6th July – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

6th July


Monday 6 July 1970

Patrick  Hillery, then Irish Minister for External Affairs, paid an unofficial visit to the Falls Road area of Belfast. The visit was criticised by Chichester-Clark, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, and by the British government.

Tuesday 6 July 1971

Martin O’Leary

A member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) was killed in a premature explosion in County Tipperary, Republic of Ireland.

Saturday 6 July 1974

Members of the failed Executive, together with a number of Northern Ireland Office (NIO) ministers, held a meeting in Oxford with Harry Murray, then the chairman of the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC).

Sunday 6 July 1986

Riots in Portadown

The annual Orange Order parade in Portadown, County Armagh, to Drumcree Church was permitted by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to pass through the mainly Catholic Obins Street area of the town. The RUC also announced that the ‘Twelfth’ parade would be re-routed from Obins Street.

There was rioting in the town when the RUC prevented George Seawright, a Loyalist councillor, and other non-local Orangemen from entering the Catholic area

Monday 6 July 1992

– Wednesday 8 July 1992

As part of Strand Two of the political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks) there were discussions in London between the British and Irish Governments and the Northern Ireland political parties.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) also attended the discussions although three members of the party resigned in protest at the development.

Tuesday 6 July 1993

Dublin and Monaghan bombings victim

Yorkshire Television broadcast a documentary entitled ‘Hidden Hand -the Forgotten Massacre’ made as part of its ‘First Tuesday’ series. The programme dealt with the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974.

See Dublin and Monaghan bombings

[The programme came to the conclusion that the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) would have required assistance to carry out the bomb attacks. There was speculation as to where such assistance might have come from.

While no firm conclusions were reached, it was suggested that the security forces in Northern Ireland were the most likely source of help. Allegations concerning the existence of a covert British Army unit based at Castledillon were considered; as well as alleged links between that unit and Loyalist paramilitaries.

It was shown that Merlyn Rees, the former Secretary of Sate, had known of the unit’s existence.

On 15 July 1993 the UVF issued a statement in which it claimed sole responsibility for the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings.]

See Dublin and Monaghan bombings

Sunday 6 July 1997

Drumcree Parade – ‘Drumcree III’

drumcree church at night

At 3.00am the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), in large numbers, entered the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown to ensure that the path of the planned Orange Order parade was free for the marchers. Police officers sealed off both sides of the road and kept the Catholic residents hemmed into their homes and side streets. These actions sparked rioting in the area.

The RUC were supported by hundreds of British soldiers. Residents were unable to get to the local Catholic chapel and five priests celebrated an open-air mass in front of British Army armoured vehicles.

[Some people speculated that this was the first time since the ‘penal laws’ that British soldiers had prevented Catholics from attending mass.]

At 12.00pm the Orange Order parade passed along the Garvaghy Road. Approximately 1,200 Orangemen passed through the Nationalist area. Following the march there was further rioting in the Garvaghy Road and other Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland particularly in Derry and Belfast.

In Lurgan a train was stopped and two coaches were destroyed when it was set on fire. Republican paramilitaries fired shots in north Belfast and injured a Protestant teenager. A Catholic boy aged 14 was critically injured when shot in the head by a plastic bullet.

[He spent three days in a coma and was released from hospital on 22 July 1997.]

Later Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said that he had decided to force the march through the Garvaghy Road because of threats of violence by Loyalist paramilitaries.

[This was the third year in a row that the Orange Order parade at Drumcree had been the source of trouble. In 1995 the ‘Siege of Drumcree’ began on Sunday 9 July 1995 and ended on Tuesday 11 July 1995 when the residents agreed that 500 Orange men should be allowed to walk down the Garvaghy Road. In 1996 there was another ‘stand-off’ which began on Sunday 7 July 1996 and which lasted until Thursday 11 July 1996 when the RUC changed its mind and decided to force the march through the Garvaghy Road.]

See Drumcree

Monday 6 July 1998

An estimated 10,000 people gathered through the early morning hours at Drumcree, Portadown, County Armagh, to protest at the decision not to allow the Orange Order parade to pass through the mainly Catholic Garvaghy Road area of Portadown. Violence flared in a number of Loyalist areas of Northern Ireland with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) being fired at by Loyalist paramilitaries. A number of main roads across the region were blocked at different times during the day.

[Most of the roads were reopened after a few hours but were blocked again at various times during the next few days.]

A number of Catholic families were the subject of violent attacks and intimidation. A Catholic family living in Coleraine, County Derry, were lucky to escape alive when their home was petrol bombed.

A Catholic business in the town was badly damaged by Loyalists using petrol bombs. A Catholic home in Carrickfergus, Count Antrim, was attacked by a home-made bomb. The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) and a number of other ‘fringe’ Loyalist paramilitary groups were believed to be behind the attacks.

The Parades Commission ruled that the Twelfth of July Orange Order ‘feeder’ parade would be allowed to proceed along the mainly Catholic Ormeau Road in Belfast on Monday 13 July 1998.

Tuesday 6 July 1999

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) uncovered a cache of petrol bombs in Ballymena, County Antrim. The devices had been prepared by Loyalists.

Republican sources were reported as saying that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had drawn up an inventory of its weapons that it may present to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) chaired by John de Chastelain (Gen.).

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), wrote an article for The Belfast Telegraph (a Belfast based newspaper) stating that the Ulster Unionists would not reject ‘The Way Forward’ document without consideration, but that they would require further reassurances.


Lawyers acting on behalf of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry began an appeal to the High Court in London over the decision to grant anonymity to members of the Parachute Regiment. Derek Wilford, who had commanded Paratroops on Bloody Sunday, was interviewed on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 during which he described the relatives of those killed as “representing the republican organisation”.

Families of the dead reacted angrily to the remarks. The Parades commission announced that 27 parades planned for the Twelfth week would be re-routed.

See Bloody Sunday


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.

6 People lost their lives on the 6th  July between 1971 – 1998


06 July 1971

Martin O’Leary   (20)

Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
From County Cork. Died two days after being injured in premature bomb explosion at Mogul Mines, Silvermines, County Tipperary.


06 July 1973

Patrick Bracken  (27)

Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot from passing car shortly after leaving cafe, Falls Road, Belfast.


06 July 1976

Vincent Hetherington  (21)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot at side of road near Collin Glen bridge, off Glen Road, Hannahstown, Belfast. Alleged informer.


06 July 1976
Gerard Gardiner  (27)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died two weeks after being shot outside his workplace, Goodyear Tyre Factory, Craigavon, County Armagh. Off duty Ulster Defence Regiment member the intended target


06 July 1977

David Morrow   (37)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while sitting in stationary Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol car, Aughnacloy, County Tyrone.


06 July 1988
Terence Delaney   (31)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while waiting for lift to work, Bridge Street, Dromore, County Down.




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