21st March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles


Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

21st March


Tuesday 21 March 1972

Direct Rule


Saturday 21 March 1981

Tomás Ó Fiaich, then Catholic Primate of Ireland, issued a statement calling upon the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to end its use of violence.

Monday 21 March 1983

Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, held a brief meeting with Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), at an European Economic Community (EEC) summit meeting.

This was Thatcher’s first meeting with a Taoiseach in over 15 months.

Saturday 21 March 1987

Alan Dukes was elected as leader of Fine Gael.

Monday 21 March 1994

Loyalists set alight the car belonging to Joe Hendron, then Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MP, which was parked outside his south Belfast home.

It was reported that there were angry exchanges between Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and John Major, then British Prime Minister, at 10 Downing Street, London.

[There were also reports that Paisley together with some of his colleagues temporarily locked themselves into a toilet at No.10.]

Thursday 21 March 1996

John Major, then British Prime Minister, announced details of elections to be held on 30 May 1996. The elections were designed to decide which parties would take part in all-party negotiations on 10 June 1996. The elections were also to elect delegates to the proposed Forum. The Forum was to be made up of 110 delegates, 90 elected directly and 20 ‘top-up’ seats from the 10 parties polling the most votes.

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Féin (SF) both criticised the proposals.

Friday 21 March 1997

Brendan Smyth, a Catholic priest convicted of child sex abuse, was released from prison in Northern Ireland and then extradited to the Republic of Ireland to face further charges of abusing children.

Saturday 21 March 1998

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), delivered a key note speech at the Annual General Meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council.


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.

6  People   lost their lives on the 21st March between 1974– 1996


21 March 1974

Gerard McCarthy,  (28)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot while travelling in his firm’s lorry, shortly after leaving his workplace, Duncrue Street, Belfast.


21 March 1975
David Halliday,   (60)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died four months after being shot during armed robbery at Northern Bank, junction of Lyle Street and Crumlin Road, Belfast. He was injured on 18 November 1974.


21 March 1980
Sean Walker,   (18)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died two weeks after being injured in remote controlled bomb attack on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crossmaglen, County Armagh.


21 March 1987

Emmanuel Gargan,  (25)

Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Shot while in Hatfield Bar, Ormeau Road, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.


21 March 1988

Clive Graham,  (25)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while at Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Inniscarn Road, Creggan, Derry.


21 March 1996

Thomas Sheppard,   (41)

Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot, while in Towers Tavern, Ballee, Ballymena, County Antrim. Internal Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) dispute.




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