Tag Archives: James O’Neill

12th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

12th February

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Tuesday 12 February 1974

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb at the National Defence College at Latimer, Buckinghamshire, England. The bomb (estimated at 20 pounds) injured 10 people but there were no deaths.

Wednesday 12 February 1975

A series of seven ‘Incident Centres’ were established in Nationalist areas across Northern Ireland to monitor the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire and the response of the security forces. The centres were manned by members of Sinn Féin (SF) who liased with government officials at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

Thursday 12 February 1976

Frank Stagg, a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), died after 61 days on hunger strike in Wakefield Prison, Yorkshire, England. Stagg had been on hunger strike in protest at the British government’s refusal to transfer him to a prison in Northern Ireland.

A member of the RUC was shot dead by the IRA in Claudy, County Derry. A member of the youth section of the IRA was killed during an arson atttach on a warehouse in Belfast.

Talks between the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) broke down after only an hour. The UUUC would not agree on SDLP involvement in any future Northern Ireland cabinet.

[This was a key element as far as Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, was concerned. The final meeting of the Convention took place on 3 March 1976. The British government brought the Convention to an end on 5 March 1976.] [ Constitutional Convention. ]

Thursday 12 February 1981

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), was suspended from the House of Commons when he repeatedly called Humphrey Atkins, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a liar. [ Political Developments; Employment.]

Friday 12 February 1982

Three of the five members of the Committee of Inquiry set up to investigate the Kincora Scandal resigned. They claimed that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) had not dealt with all the major criminal matters surrounding the case. The DeLorean Motor Company laid off 1,100 of its 2,600 workers.

[This was a major blow to the economically deprived area of west Belfast.]

Thursday 12 February 1987

Unionist Petition A 400,000 signature petition was delivered to Buckingham Palace by Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs). The petition was in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

Sunday 12 February 1989

Finucane Killing

See Pat Finucane Post

Patrick Finucane (38), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Finucane was a Belfast solicitor who had represented a number of Republicans. He was killed at his home, Fortwilliam Drive, off Antrim Road, Belfast, in front of the members of his family.

The shooting followed comments made (on 17 January 1989) by Douglas Hogg, then a British Home Office Minister, about a “number of solicitors in Northern Ireland who are unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA”.

[There were a number of accusations that there had been collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and the security forces in the killing of Finucane. There were futher claims of collusion on 29 August 1989. On 17 April 1999 John Stevens, then deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, returned to Northern Ireland to launch a third Inquiry specifically into the killing of Finucane. He also began to investigate allegations raised by campaign group British-Irish Rights Watch and the United Nations. Stevens’ third report was presented to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on 17 April 2003. The report concluded that there had been collusion in the killing of Finucane between members of the security forces, especially the Force Research Unit (FRU), and Loyalists. See: Stevens summary report.]

Monday 12 February 1990

Harold McCusker, then Deputy Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper Bann, died as a result of cancer at the age of 50. The Green Party, a political party with a mainly environmental platform, was launched in Northern Ireland.

Thursday 12 February 1993

Christopher Harte (24), a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), was found dead near Castlederg, County Tyrone. He had been shot dead by the IRA who claimed that he had been an informer.

Saturday 12 February 1994

The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), carried out rocket attack on the headquarters of Sinn Féin (SF) in west Belfast.

Wednesday 12 February 1997

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot dead Stephen Restorick, then a British soldier, at an Army checkpoint in Bessbrook, County Armagh.

[This killing was often refered to as the last British soldier killed in Northern Ireland, until 7 March 2009 when two soldiers were killed by the Real IRA in County Antrim.]

See : Stephen Restorick

12 February 1998

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement which said that the IRA’s ceasefire was still intact.

[This was seen as an attempt to prevent Sinn Féin (SF) from being expelled from the multi-party talks.]

Friday 12 February 1999

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) denied that it was involved in recent attacks on Catholic homes and businesses. Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), gave an interview to the Press Association in which he said that Northern Ireland would be moving into a united Ireland in 15 years’ time.

[Reference may have been to the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916?]

Tuesday 12 February 2002

The High Court in Belfast heard an appeal by lawyers representing the Bloody Sunday Inquiry for the court to postpone a court action brought (on 11 February 2002) by the families of those killed.

The action surrounded the Inquiry’s decision to allow police witnesses to give evidence from behind screens. The action was allowed to proceed and the Inquiry’s appeal was dismissed.

[On Wednesday 13 February 2002 the judge announced he would make a final decision on the families’ action during the following week.]

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) put forward a motion in the Northern Ireland Assembly that all primary school pupils should receive souvenir medals to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The motion was passed by 26 votes to 11 votes. Martin McGuinness (SF), then Minister for Education, said that his department would not pay for the medals. David Trimble (UUP), then First Minister, and Mark Durkan (SDLP), then Deputy First Minister, announced that they would begin a consultation process on a comprehensive review of public administration in Northern Ireland.

Among the matters for review are: local government structures (the 26 district councils); the five education and library boards; the four health boards; and the many unelected quangos (committees) that manage many areas of public administration.

The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, a group based in the United States of America (USA), published a report in to the death of Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989. The report was entitled: ‘Beyond Collusion: The UK Security Forces and the Murder of Pat Finucane’ [PDF FILE 324KB]. The report repeated earlier allegations of collusion between security forces and Loyalist paramilitary groups and also claimed to have found new evidence to support the claims.

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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.

9 People   lost their lives on the 12th February  between  1974 – 1997

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12 February 1974


Peter Carty,   (57)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot at his workplace, Balmoral Service Station, Lisburn Road, Belfast.

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12 February 1976


Frank Stagg,  (34)

nfNIB
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Originally from County Mayo. Died on 62 day of hunger strike, Wakefield Prison, Yorkshire, England.

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12 February 1976


William Hamer,   (31)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, Claudy, County Derry

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12 February 1976


James O’Neill, (17)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army Youth Section (IRAF),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died when badly burnt during arson attack on furniture warehouse, Antrim Road, New Lodge, Belfast.

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12 February 1977


Samuel McKane,  (33)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Cloughmills, County Antrim.

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12 February 1979
Patrick Sills,  (27)

nfNI
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
From County Donegal. Found shot in field, Laghtfoggy, near Castlederg, County Tyrone. Internal IRA dispute

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12 February 1989


Patrick Finucane,  (38)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Lawyer. Shot at his home, Fortwilliam Drive, off Antrim Road, Belfast

See Pat Finucane Post

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12 February 1993
Christopher Harte,   (24)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot in ditch by side of Carn Road, near Castlederg, County Tyrone. Alleged informer.

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12 February 1997


Stephen Restorick,  (23)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot, by sniper, while at British Army (BA) Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Green Road, Bessbrook, County Armagh.

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See Bombardier Stephen Restorick – Last soldier killed in Northern

27th November – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

27th November

Thursday 27 November 1969

A Commissioner for Complaints, John Benn, was appointed to deal with matters related to local government and public bodies.

Saturday 27 November 1971

Two Customs officials, Ian Hankin (27) a Protestant and James O’Neill (39) a Catholic, were shot by an Irish Republican Army (IRA) sniper who fired upon a British Army (BA) patrol investigating a bomb attack on a Customs Post near Newry, County Armagh. A British soldier was shot dead in Belfast.

Wednesday 27 November 1974

Roy Jenkins

 

 

Roy Jenkins, then British Home Secretary, introduced the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Bill into the House of Commons, Westminster. One of the provisions of the Bill provided the police with powers to arrest and detain suspected terroristts for up to 48 hours in the first instance, and for up to seven days if the police applied to the Home Secretary for additional time.

The provision also allowed for exclusion orders to be made against people suspected of involvement in terrorism. Jenkins described the provisions in the Bill as “draconian measures unprecedented in peacetime”.

[The Bill became law on 29 November 1974.]

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out two bomb attacks near an Army museum in Tite Street, Chelsea, London. Initially a small bomb exploded in a post office pillar-box at 8.30pm. Approximately 20 minutes later a second, larger bomb, exploded behind a hedge just a short distance away from the first explosion. Twenty people were injured in the second explosion including an explosives officer, six policmen and two ambulance men.

[The tactic of the ‘come-on’ bomb was one which the IRA used on many occasions in Northern Ireland.]

Thursday 27 November 1975

Ross McWhirter (50), who had publicly criticised Irish Republican Army (IRA) violence, was shot dead by the IRA at his home in Village Road, Enfield, London. McWhirter was a founder of the Guinness Book of World Records and had offered a £50,000 reward for the capture of the IRA members responsible for the bombings in London.

Saturday 27 November 1976

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed two Catholic civilians in separate booby-trap bomb attacks in Lurgan, County Armagh and Bogside, Derry. The bombs had been intended for the security forces.

The Peace People held a rally in London which was attended by approximately 30,000 people. Republican sympathisers held a small counter demonstration and chanted ‘troops out’.

Thursday 27 November 1980

Humphrey Atkins, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, told the House of Commons that there was still no consensus amongst the parties in Northern Ireland and little prospect for a devolved government in the region.

Sunday 27 November 1983

Dominic McGlinchey, believed to be chief of staff of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), admitted that his organisation had been involved in the Darkley killings on 20 November 1983

 

Wednesday 27 November 1985

The House of Commons approved the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in a vote of 473 votes to 47. During her speech Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, said that the government would not give way to threats or violence.

Tuesday 27 November 1990

During the Conservative Party leadership contest Margaret Thatcher failed to win outright victory and withdrew from the race. John Major was elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and the new British Prime Minister.

Wednesday 27 November 1991

Four members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) were arrested outside the home of Laurence Kennedy, then leader of the Northern Ireland Conservative Party.

Saturday 27 November 1993

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held its annual conference in Cookstown, County Tyrone. In his address John Hume, then leader of the SDLP, stated that John Major, then British Prime Minister, held

“the key to peace”.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held its annual conference at Castlereagh in Belfast. Ian Paisley, then leader of the DUP, told delegates that Northern Ireland faced “the greatest threat to the Union since the Home Rule Crisis”.

Monday 27 November 1995

Catholic Killed in Sectarian Attack Norman Harley (46), a Catholic civilian, was found beaten to death at the Waterworks, off Cavehill Road, Belfast.

[Harley was going through the park to visit his mother when two Protestant men beat him to death with an iron bar before going to a public house. This sectarian killing appears not to have been carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries (McKitterick, 1999; p1383).]

Thursday 27 November 1997

Jack Mahood was shot and injured in his taxi depot in north Belfast.

[The attack was blamed on the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Mahood had been a member of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) negotiation team who resigned over differences on matters of policy.]

Friday 27 November 1997

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) published a list of the main initiatives introduced since the IRA ceasefire of 20 July 1997 to reduce the impact of security measures.

 

Friday 27 November 1998

British soldiers who were serving in Derry on 30 January 1972 were offered immunity from prosecution when they provide evidence to the Saville inquiry into the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’.

Saturday 27 November 1999

The Ulster Unionist Council (UUC), the policy-making body of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, to discuss the Mitchell Review. The Council decided by 480 votes to 349 to back the deal. The decision opened the way for the UUP to enter the power-sharing Executive with Sinn Féin (SF).

The UUC also attached a condition that the Council should meet again in February 2000 “to take a final decision” on the matter. At a press conference after the vote David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said:

“We’ve done our bit. Mr Adams its over to you. We’ve jumped, you follow”.

[It was later revealed that Trimble had lodged a post dated resignation letter with a party official which would come into effect if Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning did not occur.]

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held its annual conference at the La Mon House Hotel near Belfast. During his speech Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that Northern Ireland was facing its gravest crisis and that no unionist should be holding negotiations with the Irish government, the SDLP, or Sinn Féin. He accused the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) of betrayal and said Trimble was as “much of an enemy of Ulster as the IRA”.

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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.

11 People lost their lives on the 27th November between 1971 – 1995

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27 November 1971
Ian Hankin,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Customs official. Shot by snipers firing at British Army (BA) patrol which had just arrived after bomb attack on Killeen Customs Post, near Newry, County Armagh.

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27 November 1971
James O’Neill,  (39) Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Customs official. Shot by snipers firing at British Army (BA) patrol which had just arrived after bomb attack on Killeen Customs Post, near Newry, County Armagh.

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27 November 1971
Paul Nicholls, (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, St James Crescent, Falls, Belfast.

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27 November 1972
Rory Gormley, (14)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while travelling in car, junction of Downing Street and Ariel Street, Shankill, Belfast

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27 November 1973
Desmond Morgan  (18)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during attempted hijacking of vehicle, Coalisland, County Tyrone.

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27 November 1975
Ross McWhirter,  (50)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his home, Village Road, Enfield, London.

see : Ross McWhirter 

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27 November 1976
Philomena Green ,  (16)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in derelict house, Mary Street, Lurgan, County Armagh. House had been used as British Army (BA) observation post.

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27 November 1976
Frank McConnellogue,   (46)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in entry, off Lecky Road, Bogside, Derry.

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27 November 1978
Robert Bachelor,  (36)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot just after leaving his workplace, Institution Place, off Durham Street, Belfast.

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27 November 1982
John Martin,   (34)

Protestant
Status: ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (xRUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his garage, The Mall East, Armagh.

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27 November 1995
Norman Harley,   (46)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found beaten to death, Waterworks, off Cavehill Road, Belfast.

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see : Ross McWhirter