23rd March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

23rd March

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Tuesday 23 March 1971

Faulkner Became Prime Minister

Brian Faulkner succeeds as Northern Ireland Prime Minister after defeating William Craig in a Unionist Party leadership election.

[Faulkner’s tenure of office was to prove very short.]

The Local Government Boundaries (Northern Ireland) Act became law. The Act provided for the appointment of a Boundaries Commissioner to recommend the boundaries and names of district council and ward areas.

Friday 23 March 1973

IRA Honey trap Killings

IRA Honey trap 1

See Below for more details

See IRA Honey Trap & death of three off duty Scottish soldiers

Three members of the British Army were shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in a house in the Antrim Road, Belfast. The soldiers had been lured to the house. A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast.

Saturday 23 March 1974

The Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC), a new Loyalist grouping, issued a statement calling for new elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The UWC threatened civil disobedience unless the Executive was dissolved.

Monday 23 March 1981

hungry strikes

See 1981 Hunger Strike

Saturday 23 March 1985

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held its annual conference in Castlereagh, East Belfast.

During his speech, Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), accused the Irish government, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and the Catholic hierarchy of having a vested interest in Irish Republican Army (IRA) atrocities.

 

Monday 23 March 1987

Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers and a civilian employed by the Prison Sevice were killed in related incidents on the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster.

The report on the alleged ‘shoot to kill’ policy of the security forces was completed by Colin Sampson and delivered to Sir John Hermon, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Friday 23 March 1990 4

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that there would be no agreement on talks while Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution remained.

Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that there was no question mark over the future of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

Tuesday 23 March 1993

There was a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) in Belfast. The meeting agreed to increase security measures in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Thursday 23 March 1995

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), said its prisoners backed the ceasefire and the policies of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP).

There was a delay in discussions between Sinn Féin (SF) and Northern Ireland Office (NIO) ministers when SF said it wished to discuss ‘demilitarisation’ rather than decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.

Saturday 23 March 1996

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) made a keynote speech at the Annual General Meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council. Sinn Féin (SF) Ard Fheis began in Ambassador Cinema in Dublin. A SF decision on taking part in the 30 May 1996 elections was left for the party’s Ard Chomhairle to make.

Monday 23 March 1998

Sinn Féin (SF) Rejoined Talks

After some initial doubts, Sinn Féin rejoined the multi-party talks at Stormont.

[Although the party had been expelled on 20 February 1998 and the date set for the return to the talks was 9 March 1998, SF had delayed until it had secured a meeting with the British Prime Minister and then decided to wait until after the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.]

The House of Commons Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs published a report that highlighted electoral malpractice in the region. The report drew attention to the particular problem of absent voting (postal votes) as well as a serious level of multiple registration in a number of areas.

Tuesday 23 March 1999

A man was injured by a bobby-trap bomb (grenade) as he worked at a scrapyard in Castlewellan, County Down. The attack was carried out by the Orange Volunteers (OV) a dissident Loyalist paramilitary group.

Rosemary-Nelson--001

The husband of Rosemary Nelson called for an inquiry into her death, but one that was independent of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). This call followed a report by the Independent Commission on Police Complaints (ICPC), which had been investigating allegations of death threats against Rosemary Nelson made by members of the RUC. Although the report was not then published it was reported that the inquiry had run into various difficulties, including some from the chief inspector who, “appeared to have difficulties in co-operating productively” with the barrister in charge of the inquiry.

See  Rosemary Nelson

[Later Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said that he would publish as much as was possible of the report. The report had been prepared by Niall Mulvihill, then Commander of the Metropolitan Police in London, and had been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions. A ‘review’ based on the report was issued on 30 March 1999.]

Jack Straw, then British Home Secretary, challenged the release of three Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners arrested and convicted in England.

[This action failed but was widely criticised and put additional pressure on the peace process.]

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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.

 9 People   lost their lives on the 23rd March between 1972– 1987

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23 March 1972


Sean O’Riordan,  (13)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army Youth Section (IRAF),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during petrol bomb attack on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Cawnpore Street, Falls, Belfast.

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IRA Honey trap Killings

IRA Honey trap 1

Click this link  to read full News Story

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Sgt Thomas Penrose. Aged 28.

While off duty and with two friends S/Sgt Barrington Foster. aged 28 Duke Of Edinburgh Regiment and  Sgt Michael Muldoon. aged 25 Royal Army Dental Corps, were lured to a house by some women on the pretext of a party in the Antrim Road Area of Belfast, The IRA were waiting for them and executed the three Men on the 24-03-1973.

See IRA Honey Trap & death of three off duty Scottish soldiers

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23 March 1973
Thomas Penrose,   (28)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot shortly after being lured to house, Antrim Road, Belfast

Click this link  to read full News Story

See IRA Honey Trap & death of three off duty Scottish soldiers

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23 March 1973
 Barrington Foster,  (28)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot shortly after being lured to house, Antrim Road, Belfast.

Click this link  to read full News Story

See IRA Honey Trap & death of three off duty Scottish soldiers

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23 March 1973
Michael Muldoon,   (25)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot shortly after being lured to house, Antrim Road, Belfast

Click this link  to read full News Story

See IRA Honey Trap & death of three off duty Scottish soldiers

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.

23 March 1974
Donald Farrell,  (56)

Protestant
Status: ex-British Army (xBA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
From Northern Ireland. Recently retired from British Army (BA) . Shot while sitting in his stationary car, near to his home, Mountfield, near Omagh, County Tyrone.

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23 March 1985
John Corcoran, (45)

nfNIRI
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
From County Cork. Found shot Ballincollig, near Cork. Alleged informer.

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23 March 1987


Leslie Jarvis,   (62)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Civilian employed at Magilligan Prison. Shot in car park outside Magee College of Further Education, Rock Road, Derry.

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23 March 1987


Austin Wilson,   (35)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb hidden in briefcase, which exploded when called to the scene of a shooting at the car park of Magee College of Further Education, Rock Road, Derry.

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23 March 1987


John Bennison,  (41)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb hidden in briefcase, which exploded when called to the scene of a shooting at the car park of Magee College of Further Education, Rock Road, Derry

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