Tag Archives: 23rd April deaths in the troubles

23rd April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

23rd April


Wednesday 23 April 1969

The Unionist Parliamentary Party voted by 28 to 22 to introduce universal adult suffrage in local government elections in Northern Ireland. The demand for ‘one man, one vote’ had been one of the most powerful slogans of the civil rights movement. James Chichester-Clark, then Minister of Agriculture, resigned in protest at the reform.

[This move further undermined the position of O’Neill who resigned on 28 April 1969, to be replaced by Chichester-Clark.]

Sunday 23 April 1972

The Sunday Times Insight Team published their account of the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’ (30 January 1972).

See: Bloody Sunday

Tuesday 23 April 1974

The United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) held a three-day conference in Portrush, County Antrim. The conference was attended by representatives of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and also by Enoch Powell.

The main focus of the conference is to agree a strategy for bringing about the end of the Executive. At the end of the conference (26 April 1974) the UUUC called for a Northern Ireland regional parliament in a federal United Kingdom (UK).

Saturday 23 April 1977

Paisley, in his role as head of the United Unionist Action Council (UUAC), threatened to organise a region-wide strike unless Roy Mason, then Secretary of State, acted against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and also implemented the Convention Report.

Thomas Passmore, then the County Grand Master of the Orange Order in Belfast, launched a verbal attack on the UUAC and its plans for a general strike. In addition he alleged that a member of the UUAC had been involved in discussions with the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

See The Orange Order 

Thursday 23 April 1981

In what was seen as a response to continuing rioting in Catholic areas, Loyalist paramilitaries decided to meet under the auspices of the Ulster Army Council (UAC) which was effectively a co-ordinating committee for Loyalist groups.

Marcella Sands, the sister of Bobby Sands, made an application to the European Commission on Human Rights claiming that the British government had broken three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights in their treatment of Republican prisoners.

[Two Commissioners tried to visit Bobby Sands on 25 April 1981 but are unable to do so because Sands requested the presence of representatives of Sinn Féin (SF). On 4 May 1981 the European Commission on Human Rights announced that it had no power to proceed with the Sands’ case.]

Wednesday 23 April 1986

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), announced a 12-point plan of civil disobedience in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Among the measures was a ‘rates’ (local government taxes) strike.

Thursday 23 April 1987

Peter Archer, then British Labour Party spokesman on Northern Ireland affairs, expressed support in a letter for the MacBride principles.

Thursday 23 April 1992

Two former Moderators of the Presbyterian Church revealed that they had held private talks with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Tom Hartley also of SF.

Friday 23 April 1993

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb attack on an oil terminal in North Shields, England. The bomb damaged a large storage tank.

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), held another meeting.

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, made a major speech on Northern Ireland to an audience at the Institute of Irish Studies in Liverpool. Mayhew stated that the British government was against the notion of “joint sovereignty” but did want to see a devolved government with wide powers.

Sunday 23 April 1995

The Sunday Tribune (a Dublin based newspaper) published what it claimed to be an internal Irish Republican Army (IRA) document. The document had been circulated within the Republican movement before being leaked and was believed to have dated from prior to the 1994 ceasefire.

The text contained the acronym ‘TUAS‘ which people were led to believed meant ‘Totally UnArmed Struggle’.

[Following the ending of the first IRA ceasefire some people suggested that TUAS actually stood for ‘Tactical Use of Armed Struggle’. Others suggested that the two interpretations were meant for two different audiences – inside and outside the Republican movement.]

Thursday 23 April 1998

kneecapping reversed.jpg

A 79 year old Catholic man living in the Nationalist New Lodge area of North Belfast was ‘kneecapped’ in his home. The man was tied up and beaten about the head before being shot in both knees and both ankles in a paramilitary style ‘punishment’ attack.

[No organisation claimed responsibility for the incident but local people blamed the Irish Republican Army (IRA) for the attack. The man was the oldest person in Northern Ireland to be the subject of a ‘punishment’ shooting.]

Five Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners, who were serving sentences in England, were transferred to Portlaoise Prison in the Republic of Ireland.

Three members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) shared a platform at the Ulster Hall in Belfast with Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), as part of a rally against the Good Friday Agreement.

The three UUP members were: William Ross, William Thompson, and Roy Beggs.

Also at the rally was Robert (Bob) McCartney, then leader of the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP), and also representatives of the Orange Order. Two Unionist members of the Parades Commission, Glen Barr and Tommy Cheevers, resigned from the organisation. The reason given for their decision was the level of media attention they had received since their original appointments to the Commission.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Irish Constitution began considering a proposal that Members of Parliament (MPs) elected in Northern Ireland should be entitled to sit in the Daíl. The committee also began considering the possibility of permitting Irish citizens living in the North to vote in presidential elections and referendums.

Friday 23 April 1999

A ‘Support Drumcree’ rally was held in Newtownards, County Down, and was attended by several hundred people. Adam Ingram, then Security Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), announced that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) team investigating the killing of Rosemary Nelson was to get more assistance in the form of detectives from outside Northern Ireland.

See Rosemary Nelson

Sunday 23 April 2000

It was rumoured that Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, might quit his position to return to Britain to help the Labour Party fight the next general election.


Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

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

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To the Paramilitaries –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

 7  People lost their lives on the 23rd  April   between 1977– 1987


23 April 1977

Patrick Devlin  (72)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Security man. Shot at entrance to Legahory Inn, Craigavon, County Armagh.


23 April 1977

Brendan O’Callaghan  (21)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot from concealed British Army (BA) observation post, while in car park of Hunting Lodge Bar, Stewartstown Road, Belfast.


23 April 1981
John Robinson  (38)

Status: ex-Ulster Defence Regiment (xUDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while driving firm’s van, Mullacreevie Park, Armagh.


23 April 1984
Neil Clarke   (21)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper, while on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Bishop Street, Derry.


23 April 1986

 James Hazlett,   (54)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Bryansford Road, Newcastle, County Down.


23 April 1987

Thomas Cooke  (52)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot shortly after leaving golf club, Prehen, Derry.