21st April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

21st April

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Monday 21 April 1969

The Ministry of Defence in London announced that British troops would be used in Northern Ireland to guard key public installations. The announcement was made in response to a request from the Northern Ireland government.

[The troops to be used were ones already stationed in the region.]

Tuesday 21 April 1970 Alliance Party Formed

The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) was formed.

The founders of the party were attempting to appeal to Catholics and Protestant to unite in support of moderate policies.

[Oliver Napier became leader of the party in 1972.]

Monday 21 April 1975

Three Catholic civilians, two brothers and a sister, were killed by a booby-trap bomb in a house in Killyliss, near Dungannon, County Tyrone.

The attack was claimed by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), which was a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Tuesday 21 April 1981

Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, spoke to a press conference in Saudi Arabia and stated that the British government would not meet with Irish TDs (Teachta Dáil;

Members of the Irish Parliament) to discuss the hunger strike. Thatcher went on to say: “We are not prepared to consider special category status for certain groups of people serving sentences for crime. Crime is crime is crime, it is not political.”

Friday 21 April 1989

Three Loyalists were arrested in Paris, France, as they were in the process of giving parts from a Shorts Aircraft Company Blowpipe missile to a South African embassy official. The incident revived claims of links between the then South African Government and Loyalist paramilitaries.

Sunday 21 April 1991 Census

The United Kingdom (UK) census was held with information being collected across Northern Ireland. Unlike the situation in 1981 there was no protest against the census by Republicans. [When the religion report was published in 1993 it showed that the total population was 1,577,836.

The breakdown of the main denominations was: 605,639 Catholic; 336,891 Presbyterians; 279,280 Church of Ireland; and 59,517 Methodists. A large number of people did not provide information on religion with 7.3 per cent not stating a denomination and 3.8 per cent stating ‘none’ to the religion question. Later analysis revealed that the likely size of the Catholic population was approximately 41.5 per cent.

Wednesday 21 April 1993

Albert Reynolds, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), travelled to the United States of America (USA). While in Boston he said that the suggestion of a ‘peace envoy’ was “not appropriate at present”.

Thursday 21 April 1994

Brian Hutton (Sir), then Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice, quashed the conviction of Paul Hill for the murder of a former British soldier in 1974. Hutton declared that the conviction was “unsafe and unsatisfactory”.

Sunday 21 April 1996

Bertie Ahern, then leader of Fianna Fáil, criticised the Irish government’s approach to Northern Ireland. He placed some of the blame for the ending of the Irish Republican Army’s (IRA) ceasefire on John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).

The criticism placed strain on the bipartisan approach to Northern Ireland in the Dáil.

Monday 21 April 1997

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a series of hoax bomb warnings in central London which caused widespread disruption. A group of men claiming to be members of the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) carried out a robbery on the office of a Credit Union in Newry.

Tuesday 21 April 1998

Adrian Lamph (29), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) at the council yard where he worked in Portadown, County Armagh. Lamph was the first victim of the conflict since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

[He had lived on the Garvaghy Road in the mainly Protestant town of Portadown. He left a partner and a 2 year old son.]

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held the first of a series of anti-Agreement rallies in the run up to the referendum. The 32 County Sovereignty Committee issued a statement rejecting the Agreement as “fundamentally undemocratic, anti-Republican and unacceptable”.

The Celtic Tiger phenomenon continued with the Republic of Ireland being ranked 11th in a league table of the world’s 20 most competitive economies, ahead of both Japan and Britain.

The Freedom of Information Act, which allows access to personal information held by public bodies, came into effect in the Republic of Ireland. In the light of the Good Friday Agreement the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) came under renewed pressure to remove the rule from its constitution which excluded members of the security forces in Northern Ireland from joining the organisation.

Wednesday 21 April 1999

The Belfast Telegraph (a Belfast based newspaper) carried a report which claimed that Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) sources believed that Éamon Collins had been killed by Irish Republican Army (IRA) members from south Armagh. The RUC sources said that it was unclear if the killing had been sanctioned by the leadership of the IRA

Saturday 21 April 2001

Christopher O’Kane (37), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead near to his home in Tullyally, Derry. [It was believed that Republican paramilitaries carried out the killing although no organisations claimed responsibility.]

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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.

 10  People lost their lives on the 21st  April   between 1974– 2001

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21 April 1974
James Murphy,  (40)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Sinn Fein (SF) member. Found shot at his garage, Corravehy, near Derrylin, County Fermanagh.

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21 April 1975


Seamus McKenna,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Killed, together with his sister and brother, when they detonated booby trap bomb at the future home of his sister, Killyliss, near Dungannon, County Tyrone.

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21 April 1975


Michael McKenna   (27)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Killed, together with his sister and brother, when they detonated booby trap bomb at the future home of his sister, Killyliss, near Dungannon, County Tyrone.

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21 April 1975


Marion Bowen   (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Killed, together with her brothers, when they detonated booby trap bomb at her future home, Killyliss, near Dungannon, County Tyrone.

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21 April 1977
Brian Smith  (24)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Republican Action Force (RepAF)
Shot at the corner of Snugville Street and Queensland Street, Shankill, Belfast.

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21 April 1984


Richard Quigley,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by flying shrapnel while involved in remote controlled bomb attack on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Foyle Street, Derry.

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21 April 1987


Harold Henry   (52)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his home, The Loup, near Moneymore, County Derry. Contractor to British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

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21 April 1989


William Thompson  (26)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot from passing car while driving his Shankill black taxi, Crumlin Road, Belfast.

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21 April 1998


Adrian Lamph (29)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
Shot, at his workplace, council depot, Duke Street, Portadown, County Armagh.

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21 April 2001


Christopher O’Kane  (37)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot near to his home, Milldale Crescent, Tullyally, Derry.

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