23rd June – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

23rd June


Tuesday 23 June 1970

A five-year economic plan was published for Northern Ireland

Saturday 23 June 1973

Harold Wilson, then leader of the Labour Party, said that if the principals in the White Paper were rejected it might be necessary to reconsider the relationship between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Sunday 23 June 1985

The security service in England said that it had uncovered a plan by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to launch a bombing campaign mainly against English seaside resort towns.

Monday 23 June 1986

Northern Ireland Assembly Dissolved

The Northern Ireland Assembly was officially dissolved. A group of 200 Loyalist protesters gathered outside Stormont and when trouble erupted the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) baton-charged the crowd.

Inside the debating chamber 22 Unionist politicians refused to leave the building.

[Early the next day the RUC removed the Unionist politicians, including Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).]

Friday 23 June 1995

Prince Charles paid a visit to Northern Ireland. In Belfast he met members of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) while visiting the Shankill Road. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) launched a Unionist Labour group. The new group was supported by Michael Connarty, then Labour MP for Falkirk.

Monday 23 June 1997

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) warned 13 Catholics that their names were on a Loyalist paramilitary ‘hit list’.

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a meeting with residents from the Bogside area of Derry to discuss the ‘marching season’.

The British and Irish governments agreed to appoint a sub-committee of the talks to decide on the issue of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.

A Document on Decommissioning was published.

United Technology Automotive in Derry announced that it was closing its factory in the Creggan area of the city with the loss of all 525 jobs.

[This was a severe blow to an area of high unemployment.]

Tuesday 23 June 1998

The “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA) was thought to be responsible for an explosion at 2.30am which damaged a road near Forkhill in County Armagh. No one was hurt in the explosion which may have been targeted at the security forces.

Wednesday 23 June 1999

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, demanded “an absolute commitment to decommissioning” on the part of paramilitary groups. Blair’s comments followed confirmation that the head of the International Commission, Gen John de Chastelain, had been asked to produce a report on the arms issue by Tuesday.

Saturday 23 June 2001

Loyalists Kill Catholic Man

John Henry McCormick (25), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead in the Ballysally area of Coleraine, County Derry.

Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers said that they believed he had been shot by Loyalist paramilitaries.

[The RUC had visited McCormick on Thursday 21 June 2001 and advised him of a threat to his life. The family had been attacked with a pipe-bomb during May 2001.]

There was an annual general meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC), the policy-making body of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) repeated his threat to resign as first minister on 1 July 2001.

Trimble successfully avoided a leadership challenge and was elected unopposed by Council members


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 23rd June between 1972 – 2001


23 June 1972

Patrick McCullough  (17)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot from passing car while standing at the corner of Antrim Road and Atlantic Avenue, New Lodge, Belfast.


23 June 1987

Robert Guthrie   (41)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while driving his car into the rear entrance of Antrim Road Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Belfast.


23 June 1993

Joseph Mulhern  (24)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot by side of road, Ballymongan, near Castlederg, County Tyrone. Alleged informer.


23 June 1996
Niall Donovan   (28)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died several hours after being found stabbed, by the side of Manse Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone.


23 June 2001
John McCormick   (25)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Loughanhill Park, Ballysally, Coleraine, County Derry.



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