31st May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

31st May

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Saturday 31 August 1968

A delegation from the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) met with members of the Derry Housing Action Committee (DHAC) to discuss the proposed march.

An ad-hoc Civil Rights Committee was established to organise the march on Saturday 5 October 1968.

[The Committee did not operate as anticipated and effective control of the march fell to Eamonn McCann and Eamon Melaugh.]

Thursday 31 May 1973

Loyalist paramilitaries carried out three bomb and gun attacks on Catholic owned public houses in Belfast, killing 2 men and injuring over 20 people.

In the first attack at 8.30pm a Loyalist gunman believed to be a member of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername for the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), opened fire on customers in Muldoon’s Bar with a Sterling sub-machine gun (SMG).

A bomb was also thrown into the bar. Thomas Curry (50), a civilain sea captain from Preston in England, was killed in the attack.

[It was latter revealed that the gun used in the attack had been stolen from a Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) base on 23 October 1972 (Irish News; 3 May 2006).]

Later there was a bomb attack on McGlade’s Bar in Donegall Street in which Gerard Barnes (31), a Catholic civilian, was killed as he walked pass the bar. Members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) were believed to be responsible.

Friday 31 May 1974

Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) strike had demonstrated a rise in ‘Ulster Nationalism’ which would have to be taken into account by the Westminster government.

Thursday 31 May 1984

The Lear Fan aircraft company in Belfast announced that almost all 350 jobs at the company would end.

[The company ceased trading in May 1985. The government had invested £45 million in the firm since 1980.]

Wednesday 31 May 1989

Hugh Annesley succeeded John Hermon as the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Friday 31 May 1991

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb attack on a Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) base at Glenanne, County Armagh, and killed three UDR soldiers. The bomb, estimated at 2,000 pounds, was placed in a lorry that was then rolled down a hill and into the perimeter fence.

Wednesday 31 May 1995

Prince Charles began a two day official visit to the Republic of Ireland. It was the first official visit by a member of the British royal family since Irish independence.

While the Prince attended a reception in Dublin Castle there was a protest outside against his visit by approximately 3,000 people.

Saturday 31 May 1997

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was forced to abandon a bomb in the Poleglass area of Belfast.

John Bruton, the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), called a halt to all further contacts between officials of the Irish government and Sinn Féin (SF).

Loyalist protesters staging a picket outside the Catholic church in Harryville, Ballymena, blocked the road to deny access to the chapel. One man was arrested by the police for disorderly conduct.

 

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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.

12  People lost their lives on the 31st May between 1973 – 1993

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31 May 1973
Thomas Curry   (50)

nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
English seaman. Shot during bomb and gun attack on Muldoon’s Bar, Corporation Square, Belfast.

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31 May 1973


Gerard Barnes   (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Passerby, killed when bomb exploded outside McGlade’s Bar, Donegall Street, Belfast.

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31 May 1974
Alfred Shotter  (54)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb hidden in dustbin at his former home, Strabane Old Road, Gobnascale, Derry

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31 May 1975


Eamon Molloy   (22)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Abducted somewhere in Belfast during May 1975. Remains found, on instructions from the IRA, placed in a coffin, left above ground, in Faughart Cemetary, near Dundalk, County Louth, on 28 May 1999. Alleged informer

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31 May 1976


Frederick McLoughlin   (48)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died two weeks after being shot during gun attack on Eagle Bar, Charlemont, County Armagh. He was injured on 15 May 1976.

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31 May 1981


Colin Dunlop   (30)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while guarding patient at Royal Victoria Hospital, Falls Road, Belfast.

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31 May 1981
Michael O’Neill  (34)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in abandoned car, Drumalane Road, Newry, County Down.

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31 May 1987


Patrick Cunningham  (27)

Catholic
Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Abducted somewhere in the County Armagh area during May 1987. Found shot, in outbuilding of unoccupied farm, Errybane, near Castleblayney, County Monaghan, on 8 December 1987.

Internal Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) dispute.

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31 May 1991
Paul Blakely   (30)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb left in abandoned lorry outside Glenanne British Army (BA) base, near Mount Norris, County Armagh.

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31 May 1991


Robert Crozier (46)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb left in abandoned lorry outside Glenanne British Army (BA) base, near Mount Norris, County Armagh.

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31 May 1991


Sydney Hamilton  (44)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb left in abandoned lorry outside Glenanne British Army (BA) base, near Mount Norris, County Armagh.

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31 May 1993
Christopher Wren   (34)

Protestant
Status: Royal Irish Regiment (RIR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car while travelling along Carrydarragh Road, Moneymore, County Derry.

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