Tag Archives: John Frizzell

23rd October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

 23rd Octobe

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Friday 23 October 1970

Charles Haughey, and two others were found not guilty of illegal arms importation by a Dublin jury. The ‘Arms Trial’ had begun on 28 May 1970. Neil Blaney, a co-accused, had been found not guilty on 2 July 1970.

Saturday 23 October 1971

Funeral of Mrs Maura Meehan 31

Two female members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Maura Meehan (30) and Dorothy Maguire (19), were shot dead by the British Army (BA) in the Lower Falls area of Belfast. The two women had been travelling the area warning people of British Army raids on houses.

[The two women were the first members of Cumann na mBan to die in the conflict.] Three Catholic civilians, Sean Ruddy (28), James McLaughlin (26) and Robert Anderson (26), were shot dead by the British Army during an attempted robbery in Newry, County Down.

Tuesday 23 October 1973

The Standing Committee of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) voted by 132 to 105 to support a policy which would allow UUP members to take part in any future power-sharing executive.

[While Brian Faulkner, then leader of the UUP expressed his public pleasure at the result, the narrowness of the victory was an indication of deep divisions within the UUP.]

Thursday 23 October 1975

Two Catholic civilians, Peter McKearney (63) and his wife Jane McKearney (58), were shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at their home near Moy, County Tyrone.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a bomb on a car outside the home of Hugh Fraser, then a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP). A person passing the car was killed when the bomb exploded prematurely.

Monday 23 October 1978 [ Hunger Strike. ]

Friday 23 October 1981

Ulster Unionist Party conference took place over two days (23 – 24 October 1981). [ Political Developments.]

Friday 23 October 1987

Sinn Féin (SF) gained by-election victories in elections to Belfast City Council.

Tuesday 23 October 1990

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed a Protestant taxi driver, William Aitken, in Belfast.

Saturday 23 October 1993

Shankill Road Bombing

See Shankill Bomb

See Greysteel

Ten people were killed when a bomb being planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded prematurely as it was being planted in a fish shop on the Shankill Road, Belfast. With the exception of one of the bombers who was also killed, the rest of those who died were Protestant civilians. The bombing represented the greatest loss of life in Northern Ireland in a single incident since the Enniskillen bombing on 8 November 1987.

A further 57 people were injured in the attack. There was a wave of condemnations of the attack. Loyalist paramilitaries reacted immediately shooting two Catholic men one of whom died later from his wounds.

[Over the next week Loyalist paramilitaries killed a total of 12 Catholic civilians. The IRA later claimed that the intended target of the bomb was a meeting of Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) members that was believed to be taking place in the former Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office above the fish shop.]

It was announced that the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) meeting planned for 27 October would be postponed as a mark of respect following the Shankill Road bombing. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in Belfast City Council decided not to engage with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) until the Hume-Adams Initiative had ended.

Sunday 23 October 1994

Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), who was on a visit to London, stated that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) could end its ceasefire if a satisfactory outcome was not produced by the peace process.

Monday 23 October 1995

Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), travelled to Belfast for talks with David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The two men failed to agree on the issue of the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. Spring also held a meeting with a delegation from the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) which was led by Gusty Spence, former leader of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Wednesday 23 October 1996

In the Queen’s speech during the opening of a new session of the British parliament, the government announced that it would pass a bill on decommissioning. Later John Major, then British Prime Minister, stated that it would require more than a new ceasefire to allow Sinn Féin (SF) to enter the Stormont talks. James Molyneaux, the former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), announced that he would not be standing for re-election to the Lagan Valley constituency.

Friday 23 October 1998

Davy Jones, then a Orange Order spokesperson, was suspended by Dennis Watson, then Grand Master of Armagh, for “breaching Orange protocol”

. [The suspension was lifted the following day.]

Saturday 23 October 1999

Senator George Mitchell announced his review of the Good Friday Agreement would be extended as the pro-Agreement parties met at Castle Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Sinn Féin (SF), the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) were attempting to end the stalemate over decommissioning and the formation of an Executive. David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, wrote an article for the Newsletter (a Belfast based newspaper).

Tuesday 23 October 2001

IRA Began Decommissioning

Loyalist paramilitaries threw a pipe-bomb at the home of a Catholic family on the Deerpark Road, north Belfast, at approximately 9.00pm (2100BST). The RUC said the family, “narrowly escaped death or injury”. There was some damage to the house and a car. At around 4.00pm (1600BST) the Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement that announced that the organisation had begun to decommission its weapons.

The IRA statement included the sentence:

“Therefore, in order to save the peace process we have implemented the scheme agreed with the IICD [Independent International Commission on Decommissioning] in August [2001].”

Later in the day the IICD issued a statement, part of which read: “We have now witnessed an event – which we regard as significant – in which the IRA has put a quantity of arms completely beyond use. The material in question includes arms, ammunition and explosives.” David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting with John de Chastelain (Gen.), then chairman of the IICD, to discuss the act of decommissioning by the IRA. Following the discussions Trimble announced that he would would be recommending to a meeting of the UUP executive on Saturday (27 October 20001) that the UUP ministers retake their seats on the Northern Ireland Executive. The announcements by the IRA and the IICD were welcomed by the British and Irish governments, by the American administration, by Nationalists, and by some Unionists. The Democratice Unionist Party (DUP) and some members of the UUP claimed the move by the IRA was “one-off gesture” or a “stunt”.

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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.

  22  People lost their lives on the 23rd  October  between 1971 – 1993

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23 October 1971


Maura Meehan,  (30)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while travelling in car warning local residents of British Army (BA) house raids, Cape Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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23 October 1971


Dorothy Maguire,  (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while travelling in car warning local residents of British Army (BA) house raids, Cape Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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23 October 1971


Sean Ruddy,   (19)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, from nearby roof top, during attempted robbery of man outside bank, Hill Street, Newry, County Down. Assumed to be an Irish Republican Army (IRA) member.

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23 October 1971
Thomas McLoughlin,   (27)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, from nearby roof top, during attempted robbery of man outside bank, Hill Street, Newry, County Down. Assumed to be an Irish Republican Army (IRA) member.

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23 October 1971


Robert Anderson,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, from nearby roof top, during attempted robbery of man outside bank, Hill Street, Newry, County Down. Assumed to be an Irish Republican Army (IRA) member.

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23 October 1972


Michael Naan,  (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Stabbed to death at his farm, Aghnahinch, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh. His body found on 24 October 1972.

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23 October 1972


Andrew Murray, (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Stabbed to death at his workplace, Michael Naan’s farm, Aghnahinch, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh. His body found on 24 October 1972.

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23 October 1974
Michael Simpson,   (21) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died three weeks after being shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Racecourse Road, Shantallow, Derry.

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23 October 1975


Peter McKearney,  (63)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his home, Listamlet, near Moy, County Tyrone.

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23 October 1975


Jane McKearney,   (58)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at her home, Listamlet, near Moy, County Tyrone.

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23 October 1975
Gordon Hamilton-Fairley,   (45) nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Passerby. Killed when bomb attached to the car of Conservative MP Hugh Fraser exploded prematurely, Campden Hill Square, Kensington, London.

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23 October 1990
William Aitken,   (53)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Taxi driver. Shot when he left off passenger at Royal Victoria Hospital, Falls Road, Belfast.

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The Shankill Bombing

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The Bomber

23 October 1993


Thomas Begley,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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The Innocent Victims

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23 October 1993

4
John Frizzell, (63)


John Frizzell,  (63)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

_45418618_sharon226
Sharon McBride, (29)


Sharon McBride,  (29)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

NWS_20131023_NEW_006_29372561_I4
Michael Morrison, (27)


Michael Morrison,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

6
Evelyn Baird, (27)


Evelyn Baird,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

2
Michelle Baird, (7)


Michelle Baird,  (7)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

11
Leanne Murray, (13)


Leanne Murray,   (13)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

3
George Williamson, (63)


George Williamson,   (63)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

10
Gillian Williamson, (49)


Gillian Williamson,   (49)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

5
Wilma McKee, (38)


Wilma McKee,  (38)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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The Shankill Bomb – Never Forgotten

The Shankill Bomb

23rd  October 1993

Irish News - Shankill.jpg

The Shankill Road bombing was carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on 23 October 1993 and is one of the most notorious incidents of the Troubles in Northern Ireland

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Shankill Bombing

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Tomorrow marks the 27  anniversary of the Shankill Bomb and as usual my thoughts are with the innocent victims of this brutal attack and their families who have been sentence to a lifetime of grief and bereavement .

The pain of losing someone loved never really goes away , it just becomes more bearable as time crawls on  and we find comfort in memories that  we relive a thousands time a year.

The Shankill Bomb was one of the pivotal moments of my “journey” through the  Troubles and coming from the Shankill community I felt the grief in a personal way . I had known many of the victims and had been in the same class as Michael (Minnie) Morrison  in secondary school and I knew Evelyn his girlfriend from living in Glencairn.

And everyone a wasted life

But the Shankill bombing had a profound effect on me and although I was living in London at the time , my heart was firmly in Belfast , as my community came to terms with this savage attack.

When the first reports of the bomb started coming in I felt an overwhelming sense of dread and as I watched the news unfold my first instinct was to worry about my  family  back in Belfast.Many who lived and shopped on the Shankill rd daily. I immediately  made contact with them and thankfully they were all safe and well , although a few of them had been in the vicinity of the explosion and had helped in the recuse effort immediately  after the bomb.

I had also known  the brother of the bomber Begley , although he was in no way a friend or acquaintance.

In the mid eighties I had enrolled in a YTP and this was based off the Crumlin Road in Belfast and Catholic’s were also attending the programme. Strange though it may seem this was my first time in close proximity to my catholic counterpart’s ( apart from rioting) and to be honest the two sides didn’t really mix , they done their thing and we done ours.

But it was a learning curve for me and I was able to see the “enemy” up close for the first time and I  judged him to be as smelly and disgusting as I had been taught all my life. But deep down as I grew older and wiser I came to the realization they really weren’t that different from us, apart from their political and religious identities.

There was a guy called Begley from Ardoyne on the same programme and my memory of him was that  he was smelly, dirty  and looked unwashed. When the name and picture of the Shankill bomber was first released I immediately made the connection , as he was the spitting image of his brother and he also looked dirty and unwashed. Although I have no sympathy or time  for the Begley brothers I acknowledge their family have also been sentence to a life time of grief and bereavement and perhaps that is the price karma demands for the action of their son/brother.

Karma always collects  its debts!

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shankill-bomb-collage

The Innocent Victims

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The Shankill Bomb

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20th anniversary of the Shankill Bomb we talk to the victims’ families

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The Shankill Road bombing was carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on 23 October 1993 and is one of the most notorious incidents of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The IRA intended to assassinate the leaders of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), who were to be meeting in a room above Frizzell’s fish shop on Shankill Road, Belfast. Two IRA members were to enter the shop disguised as deliverymen, then force the customers out at gunpoint and plant a time bomb with a short fuse. However, when the IRA members entered the shop with the bomb, it exploded prematurely. One of the IRA members was killed along with a UDA member and eight Protestant civilians.[1] More than fifty people were wounded. Unbeknownst to the IRA, the meeting had been rescheduled.

The Ulster loyalist Shankill Road had been the location of other bomb and gun attacks, including the Balmoral Furniture Company bombing in 1971 and Bayardo Bar attack in 1975, but the 1993 bombing had the highest casualties and resulted in a wave of revenge attacks by loyalists. In the week that followed, loyalists killed 14 civilians, almost all of them Irish Catholics. The deadliest attack took place in Greysteel, where UDA members opened fire in a pub frequented by Catholics, killing eight civilians and wounding 13.

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The  Shankill Bomb

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The Innocent Victims

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23 October 1993

4
John Frizzell, (63)


John Frizzell,  (63)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

_45418618_sharon226
Sharon McBride, (29)


Sharon McBride,  (29)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

NWS_20131023_NEW_006_29372561_I4
Michael Morrison, (27)


Michael Morrison,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

6
Evelyn Baird, (27)


Evelyn Baird,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

2
Michelle Baird, (7)


Michelle Baird,  (7)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

11
Leanne Murray, (13)


Leanne Murray,   (13)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

3
George Williamson, (63)


George Williamson,   (63)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

10
Gillian Williamson, (49)


Gillian Williamson,   (49)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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23 October 1993

5
Wilma McKee, (38)


Wilma McKee,  (38)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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The Bomber

23 October 1993

Begley, Thomas (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb which exploded prematurely in shop, during attack on the upstairs Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office, Shankill Road, Belfast.

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Background

During the early 1990s, loyalist paramilitaries drastically increased their attacks on the Irish Catholic and Irish nationalist community and – for the first time since the beginning of the Troubles – were responsible for more deaths than republicans.[2][3] The UDA’s West Belfast brigade, and its commander Johnny Adair, played a key role in this. Adair had become the group’s commander in 1990.

The UDA’s Shankill headquarters was above Frizzell’s fish shop on the Shankill Road.[4][5] The UDA’s Inner Council and West Belfast brigade regularly met there on Saturdays.[4][6][7] Peter Taylor says it was also the office of the Loyalist Prisoners’ Association (LPA), and on Saturday mornings was normally crowded, as that was when money was given to prisoners’ families.[8] According to Henry McDonald and Jim Cusack, the IRA had the building under surveillance for some time.[4] They say that the IRA decided to strike when one of their scouts spotted Adair entering the building on the morning of Saturday 23 October 1993.[4] Later, in a secretly-recorded conversation with police, Adair confirmed that he had been in the building that morning.[5]

The bombing

The IRA’s Belfast Brigade launched an operation to assassinate the UDA’s top commanders, whom it believed were at the meeting.[4][5] The plan was for two IRA members to enter the shop with a time bomb, force out the customers at gunpoint and flee before it exploded; killing those at the meeting.[4] As they believed the meeting was being held in the room above the shop, the bomb was designed to send the blast upwards. IRA members maintained that they would have warned the customers as the bomb was primed.[9] It had an eleven-second fuse, and the IRA explained that this would have allowed just enough time to clear the downstairs shop but not enough for those upstairs to escape.[6][7]

The operation would be carried out by Thomas Begley and Seán Kelly, two relatively young IRA members from Ardoyne. They drove from Ardoyne to the Shankill in a hijacked blue Ford Escort, which they parked on Berlin Street, around the corner from Frizzell’s. Dressed as deliverymen, they entered the shop with the five-pound bomb in a holdall.[5] It was shortly after 1PM on a Saturday afternoon and the area was crowded with mostly women and children.[10] Whilst Kelly waited at the door, Begley made his way through the customers towards the counter, where the bomb detonated prematurely.[9] Forensic evidence showed that Begley had been holding the bomb over the refrigerated serving counter when it exploded.[11] Begley was blown to pieces and nine other people[9]—including the owner John Frizzell, his daughter Sharon McBride, 13-year-old Leanne Murray and UDA member Michael Morrison—were killed in the blast. His common-law wife Evelyn Baird and seven-year-old daughter Michelle were also killed as was another couple, George and Gillian Williamson, and Wilma McKee.[12] The force of the blast caused the old building to collapse into a pile of rubble. The upper floor came down upon those inside the shop, crushing many of the survivors under the rubble, where they remained until rescued some hours later by volunteers and emergency services. About 57 people were injured.[6] At the scene during the rescue operation were several senior loyalists, including Adair and Billy McQuiston. The latter had been in a pub on the nearest corner when the bomb went off.[2][8] Among those rescued from the rubble was the badly-wounded Seán Kelly.[4]

Unknown to the IRA, the UDA meeting had ended early[7][5] and those attending it had left the building before the bomb exploded.[5][4] McDonald and Cusack claim that Adair and his men had stopped using the room for important meetings, allegedly because a sympathiser within the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) told Adair that the police had it bugged.[4]

Aftermath

Scene of the bombing, as of 2011

There was great anger and outrage in the Shankill in the wake of the bombing. Billy McQuiston told journalist Peter Taylor that “anybody on the Shankill Road that day, from a Boy Scout to a granny, if you’d given them a gun they would have gone out and retaliated”.[8] Many Protestants saw the bombing as an indiscriminate attack on them.[6] Adair believed that the bomb was meant for him.[6] Two days after the bombing, as Adair was driving away from his house, he stopped and told a police officer “I’m away to plan a mass murder”.[13] In the week following the bombing, the UDA and UVF launched a wave of “revenge attacks”, killing 14 civilians.[12] The UDA shot a Catholic delivery driver in Belfast after luring him to a bogus call just a few hours after the bombing. He died on 25 October.[14] On 26 October, the UDA shot dead another two Catholic civilians and wounded five in an indiscriminate attack at a Council Depot on Kennedy Way, Belfast.[12] On 30 October, UDA members entered a pub in Greysteel frequented by Catholics and again opened-fire indiscriminately. Eight civilians (six Catholics and two Protestants) were killed and 13 were wounded. This became known as the Greysteel massacre. The UDA claimed it was a direct retaliation for the Shankill Road bombing.[2] Michael Stone and another UDA member said that Adair also vowed to launch simultaneous attacks on Catholics attending mass in Belfast. The day after the attack (Sunday), the security forces were sent to guard all Catholic churches in Belfast. A UDA member said that a carload of gunmen were sent to attack Holy Family Catholic Church on the Limestone Road, but called off the attack due to the high security.[6] Adair denied the claims.[6] The UVF shot dead a Catholic man in Newtownabbey and two Catholic brothers in Bleary.[12]

At Begley’s wake, a British soldier fired upon a group of mourners standing outside Begley’s home. The soldier fired twenty shots from a passing Land Rover. Among those wounded was republican activist Eddie Copeland, who needed extensive surgery. The court heard that the soldiers had been shown a photograph of Copeland before being sent on patrol. The soldier who fired the shots, Trooper Andrew Clarke, was jailed for ten years for attempted murder.[15][16] Begley was given a well-attended republican funeral in west Belfast.[17][18] Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Féin, used “unusually strong language” in condemning the bombing, saying it was wrong and could not be excused. However, he was criticised for being a pall-bearer at Begley’s funeral.[10][19] David McKittrick and Eamonn Mallie wrote that if Adams had shunned the funeral it would have been “the end of him as a republican leader”. They explain that it would have severely damaged his credibility within the republican movement and made it difficult for him to secure an IRA ceasefire.[20] Others, such as Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and RUC Chief Constable Hugh Annesley, agreed with this view.[21]

Seán Kelly, the surviving IRA member, was badly wounded in the blast, having lost his left eye and unable to move his left arm.[9] Upon his release from hospital, however, he was arrested and convicted of nine counts of murder, each with a corresponding life sentence. In July 2000, he was released under the terms of the Belfast Agreement.[9] In an interview shortly after his release, he said he had never intended to kill innocent people and regrets what happened.[9]

Relatives of those killed in the Shankill Road bombing adopted different positions during the 20th anniversary commemorative events in 2013.

See Greysteel

See Shankill Bomb