16th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles


Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

16th May


Thursday 16 May 1968

In the Stormont (Northern Ireland parliament) by-election in the city of Londonderry (Derry) the Ulster Unionists retained the seat.

Thursday 16 May 1974

Day 2 of the UWC strike

Maureen Moore

Maureen Moore (21), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by a Loyalist paramilitary gunman as she stood at the corner of Stratheden Street and Edlingham Street, New Lodge, Belfast.

The effect of the strike deepened with the engineering sector of the economy being the hardest hit. The use of intimidation (or ‘persuasion’ as the Loyalist paramilitaries preferred to call it) had a significant impact on the number of people who managed to get to work.

The strike began to have a number of effects on the farming sector with uncollected, or unprocessed, milk having to be dumped and fresh food not reaching shops. The Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) issued a list of ‘essential services’ which were to be allowed to operate as normal and also issued a telephone number for anyone engaged in such work. The UWC also ordered public houses to close.

There was an outbreak of sectarian rioting.

The strike was the main subject of Northern Ireland ‘question time’ in the House of Commons at Westminster.

Paddy Devlin, a then member of the Executive, threatens to resign on the issue of Interment. Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State, met with Loyalist leaders in Stormont. Mr Rees said that he would not negotiate with the UWC.

[One thing that became clear was that the timing of the removal of barricades by the police was tactically wrong. In many instances barricades were not removed until people had made an initial attempt to get to work. Having been turned back first thing in the morning few people were attempting to travel mid-morning or mid-afternoon when a number of roads would have been reopened. There were complaints about a lack of action, particularly to clear obstructions on roads, on the part of the British Army.]


Sunday 16 May 1976


Roy McIlwaine & William  Martin

Two Protestant civilians were shot dead by Republican paramilitaries outside a Social Club, Alliance Road, Belfast.

Kenneth Nelson

An off-duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Benburb, County Tyrone.

Monday 16 May 1983

supergrass Harry Kirkpatrick 2

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) announced that they had kidnapped the wife of ‘supergrass’ Harry Kirkpatrick.

[Other members of the Kirkpatrick family were also kidnapped on 3 August 1983.]

Friday 16 May 1986

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), spoke at a seminar in Amsterdam, Holland. Adams criticised the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) saying that it secured the partition of the six counties of Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 16 May 1995


Malcolm Moss, then Northern Ireland Office (NIO) minister, shook hands with Mitchel McLaughlin, then Sinn Féin (SF) chairman, when the minister opened a shopping centre in Creggan Estate, Derry.

Thursday 16 May 1996

John Major, then British Prime Minister, was reported in an Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) article as having said that arms decommissioning would have to be addressed at the start of talks.

Friday 16 May 1997

Blair Keynote Speech

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, travelled to Belfast to deliver an important speech on Northern Ireland. Blair reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the Framework Document, the Mitchell Report on decommissioning and the ground rules for entry into all-party talks.

Blair also said that he valued Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom (UK) and suggested that the Republic of Ireland should amend Articles 2 and 3 of its constitution. The Prime Minister also said that government officials would meet with representatives of Sinn Féin (SF) in order to allow a number of issues to be clarified.


Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said that all those Loyalist paramilitary organisations represented by the Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) had broken their ceasefire since it was declared in October 1994.

Saturday 16 May 1998

Security forces defused a car bomb, estimated at 500 pounds, which had been left outside the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station in Armagh.

The bomb was discovered at 11.15pm and the area cleared before a warning was received at 11.30pm.

[The RUC were unable to say which dissident Republican paramilitary group was responsible.]

Larry O’Toole, then a prominent member of Sinn Féin, was shot and injured during a First Holy Communion church service for local children in Ballymun, Dublin. OToole’s son, Lar, was also shot by the gunman who was chased out of the church and later caught by a number of the pursuers.

There was a rally held in Lurgan, County Armagh, in support of the ‘No’ campaign. At the rally a message was read out from James Molyneaux, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), who said that he would be voting against the Good Friday Agreement.

Sunday 16 May 1999

Members of Justice for the Forgotten, the campaign group representing families of those killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings on 17 May 1974, held a wreath-laying ceremony in Dublin.

Dublin and Monaghan bombings victim

The group called for a full public inquiry into the bombings.

See Dublin and Monaghan Bombings



Around 800 residents from the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown, County Armagh, held a meeting at which Brendán Mac Cionnaith, then spokesperson of the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition and independent councillor in Portadown, rejected rumours that a deal had been done to resolve the disputed Drumcree parade.



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 16th between 1973 – 1990


16 May 1973

 Joseph McKenna   (24)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died two months after being shot from passing car, Grosvenor Road, Belfast.


16 May 1974

Maureen Moore   (21)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot by sniper while standing on corner of Stratheden Street and Edlingham Street, New Lodge, Belfast.


16 May 1976

Roy McIlwaine   (35)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while standing outside Social Club, Alliance Road, Belfast.


16 May 1976

William Martin   (53)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while standing outside Social Club, Alliance Road, Belfast.


16 May 1976

Kenneth Nelson  (28)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Derryfubble, near Benburb, County Tyrone.


16 May 1981

 Patrick Martin   (38)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his home, Abbeydale Parade, off Crumlin Road, Belfast.


16 May 1983

Gerard Cathcart   (49)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Linkview Park, Malone, Belfast.


16 May 1990
Charles Chapman   (34)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb attached to British Army (BA) van, outside British Army (BA) recruiting office, Harrow Road, Wembley, London.



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