Tag Archives: Michael Adams,

UDR – Ballydugan Four – Lest We Forget!

LEST WE FORGET!

udr 9th april 1990

UDR – Ballydugan Four  – Slaughtered by the IRA

1990 Downpatrick Roadside Bomb

 

Related image

On 9 April 1990 the Provisional IRA (PIRA) detonated a massive IED roadside bomb under an Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) mobile patrol which killed four members of the UDR. It was the worst attack against the UDR since seven years previously when, in July 1983, four soldiers of the same regiment were killed in a similar attack near Ballygawley.

It was also one of the worst attacks against the security forces in County Down since the Warrenpoint Ambush of August 1979 when 18 British soldiers were killed and six injured.

The Attack

Pte John Birch (28), LCpl John Bradley (25), LCpl Michael Adams (23) and Pte Steven Smart (23), all members of the Ulster Defence Regiment were killed in an attack on their patrol on the morning of 9 April 1990.

 

The Innocent Victims 

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09 April 1990


John Bradley  (25)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment mobile patrol, Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down

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09 April 1990


John Birch  (28)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment mobile patrol, Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down.

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09 April 1990


Steven Smart   (23)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment mobile patrol, Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down.

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09 April 1990
Michael Adams   (23)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment mobile patrol, Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down.

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The men were killed in a Provisional IRA land mine attack on their mobile patrol on the Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick. They were travelling as part of a two Land Rover patrol from Ballykinlar to Downpatrick when the PIRA used a command wire to detonate a 1000lb landmine bomb hidden in a culvert beneath the road which exploded under the men’s Land Rover killing them instantly. Four UDR soldiers in the lead Land rover were treated for injuries along with two civilians passing by.

The force of the explosion was so powerful that it launched the Land Rover over a hedge and 30 yards into a field and left a crater 50 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep

See : 9th April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

 

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Parliament logo

It is always a privilege to speak in this House on any issue, but on this occasion I speak about something I have wanted to raise for some time: the case of the four Ulster Defence Regiment men who were murdered at Ballydugan, outside Downpatrick.

Four men jump into a vehicle and head to the next part of their job. They have worked together for some time, and the craic is great as they journey through the beautiful countryside on an idyllic morning. Just as any of us might do on any given day, they leave behind wives, children and loved ones to do their job and earn their pay. There the similarity ends, however, as the atrocity unfolds.

This is an important issue, and I am sure that Members in the House will heed its significance. I declare an interest as a former member of the Ulster Defence Regiment. I served in it for three years, as did some of my colleagues on this side of the House. Other hon. and gallant Members in this House have served in other regiments, and I am pleased that they have made an effort to come to the Chamber as well.

On the morning of 9 April 1990, Private John Birch, Lance Corporal John Bradley, Private Michael Adams and Private Steven Smart, all members of the Ulster Defence Regiment, were murdered by the Provisional IRA in an attack on their mobile patrol on Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick. The four young soldiers, all in their 20s, were travelling as part of a two Land Rover patrol en route from Ballykinlar to Downpatrick when a 1,000 lb bomb placed in a culvert beneath the road—I repeat, a 1,000 lb bomb; imagine the magnitude of that—was detonated by command wire. The explosion was so powerful that it lifted the soldiers’ Land Rover 30 ft into the air and hurled it 30 yards into a field, killing them instantly and leaving a crater 50 ft long, 40 ft wide and 15 ft deep.

Those are the facts of what happened on that fateful morning. These are the faces of those whose lives were destroyed and whose family’s lives were torn apart, never to be the same. The men in the service of Queen and country, much like the officer on duty in this place last month, were simply doing their job and nothing else; there were no links to anything other than their desire to wear a uniform and their bravery in serving the community in Northern Ireland, which we salute.

I remember three of these men very well. Lance Corporal John Bradley, 25, of Cregagh, Belfast, was married with a two-year-old son and a three-month-old daughter. He had recently been promoted, having served four years with the Ulster Defence Regiment. He had served with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, and came from Port Glasgow in Renfrewshire. Private John Birch, 28, was married with a four-year-old son. He had joined the regiment in February the previous year, and came from Ballywalter, where I was raised. The fact of the matter is that I can remember when John Birch was born. His wife was expecting again. Private Steven Smart, 23, was from Newtownards, the main town of my Strangford constituency. He had served for 18 months in the regiment. His mother is dead, but his father is still living.

See: here for more details

See : 9th April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

 

9th April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

9th April

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Friday 9 April 1976

Two Catholic civilians were killed in separate Loyalist paramilitary attacks in Belfast and Armagh.

Thursday 9 April 1981

Bobby Sands Elected to Westminster In the Fermanagh / South Tyrone by-election Bobby Sands, then on hunger strike in the Maze Prison, was elected (following the final count on 11 April 1981) as Member of Parliament for the constituency. The turnout for the contest was 86.9 per cent and Sands obtained 30,492 votes and Harry West, the Unionist candidate, obtained 29,046 votes.

[The election had been followed by media organisations around the world and the outcome gave added impetus to the hunger strike campaign. The British government declared that the election would not change its position in regard to special category status. On 12 June 1981 the government published proposals to change the Representation of the People Act making it impossible for prisoners to stand as candidates for election to parliament.]

Monday 9 April 1990

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a large landmine near Downpatrick, County Down, killing four soldiers of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

See: UDR – Ballydugan Four – Lest We Forget!

Tuesday 9 April 1991

The Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference held a meeting in Belfast. Following the meeting Gerry Collins, then Irish Foreign Minister, announced that there would be a 10 week gap after its next meeting on 26 April 1991

[The break in meetings was designed to allow Unionists to enter talks on the future of Northern Ireland.]

Thursday 9 April 1992

General Election in UK

A general election was held in the United Kingdom (UK). The Conservative Party won the election with a reduced majority of 21 seats in the House of Commons. In Northern Ireland the main news in the election was that Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), lost his seat in West Belfast to Joe Hendron (Dr) of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). [Adams was to regain the seat at the 1997 general election. Towards the end of the parliament, as the majority was further reduced, the Unionists were able to increase their influence over matters related to Northern Ireland.]

Saturday 9 April 1994

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a number of attacks on security forces in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, and in Belfast. The attacks marked the end of a three-day IRA ceasefire

Wednesday 9 April 1997

A Catholic man from north Belfast was shot and wounded by Loyalist paramilitaries in Newtownabbey near Belfast.

The Orange Order held a second meeting in County Antrim to discuss the compromise that had been negotiated by Mediation Network on marches in Dunloy. The meeting ended with the Orangemen rejecting all attempts at mediation. Brendan McAllister, then Director of Mediation Network, warned that a “Bosnia-style” conflict could develop over the issue of parades.

John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), called on Nationalists in Northern Ireland not to vote for Sinn Féin (SF) in the forthcoming general election. Bruton said that a vote for SF would be a “vote for murder”.

Thursday 9 April 1998

At the parliament building in Stormont, Belfast, the multi-party talks continued all day and extended beyond the designated 12 midnight deadline. At 6pm David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting to brief the UUP Executive which gave him its support.

At 11pm there were angry exchanges between Loyalists in favour, and those against, the talks, as Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), led a march to the buildings in protest against the negotiations.

Jeffery Donaldson, who had been a member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) talks team left Stormont without comment amid rumours of a further split in the UUP over the proposed agreement.

Friday 9 April 1999

Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a pipe-bomb attack on a public house in County Antrim. One man was injured in the attack. The Irish government announced that six Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners would be granted early release.

Among the prisoners named were them members of the Balcombe Street seige gang.

[The move was seen as an attempt to influence Sinn Féin (SF) into accepting the Hillsborough declaration.]

Mitchel McLaughlin, then Sinn Féin (SF) chairman, said that the two governments should defend the Good Friday Agreement and stated that his party would be adopting that approach in the coming week. Despite the fact that several Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Assembly members had expressed reservations about the Hillsborough Declaration the UUP Assembly team later accepted the declaration as a basis for negotiation.

Tuesday 9 May 2000 Closure of Security Bases Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), disclosed that five military installations were to close.

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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.

14 People lost their lives on the 9th April   between 1973– 1991

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09 April 1973
Charles Marchant,   (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died ten weeks after being shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, North Street, Lurgan, County Armagh. He was injured on 26 January 1973.

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09 April 1973


Anthony Hughes,  (20)

Catholic
Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while moving arms from car outside house, Culdee Terrace, Armagh.

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09 April 1974
John Stevenson,  (53)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Commanding Officer. Shot at his home, near Otterburn British Army (BA) base, Northumberland, England.

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09 April 1974
Daniel Burke,  (53)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Manager of Andersonstown Social Club. Shot while in club premises, off South Link, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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09 April 1976


Francis Mallon,   (51)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Killed in bomb attack on Divis Castle Bar, Springfield Road, Belfast.

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09 April 1976
Michael Sweeney,   (73)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Killed in bomb attack on Lenny’s Bar, Railway Street, Armagh.

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09 April 1977


Myles McGrogan,   (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, Collin Glen, Hannahstown, near Belfast. Alleged informer.

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09 April 1980


Stephen Magill,   (24)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during gun attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol, Stewartstown Road, Suffolk, Belfast.

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09 April 1983
Richard Biddle,   (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to his car, in car park off High Street, Omagh, County Tyrone.

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09 April 1990


John Bradley,  (25)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment mobile patrol, Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down

See: UDR – Ballydugan Four – Lest We Forget!

 

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09 April 1990


John Birch,  (28)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment mobile patrol, Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down.

See: UDR – Ballydugan Four – Lest We Forget!

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09 April 1990


Steven Smart,   (23)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment mobile patrol, Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down.

See: UDR – Ballydugan Four – Lest We Forget!

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09 April 1990
Michael Adams,   (23)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment mobile patrol, Ballydugan Road, Downpatrick, County Down.

See: UDR – Ballydugan Four – Lest We Forget!

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09 April 1991


Derek Ferguson,   (31)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his mobile home, Aughaveagh Road, Coagh, County Tyrone.

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