3rd April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

3rd April


Friday 3 April 1970

As part of a new ‘get tough’ policy, Ian Freeland, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the British Army, warned that those throwing petrol bombs could be shot dead if, after a warning, they did not stop using them.

If arrested those using petrol bombs could face a sentence of 10 years in prison. A member of the Garda Siochana (Irish police) was shot dead during a robbery in Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

Thursday 3 April 1980

Kincora Scandal

Three staff members of the Kincora Boys Home, Belfast, were charged with acts of gross indecency. [These charges, and subsequent revelations, led to years of accusations that elements of the security service, civil servants and a number of Loyalists had been involved in the sexual abuse of young boys at Kincora.]

Saturday 3 April 1981

 See 1981 Hunger Strike

Wednesday 3 April 1985

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a car bomb outside the Courthouse in Newry, County Down. The blast killed an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer and a civilian worker employed at the Courthouse.

Thursday 3 April 1986

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), praised the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) for its even-handed approach to the disturbances in Portadown, County Armagh.

Friday 3 April 1987

The IRA killed two members of the security forces in separate incidents.

Friday 3 April 1992

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), advised those people who supported the UUP to vote for Peter Robinson, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), in East Belfast and for Jim Kilfedder, Ulster Popular Unionist Party (UPUP), in North Down.

[As in previous elections, the DUP and the UUP observed an electoral pact in those constituencies where a contest between Unionist candidates might lead to a Nationalist winning the seat. In North Down the UUP intention was to support the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) and to prevent the election of a Conservative Party candidate.]

Wednesday 3 April 1996

Ron Brown, then United States of America Commerce Secretary was killed in a plane crash in Croatia. Ron Brown had been involved in measures to increase American investment in Northern Ireland.

Thursday 3 April 1997

There was widespread disruption on the motorways of England when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) warned of bombs on the M1, M5 and M6.

Two small bombs were subsequently found by the police.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) intercepted a suspicious package that had been addressed to Kevin McQuillan, then leader of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP).

Friday 3 April 1998

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), travelled to London to meet with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, for further talks on the Peace Process. This was their third meeting in three days.

The Parades Commission ruled against allowing the Apprentice Boys of Derry to march down the mainly Catholic area of the lower Ormeau Road in Belfast on Easter Monday.


The second inquiry into the events surrounding ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Derry on 30 January 1972 was opened in the Guildhall in the city. The new inquiry was headed by an English Law Lord, Lord Saville, and the other two members of the panel were Edward Somers, a retired New Zealand judge, and William Hoyt, a judge from Canada.

See Bloody Sunday


Rosemary Nelson, then a solicitor working in Lurgan, travelled to New York to inform United Nations (UN) officials and United States politicians about death threats to, and intimidation of, lawyers working in Northern Ireland.

Nelson highlighted the allegations that Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers had made threats against lawyers, including herself, through their clients.

[Nelson was assassinated on 15 March 1999 in Lurgan. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a Loyalist paramilitary group, claimed responsibility for the killing, but there were claims that the security forces had colluded with the killers.]

See Rosemary Nelson

Saturday 3 April 1999

Brian Keenan, then a leading Belfast Republican, addressed a rally in Inishkeen, County Monaghan, Republic of Ireland. Keenan said that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would not be forced into a ‘surrender’ in the form of decommissioning.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) decided to await clarification on certain points of the Hillsborough Declaration on 1 April 1999 before making its final decision on the establishment of the Executive.



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 3rd   April  between 1970– 1991


03 April 1970
Richard Fallon,  (42)

Status: Garda Siochana (GS),

Killed by: Saor Eire (SE)
Shot, during armed robbery at Bank of Ireland, Arran Quay, Dublin.


03 April 1975
Martin McVeigh,  (22)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot while cycling home from work, Ballyoran Park, Portadown, County Armagh


03 April 1975
Alan Simpson,  (19)

Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot at his home, Highfield Drive, Highfield, Belfast.


03 April 1982
Patrick Scott,   (27)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, Dunville Street, Lower Falls, Belfast. Alleged informer.


03 April 1983
James McCormick,   (45)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his home, Balligan Gardens, Kilcooley, Bangor, County Down.


03 April 1985

Michael Kay,  (38)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb, hidden in parked car, detonated when Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol passed, outside Courthouse, Downshire Road, Newry, County Down


03 April 1985

Kenneth Parry,  (55)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Originally from England. Killed by remote controlled bomb, hidden in parked car, detonated when Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol passed, outside Courthouse, Downshire Road, Newry, County Down. He was employed at the Courthouse.


03 April 1987

James Oldman,  (39)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his shop, Ederny, County Fermanagh.


03 April 1987

George Shaw,  (51)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot outside Ballynahinch Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Down


03 April 1991
Samuel Bell,  (54)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Taxi driver. Found shot beside his burnt out car, Thompson’s Lane, off Glencairn Road, Belfast.




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