27th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

27th March


Saturday 27 March 1971

The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) held its first Annul Conference  in the Ulster Hall in Belfast. The APNI was launched on 21 April 1970.

Sunday 26 March 1972

William Whitelaw, was appointed as the first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 27 March 1973

The governing body of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) the Ulster Unionist Council held a meeting to decide its position with regard to the White Paper published by the government on 20th March 1973.

 The council voted by 381 to 231 votes to accept the White Paper. Nevertheless, there remain strong opposition to the proposals even among those who decided to support Brian Faulkner. [Following the vote a number of members of the UUP left to form a new political grouping on 30th March 1973

Thursday 27 March 1975

 Senior members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) began a three day ‘conference’ to consider political options for the future. The meeting was held in Hotel Frommer in Holland. A brief note of the discussions that took place was written by ‘independent observers’ (PDF; 439KB).

Monday 27 March 1989

(c) Durham University; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The 300th anniversary of the ‘Siege of Derry’ was celebrated by the Apprentice Boys of Derry.



See Siege of Derry

Thursday 27 March 1997

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) uncovered a Loyalist arms cache in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

Loyalist paramilitaries carried out two separate ‘punishment’ shootings on two men in north Belfast.

Members of the Spirit of Drumcree (SOD) group disrupted a meeting of the County Antrim Orange Order Lodge. The meeting had been called to allow Robert McIlroy, then County Grand Master, to explain the compromise that had been reached between the Lodge and the residents of Dunloy. The compromise had been brokered by Mediation Network.

Robert Salters, then Grand Master, criticised Joel Patton, then leader of SOD, for “stirring things up”. Patton called on Salters to resign.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service announced changes to the regime at the Maze Prison. Some leisure facilities were withdrawn and more regular head counts were introduced.

One of the main witnesses in Germany against Roisín McAliskey, then being held in prison awaiting a decision about extradition, denied ever seeing her when shown a photograph of McAliskey on Kontraste Sender Freies Berlin, a German television programme.

Brian Pearson, a former Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner, was granted political asylum in the United States of America by a New York immigration court.

Friday 27 March 1998

Cyril Stewart, a former member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) , was shot dead by Republican paramilitaries [believed to be the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)] at Dobbin Street in the centre of Armagh.

He was shot dead after he left a local supermarket where he had been shopping with his wife. Stewart had left the RUC a few months prior to his shooting because of ill-health. Seamus Mallon, then Member of Parliament (MP) for Armagh and Newry, described the attack as an act of “absolute savagery”.

Saturday 27 March 1999

The Orange Order held a meeting in Belfast at which it was decided that the Order would hold a single Twelfth of July demonstration at Drumcree, County Armagh, if the dispute over the parade was not resolved.

The meeting was read a statement by Jonathan Powell, then the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, which indicated Tony Blair’s high esteem for the Order and his belief that it could play “and important and constructive part in the future of Northern Ireland

Monday 27 March 2000

Bloody Sunday Inquiry


The Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday began public hearings at the Guildhall in Derry. The hearings began with a statement by Christoper Clarke (QC), then counsel to the Inquiry.

See Bloody Sunday


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.

10  People lost their lives on the 27th  March between 1973– 1998


27 March 1973

Patrick McCabe   (16)

Status: Irish Republican Army Youth Section (IRAF),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by British Army (BA) sniper from Flax Street British Army (BA) base, while walking along Etna Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.


27 March 1973
Andrew Somerville,  (20)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Ballymacilroy, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.


27 March 1979

Gerry Evans,  (24)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
From Northern Ireland. Abducted while walking along road, near Castleblayney, County Monaghan, Republic of Ireland. His remains eventually found by information supplied anonymously, buried in bogland, Carrickrobin, near Dundalk, County Louth, on 15 October 2010.


27 March 1981
John Smith,  (25)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while on his way to work, Cromac Street, Markets, Belfast.


27 March 1981

Paul Blake,  (26)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot from passing car while walking along Berwick Road, Ardoyne, Belfast.


27 March 1982
Stephen Boyd,  (25)

Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot while inside King Richard Tavern, Castlereagh Road, Belfast.


27 March 1984
David Ross,  (31)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb, hidden in parked van, detonated when British Army (BA) civilian-type mini bus passed, near Gransha Hospital, Clooney Road, Derry.


27 March 1985
Anthony Dacre,   (25)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb, hidden behind door, detonated when British Army (BA) foot patrol passed, Divis Flats, Belfast.


27 March 1992

Colleen McMurray,   (34)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in horizontal mortar attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) armoured patrol car, Merchants Quay, Newry, County Down.


27 March 1998

Cyril Stewart,  (52)

Status: ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (xRUC),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot, outside supermarket, off Dobbin Street Lane, Armagh.



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