20th April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

20th April

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Sunday 20 April 1969 Loyalist Bombs

There was an explosion at Silent Valley reservoir in County Down cutting off water supplies to Belfast. There was a second explosion at an electricity pylon at Kilmore, County Armagh.

[It was later established that the bombs were planted by Loyalists who were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPV). Following these, and earlier attacks on other

Wednesday 20 April 1977

Two Catholic civilians were killed when the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) carried out a bomb attack on the funeral of an Irish Republican Army (IRA) member in the Ardoyne area of Belfast.

Monday 20 April 1981

Three Irish TDs (Teachta Dáil; Members of the Irish Parliament) together with Owen Carron, then Bobby Sands’ election agent, paid a visit to the Maze Prison. Following a meeting with Sands the TDs called for urgent talks with the British government. [Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, announced on 21 April 1981 that the British government would not meet the TDs.]

Tuesday 20 April 1982

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a series of attacks in Northern Ireland. Wilbert Kennedy (36) and Noel McCulloch (32), both Protestant civilians, were killed in a bomb blast at the Diamond, Magherafelt, County Derry. An inadequate warning had been given. A further 12 people were injured in the attacks. Bombs exploded in Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Bessbroke, Derry, and Magherafelt, and caused an estimated £1 million pounds in damage.

Wednesday 20 April 1983

There was a Northern Ireland Assembly by-election in Armagh. The by-election occurred because Seamus Mallon, then Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was removed from his seat because he had been a member of the Irish senate at the time of the election.

The SDLP had called on voters to boycott the election and the turnout was 34.1 per cent. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) candidate, Jim Speers, won the by-election beating the only challenger, Tom French, the Workers’ Party (WP) candidate.

Saturday 20 April 1985

Four senior Irish Republican Army (IRA) members were believed to have been expelled from the organisation.

Tuesday 20 April 1993

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), presented a set of proposals entitled ‘Blueprint for Stability’ to John Major, then British Prime Minister, while on a visit to London.

Wednesday 20 April 1994

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed Gregory Pollock (23), a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, and wounded two other officers, in an attack on a RUC mobile patrol in Derry.

Pollock was killed when a horizontal mortar bomb struck the vehicle he was travelling in on Spencer Road, Waterside, Derry.

Saturday 20 April 1996

It was believed that John Major, then British Prime Minister, and Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), discussed the ‘Peace Process’ at a summit in Moscow. A Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) report showed that poverty in Northern Ireland continued to be the highest in the United Kingdom (UK).

Sunday 20 April 1997

David Ervine, then a spokesperson for the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), said that dissident Loyalists from the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) had carried out the attack on the Mountpottinger Baptist Tabernacle in east Belfast.

Initially Catholics were blamed by Sammy Wilson, then a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor. Ervine said the attack on the Protestant church was an attempt by the LVF to stir up sectarian tension.

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), addressed the SF Ard Fheis in Monaghan and said that a vote for SF was a vote for peace. He also called for an electoral pact with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in areas where a split Nationalist vote would allow a Unionist candidate to win the seat.

[The SDLP later rejected his appeal for a pact.]

Monday 20 April 1998

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that his party aimed to secure a 40 per cent ‘no’ vote in the forthcoming referendum on the Good Friday Agreement. [The actual ‘no’ vote was 28.88%.]

Tuesday 20 April 1999

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) released figures that showed that the annual cost of running the Northern Ireland Assembly was £10.7 million. The US Congress called for the ending of the financing of joint initiatives by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) because of allegations of intimidation and harassment of lawyers by the 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.

 8  People lost their lives on the 20th   April   between 1972– 1994

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20 April 1972
Gerard Donnelly,   (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Taxi driver. Found shot, Harrybrook Street, off Crumlin Road, Belfast.

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20 April 1974
James Corbett,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot by the side of Upper Springfield Road, Hannahstown, Belfast. Alleged informer.

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20 April 1977


Sean Campbell,  (19)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in car bomb attack on funeral of Irish Republican Army (IRA) member Trevor McKibben, Etna Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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20 April 1977


John McBride,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in car bomb attack on funeral of Irish Republican Army (IRA) member Trevor McKibben, Etna Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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20 April 1982


Noel McCulloch,  (32)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, The Diamond, Magherafelt, County Derry. Inadequate warning given.

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20 April 1982


Wilbert Kennedy,  (36)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, The Diamond, Magherafelt, County Derry. Inadequate warning given.

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20 April 1987


David Ead,   (38)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, Central Promenade, Newcastle, County Down.

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20 April 1994


 Gregory Pollock, (23)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed during horizontal mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol, Spencer Road, Waterside, Derry.

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