15th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

15th March

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Wednesday 15 March 1972

             

Christopher Cracknell & Antony Butcher

Two British soldiers were killed when attempting to defuse a bomb in Belfast.

William Logan, RUC

An RUC officer was killed in an IRA attack in Coalisland, County Tyrone.

[Public Records 1972 – Released 1 January 2003:

Record of a telephone conversation between Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, and Brian Faulkner, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, during which Heath invited Faulkner to a meeting in London on Wednesday 22 March 1972.]

Friday 15 March 1974

Two members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely in Dungannon, County Tyrone.

A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast.

A Protestant civilian was killed in bomb explosion in Magherafelt, County Derry.

Saturday 15 March 1975

       

John Fulton & Stephen Goatley

Two members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were shot dead in the Alexandra Bar, York Road, Belfast, in an attack by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). These killings were part of a feud between the two Loyalist paramilitary groups

Sunday 15 March 1981

Francis Hughes, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner in the Maze Prison, joined Bobby Sands on hunger strike

See  1981 Hungry Strike

Monday 15 March 1982

Alan McCrum (11), a Protestant boy, was killed and 34 people injured when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb in Bridge Street, Banbridge, County Down. An inadequate warning had been given.

Thursday 15 March 1984

Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), addressed the United States Congress and called on Americans to urge the British to accept the proposals that were emerging from the New Ireland Forum.

[The report of the Forum was published on 2 May 1984.]

Sunday 15 March 1987

Two men were shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in Belfast.

Wednesday 15 March 1989

The Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act became law. One of the requirements of the Act was that candidates standing in district council elections should sign a declaration that they would not express support for illegal organisations or acts of violence.

Wednesday 15 March 1995

The north White House fountain has been dyed green for Saint Patrick’s Day

The Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) announced that a delegation would be attending the St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House, Washington, despite the presence of Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

15 March 1998

David Keys (26), who had been charged with the murder of two friends at Poyntzpass, Co. Armagh, was found hanged in his cell at the Maze Prison.

Victims

 

 

Both of Keys’ wrists were also slashed. At the time the RUC said that they were treating his death as murder.

[It was believed that Keys had been beaten and then hung from a window to give the impression that he had committed suicide. Keys had elected to be held in the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) wing of the Maze Prison and it is believed that the LVF killed him either because of the intense reaction to the Poyntzpass killings on 3 March 1998 or because the LVF thought he had informed on members of the organisation. Three other men were also charged with the Poyntzpass killings. Later over a dozen members of the LVF were charged with involvement in the killing of Keys.]

Monday 15 March 1999

Rosemary Nelson Killed

Rosemary Nelson, a Lurgan solicitor, was killed by a booby trap car bomb in Lurgan, County Armagh. Nelson had been driving away from her home in her BMW car at lunchtime when the explosion happened.

The Red Hand Defenders (RHD) claimed responsibility for the murder.

[The fact that commercial explosives had been used in the bomb led some commentators to speculate that one of the mainstream Loyalist groups was involved in the killing. In the following years it became clear that the name RHD was being used as a cover name by both the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

Nelson, who had represented Nationalist clients in several high-profile cases had complained of Loyalist paramilitary and RUC threats against her. Nationalists called for an independent international inquiry into the events surround the killing. Paul Murphy, then Secretary of State, announced a public Inquiry into the killing on 16 November 2004. The Inquiry opened on 19 April 2005.]

See Rosemary Nelson

Loyalists carried out a petrol-bomb attack on the home of a ‘mixed-marriage’ family in Larne, County Antrim. There were no injuries as a result of the attack.

Friday 15 March 2002

The third recruitment drive for Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was started. Figures released showed that during the second campaign a total of 525 out of 3,500 applicants were from the Republic of Ireland.

However a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member of the Police Board criticised the high numbers of Catholics joining from the Republic and said it masked a reluctance among local Catholics to join the new police service.

John Taylor, then Ulster Unionist peer (Lord Kilclooney), gave evidence for a second day to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. He said that the decision to block the Civil Rights march on Bloody Sunday from reaching the city centre was taken at the highest political level in London. He said the Joint Security Committee (JSC) at Stormont, which he chaired at that time, had recommended the march be stopped but the decision was agreed between the Chief of the General Staff (of the British Army) and Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister

See Bloody Sunday

 

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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.

23  People   lost their lives on the 15th  March between 1972 – 1999

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15 March 1972


William Logan,  (23)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol, Brackaville Road, Coalisland, County Tyrone.

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15 March 1972


Christopher Cracknell,   (29)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb, hidden in abandoned car, Grosvenor Road, Belfast

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15 March 1972


Anthony Butcher,  (24)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb, hidden in abandoned car, Grosvenor Road, Belfast.

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15 March 1973


Larry McMahon,  (42)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in bomb attack on his home, Circular Road, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, County Antrim.

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15 March 1974
Patrick McDonald,   (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in premature explosion of land mine, Aughnacloy Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone

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15 March 1974
Kevin Murray,  (27)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in premature explosion of land mine, Aughnacloy Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone

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15 March 1974
Noel McCartan,   (26)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while walking along Ormeau Road, near Havelock Place, Belfast.

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15 March 1974
Adam Johnston,  (34)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in lorry bomb explosion, Queen Street, Magherafelt, County Derry. Inadequate warning given.

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15 March 1975


 John Fulton,   (20)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while in Alexandra Bar, York Road, Belfast. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

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15 March 1975


Stephen Goatley,  (19)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while in Alexandra Bar, York Road, Belfast. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

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15 March 1976
 Julius Stephen,  (34)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Tube train driver. Shot shortly after bomb exploded prematurely on tube train, at West Ham Underground Station, London.

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15 March 1977
David McQuillan,   (36)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot near his home, Bellaghy, County Derry.

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15 March 1980
John Bateman,  (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crossmaglen, County

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15 March 1982


Alan McCrum,  (11)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Bridge Street, Banbridge, County Down. Inadequate warning given.

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15 March 1983


Frederick Morton,   (59)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty reservist. Shot during ambush while driving his bread van, Tandragee Road, Newry, County Down.

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15 March 1986
John O’Neill,   (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found beaten to death at the rear of Boy’s Model School, off Ballysillan Road, Ballysillan, Belfast.

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15 March 1987


Gerard Steenson,   (29)

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

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot while travelling in car along Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

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15 March 1987


Anthony McCarthy,   (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot while travelling in car along Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

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15 March 1988


Charles McGrillen,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his workplace, Dunne’s Stores, Annadale Embankment, Ballynafeigh, Belfast

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15 March 1993


Robert Shaw,   (56)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while sitting in stationary van, Quay Road, Newtownabbey, County Antrim

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15 March 1996


Barbara McAlorum,   (9)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot, at her home, Ashfield Gardens, Skegoneill, Belfast. Her relative the intended target. Internal Irish National Liberation Army dispute.

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15 March 1998


David Keys,  (26)

Protestant
Status: Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF),

Killed by: Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
Found strangled in his cell, Long Kesh / Maze Prison, County Down. Internal Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) dispute.

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15 March 1999


Rosemary Nelson,  (40)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
Lawyer. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to her car, which exploded shortly after leaving her home, while travelling along Ashford Grange, Lurgan, County Armagh.

See Rosemary Nelson

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