28th April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

                                                                                           28th April


Monday 28 April 1969

As he was unable to regain the confidence of the Unionist party Terence O’Neill, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, resigned to be replaced later by James Chichester-Clark.

Monday 28 April 1975

Liam McMillan (48), then a member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), was shot dead by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the continuing feud between the OIRA and the INLA.

A Protestant civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast. His Catholic workmate had been the intended target.

Wednesday 27 April 1977

A series of personal attacks on one another by leading figures such as Enoch Powell, James Molyneaux, and Ian Paisley, illustrated the growing disagreement within unionism on the issue of the planned United Unionist Action Council (UUAC) strike.

Roy Mason, then Secretary of State, announced that the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast was to receive an order worth some £70 million to co

nstruct two liquid gas carriers.

Tuesday 28 April 1981

The private secretary of Pope John Paul II paid a visit to Bobby Sands in the Maze Prison but was unable to persuade him to end his hunger strike.

Humphrey Atkins, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated that: “If Mr Sands persisted in his wish to commit suicide, that was his choice. The government would not force medical treatment upon him.” In the United States of America (USA) Ronald Reagan, then President of the USA, said that America would not intervene in the situation in Northern Ireland but he was “deeply concerned” at events there.

Thursday 28 April 1988

A Thames Television documentary, Death on the Rock, about the deaths of the three Irish Republican Army (IRA) members in Gilbraltar on 6 March 1988 was screened. Sir Geoffrey Howe, then British Foreign Secretary, unsuccessfully tried to have the programme banned.

gib3 with text

See Operation Flavius

Tuesday 28 April 1992

Philomena Hanna (26), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), at her place of work – a chemist shop on the Springfield Road, west Belfast.

[There was widespread condemnation at the killing of a woman whose work meant that she delivered medical supplies to both communities in the area.]

Wednesday 28 April 1993

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that he would not enter new political talks.

Thursday 28 April 1994

James Brown (47), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at his shop, Garmoyle Street, Docks, Belfast.

Eric Smyth (40), an ex-member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) outside his home, Salters Grange Road, near Armagh.

Mitchell McLaughlin, then Sinn Féin (SF) chairman, was given a United States visa to allow him into the USA to speak at a conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Iranian Chargé d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office, London, to explain claims that the government in Iran was planning to supply the Irish Republican Army (IRA) with arms and money.

Friday 28 April 1995

Catholic Civilian Killed by IRA

Michael Mooney (34), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead while in the ’18 Steps Bar’, Ann Street, Belfast.

[Although no organisation claimed responsibility it was generally believed that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had carried out the killing. It was alleged that Mooney was involved in drug dealing and this was the reason why he had been shot. A number of other men were killed by the IRA during the year. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) issued a statement on 20 December 1995 about the killings.]

There was a ceremony in Dublin to commemorate all Irishmen who had died in the two world wars. The ceremony was attended by: John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ken Maginnis, then Security Spokesman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and John Alderdice, then leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI).

Tom Hartley, then Chairman of Sinn Féin (SF), also attended the ceremony.

Sunday 28 April 1996

Michael Ancram, then Political Development minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), said that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) must restore its ceasefire and Sinn Féin (SF) must agree to be bound by the six ‘Mitchell Principles’ before it could join all-party talks.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) stopped a group of Orangemen from marching through the lower Ormeau Road in Belfast. This decision led to a two-hour stand-off.

Monday 28 April 1997

A car bomb was planted by Loyalist paramilitaries outside the Falls Road office of Sinn Féin (SF).

The bomb was defused. Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) prisoners at Maghaberry Prison held a prison officer hostage at gunpoint before giving themselves up. The prisoners were protesting at the transfer of Billy Wright, then leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), from Maghaberry to the Maze Prison.

[The INLA killed Wright in the Maze Prison on 27 December 1997.]

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, approved tighter security measures in the Maze Prison following the discovery of an escape tunnel on 24 March 1997.
John Major, then British Prime Minister, paid an election campaign visit to Belfast. Tony Blair, then leader of the Labour Party, called on the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to renew their ceasefire and to agree to the Mitchell principles, and then to “take their place at the talks table”.

Tuesday 28 April 1998

It was confirmed that Chris Patten, a former Governor of Hong Kong, would chair the new Commission on the future role of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) had objected to the appointment of an “non British” person to head the Commission.

Wednesday 28 April 1999

A pipe-bomb exploded in the car park of the Ramble Inn, situated on the main Antrim to Ballymena Road. Several cars damaged, but there were no injuries.

The Loyalist paramilitary group the Orange Volunteers (OV) claimed responsibility for the attack.

John Stevens, then Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, stated that during one of his earlier investigations of collusion between Loyalists paramilitaries and the security forces had found a connection to the killing of Pat Finucane that had caused him “concern”.
The Northern Ireland (Location of Victims’ Remains) Bill was presented to the House of Commons at Westminster.

[The Bill became law in late May 1999. The first body was recovered on 28 May 1999.]


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 28th  April   between 1973– 1995


28 April 1973
Kerry Venn (23)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Carn Hill, Shantallow, Derry.


28 April 1975

Liam McMillen    (48)

Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Shot while walking along Falls Road at the junction with Spinner Street, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Nationalist Liberation Army (INLA) feud.


28 April 1975
Samuel Grierson   (25)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot while working on railway line, near Donegall Road, Belfast. Catholic workmate the intended target.


28 April 1981
Richard McKee   (27)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while travelling in British Army (BA) civilian-type van, Dublin Road, Castlewellan, County Down.


28 April 1987

William ” Frenchie” Marchant (39)

Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot from passing car while standing outside Progressive Unionist Party office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

See William ” Frenchie” Marchant 


28 April 1992

Philomena Hanna   (26)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at her workplace, chemist shop, Springfield Road, Belfast.


28 April 1994

James Brown   (47)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot, at his shop, Garmoyle Street, Docks, Belfast.


28 April 1994
Eric Smyth  (40)

Status: ex-Ulster Defence Regiment (xUDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot, outside his home, Salters Grange Road, near Armagh.


28 April 1995
Michael Mooney   (34)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot, while in 18 Steps Bar, Ann Street, Belfast.




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