8th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

8th March

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Monday 8 March

1971

Members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) engaged in a gun battle with members of the Provisional IRA (PIRA). One man was killed. The feud between the two wings of the IRA had been developing ever since the Republic movement split on 11 January 1970.

Thursday 8 March 1973

The Border Poll

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A referendum was held on whether or not the people of Northern Ireland wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom (UK). This referendum became known as the ‘Border Poll’. However, Nationalists boycotted the referendum and only 57 per cent of the electorate took part in the poll. It was not surprising therefore that, of those who took part, 98 per cent were in favour of maintaining the Union with Britain.

A British soldier guarding a polling station in the lower Falls area of Belfast was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

A Catholic civilian was found shot dead in an abandoned car in the Oldpark area of Belfast. He had been killed by Loyalist paramilitaries.

The IRA exploded two car bombs in London and injured over 200 people. (One person in the vicinity died a sudden death due to a heart problem; listed in appendix to Sutton.)

One of the bombs had been planted at the ‘Old Bailey’ court in London. Two other car bombs were diffused.

[Nine people were found guilty of the bombings on 14th November 1973. Among those found guilty was Gerry Kelly. Kelly was later to become a leading member of Sinn Féin and played a role in the negotiations that led to the Goody Friday Agreement on 10th April 1998  ]

There were bombs in Belfast and Derry. Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a raid on an Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) guard at a polling station in east Belfast and stole 8 British Army issue self-loading rifles (SLRs) and ammunition. The members of the guard claimed that they were ‘overpowered’ by the Loyalists.

Tuesday 8 March 1977

Eight members of the SAS were each fined £100 in a Dublin court for carrying guns without a certificate. The men had been found in the Republic of Ireland and were arrested.

Wednesday 8 March 1978

Thomas Trainor (29), a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), and Denis Kelly (31), a Catholic civilian, were shot dead by the Red Hand Commando (RHC) in Portadown, County Armagh.

[The RHC was a Loyalist paramilitary group with links to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).]

Sunday 8 March 1987

The body of Lorraine McCausland’s (23), a Protestant civilian, was found in a stream near a Tynedale loyalist club in north Belfast.

McCausland had been drinking in the club the night before her half-naked body was discovered. She had been beaten to death.

[The book ‘Lost Lives’ (2004; p1064) included a claim that “Reliable loyalist sources said the men who killed her belonged to the UDA”. However, currently (2007) the motivation for the killing remains unclear.]

Tuesday 8 March 1988

A car believed to belong to those killed in Gibraltar was found in Marbella and was discovered to contain 140 pounds of high explosives.

Wednesday 8 March 1989

     

Miles Amos & Stephen Cummins

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed two soldiers and injured six others in a landmine explosion on the Buncrana Road near Derry. The Emergency Provision Act was renewed in the House of Commons.

Monday 8 March 1993

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, welcomed the speech made by Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), on 5 March 1993. Mayhew said that Spring was someone he could “do business with”.

Wednesday 8 March 1995

Michael Howard, then British Home Secretary, lifted exclusion orders against 16 people. The orders were made under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) announced that security barriers in Belfast city centre would be removed.

Friday 8 March 1996

David Cook, then chairman of the Police Authority of Northern Ireland, and Chris Ryder, then a Police Authority member, were both dismissed from their positions on the Authority by Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The two men had earlier lost a vote of confidence.

Saturday 8 March 1997

or

Sunday 9 March 1997

 The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) planted firebombs in the offices of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) in Banbridge and Newcastle, which caused serious damage.

[The attacks were believed to be a response to the marketing of the whole of Ireland as a tourist destination by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in conjunction with Bord Fáilte (the tourist board in the Republic of Ireland). Many Loyalists are opposed to cross-border co-operation of any kind.]

There were demonstrations in support of Roisín McAliskey, then being held in prison awaiting a decision about extradition, in Dublin, London, New York, Washington, and a number of other cities.

Sunday 8 March 1998

Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a bomb attack on the home of a Catholic man and his Protestant partner in Larne, County Antrim. The man claimed that attack was sectarian and blamed local members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA); he said that he was involved in a ‘run-in’ (a fracas) with a leading Loyalist figure the previous week.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said that no motive had been established for the attack.

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) issued threats against Protestant churchmen, business leaders and politicians whom it claimed were “colluding” with the peace process. In a ‘policy document’ the LVF expressed support for Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), saying “Paisley has got it absolutely right”.

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), conceded that there was no prospect of an imminent united Ireland. An article written by Adams appeared in the Ireland on Sunday (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) set out the minimum demands that would have to be met before SF would sign any agreement.

An opinion  poll published in the same paper reported that 71 per cent of people in the Republic of Ireland wanted to see a united Ireland.

Monday 8 March 1999

Treaties Signed

The British and Irish governments signed four international treaties providing the legal framework for the establishment of the associated institutions of devolved government in Northern Ireland. The treaties covered: the six North-South implementation bodies; the North-South Ministerial Council; the British-Irish Council; and the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

David Trimble, then First Minister Designate, reacted angrily to Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam’s, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announcement extending the deadline for the creation of the Northern Ireland Executive until Easter week (2 April 1999).

Sinn Féin (SF) also criticised the delay.

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), met with Gerry Adams, then President of SF, in Government Buildings in Dublin.

Loyalists carried out a ‘pipe-bomb’ attack on the home of a family in Portadown, County Armagh

. It was disclosed that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) had advised Gerry Adams of a threat to his life from dissident Republicans.

On International Women’s Day, the President, Mrs McAleese, said “skewed, twisted and unhealthy” thinking and teaching about the role of women over generations had left an obstacle course of impediments to their equal treatment.

A special debate in Parliament Buildings, Stormont, was among many events to mark the day on both sides of the Border.

Thursday 8 March 2001

Political Talks in Northern Ireland

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held new talks in Belfast with the political parties. It appeared that the two governments were resigned to being unable to achieve any breakthrough deal before the British general election.

However the two men hoped for an interim agreement to keep the peace process alive.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) stated that it was willing to meet with John de Chastelain (Gen.), then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

[This was to be the first meeting since June 2000. Most Unionists were not impressed by the IRA offer of talks and demanded action on disarmament.]

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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.

14 People   lost their lives on the 8th March between 1971 – 1993

 

  

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08 March 1971


Charles Hughes,   (26)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
Shot while leaving house, Leeson Street, Lower Falls, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

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08 March 1972
Eamon Gamble,  (27)

Catholic
Status: non-specific Republican group (REP),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Died one month after being injured in an explosion at temporary council offices in school hall, Keady, County Armagh. Explosion occurred on 6 February 1972.

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08 March 1972


Joseph Jardine,   (44)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his workplace, Ministry of Agriculture office, Middletown, County Armagh.

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08 March 1973


David Glennon,   (45)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot in abandoned car, Summer Street, Lower Oldpark, Belfast

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08 March 1973
John Green,   (21)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while guarding polling station, Slate Street School, Lower Falls,

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08 March 1973
Joseph Leahy,  (31)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died two days after being injured when detonated booby trap bomb in derelict house, Mullaghbawn, near Forkhill, County Armagh.

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08 March 1975
Michael Adamson,  (23)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his home, Clifton Drive, off Cliftonville Road, Belfast.

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08 March 1978
Thomas Trainor,  (29)

Catholic
Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot from passing motorcycle shortly after leaving Department of Health and Social Services office, Armagh Road, Portadown, County Armagh.

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08 March 1978
Denis Kelly,   (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot from passing motorcycle shortly after leaving Department of Health and Social Services office, Armagh Road, Portadown, County Armagh.

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08 March 1984


David Montgomery,  (24)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his workplace, a petrol station, Airport Road, near Moira, County Down.

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08 March 1989


Miles Amos,  (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack, while on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Buncrana Road, near Derry.

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08 March 1989


Stephen Cummins,   (24)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack while on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Buncrana Road, near Derry.

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08 March 1990


Thomas Jamison,   (40)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while driving his firm’s lorry, Tullynure, near Donaghmore, County Tyrone.

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08 March 1993
Nigel McCollum,   (25)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Keady British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh. Construction worker at the base.

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