25th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

25th May

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Tuesday 25 May 1971

Michael Willets

A British soldier was killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attack on the joint Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) base on the Springfield Road in Belfast.

Saturday 25 May 1974

Day 11 of the UWC strike

Alfred Stilges (52), a Catholic civilian, was beaten to death by Loyalist paramilitaries in Forthriver Road, Glencairn, Belfast.

Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, made a broadcast [text of speech] on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television and radio at 10.15pm.

[The speech proved to be totally counter-productive. At one point in the speech Wilson referred to ‘spongers’ – meaning the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) and its supporters.

However most Protestants took the reference as a slight on them. Indeed some Protestants took to wearing small sponges in their lapels the following day as a gesture of support for the strike.]

[Public Records 1974 – Released 1 January 2005: Fax sent on behalf of Harold Wilson to Liam Cosgrave, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). The fax contained the text of a statement that Wilson was due to give on British television later that day.] [ Sunningdale; Ulster Workers’ Council Strike. ]

Tuesday 25 May 1976

The Ulster Service Corps, a Loyalist paramilitary grouping, announced that it was going to mount ‘patrols’ because of the ‘deteriorating security situation’.

Wednesday 25 May 1977

James Callaghan, then British Prime Minister, announced that an all-party Speaker’s Conference was to be established to consider the merits of the argument for more Northern Ireland Members of Parliament.

Thursday 25 May 1978

Brian McKinney

 

 

Brian McKinney and John McClory, both Catholic civilians, were abducted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and ‘dissapeared’.

John McClory
John McClory

Their bodies were recovered on 29 June 1999

See The Disappeared

 

Friday 25 May 1984 Security forces in Northern Ireland discovered large quantities of explosives in County Tyrone and County Down. In the United States of America (USA) both houses of Congress unanimously backed the Report of the New Ireland Forum.

Wednesday 25 May 1988

Government White Paper

A White Paper on fair employment was issued by the British government. Suggestions included the compulsory monitoring of the religious composition of workforces in companies in Northern Ireland. A new Fair Employment Commission (FEC) was proposed to replace the Fair Employment Agency (FEA).

[A Bill was brought forward on 15 December 1988.]

Saturday 25 May 1991

Eddie Fullerton, then a Sinn Féin (SF) councillor in Buncrana, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland, was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

 

[This killing took place despite a Loyalist ceasefire announced by the Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) that began at midnight on 29 April 1991. The UDA stated that the ceasefire did not apply to the Republic of Ireland.]

Terence O’Neill

A British soldier was killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) attack in Belfast.

Thursday 25 May 1995

Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), addressed the investment conference in Washington, USA. He called for an end to paramilitary violence, ‘punishment’ beatings, and intimidation, in Northern Ireland. Clinton also announced a number of economic initiatives.

Saturday 25 May 1996

Dessie McCleery, then a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) ‘GHQ’ faction, was shot dead in central Belfast. The killing was part of a continuing INLA feud.

25 May 1998

Those responsible for the picket outside the Catholic church in Harryville, Ballymena, announced that they were calling a halt to the weekly Saturday evening protest.

The protest had begun in September 1996 and policing costs were estimated at £2 million.

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) named Billy Hutchinson, then a Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) councillor, as its contact with the arms decommissioning body.

According to British statistics more than 5,300 women with addresses in the Republic of Ireland had abortions in Britain during 1997. This is the highest figure on record; in 1987 the figure was 3,673.

 

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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.

11  People lost their lives on the 25th May between 1971 – 1996

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25 May 1971


Michael Willets   (27)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by time bomb left inside Springfield Road Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) base, Belfast.

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25 May 1973


Joseph Matthews   (30)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Found shot at Giant’s Ring, near Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast.

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25 May 1974
Alfred Stilges   (52)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found beaten to death in partially-built house, Forthriver Road, Glencairn, Belfast.

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25 May 1975
Albert Ballantine   (19)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot at side of Lettercor Road, near Gortin, County Tyrone.

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25 May 1978


Brian McKinney   (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Abducted on his way to work, Andersonstown, Belfast. Remains eventually found, on general instructions from the IRA, buried in bogland, Colgagh, near Inniskeen, County Monaghan, on 29 June 1999.

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25 May 1978


John McClory   (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Abducted on his way to work, Andersonstown, Belfast. Remains eventually found, on general instructions from the IRA, buried in bogland, Colgagh, near Inniskeen, County Monaghan, on 29 June 1999.

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25 May 1981
Thomas Ritchie   (28)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) mobile patrol, Gulladuff, near Maghera, County Derry.

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25 May 1986
Francis Hegarty  (45)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, Cavan Road, near Castlederg, County Tyrone. Alleged informer.

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25 May 1991


Eddie Fullerton   (56)

nfNIRI
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Sinn Fein (SF) Councillor. Shot at his home, Cockhill Cottages, Buncrana, County Donegal.

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25 May 1991


Terence O’Neill   (44)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by grenade, dropped into compound at British Army (BA) base, from adjoining derelict building, North Howard Street, Falls, Belfast.

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25 May 1996


Dessie McCleery   (37)

Catholic
Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot, while in pizza restaurant, Bankmore Street, off Dublin Road, Belfast. Internal Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) dispute.

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