28th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

28th May

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Wednesday 28 August 1968

Gerry Fitt, then an MP, tabled a House of Commons motion, which was signed by 60 Labour Party backbenchers, which criticised RUC action in Dungannon on 24 August 1968 and demanded that:

“citizens of Northern Ireland should be allowed the same rights of peaceful demonstration as those in other parts of the United Kingdom”.

 

Thursday 28 May 1970 Arms Trial Began

Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney, both former Irish government ministers, together with two other men James Kelly (Captain), then an Irish Army Intelligence Officer, and John Kelly, a Belfast Republican, were charged in a Dublin court with conspiracy to illegally import arms for use by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

It was alleged that the arms were to be smuggled to the IRA in Northern Ireland. The men denied any involvement in the affair.

[This was the first day of the ‘Arms Trial’. Blaney was found not guilty on 2 July 1970, Haughey and the others were found not guilty on 23 October 1970.

Sunday 28 February 1971

A British soldier died in Derry as a result of inhaling chemicals from fire extinguisers that were used to put out a fire inside the vehicle he was travelling in. The vehicle had been attacked with petrol bombs.

Sunday 28 May 1972

Eight people were killed when an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb prematurely exploded outside a house in Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast. Four of those killed were members of the IRA.

Tuesday 28 May 1974

Executive Collapsed, Direct Rule Resumed

Day 14 of the UWC strike

The crisis came to a head. Brian Faulkner resigned as Chief Executive following a refusal by Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to meet with representatives from the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC).

Faulkner’s Unionist colleagues also resigned. This effectively marked the end of the Northern Ireland Executive.

A large demonstration of farmers in tractors blocked the entrance to the Stormont parliament buildings and also much of the Upper Newtownards Road. News of the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive spread to the protestors. Celebrations took place in Protestant areas across the region.

[Public Records 1974 – Released 1 January 2005: Telegram from General Idi Amin Dada, then President of the Republic of Uganda, to Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister. Amin offers to host a conference in Uganda where representives of the conflict in Northern Ireland could meet.]

Friday 28 May 1976

      

David Robinson & Paul Hamill

A Catholic and a Protestant civilian were killed in a bomb attack on the Club Bar, University Road, Belfast. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Thursday 28 May 1981

 

Charles Maguire and George McBrearty

Charles Maguire (20) and George McBrearty (24), both members of the IRA, were shot dead as they approached a car on the Lone Moor Road in Derry.

The car contained undercover members of the British Army.

Mervyn Robinson

A member of the RUC was shot dead by the IRA near Bessbrook, County Armagh.

Martin Hurson, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner in the Maze Prison, joined the hunger strike to replace Brendan McLaughlin who had been taken off the strike on 26 May 1981.

Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to Northern Ireland and made a statement indicating the British government’s belief that the hunger strike was the ‘last card’ of the IRA.

Monday 28 May 1990

Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, met with Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), and Gerry Collins, then Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Sunday 28 May 1995

There was serious rioting on the Shankill Road, west Belfast. During the disturbances 17 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured.

A shot was also fired at the RUC.

Tuesday 28 May 1996

Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), met Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in Dublin after which they announced that George Mitchell, a former United States Senator, should play a key role in the proposed all-party talks.

Wednesday 28 May 1997

The civil liberties group Human Rights Watch published a report that was highly critical of the actions of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) during the events surrounding Drumcree in July 1996.

The report claimed that the RUC had used excessive force, been indiscriminate in its use of plastic bullets, failed to remove illegal roadblocks manned by the Orange Order and Loyalists, and had abandoned its “traditional policing function in some areas”.

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a meeting with representatives of the Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD), the Grand Orange Lodge, Ballynafeigh Orangemen, and the Ulster Civil Rights group.

The meeting was called to discuss the forthcoming ‘marching season’. John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), briefed the relatives of those killed on ‘Bloody Sunday’ on a report being prepared by the Irish government on the killings on 30 January 1972. Bruton said that a “grave injustice” had been done to the families of the dead.

[The report contained new information on events of the day and was eventually presented to the British government.]

Thursday 28 May 1998

Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), held a meeting with Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Following the meeting McGuinness warned against “falling into the trap of trying to make decommissioning the most important item on the agenda”. A concert featuring Elton John was held in the grounds of Stormont.

Friday 28 May 1999

Body of One of the ‘Disappeared’ Recovered

The body of Eamon Molloy, one of the ‘disappeared’ who had been missing since 1975, was found above ground in a new coffin in a cemetery in County Louth, Republic of Ireland.

Garda Síochána (the Irish police) went to the site following information given by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR). The IRA passed on information about the location of nine bodies at six sites in four counties in the Republic of Ireland.

The ICLVR was established jointly by Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Mr O’Donoghue, then Minister for Justice in the Republic of Ireland.

The discovery marked the beginning of digging at a number of locations in Counties Louth, Monaghan, Meath, and Wicklow (all in the Republic of Ireland).

see The Disappeared

There was a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in Armagh. The device broke a window and caused minor damage to the house; the family escaped unharmed. The attacked was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

 

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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 28th   between 1972 – 1986

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28 May 1972


James Teer   (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot from passing car while walking along Springfield Road, Belfast

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28 May 1972
Joseph Fitzsimmons  (17)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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28 May 1972
John McIlhone   (17)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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28 May 1972
Edward McDonnell   (29)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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28 May 1972
Martin Engelen  (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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28 May 1972
Henry Crawford  (39)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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28 May 1972
Mary Clarke   (27)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast

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28 May 1972
John Nugent   (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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28 May 1972
Geraldine McMahon  (17)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Anderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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28 May 1976


David Robinson   (23)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Killed in bomb attack on Club Bar, University Road, Belfast.

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28 May 1976


Paul Hamill   (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Killed in bomb attack on Club Bar, University Road, Belfast

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28 May 1981


Mervyn Robinson  (47)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside Wayside Inn, Whitecross, near Bessbrook, County Armagh.

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28 May 1981


Charles Maguire   (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, as he approached stationary car, Lone Moor Road, Creggan, Derry.

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28 May 1981


George McBrearty  (24)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, as he approached stationary car, Lone Moor Road, Creggan, Derry.

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28 May 1985


Gary Smith   (19)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) applicant. Shot as he parked his car Millfield, Belfast.

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28 May 1986


Brian Brown  (37)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb hidden in garage, detonated when Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) foot patrol approached, Newry Road, Kilkeel, County Down.

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