Tag Archives: Jonathan Ball

20th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

20th March

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Monday 20 March 1972

Donegall st bomb.jpg

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a car-bomb in Lower Donegall Street, Belfast bomb, which killed 6 people, mortally wounded one person who died on 5 April, and injured approximately 100 others.

Two of those killed were Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers who were trying to evacuate people from the area. Another of those killed was a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and the rest were Protestant civilians.

See Donegal Street Bombing

Tuesday 20 March 1973

A government White Paper entitled ‘Northern Ireland Constitutional Proposals‘ was published which proposed a devolved power-sharing 78 member assembly in Northern Ireland and a Council of Ireland.

The election would take place under Proportional Representation (PR) and Westminster would retain the powers relating to law and order matters. These proposals followed on from a discussion paper that had been issued on 30 October 1972 entitled ‘The Future of Northern Ireland’.

[There was an element in Unionist political opinion which was opposed to the idea of power-sharing and still favoured majority rule as the only basis for government. However, the idea of close links with the Republic of Ireland through the proposed Council of Ireland was one which would prove problematic to many Unionists.]

Wednesday 20 March 1974

Two British soldiers were shot dead by mistake by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) at Mowhan, near Markethill, County Armagh.

The soldiers were believed to be part of an undercover operation but this was denied by Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland.

Friday 20 March 1981

Patrick McNally (20), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), while he was ‘joy riding’ in a stolen car on the Ross Road in the Lower Falls Road area of Belfast. [ 1981 Hunger Strike.]

Monday 20 March 1989

Harry Breen

Harry Breen, who was then a Chief Superintendent of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and Ken Buchanan, who was then a Superintendent, were both killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) ambush as they crossed the border in South Armagh.

 

Friday 20 March 1992

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), took part in a debate on BBC radio.

Saturday 20 March 1993

Warrington Bombs

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded two small bombs in litter bins in Bridge Street, Warrington, England, killing Johnathan Ball aged 3 years and mortally wounding Timothy Parrry aged 12 years who died on 25 March 1993.

[The IRA had provided inadequate warnings which resulted in the deaths and the 56 injuries. The killings of the two boys led to public protests in England and in the Republic of Ireland against paramilitary violence. The killings also led to the establishment of Initiative ’93.]

See Warrington Bomb

Sunday 20 March 1994

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) fired a mortar at a British Army (BA) base in Crossmaglen, south Armagh, causing an army helicopter to crash.

Monday 20 March 1995

James Kilfedder, the Ulster Popular Unionist Party (UPUP) MP, died while in London.

[His death led to a Westminster by-election on 15 June 1995 in the North Down constituency.]

Wednesday 20 March 1996

Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), had a briefing with Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on plans for elections in Northern Ireland. Dick Spring refused to publicly support the plans.

Thursday 20 March 1997

It was announced on behalf of Roisín McAliskey, then being held in prison awaiting a decision about extradition, that she would stand as a ‘unity candidate’ in Mid-Ulster in the general election.

[On 23 March 1997 McAliskey’s name was withdrawn as neither Sinn Féin (SF) nor the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) were prepared to stand down.]

Friday 20 March 1998

The centre of Derry was cleared for four hours while the British Army defused a bomb.

[It was claimed that a Republican challenged two Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) members as they planted the bomb in the Northern Bank in Guildhall Square, Derry.

It was also claimed that one of the CIRA men pulled out a gun to stop anyone interfering with them.]

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Resurrection Man

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The film Resurrection Man went on general release in Northern Ireland. The film was based on the killings carried out by of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) ‘Shankill Butchers’ gang.

[There was a mixed response to the film, some people accused the film-makers of dredging up painful memories for the relatives of those killed while others felt that the events were a legitimate subject for the cinema.]

Saturday 20 March 1999

A 13 year-old boy was badly injured in a Loyalist paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack by a gang of masked men in Newtownards, County Down.

The boy who received a broken arm and broken fingers was ordered to leave the area by the gang.

[The boy was one of the youngest people to be the subject of a ‘punishment’ attack.]

In a speech to the Annual General Meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC), David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), assured delegates that there would be Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning.

Trimble was heckled during his speech.

His supporters dominated the election to the vice presidents’ positions, but three of the four honorary secretaries elected were supporters of the dissident Union First group.

Jim Nicholson, then UUP MEP, narrowly won the backing of delegates to continue as the UUP vice-president. Nicholson had earlier admitted that he had had an extra-marital affair.

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), was also guardedly optimistic, saying that SF would try to find “some accommodation”.

The funeral procession of Frankie Curry, a prominent dissident member of the Red Hand Commando (RHC) who had been shot dead on 17 March 1999, passed down the Shankill Road in Belfast and was watched by hundreds of people.

 

 

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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 20th March between 1972– 1993

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20 March 1972


Ernest McAllister,   (31)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Donegall Street, Belfast. Inadequate warning given.

See Donegal Street Bombing

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20 March 1972


Bernard O’Neill,  (36)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Donegall Street, Belfast. Inadequate warning given

See Donegal Street Bombing

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20 March 1972
Ernest Dougan,   (39)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Donegall Street, Belfast. Inadequate warning given

See Donegal Street Bombing

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20 March 1972
Samuel Trainor,  (39)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Killed in car bomb explosion, Donegall Street, Belfast. Inadequate warning given.

See Donegal Street Bombing

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20 March 1972
James Macklin,   (30)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Donegall Street, Belfast. Inadequate warning given.

See Donegal Street Bombing

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20 March 1972
Sydney Bell,   (65)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Donegall Street, Belfast. Inadequate warning given

See Donegal Street Bombing

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20 March 1972
Henry Miller,   (79)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Injured in car bomb explosion, Donegall Street, Belfast. Inadequate warning given. He died 5 April 1972

See Donegal Street Bombing

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20 March 1972
John Taylor,  (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, William Street, Derry.

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20 March 1973
Bernard McErlean,  (16)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot from passing car while walking along Grosvenor Road, Belfast.

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20 March 1974
Michael Herbert,  (31)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot, in error, while sitting in stationary British Army (BA) civilian type van, Mowhan, near Markethill, County Armagh.

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20 March 1974
Michael Cotton,  (36)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot, in error, while sitting in stationary British Army (BA) civilian type van, Mowhan, near Markethill, County Armagh.

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20 March 1981
Patrick McNally,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)
Shot while travelling in stolen car, Ross Road, Lower Falls, Belfast

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20 March 1989


Robert Buchanan,   (55)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while travelling in Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) armoured patrol car, Edenappa, near Jonesborough, County Armagh.

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20 March 1989


Harry Breen,   (51)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while travelling in Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) armoured patrol car, Edenappa, near Jonesborough, County Armagh.

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20 March 1990


William McClure,   (44)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
Shot at his home, Skegoneill Avenue, Skegoneill, Belfast.

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20 March 1993


Jonathan Ball,   (3)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed when two bombs placed in litter bins exploded, Bridge Street, Warrington, England. Inadequate warning given.

See Warrington Bombs

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20 March 1993


Timothy Parry,  (12)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Injured when two bombs placed in litter bins exploded, Bridge Street, Warrington, England. Inadequate warning given. He died 25 March 1993.

See Warrington Bombs

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Warrington Bombs 1993 – IRA Child Killers

 Warrington Bombs

February & March 1993

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Warrington Bombing

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Tim Parry

The Warrington bombings were two separate bomb attacks that took place during early 1993 in Warrington, England. The first attack happened on 26 February, when a bomb exploded at a gas storage facility. It caused extensive damage but no injuries. While fleeing the scene, the bombers shot and injured a police officer and two of them were then caught after a high-speed car chase.

The second attack happened on 20 March, when two small bombs exploded in litter bins outside shops and businesses on Bridge Street.

Two children were killed and dozens of people were injured.

 

Johnathan Ball

 

The attacks were carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and it has been claimed that members of Red Action were also involved.[2] Since the early 1970s the IRA had been carrying out attacks in both Northern Ireland and England with the stated goal of putting pressure on the British Government to withdraw from Northern Ireland.

The 20 March bombing received extensive coverage in the media and caused widespread anger, leading to mass protests against the IRA in Dublin.

First attack

 

On the night of 25 February 1993, three IRA members planted bombs at the gas holders on Winwick Road, Warrington. At 11:45 pm that night a police officer stopped the three men in a van on Sankey Street. As he was questioning them, the IRA members shot him three times and sped off in the van.

About an hour later they hijacked a car in Lymm, put the driver in the boot and drove off towards Manchester. At about 1 am police spotted the car and chased it along the M62 motorway in the direction of Warrington. Shots were fired during the high-speed chase and two police vehicles were hit. Police stopped the car on the motorway near Croft and arrested two of the IRA members: Páidric MacFhloinn (age 40) and Denis Kinsella (age 25).

The third member, Michael Timmins, escaped.At 4:10 am on 26 February the bombs exploded at the gas holders, sending a fireball 1,000 feet (300 m) into the sky and causing extensive damage to the facility. The emergency services arrived and evacuated about 100 people from their homes. There was much disruption to transport that morning as police set up roadblocks and trains were diverted away from Warrington. 

In 1994, MacFhloinn was sentenced to 35 years in prison and Kinsella to 25 years for their part in the bombing. John Kinsella (age 49) was sentenced to 20 years for possessing Semtex explosives that he had hidden for the IRA unit.

 

Second Attack

 

 

Site of the second bombing

 

Johnathan Ball

 

Shortly before midday on 20 March 1993, The Samaritans in Liverpool received a bomb warning by telephone. According to police, the caller said only that a bomb had been planted outside a Boots shop. Merseyside Police sent officers to branches of Boots in Liverpool and warned the Cheshire Constabulary, who patrolled nearby Warrington.

About 30 minutes later, at about 12:25,  two bombs exploded on Bridge Street in Warrington, about 100 yards (91 m) apart. The blasts happened within a minute of each other. One exploded outside Boots and McDonald’s, and one outside the Argos catalogue store.

The area was crowded with shoppers. Witnesses said that:

“the first explosion drove panicking shoppers into the path of the next blast just seconds later”.

 

It was later found that the bombs had been placed inside cast-iron litter bins, causing large amounts of shrapnel Buses were organized to ferry people away from the scene and 20 paramedics and crews from 17 ambulances were sent to deal with the aftermath.

 

 

Three-year-old Johnathan Ball died at the scene. He had been in town with his babysitter, they had been shopping for a Mother’s Day card. The second victim, 12-year-old Tim Parry, received the full force of the blast and was gravely wounded. He died on 25 March 1993 when doctors switched his life support machine off, having asked permission to do so from his family, after tests had found minimal brain activity.

Fifty-four other people were injured, four of them seriously.

The Provisional IRA issued a statement the day after the bombing, acknowledging its involvement but saying:

Responsibility for the tragic and deeply regrettable death and injuries caused in Warrington yesterday lies squarely at the door of those in the British authorities who deliberately failed to act on precise and adequate warnings.

A day later, an IRA spokesman said that “two precise warnings” had been given “in adequate time”, one to the Samaritans and one to Merseyside Police.

He added: “You don’t provide warnings if it is your intention to kill”.

Cheshire’s assistant chief constable denied there had been a second warning and said:

Yes, a warning was given half-an-hour before, but no mention was made of Warrington. If the IRA think they can pass on their responsibility for this terrible act by issuing such a nonsensical statement, they have sadly underestimated the understanding of the British public.

A piece on BBC North West’s Inside Out programme in September 2013 speculated that the bombing may have been the work of a “rogue” IRA unit, which was supported by the IRA but operated independently and was driven by left wing extremism and who used operatives who were from England to avoid suspicion.

The programe  suggested, but provided no evidence, that those who planted the bombs were members of the leftist group Red Action.

Aftermath

 

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IRA Child Killers

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The fact “that two very young children were victims — one of whom fought for his life for several days” ensured that the 20 March bombings received:

“massive coverage” in the media and caused “widespread anger and revulsion”.

 

Shortly after the bombings, a group called “Peace ’93” was set up in Dublin. The main organizer was Susan McHugh, a Dublin housewife and mother. On 25 March 1993, thousands held a “peace rally” in Dublin. They signed a condolence book outside the General Post Office and laid bouquets and wreaths, with messages of sorrow and apology, to be taken to Warrington for the boys’ funerals.

However, some criticized Peace ’93 for focusing only on IRA violence and for:

“the lack of response to the deaths of children in Northern Ireland”.

 

 

On 24 March 1993, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) shot dead a Sinn Féin member in Belfast. The next day, it shot dead four Catholic men (including an IRA member) in Castlerock and hours later shot dead a 17-year-old Catholic civilian in Belfast.

Roy Greenslade wrote that, compared to the Warrington bombings, these deaths were “virtually ignored” by the media in Great Britain and he accused it of having a “hierarchy” of victims.

On 1 April 1993, the Irish Government announced measures designed to make extradition easier from the Republic of Ireland to the UK.

In 1994 Irish rock band The Cranberries released the song “Zombie“, which was written in protest at the bombings. The song went on to become one of their biggest hits.

Image result for Colin Parry carries his sons coffin

Colin Parry carries his sons coffin

The parents of Tim Parry set up the Tim Parry Trust Fund to promote greater understanding between Great Britain and Ireland The Tim Parry-Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace worked jointly with the NSPCC to develop The Peace Centre, situated close to Warrington town centre, which was opened on the seventh anniversary of the attack in 2000. Its purpose is to promote peace and understanding amongst all communities affected by conflict and violence. The centre hosts an annual peace lecture, as well as being home to the local NSPCC and Warrington Youth Club.

The killing of Ball and Parry is still on Cheshire Police’s list of unsolved homicides

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The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace is a charity that campaigns only for one thing … Peace

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Who We Work With

Working to prevent conflict with people vulnerable to it, affected by it and those professionals who are tasked to deal with it

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Visit the website: www. foundation4peace.org

See: Castlerock Killings