23rd May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

23rd May

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Thursday 23 May 1974

Day 9 of the UWC strike

Across Northern Ireland security forces removed barricades only to find that they had been replaced soon after. Workers in Derry were prevented from going to the Maydown Industrial Estate.

Although many schools managed to operate during the strike it was reported that some GCE examinations were affected.

Gerry Fitt, then Deputy Chief Executive, called on the British Government to send troops to the power stations and the oil refineries. Northern Ireland question time at Westminster again dealt with the strike.

Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, informed Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, that British Troops would have to be used to implement the ‘fuel oil plan’ being prepared by John Hume, then Minister of Commerce.

Friday 23 May 1975

Two Catholic civilians were shot dead by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), which was a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), during an attack on a house in Mount Vernon, Belfast.

Monday 23 May 1977

Roy Mason, then Secretary of State, started a new round of talks with the leaders of the main political parties.

Saturday 23 May 1981

Joseph Lynch (33), a Catholic civilian, was killed during a street disturbance involving members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) at the junction of Oldpark Road and Gracehill Street, Belfast.

Wednesday 23 May 1984

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) announced that it was ending its boycott of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Sunday 23 May 1993

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb, estimated at 1,500 pounds, in Magherafelt, County Derry. There was another IRA bomb in Belfast.

Monday 23 May 1994

Nigel Smith (19), a Protestant civilian, was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at his place of work in the Anderson and McAuley building, Castle Street, Belfast.

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) carried out a bomb attack on the Sinn Féin (SF) office in Belfast City Hall. The explosion injured two workmen.

Friday 23 May 1997

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), held a meeting with David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), to discuss the difficulties posed by the forthcoming ‘marching season’, particularly the Drumcree march in Portadown, County Armagh.

Saturday 23 May 1998

Garda Síochána (the Irish police) arrested two men when they discovered bomb-making material in two cars near Dundalk.

Sunday 23 May 1999

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, said he intended to invite representatives of the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition (GRRC) and members of the Orange Order to intensive proximity-style talks on 3, 4, and 5 June 1999 in an effort to resolve the Drumcree parade dispute.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concluded its involvement in the inquiry into the death of Rosemary Nelson, a Lurgan solicitor killed on 15 March 1999, but announced it would continue to be available to assist the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

The Sunday Times (a London based newspaper) reported that David Trimble, then Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), was suing Amazon.com for distributing the book ‘The Committee’ by Sean McPhilemy

Wednesday 23 May 2001

Bill Clinton, former President of the USA, paid another visit to Northern Ireland beginning in Derry. He said:

“I came here to reaffirm my belief in the Good Friday Agreement because it is still the right path to the future for peace, reconciliation, and fairness,”

 

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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 23rd May between 1972 – 1994

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23 May 1972


John Moran   (17)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died ten days after being injured by car bomb left outside Kelly’s Bar, Whiterock Road, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

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23 May 1972


Eustace Handley   (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

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23 May 1972
Andrew Brennan   (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot outside his home, Sicily Park, Finaghy, Belfast.

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23 May 1975


John McErlaine   (29)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Shot together with his brother, shortly after being lured to a house by a work colleague, Mount Vernon Green, Mount Vernon, Belfast.

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23 May 1975


Thomas McErlaine  (19)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Shot together with his brother, shortly after being lured to a house by a work colleague, Mount Vernon Green, Mount Vernon, Belfast.

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23 May 1981
Joseph Lynch   (33)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Killed during street disturbance between local people and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol, junction of Oldpark Road and Gracehill Street, Belfast.

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23 May 1987


Dermot Hackett  (37)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot by sniper while driving bread van, Drumhonish, near Drumquin, County Tyrone

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23 May 1994
Nigel Smith   (19)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Security man. Shot at his workplace, Anderson and McAuley building, Castle Street, Belfast.

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