Tag Archives: Richard Quinn

Quinn Brothers killings – Murder of the Innocent

Quinn Brothers Killings

As a Protestant who was born and raised within the heartlands of Loyalist West Belfast I am fiercely proud of my Protestant culture and heritage and I take pride in the union with the rest of the UK and I adore and love our Queen ,  Elizabeth the 2nd of her name – long may she reign!

Queen Elizabeth II March 2015.jpg

Growing up in and around the Shankill Road & Glencairn I was on the front line of the sectarian slaughter that hunted the people of Belfast & Northern Ireland for 30 long painful years and I have seen more than my fair share of the misery and soul destroying agony of the paramilitary war that dominated and engulfed our daily lives.

Through the years many of the high profile killings and sectarian slaughter has had a profound effect on me and the death of these three innocent children still hunts my soul years after their tragic, senseless murder.

The death of the three young Scottish soldiers by an IRA honey trap also stands out  in my mind and the sheer brutality of these murders is beyond my comprehension and how those that perpetuated these and other murders live with themselves is beyond me.

Scots 3-x-

See IRA Honey Trap Killings

Thank god these dark days are behind us.

Safe in the arms of Jesus

Quinn brothers collage with text.jpg

Jason, Richard and Mark Quinn were three brothers killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in a firebomb attack on their home in Ballymoney, County Antrim, Northern Ireland on 12 July 1998. Towards the end of the three-decade period known as “The Troubles“.

 

Background

A loyalist mural in Carnany

The Quinn family, consisting of mother Chrissie and sons Richard, Mark and Jason, lived in the Carnany estate in the predominantly Protestant town of Ballymoney. The family was of a mixed religious background. Mother Chrissie was Roman Catholic from a mixed background and the boys’ father Jim Dillon was Catholic.

After separating from her estranged husband, Chrissie reared the boys as Protestant “to avoid the hassle”. Chrissie lived with her Protestant partner Raymond Craig in Carnany which had only a few Catholic residents and was mostly Protestant, reflecting the religious make-up of Ballymoney itself. The boys, aged 9, 10 and 11, attended a local state school and on the evening before their deaths had been helping to build the estate’s Eleventh Night loyalist bonfire.

A fourth brother, Lee, was staying with his grandmother in Rasharkin at the time of the attack.

The entrance to Carnany

The killings took place at the height of the stand-off over the Orange Order march at Drumcree, which created a tense atmosphere in various towns across Northern Ireland. In Ballymoney, the previous year, an off-duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, Gregory Taylor, was beaten to death by a group of loyalist bandsmen.

The killing followed a row about the RUC’s position after loyal order marches had been banned from the nearby nationalist village of Dunloy.

In the weeks before the fatal attack, the children’s mother Chrissie had expressed fear that she wasn’t welcome in the area and that there was a possibility the family home might be attacked by loyalists.

The Ballymoney Times reported a story the week of the deaths, stating that a resident of the Carnany estate called in and was concerned about tension in the area adding something serious might happen “unless Catholic residents were left alone“. Various members of Chrissie’s family had lived in Carnany but due to several incidents only Chrissie and her sons remained. The family had only been living in the home, which was previously occupied by the boys’ aunt, for six days before the attack.

The attack

quinn house 2.jpg

The attack occurred at around half past four in the morning as the inhabitants of the house slept. A car containing members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary organisation, arrived at the house and threw a petrol bomb through a window at the rear of the house. The petrol bomb was made from a whiskey bottle.

The sounds of the boys’ shouting had woken their mother, who found her bedroom full of smoke. Chrissie Quinn, Raymond Craig and a family friend Christina Archibald escaped the resulting fire with minor injuries. Chrissie had thought the boys had escaped the fire as she couldn’t locate them in the dense smoke before she jumped to safety from a first floor window. Two of the brother’s bodies were found in their mother’s bedroom and the other in another bedroom.

Chrissie was taken to hospital and released the next day after receiving minor injuries and shock in the attack.

Reaction

DrIanPaisley.jpg

The M.P. for the area, Dr. Ian Paisley, visited the site of the attack and described the killings as:

“diabolical”, “repugnant” and it “stained Protestantism”.

However, in an interview with ITN he stated that:

“The IRA have carried out worse murders than we had in Ballymoney over and over again”.

Then British Prime Minister Tony Blair denounced the attack as “an act of barbarism”.

Reaction from America was also noted as United States President Bill Clinton extended the condolences of the American people to the Quinn family.

Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy condemned the killings and stated:

“The Orange Order must recognize that its refusal to abide by the decision of the Parades Commission led to the murder of the Quinn boys”.

New York mayor Rudy Giuliani extended sympathy to the family from the city of New York.

Representatives of other groups from all sides of the constitutional issue in Northern Ireland also condemned the killings.

The then Chelsea F.C. chairman, Ken Bates, offered a £100,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for the attackers.

At the brothers’ Requiem Mass, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor, Dr. Walsh observed that:

“For all too long the airwaves and the printed page have been saturated with noises – strident, harsh, discordant noises – carrying words of hatred, of incitement, of recrimination, words not found in the vocabulary of Christianity. But the time for words is over. It’s now time for silence, a silence in which we will hear the voice of God.”

Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern attended a memorial mass in Dublin for the children.

The Progressive Unionist Party, which has political links to the UVF, made no comment that the UVF was implicated in the attack.

Conviction of Garfield Gilmour

Garfield Gilmour, a local loyalist, was found guilty of murder for his part in the attack and sentenced to life imprisonment in October 1999. He had driven the car which had transported the UVF unit containing Johnny McKay, brothers Raymond and Ivan Parke to the Quinn home.

Gilmour was described at his trial as a hard working, farm machinery salesman who came from a middle-class background who was unwillingly part of the attack which killed the Quinn brothers. The judge described Gilmour as an “accomplished liar”. Gilmour and his girlfriend Christina Lofthouse alleged that an uncle of the Quinn boys, Colm Quinn, had approached their daughter offering her a sweet, knowing it was a small piece of cannabis. Colm Quinn confirmed that the couple had made allegations against him previously that he was a drug dealer. He then had to flee the Carnany estate. However, returning to his old house three months before the fatal attack on his nephews, Quinn claimed he was confronted by Gilmour again and was warned he was “going to be sorted out”.

The Orange Order released a press statement a year after the attack, stating,

“According to today’s judgment the murders were a combination of a sectarian attack by the UVF and a personal grudge between Gilmour and the uncle of the three boys,” and voiced the “Order’s absolute commitment to ensuring that justice is done for their family.”

Gilmour had named the three alleged petrol bombers he had driven to the Quinn family home, but these men were never charged due to a lack of concrete evidence.[17]

Gilmour’s conviction for murder was reduced to manslaughter on appeal on 5 June 2000 and he was released six years later. Nine days later, his life sentence was replaced by a fixed prison sentence of 14 years.

Aftermath

After being released from hospital Chrissie Quinn returned to her mother’s native Rasharkin to live and decided to have the boys buried there. The boys were buried two days later in St Mary’s cemetery in Rasharkin after requiem Mass. Thousands of both Catholics and Protestants attended the funeral.

A number of loyalist bands defied RUC requests not to play music while marching past the boy’s grandmother’s house in the days after the killings.

In April 1999 the former home of the boys in Carnany Park was demolished and replaced with a children’s play park as a memorial.

An uncle of the boys, Frankie Quinn, appeared in court in 2007 accused of stabbing Garfield Gilmour in Ballymoney. Quinn was successful in an application for bail

12th July – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

12th July

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Saturday 12 July 1969

As the ‘marching season’ reached its height there was serious rioting in Derry, Belfast and Dungiven. Many familles in Belfast were forced to move from their homes.

[The upsurge in violence followed a period of relative calm

Monday 12 July 1971

David Walker

A British soldier was shot dead in Belfast. The main Orange Order parades across Northern Ireland passed off relatively peacefully.

Wednesday 12 July 1972

A Protestant man was found shot dead in Portadown.

Two men, one Catholic one Protestant, were shot dead in a public house in Portadown.

Two men were shot dead in separate incidents in Belfast.

Thursday 12 July 1979

Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, criticised the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) after it had broadcast an interview with a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

[This incident was to set a pattern of confrontation between the media, particularly the broadcast media, and Conservative governments during the 1980s and 1990s.]

Thursday 12 July 1984

Twelfth in Northern Ireland 2013

The annual Orange Order ‘Twelfth’ parades took place across Northern Ireland. There was violence following the parades with attacks on security forces and shops in Derry. Catholic families were also attacked in Limavady, County Derry, in Ballymena, County Antrim, and in Ballynahinch, County Down.

During speeches at the various centres across the region leading Orange figures condemned the Report of the New Ireland Forum

Friday 12 July 1985

There was further rioting in Portadown, County Armagh, following the decision by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to re-route Orange Order and Royal Black Institution parades away from Obins Street, a mainly Catholic area of Portadown. During serious rioting between Loyalists and the RUC extensive damage was inflicted on property in the town and 52 RUC officers were injured.

Saturday 12 July 1986

There were further periods of violence following the Orange Order ‘Twelfth’ parades.

[Later the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) released figures that showed there had been 128 RUC officers and 66 civilians injured and 127 arrests made. 281 plastic baton rounds had been fired and there were 79 reported cases of intimidation.]

Brian Leonard (20), a Catholic civilian, died two days after been shot while working on a building site in Shugville Street, Shankill, Belfast. The Protestant Action Force (PAF) claimed responsibility for the killing.

[The PAF killed two more Catholic civilians during July 1986 and two in September 1986.]

Wednesday 12 July 1989

Charles Haughey was re-elected as Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). Fianna Fáil (FF) formed the new government with the support of the Progressive Democrats (PDs). This was the first occasion that FF had been part of a coalition government.

Thursday 12 July 1990

The case of the Maguire family was referred to the Court of Appeal.

Friday 12 July 1991

The results of a survey of public opinion on the political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks) was published. It showed a high level of support for the resumption of the talks (73 per cent of people questioned in Northern Ireland; 87 per cent in the Republic of Ireland; and 79 per cent in Britain). The survey was carried out by Ulster Marketing Surveys, Irish Marketing Surveys, and Gallup.

Tuesday 12 July 1994

The security forces in England seized a lorry containing over 1,800kgs of explosives at the port of Heysham, Lancashire. The explosives had been hidden in false compartments and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was considered to be responsible.

[There was speculation that the explosives would have been used in London.]

Wednesday 12 July 1995

Orange Order parades took place at a number of centres across Northern Ireland. In the lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) moved hundreds of police officers into the area to prevent Nationalist residents from protesting on the street.

Many residents were blocked inside their homes for the duration of the operation. Approximately 150 Orangemen, accompanied by four bands, left Ballynafeigh Hall at 9.30am to parade along the Ormeau Road. There were clashes between the Nationalist residents and the RUC.

A number of vehicles were hijacked and burned. During the evening there were attacks on the homes of several Catholic and Protestant families and there were arson attacks on five Orange Halls.

[ The Irish government later accused the RUC of bias in favour of the Orange Order and made a complaint to the Anglo-Irish Secretariat at Maryfield.]

Friday 12 July 1996

Ballynafeigh Orangemen were allowed to march through the Catholic lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast. There was continuing rioting in nationalist areas.

Dermot McShane (35), a Catholic man, was killed when he was run over by a British Army armoured car in Little James Street, Derry.

It was estimated that 1,000 petrol bombs were thrown and 1,000 plastic bullets were fired in Derry. John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), criticised the decision to allow the Orange march to proceed on the Garvaghy Road. He accused the British government of yielding to force and the threat of force.

Saturday 12 July 1997

The ‘Twelfth’ Orange Order parades across Northern Ireland passed off relatively peacefully with only minor incidents. There were some stones thrown in the White City area of Belfast. Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers and three soldiers were slightly injured in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) attack in north Belfast.

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), held a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and called on the IRA to announce a new ceasefire. An RUC Landrover, being used to police an Orange Order parade at Dunloy, appeared with a handpainted rat with a crown and the words “King Rat”.

billy writgt

[‘King Rat’ was the nickname of Billy Wright, then leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF). Wright was believed to have been responsible for the deaths of many innocent Catholic civilians.]

The relative of one of his victims called on the RUC to take immediate disciplinary action against the officers responsible for the painting.

See Billy Wright

Sunday 12 July 1998

Three Boys Killed at Ballymoney

Three young Catholic boys, Richard (11), Mark (10), and Jason (9) Ouinn, were burnt to death after their home, in Ballymoney, County Antrim, was petrol bombed in a sectarian attack carried out by Loyalists.

[It was later disclosed that members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) had been involved in the attack.]

Christine Quinn the boys mother, her partner, Raymond Craig, and a family friend, Christina Archibald (18) escaped from the house but they and neighbours were unable to reach the three boys. Lee Ouinn (13), the oldest son, was staying with his grandmother when the incident occurred.

[There was a general sense of shock when the news of the deaths broke and in the following days the incident was to have a major impact on the Orange Order protest at Drumcree. Although senior representatives of the Order tried to distance the organisation from the violence that had been almost continuous since the 5 July 1998, many commentators argued that the Orange Order had to accept some responsibility for the violence of its followers.]

William Bingham (Rev.), then Deputy Grand Chaplain of the Orange Order, called for the Drumcree protest to be ended and said that the 15 minute march down the Garvaghy Road would be “a hallow victory” as it would be taking place in the shadows of three little white coffins. David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Robin Eames (Dr), then Church of Ireland Primate, also called for an end to the protest.

The Orange Order rejected these and other similar calls.

[The protest at Drumcree declined following the Quinn deaths but a token protest was maintained during most of the year to July 1999.]

Monday 12 July 1999

Across Northern Ireland the Twelfth parades passed off without incident. The largest Orange parade with around 20,000 marchers proceeded through south Belfast to the Ormeau Park, keeping to a compromise route.

Other parades passed off without major incident. Legislation was put before the Westminster Parliament, designed to act as a safeguard for the decommissioning of arms and the devolution of power in Northern Ireland.

Mary McAleese, then President of the Republic of Ireland, attended a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the Republic’s first president, Douglas Hyde (Dr). She said his message was that barriers between differing traditions should not be broken down by threat or stealth.

Wednesday 12 July 2000

Andrew Cairns (22), a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was shot dead while attending “eleventh night” bonfire celebrations in Boyne Square, Larne, County Antrim.

The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were believed to have been responsible for the killing. The killing was part of a feud between the UDA and the UVF.

Thursday 12 July 2001

Serious Violence in Belfast

Orange Order parades took place across Northern Ireland. Speakers at Orange rallies across the region attacked the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

About a hundred members of the Ballynafeigh Lodge were prevented by a Parades Commission ruling from marching along the Nationalist Lower Ormeau Road area of Belfast.

The Parades Commission had also re-routed the main parade in Derry. The worst riots for a number of years took place as the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) sealed off part of the Nationalist Ardoyne area of Belfast to allow an Orange Order parade to pass close to the Catholic area.

The RUC reported that 10 officers had been injured in the disturbances. Nationalists claimed that a number of people had been injured by the RUC with at least 12 people being struck by plastic bullets.

[Senior police later accused the Irish Republican Army (IRA) of orchestrating the violence. The claim was rejected by Sinn Féin (SF).]

There was also violence in the east of Belfast when a Orange Order parade passed the Nationalist Short Strand area.

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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 12th  July between 1971 – 2000

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12 July 1971


David Walker  (30)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper, while leaving British Army (BA) observation post, Northumberland Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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12 July 1972
Paul Beattie  (19)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Found shot in entry, off Churchill Park, Portadown, County Armagh.

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12 July 1972


Jack McCabe  (48)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot at his licensed premises, McCabe’s Bar, High Street, Portadown, County Armagh.

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12 July 1972
William Cochrane  (53)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot while inside McCabe’s Bar, High Street, Portadown, County Armagh.

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12 July 1972
David McClenaghan  (15)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Southport Street, Lower Oldpark, Belfast.

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12 July 1972
Colin Poots   (21)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Found shot by Flush River, off Springfield Road, Belfast.

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12 July 1973
Frederick Davis   (28)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Found strangled in entry off Seaforde Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

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12 July 1974
John Beattie   (17)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while standing on the corner of Glenrosa Street and Moyola Street, Tiger’s Bay, Belfast

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12 July 1974
Michael Browne   (16)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot, Castle grounds, Bangor, County Down.

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12 July 1975


James Carberry   (20)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot, Old Templepatrick Road, Ballyutoag, near Belfast, County Antrim.

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12 July 1978


John Fisher  (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb hidden in manhole while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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12 July 1979
Michael Kearney   (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Found shot Legakelly, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh. Alleged informer.

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12 July 1986
Brian Leonard  (20)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Died two days after being shot while working on building site, Snugville Street, Shankill, Belfast.

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12 July 1987


Alan McQuiston   (46)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot during street disturbances, Alliance Avenue, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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12 July 1998


 Richard Quinn  (11)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed during petrol bomb attack on his home, Carnany Park, Ballymoney, County Antrim

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12 July 1998


Mark Quinn  (10)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed during petrol bomb attack on his home, Carnany Park, Ballymoney, County Antrim

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12 July 1998


Jason Quinn  (9)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed during petrol bomb attack on his home, Carnany Park, Ballymoney, County Antrim.

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12 July 2000
Andrew Cairns  (22)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Shot while attending eleventh night bonfire celebrations, Boyne Square, Larne, County Antrim. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

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29th October – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

 29th October

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Thursday 29 October 1970

The Electoral Reform Society called for the introduction of Proportional Representation (PR) in elections in Northern Ireland.

Friday 29 October 1971

A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was killed in a bomb attack in Belfast.

Wednesday 29 October 1975

The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed Robert Elliman (27), then a member of the Official IRA (OIRA), in McKenna’s Bar in the Markets area of Belfast.

[Between 29 October 1975 and 12 November 1975, 11 people were to died in the continuing feud between the two wings of the IRA. Most of those killed were members of the ‘official’ republican movement.] A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Lurgan, County Armagh.

Thursday 29 October 1981

 1981 Hunger Strike

Saturday 31 October 1981

Sinn Féin (SF) held its Ard Fheis (annual conference) in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Danny Morrison, then editor of An Phoblacht, gave a speech in which he addressed the issue of the party taking part in future elections:

“Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in one hand and the Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?”

[This statement was subsequently often quoted as: ‘the Armalite in one hand and the Ballot box in the other’.]

 

Tuesday 29 October 1991

Peter Robinson, then Deputy Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said that Unionists were being ‘edged into a united Ireland’.

Friday 29 October 1993

John Major, then British Prime Minister, and Albert Reynolds, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), issued a joint statement from a meeting they held in Brussels. The statement contained six points and outlined the governments’ determination that there would be no secret deals with the paramilitary groups. However the statement also made clear that if there were an end to violence then the governments would respond imaginatively. The governments stated that they would not adopt or endorse the proposals contained in the Hume-Adams Initiative.

Tuesday 29 October 1996

Thomas Stewart (32), who had recently been a Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) commander, was shot dead in Ballysillan in north Belfast. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) stated that the killing was ‘criminal’ rather that ‘political’.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) celebrated the 25th anniversary of its formation.

Wednesday 29 October 1997

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), travelled to London for a meeting at Downing Street with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister. Hume said afterwards that he had a “frank discussion” on the multi-party talks.

Four employees of the Coats Viyella shirt factory in Derry wore Armistice Day poppies to work in advance of the agreed dates for the display of the emblems. They refused to remove the poppies and were sent home.

[Gregory Campbell, then a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor, criticised the company. The workers were reinstated when the agreed date was reached.]

Davy Tweed, then a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor, was fined at Coleraine magistrates court for assaulting a man in a pub in Ballymoney, County Antrim. A Labour Force Survey in the Republic of Ireland showed that the work force stood at 1.3 million which was the highest level in the history of the state.

Friday 29 October 1999

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), held a series of meetings at Stormont in an attempt to find a way of establishing the proposed Executive.

Garfield Gilmour was sentenced for the murder, on 12 July 1998, of three Catholic children Richard Quinn (11), Mark Quinn (10), and Jason Quinn (9). Gilmour had been part of a Loyalist gang which petrol bombed the boys’ home in Ballymoney, County Antrim. Gilmour claimed that he had waited in a car and had not thrown the petrol bomb. He had named two other men who he alleged were responsible for throwing the device.

See below  for more details on Quinn brothers’ killings

The Appeal Court in Belfast overturned the murder convictions that had been imposed on Paddy McKinney and Billy Gorman in 1980. McKinney and Gorman had been given life sentences for the killing of Thomas McClinton, then a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), on 2 March 1974. Both McKinney and Gorman claimed that they had been beaten while in police custody. An ESDA test carried out on their confessions and interview notes showed that these had been rewritten by police officers.

David Adams, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner, began an appeal against the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) not to bring charges against those RUC officers who had assaulted him in Castlereagh Holding Centre .

Adams had received £30,000 compensations for injuries, including a broken leg.

[See: 9 August 1999]

Monday 29 October 2001

Catholic Civilian and Protestant Civilian Shot Dead

Colin Foy (27), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead at Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, shortly after midnight. The man was drinking with his brother in the Four Ways Hotel in the town when he was shot dead.

A Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) soldier went to a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police station in the neighbouring village of Clogher immediately following the incident and gave himself up to police. The RUC stated initially that the shooting was not sectarian.

Sinn Féin (SF) said the killing was “blatently sectarian”.

[The RIR soldier was later charged with murder.]

Charles Folliard (30), a Protestant civilian, was shot and fatally injured in Strabane, County Tyrone, at approximately 11.30pm (2330GMT). Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers initially said that they believed that dissident Republican paramilitaries were responsible for the killing and said that: “a sectarian motive is one of the avenues we are looking at.”

The man was shot as he was leaving the home of his 16 year old Catholic girlfriend.

[Folliard had been involved with Loyalist paramilitaries and was jailed for 14 years in 1991 for conspiracy to murder a Catholic colleague at the quarry where he then worked and also for possessing firearms. Folliard was released in 1997. On 8 November 2001 detectives said that they believed that the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) was responsible for the killing.]

[Another man was shot dead shortly after 1.00am (0100GMT) in Craigavon, County Armagh. Two men have been interviewed in connection with this shooting. Currently this shooting is not thought to be related to the conflict.]

Two men planted a small bomb (estimated at 5kg of explosives) on a bus and ordered the driver to take the bus to Woodburn Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station, Stewartstown Road, west Belfast.

The men claimed to be from the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA). British Army technical officers were in the process of dealing with the device when it exploded around 8.00pm (2000GMT) resulting in damage to the bus but causing no injuries. British Army technical experts were called to deal with a pipe-bomb at Skerrymore Place, Portrush, County Antrim, just before 8.00am (0800GMT).

The device had been left at the home of a Catholic family. The Army also had to deal with a pipe-bomb at Voltaire Gardens in the Whitewell Road area of north Belfast shortly before 3.30pm (1530GMT).

Loyalist paramilitaries were believed to be responsible for both devices.

There was further rioting in north Belfast. Six blast bombs were thrown at RUC officers and British Army soldiers in the Limestone Road area of north Belfast. A number of RUC officers were injured in the disturbances. A number of cars were hijacked and burnt. Two blast bombs were thrown at Catholics houses in the area. Sinn Féin’s (SF) Ard Chomhairle (ruling executive) held a meeting in Navan to discuss the recent decommissioning move by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), were among the group of 40 people who attended the meeting.

The Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition (NIWC) announced that it may table a motion, in the Northern Ireland Assembly on Friday 2 November 2001, to reduce the 30 days notice required for Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to re-nominate themselves as ‘Unionist’, ‘Nationalist’, or ‘Other’.

[The NIWC plan appears to be to change the community nomination of its two MLAs from ‘Other’ to one ‘Unionist’ and one ‘Nationalist’, and the ‘Unionist’ MLA would vote for David Trimble to be re-elected as First Minister.]

Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, officially opened the Academy for Irish Cultural Heritages at the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus.

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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.

  9  People lost their lives on the 29th  October  between 1971 – 1996

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29 October 1971


Michael McLarnon,   (22)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Died shortly after being shot, while standing at the front door of his home, Etna Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.

————————————————————

29 October 1971


Alfred Devlin,   (42)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb attack on Chichester Road Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, off Antrim Road, Belfast.

————————————————————

29 October 1972
Michael Turner,   (16)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot from passing car while walking along Cliftonville Road, Belfast.

————————————————————

29 October 1973


Patrick Campbell, (34)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his home, Cline Walk, Banbridge, County Down.

————————————————————

29 October 1975


Robert Elliman,   (27)

Catholic
Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while in McKenna’s Bar, Stanfield Street, Markets, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

————————————————————

29 October 1975


James Griffin,  (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his home, Hill Street, Lurgan, County Armagh.

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29 October 1979

Fred Irwin,  (43)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while driving to his workplace, Oaks Road, Dungannon, County

————————————————————

29 October 1983

 

David Nocher,   (26)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Workers’ Party member. Shot while cleaning shop window, Mill Road, Greencastle, Belfast.

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29 October 1996
Thomas Stewart,   (32)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot, near to his home, Benview Avenue, Ballysillan, Belfast. Internal Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) dispute.

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——————————————————————————————————–

Quinn brothers’ killings

Jason, Richard and Mark Quinn were three brothers killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in a firebomb attack on their home in Ballymoney, County Antrim, Northern Ireland on 12 July 1998, towards the end of the three-decade period known as “The Troubles

Background

A loyalist mural in Carnany

The Quinn family, consisting of mother Chrissie and sons Richard, Mark and Jason, lived in the Carnany estate in the predominantly Protestant town of Ballymoney. The family was of a mixed religious background. Mother Chrissie was Roman Catholic who herself was from a mixed background and the boys’ father Jim Dillon was Catholic. After separating from her estranged husband, Chrissie reared the boys as Protestant “to avoid the hassle”.[1] Chrissie lived with her Protestant partner Raymond Craig in Carnany which had only a few Catholic residents and was mostly Protestant, reflecting the religious make-up of Ballymoney itself. The boys, aged 9, 10 and 11, attended a local state school and on the evening before their deaths had been helping to build the estate’s Eleventh Night loyalist bonfire.[1] A fourth brother, Lee, was staying with his grandmother in Rasharkin at the time of the attack.

The entrance to Carnany

The killings took place at the height of the stand-off over the Orange Order march at Drumcree, which created a tense atmosphere in various towns across Northern Ireland. In Ballymoney, the previous year, an off duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, Gregory Taylor, was beaten to death by a group of loyalist bandsmen.The killing followed a row about the RUC’s position after loyal order marches had been banned from the nearby nationalist village of Dunloy.[2] In the weeks before the fatal attack the children’s mother Chrissie had expressed fear that she wasn’t welcome in the area and that there was a possibility the family home might be attacked by loyalists.[3] The Ballymoney Times a local newspaper in the town, reported a story the week of the deaths, stating that a resident of the Carnany estate called in and was concerned about tension in the area adding something serious might happen “unless Catholic residents were left alone“.[4] Various members of Chrissie’s family had lived in Carnany but due to several incidents only Chrissie and her sons remained.The family had only been living in the home, which was previously occupied by the boys’ aunt, for six days before the attack.

The attack

The attack occurred at around half past four in the morning as the inhabitants of the house slept. A car containing members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary organisation, arrived at the house and threw a petrol bomb through a window at the rear of the house. The petrol bomb was made from a whiskey bottle.[5] The sounds of the boys’ shouting had woken their mother, who found her bedroom full of smoke. Chrissie Quinn, Raymond Craig and a family friend Christina Archibald escaped the resulting fire with minor injuries. Chrissie had thought the boys had escaped the fire as she couldn’t locate them in the dense smoke before she jumped to safety from a first floor window. Two of the brother’s bodies were found in their mother’s bedroom and the other in another bedroom.[6] Chrissie was taken to hospital and released the next day after receiving minor injuries and shock in the attack. It is believed that the attack was a misunderstanding and that the members of the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) had not known the Quinn brothers’ were inside the house.

Reaction

The M.P. for the area, Dr. Ian Paisley, visited the site of the attack and described the killings as “diabolical”, “repugnant” and it “stained Protestantism”.[7] However, in an interview with ITN he stated that “The IRA have carried out worse murders than we had in Ballymoney over and over again”.[8]

Then British Prime Minister Tony Blair denounced the attack as “an act of barbarism”.[4]

Reaction from America was also noted as United States President Bill Clinton extended the condolences of the American people to the Quinn family.[9]

Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy condemned the killings and stated “The Orange Order must recognize that its refusal to abide by the decision of the Parades Commission led to the murder of the Quinn boys”.[9]

New York mayor Rudy Giuliani extended sympathy to the family from the city of New York.[9]

Representatives of other groups from all sides of the constitutional issue in Northern Ireland also condemned the killings.[10]

The then Chelsea F.C. chairman, Ken Bates, offered a £100,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for the attackers.[11]

At the brothers’ Requiem Mass, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Down and Connor, Dr. Walsh observed that “For all too long the airwaves and the printed page have been saturated with noises – strident, harsh, discordant noises – carrying words of hatred, of incitement, of recrimination, words not found in the vocabulary of Christianity. But the time for words is over. It’s now time for silence, a silence in which we will hear the voice of God.”

Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern attended a memorial mass in Dublin for the children.[12]

The Progressive Unionist Party, which has political links to the UVF, made no comment that the UVF was implicated in the attack.[13]

Conviction of Garfield Gilmour

Garfield Gilmour, a local loyalist, was found guilty of murder for his part in the attack and sentenced to life imprisonment in October 1999. He had driven the car which had transported the UVF unit containing Johnny McKay, brothers Raymond and Ivan Parke[14] to the Quinn home.[10] Gilmour was described at his trial as a hard working, farm machinery salesman who came from a middle-class background who was unwillingly part of the attack which killed the Quinn brothers. The judge described Gilmour as an “accomplished liar”.[15] Gilmour and his girlfriend Christina Lofthouse alleged that an uncle of the Quinn boys, Colm Quinn, had approached their daughter offering her a sweet, knowing it was a small piece of cannabis. Colm Quinn confirmed that the couple had made allegations against him previously that he was a drug dealer. He then had to flee the Carnany estate. However, returning to his old house three months before the fatal attack on his nephews, Quinn claimed he was confronted by Gilmour again and was warned he was “going to be sorted out”.[5]

The Orange Order released a press statement a year after the attack, stating, “According to today’s judgment the murders were a combination of a sectarian attack by the UVF and a personal grudge between Gilmour and the uncle of the three boys,” and voiced the “Order’s absolute commitment to ensuring that justice is done for their family.”[16]

Aftermath

After being released from hospital Chrissie Quinn returned to her mother’s native Rasharkin to live and decided to have the boys buried there. The boys were buried two days later in St Mary’s cemetery in Rasharkin after requiem Mass. Thousands of both Catholics and Protestants attended the funeral.[7]

A number of loyalist bands defied RUC requests not to play music while marching past the boy’s grandmother’s house in the days after the killings.[8]

In April 1999 the former home of the boys in Carnany Park was demolished and replaced with a children’s play park as a memorial.[8]

An uncle of the boys, Frankie Quinn, appeared in court in 2007 accused of stabbing Garfield Gilmour in Ballymoney. Quinn was successful in an application for bail.[17]