Tag Archives: Paul McFerran,

28th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

28th February

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Friday 28 February 1969

Terence O’Neill was re-elected as leader of the Unionist Parliamentary Party and thus was confirmed as Northern Ireland Prime Minister.

Sunday 28 February 1971

A British soldier died in Derry as a result of inhaling chemicals from fire extinguisers that were used to put out a fire inside the vehicle he was travelling in. The vehicle had been attacked with petrol bombs.

Thursday 28 February 1974

General Election

A general election was held in the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland 30,000 members of the security forces were on duty during the day however there were a number of shooting and bombing incidents across the region.

The election in Northern Ireland was in effect a referendum on power-sharing, and the Council of Ireland as proposed in the Sunningdale Agreement. There was no electoral pact between the parties in favour of the Executive. There was however a very successful pact amongst those opposed to the Sunningdale Agreement who joined forces in the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC)

. The UUUC was formed by three main Loyalist parties: Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), (Ulster) Vanguard, and Official Unionists (West). These parties agreed to put forward one candidate in each of the constituencies.

The Campaign slogan of the UUUC was, ‘Dublin is just a Sunningdale away’. Candidates standing on behalf of the UUUC won 11 of the 12 Northern Ireland seats, gaining 51.1 per cent of the valid votes. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held West Belfast.

[While the election did not mean an immediate end to the power-sharing Executive, it did provide those opposed to the Sunningdale Agreement with a powerful mandate to continue their opposition to it.]

[In Britain the Labour Party won the general election by a narrow margin. Harold Wilson, then leader of the Labour Party, became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Merlyn Rees was appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 5 March 1974.]

Monday 28 February 1977

  Political Development

Thursday 28 February 1985

ruc killed in troubles

Nine RUC Officers Killed

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a home-made mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station in Newry, County Down, and killed nine RUC officers and injured 30 others. [This incident represented the greatest loss of life for the RUC in a single incident. The number of deaths was high because most of those killed were inside temporary dwellings within the RUC base.] A member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was killed by the IRA in County Tyrone.

See Newry Mortar Attack

 

Friday 28 February 1992

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb at London Bridge railway station in London and injured 28 people.

Sunday 28 February 1993

Dick Spring, then Tánaiste (deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs), gave an interview to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in which he stated that Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution were not “cast in bronze”.

Monday 28 February 1994

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) published its plans for administrative devolution. Party representatives said that the UUP would not take part in any future three-strand talks process.

Wednesday 28 February 1996

John Major, then British Prime Minister, and John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held a summit meeting in London. In their Communique, the two Governments set a date (10 June 1996) for the start of all-party talks.

It was announced that parties to the talks would have to agree to abide by the six ‘Mitchell Principles’ and there would be a period of ‘proximity’ talks to decide on an agenda and the administration of the process.

Saturday 28 February 1998

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) carried out a hand grenade attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers who were investigating a break-in and arson attack on Hazelwood Integrated College in north Belfast.

Two RUC officers and two civilians were treated for shock as a result of the incident.

Mary McAleese, then President of the Republic of Ireland, indicated that she would celebrate the two major holidays on the island of Ireland, St Patrick’s Day on 17 March and the Orange Order’s celebration of the victory at the Battle of the Boyne on 12 July.

It was announced that parties would be held at Aras an Uachtarain on these two dates. The celebrations were believed to be part of a “bridge building” theme which the President plans to adopt during her term of office.

Sunday 28 February 1999

Sinn Féin (SF) held a rally outside the City Hall in Belfast. Mitchel McLaughlin, then a senior member of SF, demanded that the deadline of 10 March 1999 for the formation of the Executive should be met. The rally was attended by thousands of SF supporters.

Thursday 28 February 2002

A book entitled ‘The Long Road to Peace in Northern Ireland‘ was launched in Belfast. The book is a collection of essays on the state of the peace process and was compiled by Marianne Elliott (Prof.) of the Institute of Irish Studies in Liverpool. The essays were based on lectures delivered at the university between 1996 and 2000.

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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.

18 People   lost their lives on the 28th February between 1971– 1985

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28 February 1971
William Jolliffe,  (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died from inhaling fumes from fire extinguisher, when British Army (BA) Armoured Personnel Carrier came under petrol bomb attack, Westland Street, Bogside, Derry.

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28 February 1973


Kevin Heatley,   (12)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot near his home, Main Avenue, Derrybeg, Newry, County Down

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28 February 1973
Alan Kennington,  (20)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crumlin Road, Ardoyne, Belfast

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28 February 1974
Hugh Harvey,   (33)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in bomb attack on Red Star Bar, Donegall Quay, Belfast

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28 February 1975


Michael Convery,   (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot while walking along Antrim Road, near Camberwell Terrace, Belfast.

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28 February 1975
Thomas Truesdale,   (20)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot from passing car, while standing at the junction of Benview Park and Ballysillan Crescent, Ballysillan, Belfast.

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28 February 1976
Harold Blair,   (35)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Northern Ireland Electricity Company employee. Died one day after being injured by booby trap bomb, when he entered unoccupied house to check electric supply, Landseer Street, Stranmillis, Belfast.

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28 February 1978


Charles Simpson,   (26)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during sniper attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol at junction of Clarendon Street and Francis Street, Rosemount, Derry.

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8 February 1985


Alexander Donaldson,  (41)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

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28 February 1985


Rosemary McGookin,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

See Newry Mortar Attack 1985

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28 February 1985


Geoffrey Campbell, (24)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

See Newry Mortar Attack 1985

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28 February 1985


Denis Price,  (22)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

See Newry Mortar Attack 1985

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28 February 1985


Paul McFerran,  (33)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down

See Newry Mortar Attack 1985

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28 February 1985


Sean McHenry, (19)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down

See Newry Mortar Attack 1985

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28 February 1985


David Topping,  (22)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

See Newry Mortar Attack 1985

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28 February 1985


John Dowd,  (31)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

See Newry Mortar Attack 1985

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28 February 1985


Ivy Kelly,  (29)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

See Newry Mortar Attack 1985

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28 February 1985


Trevor Harkness (36)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb, hidden in telegraph pole, while on Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) foot patrol, Pomeroy, County Tyrone.

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Newry Mortar Attack kills nine RUC Officers

1985 Newry Mortar Attack

 

On 28 February 1985, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) launched a heavy mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base at Corry Square in Newry, Northern Ireland.

The attack killed nine RUC officers and injured almost 40 others; the highest death toll ever suffered by the RUC. Afterwards, a major building scheme was begun, to give police and military bases better protection from such attacks

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IRA kill 9 RUC officers in mortar attack, Newry

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Background

In the early 1970s, after the onset of the Troubles, the Provisional IRA launched a campaign aimed at forcing the British to withdraw from Northern Ireland. Republicans saw the RUC—Northern Ireland’s police force—as illegitimate, sectarian, and enforcing British rule.The RUC was a highly militarized police force.

The IRA—particularly its South Armagh Brigade—had repeatedly attacked the British Army and RUC with home-made mortars, but with limited success. Between 1973 and early 1978 a total of 71 mortar attacks were recorded, but none caused direct British Army or RUC deaths.

There were only two deadly mortar attacks before 1985. The first was on 19 March 1979, when Private Peter Woolmore of the Queen’s Regiment was killed in a mortar attack on Newtownhamilton British Army base.

The second was on 12 November 1983, when an RUC officer was killed and several hurt in a mortar attack on Carrickmore RUC base.

The attack

The attack was jointly planned by members of the South Armagh Brigade and an IRA unit in Newry. The homemade mortar launcher, dubbed the ‘Mark 10‘, was bolted on to the back of a Ford lorry that had been hijacked in Crossmaglen.

Shortly after 6.30PM on 28 February, nine shells were launched from the lorry, which had been parked on Monaghan Street, about 250 yards (230 m) from the base. At least one 50 lb shell landed on a portacabin containing a canteen, where many officers were having their evening tea break.

Nine police officers were killed and 37 people were hurt, including 25 civilian police employees;[5] the highest death toll inflicted on the RUC in its history. Another shell hit the observation tower, while the rest landed inside and outside the perimeter of the base.[6]

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The  Innocent Victims

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28 February 1985


Alexander Donaldson,  (41)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

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28 February 1985

Rosemary McGookin, (27)


Rosemary McGookin,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

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28 February 1985


Geoffrey Campbell, (24)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

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28 February 1985


Denis Price,  (22)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

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28 February 1985


Paul McFerran,  (33)

Catholic
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down

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28 February 1985


Sean McHenry, (19)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down

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28 February 1985


David Topping,  (22)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

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28 February 1985


John Dowd,  (31)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

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28 February 1985


Ivy Kelly,  (29)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in mortar bomb attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, Edward Street, Newry, County Down.

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Aftermath

The day was dubbed “Bloody Thursday” by the British press. British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, called the attack “barbaric”, while the Republic’s prime minister, Garret FitzGerald, said it was “cruel and cynical”, and pledged the help of the ROI security forces to catch those responsible.

Although not involved in the attack, Newry IRA member Eamon Collins was arrested shortly afterwards and interrogated. After five days of questioning, Collins broke under interrogation and turned supergrass, leading to more than a dozen arrests of other IRA members.

The attack prompted calls from unionist politicians to “increase security”, and the British government launched a multi-million pound programme of construction to protect bases from similar attacks. This involved installing reinforced roofs and building blast-deflecting walls around the base of buildings.

After the successful attack in Newry, the IRA carried out a further nine mortar attacks in 1985. On 4 September, an RUC training centre in Enniskillen was attacked; 30 cadets narrowly escaped death due to poor intelligence-gathering by the IRA unit responsible. The cadets were expected to be in bed sleeping, but were instead eating breakfast when the bombs landed.

In November 1986, the IRA launched another attack on the RUC base in Newry, but the bombs fell short of their target and landed on residential houses. A four-year-old Catholic girl was badly wounded and another 38 people were hurt, prompting the IRA to admit that:

“this incident left us open to justified criticism”.

 

See here for more details on the RUC

police role of honour.PNG

See here for RUC deaths in the Troubles :