Tag Archives: David Vincent

16th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

16th February

——————————————-

Saturday 16 February 1980

An off-duty colonel in the British Army was shot dead outside his home in Bielfeld, West Germany.

At the Fianna Fáil (FF) conference in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), called for a joint initiative, on behalf of the British and Irish governments, to try to find a political solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Saturday 16 February 1985

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), was refused a visa to enter the United States of America (USA). Adams was supposed to address a meeting of members of Congress but the US State Department turned down the visa application.

Tuesday 16 February 1988

William Quinn was extradited from the United States of America to Britain under extradition legislation that came into force in July 1986.

Sunday 16 February 1992

Four members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were shot dead by undercover soldiers of the British Army in the car park of St Patrick’s Catholic church in Dernagh, near Coalisland, County Tyrone.

The shooting took place after an earlier gun attack on the joint Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army base in Coalisland.

See Clone Ambush

Tuesday 16 February 1993

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), gave an interview to the Irish News (a Northern Ireland newspaper) in which he called for “inclusive dialogue” and a new Irish-British agreement that would bring an end to partition.

Friday 16 February 1996

There was a large peace rally at City Hall, Belfast, and a number of smaller rallies at venues across Northern Ireland.

Monday 16 February 1998

Talks Move to Dublin

The multi-party talks moved venue from Stormont in Belfast to Dublin Castle in the Republic of Ireland. In addition to representatives of the Irish government and the British government seven political parties were also present at the talks. The parties were: Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Sinn Féin (SF), Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition (NIWC), and Labour.

In the days leading up to the meeting there had been speculation that the British government would move to have Sinn Féin (SF) expelled from the negotiations because the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were believed to be responsible for two killings in Belfast on 9 and 10 February 1998. Gerry Adams, then President of SF, said that he was “absolutely pissed off” after the Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), indicated that he would support moves to exclude SF from the multi-party talks. This followed a declaration (in the form of a ‘speaking note’) from the British government that it would begin an indictment procedure against Republicans. British ministers said that they agreed with the assessment Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), that the IRA was responsible for the two killings in Belfast on 9 and 10 February 1998.

SF said that it would fight the move to have the party expelled from the talks. In a written parliamentary reply Adam Ingram, then a Northern Ireland Minister, gave details of security incidents in the region for the six month period 20 July 1997 to 25 January 1998. The figures showed that Loyalist paramilitaries had been responsible for 13 deaths during the period while Republicans had been responsible for two killings.

In total there had been 93 shooting incidents of which 51 were attributed to Loyalists and 21 to Republicans (the other 21 attacks could not be attributed). Republicans were believed to have carried out 20 bombing incidents while Loyalists were responsible for six bomb attacks.

Tesco in Ireland stated that an advertisement placed by its British parent company pledging not to buy Irish beet for its British stores was a “mistake”. The advertisement had caused outrage amongst Irish farmers.

 

Tuesday 16 February 1999

A report containing proposals for structures of government was put before the Northern Ireland Assembly by David Trimble, then First Minister Designate, and Seamus Mallon, then Deputy First Minister Designate.

The report was endorsed by 77 votes to 29 votes (29 Unionists voted in favour of the report and 29 voted against). The structures included the establishment of new government departments and the North-South bodies.

[10 March 1999 was set as the deadline to establish the proposed Executive. This was later postponed to 2 April 1999 (Good Friday).]

It was reported by security sources that detonators, which were part of an arms cache uncovered in west Belfast, had been acquired by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) following the second ceasefire in 1997. Sinn Féin (SF) spokespersons claimed that the RUC was pursuing a political agenda. Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), held a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, in London.

Saturday 16 February 2002

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers carried out a planned search of a house in Holywood, County Down, and discovered an assault rifle and a handgun. A number of other items were also recovered. One man was arrested.

———————————————————————

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 16th  February between 1972– 1992

  —————————————————————————

16 February 1972


Thomas Callaghan,  (45)

Catholic
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Found shot, shortly after being abducted while driving bus, Foyle Road, Derry.

—————————————————————————

16 February 1972


Michael Prime,  (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, by the Moira roundabout, MI Motorway, County Down.

—————————————————————————

16 February 1980
Mark Coe,  (44)

nfNIE
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty British Army (BA) officer. Shot outside his home, Bielefeld, West Germany

—————————————————————————

16 February 1992


Kevin O’Donnell,21) Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, in the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Dernagh, near Coalisland, shortly after he had been involved in gun attack on Coalisland British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.

See Clone Ambush

—————————————————————————

16 February 1992


Sean O’Farrell, (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, in the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Dernagh, near Coalisland, shortly after he had been involved in gun attack on Coalisland British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.

See Clone Ambush

—————————————————————————

16 February 1992


Peter Clancy,  (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, in the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Dernagh, near Coalisland, shortly after he had been involved in gun attack on Coalisland British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.

See Clone Ambush

—————————————————————————

16 February 1992
David Vincent, (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, in the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Dernagh, near Coalisland, shortly after he had been involved in gun attack on Coalisland British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.

See Clone Ambush

—————————————————————————

 

SAS take out four IRA men – Clonoe ambush

The Clonoe ambush

 

SAS take out four IRA men – Clonoe ambush

The Clonoe ambush happened on 16 February 1992 in the village of Clonoe, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. A local Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) unit was ambushed by the Special Air Service and 14 Intelligence Company at a graveyard after launching a heavy machine gun attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base in Coalisland. IRA members Peter Clancy, Kevin Barry O’Donnell, Seán O’Farrell, and Patrick Vincent were killed, while two others escaped. An SAS soldier was wounded in the operation.

——————————————

S.A.S KILL 4 IRA MEN WHO ATTACK COALISLAND POLICE STATION.

——————————————

The Victims

—————————————————————————

16 February 1992


Kevin O’Donnell,21) Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, in the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Dernagh, near Coalisland, shortly after he had been involved in gun attack on Coalisland British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.

—————————————————————————

16 February 1992


Sean O’Farrell, (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, in the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Dernagh, near Coalisland, shortly after he had been involved in gun attack on Coalisland British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.

—————————————————————————

16 February 1992


Peter Clancy,  (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, in the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Dernagh, near Coalisland, shortly after he had been involved in gun attack on Coalisland British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.

—————————————————————————

16 February 1992
David Vincent, (20)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, in the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Dernagh, near Coalisland, shortly after he had been involved in gun attack on Coalisland British Army (BA) / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Tyrone.

—————————————————————————

– Disclaimer –

The views and opinions expressed in this post / documentary  are soley intended to educate and provide background information to those interested in the Troubles of Northern Ireland.

They in no way reflect my own opinions and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or factual errors.

Background

See also: Loughgall ambush, Ballygawley bombing, Derrygorry Gazelle shootdown and Coagh ambush

From 1985 onwards, the IRA in East Tyrone had been at the forefront of a wide IRA campaign against British military facilities. In 1987, an East Tyrone IRA unit was ambushed and eight of its members killed by the SAS while bombing an RUC base at Loughgall, County Armagh. This was the IRA’s greatest loss of life in a single incident during the Troubles. Despite these losses, the IRA campaign continued unabated; 33 British bases were destroyed and nearly 100 damaged during the next five years.[2] The SAS ambush had no noticeable long-term effect on the level of IRA activity in East Tyrone. In the two years before the Loughgall ambush the IRA killed seven people in East Tyrone and North Armagh, and eleven in the two years following the ambush.[3]

Three other IRA volunteers — Gerard Harte, Martin Harte and Brian Mullin — had been ambushed and killed by the SAS as they tried to kill an off-duty Ulster Defence Regiment soldier near Carrickmore, County Tyrone.[4] British intelligence identified them as the perpetrators of the Ballygawley bus bombing, which killed eight British soldiers. After that bombing, all troops on leave or returning from leave were ferried in and out of East Tyrone by helicopter.[5] Another high-profile attack of the East Tyrone Brigade was carried out on 11 January 1990 near Augher, where a Gazelle helicopter was shot down.[6]

On 3 June 1991, three IRA men, Lawrence McNally, Michael “Pete” Ryan and Tony Doris, died in another SAS ambush at Coagh, where their car was riddled with gunfire. Ryan was the same man who according to Irish journalist and author Ed Moloney had led the mixed flying column in the attack on Derryard checkpoint on the orders of IRA Army Council member ‘Slab’ Murphy two years before. Moloney, who wrote A Secret History of the IRA, reported that the IRA East Tyrone Brigade lost 53 members during the Troubles — the highest of any “Brigade area”.[7] Of these, 28 were killed between 1987 and 1992.[8]

The ambush

On 16 February 1992 at 22:30, a car and a truck carrying a number of IRA members drove into the centre of Coalisland and stopped at the fortified RUC/British Army base. The unit opened fire on the base at point-blank with armour-piercing tracer ammunition. They had mounted a heavy DShK machine-gun on the back of the lorry. The machine-gun was manned by Kevin Barry O’Donnell. The two vehicles then drove up the Annagher hill and drove past the house of Tony Doris, an IRA member killed the previous year. There they spent the last rounds of ammunition firing in the air and shouting, “Up the ‘RA, that’s for Tony Doris!”. The IRA unit was intercepted by the SAS[9] at the car park of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic church in Clonoe. The unit was trying to dump the truck and escape in cars. The roof of the church was accidentally set on fire after a stray round hit a fuel storage tank.[10] Three of the dead were found around the truck, while the fourth was caught in a fence outside the church grounds. The machine-gun had been partially dismantled. At least two IRA men got away from the scene, but the four named above were killed. One SAS soldier was wounded, as was Aidan McKeever, the IRA getaway driver.[11] Several witnesses claimed some of the IRA volunteers were trying to surrender but were summarily executed by the SAS.[1] McKeever was awarded ₤75,000 in damages in 2012 by Mr Justice Treacy of Northern Ireland’s High Court. It is unclear if this decision was appealed or if the damages were ever paid.[12]

Internal IRA criticism

A local IRA source pointed out a number of flaws in the operation that led to the deaths of the volunteers:

  • The use of a long-range weapon for a point-blank shooting. The DShK could be used up to 2,000 meters from the target, and its armour-piercing capabilities at 1,500 meters are still considerable.
  • The use of tracer rounds, since the firing location, if not executed from a well-hidden position, is easily spotted.
  • The escape route was chosen at random, with the machine-gun in full sight and the support vehicle flashing its hazard lights.
  • The gathering of so many men at the same place after such an attack was another factor in the getaway’s failure.[1]

Aftermath

 

During the funeral services for O’Donnell and O’Farrell in Coalisland, the parish priest criticised the security forces for what happened at Clonoe church, which led to the deaths of the four men. The priest, Father MacLarnon, then appealed to republicans to replace “the politics of confrontation” with “the politics of cooperation”.[13] While Francis Molloy, a local Sinn Féin councillor, walked out of the church in protest, leading republicans Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness remained in their seats. There were many armed RUC officers outside the church during the funeral, the RUC having changed its policy after the Milltown Cemetery attack. This show of force was criticised as it “ensured new young recruits to the IRA”.[1]

This was the last time that IRA members were killed by the SAS in Northern Ireland,[14] although growing tension between local nationalists and the British military led to an open confrontation with soldiers of the Parachute Regiment in Coalisland three months later.

 

Make a small donation

paypal donation button

Thank you!

 

See: Deaths in the Troubles 16th Feb