5th April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

5th April

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Saturday 5 April 1975

    

Kevin Kane  and Michael Coyle

Two Catholic civilians were killed in a bomb attack on McLaughlin’s Bar in the New Lodge area of Belfast. The attack was claimed by the Protestant Action Force (PAF) a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

IRA bomb blast wrecks the Mountainview Tavern in Belfast 
Soldiers view the destruction caused by the blast

Republican paramilitaries carried out a bomb attack on Mountainview Tavern, Shankill Road, Belfast, and killed five people. Four of the dead were Protestant civilians and one was a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

See Mountainview Tavern bomb

Thomas Robinson

A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists as he walked home in the Ardoyne area of Belfast. Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, said that Loyalist paramilitaries had tried to assassinate him in 1974.

Monday 5 April 1976

James Callaghan succeeded Harold Wilson as the British Prime Minister.

Thursday 5 April 1979

          

Anthony Dykes  and Anthony Thornett

Two British soldiers were shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) while standing outside Andersonstown join Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and British Army base in Belfast.

Sunday 5 April 1981

The 1981 Census

During the census Sinn Féin (SF) campaigned for non completion of the census forms as a demonstration of support for the hunger strike. As a result in many Republican areas the census enumerators were unable to collect completed forms. Indeed one enumerator was shot dead in Derry by Republican paramilitaries on 7 April 1981.

[This led to a large under representation of Catholics in the published figures. The population of Northern Ireland was recorded as 1,481,959 with 28 per cent giving their religion as Catholic. 18.5 per cent of the population had refused to state their religion. Later estimates of the true Catholic population put the figure at 38.5 per cent.]

Monday 5 April 1982

White Paper Published

The British government published its White Paper, ‘Northern Ireland: A Framework for Devolution‘ (Cmnd 8541). The paper set out proposals for the establishment of an elected 78 member Assembly at Stormont. The Assembly would then be asked to reach agreement on how any powers devolved to it from Westminster would be administered. The proposals indicated that it would need the agreement of 70 per cent of Assembly members before powers would be devolved.

It was also envisaged that power would be passed to particular Northern Ireland Departments one at a time; because of this the scheme became known as ‘rolling devolution’.

[The ideas contained in the White Paper had been discussed for some time prior to its publication and most of the political parties had expressed opposition to it.]

Friday 5 April 1985

The British government said that it would not provide the funding to save the ‘town gas’ industry in Northern Ireland.

Thursday 5 April 1990

The report of the Stevens Inquiry was presented to Hugh Annesley, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Sunday 5 April 1992

Bill Clinton gave a speech to the American-Irish Presidential Forum in New York, United States of America (USA). He undertook, if elected President, to: reverse the ban on Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), entering the USA; support the ‘MacBride Principles’; appoint a peace envoy to Northern Ireland; and raise the issue of human rights violations with the British government.

Saturday 5 April 1997

‘Grand National’ Cancelled

Two Catholic chapels, St MacNissi’s in Randalstown and St Comgall’s in Antrim Town, and a Protestant church, St Patrick’s in Donoghmore, were damaged by arson attacks.

Seamus Mallon, deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), blamed the comments made by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), in Portadown on 4 April 1997 for fuelling “sectarian hatred”.

Paisley called Mallon’s comments “vile bile”.

The ‘Grand National’ horse race at Aintree in Liverpool had to be abandoned following a hoax warning that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had planted a bomb at the race course. [In terms of public interest the Grand National is the premier event in the horse racing calendar. There was widespread anger that the race had to be cancelled.

Jack Straw, then Labour Party shadow Home Secretary, said that the IRA had “put themselves beyond the pale”. This incident was one of a number in which the IRA demonstrated its ability to disrupt the ordinary life of people in Britain at minimum effort and risk on the part of IRA members.]

Sunday 5 April 1998

Julia Ahern, the mother of Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), died aged 87. Bertie Ahern, who was heavily involved with the multi-party talks at Stormont, had to leave the talks at various times to organise funeral arrangements and attend the service.

Friday 5 May 2000

A Catholic couple were forced to leave their home in a Loyalist area of south Belfast following a sectarian pipe-bomb attack. The husband sustained minor leg injuries after the device, which was packed with nails, blew a hole in the back door of the house at Broadway Parade and exploded into the kitchen.

His wife who also was in the kitchen escaped unhurt. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

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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.

15  People lost their lives on the 5th   April  between 1975– 1993

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05 April 1975
Kevin Kane,   (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Killed in bomb attack on McLaughlin’s Bar, Antrim Road, New Lodge, Belfast.

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05 April 1975
Michael Coyle,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Killed in bomb attack on McLaughlin’s Bar, Antrim Road, New Lodge, Belfast

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05 April 1975


Williams Andrews,  (33)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Killed in bomb attack on Mountainview Tavern, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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05 April 1975


Alan Madden,  (18)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Killed in bomb attack on Mountainview Tavern, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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05 April 1975


Albert Fletcher,  (32)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Killed in bomb attack on Mountainview Tavern, Shankill Road, Belfast

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05 April 1975
Nathaniel Adams,   (29)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Killed in bomb attack on Mountainview Tavern, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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05 April 1975


Joseph Bell,   (52)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Killed in bomb attack on Mountainview Tavern, Shankill Road, Belfast

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05 April 1975
Thomas Robinson,  (61)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot while walking home from social club, Etna Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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05 April 1976
Robert McConnell,   (32)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)

, Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Tullyvallen, Newtownhamilton, County Armagh

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05 April 1976
Sean McDermott,  (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot by off duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) member shortly after being involved in bomb attack on Conway Hotel, Dunmurry, near Belfast, County Antrim.

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05 April 1977
 Sean Prendergast,  (22)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died one day after being injured during land mine attack on British Army (BA) Armoured Personnel Carrier, Derrynacross, near Belleek, County Fermanagh.

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05 April 1979
Anthony Dykes,   (25)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by snipers while standing outside Andersonstown Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) base, Belfast.

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05 April 1979
Anthony Thornett,   (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by snipers while standing outside Andersonstown Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) base, Belfast.

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05 April 1987
Samuel Lawrence, (60)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died two days after being injured during robbery at railway station, York Road,

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05 April 1993
William Killen,   (36)

Protestant
Status: ex-Ulster Defence Association (xUDA),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot at his home, Westlea Gardens, Portavogie, County Down. Internal Ulster Defence Association dispute.

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