4th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

4th May


Wednesday 4 May 1977

Day 2 of the UUAC Strike

The UUUC parliamentary coalition was ended because of the support of Ian Paisley and Ernest Baird for the United Unionist Action Council (UUAC) strike.

This decision was taken by James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) at Westminster, on the grounds that elements of the UUAC were planning to establish a provisional government in Northern Ireland as the next stage of the stoppage.

In Belfast loyalist paramilitaries were suspected of being responsible for a bomb explosion outside a police station on the York Road.

Roy Mason argued that more people had attended work than on the first day of the strike.

On the Newtownards Road in east Belfast the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) clashed with members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) when police officers attempted to remove a barricade.

In spite of attacks on buses bus drivers voted to continue working. Andy Tyrie, then leader of the UDA and a member of the UUAC, appealed for members of the UDA to ‘cool it’.

Monday 4 May 1981

The European Commission on Human Rights announced that it had no power to proceed with the case brought against the British government by Marcella Sands, the sister of Bobby Sands.

 The case had been announced on 23 April 1981.

Wednesday 4 May 1988

Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, failed in an attempt to stop a Northern Ireland British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) programme about the Gibraltar inquests being shown on 5 May 1988.

See Operation Flavius

Thursday 4 May 1989

Two people were killed in separate incidents.

Friday 4 May 1990

Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, told Unionist leaders that proposed political talks would consider an alternative to the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Wednesday 4 May 1994

The first report of the Independent Assessor of Military Complaints Procedures in Northern Ireland showed that 606 complaints had been made during 1993. However, only one soldier had been severely reprimanded as the result of a complaint

Thursday 4 May 1995

There were clashes on the Newtownards Road, Belfast, as Orange Order members marched past a Nationalist area.

Monday 4 May 1998

A Republican paramilitary group carried out a mortar bomb attack on Grosvenor Road Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Station in Belfast. One of the home-made mortars did not reach its target and the other exploded in its launch tube.

There were no reported injuries.

The attack caused a delay and a re-routing of the Belfast marathon.

[The attack was believed to have been carried out by the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA).]

There was a bomb attack on the home of a former Sinn Féin (SF) councillor in Craigavon, County Armagh.

[Although Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to have carried out the attack, no organisation claimed responsibility.]

Two men were the victims of a Loyalist paramilitary ‘punishment’ shooting near Disraeli Street in the Shankill area of Belfast.

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), officially launched the Fianna Fáil (FF) campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote in the Republic of Ireland. John Bruton, then leader of Fine Gael (FG), called on political leaders, north and south, to step up their campaigns for a ‘Yes’ vote.

Tuesday 4 May 1999

Nine shots were fired at Lisnaskea Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station in County Fermanagh.

[The Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) was thought to have been responsible for the attack.]

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that there would be a new police investigation into allegations of collusion between the security services and Loyalist paramilitaries in the killing of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor, on 12 February 1989.

See Pat Finucane

See Pat Finucane

The Independent (a London based newspaper) published details of an Irish government document that alleged collusion in the killing of Finucane.

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held talks elected representatives from the Portadown area in an effort to find a resolution to the Drumcree parade dispute. Among those invited were Brendán Mac Cionnaith, then spokesperson of the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition and also independent councillor in Portadown.

There was a protest meeting outside by anti-Agreement Loyalists. Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), called for an inquiry into the shooting dead of five people on 9 July 1972 by the security forces.

Thursday 4 May 2000

Further Political Talks

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), arrived in Northern Ireland for a further round of political talks as part of a review of the Good Friday Agreement.

Friday 4 May 2001

Paul Daly (38), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead while sitting in his stationary car, outside a relative’s home, in Stephen Street, off Carrick Hill, north Belfast. [It is not known which paramilitary organisation was responsible for his killing.]


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.

 5 People lost their lives on the 4th May  between 1972 – 2001


04 May 1972
Victor Andrews   (20)

Status: Civilian (Civ), K

illed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found stabbed to death in entry off Baltic Avenue, New Lodge, Belfast.


04 May 1982

Samuel Caskey   (21)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during sniper attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, The Diamond, Derry.


04 May 1989

John Griffiths   (37)

Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car outside his home, Loughgall, County Armagh.


04 May 1989
Stephen McGonigle   (30)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Silverbridge, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh


04 May 2001
Paul Daly  (38)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Shot while sitting in his stationary car, outside relative’s home, Stephen Street, off Carrick Hill, Belfast.



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