20th June – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

20th June

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Tuesday 20 June 1972

Secret Meeting Between IRA and British Officials

[There was a secret meeting between representatives of the Provisonal Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and officials from William Whitelaw’s office (Whitelaw was then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland). The meeting took place at 3.00pm in a country house in Ballyarnet, close to the Derry / Donegal border. The PIRA representatives were David O’Connell and Gerry (Gerard) Adams. The officials acting on behalf of William Whitelaw were P.J. Woodfield and Frank Steele (who, at the time, was actually an MI6 Intelligence Officer).]

“There is no doubt whatever that these two at least [O’Connell and Adams] genuinely want a cease fire and a permanent end to violence. Whatever pressures in Northern Ireland have brought them to this frame of mind there is also little doubt that now that the prospect of peace is there they have a strong personal incentive to try and get it. … Their appearance and manner were respectable and respectful. … Their behaviour and attitude appeared to bear no relation to the indiscriminate campaigns of bombing and shooting in which they have both been prominent leaders”.

[Public Records 1972 – Released 1 January 2003: Note of the discussions that took place during a secret meeting between officials from William Whitelaw’s office and representatives of the Provisonal Irish Republican Army (PIRA). The meeting laid the groundwork for a PIRA ceasefire and a direct (secret) meeting between the PIRA and the British government on 7 July 1972.]

Thursday 20 June 1974

Assembly By-Election There was a Northern Ireland Assembly by-election in the constituency of North Antrim. Clifford Smyth was elected.

[See detailed results.] [ Hunger Strike. ]

Wednesday 20 June 1979

Francis Sullivan (36), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead at his home in the Falls Road area of Belfast by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Wednesday 20 June 1984

Neil Kinnock, then leader of the Labour Party, said that he was in favour of a united Ireland by consent.

Friday 20 June 1986

John Hermon, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), threatened to take libel action against those in the media who accused him of being involved in the decision to remove John Stalker, then Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police, from the ‘shoot to kill’ investigation.

Tuesday 20 June 1995

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that Sinn Féin (SF) could not join full political talks unless the decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (IRA) weapons began to happen first.

Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of SF, said that:

“in reality there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of any weapons being decommissioned this side of a negotiated settlement.”

Thursday 20 June 1996

An Irish Republican Army (IRA) ‘bomb factory’ was found by Gardí near Clonasee, County Laois, Republic of Ireland. In response the Irish Government ended all contacts with Sinn Féin (SF).

Friday 20 June 1997

Patrick Kane, then serving a life sentence for the murders of corporals Derek Wood and David Howes on 19 March 1988, was cleared of the killings by the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

Mickey Timmons and John Kelly, the other members of the ‘Casement Three’, continued to insist that they were also innocent of the killings.

See Corporals Killings and the events leading up to it

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to the United States of America (USA). During the visit he said: “a moment of decision is coming for Sinn Féin (SF) and the IRA [Irish Republican Army] as to whether they want to be any part of a forward process that is going to lead to a lasting settlement for peace”.

Wednesday 20 June 2001

The Catholic Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne north Belfast was forced to close when Loyalists from the Glenbryn estate blockaded the entrance to the school. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers advised children and parents not to attempt to enter the school.

During the evening there were serious distrubances in the area around the Holy Cross school as hundreds of Loyalists and Nationalists were involved in riots with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Shots were also fired at the police during the evening. During the riots the RUC fired a number of the new ‘L21 A1’ plastic baton rounds.

[This was the first time the new rounds had been used.]

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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.

5 People lost their lives on the 20th  June between 1975 – 1981

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20 June 1975
Anthony Molloy  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Shot at his home, Ballymena Street, Oldpark, Belfast.

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20 June 1976
Edmund McNeill  (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found stabbed to death beside Ballysillan Playing Fields, Alliance Road, Belfast.

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20 June 1976
Richard Doherty   (27)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot at his home, Alexandra Park Avenue, Skegoneill, Belfast.

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20 June 1979
 Francis Sullivan   (36)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his home, Bombay Street, Falls, Belfast

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20 June 1981


Neal Quinn   (53)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while in Bridge Bar, Newry, County Down.

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