Tag Archives: Progressive Unionist Party

6th August – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

6th August

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Wednesday 6 August 1980

The British government announced an extra public spending package of £48 million for Northern Ireland to try to alleviate the high level of unemployment in the region which stood at 14.7 per cent.

This announcement came after a meeting between the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTUs) and Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister.

Wednesday 6 August 1997

Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a ‘punishment’ attack on an 18 year old man in Rathcoole, north Belfast.

A taxi driver was shot in the legs in a ‘punishment’ style attack in Grosvenor Road, Belfast.

The attack was alleged to have been carried out by the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA).

A hoax bomb was sent to the office of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) on the Shankill Road.

It was believed that Loyalist paramilitaries were responsible.

There was an arson attack on an Orange Order hall near Caledon, County Tyrone.

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a meeting with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), together with other SF representatives in Stormont.

Thursday 6 August 1998

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that she believed that the “war is over”. [This was said in response to Unionist demands that Sinn Féin (SF) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) should state publicly that the conflict had ended.]

Thomas McMahon, who had been convicted of the murder of Lord Mountbatten and three other people in 1979, was released from jail in the Republic of Ireland.

The release drew criticism from Unionists in Northern Ireland.

Friday 6 August 1999

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement in which the organisation denied that it have been behind an attempt to smuggle arms from the USA into Ireland; the IRA “Army Council has not sanctioned any arms importation operation”.

In relation to the speculation around the killing of Charles Bennett on 30 July 1999 the IRA said “there had been no breaches of the IRA cessation”.

Monday 6 August 2001

The date set as the deadline for the political parties to give their response to the British and Irish governments’ Implementation Plan for the Good Friday Agreement.

A statement was issued by John de Chastelain (Gen.), then head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), in which he announced that an Irish Republican Army (IRA) representative had proposed a method for putting weapons completely and verifiably beyond use.

De Chastelain told the British and Irish governments that the proposal met with the Commission’s remit in accordance with the governments’ scheme and regulations. De Chastelain said in the statement:

“Based on our discussions with the IRA representative, we believe that this proposal initiates a process that will put IRA arms completely and verifiably beyond use.”

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), declared the statement as a “hugely historical breakthrough”.
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) office board consisting of 14 members met on Monday evening to consider its response to the Implementation Plan (1 August 2001) and also the statement by the IICD.


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.

1 Person lost their lives on the 6th  August  1985


06 August 1985

Charles English  (21)

Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died when grenade exploded prematurely, during attack on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, William Street, Derry.



12th September – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

12th   September

Sunday 12 September 1971

A statement on Internment, violence and the ill-treatment of detainees was released by the William Conway, then Catholic Cardinal of Ireland, and six Bishops. In a statement Cardinal Conway asked, ‘Who wanted to bomb one million Protestants into a United Ireland?’

Thursday 12 September 1974

Demonstrations were held in Belfast by Loyalists and Republicans in support of prisoners who were protesting about parole and food.

Monday 12 September 1977

Roy Mason, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, marked the end of his first year in the region by stating that ‘the myth of British withdrawal from Northern Ireland’ was now dead.

Tuesday 12 September 1989

Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to Northern Ireland and described the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) as a group of “very, very, very brave men”. In Dublin Sinn Féin (SF) announced the launch of the Irish National Congress.

Saturday 12 September 1992

A confidential discussion paper was leaked from the political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks). It was claimed that the paper had been prepared by Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in an attempt to overcome a perceived lack of channels of communication between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

[The paper was heavily criticised by Unionists and was later withdrawn when James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), threatened to leave the talks. In particular Unionists were angered by certain phrases that had been used such as ‘an agreed Ireland’ as well as ‘powers to be exercised through North/South channels’. There were further leaks on 20 September 1992.]

Sunday 12 September 1993

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, gave a speech to the British Irish Association. Mayhew called for flexibility on the part of the political parties. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) published a policy document entitled ‘Breaking the Log-Jam’.

Monday 12 September 1994

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) planted a 1.5kg bomb on the Belfast to Dublin train. Only the detonator exploded and two people were injured. on 20 September 1992.

Tuesday 12 September 1995

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held his first formal talks with representatives of the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) and representatives of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP). David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said he would not attend the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin. Trimble held a meeting with Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Robert McCartney, then leader of the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP), to discuss proposals for Unionist unity.

Thursday 12 September 1996

Mary Robinson, then President of the Republic of Ireland, had a number of engagements in Belfast. There were protests at one of the venues, a women’s centre on the Donegal Road, and the centre was later badly damaged in an arson attack. Michael Whelan (35), a Catholic man, was discovered beaten to death in the lower Ormeau area of Belfast. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) later said the motive for the killing was sectarian.

Friday 12 September 1997

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, issued a statement calling on David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), to remain in the multi-party talks at Stormont. Mary Robinson formally resigned as President of the Republic of Ireland. She took up a new position as High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations.

Sunday 12 September 1999

Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), speaking on ‘Sunday With Adam Boulton’ on Sky News, said the threat from dissident Republicans was growing. Groups such as the ‘real IRA’ were regrouping and posed a threat, especially in border areas, he said. There was a sectarian attack by loyalists on the home of Danny O’Connor, then Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MLA. A group of loyalists had gathered outside his home shouting threats and causing damage to his car. It was the third sectarian attack on his home in three months.

Tuesday 12 September 2000

British army bomb disposal experts defused a pipe-bomb thrown through the window of a house in the upper Shankill on Sunday night. The house on the Ballygomartin Road was unoccupied when the device and a petrol bomb were thrown through the living room window at around 11.00pm.

A pipe-bomb was thrown at the home of a Loyalist politician during an outbreak of violence on the Loyalist Shankill Road area of Belfast. Billy Hutchinson, Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) Assemblyman, was at the scene of the attack when a device was thrown at his home in the Shankill area. Hutchinson’s wife and father-in-law had to be moved from the house and other nearby homes were evacuated.

Wednesday 12 September 2001

There was a bomb attack at 12.30am (0030BST) on an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol in Derry. Three RUC officers were investigating a burning car at a building site when a bomb exploded at the side of the road. The officers were treated for shock.

[The attack was thought to have been carried out by dissident Republican paramilitaries.]

The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School followed the pattern of Monday and Tuesday. However, before going to the school the children and parents held a a prayer service and a minute’s silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States of America (USA) on 11 September 2001.

Richard Haass, then a United States special envoy, had a series of meetings with political leaders in Northern Ireland. Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), announced that Friday would be a national day of mourning for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the USA.

Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), announced that the target of 50:50 recruitment of Catholics and Protestants to the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was being achieved. New policing legislation following recommendations in the Patten Report had laid down 50:50 recruitment rule. During the first phase of the application process 8000 people had applied for jobs of whom 550 were deemed qualified and a minimum of 260, possibly as many as 300, would be offered places on the trainee program.

[The first recruits to the PSNI will begin their training in the period between 14 October and 4 November 2001. They are expected to be on duty by the spring of 2002.]

Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the follow  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

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.

 4 People lost their lives on the 12th September  between 1975 – 1986


12 September 1975
John Snoddy,  (32)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot at his home, Milltown Avenue, Derriaghy, near Belfast.


12 September 1979

Gabriel Wiggans,   (56)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his home, Springfield Road, Belfast.


12 September 1981

Alan Clarke,  (20)

Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while walking along Hall Street, Maghera, County Derry.


12 September 1986
Kenneth Robinson,   (30)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb, attached to his Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) member father’s car outside their home, Clonmakane Court, Caw, Derry.


Loyalist Feuds – Past & Present

Loyalist Feuds

A loyalist feud refers to any of the sporadic feuds which have erupted almost routinely between Northern Ireland‘s various loyalist paramilitary groups during and after the ethno-political conflict known as the Troubles broke out in the late 1960s. The feuds have frequently involved problems between and within the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) as well as, later, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).


The views and opinions expressed in this page and  documentaries are soley intended to educate and provide background information to those interested in the Troubles of Northern Ireland.

They in no way reflect my own opinions and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or factual errors.


UDA-UVF feuds

See UDA Page

See UVF Page



Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair, Former UDA & UFF Loyalist Commander Talks About His Life.


U.V.F Logo
U.V.F Logo

Although the UDA and UVF have frequently co-operated and generally co-existed, the two groups have clashed. Two particular feuds stood out for their bloody nature.


UDA Logo
UDA Logo

A feud in the winter of 1974-75 broke out between the UDA and the UVF, the two main loyalist paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland. The bad blood originated from an incident in the Ulster Workers’ Council strike of May 1974 when the two groups were co-operating in support of the Ulster Workers’ Council.

Ulster Workers’ Council strike

That support the UDA & UVF members were giving involved shutting down their own social clubs & pubs due to complaints from loyalist wives of the striking men, the reason for this was with the men not working & funds being tight the wives saw what little money they did have being spent at the pubs & social clubs controlled by UDA/UVF, therefore the wives put pressure on the leaders of both groups to shut them down for the duration of the strike & after consultation they agreed.

All shut down except for a lone UVF affiliated pub on the shankill road. On a November night in 1974, a UVF man named Joe Shaw visited the pub for a drink. While there, he was “ribbed by the regulars about having allowed his local to be closed”.[2] A few pints later Shaw and some friends returned to their local, on North Queen St., and open it up. UDA men patrolling the area had seen the pubs lights on and ordered Shaw and his friends to close the place down & go home. Shaw refused, and the UDA men left, but they returned a short while later with a shotgun, determined to close the pub down.

Stephen Goatley

In the brawl that developed Shaw was fatally shot. A joint statement described it as a tragic accident although a subsequent UVF inquiry put the blame on Stephen Goatley and John Fulton, both UDA men. With antagonism grown another man was killed in a drunken brawl on 21 February 1975, this time the UDA’s Robert Thompson. This was followed by another pub fight in North Belfast in March and this time the UVF members returned armed and shot and killed both Goatley and Fulton, who had been involved in the earlier fight.

The following month UDA Colonel Hugh McVeigh and his aide David Douglas were the next to die, kidnapped by the UVF on the Shankill Road and taken to Carrickfergus where they were beaten before being killed near Islandmagee.

The UDA retaliated in East Belfast by attempting to kill UVF leader Ken Gibson who in turn ordered the UDA’s headquarters in the east of the city to be blown up, although this attack also failed. The feud rumbled on for several months in 1976 with a number of people, mostly UDA members, being killed before eventually the two groups came to an uneasy truce.


Although the two organisations had worked together under the umbrella of the Combined Loyalist Military Command, the body crumbled in 1997 and tensions simmered between West Belfast UDA Brigadier Johnny Adair, who had grown weary of the Northern Ireland peace process and the Good Friday Agreement, and the UVF leadership. Adair by this time had forged close links with the dissident LVF, a group which the UVF had been on poor terms with since its foundation.

Amidst an atmosphere of increasing tension in the area, Adair decided to host a “Loyalist Day of Culture” on the Shankill on Saturday 19 August 2000, which saw thousands of UDA members from across Northern Ireland descend on his Lower Shankill stronghold, where a series of newly commissioned murals were officially unveiled on a day which also featured a huge UDA/UFF parade and armed UDA/UFF show of strength.

Unknown to the UVF leadership, who had sought and been given assurances that no LVF regalia would be displayed on the Shankill on the day of the procession, as well as the rest of the UDA outside of Adair’s “C Company”, Adair had an LVF flag delivered to the Lower Shankill on the morning of the celebrations, which he planned to have unfurled as the procession passed the Rex Bar, a UVF haunt, in order to antagonise the UVF and try and drag it into conflict with as much of the UDA as possible.


The Rex Bar – Shankill


Adair waited until the bulk of the parade of UDA men had made its way up into the heart of the Shankill before initiating the provocative gesture. When it happened skirmishes broke out between UVF men who had been standing outside the Rex watching the procession and the group involved in unfurling the contentious flag, which had been discreetly concealed near the tail end of the parade. Prior to this the atmosphere at the Rex had been jovial, with the UVF spectators even joining in to sing UDA songs along to the tunes of the UDA-aligned flute bands which accompanied the approximately ten thousand UDA men on their parade up the Shankill Road.

But vicious fighting ensued, with a roughly three hundred-strong C Company (the name given to the Lower Shankill unit of the UDA’s West Belfast Brigade, which contained Adair’s most loyal men) mob attacking the patrons of the Rex, initially with hand weapons such as bats and iron bars, before they shot up the bar as its patrons barricaded themselves inside.

Also shot up was the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) headquarters which faced the pub. C Company then went on the rampage in the Lower Shankill, attacking the houses of known UVF members and their families, including the home of veteran UVF leader Gusty Spence, and evicting the inhabitants at gunpoint as they wrecked and stole property and set fire to homes. By the end of the day nearly all those with UVF associations had been driven from the Lower Shankill.

Later that night C Company gunmen shot up the Rex again, this time from a passing car. While most of the UDA guests at Adair’s carnival had duly left for home when it became apparent that he was using it to engineer violent conflict with the UVF, festivities nonetheless continued late into the night on the Lower Shankill, where Adair hosted an open air rave party and fireworks display.

The UVF struck back on Monday morning, shooting dead two Adair associates, Jackie Coulter and Bobby Mahood, as they sat in a Range Rover on the Crumlin Road. The UVF also shot up the Ulster Democratic Party headquarters on the Middle Shankill. An hour later Adair’s unit burned down the PUP’s offices close to Agnes Street, the de facto border between the UVF-dominated Middle and Upper Shankill and the UDA-dominated Lower Shankill. The UVF responded by blowing up the UDP headquarters on the Middle Shankill. Adair was returned to prison by the Secretary of State on 14 September, although the feud continued with four more killed before the end of the year.

Violence also spread to North Belfast, where members of the UVF’s Mount Vernon unit shot and killed a UDA member, David Greer, in the Tiger’s Bay area, sparking a series of killings in that part of the city. In another incident the County Londonderry town of Coleraine saw tumult in the form of an attempted expulsion of UVF members by UDA members, which was successfully resisted by the UVF.

But aside from these exceptions Adair’s attempt to ignite a full-scale war between the two organisations failed, as both the UVF and UDA leaderships moved decisively to contain the trouble within the Shankill area, where hundreds of families had been displaced, and focused on dealing with its source as well as its containment. To Adair’s indignation even the “A” and “B” Companies of his West Belfast Brigade of the UDA declined to get involved in C Company’s war with the UVF.

Eventually a ceasefire was reluctantly agreed upon by the majority of those involved in the feuding after new procedures were established with the aim of preventing the escalation of any future problems between the two organisations, and after consideration was paid to the advice of Gary McMichael and David Ervine, the then leaders of the two political wings of loyalism.

UVF-LVF feuds


Loyalist Feud in Portadown, March 2000


The nature of the LVF, which was founded by Billy Wright when he, along with the Portadown unit of the UVF Mid-Ulster Brigade, was stood down by the UVF leadership on 2 August 1996 for breaking the ceasefire has led to frequent battles between the two movements. This had come about when Wright’s unit killed a Catholic taxi-driver during the Drumcree standoff.

Although Wright had been expelled from the UVF, threatened with execution and an order to leave Northern Ireland, which he defied, the feud was largely contained during his life and the two major eruptions came after his death.


Simmering tensions boiled over in a December 1999 incident involving LVF members and UVF Mid-Ulster brigadier Richard Jameson and his men at the Portadown F.C. social club in which the LVF supporters were severely beaten. The LVF members swore revenge and on 10 January 2000 they took it by shooting Jameson dead on the outskirts of Portadown.[14] The UVF retaliated by killing two Protestant teenagers suspected of LVF membership and involvement in Jameson’s death. As it turned out, the victims, Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine, were not part of any loyalist paramilitary organisation.

The UDA’s Johnny Adair supported the LVF and used the feud to stoke up the troubles that eventually flared in his feud with the UVF later that year. Meanwhile the UVF attempted to kill the hitman responsible for Jameson, unsuccessfully, before the LVF struck again on 26 May, killing PUP man Martin Taylor in Ballysillan. The LVF then linked up with Johnny Adair’s C Company for a time as their feud with the UVF took centre stage.

However the UVF saw fit to continue the battle in 2001, using its satellite group the Red Hand Commando to kill two of the LVF’s leading figures, Adrian Porter and Stephen Warnock. Adair however convinced the LVF that the latter killing was the work of one of his rivals in the UDA, Jim Gray, who the LVF then unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate.

See: Jim Gray – aka Doris Day


In July 2005 the feud came to a conclusion as the UVF made a final move against its rival organisation. The resulting activity led to the deaths of at least four people, all associated with the LVF. As a result of these attacks on 30 October 2005 the LVF announced that its units had been ordered to cease their activity and that it was disbanding. In February 2006, the Independent Monitoring Commission reported that this feud had come to an end.

UDA internal feuds

The UDA, the largest of the loyalist paramilitary groups, has seen a number of internal struggles within its history.

Gangsters At War – Loyalist Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland


From its beginnings the UDA was wracked by internal problems and in 1972, the movement’s first full year of existence, three members, Ingram Beckett, John Brown and Ernest Elliott were killed by other UDA members. The main problems were between East Belfast chief Tommy Herron and Charles Harding Smith, his rival in the west of the city, over who controlled the movement. Although they had agreed to make compromise candidate Andy Tyrie the leader, each man considered himself the true leader. Herron was killed in September 1973 in an attack that remains unsolved.

Andy Tyrie

However with confirmed in overall control of the UDA Harding Smith initially remained silent until in 1974 he declared that the West Belfast brigade of the movement was splitting from the mainstream UDA on the pretext of a visit to Libya organised by Tyrie in a failed attempt to procure arms from Colonel Qadaffi. The trip had been roundly criticised by the Unionist establishment and raised cries that the UDA was adopting socialism, and so Harding Smith used it re-ignite his attempts to take charge.

Harding Smith survived two separate shootings but crucially lost the support of other leading Shankill Road UDA figures and eventually left Belfast after being visited by North Belfast Brigadier Davy Payne, who warned him that he would not survive a third attack.


South Belfast Brigadier John McMichael was killed by the Provisional IRA in December 1987 but it was later admitted that UDA member James Pratt Craig, a rival of McMichael’s within the movement, had played a role in planning the murder. A new generation of leaders emerged at this time and decided that the woes facing the UDA, including a lack of arms and perceived poor leadership by ageing brigadiers, were being caused by the continuing leadership of Andy Tyrie.

Tyrie was forced to resign in March 1988 and the new men, most of whom had been trained up by McMichael, turned on some of the veterans whom Tyrie had protected. Craig was killed, Tommy Lyttle was declared persona non grata and various brigadiers were removed from office, with the likes of Jackie McDonald, Joe English and Jim Gray taking their places.





A second internal feud arose in 2002 when Johnny Adair and former politician John White were expelled from the UDA. Many members of the 2nd Battalion Shankill Road West Belfast Brigade, commonly known as ‘C’ Company, stood by Adair and White, while the rest of the organisation were involved with attacks on these groups and vice versa. There were four murders; the first victim being a nephew of a leading loyalist opposed to Adair, Jonathon Stewart, killed at a party on 26 December 2002.

Roy Green was killed in retaliation. The last victims were John ‘Grug’ Gregg (noted for a failed attempt on the life of Gerry Adams) and Robert Carson, another Loyalist. Adair’s time as leader came to an end on 6 February 2003 when south Belfast brigadier Jackie McDonald led a force of around 100 men onto the Shankill to oust Adair, who promptly fled to England. Adair’s former ally Mo Courtney, who had returned to the mainstream UDA immediately before the attack, was appointed the new West Belfast brigadier, ending the feud.

UVF internal feuds

The feud between the UVF and the LVF began as an internal feud but quickly changed when Billy Wright established the LVF as a separate organisation. Beyond this the UVF has largely avoided violent internal strife, with only two killings that can be described as being part of an internal feud taking place on Belfast’s Shankill Road in late November 1975, with Archibald Waller and Noel Shaw being the two men killed. Several months prior to these killings, Mid-Ulster Brigadier Billy Hanna was shot dead outside his Lurgan home on 27 July 1975, allegedly by his successor, Robin Jackson. This killing, however, was not part of a feud but instead carried out as a form of internal discipline from within the Mid-Ulster Brigade.

See : Robin Jackson

See also