7th July – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

7th July


Friday 7 July 1972

Secret Talks Between IRA and British Government

Gerry Adams, who had been released from detention for the purpose, was part of a delegation who went to London for talks with the British Government. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) delegation held direct talks with William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and other Northern Ireland Office ministers in the Chelsea home of Mr Paul Channon, then Minister of State for the North.

The IRA delegation also included: Séamus Twomey, Seán MacStiofáin, Dáithí Ó Conaill, Ivor Bell, and Martin McGuinness.

[The talks failed and the breakdown in the IRA ceasefire finally occurred because of a dispute over the allocation of houses in the Suffolk area and the IRA and the British army became involved in gun battles in Horn Drive, Belfast.

bloody frieday

The ‘Bloody Friday’ bombings on 21 July 1972 were part of a decision by the IRA to step up its campaign with a view to trying to bring ordinary life in the city to an end.]

See Bloody Friday

Sunday 7 July 1974

Dublin and Monaghan bombings victim

A report on the Monaghan bombing investigation was completed by the Garda Síochána (the Irish police).

See Dublin & Monaghan Bomb

Monday 7 July 1975

Andrew Johnston

A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was killed by a booby-trap bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at a school in Lurgan, County Armagh.

[Public Records 1975 – Released 1 January 2006: Note by the Official Committee on Northern Ireland. The note is entitled ‘Northern Ireland: Future Policy Options’ and deals with the outcome of the Constitutional Convention.]

Sunday 7 July 1985

Drumcree Parade

drumcree church at night

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) took the decision to allow an Orange Order parade to Drumcree Church to pass through Obins Street, a mainly Catholic area of Portadown. The decision led to clashes between Nationalist protestors and the RUC.

See Drumcree

Monday 7 July 1986

The National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) published a report which opposed the routine use of strip-searching of prisoners held in Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom (UK).

Thursday 7 July 1988

A member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and two Catholic civilians were killed in a premature explosion in Belfast.

Sunday 7 July 1991

Nessan Quinlivan and Pearse McAuley resized.jpg

Nessan Quinlivan and Pearse McAuley use a gun smuggled into them to escape from Brixton Prison in England.

Thursday 7 July 1994

Prince Charles paid a visit to Derry. There were protests against the visit because of Charles’ role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment. [Soldiers of the regiment were responsible for the killings on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972.]

Sunday 7 July 1996 Drumcree Parade – ‘Drumcree II’

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) prevented a march by Portadown Orangemen from returning from Drumcree Church via the Garvaghy Road. The decision was taken by Sir Hugh Annesley, then Chief Constable of the RUC.

The reason given for the decision was to prevent public disorder but the result was to mark the start of Northern Ireland wide protests.

Protests and roadblocks began to spread across Northern Ireland. Michael McGoldrick (31), a Catholic man, was shot dead outside Lurgan. The attack bore the hallmarks of a paramilitary killing but no group claimed responsibility.

[Suspicion for the killing fell on a ‘maverick group’ from the mid-Ulster brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). This group, believed to have been led by Billy Wright (then a leading Loyalist in Portadown), went on to form the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).]

Monday 7 July 1997

Brian Morton , then a Ulster Defence Association (UDA) commander, was killed as he handled an explosive device at an arms dump in Dunmurray, near Belfast.

There was continuing widespread violence in Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland.

The Automobile Association issued a warning that the area of Newry was “completely impassable”, and a number of vehicles were hijacked in Derry and Belfast. It was estimated that the damage to property was in the region of £20 million pounds.

Over 100 people were believed to have been injured with six considered serious. By the end of the day the RUC estimated that 1,600 plastic bullets had been fired, there had been 550 attacks on the security forces, and 41 people arrested.

The fire service had received 500 calls and the ambulance service 150.

Gora Ebrahim, then a South African Member of Parliament (MP) and an independent observer, said that the scenes on the Garvaghy Road when the RUC cleared Nationalists from the road were reminiscent of police brutality in Sharpeville. He said that he believed the decision to force the parade through the area had come from a higher authority than the RUC.

Tuesday 7 July 1998

Violence continued in a number of areas of Loyalist areas of Northern Ireland. The tactic of blocking roads continued to be used, although most were reopened within a few hours. Up to 1,000 Orangemen blocked all the roads leading to the Catholic village of Dunloy, County Antrim. The County Antrim Grand Lodge said that its members had “taken up positions” and “held” the village for three hours.

 Unlike in previous years the security forces kept open the road to the International airport at Aldergrove near Belfast.]

Loyalists held a march in Portadown in support of the Orange Order. Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), addressed a rally in Portadown and said that the Twelfth of July would be “the settling day”

[His use of this phrase was to draw criticism following the events of the early hours of 12 July 1998.]

Wednesday 7 July 1999

Supporters of the Loyal Orders were blamed for a series of attacks on Catholic homes and businesses in Belfast, Ballycastle, Carrickfergus, and Woodburn. Nationalists accused the Orange Order of deliberate provocation after its decision to switch its main 12 July 1999 parade from its ‘traditional’ rallying point at Edenderry to Ormeau Park, Belfast.

The move by the Orange Order was in protest at the Parades Commission’s decision to ban the local Ballynafeigh lodge from the nationalist part of the Ormeau Road. It also brought the parade close to the mainly Catholic area of Lower Ormeau Road.

The Parades Commission re-routed a total of 27 parades that were planned for the ‘Twelfth’.

Following remarks by the actor Liam Neeson that he had been treated “like a second-class citizen” when growing up as a Catholic in Ballymena, Unionist councillors in the town reacted angrily and described his comments as “outlandish”.


George Mitchell, former Chairman of the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement, was in Belfast to launch a new reconciliation fund for Northern Ireland.


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.

7 People lost their lives on the 7th July between 1972 – 1997


07 July 1972

Samuel Robinson   (19)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot immediately after crashing into Irish Republican Army (IRA) roadblock, Cavendish Street, Falls, Belfast.


07 July 1975

Andrew Johnston  (26)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb, attached to desk at Carrick Primary School, Sloan Street, Lurgan, County Armagh.


07 July 1987
William Reynolds  (33)

Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while in pool hall, Ligoniel Road, Belfast.


07 July 1988
Seamus Woods  (23)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in premature mortar bomb explosion, during attack on Pomeroy British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.


07 July 1988

Elizabeth Hamill   (60)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in premature bomb explosion during attempted ambush of British Army (BA) foot patrol, outside Falls Baths, Falls Road, Belfast.


07 July 1988

 Eamon Gilroy (24)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in premature bomb explosion during attempted ambush of British Army (BA) foot patrol, outside Falls Baths, Falls Road, Belfast


07 July 1997
Brian Morton   (28)

Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Died in premature bomb explosion, River Lagan Towpath, by Seymour Hill, Dunmurry, near Belfast, County Antrim.




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