12th July – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

12th July

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Saturday 12 July 1969

As the ‘marching season’ reached its height there was serious rioting in Derry, Belfast and Dungiven. Many familles in Belfast were forced to move from their homes.

[The upsurge in violence followed a period of relative calm

Monday 12 July 1971

David Walker

A British soldier was shot dead in Belfast. The main Orange Order parades across Northern Ireland passed off relatively peacefully.

Wednesday 12 July 1972

A Protestant man was found shot dead in Portadown.

Two men, one Catholic one Protestant, were shot dead in a public house in Portadown.

Two men were shot dead in separate incidents in Belfast.

Thursday 12 July 1979

Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, criticised the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) after it had broadcast an interview with a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

[This incident was to set a pattern of confrontation between the media, particularly the broadcast media, and Conservative governments during the 1980s and 1990s.]

Thursday 12 July 1984

Twelfth in Northern Ireland 2013

The annual Orange Order ‘Twelfth’ parades took place across Northern Ireland. There was violence following the parades with attacks on security forces and shops in Derry. Catholic families were also attacked in Limavady, County Derry, in Ballymena, County Antrim, and in Ballynahinch, County Down.

During speeches at the various centres across the region leading Orange figures condemned the Report of the New Ireland Forum

Friday 12 July 1985

There was further rioting in Portadown, County Armagh, following the decision by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to re-route Orange Order and Royal Black Institution parades away from Obins Street, a mainly Catholic area of Portadown. During serious rioting between Loyalists and the RUC extensive damage was inflicted on property in the town and 52 RUC officers were injured.

Saturday 12 July 1986

There were further periods of violence following the Orange Order ‘Twelfth’ parades.

[Later the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) released figures that showed there had been 128 RUC officers and 66 civilians injured and 127 arrests made. 281 plastic baton rounds had been fired and there were 79 reported cases of intimidation.]

Brian Leonard (20), a Catholic civilian, died two days after been shot while working on a building site in Shugville Street, Shankill, Belfast. The Protestant Action Force (PAF) claimed responsibility for the killing.

[The PAF killed two more Catholic civilians during July 1986 and two in September 1986.]

Wednesday 12 July 1989

Charles Haughey was re-elected as Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). Fianna Fáil (FF) formed the new government with the support of the Progressive Democrats (PDs). This was the first occasion that FF had been part of a coalition government.

Thursday 12 July 1990

The case of the Maguire family was referred to the Court of Appeal.

Friday 12 July 1991

The results of a survey of public opinion on the political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks) was published. It showed a high level of support for the resumption of the talks (73 per cent of people questioned in Northern Ireland; 87 per cent in the Republic of Ireland; and 79 per cent in Britain). The survey was carried out by Ulster Marketing Surveys, Irish Marketing Surveys, and Gallup.

Tuesday 12 July 1994

The security forces in England seized a lorry containing over 1,800kgs of explosives at the port of Heysham, Lancashire. The explosives had been hidden in false compartments and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was considered to be responsible.

[There was speculation that the explosives would have been used in London.]

Wednesday 12 July 1995

Orange Order parades took place at a number of centres across Northern Ireland. In the lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) moved hundreds of police officers into the area to prevent Nationalist residents from protesting on the street.

Many residents were blocked inside their homes for the duration of the operation. Approximately 150 Orangemen, accompanied by four bands, left Ballynafeigh Hall at 9.30am to parade along the Ormeau Road. There were clashes between the Nationalist residents and the RUC.

A number of vehicles were hijacked and burned. During the evening there were attacks on the homes of several Catholic and Protestant families and there were arson attacks on five Orange Halls.

[ The Irish government later accused the RUC of bias in favour of the Orange Order and made a complaint to the Anglo-Irish Secretariat at Maryfield.]

Friday 12 July 1996

Ballynafeigh Orangemen were allowed to march through the Catholic lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast. There was continuing rioting in nationalist areas.

Dermot McShane (35), a Catholic man, was killed when he was run over by a British Army armoured car in Little James Street, Derry.

It was estimated that 1,000 petrol bombs were thrown and 1,000 plastic bullets were fired in Derry. John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), criticised the decision to allow the Orange march to proceed on the Garvaghy Road. He accused the British government of yielding to force and the threat of force.

Saturday 12 July 1997

The ‘Twelfth’ Orange Order parades across Northern Ireland passed off relatively peacefully with only minor incidents. There were some stones thrown in the White City area of Belfast. Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers and three soldiers were slightly injured in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) attack in north Belfast.

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), held a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and called on the IRA to announce a new ceasefire. An RUC Landrover, being used to police an Orange Order parade at Dunloy, appeared with a handpainted rat with a crown and the words “King Rat”.

billy writgt

[‘King Rat’ was the nickname of Billy Wright, then leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF). Wright was believed to have been responsible for the deaths of many innocent Catholic civilians.]

The relative of one of his victims called on the RUC to take immediate disciplinary action against the officers responsible for the painting.

See Billy Wright

Sunday 12 July 1998

Three Boys Killed at Ballymoney

Three young Catholic boys, Richard (11), Mark (10), and Jason (9) Ouinn, were burnt to death after their home, in Ballymoney, County Antrim, was petrol bombed in a sectarian attack carried out by Loyalists.

[It was later disclosed that members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) had been involved in the attack.]

Christine Quinn the boys mother, her partner, Raymond Craig, and a family friend, Christina Archibald (18) escaped from the house but they and neighbours were unable to reach the three boys. Lee Ouinn (13), the oldest son, was staying with his grandmother when the incident occurred.

[There was a general sense of shock when the news of the deaths broke and in the following days the incident was to have a major impact on the Orange Order protest at Drumcree. Although senior representatives of the Order tried to distance the organisation from the violence that had been almost continuous since the 5 July 1998, many commentators argued that the Orange Order had to accept some responsibility for the violence of its followers.]

William Bingham (Rev.), then Deputy Grand Chaplain of the Orange Order, called for the Drumcree protest to be ended and said that the 15 minute march down the Garvaghy Road would be “a hallow victory” as it would be taking place in the shadows of three little white coffins. David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Robin Eames (Dr), then Church of Ireland Primate, also called for an end to the protest.

The Orange Order rejected these and other similar calls.

[The protest at Drumcree declined following the Quinn deaths but a token protest was maintained during most of the year to July 1999.]

Monday 12 July 1999

Across Northern Ireland the Twelfth parades passed off without incident. The largest Orange parade with around 20,000 marchers proceeded through south Belfast to the Ormeau Park, keeping to a compromise route.

Other parades passed off without major incident. Legislation was put before the Westminster Parliament, designed to act as a safeguard for the decommissioning of arms and the devolution of power in Northern Ireland.

Mary McAleese, then President of the Republic of Ireland, attended a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the Republic’s first president, Douglas Hyde (Dr). She said his message was that barriers between differing traditions should not be broken down by threat or stealth.

Wednesday 12 July 2000

Andrew Cairns (22), a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was shot dead while attending “eleventh night” bonfire celebrations in Boyne Square, Larne, County Antrim.

The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were believed to have been responsible for the killing. The killing was part of a feud between the UDA and the UVF.

Thursday 12 July 2001

Serious Violence in Belfast

Orange Order parades took place across Northern Ireland. Speakers at Orange rallies across the region attacked the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

About a hundred members of the Ballynafeigh Lodge were prevented by a Parades Commission ruling from marching along the Nationalist Lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast.

The Parades Commission had also re-routed the main parade in Derry. The worst riots for a number of years took place as the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) sealed off part of the Nationalist Ardoyne area of Belfast to allow an Orange Order parade to pass close to the Catholic area.

The RUC reported that 10 officers had been injured in the disturbances. Nationalists claimed that a number of people had been injured by the RUC with at least 12 people being struck by plastic bullets.

[Senior police later accused the Irish Republican Army (IRA) of orchestrating the violence. The claim was rejected by Sinn Féin (SF).]

There was also violence in the east of Belfast when a Orange Order parade passed the Nationalist Short Strand area.

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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.

18  People lost their lives on the 12th  July between 1971 – 2000

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12 July 1971


David Walker  (30)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper, while leaving British Army (BA) observation post, Northumberland Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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12 July 1972
Paul Beattie  (19)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Found shot in entry, off Churchill Park, Portadown, County Armagh.

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12 July 1972


Jack McCabe  (48)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot at his licensed premises, McCabe’s Bar, High Street, Portadown, County Armagh.

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12 July 1972
William Cochrane  (53)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot while inside McCabe’s Bar, High Street, Portadown, County Armagh.

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12 July 1972
David McClenaghan  (15)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Southport Street, Lower Oldpark, Belfast.

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12 July 1972
Colin Poots   (21)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Found shot by Flush River, off Springfield Road, Belfast.

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12 July 1973
Frederick Davis   (28)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Found strangled in entry off Seaforde Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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12 July 1974
John Beattie   (17)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while standing on the corner of Glenrosa Street and Moyola Street, Tiger’s Bay, Belfast

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12 July 1974
Michael Browne   (16)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot, Castle grounds, Bangor, County Down.

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12 July 1975


James Carberry   (20)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, Old Templepatrick Road, Ballyutoag, near Belfast, County Antrim.

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12 July 1978


John Fisher  (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb hidden in manhole while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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12 July 1979
Michael Kearney   (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot Legakelly, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh. Alleged informer.

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12 July 1986
Brian Leonard  (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Died two days after being shot while working on building site, Snugville Street, Shankill, Belfast.

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12 July 1987


Alan McQuiston   (46)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during street disturbances, Alliance Avenue, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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12 July 1998


 Richard Quinn  (11)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed during petrol bomb attack on his home, Carnany Park, Ballymoney, County Antrim

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12 July 1998


Mark Quinn  (10)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed during petrol bomb attack on his home, Carnany Park, Ballymoney, County Antrim

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12 July 1998


Jason Quinn  (9)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed during petrol bomb attack on his home, Carnany Park, Ballymoney, County Antrim.

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12 July 2000
Andrew Cairns  (22)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot while attending eleventh night bonfire celebrations, Boyne Square, Larne, County Antrim. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

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