5th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

5th May

Friday 5 May 1972

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Sunday 5 May 1974

Pro-Assembly Unionists meeting in Portstewart, County Derry, announced the reformation of their group which was to use the name the Unionist Party

Monday 5 May 1975

The Fair Employment (NI) Bill was introduced to the House of Lords.

Wednesday 5 May 1976

Nine members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) escaped from the Maze Prison through a tunnel.

Thursday 5 May 1977 Day 3 of the UUAC Strike

After three days of the strike the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) released figures showing that it had dismantled some 300 roadblocks, arrested 23 people, and dealt with over 1,000 cases of alleged intimidation.

In addition it also claimed that the United Unionist Action Council (UUAC) was deliberately choosing to employ women and children during confrontations with the police in order to draw support to its cause and to alienate people against the RUC.

A bomb exploded outside the Lismore factory in Portadown.

[It was believed that Loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for the bombing which was thought to be a response to the factory remaining open during the stoppage.]

Saturday 5 May 1979

Humphrey Atkins succeeded Roy Mason as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

[The appointment prompted the Belfast Telegraph to ask ‘Humphrey Who?’]

Wednesday 5 March 1980

Tomás Ó Fiaich, then Catholic Primate of Ireland, and Edward Daly, then Bishop of Derry , held a meeting with Humphrey Atkins, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to express their concerns about conditions within the Maze Prison. A former chairman of the Peace People, Peter McLachlan, resigned from the organisation.

Tuesday 5 May 1981 Bobby Sands Died

After 66 days on hunger strike Bobby Sands (26), then a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and a Member of Parliament (MP), died in the Maze Prison.

[The announcement of his death sparked riots in many areas of Northern Ireland but also in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) also stepped up its attacks on members of the security services. Following the death of Sands the British government faced extensive international condemnation for the way in which it had handled the hunger strike. The relationship between the British and Irish government was also very strained.]

Eric Guiney (45) and his son Desmond Guiney (14), both Protestant civilians, were seriously injured after their milk lorry crashed following an incident in which it was stoned by a crowd of people at the junction of New Lodge Road and Antrim Road in Belfast. Desmond Guiney died on 8 May 1981 and Eric Guiney died on 13 May 1981.

See Bobby Sands

See Hungry Strike

Wednesday 5 May 1982

Maureen McCann (64), a Protestant civilian, was stabbed and shot by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), during an armed robbery at her post office in Killinchy, County Down.

Thursday 5 May 1983

James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, travelled to Dublin for talks with the Irish government.

Tuesday 5 May 1987

In response to speculation about the content of the Unionist Task Force report, Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), stated that the DUP would have no involvement in any power-sharing arrangement.

Tuesday 5 May 1992

An inquest began into the deaths on 11 November 1982 of three Irish Republican Army (IRA) members shot dead by an undercover Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) unit near Craigavon, County Armagh.

The Court of Appeal in London began hearing the appeal of Judith Ward against her conviction for involvement in a bomb attack on 4 February 1974.

Wednesday 5 May 1993

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), was refused a visitor’s visa to enter the United States of America (USA

Sunday 5 May 1996

A coded warning in the name of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was issued stating that two bombs had been planted in Dublin. A suspect car at Dublin Airport was blown-up in the following security operation.

Monday 5 May 1997

The new Ministers of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) were announced. Adam Ingram – Minister for Security, and Economic Development; Paul Murphy – Political and Constitutional Affairs, and Finance and Information; Tony Worthington – Education, Training, Welfare, Health, and Employment Equality; Lord Dubs – Agriculture, Environment, and NIO representative in the House of Lords.

Tuesday 5 May 1998

Crime - Balcombe Street Seige...Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Robert Mark (second r) talks to policemen on the corner of Balcombe Street, Marylebone, near the flat where a group of gunmen are holding a middle-aged couple hostage ... Crime - Balcombe Street Seige ... 08-12-1975 ... London ... Great Britain ... Photo credit should read: PA Photos/PA Archive. Unique Reference No. 4268185 ...

A group of Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners, known as the Balcombe Street gang, were transferred from England to Porflsoise Prison in the Republic of Ireland. To date the men had served 22 years and five months in English jails.

See Balcombe Street gang.

The United Unionist Campaign (UUC) was launched in Belfast to oppose the Good Friday Agreement in the referendum. The group was made up of representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP), and also dissident Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Members of Parliament (MPs). The UUC used the slogan: “It’s Right to say No”

See Balcombe Street gang.

Wednesday 5 May 1999

There was an attempted Loyalist gun attack in north Belfast. A gunman attempted to fire shots at two boys standing outside a shop but they escaped when the gun jammed.

[The attack was later claimed by a group calling itself the ‘Protestant Liberation Force’. Some commentators believed that this was a cover name for members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).]

A pipe-bomb, that had been packed with nails, blew a hole in the wall of the home of a Catholic couple living in a Loyalist area of south Belfast.

Although the woman escaped unharmed, her husband received minor leg injuries. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Relatives of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989, held a meeting at Stormont with Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. They pressed their case for a public inquiry into his death rather than the police investigation favoured by the British government.

See Pat Finucane,

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), stated in an article in The Irish Post (a London based newspaper) that if the Executive proved to be successful it could make the Irish Republican Army (IRA) “irrelevant”.

Friday 5 May 2000

A Catholic couple were forced to leave their home in a Loyalist area of south Belfast following a sectarian pipe-bomb attack. The husband sustained minor leg injuries after the device, which was packed with nails, blew a hole in the back door of the house at Broadway Parade and exploded into the kitchen. His wife who also was in the kitchen escaped unhurt.

The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

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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 5th  May  between 1973 – 1992

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05 May 1973


Vines, William (37) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Moybane, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

Sergeant-Major (William) Ronnie Vines of 2 PARA was killed by an IRA mine remotely detonated by wire on 5 May 1973 at Moybane, near Crossmaglen. Married shortly before he was killed, Sgt Major Vines died aged 36 years and is now buried at Aldershot Military Cemetery.

The following obituary notice appeared in the Pegasus Journal in July 1973: “CSM Ron Vines, on his third tour in Northern Ireland was killed in a terrorist mine explosion near Crossmaglen on the 5th May 1973. He was commanding a road clearance patrol from C (Patrol) Company, and it was typical of his enthusiasm and leadership that it was he who noticed and was checking the suspect area where the mine was located. Ron re-enlisted into The Parachute Regiment in 1962 (previously he had served for three years in the Coldstream Guards) and rapidly achieved promotion to Sgt by 1964, in which rank he served in Bahrain, Malaysia, Borneo and Radfan in C (Patrol) Company of the 2nd Bn. He was detached in 1969 to the Royal Marines Training Centre as an instructor and returned to the 2nd Bn in 1972, to be CQMS of B Coy. He was promoted in September 1972 to WO2 and returned as CSM to his first love-Patrol Coy. He was a most competent and professional soldier and was fair and popular with all ranks. He will be sadly missed in the Bn and elsewhere.”

Ronnie had two daughters Jayne and Annette with his first wife Phyllis. They were married for 17 years.

See Paradata.org for original obituary notice

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05 May 1973
John Gibbons  (21)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Moybane, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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05 May 1973
Terence Williams   (35)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Moybane, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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05 May 1977
James Green  (22)

Catholic
Status: ex-British Army (xBA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
From Northern Ireland. Shot while driving his taxi, when he stopped to pick up a passenger, Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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05 May 1981
Bobby Sands   (26)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Also Member of Parliament. Died on the 66th day of hunger strike, Long Kesh / Maze Prison, County Down.

See Bobby Sands

See Hungry Strike

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05 May 1982
Maureen McCann  (64)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Stabbed and shot during armed robbery at her post office, Killinchy, County Down.

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05 May 1990
Graham Stewart   (25)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Undercover British Army (BA) member. Shot during gun attack on BA concealed hilltop observation post, overlooking Cullyhanna, County Armagh.

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05 May 1992


William Sergeant   (66)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Shot during gun attack on Mount Inn, North Queen Street, Tiger’s Bay, Belfast.

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