7th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

7th March

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Monday 7 March 1983

James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced a new anti-terrorism Bill which would have a five year life and be subject to annual review.

Thursday 7 March 1985

In London two men were sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment for planning the 1981 bombings in the city.

Tuesday 7 March 1989

    

See below for more details

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed three Protestant men in Coagh, County Tyrone.

Wednesday 7 March 1990

Sam Marshall (31), a former Republican prisoner, was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in Lurgan, County Armagh. He, and two other Republicans, had earlier been to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police station in the town to sign in as part of their bail conditions. The attack on the three men happened minutes after they had left the police station.

[Republicans claimed that there had been police collusion in the attack because only the men, their solicitors and the police knew of the timing of their appearance at the police station. Republicans also claimed that the men were under security force surveillance at the time of the killing, this was denied by the RUC.]

[On 5 March 2012 some details from an Historical Enquires Team (HET) report into the incident were released. The HET review found that at least eight armed undercover British soldiers were deployed near the killing, while their commander monitored the operation from a remote location. The armed soldiers were in six cars. When the three men left the police station, two soldiers followed them on foot and “partially witnessed” the shooting. There were two plainclothed soldiers with camera equipment in the observation post at the entrance to the police station. The guns used by the UVF were never recovered but were linked through ballistic tests to three other killings and one attempted killing.]

Sunday 7 March 1993

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a large bomb, estimated at 500 pounds, in Main Street in Bangor, County Down. Four Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured in the explosion.

[The cost of the damage was later estimated at £2 million. The blast came five days after Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, delivered a speech in the town. There was another large explosion in the same street in Bangor on 21 October 1992.]

Tuesday 7 March 1995

‘Washington Three’ Conditions

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, during a visit to Washington outlined a three-point plan for the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons. Mayhew said that Sinn Féin (SF) could only enter into substantive negotiations when: there was a willingness by the IRA to “disarm progressively”; there was agreement on the method of decommissioning; and there had been a start to the process of decommissioning.

[These three conditions became known as the ‘Washington 3’ conditions. This statement signalled a period of deadlock over the issue of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.]

Friday 7 March 1997

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) left a bomb near Dungannon, County Tyrone. The bomb was defused by the British Army.

Billy Wright, then a leading Loyalist figure from Portadown, was sentenced to seven years for threatening a witness. At the same trial Dale Weathered and Trevor Buchanan were sentenced to seven and eight years respectively for their part in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack.

See Billy Wright

The security status of Roisín McAliskey, then being held in prison awaiting a decision about extradition, was reduced from High Risk Category A to Standard Risk Category A. This had the affect of ending regular strip searches of McAliskey who was then seven months pregnant.

Thursday 7 March 2002

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) announced that it had received at least 200 names of people ‘on the run’ (paramilitary fugitives). However, it was also understood that some of the names submitted to the PSNI were ones that were not known to the police. The offences for which people were being sought by the police included firearms offences, bombings and murder. Most of those seeking to return to Northern Ireland have been living in the Republic of Ireland with some in the United States of America (USA), central America, and a number of other countries.

It was reported in the media that relations between Catholic and Protestant workers in the Mater Hospital, north Belfast, were so bad that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) was to bring in Counteract, the union’s anti-sectarian unit, to try to ease the situation.

Loyalist paramilitaries had issued death threats against Catholic staff 13 months earlier. However, following the protest by Glenbryn residents outside the Holy Cross Girls Primary School relationships had deteriorated to such an extent that staff were refusing to speak to each other. Glenbryn residents and parents of children attend the Holy Cross school were both employed in the hospital.

The family of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989, said they were “insulted” by a British government’s offer of compensation of £10,000. The British government had been ordered to pay compensation by the European Court of Human Rights because the government had failed to carry out a proper investigation into his killing. Finucane’s widow said her family had not sought compensation but had requested a full independent judicial inquiry.

See Pat Finucane

The number of people on hospital waiting lists in Northern Ireland had reached an all-time high of 58,000. Bairbre de Brún (SF) then Minister of Health, admitted that her department had failed to meet its pledge made last year of reducing the waiting list to 48,000.

There was a referendum in the Republic of Ireland over a change to the constitution that would have had the affect of tightening the rules surrounding abortion. Although Fianna Fáil (FF) had campaigned for a ‘yes’ vote, and was backed by the Catholic church, there was a slight majority who voted ‘no’ (50.42% ‘No’, 49.58% ‘Yes’).

[Some commentators saw this as evidence of the further liberalisation of society in the Republic.]

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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.

7 People   lost their lives on the 7th March between 1976 – 1990

 

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.07 March 1976
Patrick Mone,  (56)

nfNIRI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Killed when car bomb exploded outside Three Star Inn, Main Street, Castleblayney, County Monaghan.

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07 March 1977
Myles Scullion,   (47)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Enniskeen, Craigavon, County Armagh.

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07 March 1987


Thomas Maguire,  (19)

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

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Found shot, Ballinliss, near Meigh, County Armagh. Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) / Irish Peoples Liberation Organisation (IPLO) feud.

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07 March 1989


Leslie Dallas,   (38)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his garage, Hanover Square, Coagh, County Tyrone.

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07 March 1989


Austin Nelson,   (62)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at Leslie Dallas’ garage, Hanover Square, Coagh, County Tyrone.

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07 March 1989


Ernest Rankin,  (72)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at Leslie Dallas’ garage, Hanover Square, Coagh, County Tyrone

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07 March 1990


Samuel Marshall,   (31)

Catholic
Status: ex-Irish Republican Army (xIRA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Former Republican prisoner. Shot from passing car while walking along Kilmaine Street, Lurgan, County Armagh.

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