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while walking past permanent British Army (BA) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Aughnacloy, County Tyrone

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