25th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

25th March

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Saturday 25(?) May 1968

The Derry Housing Action Committee (DHAC) held another protest at the Guildhall in Derry.

Tuesday 25 March 1969

Ian Paisley and Ronald Bunting were jailed for organising an illegal counter demonstration in Armagh on 30 November 1968.

Thursday 25 March 1971

James Callaghan, then shadow Home Secretary, spoke at a rally of the Northern Ireland labour movement but rejected calls for the Labour Party to open membership to those living in Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 25 March 1975

Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to Stormont and announced that an election to the Constitutional Convention would be held in Northern Ireland on 1 May 1975.

Thursday 25 March 1976

‘Police Primacy’ (‘Ulsterisation’)

Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, made a speech in the House of Commons in which he indicated a change in security policy for Northern Ireland. The decision meant that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were to take the leading role in security in Northern Ireland; previously this had been the responsibility of the British Army.

[The policy was referred to as ‘police primacy’ and also, by some commentators, as the ‘Ulsterisation’ of the conflict. This referred to the fact that the RUC and the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) were to find themselves more and more in the front line. This was reflected in the increase in numbers of personnel in the RUC and the UDR and the reduction in the level of British troops. The policy also lead to a period of poor relations between the police and the army.]

Thursday 25 March 1982

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed three British Soldiers during a gun attack on Crocus Street, off the Springfield Road in west Belfast.

Five other people were injured in the attack.

[It was believed that an M-60 machine gun was used in the attack.]

Monday 25 March 1991

Arrangements for Talks Agreed

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), all agreed to the arrangements for political talks on the future of Northern Ireland. Richard Needham, then a Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Minister, became the first NIO minister to visit Belfast City Hall since the Unionist protest began over the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Wednesday 25 March 1992

The Times (a London based newspaper) carried details of an opinion poll that it had commissioned. The poll was carried out by MORI to find out the attitudes of people living in Britain towards Northern Ireland.

Of those questioned, 31 per cent said they were in favour of Northern Ireland becoming independent, 29 per cent favoured the region remaining part of the United Kingdom (UK), and 23 per cent were in favour of a united Ireland.

Thursday 25 March 1993

Castlerock Killings

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), shot dead four Catholics as they arrived at a building site in Castlerock, County Derry.

A fifth person was injured in the attack.

[A few days later it was revealed that one of the dead men was a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).] Later in the day the UFF shot dead Damien Walsh (17), a Catholic civilian, and injured another young Catholic. The Irish Senate, the upper house of the Irish Parliament, held a debate on Northern Ireland. [This was the first debate on the region for eight years.]

Friday 25 March 1994

Mary Robinson, then Irish President, visited Newry, Craigavon, and Derry.

Wednesday 25 March 1998

Mitchell Sets Deadline

After almost two years of talks based at Stormont George Mitchell, then Chairman of the multi-party talks, set a deadline of two weeks for the political parties to reach an agreement. In setting a deadline of 9 April 1998 Mitchell said:

“I believe strongly that we can and will reach an agreement.”

Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said that he believed that splinter groups opposed to the peace process had been responsible for some recent Republican violence. [Unionists had been calling for Sinn Féin’s (SF) exclusion from the multi-party talks following a number of recent incidents.] The RUC confirmed that two mortars were fired at a British Army observation post at Glassdrummond, County Armagh. [Dissident Republicans were believed to be responsible for the attack.] Bob Cooper, then Chairman of the Fair Employment Commission, called for the British government to find new ways of increasing the number of Catholics in security related jobs. It was estimated that there had been only a one per cent increase, to 8.4 per cent, in the number of Catholics in security jobs between 1990 and 1997.

Thursday 25 March 1999

The judge hearing the case against a man charged with murdering Robert Hamill in Portadown, County Armagh on 27 April 1997, described some of the actions of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers on that night as “unfortunate”.

The man was cleared of murder but sentenced to 4 years for causing an affray. The Solicitor’s Criminal Bar Association (SCBA) called for the RUC to be removed from the investigation into the murder of Rosemary Nelson who was the solicitor for the Hamill family. Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the RUC, rejected these and other similar calls

Saturday 25 March 2000

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), defeated a challenge for the leadership of the UUP from Martin Smyth (Rev.), then Ulster Unionist MP. [Smith gained 43 per cent of the vote. Some commentators believed that the result further weakened Trimble’s position which might later affect the outcome of the peace process.] Trimble failed to stop a motion linking any resumption of the Executive to the retention of the title of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

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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.

11 People lost their lives on the 25th March between 1972– 1993

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25 March 1972
Patrick Campbell,  (16)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot, in error, by other Irish Republican Army (IRA) member, while setting up ambush of British Army (BA) patrol, junction of Springhill Avenue and Springfield Road, Belfast.

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25 March 1977
Larry Potter,  (27)

nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
From County Monaghan. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his firm’s minibus, Shore Road, Greenisland, County Antrim.

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25 March 1977
David Graham,  (38)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Died ten days after being shot at his workplace, Coalisland, County Tyrone.

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25 March 1982
Anthony Rapley,   (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in machine gun attack on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Crocus Street, off Springfield Road, Belfast.

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25 March 1982
Nicholas Malakos,  (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in machine gun attack on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Crocus Street, off Springfield Road, Belfast.

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25 March 1982
Daniel Holland,   (22)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in machine gun attack on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Crocus Street, off Springfield Road, Belfast

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25 March 1993


James Kelly,   (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on van, as he arrived at his workplace, renovating houses, Gortree Park, Castlerock, County Derry.

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25 March 1993
 James McKenna,  (52)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on van, as he arrived at his workplace, renovating houses, Gortree Park, Castlerock, County Derry.

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25 March 1993


Gerard Dalrymple,  (58)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on van, as he arrived at his workplace, renovating houses, Gortree Park, Castlerock, County Derry.

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25 March 1993
Noel O’Kane,  (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on van, as he arrived at his workplace, renovating houses, Gortree Park, Castlerock, County Derry.

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25 March 1993


Damian Walsh,   (17)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his workplace, Dairy Farm Shopping Centre, Twinbrook, Belfast.

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