16th April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

16th April


Thursday 16 April 1970

Ian Paisley

Paisley Won Stormont By-Election In a  by – elections to the Stormont parliament, Ian Paisley, standing on behalf of Protestant Unionist, won the seat formerly held by Terence O’Neill.

See here for more details

Terence O’Neill



Terence O’Neill, the former Northern Ireland Prime Minister, had vacated his seat following his elevation to the peerage. A second person, William Beattie, was also elected for Protestant Unionist.

These elections provided further evidence of the break-up of the unionist block and the unease among a large section of Protestants about the reform measures introduced under Chichester-Clark, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister.

Sunday 16 April 1972


Gerard Bristow and Martin Robinson 

Two British soldiers were shot dead by the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) in separate incidents in Derry.

Friday 16 April 1976


Vincent Hamilton and Harry   McAleese

Two Catholic civilians were killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb at Servia Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

Monday 16 April 1979

Michael Cassidy (31), a Prison Officer, was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as he left a church in Clogher, County Tyrone, where his sister had just gotten married.

Thursday 16 April 1981

 1981 Hunger Strike.

Friday 16 April 1982

Stephen McConomy, an 11 year old Catholic boy, was struck in the head by a plastic bullet in Derry.

[McConomy died on 19 April 1982 from the injuries he received.]

James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that he had no plans to proscribe the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

Saturday 16 April 1988

Proinsias De Rossa replaced Tomás Mac Giolla as leader of the Workers Party (WP).

Monday 16 April 1990

There was further trouble at Crumlin Road Prison when Republican prisoners damaged furniture in protest at the lack of segregation. This disturbance followed incidents at the prison on 14 March 1990.

Tuesday 16 April 1991

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb attack on the Shorts aircraft factory in east Belfast.

Saturday 16 April 1994

Albert Reynolds, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), addressed a Fianna Fáil (FF) conference in Dublin. He said he envisaged that, in the event of a united Ireland, the government would be comprised of 30 per cent representation from Northern Ireland.

Sunday 16 April 1995

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), who was in Dublin at the time said that: “if the British won’t listen to reasoned and reasonable argument then let them listen to the sound of marching feet and angry voices.”

Tuesday 16 April 1996

British government published draft legislation (in the form of a Command Paper, ‘Ground Rules for Substantive All-Party Negotiations’) for the proposed elections in Northern Ireland on 30 May 1996.

[The proposals lead to a period of debate before the legislation was rushed through parliament on 18 April 1996. The number of parties entitled to stand in the elections was increased from the original 15 to 30, however the list still excluded the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP).]

Wednesday 16 April 1997

There was an arson attack on St Coleman’s Catholic church in Annaclone, County Armagh. The chapel was badly damaged by the fire.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) fired 8 plastic bullets in disturbances involving Catholics and Protestants in Lurgan, County Armagh.

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), proposed that the best solution for the forthcoming march in Drumcree on 6 July 1997 would be a repeat of the outcome to the march in 1995.

This would mean that the Orangemen would walk through the Nationalist Garvaghy Road in silence. This proposal was rejected by the Catholic residents who called for a face-to-face meeting with Trimble.

Thursday 16 April 1998

An opinion poll indicated that 73 per cent of people in Northern Ireland were in favour of the Good Friday Agreement. The British government gave the go-ahead for an “educational village” to be sited close to the ‘peaceline’ in Springvale, Belfast.

The new campus is to be a joint initiative of the University of Ulster (UU) and the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education (BIFHE) and is expected to cost £70 million.


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 16th  April   between 1972– 1982


16 April 1972

Gerald Bristow,  (26)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Bishop Street, Derry.


16 April 1972

Martin Robinson,  (21)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
Shot during gun attack on British Army (BA) base, Brandywell, Derry.


16 April 1974

Thomas McCall,   (34)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper outside Newtownhamilton Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.


16 April 1974

Josepha Neill,  (25)

Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in premature bomb explosion in house, Union Street, Portadown, County Armagh.


16 April 1976

Vincent Hamilton,   (45)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb explosion at his workshop, Servia Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.


16 April 1976

Henry McAleese,  (23)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb explosion at his workplace, Servia Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.


16 April 1979

Michael Cassidy,   (31)

Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot just after leaving St Macartan’s Church, Clogher, County Tyrone.


16 April 1981

John Donnelly,  (56)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Shot while in The Village Inn, Moy, County Tyrone.


16 April 1982

David Brown,   (35)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died two weeks after being shot while travelling to New Barnsley British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Springfield Crescent, off Springfield Road, Belfast



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