Tag Archives: George Seawright

John Bingham UVF : Life & Death

John Bingham Life & Death

John Dowey Bingham (c. 1953 – 14 September 1986) was a prominent Northern Irish loyalist who led “D Company” (Ballysillan), 1st Battalion, Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). He was shot dead by the Provisional IRA after they had broken into his home.

Bingham was one of a number of prominent UVF members to be assassinated during the 1980s, the others being Lenny Murphy, William Marchant, Robert Seymour and Jackie Irvine

 – Disclaimer –

The views and opinions expressed in these pages/documentaries are solely 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.

Ulster Volunteer Force

John Bingham was born in Northern Ireland around 1953 and was brought up in a Protestant family. Described as a shopkeeper, he was married with two children. He lived in Ballysillan Crescent, in the unionist estate of Ballysillan in North Belfast, and also owned a holiday caravan home in MillisleCounty Down.

He was a member of the “Old Boyne Island Heroes” Lodge of the Orange Order. On an unknown date, he joined the Ulster loyalist paramilitary organisation, the UVF, and eventually became the commander of its “D Company”, 1st Battalion, Ballysillan, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

See: Oranger Order

He was the mastermind behind a productive gun-running operation from Canada, which over the years had involved the smuggling of illegal weapons into Northern Ireland to supply UVF arsenals; however, three months after Bingham’s death, the entire operation collapsed following a raid on a house in Toronto by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in December 1986.

Bingham was one of the loyalist paramilitaries named in the evidence given by supergrass Joe Bennett, who accused him of being a UVF commander.  He testified that he had seen Bingham armed with an M60 machine gun and claimed that Bingham had been sent to Toronto to raise funds for the UVF.

These meetings opened contact with Canadian businessman John Taylor, who became involved in smuggling guns from North America to the UVF.  As a result of Bennett’s testimony, Bingham was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after being convicted of committing serious crimes.

He publicly denounced the supergrass system before live television cameras outside Belfast’s Crumlin Road Courthouse when he was released in December 1984 after his conviction had been overturned, having spent two and a half years in prison.

Dillon in 2020
Martin Dillon

On one occasion, Bingham allegedly placed a loaded pistol inside journalist Martin Dillon‘s mouth because of the latter’s offensive words he had used against him. In an attempt to make amends for his threat, Bingham invited Dillon to visit him at his home in North Belfast.

Dillon accepted the invitation and after several whiskeys and brandishing a pistol, Bingham offered to show him his racing pigeons as he was an avid pigeon fancier. He then told Dillon that he shouldn’t believe what people said about him claiming that he couldn’t harm a pigeon. As they said farewell at the front door, Bingham reportedly murmured in a cold voice to Dillon:

“You ever write about me again and I’ll blow yer fuckin’ brains out, because you’re not a pigeon”.

Killing

IRA Belfast Brigade, shoot & kill UVF Inner Council memember John Bingham 14 September 1986

In July 1986, a 25-year-old Catholic civilian, Colm McCallan, was shot close to his Ligoniel home; two days later, he died of his wounds. The IRA sought to avenge McCallan’s death by killing Bingham, the man they held responsible for the shooting.[

Bingham was also believed to have been behind the deaths of several other Catholic civilians.

Ballysillan, north Belfast, where John Bingham lived and commanded the Ballysillan UVF

At 1:30 am on 14 September 1986, Bingham had just returned to Ballysillan Crescent from his caravan home in Millisle. Three gunmen from the IRA’s Ardoyne 3rd Battalion Belfast Brigade, armed with two automatic rifles and a .38 Special, smashed down his front door with a sledgehammer and shot Bingham twice in the legs. Despite his injuries, Bingham ran up the stairs in an attempt to escape his attackers and had just reached a secret door at the top when the gunmen shot him three more times, killing him.

 He was 33 years old. He was given a UVF paramilitary funeral, which was attended by politicians from the two main unionist parties, the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Members of his “Old Boyne Island Heroes” Orange Order (OO) Lodge formed the guard of honour around his coffin, which was covered with the UVF flag and his gloves and beret. Prominent DUP activist George Seawright helped carry the coffin whilst wearing his OO sash, and called for revenge.

See: George Seawright

In retaliation, the UVF killed Larry Marley, a leading IRA member from Ardoyne who was also a close friend of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. The IRA in their turn gunned down William “Frenchie” Marchant the following spring on the Shankill Road. The deaths of three leading UVF members caused suspicion amongst the UVF leadership that someone within their ranks was setting up high-ranking UVF men by passing on pertinent information to the IRA; therefore, they decided to conduct an enquiry.

Although it was revealed that the three men, Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy, Bingham, and Marchant had all quarrelled with powerful UDA fund-raiser and racketeer James Pratt Craig prior to their deaths, the UVF did not believe the evidence was sufficient to warrant an attack against Craig, who ran a large protection racket in Belfast.

Jim craig loyalist.jpg
James Craig

Craig was later shot to death in an East Belfast pub by the UDA (using their “Ulster Freedom Fighters” covername) for “treason”, claiming he had been involved in the assassination of South Belfast UDA brigadier John McMichael, who was blown up by a booby-trap car bomb planted by the IRA outside his Lisburn home in December 1987.

See : James Craig

In Ballysillan Road, there is a memorial plaque dedicated to the memory of Bingham. His name is also on the banner of the “Old Boyne Island Heroes” Lodge.

3rd December – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

3rd December

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Monday 3 December 1973

Francis Pym succeeded William Whitelaw as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

[Many people were critical of this particular change given that the talks on the crucial issue of the Council of Ireland were scheduled to begin on 6 December 1973. Pym it was believed had comparatively little knowledge of Northern Ireland.]

Harry West and other ‘unpledged’ Unionists announced the setting up of a new group called the Ulster Unionist Assembly Party (UUAP). The UUAP later held a joint meeting with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Vanguard in the Ulster Hall, Belfast.

Tuesday 3 December 1974

Members of the Maguire family, who later became known as the ‘Maguire Seven’, were arrested at their home in London. They were held on suspicion of making the bombs used in the explosions in Guildford on 5 October 1974. [The ‘Maguire Seven’ were convicted on 3 March 1976 of possession of explosives (although none were found) and some served 10 years in prison before the convictions were overturned.]

Friday 3 December 1976

Patrick Hillery became the President of the Republic of Ireland.

Saturday 3 December 1977

Seamus Twomey, formerly Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), was arrested in Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

Thursday 3 December 1981

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), claimed that the ‘Third Force’ had between 15,000 and 20,000 members. James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said in response that private armies would not be tolerated. [ Political Developments. ]

Tuesday 3 December 1985

Tom King, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, expressed his regret for a speech he made in Brussels in which he had said he thought the Irish government accepted that there would never be a united Ireland.

Wednesday 3 December 1986

Two Republicans, Brendan McFarlane and Gerard Kelly, who had escaped from the Maze prison on 25 September 1983 were extradited from Holland to Northern Ireland and appeared in a Lisburn court on charges related to the escape.

Thursday 3 December 1987

George Seawright died from wounds having been shot by the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) on 19 November 1987.

See George Seawright

Thursday 3 December 1992

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded two bombs in Manchester, England, injuring over 60 people.

Friday 3 December 1993

The Irish Times (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) reported the results of a poll on the options for a political settlement in Northern Ireland. Among Catholic respondents 33 per cent favoured the option of joint authority while 32 per cent wanted to see a United Ireland. Of those Protestants asked 35 per cent favoured closer integration with the United Kingdom (UK).

Saturday 3 December 1994

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that his party would try to wreck any new Assembly.

Tuesday 3 December 1996

An Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) delegation met Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States of America (USA), and a number of members of Congress, in Washington.

Wednesday 3 December 1997

Sinn Féin (SF) produced a dossier outlining their case that the party was being discriminated against in the allocation of committee chairs at Belfast City Council.

[SF was the joint largest party in the council along with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) both of whom had 13 councillors. However, whereas Unionists parties including the Alliance Party had 93 per cent of the committee chairs and 87 per cent of vice-chairs, SF had no positions.]

Thursday 3 December 1998

There was further violence at Drumcree, County Armagh, where the Orange Order was continuing its protest at not being allowed to walk down the mainly Catholic Garvaghy Road. Up to 1,000 Loyalists clashed with police at Drumcree. John Taylor, then deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), told journalists reporting the discussions on the setting up of departments and the North-South Ministerial Council to take a week off “because nothing will be happening”.

[The Unionists were blamed for the breakdown of an agreement on the issue.]

David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, travelled to Washington, United States of America (USA).

Sunday 3 December 2000

A Catholic couple and their 12 year old daughter escaped injury after a pipe-bomb was thrown at their home in Harper’s Hill, Coleraine, County Antrim. A Catholic man and his two sons escaped injury after a pipe-bomb was thrown at their house on the Old Glenarm Road in Larne, County Antrim. Both attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Monday 3 December 2001

Frankie Mulholland (43), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries shot as he sat in a car on the Upper Crumlin Road, close to Horseshoe Bend, north Belfast, at approximately 8.00pm (2000GMT).

A second man in the car was taken to hospital suffering from shock. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), claimed responsibility for the attack.

[At the time police said they were investigating a motive for the killing but thought it might be drugs related.]

Two Catholic teenagers escaped injury when a pipe-bomb was thrown at them close to the Hillman Street and Duncairn Gardens interface in north Belfast. Three men had thrown the device over the peaceline. Residents claimed that the attack was sectarian. Component parts of a pipe-bomb were found in the front garden of a house in Whitewell Road, north Belfast. British Army technical officers were called to deal with the device.

A number of armed and masked men hijacked a van and left it on the Derry to Strabane Road. The road was closed as a result and a number of families evacuated from their homes. John Reid, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, addressed a meeting of the British-Irish Interparliamentary Body (BIIB) in Bournemouth, England. Reid said that the Good Friday Agreement was the “golden thread” on which political progress in Northern Ireland must be based and if the Agreement was implemented in full it would mean the same rights and respect for everyone.

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), called on Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, to investigate accusations of collusion between the British security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries in the killing of Nationalists in Northern Ireland. Mark Durkan (SDLP), then Minister of Finance and Personnel, presented his budget to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Assembly debated the budget on Tuesday 11 December 2001. Durkan announced an additional €39m  funding for public services from the cross-departmental Executive Programme Funds. Among the 30 spending proposals was a special fund to help victims of violence. Other sectors to benefit from the extra funding were health, community regeneration, education, equality promotion, and sport.

Sylvia Hermon (Lady), then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP, became the first member of the UUP to address a meeting of Fianna Fáil (FF). Hermon had been invited to give a speech to the Dublin South association of FF.

[Hermon had previously invited Mark Durkan, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), to address a meeting North Down Association of the UUP on 19 November 2001.]

John de Chastelain (Gen.), then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), travelled to Dublin to present a progress report on contacts with Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries. The General Consumer Council issued a report entitled ‘The Price of Being Poor’ which claimed that 2,000 people in Northern Ireland die prematurely because of poverty. It was estimated that 25 per cent of all households in the region have income below the poverty line.

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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.

8  People lost their lives on the 3rd December  between 1972 – 2000

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03 December 1972


Samuel Hamilton,   (50)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Found shot Comber Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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03 December 1973


Joseph Walker,   (18)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during attempted ambush of British Army (BA) mobile patrol, The Rath, Central Drive, Creggan, Derry.

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03 December 1976


Joseph Scott,   (49)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty reservist. Shot while working as traffic warden, Circular Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone

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03 December 1979


William Wright,   (58)

Protestant
Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his home, Lyndhurst Drive, off Ballygomartin Road, Belfast.

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03 December 1979


David White,   (35)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his home, Brooke Crescent, off Black’s Road, Belfast.

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03 December 1987


George Seawright ,  (36)

Protestant
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Loyalist activist. Died two weeks after being shot while sitting in stationary car, Dundee Street, Shankill, Belfast.

See George Seawright

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03 December 1990


David Shiels,  (30)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his mobile home, Crew Road, Maghera, County Derry.

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03 December 2001
Francis Mulholland,   (34)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
Shot while sitting in his stationary car, opposite petrol filling station, Upper Crumlin Road, Belfast.

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George Seawright -1951- 3 December 1987)

George Seawright (c. 1951 – 3 December 1987) was a controversial unionist politician and paramilitary in Northern Ireland who was assassinated by the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) during the Troubles

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George Seawright Tribute – Died 3rd December 1987

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Early life

Born in Glasgow, Scotland from an Ulster Protestant background, Seawright lived in Drumchapel and worked in the shipyards of Clydeside Also living for a time in Springburn, he was one of the few Scots to join the Ulster Protestant Volunteers in the late 1960s .  

He then worked in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast until entering politics as a member of the Democratic Unionist Party As well as being a shipyard worker he also served as a lay preacher and was an elder in north Belfast’s John Knox Memorial Free Presbyterian Church. Seawright was also a member of an Orange Lodge in the Ballysillan area of North Belfast  and the Apprentice Boys of Derry. He lived in the unionist Glencairn estate in the northwest of the city with his wife and three children. 

 – Disclaimer –

The views and opinions expressed in these pages/documentaries 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.

Politics and controversy

Seawright was noted for his fiery rhetoric. He was elected to Belfast City Council in 1981 and soon developed a following amongst unionists.  The following year he was elected as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) candidate to the 1982 Northern Ireland Assembly. Seawright, who had initially campaigned for John McQuade before securing his own candidacy, had problems with the party leadership from early on as, he claimed, he was viewed as lacking respectability due to his rough personality, his residence in social housing and the fact that he was in arrears to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Seawright courted controversy throughout his fairly brief career and was criticised for an interview he gave to Nationalism Today, a journal produced in support of the Political Soldier wing of the British National Front (NF). In it, Seawright praised the NF, not only for their support for Ulster loyalism but also for their stance on race and immigration. His younger brother David Seawright was an active member of the NF.

 

 

Whiterock leisure centre, the scene of Seawright’s flag raid

In 1984, following the erection of an Irish tricolour on Whiterock leisure centre, Seawright led a group of loyalists wielding legally-held handguns to physically remove it.  Despite their efforts two flags were put up to replace it soon afterwards. Following a heated exchange in which People’s Democracy councillor John McAnulty described the British Union Flag as “a butcher’s apron” McAnulty alleged that Seawright delivered a veiled death threat, saying: “I have a soft spot for you Mr McAnulty, it’s in Milltown Cemetery.”

He continued to court controversy when he told a meeting of the Belfast Education and Library Board in 1984 that Irish Catholics who objected to the singing of the British national anthem “are just fenian scum who have been indoctrinated by the Catholic Church. Taxpayers’ money would be better spent on an incinerator and burning the lot of them.

Their priests should be thrown in and burnt as well.” Seawright denied making these comments, although they were widely reported by the press at the time.  The comments had been sparked by a debate before the board about building a new incinerator at a Catholic primary school.

He was prosecuted and received a six-month suspended sentence as a result. 

DUP withdraw support

 

 

Church of God, Conway Street, Shankill Road, where Seawright worshipped after splitting from the Free Presbyterian Church

Following these high-profile political mistakes, the DUP withdrew the party whip from Seawright, although he managed to hold his support base and was returned to the Council in 1985 as an independent under the label ‘Protestant Unionist’. He was shunned by the DUP and UUP city councillors; indeed the only people who would talk to him were Sinn Féin city councillors.

Nonetheless he did not sever his ties with all DUP members and in summer 1985 joined Ivan Foster, Jim Wells and George Graham in a failed attempt to force a banned loyalist march through the mainly nationalist town of Castlewellan Seawright did however split from the Free Presbyterian Church and instead worshipped at the Shankill Road‘s Church of God.

As a candidate for the Westminster elections, Seawright twice contested the North Belfast constituency. In 1983, as a DUP candidate, Seawright finished second with 8,260 votes behind Cecil Walker of the Ulster Unionists, whilst in 1987 he finished third behind Walker and Alban Maginness (Social Democratic and Labour Party) with 5,671 votes as a Protestant Unionist candidate (although the DUP did not contest the seat due to an electoral pact among Unionist candidates at the time). Seawright took the name Ulster Protestant League, which had been used by an earlier loyalist group, for his largely working-class Evangelical group of supporters even though the name was not used for electoral purposes.

Move to loyalism

In the aftermath of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and his removal from the DUP Seawright moved publicly closer to loyalism. He stated that he felt it would be impossible to resist the Agreement solely through non-violence and further argued that it would be inevitable for loyalists to break from Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux as the two leaders of unionism would never publicly endorse a violent response. For Seawright conflict was inevitable, especially with the growing electoral success of Sinn Féin which he argued would harden both communities and bring about civil war.

Seawright further enhanced his notoriety when, on 20 November 1985, he took a leading role in the protests against the visit of the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Tom King to Belfast City Hall, where King was denounced for his part in the Anglo-Irish Agreement and attacked physically by Seawright and other protestors. For his part in the incident Seawright was sentenced to nine months imprisonment in Magilligan prison in October 1986.

As a result of this jailing, Seawright was forced to vacate his seat on Belfast City Council. The Workers’ Party blocked the co-option of his wife Liz, who nevertheless beat the Workers’ Party by 93% to 7% in the subsequent by-election  (in which she also stood under the label of Protestant Unionist). She held the seat in 1989, but lost it in the 1993 local government election.

He courted further controversy in September 1986 when he publicly called for revenge after the killing of John Bingham, a leading UVF member and friend of Seawright, by the IRA. Raymond Mooney, a Catholic civilian, was killed soon after Seawright made the statement.

He made similar remarks the following year when William “Frenchie” Marchant was killed by republicans, stating that he had “no hesitation in calling for revenge and retribution”. Seawright’s North Belfast campaign in 1987 also played up his loyalist image with Seawright dubbing himself “the man who will not be silenced”. He further promised to follow an abstentionist policy if he were elected in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Death

Following his release, Seawright made plans to regain his seat, although ultimately he was to be assassinated before the opportunity arrived. Martin Dillon alleged in his book The Dirty War that Seawright met with representatives of the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) in the Europa Hotel, after being informed by the RUC that he was on an IPLO hit list. It was alleged that during the meeting, Seawright agreed to provide low level information to the IPLO in exchange for his safety. Nonetheless, on 19 November 1987 Seawright was shot whilst he waited in a car near a taxi firm on the Shankill Road (for whom he was due to begin working) by the IPLO, dying of the wounds he suffered on 3 December that same year.

Dillon further claimed that Seawright’s details, as well as those of Bingham, Lenny Murphy and William Marchant had been supplied to their killers by leading Ulster Defence Association member James Craig in return for the republicans guaranteeing his safety.

According to an internal UDA document investigating claims of collusion with republicans Craig had brought two other members to the car park of the Shankill Road leisure centre on the day Seawright was killed, a location only fifty yards away from the murder scene.[32] The UVF blamed the killing on Martin “Rook” O’Prey, a leading IPLO hitman who was killed by the UVF at his home in 1991.

They questioned Craig about his alleged involvement but decided that he had not played any role in the killing.

In August 2006 the Ulster Volunteer Force listed Seawright in a list of its members who were killed during the “Troubles”. It has also been claimed by Henry McDonald and Jim Cusack that Seawright was an informer who passed information about loyalists to the Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch.

See:  John Bingham    

19th November – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

19th November

Thursday 19 November 1970 

Figures were released by the Commissioner for Complaints showing that there had been 970 complaints in the first ten months of his office, with 74 of them alleging discrimination.

Sunday 19 November 1972

Seán MacStiofáin, then leader of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), was arrested in Dublin.

[He was subsequently sentenced to six months imprisonment in Republic of Ireland.]

Monday 19 November 1984

Anglo-Irish Summit Meeting Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, held an Anglo-Irish summit meeting with Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), together with British and Irish ministers and officials, at Chequers in England.

A joint communiqué was issued following the summit meeting. At 5.00pm Thatcher gave a press conference at 10 Downing Street, London. Responding to a question from a member of the press Thatcher ruled out the three options proposed in the Report of the New Ireland Forum: “… a united Ireland was one solution. That is out. A second solution was confederation of the two states. That is out. A third solution was joint authority. That is out.”

[Thatcher’s ‘out, out, out’ comments were considered by many Nationalists as being perfunctorily dismissive.]

Douglas Hurd, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, also gave a press conference. At 6.00pm FitzGerald gave a press conference at the Irish Embassy in London.

Tuesday 19 November 1985

The 18 District Councils that were controlled by Unionists voted for a policy of adjournment against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The councils also threatened to refuse to set the ‘rates’ (local government taxes).

[These developments sparked a long period of disruption in local government in Northern Ireland.]

Thursday 19 November 1987

George Seawright

 

 

A Loyalist activist, George Seawright, was shot and fatally wounded by the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO); a splinter group of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). [George Seawright achieved notoriety for his extreme anti-republican and anti-Catholic views. He died of his injuries two weeks later.]

Friday 19 November 1993

The Irish Press (a Republic of Ireland newspaper) carried a report of a secret plan drawn up by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs on the future of Northern Ireland.

Saturday 19 November 1994

Bertie Ahern

 

 

Bertie Ahern, was elected as the new leader of Fianna Fáil (FF).

Thursday 19 November 1998

A spokesperson on behalf of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) said that the group had decided to postpone the handover of (some) weapons. The reason given was the remarks made by Ken Maginness, Security Spokesman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), when he called the LVF “ruthless” and “sectarian killers”.

The Northern Ireland Act, which provides for the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, became law. The United Nations (UN) Committee Against Torture published a report calling for a ban on plastic bullets, the closure of Castlereagh and other Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) detention centres and the “reconstruction” of the RUC. The report was criticised by Unionists.

Friday 19 November 1999

An application to the High Court in Belfast for a judicial review of the decision of Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, former Secretary of State of Northern Ireland, to accept as intact the ceasefire of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The application was dismissed by the court. Two men lost their appeal against their life sentences.

The two men had been convicted of the murder of Greg Taylor, a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, on 1 June 1997. Taylor had been off-duty and was beaten to death by a Loyalist mob as he left a public house in Ballymoney. [The two men were later released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.]

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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 19th November between 1980 – 1992

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19 November 1980
Thomas Orr,  (38)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot outside his workplace, Ulster Bank, Boucher Road, Belfast.

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19 November 1981
John McKeegan,  (49)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while delivering wood, Olympic Drive, Ballycolman, Strabane, County Tyrone.

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19 November 1992


 Ian Warnock,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Royal Irish Regiment (RIR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while sitting in his stationary car outside his wife’s workplace, Moypark factory, Seagoe, Portadown, County Armagh.

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19 November 1992


Peter McCormack,   (42)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot during gun attack on Thierafurth Inn, Kilcoo, near Castlewellan, County Down.

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See : George Seawright

2nd October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles
2nd t October

Friday 2 October 1970

It was announced that local government elections would be postponed.

[The next local government elections took place on 30 May 1973.]

Saturday 2 October 1971

A member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was killed in a premature bomb explosion.

Thursday 2 October 1975

UVF Logo
UVF Logo

12 People Killed in UVF Attacks 12 people died in a series of Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) attacks across Northern Ireland. Four Catholic civilians were killed in a UVF gun attack at Casey’s Bottling Plant, Millfield, Belfast. Two other Catholic civilians were killed in separate bomb attacks in Belfast and County Antrim.

Two Protestant civilians were also killed in UVF attacks. And four members of the UVF died when a bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely near Coleraine, County Derry.

Tuesday 2 October 1979

In a statement the Irish Republican Army (IRA) rejected Pope John Paul II’s call for an end to the violence in Northern Ireland. The IRA declared that it had widespread support and that Britain would only withdraw from Northern Ireland if forced to do so: “force is by far the only means of removing the evil of the British presence in Ireland … we know also that upon victory the Church would have no difficulty in recognising us”. Maurice Oldfield, the former head of MI6, was appointed to a new post of security co-ordinator for Northern Ireland.

[This is seen as an attempt to improve relations between the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the British Army.]

Thursday 2 October 1986

George Seawright, then a Loyalist councillor, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for his part in disturbances following a protest at Belfast City Hall on 20 November 1985.

See: George Seawright

Wednesday 2 October 1991

‘The Committee’ Broadcast The Channel 4 broadcasting company showed a documentary called ‘The Committee’ in its Dispatches series. The programme claimed that there was an ‘inner circle’ in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) which was colluding with Loyalist paramilitaries in the killing of Catholics.

[A subsequent book on the controversy, also entitled ‘The Committee’, was not released in the United Kingdom (UK) by the American publishers who feared libel proceedings.]

Saturday 2 October 1993

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded three bombs in Hampstead, north London and injured six people and damaged a number of shops and flats.

Monday 2 October 1995

The Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) carried a report of an interview with David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). Trimble was reported as calling for the establishment of a Northern Ireland Assembly and he said he would debate with Sinn Féin (SF) if the party took its seats in this proposed assembly. Trimble travelled to Dublin for a meeting with John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).

Friday 2 October 1998

Desmond Tutu

During a visit to Northern Ireland Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said that politicians would have to answer to the people if the peace process was allowed to stall.

Saturday 2 October 1999

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), spoke at the conference of the youth wing of the UUP. Trimble criticised the Young Unionists for passing a motion calling for the exclusion of Sinn Féin (SF) from any future government. As he spoke Trimble was heckled. Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), gave an address to the second annual Congress of Ógra Sinn Féin in Dublin.

The youth wing of SF voted to reject the Patten report. Eddie McGrady, then chief whip of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), accused the Conservative Party of selecting spokesmen on Northern Ireland who “are totally anti-Agreement, anti-change and therefore anti-peace”. Sam Cushnahan, then Director of Families Against Intimidation and Terror (FAIT), announced that the group was ending its work.

Monday 2 October 2000

The Human Rights Act 1998 came into force. This Act gave effect to some (but not all) of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The necessary legislation had been passed at Westminster in 1998 but the delay was to give lawyers and public organisations time to prepare. Under the Human Rights Act people are able to bring a case in local courts rather than having to go to Strasbourg where the European Court sits

Tuesday 2 October 2001

Quentin Davies, then Conservative MP and Shadow Secretary of State, accompanied parents and children as they returned home through the Loyalist protest outside the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Davies described the protest as “utterly unacceptable”.

[It was reported (Irish Times) that one protester, who seemed uncertain of Davies identity, shouted: “Away back to the Free State, Fenian scum”.]

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) managed to secure 30 signatures to allow it to table a motion in the Northern Ireland Assembly to exclude Sinn Féin (SF) ministers from the Executive. The UUP motion had been short by two signatures but the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) members put their names to the motion. The UUP has said that if the motion fails the party will withdraw its ministers from the Executive.

[The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had tabled a similar motion on Monday 1 October 2001 but the UUP motion will be the one debated. The planned move by the UUP will result in the (long-term) suspension of the power-sharing government.]

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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.

  17  People lost their lives on the 2nd October  between 1971 – 1975

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02 October 1971
Terence McDermott,   (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion outside electricity sub-station, Lambeg, near Lisburn, County Antrim.

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02 October 1972


Edward Stuart,  (20)

Protestant
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
From Northern Ireland. Undercover British Army (BA) member. Shot while driving laundry van, Juniper Park, Twinbrook, Belfast.

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02 October 1972
Edward Bonner,  (50)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while inside Grosvenor Homing Pigeon’s Club, Iveagh Street, Falls, Belfast. Alleged informer.

See: IRA Nutting Squad 

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02 October 1972


Seamus Wright,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Abducted from his home, Bombay Street, Falls, Belfast. Presumed killed. Body never recovered. Alleged informer.

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02 October 1972


Kevin McKee,  (-9)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Abducted somewhere in Belfast. Presumed killed. Body never recovered. Alleged informer

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02 October 1975
Maria McGrattan,   (47)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at her workplace, Casey’s Bottling Company, Millfield, Belfast.

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02 October 1975
Frances Donnelly,  (35)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at her workplace, Casey’s Bottling Company, Millfield, Belfast.

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02 October 1975


Gerard Grogan,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his workplace, Casey’s Bottling Company, Millfield, Belfast.

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02 October 1975


Thomas Osbourne.  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his workplace, Casey’s Bottling Company, Millfield, Belfast. He died 23 October 1975.

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02 October 1975


Thomas Murphy,   (29)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in booby trap bomb attack at his photographer’s shop, corner of Cranburn Street and Antrim Road, Belfast.

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02 October 1975


John Stewart,  (35)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed during gun and bomb attack on McKenna’s Bar, Ballyginiff, near Crumlin, County Antrim.

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02 October 1975
Irene Nicholson,  (37)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in bomb attack on Anchor Bar, Catherine Street, Killyleagh, County Down.

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02 October 1975
Ronald Winters,   (26)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Shot at his parents’ home, London Road, Belfast.

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02 October 1975
Samuel Swanson,   (28)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died when bomb exploded prematurely, while travelling in car along Farrenlester Road, near Coleraine, County Derry.

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02 October 1975
Mark Dodd,  (17)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died when bomb exploded prematurely, while travelling in car along Farrenlester Road, near Coleraine, County Derry.

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02 October 1975
Robert Freeman,   (17)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died when bomb exploded prematurely, while travelling in car along Farrenlester Road, near Coleraine, County Derry.

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02 October 1975


Aubrey Reid,  (25)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died when bomb exploded prematurely, while travelling in car along Farrenlester Road, near Coleraine, County Derry.

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