18th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

18th March


Wednesday 18 March 1970


Harry West and William Graig

Five Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs), including William Craig and Harry West, were expelled from the Unionist Parliamentary Party.

Saturday 18 March 1972

Ulster Vanguard held a rally in Ormeau Park, Belfast, which was attended by an estimated 60,000 people. The rally was addressed by William Craig who warned that, “if and when the politicians fail us, it may be our job to liquidate the enemy”.

Tuesday 18 March 1975

The two Price sisters, Marion Price and Dolours Price, were transferred from Durham Prison to Armagh Prison following a long protest campaign. The Price sisters had been convicted of causing explosions in London on 8 March 1973.

Thursday 18 March 1976

Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, indicated that he was opposed to any increase in the number of Members of Parliament (MPs) representing Northern Ireland.

[At this time the number was 12 but it was to be increased first to 17 and later to 18.]

Wednesday 18 March 1981

 See 1981 Hunger Strike

Tuesday 18 March 1986

A new prison at Maghaberry, County Antrim, received its first batch of prisoners.

Saturday 18 March 1995

At a meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), was challenged for the position of leader by Lee Reynolds, a 21 year old student.

Molyneaux received 521 votes, Reynolds 88 votes, and there were 10 spoilt votes.

Molyneaux said that the 15 per cent who voted against him were “taking a kick at John Major through me”.

[Molyneaux announced his resignation as leader of the UUP on 28 August 1995.]

Tuesday 18 March 1997

Derrylin, County Fermanagh, was sealed off for a time following an Irish Republican Army (IRA) warning that a bomb had been left in the village.

Robert Salters, then Grand Master of the Orange Order, said that he supported the “Dromore initiative” which sought to find a compromise between local residents of the village and Orangemen.

Joel Patton, then spokesperson for the Spirit of Drumcree (SOD), was critical of the compromise.

An amateur drama group based in Dunloy, County Antrim, called off its planned appearance at a festival in Larne, County Antrim, because Loyalist posters threatening the group had appeared outside the intended venue.

The ‘Birmingham Six’ issued a libel writ against David Evans, then Conservative Member of Parliament (MP), when comments he had made about the six men in a school magazine subsequently appeared in the national media.

See Birmingham Bomb

Wednesday 19 March 1997

Orange Order Halls in Ballymena and Bellaghy were damaged in arson attacks. The Belfast Walkers Club of the Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD) announced that they would voluntarily reroute their Easter Monday parade away from the lower Ormeau area of Belfast.

Wednesday 18 March 1998

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) arrested 15 Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) prisoners in the Maze Prison in connection with the killing of David Keys (26) on 15 March 1998 inside the Maze.

Thursday 18 March 1999

There was rioting in Portadown and Lurgan, County Armagh.

The funeral of Rosemary Nelson took place in Lurgan, it was attended by thousands of mourners. Nelson had been killed in a Loyalist attack on 15 March 1999. Father Kieran McPartlan called for an independent inquiry to be set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding her killing.

See Rosemary Nelson

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bill Clinton, then President of the USA, issued a tripartite statement. They urged the leaders of political parties in Northern Ireland to meet the deadline set for all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement.



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.

4 People   lost their lives on the 18th March between 1976 – 1991


18 March 1976
James Donnelly,  (39)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Found stabbed to death, at the rear of Cregagh Inn, Cregagh Road, Belfast.


18 March 1986
David Mulley,   (20)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb, hidden in derelict building detonated when joint British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol passed, Castlewellan, County Down.


18 March 1988

Gillian Johnston,   (21)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while sitting in stationary car outside her home, Leggs, near Belleek, County Fermanagh.


18 March 1991

Francis Taggart,  (17)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found stabbed to death, behind leisure centre, Warren Park, Lisburn, County Antrim. —————————————




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