Tag Archives: Cecil McNeill

25th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

25th February

Thursday 25 February 1971

The  Housing Executive (Northern Ireland) Act became law. The Act provided for the establishment for a central authority for public sector housing in Northern Ireland and to also oversee the provision of grants for improvement to the private sector.

James Chichester-Clark, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, held a meeting with William Conway, then Catholic Cardinal of Ireland; the first such meeting between men holding these offices since 1921.

Friday 25 February 1972

There was an attempted assassination of John Taylor, then Minister of State for Home Affairs, who was shot a number of times.

The Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) later claimed responsibility.

Sunday 25 February 1973

A Catholic boy, Gordon Gallagher (9), was killed by a booby-trap bomb that had been planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Leenan Gardens, Derry.

Monday 25 February 1974

There are further riots in Protestant areas of east Belfast.

There was a bomb explosion at the Belfast headquarters of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI).

Saturday 25 February 1978

The Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP) was dissolved as a political party and most of the party’s members joined the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

According to the Standing Committee of Irish Catholic Bishops conference the vast majority of Irish people wanted the conflict in Northern Ireland to end.

Gerry Adams, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), was charged with membership of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

[On 6 September 1978 Adams was freed when the Judge hearing the case ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he was a member of the IRA.]

Saturday 25 February 1984

There was a Loyalist demonstration at Stormont, Belfast, against the proposal to change the name of Londonderry District Council to Derry District Council.

[There was no proposal to change the official name of the city.]

Monday 25 February 1985

In the Republic of Ireland Des O’Malley, then a Teachta Dáil (TD) and member of Fianna Fáil (FF), was expelled from the party for refusing to vote against a bill to liberalise contraceptive legislation.

[O’Malley later formed a new political party, the Progressive Democrats.]

Tuesday 25 February 1986

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meeting with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, to discuss the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Following the meeting the two Unionist leaders said that they welcomed Thatcher’s promise to consider their proposals for talks on devolution for Northern Ireland.

[When Moylneaux and Paisley returned to Northern Ireland and held talks with other Unionist representatives in the region, including the leaders of workers in the power stations and the shipyard, they decided that they would hold no further discussions with the Prime Minister until the AIA was overturned.] Belfast City Council voted to refuse to set a ‘rate’ (local government tax) in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). [In seventeen other councils across Northern Ireland, where Unionists were in a majority, a similar decision was taken.]

Thursday 25 February 1988

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was invited to talks on devolution by Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Saturday 25 February 1995

Sinn Féin (SF) held its annual Ard Fheis at the Mansion House in Dublin. [This was the first time in four years the party had used the


Sunday 25 February 1996

Image result for we want peace

Rallies in support of peace were held in a number of cities in Ireland and Britain.

Wednesday 25 February 1998

Four people were injured when a letter-bomb exploded in a Royal Mail sorting office in the centre of Belfast.

[This was the third letter-bomb to be found in Northern Ireland during the previous week.]

Thursday 25 February 1999

Confidential government papers were leaked that indicated that the North-South bodies could survive even if the Northern Ireland Assembly were to collapse. Some Unionists reacted angrily to the revelations.

Mitchel McLaughlin, then Sinn Féin (SF) chairman, said that the leadership of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would be destabilised if it forced to decommission IRA weapons.

General, when he said that a party with loyalties to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had no place in the Dáil.

Monday 25 February 2002

The Garda Síochána (the Irish police) uncovered a cache of weapons close to the border with Northern Ireland. The arms were found close to the village of Stranorlar, County Donegal.

The find included two AK47 assault rifles, a pump-action shotgun, a sub-machinegun, a Prig rocket launcher and detonators. A home-made grenade launcher, and a single grenade were also discovered. The weapons were in poor condition and were believed to have belonged to the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The weapons were believed to have been buried prior to the 1994 ceasefire and had not been touched since.

It was revealed that Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Northern Ireland had claimed almost £4 million in office and travel expenses during the financial year ending in April 2000. Details for each of the 108 MLAs were published on the Northern Ireland Assembly web site.

There were significant differences in the amounts claimed by MLAs. The largest claim was that by Gregory Campbell, then Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MLA, who received more than £47,000 in expenses. John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced the publication of a Royal Warrant for a Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) Medal.

The medal was official recognition of the service of NIPS staff during the conflict. Advertisements were placed in newspapers requesting applications from serving and retired prison officers.

[26 serving (or retired) prison officers were killed during the conflict.]

It was reported that applications for enrolment at the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast, had dropped by almost half. The school had been at the centre of a Loyalist protest between 19 June 2001 and 23 November 2001.


Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

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

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

– Thomas Campbell

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

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

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

6 People   lost their lives on the 25th February between 1973– 1993


25 February 1973

Gordon Gallagher,   (9)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in back garden of his home, Leenan Gardens, Creggan, Derry


25 February 1975

Sean Fox   (32)

Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Shot while walking along Cullingtree Row, Divis Flats, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) feud.


25 February 1975

David McConkey   (40)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his workplace, Fisher Metal Fabrications, Boucher Road, Belfast.


25 February 1977

Joseph Campbell,   (49)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot outside Cushendall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Antrim


25 February 1983

Cecil McNeill, (22)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his workplace, Ballygawley, County Tyrone.


25 February 1993

 Jonathan Reid,   (30)

Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, Castleblayney Road, Crossmaglen, County Armagh.