8th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

8th May

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Saturday 8 May 1971

Isabella McKeague

A woman was killed in an incident in Belfast.

Wednesday 8 May 1974

The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) issued a statement condemning the security situation in Northern Ireland and gave its support to the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) and the policy of opposing the Sunningdale Agreement.

Thursday 8 May 1975

The first meeting of the Constitutional Convention was held. Roberty Lowry, then Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, chaired the session.

[There were 30 sessions in total and the Report of the convention was published on 20 November 1975.]

Sunday 8 May 1977 Day 6 of the UUAC Strike

The loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), announced that it might be forced to ‘coerce’ loyalists in Northern Ireland into supporting the UUAC strike.

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), reiterated his belief that the strike had already been a success even if at some point it had to be called off. However a spokesman for the UUAC stated that there was ‘no chance’ of the strike being called off.

Friday 8 May 1981

Joe McDonnell, then an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner in the Maze Prison, joined the hunger strike to take the place of Bobby Sands.

See 1981 Hunger Strike

Saturday 8 May 1982

Nicholas Budgen, then an Assistant Government Whip, resigned his post because of his opposition to the Northern Ireland Bill which would introduce a new Assembly.

Friday 8 May 1987 Loughgall Killings

8_ira_men_shot_dead-loughgall

See Loughgall ambush

One civilian and eight members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were shot dead by soldiers of the Special Air Service (SAS) in Loughgall, County Armagh.

The IRA members were in the process of attacking the police station at Loughgall when they were ambushed by 40 SAS soldiers. The innocent civilian was shot dead by one SAS group as he drove through the village. This incident was the highest loss of life suffered by the IRA in any one incident.

[On 2 December 2011 some details of an Historical Enquires Team (HET) report into the incident were released by The Belfast Telegraph. The newspaper article claimed that the HET report would conclude that members of the IRA opened fire first and thus the SAS soldiers were within their rights to open

Tuesday 8 May 1990

Tomás Ó Fiaich, then a Cardinal and Catholic Primate of All Ireland, died aged 66 from a heart attack while on a visit to Lourdes, France.

Friday 8 May 1992

Kenneth Baker, then British Home Secretary, announced that responsibility for intelligence-gathering on the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would be moved from the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police to MI5 (the British Security Service). The move was part of an attempt to counter IRA operations in England.

Sunday 8 May 1994

Rose Anne Mallon (76), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at her relatives home, Cullenramer Road, Greystone, near Dungannon, County Tyrone.

[On 27 July 1994 a neighbour discovered in a nearby field two security force surveillance cameras pointing at the house where the shooting took place. There were subsequent claims of collusion between the security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries.]

Thursday 8 May 1997

Robert Hamill Killing  

Robert Hamill (25), a Catholic civilian, died as a result of injuries sustained in a sectarian attack in the centre of Portadown on 27 April 1997.

Hamill, who left a wife and three children, had been savagely beaten by a loyalist gang and it was claimed that Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers sitting in a police vehicle some 30 meters away did not intervene to save him.

[The Independent Commission for Police Complaints later began an investigation into the incident. On the 16 November 2004 Paul Murphy, then Secretary of State, announced the terms of reference for a public Inquiry into the death of Robert Hamill. Full public hearings began on 13 January 2009.]

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the period of notice required for a parade or march to be held would be extended from 7 days to 21.

The RUC would in future be empowered to confiscate alcohol from those taking part in parades.

The County Tyrone Grand Orange Lodge held a meeting and decided to endorse the agreement reached between local Orangemen and residents of Dromore village.

See: The Orange Order – History & Background

Members of the Spirit of Drumcree (SOD) tried to have the deal overturned but their motion was rejected by 68 votes to 9. John Bruton, the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, at Downing Street. Bruton described Blair as an “improvement for the better in all the issues as far as Ireland is concerned.”

See: Drumcree

Friday 8 May 1998

The “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA) issued a statement saying that the organisation’s ceasefire was over and military attacks would resume. In particular the group said that it had declared war on the British Cabinet.

William Thompson, a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP), gave a radio interview in which he effectively called for the resignation of David Trimble, then leader of the UUP. Thompson was in turn attacked by John Taylor, then deputy leader of the UUP, who called on him to “do the decent thing” and resign.

Monday 8 May 2000

Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, offered to reduce the number of British Army soldiers in Northern Ireland if the Irish Republican Army (IRA) kept to its promise on decommissioning. Mandelson refused to discuss the precise number of troops that would be withdrawn from the region.

Tuesday 8 May 2001

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that he would resign as First Minister on 1 July 2001 unless the Irish Republican Army (IRA) began to decommission its weapons. [Trimble did resign on 1 July 2001.]

 

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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.

 16 People lost their lives on the 8th   May  between 1971 – 1997

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08 May 1971


 Isabella McKeague   (67)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died in fire which followed incendiary bomb attack on shop below her flat, Albertbridge Road, Belfast

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08 May 1974


Francis Rowe   (40)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Kingsmoss Road, off Ballyclare Road, near Glengormley, County Antrim.

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08 May 1977
Robert Crawford  (40)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot, Forthriver Road, Glencairn, Belfast.

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08 May 1981


Desmond Guiney,   (14)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died three days after milk delivery lorry he was travelling in, crashed into lamp post after coming under missile attack thrown from crowd, at the junction of New Lodge Road and Antrim Road, Belfast. His father also died on 13 May 1981 as a result of the crash on 5 May 1981

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08 May 1984


James Johnstone   (28)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot in in car park at his workplace, Drumglass Hospital, Dungannon, County Tyrone.

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08 May 1987


Declan Arthurs    (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Seamus Donnell   (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Michael Gormley  (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh

See Loughgall ambush.

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08 May 1987


Eugene Kelly   (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Patrick Kelly  (30)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


James Lynagh   (31)

nfNI
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
From County Monaghan. Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Patrick McKearney   (32)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Gerard O’Callaghan  (29)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Anthony Hughes   (36)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during Irish Republican Army (IRA) gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh. Assumed to be an IRA member.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1994


Rose Ann  Mallon   (76)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot, at her relatives home, Cullenramer Road, Greystone, near Dungannon, County Tyrone

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08 May 1997


Robert Hamill (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died eleven days after being badly beaten by group of men, Thomas Street, Portadown, County Armagh.

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