Tag Archives: David Murray

Droppin Well bombing – INLA Slaughter 6th December 1982

Droppin Well bombing – INLA Slaughter 11 Soldiers & 6 Civilians

The Droppin Well bombing or Ballykelly bombing occurred on 6 December 1982, when the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) exploded a time bomb at a disco in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland. The disco, known as the Droppin Well, was targeted because it was frequented by British Army soldiers from nearby Shackleton Barracks. The bomb killed eleven soldiers and six civilians; 30 people were injured.

 

 

Attack

The bomb was made by INLA members in nearby Derry. One of those involved later revealed that the INLA unit had carried out reconnaissance missions to the Droppin Well to see if there were enough soldiers to justify the possibility of civilian casualties.[1]

On the evening of Monday 6 December 1982, an INLA operative left a bomb inside the pub. There were about 150 people inside.[2] The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) believed that the bomb, estimated to be 5 to 10 pounds (2.3 to 4.5 kg) of commercial (Frangex) explosives, was small enough to fit into a handbag. It had, however, been left beside a support pillar and, when it exploded at about 23:15,[2] the blast brought down the roof. Many of those killed and injured were crushed by fallen masonry.[3]

 

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Dropping well Bomb INLA.

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Following the blast, it took many hours to pull survivors from the rubble. The last survivor was freed at 04:00, but it was not until 10:30 that the last of the bodies was recovered.[2] Ultimately, 17 people died (11 soldiers, six civilians) and about 30 were injured, some seriously.[3] Five of the civilians were young women and three (Alan Callaghan, Valerie McIntyre and Angela Maria Hoole) were teenagers.[2] Of the eleven soldiers who died, eight were from the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment, two from the Army Catering Corps[4] and one from the Light Infantry. One of those on the scene was Bob Stewart, then a company commander in the Cheshire Regiment. He lost six soldiers from his company and was deeply affected as he tended to the dead and injured.[5]

The Victims

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06 December 1982


Stephen Smith,   (24)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982
Philip McDonough,   (26)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982
Steven Bagshaw,   (21)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry

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06 December 1982


Clinton Collins,  (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982
David Murray,   (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982
David Stitt,  (27)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982
Shaw Williamson,  (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982
Terence Adams,   (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982
Neil Williams,  (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry

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06 December 1982
Paul Delaney,  (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982


David Salthouse,   (23)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Off duty. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982


Ruth Dixon,  (17)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982


Carol Watts,   (25)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982
Angela Hoole, (19)

nfNI
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
English visitor. Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry

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06 December 1982
Patricia Cooke,   (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Injured by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry. She died 16 December 1982.

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06 December 1982
Valerie McIntyre,   (21)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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06 December 1982


Alan Callaghan,   (17)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Killed by time bomb left in disco at Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly, County Derry.

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Aftermath

Suspicion immediately fell upon the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who denied involvement. By 8 December, the British Army was blaming the INLA on grounds that the IRA, in a mixed village, would have made greater efforts not to risk killing civilians.[6]

Shortly afterwards, the INLA issued a statement of responsibility:

We believe that it is only attacks of such a nature that bring it home to people in Britain and the British establishment. The shooting of an individual soldier, for the people of Britain, has very little effect in terms of the media or in terms of the British administration.[2]

The INLA also described the civilian women killed as “consorts“.[1] The attack was criticised by many on both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland due to the high loss of civilian lives. Soon after the INLA had issued its statement, the government of the Republic of Ireland banned the INLA, making membership punishable by seven years imprisonment.[2]

In an interview after the bombing, INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey said that the Droppin Well’s owner had been warned six times to stop offering “entertainment” to British soldiers. McGlinchey added that the owner, and those who socialised with the soldiers, “knew full well that the warnings had been given and that the place was going to be bombed at some stage”.[7] It later emerged that the INLA may also have targeted Ballykelly because it believed that the military base was part of NATO‘s radar and communications network.[1]

Six days after the bombing, RUC officers shot dead INLA members Seamus Grew and Roddie Carroll near a vehicle checkpoint in Armagh. The officers said they believed that the two men were ferrying McGlinchey into Northern Ireland. Neither was armed, nor was McGlinchey in their car.[8]

Convictions

Bomber Anna Moore & Daughter

 

 

In June 1986, four INLA members (Anna Moore, Eamon Moore, Helena Semple and Patrick Shotter)[9] received life sentences for the attack. Anna Moore would later marry loyalist Bobby Corry, whilst both were in prison.[10] Another woman was given ten years for manslaughter as the court believed she had been coerced into involvement. All of those convicted were from Derry.[2][1]

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Old News

Village marks INLA atrocity

It was one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles

A remembrance service has been held on Sunday to honour 17 people killed in an INLA bomb.This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Droppin’ Well bomb in Ballykelly, County Londonderry.

It was one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles.

John Cooke:

John Cooke: “We loved spoiling her and she loved us”

Eleven soldiers from a nearby Army base and six civilians died in the explosion, which was claimed by the Irish National Liberation Army.

Sunday’s remembrance service was held at Shackleton barracks in Ballykelly.

On 6 December 1982, the bomb ripped through the Droppin’ Well pub where 150 people were enjoying a night out.

‘Errand’

Most of the victims were crushed under the heavy masonry of the pubs concrete ceiling.

Patricia Cooke, 21, suffered terrible injuries and died in hospital 10 days later.

Her brother – who still owns the pub – left to go on an errand just three minutes before the blast.

She was 25 when she was killed, she was killed instantly

Sharon McClarey
Victim’s sister

“She was the baby in the family,” said John Cooke.

“She was spoilt. We loved spoiling her and she loved us.

“One of the comments at the post mortem, the doctor who did it didn’t understand how she lived so long because of the injuries.

“I’m sure part of that was the way she loved us and we loved her. She was trying to hold in there and we wanted her to hold in. It was a sad loss.”

‘Two graves’

Sharon McClarey said every anniversary is very emotional. She lost her sister Carol in the bomb.

Sharon believes the attack eventually cost another sister – Nicola – her life too.

“Carol was married with two children aged six and two,” she said.

“She was 25 when she was killed, she was killed instantly. My other sister Nicola was 19 at the time.

Sharon McClarey:

Sharon McClarey: “Every anniversary is very emotional”

“She was very badly injured. The hospital staff told us to get two graves dug because we had lost both of them.

“But she fought. She never enjoyed good health, she suffered badly and was mentally tortured.

“We will never know what Nicola went through or what she experienced. You could nearly say the bomb ended her life.”

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

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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