26th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

26th May


Friday 26 May 1972

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a bomb in Oxford Street, Belfast which killed a 64 year old woman.

At approximately 12.20 pm a 34-year-old man was shot and injured in the Silvio Street area of north Belfast.

[On 1 December 2015 the PSNI listed this shooting as one of nine incidents it was investigating in relation to the activities of the British Army’s Military Reaction Force (MRF).]

In the Republic of Ireland the Special Criminal Court was re-instituted to deal with crimes arising out of the Northern Ireland conflict. As part of the measures trial by jury was suspended.

Sunday 26 May 1974

Day 12 of the UWC strike

The leaders of the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) strike claimed that support was continuing to grow. The UWC also claimed that its system of permits was working well in maintaining ‘essential services’, particularly the supply of petrol.

The British Army arrested more than 30 men in raids on Protestant areas of Belfast. Gerry Fitt, then Deputy Chief Executive, attended a meeting at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) met at 1pm. A meeting of Brian Faulkner’s Unionist ministers also took place.

Tuesday 26 May 1981

Brendan McLaughlin, who had joined the hunger strike on 14 May 1981, was taken off the strike when he suffered a perforated ulcer and internal bleeding.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) carried out a raid on the headquarters of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in Belfast and discovered a number of illegal weapons.

[At this time the UDA, although a Loyalist paramilitary group, was still a legal organisation and was not ‘proscribed’ until 10 August 1992.]

Sunday 26 May 1985

The Lear Fan aircraft company announced the closure of its Northern Ireland plant. Most of the 350 people that had been employed by the company had lost their jobs following the first announcement about the firm’s future on 31 May 1985.

26 May 1988

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) met with Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what turned out to be the last in the series of ‘talks about talks’.

Sunday 26 May 1991

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a large bomb in a Protestant housing estate in Cookstown. Thirteen people were injured and over 100 houses were damaged by the explosion

Wednesday 26 May 1993

The European Court of Human Rights considered an appeal against the use, within the United Kingdom (UK), of a period of seven-day detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The Court rejected the appeal on the grounds that the situation in Northern Ireland justified the detention of suspects for longer than four days.

Monday 26 May 1997

Gransha High School in Bangor, County Down was seriously damaged in an arson attack.

Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), held a meeting in Derry with John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Following the meeting Spring said that a vote for Sinn Féin (SF) was “a vote for peace”.

This contradicted his coalition partner John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), who had previously said that a vote for SF was a vote for the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Roisín McAliskey, then being held in prison awaiting a decision about extradition, gave birth to a baby girl (5lb 13oz) at Whittington Hospital in London.

Tuesday 26 May 1998

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) took the decision not to allow the anti-agreement MP, Jeffrey Donaldson, to stand for election to the new Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held a news conference in Belfast and said that the party would not set out to wreck the Assembly. At the conference Ian Paisley, then leader of the DUP, accused the Queen of being the “parrot” of Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister.

Wednesday 26 May 1999

The Dáil introduced legislation to extend the deadline for the removal of articles 2 and 3 from the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland. Catholic Bishops called for a task force to be set up in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to study the legal and social implications of a World Health Organisation (WHO) charter on alcohol. In their pastoral, The Temperate Way, the bishops pointed out that alcohol is the major dependency problem not just in Ireland but also in Europe.

Friday 26 May 2000

Martin Taylor (35), a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was shot dead while working on wall outside a house in Ballysillan, Belfast.

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) was believed to be responsible for his killing. The killing was part of a feud between the LVF and the UVF.



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.

5  People lost their lives on the 26th  May between 1972 – 2000


26 May 1972
Margaret Young   (64)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Oxford Street, Belfast.


26 May 1973

Paul Crummey   (4)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during sniper attack on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Finaghy Road North, Belfast.


26 May 1983

Colin Carson   (31)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot outside Cookstown Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone


26 May 1983

Trevor Close   (33)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while delivering milk, Elimgrove Street, off Cliftonville Road, Belfast.


26 May 2000
Martin Taylor   (35)

Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)

 Killed by: Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
Shot while working on wall outside a house, Silverstream Park, Ballysillan, Belfast. Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud


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