Tag Archives: 1969

25th July – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

25th July

Monday 25 July 1983

The Goodyear tyre company announced that it was closing a plant in Craigavon, County Armagh with the loss of 800 jobs.

Wednesday 25 July 1984

James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said “I don’t think parliament or Westminster or Great Britain is particularly concerned about the [New Ireland] Forum Report”.

Thursday 25 July 1991

The case of the ‘Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) Four’ was referred to the Court of Appeal by Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

[The four soldiers had been convicted of the murder of Adrian Carroll on 8 November 1983.]

Friday 25 July 1997

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) uncovered eight ‘coffee-jar bombs’ near Pomeroy, County Tyrone. Garda Síochána (the Irish police) discovered 20 handguns that were being smuggled into the port of Dublin.

[Security sources claimed that the guns were intended for Official Republicans based in the area of Newry, County Down.]

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held a meeting in Dublin with John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

The three men issued a joint statement in which they said that a settlement is possible “only with the participation and agreement of the Unionist people”.

Full Statment

Joint statement issued by Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach, John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF) on 25 July 1997, following a meeting in Dublin.

“We are all committed to the achievement of lasting peace and reconciliation on this island based on justice and equality.

All-party engagement in inclusive political dialogue at this time is needed for the purpose of achieving agreement between all sections of the Irish people. We reiterate that we are totally and absolutely committed to exclusively democratic and peaceful methods of resolving our political problems. We recognise that ultimately we can resolve this problem only with the participation and agreement of the Unionist people.

All three of us endorse the principles set out in the Report of the New Ireland Forum and those that were agreed in the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation. The challenge is to find the structures that will protect and accommodate the equal rights and identities of both unionists and nationalists, and that can obtain the consent and allegiance of all.

We look forward to the opening of substantive all-party negotiations on 15 September. We have agreed to strengthen opportunities for consultation between the Irish government and parties to the talks.”

 

The three also reaffirmed their commitment to a peaceful solution to the conflict. Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), went to the Maze Prison to hold a meeting with Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners. After the meeting McGuinness said that the prisoners supported the renewal of the IRA ceasefire.

Following direct discussions between representatives of the Orange Order and Nationalist residents in Castlewellan, County Down, agreement was reached on a contentious parade in the village.

Nationalists decided to cancel a planned protest against the parade once agreement was reached on details of the march.

Brendan Smyth, previously a Catholic priest, was sentenced in a Dublin court to 12 years imprisonment for sexually abusing children. Smyth had previously served a sentence in Northern Ireland for similar offences

 

Loyalist_News_250770r

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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.

4 People lost their lives on the 25th  July between 1972 – 1989

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25 July 1972

James Kenna,  (19)

Protestant

Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)

Shot while walking at the junction of Roden Street and Clifford Street, Belfast.

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25 July 1976

Patrick McNeice,  (54)

Catholic Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)

Shot at his home, Ardress, near Loughgall, County Armagh.

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25 July 1988

UVF kill IRA man Brendan Davidson

Brendan Davison, (33)

Catholic

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)

Shot at his home, Friendly Way, Markets, Belfast.

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 25 July 1989

Alexander Bell,  (39)

Protestant

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)

Died 18 days after being injured in land mine attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) armoured patrol car, Red Arch Bay, near Cushendall, County Antrim.


Spotlight

Glenanne Gang

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Glenanne Gang
Fields near Glenanne - geograph.org.uk - 1564620.jpg

Fields near the farm where the gang was based (Ballylane townland, near Glenanne, County Armagh)
Active 1972–1980
Ideology Ulster loyalism
Leaders John Weir
Billy McCaughey
Billy Hanna
Robin Jackson
Harris Boyle
Headquarters Glenanne,
County Armagh,
Northern Ireland
Area of operations Mainly County Armagh and east County Tyrone
Strength Over 40 known members
Part of Ulster Volunteer Force
Opponents Irish republicans and Irish nationalists

Location of Glenanne farm in Northern Ireland.

Glenanne
Glenanne (Northern Ireland)

The Glenanne gang or Glenanne group was a secret informal alliance of Ulster loyalists, mostly from Northern Ireland, who carried out shooting and bombing attacks against Catholics and nationalists during the Troubles, beginning in the 1970s.

Most of its attacks took place in the “murder triangle” area of counties Armagh and Tyrone.  It also launched some attacks elsewhere in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland.

Lethal Allies claims that permutations of the group killed about 120 people – almost all of whom were “upwardly mobile” Catholic civilians with no links to Irish republican paramilitaries.

The Cassel Report investigated 76 killings attributed to the group and found evidence that British soldiers and RUC officers were involved in 74 of those. John Weir claimed his superiors knew he was working with loyalist militants but allowed it to continue.

The Cassel Report also said that some senior officers knew of the crimes but did nothing to prevent, investigate or punish . It has been alleged that some key members were double agents working for British military intelligence and RUC Special Branch.

Attacks attributed to the group include the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the Miami Showband killings, and the Reavey and O’Dowd killings.  Many of the victims were killed at their homes or in indiscriminate attacks on Catholic-owned pubs with guns and/or bombs. Some were shot after being stopped at fake British Army checkpoints, and a number of the attacks were co-ordinated.

When it wished to “claim” its attacks, the group usually used the name “Protestant Action Force“. The name “Glenanne gang” has been used since 2003 and is derived from the farm at Glenanne (near Markethill, County Armagh) that was used as the gang’s main ‘base of operations’.

It also made use of a farm near Dungannon.


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15th November – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

15th November

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Saturday 15 November 1975

During a disturbance involving members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at the Park Bar in Tiger’s Bay, Belfast, a Protestant civilian was shot dead. The fracas was part of an ongoing feud between the UDA and the UVF. A Catholic civilian died almost one year after being injured in a Loyalist bomb attack in Crossmaglen.

Friday 15 November 1985

Anglo-Irish Agreement Signed Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, and Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) at Hillsborough, County Down, on behalf of the two governments. The first part of the document stated:

“The two Governments (a) affirm that any change in the status of Northern Ireland would only come about with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland.”

The Agreement established the Inter-Governmental Conference that for the first time gave the Irish government a consultative role in matters related to security, legal affairs, politics, and cross-border co-operation. The Agreement also stated that the two governments would support any future wish by the people of Northern Ireland to enter into a united Ireland.

Many Nationalists saw this as an important development. Unionists were outraged at the Agreement and began a long campaign to have the AIA removed.

[The AIA was only superseded when the Good Friday Agreement was implemented on 2 December 1999.]

Loyalist paramilitaries also reacted and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) declared all members of the Anglo-Irish Conference and Secretariat to be ‘legitimate targets’.

Ian Gow, then British Treasury Minister, resigned in protest at the signing of the Agreement.

Saturday 15 November 1986

Unionist Rally Against AIA Unionists and Loyalists held a large demonstration in front of Belfast City Hall to protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) on the first anniversary of the signing of the Agreement. Following the demonstration some shops in the centre of the city were damaged when Loyalists clashed with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Thursday 15 November 1990

Gerry Adams, then leader of Sinn Féin (SF), made a response to Peter Brooke’s speech of the 9 November 1990.

Tuesday 15 November 1988

Protests organised by Unionists against the Anglo-Irish Agreement were less well supported than previous years.

Wednesday 15 November 1989

Unionist protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement drew very little support.

Friday 15 November 1991

Two Irish Republican Army (IRA) members were killed when the bomb they were carrying exploded prematurely in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

Sunday 15 November 1992 

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) attempted to plant a large bomb, estimated at 1,000 pounds, at Canary Wharf in London but were prevented by security men.

Monday 15 November 1993

The Belfast Telegraph (a Northern Ireland newspaper) carried a report that Sinn Féin (SF) had held face-to-face meetings with senior British Government officials and exchanged documents about how to end IRA violence. One source described the talks as ‘protracted’ but that they were ended by June. SF refused to deny the claims, but the British Government flatly rejected them.

[Confirmation of the secret talks broke in the United Kingdom (UK) media on 28 November 1993.]

John Major, then British Prime Minister, made a keynote speech on Northern Ireland to an audience at the Guildhall in London. He said that the opportunity for peace in Northern Ireland was better than at any time for many years

Wednesday 15 November 1995

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), speaking in Washington called for a Bosnia style peace talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

Saturday 15 November 1997

Sinn Féin (SF) held a meeting in Cullyhanna, south Armagh. Francie Molloy, then a member of SF’s talks team, told the meeting that if the Stormont negotiations were to collapse then “we simply go back to what we know best”.

[Many people took this to be a reference to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ending its ceasefire and the comments sparked controversy.]

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), addressed the party’s annual conference and said that “equality of allegiance” was the key to political progress. He said that he wanted agreement with Unionists and “their allegiance as well as ours” was required for a solution to the problems of Northern Ireland.

Monday 15 November 1999

George Mitchell, then chairman of the Review of the Agreement, issued a statement which indicated that a formula to overcome the decommissioning and devolution impasse had almost been achieved. John de Chastelain, then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), issued a report which called upon “the paramilitary organisations to respond positively by appointing authorised representatives” to deal with the issue of decommissioning.

A man was shot in the leg in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack in the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast. Loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for the attack. A pipe bomb was thrown by Loyalists at the home of a Catholic family in north Belfast. Hillhall Presbyterian church hall in Lisburn, County Down, was destroyed in an arson attack.

An appeal case on behalf of Lee Clegg, then a soldier in the Parachute Regiment, began in Belfast.

Lee Clegg

The appeal was against his four year sentence for attempting to wound Martin Peake on 30 September 1990. On 11 March 1999 Clegg won his retrial for the murder of Karen Reilly in the same incident. [Clegg had been released from prison in 1995.] The National Development Plan for the Republic of Ireland was launched at Dublin Castle by Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), who said it was “an investment on a scale never seen before in our history”. More than half of the allocated £40.6 billion was to be invested in infrastructure, including roads, public transport, housing, water and sewerage, with the largest single allocation (£6 billion) going towards social and affordable housing.

Wednesday 15 November 2000

Ten homes had to be evacuated after a pipe-bomb was discovered outside a house in Glendun Close in Portrush, County Antrim, following a telephone warning. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) said they had not established a motive for the attack but added they did not believe it was sectarian. British Army (BA) explosives experts defused the device.

Thursday 15 November 2001

Six people were arrested in London and Liverpool, England, under the Terrorism Act. The arrests were believed to be in connection with recent bomb attacks in England by the “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA).

[Following the arrests police began a search of a disused farm in Tingley village, West Ardsley, near Leeds. A seventh person was arrested on Sunday 18 November 2001.]

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the grounds of Stormont in Belfast,

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh paid a one-day visit to Northern Ireland. The Queen visited the Waterside area of Derry (her last visit to the city was in 1953), Hillsborough Castle, Lisburn, and Banbridge.

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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.

11  People lost their lives on the 15th November between 1972 – 1992

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15 November 1972
George Doherty,   (32)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Sintonville Avenue, Strandtown, Belfast.

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15 November 1973


Michael McVerry,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot during gun attack on Keady British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

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15 November 1974


Anthony Simmons,   (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Fountain Street, Strabane, County Tyrone.

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15 November 1975


Thomas Haddock,   (51)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot during fracas in Park Bar, Lawther Street, Tiger’s Bay, Belfast. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

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15 November 1976


George Lutton,  (41)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on Ulster Defence Regiment foot patrol, Church Place, Lurgan, County Armagh.

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15 November 1981


Thomas McNulty,   (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot from passing motorcycle while standing in Thompson Street, Short Strand, Belfast

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15 November 1985


David Hanson,  (24)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on joint British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, Blaney Road, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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15 November 1989


Robert Glover, (37)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car which exploded while travelling along road, Killymaddy, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone. Contractor to British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

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15 November 1991


Francis Ryan,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature explosion while carrying bomb along St Peter’s Street, St. Albans, Herts. England.

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15 November 1991
Patricia Black,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature explosion while carrying bomb along St Peter’s Street, St. Albans, Herts. England.

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15 November 1992


Alan Corbett,   (25)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper,while at Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Belcoo, County Fermanagh.

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10th November – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

10th November

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Monday 10 November 1975

The ‘incident centre’ in Derry was blown up in a bomb attack carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The IRA in the city was opposed to the truce.

Monday 10 November 1986

Ulster Resistance Formed Loyalists held a closed meeting at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. The main speakers at the meeting were Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Peter Robinson of the DUP, and Ivan Foster. During the meeting a new organisation, Ulster Resistance, was formed to ‘take direct action as and when required’ to end the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [Ulster Resistance was to take the place of the ‘Ulster Clubs’ that had been formed on 2 November 1985.]

Saturday 10 November 1990

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed two members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and two civilians in County Armagh.

Tuesday 10 November 1992

End of Political Talks Unionists withdrew from the political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks) and brought the process to an end. Their action was provoked by the restart of work by the Maryfield secretariat for the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC). Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that informal party contacts would continue.

[The talks had lasted two years and had cost an estimated £5 million.]

Thursday 10 November 1994

Frank Kerr (54), a Catholic civilian who was a Post Office worker in a sorting office, was shot dead during a robbery. The shooting happened in Clanrye Street, Newry, County Down.

[On 20 November 1994 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) admitted that its members had been responsible though it claimed the killing had not been sanctioned by the Army Council of the IRA. Reacting to the killing the Irish government suspended the release of nine Republican prisoners due on 11 November 1994. The prisoners were later released on 22 December 1994.]

Friday 10 November 1995

Garda Síochána (the Irish police) arrested two men after seizing explosives, estimated at 1,500 pounds (700kgs), about one mile from the County Armagh border. [Further bomb making equipment and ammunition were found at a farm near Castleblayney, County Monaghan, in the following week.]

Sunday 10 November 1996

The possibility of an election pact between Sinn Féin (SF) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was discussed at the SDLP annual conference. It was decided that arrangements could only be entered into after an Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire.

Tuesday 10 November 1998

A delegation from Sinn Féin (SF) travelled to London for talks with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, about what they saw as the stalled peace process. On his first official visit to the Republic, the Duke of Edinburgh referred to “these rather artificial divisions between North and South”. [The visit was seen as an attempt to normalise relationships between the Republic of Ireland and Britain and was believed to path the way for a visit by the Queen at some future date.]

Tuesday 9 November 1999

John Paul and Phillip McGroarty appeared at Limavady Courthouse, County Derry, charged with the murder of Jonathon Cairns in Ballykelly, County Derry, in April 1999. The killing of the teenager was not believed to have been sectarian. A crowd of people outside the courthouse tried to attack the accused as they were taken away.

Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, gave a speech about political developments at a lunch for the Ireland Fund of Great Britain.

Wednesday 10 November 1999

A pipe-bomb with a jar of nails attached to it was discovered on the windowsill of a house in Dromara Street, off the mainly Nationalist lower Ormeau Road in south Belfast. One woman was in the house at the time. The device was later made safe by an Army bomb disposal team. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries

Friday 10 November 2000

The Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings wrote a letter to Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, seeking assistance with matters related to the Inquiry.

See Dublin and Monaghan bombings

[Further correspondence took place throughout 2001 but no information was supplied by the British government until 26 February 2002.]

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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.

12  People lost their lives on the 10th November between 1972 – 1994

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10 November 1972
Ronald Kitchen,  (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while at British Army (BA) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Oldpark Road, Belfast.

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10 November 1974
John McQuitty,  (41)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot at his home, Clovelly Street, off Springfield Road, Belfast.

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10 November 1975
Joseph Nesbitt,   (53)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper, while travelling in his car to Gough British Army (BA) base, Armagh, at Caramoyle, near Keady, County Armagh .

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10 November 1981


Charles Neville,  (56)

Protestant
Status: ex-Ulster Defence Regiment (xUDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot as he left his workplace, Industrial Estate, Loughgall Road, Armagh.

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10 November 1982
Charles Spence,  (44)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while leaving his workplace, Customs Office, Armagh.

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10 November 1983


William Fitzpatrick,  (46)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his home, Ballymartin, near Annalong, County Down.

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10 November 1986


Derek Patterson,   (39)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Off duty. Shot outside friend’s home, Fitzroy Avenue, off Ormeau Road, Belfast.

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10 November 1990


David Murphy,   (50)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while wildfowling, Castor Bay, near Morrows Point, Lough Neagh, County Armagh.

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10 November 1990


Thomas Taylor,   (49)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while wildfowling, Castor Bay, near Morrows Point, Lough Neagh, County Armagh.

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10 November 1990

Norman Kendall,  (44)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot, while wildfowling, with off duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) members, Castor Bay, near Morrows Point, Lough Neagh, County Armagh.

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10 November 1990


Keith Dowey,   (30)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot, while wildfowling, with off duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) members, Castor Bay, near Morrows Point, Lough Neagh, County Armagh.

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10 November 1994


Frank Kerr,  (54)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot, during armed robbery at his workplace, postal sorting office, Clanrye Street, Newry, County Down.

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5th November – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

5th November

Tuesday 5 November 1968

Civil Rights Campaign

Sunday 5 November 1972

Maire Drumm,

Maire Drumm, then vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), was arrested in the Republic of Ireland. There is a ministerial re-shuffle of posts at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

Friday 5 November 1982

In the United States of America (USA) a court acquitted five men of charges of conspiring to ship arms to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during 1981. The men used the defence that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had approved the shipment of arms although this was denied.

Tuesday 5 November 1991

At a football match at Windsor Park in Belfast, the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), threw a grenade at the supporters of the Cliftonville team.

[Supporters of Cliftonville are perceived as being mainly Catholic. The UFF said the attack was in retaliation for the bombing on 2 November 1991.]

Sunday 5 November 1995

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that the British government had subverted the peace process to the point where it no longer existed.

Tuesday 5 November 1996

Bill Clinton won the American presidential election to secure a second term in office.

Wednesday 5 November 1997

There was a gun attack on the headquarters of Sinn Féin (SF) on Andersontown Road, Belfast. No one was hurt during the attack.

[It was later claimed that Brendan Campbell, an alleged drug dealer had carried out the attack. Campbell was killed by Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD), which is considered to be a covername used by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), on 10 February 1998.]

Dick Spring, formerly the Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), resigned as leader of the Irish Labour Party.

[Spring had proved a successful leader of the Labour Party and was a key figure in recent initiatives in Northern Ireland. It was believed that one reason for his decision to resign was the poor result achieved by the Labour candidate in the Presidential election on 30 October 1997. Ruairi Quinn was elected as the new leader of the party on 13 November 1997.]

Friday 5 November 1999

The Parades Commission issued a determination which re-routed a planed parade by the Orange Order on Poppy Day. The Orange Order had applied to march through the mainly Nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown, County Armagh. Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), made a speech at the party’s annual conference in Belfast.

Monday 5 November 2001

A man and a youth were injured in separate paramilitary ‘punishment’ shootings. The man (19) was shot in both legs in an attack in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, at approximately 7.15pm (1915GMT). In the other attack a teenager (16) was shot in one leg at Cavehill Road, north Belfast, at around 9.30pm (2130GMT).

The Northern Ireland Assembly met to debate the motion on the election of David Trimble as First Minister and Mark Durkan as Deputy First Minister. The move followed a series of meetings over the weekend between pro-Agreement parties and John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

[There was a plan that some MLAs from the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) would redesignate from ‘Other’ to ‘Unionist’, for a period of 24 hours, and vote in favour of Trimble and Durkan for the two posts. However, anti-Agreement Unionists used a procedural device (a ‘petition of concern’) to postpone the vote on the two motions although the actual debates could go ahead. The voting on the two motions took place on Tuesday 6 November 2001.]

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) took legal action in Belfast High Court against John Reid’s decision not to call fresh elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The deadline for the election of a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister had been midnight on Saturday 3 November. The action was dismissed but the DUP returned to the High Court on Thursday 8 November 2001.

Loyalist protesters at the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School said that they had reached an “understanding” with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) over the weekend. As a result of which the police were not wearing full riot gear when the protest took place. The residents had undertaken to stand back from police vehicles. A representative of Catholic parents on the Right to Education Group said: “The police should have sat down with both sides to talk about this”.

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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.

3 People lost their lives on the 5th November between 1975 – 1983

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05 November 1975
Stanley Irwin,   (26)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot at his farm, Carrowbeg, Benburb, County Tyrone.

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05 November 1979


Thomas Gilhooley,   (25)

Protestant
Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while leaving Crumlin Road Prison, Belfast.

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05 November 1983


 John McFadden,  (50)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Bamford Park, Rasharkin, County Antrim.

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9th October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles 

9th October 

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Wednesday 9 October 1968

People’s Democracy Formed 2,000 students from the Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB) tried to march to Belfast City Hall to protest against ‘police brutality’ on the 5 October 1968 in Derry. The marched was blocked by a counter demonstration led by Ian Paisley. A three-hour sit-down demonstration followed the blocking of the march.

Bernadette Devlin

[Following the events of the day the People’s Democracy (PD) organisation was formed. PD became an important force in the civil rights movement and a number of those who were leading members in the organisation, for example Bernadette Devlin and Michael Farrell, became prominent political activists.]

The Derry Citizen’s Action Committee (DCAC) was formed from five protest organisations which had been active in the city. Ivan Cooper was the first chairman and John Hume the first vice-chairman of the DCAC.

[ Political Developments; Civil Rights Campaign; Derry March. ]

Thursday 9 October 1969

James Callaghan, then British Home Secretary, made a second visit to Northern Ireland between 9 and 10 October 1969. Following meetings between Callaghan and the Stormont government, plans for further reforms were agreed in a communiqué. The matters covered included: the establishment of a central housing authority; reforms to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in light of the Hunt Report; reforms to the legal system; and the issue of fair employment.

Saturday 9 October 1971

A woman was killed when Loyalist paramilitaries planted a bomb in a pub in Belfast.

Tuesday 9 October 1973

Representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), met again at Stormont Castle, Belfast for further talks. The parties announced that they had reached agreement on an economic and social programme.

Thursday 9 October 1975

A British soldier was killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) land mine attack near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb outside the Green Park Underground Station in London and killed one person and injured 20 others.

Monday 9 October 1978

[ Ill-treatment of detainees by police; Law Order; Hunger Strike. ]

Tuesday 9 October 1990
 A British Army undercover team shot dead two Irish Republican Army (IRA) members on a farm near Loughgall, County Armagh.

See SAS Loughgall

Wednesday 9 October 1991
The Conservative Party held its annual conference. Delegates praised the efforts of Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to find an agreement, and they also recognised the need for an ‘Irish dimension’ in any settlement. The conference also pledged support for Conservative candidates contesting elections in Northern Ireland.

Saturday 9 October 1993


John Taylor, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP), called on Loyalist paramilitaries to end their campaign of violence.

Monday 9 October 1995
 Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that SF was committed to “the democratic and peaceful process”. He went on to state that: “It is self-evident that threats of any description from any quarter have no role in any such process.”

Wednesday 9 October 1996
 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement stating that Diarmuid O’Neill (21), who was shot dead by British security personnel in London on 23 September 1996, was one of their volunteers.

Thursday 9 October 1997
David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), spoke at a fringe meeting of the Conservative and said that he had “no expectation of an agreement between Unionists of any shape and Sinn Féin”. The meeting was organised by the group ‘Friends of the Union’. Andrew McKay, then Conservative spokesperson on Northern Ireland, also spoke at the meeting and said that if the Labour Party did not follow the policies established by John Major it might mean an end to the bipartisan approach to the region in the House of Commons.

Friday 9 October 1998
Members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) opposed to the Good Friday Agreement set up the ‘Union First’ pressure group within the party.

Saturday 9 October 1999
David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), defended the Good Friday Agreement and criticised anti-Agreement elements within the UUP at the part conference in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. Anti-agreement dissidents warned the conference against any compromise on Sinn Féin’s entry into the Executive without prior decommissioning. The conference unanimously passed a motion dismissing the Patten recommendations on the RUC as a threat to security.

Monday 9 October 2000

 The BBC Panorama programme named four men living in the Republic of Ireland which it claimed were responsible for the Omagh bombing on 15 August 1998 in which 29 people died.

Tuesday 9 October 2001
Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of SF, travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meetings with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister. The meeting was requested by SF to discuss the impass in the peace process. Following the meeting Adams said that the institutions (of government) would collapse if Unionists withdrew from the Executive.
The Loyalist protest continued outside the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Aidan Troy (Fr.), then chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, said that he was considering taking legal action to try to end the protest: “The weeks of suffering for these small girls were never justified. … This is no longer a legitimate protest; it is a form of child abuse.”

The cost of policing the Loyalist protest at the school was reported as having reached £1 million.
Mark Durkan (Social Democratic and Labour Party; SDLP), then Minister of Finance and Personnel, called on Republicans to save the peace process by beginning the process of decommissioning.  There was speculation in some of the media that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was considering a move on decommissioning. The British and Irish governments expressed doubt over the speculation.
A man (30s) was shot in both legs in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack in Castlewellan, County Down. He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, where his condition was described as “serious but not life threatening”.

——————————————————————————

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.

10 People lost their lives on the 9th October  between 1971 – 1992

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09 October 1971


Winifred Maxwell,  (45)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in bomb attack on Fiddler’s House Bar, Durham Street, Belfast

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09 October 1975
Edward Gleeson,   (28) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) Armoured Personnel Carrier, Lurgancullenboy, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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09 October 1975
 Graham Tuck,   (23) nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb explosion outside Green Park Underground Station, London

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09 October 1976


Yvonne Dunlop,  (26)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed during incendiary bomb attack on her shop, Alley Katz Boutique, Bridge Street, Ballymena, County Antrim.

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09 October 1976
Sean McCrystal,  (41)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found beaten to death and on fire, in entry between Bridge Street and Prospect Place, Ballymena, County Antrim.

————————————————————–

09 October 1987


Francisco Notarantonio,  (66)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Former internee. Shot at his home, Whitecliff Parade, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

————————————————————–

09 October 1989
Thomas Gibson,  (28)

Protestant
Status: British Army Territorial Army (TA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Also member of Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Shot while sitting in his stationary car, Bank Square, Kilrea, County Derry.

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09 October 1990


Desmond Grew,   (37)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, at derelict farmhouse, Lislasley Road, near Loughgall, County Armagh.

————————————————————–

09 October 1990


Martin McCaughey,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, at derelict farmhouse, Lislasley Road, near Loughgall, County Armagh.

————————————————————–

09 October 1992
Michael Anderson, (37)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Red Hand Commando (RHC)
Shot at his workplace, a conservation project beside Connswater River, off Mersey Street, Belfast. Alleged informer.

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30th September – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

30th September

Monday 30 September 1968

  Civil Rights Campaign; Derry March

Wednesday 30 September 1970

A Protestant man was shot and killed by Loyalists in Belfast.

[‘Lost Lives’ claimed that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was responsible.]

Thursday 23 September 1971

Two members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) were killed in a premature bomb explosion.

Thursday 30 September 1971

Ian Paisley and Desmond Boal launched the Ulster Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Saturday 30 September 1972

Five people died in separate incidents in Belfast. A sixth person died later as a result of injuries received on the day.

Friday 30 September 1988

See SAS Gibraltar Page

An inquest held in Gibraltar  decided that the Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers who shot dead three Irish Republican Army (IRA) members on 6 March 1988 had acted lawfully. There was conflicting evidence on whether or not the IRA members had been given a warning before being shot.

Sunday 30 September 1990

‘Joy riders’ Shot Dead Martin Peake (17) and Karen Reilly (18), both Catholic civilians, were shot dead by British Army paratroopers in Belfast. The two teenagers were travelling (‘joy riding’) in a stolen car. At the time it was claimed that the stolen car had failed to stop at an army check point and struck a member of the army foot patrol.

[Later it was revealed that the injuries suffered by the soldier were deliberately inflicted after the incident by another soldier. In June 1993 Lee Clegg, a private in the Parachute Regiment, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Clegg’s subsequent early release and return to his regiment caused uproar in the nationalist community.]

Wednesday 30 September 1992

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) returned to the resumed political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks) at Stormont. The DUP attended this section of the talks because the main business was Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution.

[The DUP were criticised as having an ‘a la carte’ approach to the talks.]

Saturday 30 September 1995

Sinn Féin (SF) held a special one-day conference to review the peace process in the RDS, Dublin, attended by approximately 800 members. The delegates supported the SF leadership’s position that there was “no other

Tuesday 30 September 1997

Format of Negotiations Agreed at Talks The parties involved in the talks at Stormont agreed the format for the substantive negotiations. The talks would take place in three strands. The first strand would deal with arrangements for government in Northern Ireland, the second would look at relationships between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and the third would look at the relationships between Britain and Ireland.

The substantive talks were due to begin on 7 October 1997. Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, addressed the Labour Party’s annual conference and announced that internment would be removed form the statute books. William Hague, then leader of the Conservative Party, paid his first official visit to Northern Ireland but did not meet any political leaders.

Wednesday 30 September 1998

Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), announced that a number of British Army installations and check-points were to be demolished. There was a further series of releases under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), addressed a meeting of the of the Labour Party conference in Blackpool, England. Mallon, while acknowledging that there was no pre-condition to Sinn Féin’s (SF) entry into an Executive, nevertheless called on the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to make a confidence building gesture.

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), also addressed the meeting and stated that the row over decommissioning had the potential to wreck the Good Friday Agreement.

Thursday 30 September 1999

See below for more details on Robert Hamill Killing

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided not to charge any Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer in connection with the killing of Robert Hamill following a beating he received on 29 April 1997. Hamill was severely beaten in a sectarian attack by a gang of up to 30 loyalists in the centre of Portadown, County Armagh, and he died from head injuries on 8 May 1997.

Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were present close to the scene of the attack and were accused by witnesses and Hamill’s family of not intervening to save him. Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), travelled to Dublin for a meeting at his request with Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).

The meeting was called to discuss a series of attacks that had occurred on Free Presbyterian churches in the Republic of Ireland. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) launched a three year strategic plan part of which was to involve the drafting of a Bill of Rights.`


Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the follow  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

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.

  16 People lost their lives on the 30th September  between 1970 – 1992

————————————————————–

30 September 1970
David Murray,  (49)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Wilton Street, Shankill, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


Patricia McKay,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during attempted attack on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Ross Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


Francis Lane,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot on waste ground, Glencairn Road, Glencairn, Belfast.

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30 September 1972
John Kelly,  (43)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Died three days after being shot during altercation between local people and British Army (BA) patrol, Tullagh Park, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


Thomas Rudman,   (20) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Ladbrooke Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


Patrick McKee,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in car bomb attack outside Conlon’s Bar, Smithfield, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


James Gillen,   (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Injured in car bomb attack outside Conlon’s Bar, Smithfield, Belfast. He died 17 October 1972.

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30 September 1972


Joseph Lynskey,   (45)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Went missing from the Beechmount area, Belfast, during August/September 1972. Presumed killed. Body never found.

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30 September 1974


Ralph Laverty,   (55)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his workplace, bakery, Orby Road, Bloomfield, Belfast.

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30 September 1974
John Cameron,  (57)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Elimgrove Street, off Cliftonville Road, Belfast. Mistaken for a Catholic neighbour.

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30 September 1978


James Taylor,   (23)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) member, Ballygoney Road, near Coagh, County Tyrone.

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30 September 1980
Robert Shields,  (44)

Protestant
Status: ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (xRUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his workplace, ambulance depot, Royal Victoria Hospital, Falls Road, Belfast.

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30 September 1982


Gerard O’Neill,   (28)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his workplace, Rosetta petrol station, Ormeau Road, Belfast.

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30 September 1990


Martin Peake,  (17) Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while travelling in stolen car, Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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30 September 1990


Karen Reilly,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while travelling in stolen car, Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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30 September 1992


Harry Black,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while in friend’s home, Annadale Flats, Ballynafeigh, Belfast.

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————————————————————————————————————————————-

Death of Robert Hamill

Robert Hamill

Robert Hamill was an Irish Catholic civilian who was beaten to death by a loyalist mob in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Hamill and his friends were attacked on 27 April 1997 on the town’s main street. It has been claimed that the local Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), parked a short distance away, did nothing to stop the attack. At the time of the murder, tension between loyalists (mainly Protestants) and Irish nationalists (mainly Catholics) was high, mostly due to the ongoing Drumcree parade dispute.

Death

Hamill and his friends were attacked by a group of loyalists while walking home from St. Patrick’s dance hall at about 1.30 a.m on 27 April 1997.[1][2] After walking along Market Street from the dance hall, they came to the intersection of Market and Thomas Streets in Portadown, where they were attacked.[1][2] Hamill and his friend, Gregory Girvan, were kicked by the crowd while their attackers shouted abuse at them and Robert Hamill was knocked unconscious almost immediately.[2] Girvan’s wife and sister, Joanne and Siobhán Garvin, respectively, called for help from four RUC officers sitting in a Land Rover about twenty feet away from the attack, but they did not intervene to stop the attack.[2] The assault lasted about ten minutes, leaving both men unconscious.[1] Just before the ambulance arrived, one of the RUC men got out of the Land Rover and told Garvin to put Robert into the recovery position.

Robert Hamill never regained consciousness and died of his injuries eleven days later on 8 May 1997, aged 25.[1] The cause of his death was recorded as “Diffuse Brain Injury associated with Fracture of Skull due to Blows to the Head”.[1] Six people were arrested after Robert Hamill’s death, but only one was eventually tried for his murder.[2]

Investigation

Trial of Paul Hobson

Paul R. Hobson was charged with murder, but found not guilty, though he was found guilty of unlawful fighting and causing an affray and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. The case under which Hobson was prosecuted is questionable as the main witness, Constable Atkinson of the then RUC, was at one stage a suspect in conspiracy to cause murder in the same case. His solicitor also did not use crucial evidence in the case to cross-examine witnesses.[2][3] Mr. Justice McCollum said during his verdict that the killing was a sectarian act, with a very large number of loyalists attacking a small number of nationalists, but that he could not decide whether the RUC men had left their Land Rover or not during the attack.

Allegations of police collusion

The RUC have been criticised for initially claiming in press releases that there was a riot between two large groups; then afterwards claiming it was a large group attacking a group of four.[1][2] Rosemary Nelson was solicitor for the Hamill family until she was assassinated by a loyalist car bomb in Lurgan.[1]

There have been allegations of collusion between the RUC and suspects.[1][4] A public inquiry is currently being held on the recommendation of Cory Collusion Inquiry.[5]

New charges

In December 2010 it was announced that three people, including a former RUC officer, were to be charged in relation to Robert Hamill’s death

4th September – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles 

4th September

Wednesday 4 September 1974

Brian Faulkner and a group of his supporters launched the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (UPNI).

Saturday 4 September 1976

There was a Peace People’s rally in Derry which was attended by approximately 2500 people. [During the following weeks there were a number of rallies all over Ireland and Britain. Ciaran McKeown directed the movement. The Peace People were criticised by both Republicans and Loyalists and some of those taking part suffered intimidation.]

Friday 4 September 1981

The family of Matt Devlin, then on day 52 of his hunger strike, intervened and asked for medical treatment to save his life.

Wednesday 4 September 1985

A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, was seriously damaged in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) mortar attack. The base was used to train new recruits.

Saturday 4 September 1993 to Saturday 11 September 1993

There was a suspension in Irish Republican Army (IRA) attacks for one week. Commentators believed this was done to coincide with a visit by an Irish-American fact-finding group to Ireland led by Bruce Morrison (former United States Democratic congressman). The group requested a meeting with Sinn Féin (SF). The meeting with SF was considered important by the Irish-American group, which had talks over 3 days with political leaders in Dublin and Belfast. The group believed that SF’s inclusion in the peace process was essential to bring about an end to violence. [This was the second temporary ceasefire during 1993 – the first in May coincided with the visit of the then co-chairman of the Irish group, former mayor of Boston, but fizzled out according to Republican sources when his expected meeting with SF failed to take place.]

Monday 4 September 1994

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) left a car bomb outside a Sinn Féin (SF) office in west Belfast. Local people living along border roads in County Fermanagh and County Tyrone reopened several roads that had been closed and blocked by the British Army.

[In the following weeks there were to be further unofficial openings of blocked border roads around Northern Ireland.]

Monday 4 September 1995

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), had a meeting with Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at Stormont. The meeting failed to resolve the deadlock over the issues of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and the start of all-party talks.

Wednesday 4 September 1996

There was a rally in Portadown, County Armagh, in support of Billy Wright and Alex Kerr. The rally was addressed by William McCrea, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Member of Parliament.

Thursday 4 September 1997

Over 600 guests paid $500 a plate at a fund-raising dinner on behalf of Sinn Féin (SF) in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The main speaker was Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

Saturday 4 September 1999

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held a meeting to decide on its approach to the Mitchell Review of the Good Friday Agreement. It was decided that representatives of the party would take part in the review. There was also a meeting of the Sinn Féin (SF) Ard Comhairle at which the decision was taken to participate in the Mitchell Review.

Tuesday 4 September 2001

Approximately 50 children, together with their parents, attempted to enter the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School by the main entrance on the Ardoyne Road in north Belfast. Loyalist protestors tried to block access to the school and shouted abuse and threw stones at the children and their parents. Some of the children were forced to turn back from the school. There was a heavy security force presence in the area from early morning to secure a route to the front door of the school.

A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was injured when a blast-bomb was thrown by Loyalists in Glenbryn Parade near the school.

[This was the second day of the current round of Loyalist protest at the school. A stand-off at the school had begun on 19 June 2001.]

Thomas McDonald (16), a Protestant boy, was knocked down and killed by a ‘hit-and-run’ motorist as he cycled through the Longlands estate in north Belfast. A woman (32) was later arrested by the RUC. [RUC officers stated that they were investigating a possible sectarian motive for the incident.

On 6 September 2001 the woman appeared before Belfast Magistrate’s Court charged with murder. A 15 year old boy and a 20 year old man were charged in the same court with attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the killing.] There was serious rioting during the evening and night in the Glenbryn area close to the Holy Cross school. A crowd of Loyalists from the area attacked patrolling security forces with bricks, bottles, stones, fireworks, and ballbearings. Two RUC officers were injured during the riot. A volley of shots was also heard in the Glenbryn estate.

A blast bomb was thrown in the Twaddell Avenue area as police baton-charged rioters. A police officer was injured in the blast. Two cars were hijacked and set on fire and rioters pushed them towards police vehicles. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission published a series of proposals detailing what it believed should be contained in any future bill of rights for Northern Ireland. [Details at NIHRC website {external_link}]


Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the follow  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

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.

4 People lost their lives on the 4th September  between 1970 – 1992

————————————————————–

04 September 1970
Michael Kane,   (35)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion at electricity transformer, New Forge Lane, Malone, Belfast.

————————————————————–

04 September 1971
John Warnock,   (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) mobile patrol passing Derrybeg Park, Newry, County Down

————————————————————–

04 September 1980


Ross Hearst,   (56)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Abducted outside friend’s home, Silver Stream, near Monaghan. Found shot several hours later, Wards Cross, near Middletown, County Armagh.

————————————————————–

04 September 1992


Peter McBride,   (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while running away from British Army (BA) foot patrol, Upper Meadow Street, New Lodge, Belfast

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Ballygawley Bus Bombing – 8 British Soldiers Slaughtered by IRA. Never Forgotten

Ballygawley Bus Bombing –

20th August 1998

————————————————————————————–

IRA kill 8 British soldiers in landmine attack!.

————————————————————————————–

The Ballygawley Bus Bombing was a roadside bomb attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on a bus carrying British soldiers in Northern Ireland. It occurred in the early hours of 20 August 1988 in the townland of Curr near Ballygawley, County Tyrone. The attack killed eight soldiers and wounded another 28.[1] It was the second-deadliest attack on the British Army in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, after the Warrenpoint ambush of 1979. In the wake of the bombing the British Army began ferrying its troops in and out of the region by helicopter.

Victims

————————————————————–

 20 August 1988

Jayson Burfitt,   (19) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone

————————————————————–

 20 August 1988
Richard Greener,   (21) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

————————————————————–

20 August 1988

Mark Norsworthy,  (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

————————————————————–

 20 August 1988


Stephen Wilkinson,   (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

————————————————————–

 20 August 1988


Jason Winter,   (19) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

————————————————————–

20 August 1988


Blair Bishop,   (19) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

————————————————————–

 20 August 1988
Alexander Lewis,   (18) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

————————————————————–

20 August 1988


Peter Bullock,   (21) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on British Army (BA) coach, Curr, near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

————————————————————–

Background

The Provisional IRA had been attacking British Army patrols and convoys with roadside bombs regularly since the early 1970s. Most of these attacks took place in rural parts of Northern Ireland; especially County Tyrone (where the IRA’s Tyrone Brigade was active) and southern County Armagh (heartland of the South Armagh Brigade). In August 1979, the IRA ambushed a British Army convoy with two large roadside bombs near Warrenpoint, killing eighteen soldiers. This was the deadliest attack on the British Army in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. In May 1981, five British soldiers were killed when their Saracen APC was ripped apart by a roadside bomb near Bessbrook, County Armagh.[2][3] In July 1983, four British soldiers were killed when their vehicle struck an IRA landmine near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.[4] In December 1985, the Tyrone IRA launched an assault on the police barracks in Ballygawley, shooting dead two officers and destroying the barracks with a bomb.[5]

In June 1988, six off-duty British soldiers were killed when an IRA bomb exploded underneath their van in Lisburn. It had been attached to the van as they were taking part in a charity marathon.[6]

Attack

On the night of 19/20 August 1988, an unmarked 52-seater[7] bus was transporting 36 soldiers of The Light Infantry from RAF Aldergrove to a military base near Omagh.[8] The soldiers, who came from England, had just finished 18 months of a two-year tour of duty in Northern Ireland and were returning to the base after a short holiday.[9]

As it was driving along the main road from Ballygawley to Omagh, at about 12:30AM,[10] IRA members remotely detonated a roadside bomb containing 200 pounds (91 kg) of semtex. According to police, the bomb had been planted in a vehicle by the roadside[7] and had been detonated by command wire from 330 yards (300 m) away.[9] The blast hurled the bus 30 metres down the road[10] and threw the soldiers into neighbouring hedges and fields.[7] It left a crater 6 feet (1.8 m) deep and scattered body parts and twisted metal over a wide area.[8] Witnesses described finding dead, dying and wounded soldiers strewn on the road and caught in the wreckage of the bus. Others were walking around, “stunned”.[9] Some of the first to arrive on the scene and offer help were loyalist bandsmen of the Omagh Protestant Boy’s Band returning from a parade in Portadown, who had also been travelling in buses.[9]

Eight of the soldiers were killed and the remaining 28 were wounded. The soldiers killed were: Jayson Burfitt (19), Richard Greener (21), Mark Norsworthy (18), Stephen Wilkinson (18), Jason Winter (19), Blair Bishop (19), Alexander Lewis (18) and Peter Bullock (21).[1] This was the single biggest loss of life for the British Army since the Warrenpoint ambush in 1979.[11] An account from one of the survivors was published in Ken Wharton‘s book A Long Long War: Voices from the British Army in Northern Ireland, 1969–98.[12]

An inquest into the attack was told that the road was usually off-limits to military vehicles, due to the threat from the IRA. The driver of the bus, who was also a soldier, claimed he had been directed on to the road by diversion signs. The inquest heard that signs had not been placed by the police or the roads service. The IRA denied placing any signs and said that military buses often used the road. The mother of one of those killed accused the British military of negligence and claimed it was “trying to conceal the truth”.[9]

Aftermath

Shortly thereafter, the Provisional IRA issued a statement claiming responsibility.[8] It said that the attack had been carried out by its Tyrone Brigade and added: “We will not lay down our arms until the peace of a British disengagement from Ireland”.[10] The security forces suspected that an informer may have told the IRA of the bus’s route and the time it would pass a specific spot.[10] After the attack the British military decided to start ferrying their troops to and from East Tyrone by helicopter to avoid any future attacks like this.[13]

Tom King, then British Government’s Northern Ireland Secretary, said there was “some evidence” that the explosives used were part of a consignment from Libya (see Provisional IRA arms importation). He also stated that the possibility of reintroducing internment was “under review”.[8] Libyan weaponry enabled the IRA to mount some of its biggest operations during its campaign. The Ballygawley bus bombing is believed to have been one of these attacks.[14]

On 30 August 1988, three IRA members were ambushed and killed by the Special Air Service (SAS) at Drumnakilly, County Tyrone. The men—Gerard Harte, Martin Harte and Brian Mullin—were identified by British intelligence as the perpetrators of the bombing.[13]

Two months after the attack, the British Government introduced the broadcasting ban. It meant that the voices of Sinn Féin and IRA members were not allowed to be broadcast on television or radio. The Ballygawley bus bombing is believed to have influenced the Government’s decision to introduce the ban.[9]

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29 Innocent People Slaughtered – Omagh Bombing – 15th August 1998 . Never Forgotten

15 August 2015

NEVER FORGOTTON

Today is the 17th university of the Omagh Bombing when 29  INNOCENT people , including women, children and  visitors from other countries were slaughtered by Republican Terrorists on the streets of Omagh.

This was among the  worse attacks on Civilians throughout the Troubles and the images of that day are embedded ( along with the Shankill Bomb ) in my soul.

I grew up on the Shankill Road and surrendering areas during the worst years of the troubles and I can assure you I have seen my fair share of  misery and bloodbaths ,  as the Republicans dragged Northern  Ireland to hell and back in their quest for a United Ireland. I’ve  lost count of how many friends and family I have seen destroyed as a direct result of the conflict , either killed, imprisoned or emotionally crippled by the things they have seen and done.

But for some reason  The Omagh Bombing struck me hard and has a permanent place in my heart and soul.

Things have moved on and Northern Ireland is painfully, slowly crawling towards a better future.These things take time , but one day in the distant future, when we are all dust and wind , our children’s grandchildren  will wonder what-it-was–all-about and the names of dead and their brutal slaughter will fade into the dark  corridors of time .

But we will never forget

The Victims

Some of the Victims

Never Forgotten

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


 James Barker,   (12) nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
From County Donegal. Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998

Fernando Blasco  Bacelga,  (12) nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Spanish visitor. Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998

Geraldine Breslin,   (43)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998

Debra Ann Cartwright,  (20)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998

Gareth Conway,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998

Breda Devine,   (1)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998

Oran Doherty,   (8) nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
From County Donegal. Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Adrian Gallagher,  (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Esther Gibson,  (36)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Mary Grimes,  (65)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Olive Hawkes,  (60)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Julia Hughes,  (21)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given

————————————————————————

15 August 1998

Brenda Logue,  (17)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Anne McCombe,  (48)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Brian McCrory,  (54)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Samantha McFarland, (17)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Sean McGrath,  (61)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Injured in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given. He died 5 September 1998.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Sean McLaughlin,  (12) nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
From County Donegal. Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Jolene Marlow,  (17)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Avril Monaghan, (30)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Maura Monaghan, (1)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Alan Radford,  (16)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Rocia Abad Ramos,  (23) nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Spanish visitor. Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Elizabeth Rush,   (57)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Veda Short,  (56)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Philomena Skelton,  (39)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Fred White,  (60)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Bryan White,  (26)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given.

————————————————————————

15 August 1998


Lorraine Wilson , (15)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: real Irish Republican Army (rIRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Market Street, Omagh, County Tyrone. Inadequate warning given

————————————————————————

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Omagh Bombing – The IRA’s Deadliest Massacre of Civilians

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Omagh Bombing

Omagh bombing
Part of the Troubles
Omagh imminent.jpg

The red Vauxhall Cavalier containing the bomb. This photograph was taken shortly before the explosion; the camera was found afterwards in the rubble. The Spanish man and child seen in the photo both survived.[1]
Location Omagh, Northern Ireland
Coordinates 54°36′1.0116″N 7°17′55.9674″W / 54.600281000°N 7.298879833°W / 54.600281000; -7.298879833Coordinates: 54°36′1.0116″N 7°17′55.9674″W / 54.600281000°N 7.298879833°W / 54.600281000; -7.298879833
Date 15 August 1998
3.10 pm (BST)
Target Courthouse[2]
Attack type
Car bomb
Deaths 29 including 2 unborn[3][4][5]
Non-fatal injuries
About 220 initially reported,[6] later stories say over 300.[4][7][8]
Perpetrators Real IRA (RIRA)[4][5]

The Omagh Bombing 15 August 1998

The Omagh bombing (Irish: Buamáil an Ómaigh) was a car bombing that took place on 15 August 1998 in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.[6] It was carried out by the ‘Real IRA‘, an IRA splinter group who opposed the IRA’s ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement. The bombing killed 29 people and injured about 220 others.[3][4][5][9] This was the highest death toll from a single incident during the Troubles. Telephoned warnings had been sent about 40 minutes beforehand, but they were inaccurate and police had inadvertently moved people toward the bomb.

The bombing caused outrage both locally and internationally,[8][10] spurred on the Northern Ireland peace process,[3][4][11] and dealt a severe blow to the ‘dissident’ republican campaign. The Real IRA apologized and called a ceasefire shortly after.[11] The victims included people from many backgrounds: Protestants, Catholics, a Mormon teenager, five other teenagers, six children, a woman pregnant with twins, two Spanish tourists,[12][13] and other tourists on a day trip from the Republic of Ireland.[7]

It has been alleged that the British, Irish and American intelligence agencies had information which could have prevented the bombing; most of which came from double agents inside the Real IRA.[14] This information was not given to the local police; the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).[14] In 2008 it was revealed that British intelligence agency GCHQ was monitoring conversations between the bombers as the bomb was being driven into Omagh.[15]

A 2001 report by the Police Ombudsman said that the RUC’s Special Branch failed to act on prior warnings and slammed the RUC’s investigation of the bombing.[16] The RUC has obtained circumstantial and coincidental evidence against some suspects, but it has not come up with anything to convict anyone of the bombing.[17] Colm Murphy was tried, convicted, and then released after it was revealed that the Gardaí forged interview notes used in the case.[18] Murphy’s nephew Sean Hoey was also tried and found not guilty.[19] In June 2009, the victims’ families won a £1.6 million civil action against four defendants.[20] In April 2014, Seamus Daly was charged with the murders of those

Background

Negotiations to end the Troubles had failed in 1996 and there was a resumption of political violence. The peace process later resumed, and it reached a point of renewed tension in 1998, especially following the deaths of three Catholic children in Orange Order-related riots in mid-July.[22] Sinn Féin had accepted the Mitchell Principles, which involved commitment to non-violence, in September 1997 as part of the peace process negotiations.[23] Dissident members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), who saw this as a betrayal of the republican struggle for a united Ireland, left to form the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) in October 1997.[23][24]

The RIRA began its paramilitary campaign against the Agreement with an attempted car bombing in Banbridge, County Down on 7 January 1998, which involved a 300 pounds (140 kg) explosive that was defused by security forces.[24] Later that year, it mounted attacks in Moira, Portadown, Belleek, Newtownhamilton and Newry, as well as bombing Banbridge again on 1 August, which caused thirty-five injuries and no deaths.[24] The attack at Omagh took place 13 weeks after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which had been intended to be a comprehensive solution to the Troubles and had broad support both in Ireland and internationally.[25][26]

Omagh had been targeted in 1973 twice:

  • 17 May 1973 – Arthur Place (29), Derek Reed (28), Sheridan Young (26), Barry Cox (28) and Frederick Drake (25), all off duty members of the British Army, were killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army booby trap bomb while getting into a car, outside the Knock-na-Moe Castle Hotel, Omagh. Drake died on 3 June 1973.
  • 25 June 1973 – Sean Loughran (37), Patrick Carty (26) and Dermot Crowley (18), all Catholics and members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, were killed in a premature bomb explosion while travelling in a car, Gortin Road, near Omagh.

The attack

Preparation and warnings

Lower Market Street, site of the bombing, 2001. The courthouse is in the background

On 13 August, a maroon Vauxhall Cavalier was stolen from outside a block of flats in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, in the Republic of Ireland.[27] At that time it bore the County Donegal registration number of 91 DL 2554. The perpetrators replaced its Republic of Ireland number plates with false Northern Ireland plates and the car was loaded with a bomb.[13][27] On the day of the bombing, they drove the car across the Irish border and at about 14:19 parked the vehicle filled with 230 kilograms (510 lb) of fertiliser-based explosives outside S.D. Kells’ clothes shop in Omagh’s Lower Market Street, on the southern side near the crossroads with Dublin Road.[13] They could not find a parking space near the intended target, the Omagh courthouse.[28] The car (with its false registration number MDZ 5211) had arrived from an easterly direction. The two male occupants then armed the bomb and upon exiting the car, walked east down Market Street towards Campsie Road. Some Spanish tourists stopped beside the car, and were photographed. The photographer died in the bombing.

Three phone calls were made warning of a bomb in Omagh, using the same codeword that had been used in the Real IRA’s bomb attack in Banbridge two weeks earlier.[29] At 14:32, a warning was telephoned to Ulster Television saying, “There’s a bomb, courthouse, Omagh, main street, 500lb, explosion 30 minutes.”[29] One minute later, the office received a second warning saying, “Martha Pope (which was the RIRA’s code word), bomb, Omagh town, 15 minutes”. The caller claimed the warning on behalf of “Óglaigh na hÉireann”.[29] The next minute, the Coleraine office of the Samaritans received a call stating that a bomb would go off on “main street” about 200 yards (180 m) from the courthouse.[29] The recipients passed on the information to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).[29]

The BBC News stated that police “were clearing an area near the local courthouse, 40 minutes after receiving a telephone warning, when the bomb detonated. But the warning was unclear and the wrong area was evacuated”.[9] The warnings mentioned “main street” when no street by that name existed in Omagh, although Market Street was the main shopping street in the town.[27] The nature of the warnings led the police to place a cordon across the junction of High Street and Market Street at Scarffes Entry. They then began to evacuate the buildings and move people down the hill from the top of High Street and the area around the courthouse to the bottom of Market Street where the bomb was placed.[4][9][27][29][30] The courthouse is roughly 400 metres (1,300 ft) from the spot where the car bomb was parked.[30][31]

Explosion

The scene in Market Street minutes after the bomb went off. Survivors are shown helping the injured

The car bomb detonated at about 15:10 BST in the crowded shopping area,[9] killing outright 21 people who had been in the vicinity of the vehicle. Eight more people would die on the way to or in hospital. The deceased victims included a pregnant woman, six children, and six teenagers, most of whom had died on the spot.[12] Those who were killed were James Barker (12), Seán McLaughlin (12) and Oran Doherty (8), from County Donegal, Fernando Blasco Baselga (12) and Rocío Abad Ramos (23) from Spain, Geraldine Breslin (43), Gareth Conway (18), Breda Devine (1), Aidan (or Aiden) Gallagher (21), Mary Grimes (65), Brenda Logue (17), Brian McCrory (54), Seán McGrath (61), Jolene Marlow (17), Avril Monaghan (30; pregnant with twins), Maura Monaghan (1), Elizabeth Rush (57), Philomena Skelton (39), all Catholics,; Deborah-Anne Cartwright (20), Esther Gibson (36), Olive Hawkes (60), Julia Hughes (21), Ann McCombe (48), Samantha McFarland (17), Alan Radford (16), Veda Short (56), Fred White (60), Bryan White (26), Lorraine Wilson (15), all Protestants, were killed. (Seán McGrath died from his injuries on 5 September 1998.) [12][32]

Injured survivor Marion Radford described hearing an “unearthly bang”, followed by “an eeriness, a darkness that had just come over the place”, then the screams as she saw “bits of bodies, limbs or something” on the ground while she searched for her 16-year-old son, Alan. She later discovered he had been killed only yards away from her, the two having become separated minutes before the blast.[27][33]

In a statement on the same day as the bombing, RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan accused the RIRA of deliberately trying to direct civilians to the bombing site.[31] British government prosecutor Gordon Kerr QC called the warnings “not only wrong but… meaningless” and stated that the nature of the warnings made it inevitable that the evacuations would lead to the bomb site.[34] The RIRA strongly denied that it intended to target civilians.[29][35] It also stated that the warnings were not intended to lead people to the bombing site.[29] During the 2003 Special Criminal Court trial of RIRA director Michael McKevitt, witnesses for the prosecution stated that the inaccurate warnings were accidental.[28]

Aftermath

Tyrone County Hospital, where many of the bomb victims were taken.

The BBC News stated that those “who survived the car bomb blast in a busy shopping area of the town described scenes of utter carnage with the dead and dying strewn across the street and other victims screaming for help”.[9] The injured were initially taken to two local hospitals, the Tyrone County Hospital and the Erne Hospital.[30] A local leisure centre was set up as a casualty field centre, and Lisanelly Barracks, an army base served as an impromptu morgue.[30][31] The Conflict Archive on the Internet project has stated that rescue workers described the scene as “battlefield conditions”.[30] Tyrone County Hospital became overwhelmed, and appealed for local doctors to come in to help.[9][31]

Because of the stretched emergency services, people used buses, cars and helicopters to take the victims to other hospitals in Northern Ireland,[9][31] including the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.[30] A Tyrone County Hospital spokesman stated that they treated 108 casualties, 44 of whom had to be transferred to other hospitals.[31] Paul McCormick of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said that, “The injuries are horrific, from amputees, to severe head injuries to serious burns, and among them are women and children.”[9]

The day after the bombing, the relatives and friends of the dead and injured used Omagh Leisure Centre to post news.[30] The Spanish Ambassador to Ireland personally visited some of the injured[30] and churches across Northern Ireland called for a national day of mourning.[36] Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh Robin Eames stated on BBC Radio that, “From the Church’s point of view, all I am concerned about are not political arguments, not political niceties. I am concerned about the torment of ordinary people who don’t deserve this.”[36]

Reactions

British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Omagh days after the bombing. This photograph shows Blair addressing a crowd in Armagh several weeks later.

The nature of the bombing created a strong international and local outcry against the RIRA and in favour of the Northern Ireland peace process.[3][4] British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the bombing an “appalling act of savagery and evil.”[8][9] Queen Elizabeth II expressed her sympathies to the victim’s families, while the Prince of Wales paid a visit to the town and spoke with the families of some of the victims.[9][37] The Pope and US President Bill Clinton, who shortly afterwards visited Omagh with his wife Hillary, also expressed their sympathies.[30] Social Democratic and Labour Party leader John Hume called the perpetrators of the bombing “undiluted fascists”.[38]

Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness said that, “This appalling act was carried out by those opposed to the peace process”.[9] Party president Gerry Adams said that, “I am totally horrified by this action. I condemn it without any equivocation whatsoever.”[10] McGuinness mentioned the fact that both Catholics and Protestants alike were injured and killed, saying, “All of them were suffering together. I think all them were asking the question ‘Why?’, because so many of them had great expectations, great hopes for the future.”[10] Sinn Féin as an organization initially refused to co-operate with the investigation into the attack, citing the involvement of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.[39] On 17 May 2007, Martin McGuinness stated that Irish Republicans would co-operate with an independent, international investigation if one is created.[40]

On 22 August 1998, the Irish National Liberation Army called a ceasefire in its operations against the British government.[30][41][42] The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism has accused the republican paramilitary organisation of providing supplies for the bombing.[42] The INLA continued to observe the ceasefire although it remains opposed to the Good Friday Agreement. It recently began decommissioning its arms.[42] The RIRA also suspended operations for a short time after the Omagh bombing before returning to violence.[30] The RIRA came under pressure from the Provisional Irish Republican Army after the bombing; PIRA members visited the homes of 60 people connected with the RIRA and ordered them to disband and stop interfering with PIRA arms dumps.[24] The BBC News stated that, “Like the other bombings in the early part of 1998 in places like Lisburn and Banbridge, Omagh was a conscious attempt by republicans who disagreed with the political strategy of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, to destabilise Northern Ireland in that vulnerable moment of hope. It failed—but there is a terrible irony to the way in which the campaign was halted only by the wave of revulsion triggered by the carnage at Omagh.”[3]

Responsibility

Allegations

No group claimed responsibility on the day of the attack, but the RUC suspected the RIRA.[9][31] The RIRA had carried out a car bombing in Banbridge, County Down, two weeks before the Omagh bombing.[31] Three days after the attack, the RIRA claimed responsibility and apologised for the attack.[11][35] On 7 February 2008, a RIRA spokesman stated that, “The IRA had minimal involvement in Omagh. Our code word was used; nothing more. To have stated this at the time would have been lost in an understandable wave of emotion” and “Omagh was an absolute tragedy. Any loss of civilian life is regrettable.”[43]

On 9 October 2000, the BBC’s Panorama programme aired the special Who Bombed Omagh? hosted by journalist John Ware.[27] The programme quoted RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan as saying, “sadly up to this point we haven’t been able to charge anyone with this terrible atrocity”.[27] The programme alleged that the police on both sides of the Irish border knew the identity of the bombers.[27] It stated that, “As the bomb car and the scout car headed for the border, the police believe they communicated by mobile phone. This is based on an analysis of calls made in the hours before, during and after the bombing. This analysis may prove to be the key to the Omagh bomb investigation.”[27] Using the phone records, the programme gave the names of the four prime suspects as Oliver Traynor, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy, and Seamus Daly.[27] The police had leaked the information to the BBC since it was too circumstantial and coincidental to be used in court.[17]

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson praised the Panorama programme, calling it “a very powerful and very professional piece of work”.[44] Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern criticised it, saying that “bandying around names on television” could hinder attempts to secure convictions.[44] First Minister David Trimble stated that he had “very grave doubts” about it.[44] Lawrence Rush, whose wife Elizabeth died in the bombing, tried legally to block the programme from being broadcast, saying, “This is media justice, we can’t allow this to happen”.[45] Democratic Unionist Party assembly member Oliver Gibson, whose niece Esther died in the bombing, stated that the government did not have the will to pursue those responsible and welcomed the programme.[45]

The police believe that the bombing of BBC Television Centre in London on 4 March 2001 was a revenge attack for the broadcast.[46] On 9 April 2003, the five RIRA members behind the BBC office’s bombing were convicted and sentenced for between 16 and 22 years.[47]

Prosecutions and court cases

On 22 September 1998, the RUC and Gardaí arrested twelve men in connection with the bombing.[40] They subsequently released all of them without charge.[40] On 25 February 1999, they questioned and arrested at least seven suspects.[40] Builder and publican Colm Murphy, from Ravensdale, County Louth, was charged three days later for conspiracy and was convicted on 23 January 2002 by the Republic’s Special Criminal Court.[40] He was sentenced to fourteen years.[18] In January 2005, Murphy’s conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered by the Court of Criminal Appeal, on the grounds that two Gardaí had falsified interview notes, and that Murphy’s previous convictions were improperly taken into account by the trial judges.[18]

On 28 October 2000, the families of four children killed in the bombing – James Barker, 12, Samantha McFarland, 17, Lorraine Wilson, 15, and 20-month-old Breda Devine – launched a civil action against the suspects named by the Panorama programme.[40] On 15 March 2001, the families of all twenty-nine people killed in the bombing launched a £2-million civil action against RIRA suspects Seamus McKenna, Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy, and Seamus Daly.[40] Former Northern Ireland secretaries Peter Mandelson, Tom King, Peter Brooke, Lord Hurd, Lord Prior, and Lord Merlyn-Rees signed up in support of the plaintiffs’ legal fund.[40] The civil action began in Northern Ireland on 7 April 2008.[48]

On 6 September 2006, Murphy’s nephew Sean Hoey, an electrician from Jonesborough, County Armagh, went on trial accused of 29 counts of murder, and terrorism and explosives charges.[49] Upon its completion, Hoey’s trial found on 20 December 2007 that he was not guilty of all 56 charges against him.[50]

On 24 January 2008, former Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan apologised to the victims’ families for the lack of convictions in relation to the Omagh bombing.[51] This apology was rejected by some of the victims’ families.[51] After the Hoey verdict, BBC News reporter Kevin Connolly stated that, “The Omagh families were dignified in defeat, as they have been dignified at every stage of their fight for justice. Their campaigning will go on, but the prospect is surely receding now that anyone will ever be convicted of murdering their husbands and brothers and sisters and wives and children.”[3] Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde stated that he believed there would be no further prosecutions.[19]

On 8 June 2009, the civil case taken by victims’ relatives concluded, with Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly being found to have been responsible for the bombing.[20] Seamus McKenna was cleared of involvement.[20] The others were held liable for £1.6 million of damages. It was described as a “landmark” damages award internationally.[52] Murphy and Daly appealed and were granted a retrial, but this second trial also found them responsible for the bombing, with the judge describing the evidence as overwhelming.[53]

On 10 April 2014 Daly was charged with murdering the 29 victims of the Omagh bombing and with other offences.[54] Daly lived in Cullaville, County Monaghan, in the Republic of Ireland and was arrested in Newry by police after he crossed the Border into Northern Ireland.[55]

Independent bombing investigation

On 7 February 2008, the Northern Ireland Policing Board decided to appoint a panel of independent experts to review the police’s investigation of the bombing. Some of the relatives of the bombing victims criticised the decision, saying that an international public inquiry covering both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland should be established instead. The review is to determine whether enough evidence exists for further prosecutions. It is also to investigate the possible perjury of two police witnesses made during Sean Hoey’s trial.[56] Sinn Féin Policing Board member Alex Maskey stated that, “Sinn Féin fully supports the families’ right to call for a full cross-border independent inquiry while the Policing Board has its clear and legal obligation to scrutinise the police handling of the investigations.” He also stated that, “We recognise that the board has a major responsibility in carrying out our duty in holding the PSNI to account in the interests of justice for the Omagh families”.[57]

Allegations against the security forces

It has been alleged that the British, Irish and American intelligence agencies had information which could have prevented the bombing. This information was not given to the local police; the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The RUC’s investigation into the bombing has also been widely criticized.

Police Ombudsman report

Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan published a report on 12 December 2001 that strongly criticised the RUC over its handling of the bombing investigation.[16][58][59] Her report stated that RUC officers had ignored the previous warnings about a bomb and had failed to act on crucial intelligence.[31][58][59] She went on to say that officers had been uncooperative and defensive during her inquiry.[59] The report concluded that, “The victims, their families, the people of Omagh and officers of the RUC were let down by defective leadership, poor judgement and a lack of urgency.”[16] It recommended the setting up of a new investigation team independent of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), which had since replaced the RUC, led by a senior officer from an outside police force.[16]

Initially, the Police Association, which represents both senior officers and rank and file members of the Northern Ireland police, went to court to try to block the release of the O’Loan report.[31][59] The Association stated that, “The ombudsman’s report and associated decisions constitute a misuse of her statutory powers, responsibilities and functions.”[59] The group later dropped its efforts.[31][60] RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan called the report “grossly unfair” and “an erroneous conclusion reached in advance and then a desperate attempt to find anything that might happen to fit in with that.”[16] Other senior police officers also disputed the report’s findings.[58][59] Flanagan issued a 190 page counter-report in response, and has also stated that he has considered taking legal action.[16][61] He argued that the multiple warnings were given by the RIRA to cause confusion and lead to a greater loss of life.[31][62] Assistant Chief Constables Alan McQuillan and Sam Kincaid sent affidavits giving information that supported the report.[59]

The families of the victims expressed varying reactions to the report.[63] Kevin Skelton, whose wife died in the attack, said that, “After the bomb at Omagh, we were told by Tony Blair and the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, that no stone would be left unturned … It seems to me that a lot of stones have been left unturned,” but then expressed doubt that the bombing could have been prevented.[63] Lawrence Rush, whose wife also died in the attack, said that, “There’s no reason why Omagh should have happened – the police have been in dereliction of their duty.”[63] Other Omagh residents said that the police did all that they could.[63] The Belfast Telegraph called the report a “watershed in police accountability” and stated that it “broke the taboo around official criticism of police in Northern Ireland”.[58] Upon leaving office on 5 November 2007, Nuala O’Loan stated that the report was not a personal battle between herself and Sir Ronnie, and did not lead to one.[58] She also stated that the “recommendations which we made were complied with”.[58]

Advance warning allegations

Throughout the conflict in Northern Ireland, the security forces used double agents to infiltrate the paramilitary groups. In 1998 the British, Irish and American intelligence agencies had agents connected to the Real IRA.

In 2001, a double agent known as Kevin Fulton claimed he told his MI5 handlers three days before the bombing that the RIRA was about to bring a “huge bomb” across the border.[64] Fulton claims he also told them who he believed was making it and where it was being made.[64] He said that MI5 did not pass his information over to the police.[64][65][66] RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan called the allegations “preposterous” and said the information Fulton gave his handlers was full of “distortions and inaccuracies”.[64] However, Flanagan admitted that some of Fulton’s information was not passed to RUC Special Branch, due to “an administrative error”.[64] In September 2001, British security forces informer Willie Carlin said the Ombudsman had obtained evidence confirming Fulton’s allegations.[65] A spokesman for the Ombudsman neither confirmed nor denied Carlin’s assertion when asked.[65]

David Rupert, an American citizen, was jointly run as an agent by MI5 and the FBI. He worked as a fundraiser for the RIRA. On 11 August 1998, four days before the bombing, Rupert informed his MI5 handlers that the RIRA was planning a car bomb attack in Omagh or Derry. It is not known whether this information was passed to the RUC Special Branch.[67]

The Republic of Ireland’s police force, the Gardaí, also had an agent close to the RIRA at the time. The agent, Paddy Dixon, stole cars for the RIRA, who used them to transport bombs.[64] Days before the bombing, the RIRA had Dixon steal the maroon Vauxhall Cavalier it would use in the attack.[64] Dixon immediately told his handler; Detective Sergeant John White. On 12 August, White passed this on to his superior; Detective Chief Superintendent Dermot Jennings.[64] According to White, Jennings told him that they would let the bomb go through, mainly so that the RIRA would not become suspicious of Dixon.[64] Dixon fled the Republic of Ireland in January 2002. The following year, a transcript of a conversation between Dixon and White was released. In it, Dixon confirms that Gardaí let the bomb go through and says that “Omagh is going to blow up in their faces”.[68] In February 2004, PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde called for the Republic of Ireland to hand over Dixon.[31] In March 2006, Chief Constable Orde stated that “security services did not withhold intelligence that was relevant or would have progressed the Omagh inquiry”.[69] He also stated that the dissident republican militants investigated by MI5 were members of a different cell than the perpetrators of the Omagh bombing.[69]

A 2013 independent report concluded that the British, Irish and American intelligence agencies “starved” police in Omagh of intelligence that could have prevented the bombing. The report was commissioned by the victims’ families and produced by Rights Watch (UK).[70]

GCHQ monitoring

A BBC Panorama documentary, named “Omagh: What the police were never told”, was aired in September 2008. It revealed that the British intelligence agency GCHQ was monitoring mobile phone calls between the bombers as the bomb was being driven into Omagh.[71] Ray White, former Assistant Chief of RUC Special Branch, said GCHQ had been monitoring mobile phones at their request. He said he believed GCHQ were listening to the phonecalls ‘live’, rather than merely recording them for later.[71] Panorama’s John Ware also claimed that a listening device had been hidden in the car and that GCHQ had recordings of what was said.[71] None of this information was given to the RUC in Omagh at the time.[71] Transcripts of the phone calls were later handed over to RUC Special Branch.[9]

Victims’ support group

The families of the victims of the bomb created the Omagh Support and Self Help Group after the bombing.[72] The organisation is led by Michael Gallagher, who lost his 21-year-old son Aidan in the attack.[73] Its web site provides over 5000 newspaper articles, video recordings, audio recordings, and other information sources relating to the events leading up to and following the bombing as well as information about other terrorist attacks.[74] The group’s five core objectives are “relief of poverty, sickness, disability of victims”, “advancement of education and protection”, “raising awareness of needs and experiences of victims, and the effects of terrorism”, “welfare rights advice and information”, and “improving conditions of life for victims”.[72] The group also provides support to victims of other bombings in Ireland, as well other terrorist bombings, such as the 2004 Madrid train bombings.[72] The group has protested outside meetings of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, an Irish republican political activist group opposed to the Good Friday Agreement that the families believe is part of the RIRA.[75]

In April 2000, the group argued that the attack breached Article 57 of the Geneva Convention and stated that they will pursue the alleged bombers using international law.[76] Michael Gallagher told BBC Radio Ulster that, “The republican movement refused to co-operate and those people hold the key to solving this mystery. Because they have difficulty in working with the RUC and Gardaí, we can’t get justice.”[76] In January 2002, Gallagher told BBC News that, “There is such a deeply-held sense of frustration and depression” and called the anti-terrorist legislation passed in the wake of the Omagh bombing “ineffective”.[77] He expressed support for the controversial Panorama programme, stating that it reminded “people that what happened in Omagh is still capable of happening in other towns”.[45] In February 2002, Prime Minister Tony Blair declined a written request by the group to meet with him at Downing Street.[78] Group members accused the Prime Minister of ignoring concerns about the police’s handling of the bombing investigation.[78] A Downing Street spokesman stated that, “The Prime Minister of course understands the relatives’ concerns, but [he] believes that a meeting with the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office is the right place to air their concerns at this stage.”[78]

The death of Michael Gallagher’s son along with his and other families’ experiences in the Omagh Support and Self Help Group formed the story of the television film Omagh, a Channel 4RTÉ co-production.[73] Film-maker Paul Greengrass stated that “the families of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group have been in the public eye throughout the last five years, pursuing a legal campaign, shortly to come before the courts, with far reaching implications for all of us and it feels the right moment for them to be heard, to bring their story to a wider audience so we can all understand the journey they have made.”[73] In promotion for the film, Channel 4 stated that the group had pursued “a patient, determined, indomitable campaign to bring those responsible for the bomb to justice, and to hold to account politicians and police on both sides of the border who promised so much in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity but who in the families’ eyes have delivered all too little.”[73]

Memorials

Media memorials

The bombing inspired the song “Paper Sun” by British hard rock band Def Leppard.[79]

Another song inspired by the bombings was “Peace on Earth” by rock group U2.[80] It includes the line, “They’re reading names out over the radio. All the folks the rest of us won’t get to know. Sean and Julia, Gareth, Ann, and Breda.”[80] The five names mentioned are five of the victims from this attack.[80] Another line, “She never got to say goodbye, To see the colour in his eyes, now he’s in the dirt,” was about how James Barker, a victim, was remembered by his mother Donna Maria Barker in an article in the Irish Times after the bombing in Omagh.[80] The Edge has described the song as “the most bitter song U2 has ever written”.[81] The names of all 29 people killed during the bombing were recited at the conclusion of the group’s anti-violence anthem “Sunday Bloody Sunday” during the Elevation Tour; one performance is captured on the concert video U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle, Ireland.[82]

Omagh memorial

Omagh Memorial at the bomb site

In late 1999, Omagh District Council established the Omagh Memorial Working Group to devise a permanent memorial to the bombing victims.[7] Its members come from both public and private sectors alongside representatives from the Omagh Churches Forum and members of the victims’ families.[7] The chief executive of the Omagh Council, John McKinney, stated in March 2000 that, “we are working towards a memorial. It is a very sensitive issue.”[83] In April 2007, the Council announced the launch of a public art design competition by the Omagh Memorial Working Group.[7] The group’s goal was to create a permanent memorial in time for the tenth anniversary of the bombing on 15 August 2008.[7][84] It has a total budget of £240,000.[7]

Since space for a monument on Market Street itself is limited, the final memorial was to be split between the actual bombing site and the temporary Memorial Garden about 300 metres away.[85] Artist Sean Hillen and architect Desmond Fitzgerald won the contest with a design that, in the words of the Irish Times, “centres on that most primal yet mobile of elements: light.”[85] A heliostatic mirror was to be placed in the memorial park tracking the sun in order to project a constant beam of sunlight onto 31 small mirrors, each etched with the name of a victim.[84][85] All the mirrors were then to bounce the light on to a heart-shaped crystal within an obelisk pillar that stands at the bomb site.[84][85]

In September 2007, the Omagh Council’s proposed wording on a memorial plaque — “dissident republican car bomb” — brought it into conflict with several of the victims’ families.[84] Michael Gallagher has stated that “there can be no ambiguity over what happened on 15 August 1998, and no dancing around words can distract from the truth.”[84] The Council appointed an independent mediator in an attempt to reach an agreement with those families.[84] Construction started on the memorial on 27 July 2008.[86]

On 15 August 2008, a memorial service was held in Omagh.[87] Senior government representatives from the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Stormont Assembly were present, along with relatives of many of the victims.[87] A number of bereaved families, however, boycotted the service and held their own service the following Sunday.[87] They argued that the Sinn Féin-dominated Omagh council would not acknowledge that republicans were responsible for the bombing.[87]

See also

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In memory of Cecil the Lion. Killed by a disgusting animal called Walter Palmer

In memory of Cecil the Lion.

lion 2

Killed by a disgusting animal called Walter Palmer.

 Bad Karma will find you.

Shame !

Two men have arrived at court in Zimbabwe facing charges over the killing of Cecil, the country’s most famous lion.

Professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst and farm owner Honest Ndlovu, are charged with poaching offences for not having the required hunting permit.

US dentist Walter Palmer shot the animal with a bow and rifle.

Mr Palmer, who says he was unaware of the lion’s identity, paid for the hunt and could also face poaching charges.

The two Zimbabwean men, who accompanied him on the hunt, could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Mr Palmer says he regrets shooting the well-known animal and believed he was on a legal hunt, saying he relied on professional guides to find a lion and obtain the necessary permits.

Separately, court records have shown that the dentist has a felony record in the US after killing a black bear in the state of Wisconsin in 2006.

He was given a one-year probation and fined $3,000 (£1,900), having shot the animal outside an authorised zone and then trying to pass it off as having been killed elsewhere.

Records from the Minnesota Board of Dentistry also show that Mr Palmer was the subject of a sexual harassment complaint which was settled in 2006.

A receptionist alleged that he had made indecent comments to her. Mr Palmer admitted no wrongdoing and agreed to pay out more than $127,000 (£81,000).

‘An activity I love’

The American tourist is believed to have paid about $50,000 (£32,000) to go on the hunt in Zimbabwe.

Cecil the lion was skinned and beheaded, according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), a local charity.

More than 265,000 people have signed an online “Justice for Cecil” petition, calling on Zimbabwe’s government to stop issuing hunting permits for endangered animals.

As news of the killing and details about the perpetrator have spread online, there has been a slew of comments on social media condemning Walter Palmer, with some people calling for him to face justice.

Mr Palmer insists that he believed his guides had secured “all proper permits” for the hunt.

“I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said he had not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or the US but would “assist them in any inquiries they may have”.

The dental offices of Walter Palmer in Bloomington, Minnesota - 28 July 2015
The dental practice run by Mr Palmer in Bloomington, Minnesota, was closed on Tuesday

The dentist is believed to be back in the US, although his exact whereabouts are unknown.

“Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practise responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” he said.

The dental practice run by Mr Palmer was closed on Tuesday and a note was placed on the door referring visitors to a public relations firm.

The practice’s Facebook page was removed from the site after being besieged by angry comments and the company website was also taken down.

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Cecil the iconic lion

Cecil the lion, Paula French via AP, 2012
  • A major tourist attraction in Hwange National Park – Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve
  • The 13-year-old animal was renowned for being friendly towards visitors
  • Recognisable because of his large size and distinctive black mane
  • Led two prides containing six lionesses and 12 cubs along with another lion, Jericho
  • Was being monitored as part of an Oxford University study into lion conservation
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Night-time pursuit

Cecil was believed to have been killed on 1 July but the carcass was not discovered until a few days later.

The ZCTF said the hunters had used bait to lure him outside Hwange National Park during a night-time pursuit.

Mr Palmer is said to have shot Cecil with a bow, injuring the animal. The group did not find the wounded lion until 40 hours later, when he was shot dead with a gun.

Lions in Africa

35,000

Max estimated lion population

12,000

Max lion population in southern Africa

  • 665 Approx number of ‘trophy’ lions killed for export from Africa per year
  • 49 Lion ‘trophies’ exported from Zimbabwe in 2013
  • 0.29% Contribution to GDP of Zimbabwe from trophy hunting
  • 17% Of Zimbabwe’s land given to trophy hunting
AFP

The animal had a GPS collar fitted for a research project by UK-based Oxford University that allowed authorities to track its movements. The hunters tried to destroy it, but failed, according to the ZCTF.

On Monday, the head of the ZCTF told the BBC that Cecil “never bothered anybody” and was “one of the most beautiful animals to look at”.

The six cubs of Cecil will now be killed by the new male lion in the pride, Johnny Rodrigues added, in order to encourage the lionesses to mate with him.

“That’s how it works… it’s in the wild. It’s nature taking its course,” he added.