Tag Archives: Robert Hamill

8th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

8th May

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Saturday 8 May 1971

Isabella McKeague

A woman was killed in an incident in Belfast.

Wednesday 8 May 1974

The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) issued a statement condemning the security situation in Northern Ireland and gave its support to the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) and the policy of opposing the Sunningdale Agreement.

Thursday 8 May 1975

The first meeting of the Constitutional Convention was held. Roberty Lowry, then Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, chaired the session.

[There were 30 sessions in total and the Report of the convention was published on 20 November 1975.]

Sunday 8 May 1977 Day 6 of the UUAC Strike

The loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), announced that it might be forced to ‘coerce’ loyalists in Northern Ireland into supporting the UUAC strike.

Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), reiterated his belief that the strike had already been a success even if at some point it had to be called off. However a spokesman for the UUAC stated that there was ‘no chance’ of the strike being called off.

Friday 8 May 1981

Joe McDonnell, then an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner in the Maze Prison, joined the hunger strike to take the place of Bobby Sands.

See 1981 Hunger Strike

Saturday 8 May 1982

Nicholas Budgen, then an Assistant Government Whip, resigned his post because of his opposition to the Northern Ireland Bill which would introduce a new Assembly.

Friday 8 May 1987 Loughgall Killings

8_ira_men_shot_dead-loughgall

See Loughgall ambush

One civilian and eight members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were shot dead by soldiers of the Special Air Service (SAS) in Loughgall, County Armagh.

The IRA members were in the process of attacking the police station at Loughgall when they were ambushed by 40 SAS soldiers. The innocent civilian was shot dead by one SAS group as he drove through the village. This incident was the highest loss of life suffered by the IRA in any one incident.

[On 2 December 2011 some details of an Historical Enquires Team (HET) report into the incident were released by The Belfast Telegraph. The newspaper article claimed that the HET report would conclude that members of the IRA opened fire first and thus the SAS soldiers were within their rights to open

Tuesday 8 May 1990

Tomás Ó Fiaich, then a Cardinal and Catholic Primate of All Ireland, died aged 66 from a heart attack while on a visit to Lourdes, France.

Friday 8 May 1992

Kenneth Baker, then British Home Secretary, announced that responsibility for intelligence-gathering on the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would be moved from the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police to MI5 (the British Security Service). The move was part of an attempt to counter IRA operations in England.

Sunday 8 May 1994

Rose Anne Mallon (76), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at her relatives home, Cullenramer Road, Greystone, near Dungannon, County Tyrone.

[On 27 July 1994 a neighbour discovered in a nearby field two security force surveillance cameras pointing at the house where the shooting took place. There were subsequent claims of collusion between the security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries.]

Thursday 8 May 1997

Robert Hamill Killing  

Robert Hamill (25), a Catholic civilian, died as a result of injuries sustained in a sectarian attack in the centre of Portadown on 27 April 1997.

Hamill, who left a wife and three children, had been savagely beaten by a loyalist gang and it was claimed that Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers sitting in a police vehicle some 30 meters away did not intervene to save him.

[The Independent Commission for Police Complaints later began an investigation into the incident. On the 16 November 2004 Paul Murphy, then Secretary of State, announced the terms of reference for a public Inquiry into the death of Robert Hamill. Full public hearings began on 13 January 2009.]

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that the period of notice required for a parade or march to be held would be extended from 7 days to 21.

The RUC would in future be empowered to confiscate alcohol from those taking part in parades.

The County Tyrone Grand Orange Lodge held a meeting and decided to endorse the agreement reached between local Orangemen and residents of Dromore village.

See: The Orange Order – History & Background

Members of the Spirit of Drumcree (SOD) tried to have the deal overturned but their motion was rejected by 68 votes to 9. John Bruton, the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held a meeting with Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, at Downing Street. Bruton described Blair as an “improvement for the better in all the issues as far as Ireland is concerned.”

See: Drumcree

Friday 8 May 1998

The “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA) issued a statement saying that the organisation’s ceasefire was over and military attacks would resume. In particular the group said that it had declared war on the British Cabinet.

William Thompson, a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP), gave a radio interview in which he effectively called for the resignation of David Trimble, then leader of the UUP. Thompson was in turn attacked by John Taylor, then deputy leader of the UUP, who called on him to “do the decent thing” and resign.

Monday 8 May 2000

Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, offered to reduce the number of British Army soldiers in Northern Ireland if the Irish Republican Army (IRA) kept to its promise on decommissioning. Mandelson refused to discuss the precise number of troops that would be withdrawn from the region.

Tuesday 8 May 2001

David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that he would resign as First Minister on 1 July 2001 unless the Irish Republican Army (IRA) began to decommission its weapons. [Trimble did resign on 1 July 2001.]

 

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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.

 16 People lost their lives on the 8th   May  between 1971 – 1997

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08 May 1971


 Isabella McKeague   (67)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died in fire which followed incendiary bomb attack on shop below her flat, Albertbridge Road, Belfast

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08 May 1974


Francis Rowe   (40)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Kingsmoss Road, off Ballyclare Road, near Glengormley, County Antrim.

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08 May 1977
Robert Crawford  (40)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot, Forthriver Road, Glencairn, Belfast.

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08 May 1981


Desmond Guiney,   (14)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died three days after milk delivery lorry he was travelling in, crashed into lamp post after coming under missile attack thrown from crowd, at the junction of New Lodge Road and Antrim Road, Belfast. His father also died on 13 May 1981 as a result of the crash on 5 May 1981

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08 May 1984


James Johnstone   (28)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot in in car park at his workplace, Drumglass Hospital, Dungannon, County Tyrone.

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08 May 1987


Declan Arthurs    (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Seamus Donnell   (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Michael Gormley  (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh

See Loughgall ambush.

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08 May 1987


Eugene Kelly   (25)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Patrick Kelly  (30)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


James Lynagh   (31)

nfNI
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
From County Monaghan. Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Patrick McKearney   (32)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Gerard O’Callaghan  (29)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1987


Anthony Hughes   (36)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, during Irish Republican Army (IRA) gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, County Armagh. Assumed to be an IRA member.

See Loughgall ambush

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08 May 1994


Rose Ann  Mallon   (76)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot, at her relatives home, Cullenramer Road, Greystone, near Dungannon, County Tyrone

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08 May 1997


Robert Hamill (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died eleven days after being badly beaten by group of men, Thomas Street, Portadown, County Armagh.

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30th September – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

30th September

Monday 30 September 1968

  Civil Rights Campaign; Derry March

Wednesday 30 September 1970

A Protestant man was shot and killed by Loyalists in Belfast.

[‘Lost Lives’ claimed that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was responsible.]

Thursday 23 September 1971

Two members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) were killed in a premature bomb explosion.

Thursday 30 September 1971

Ian Paisley and Desmond Boal launched the Ulster Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Saturday 30 September 1972

Five people died in separate incidents in Belfast. A sixth person died later as a result of injuries received on the day.

Friday 30 September 1988

See SAS Gibraltar Page

An inquest held in Gibraltar  decided that the Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers who shot dead three Irish Republican Army (IRA) members on 6 March 1988 had acted lawfully. There was conflicting evidence on whether or not the IRA members had been given a warning before being shot.

Sunday 30 September 1990

‘Joy riders’ Shot Dead Martin Peake (17) and Karen Reilly (18), both Catholic civilians, were shot dead by British Army paratroopers in Belfast. The two teenagers were travelling (‘joy riding’) in a stolen car. At the time it was claimed that the stolen car had failed to stop at an army check point and struck a member of the army foot patrol.

[Later it was revealed that the injuries suffered by the soldier were deliberately inflicted after the incident by another soldier. In June 1993 Lee Clegg, a private in the Parachute Regiment, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Clegg’s subsequent early release and return to his regiment caused uproar in the nationalist community.]

Wednesday 30 September 1992

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) returned to the resumed political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks) at Stormont. The DUP attended this section of the talks because the main business was Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution.

[The DUP were criticised as having an ‘a la carte’ approach to the talks.]

Saturday 30 September 1995

Sinn Féin (SF) held a special one-day conference to review the peace process in the RDS, Dublin, attended by approximately 800 members. The delegates supported the SF leadership’s position that there was “no other

Tuesday 30 September 1997

Format of Negotiations Agreed at Talks The parties involved in the talks at Stormont agreed the format for the substantive negotiations. The talks would take place in three strands. The first strand would deal with arrangements for government in Northern Ireland, the second would look at relationships between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and the third would look at the relationships between Britain and Ireland.

The substantive talks were due to begin on 7 October 1997. Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, addressed the Labour Party’s annual conference and announced that internment would be removed form the statute books. William Hague, then leader of the Conservative Party, paid his first official visit to Northern Ireland but did not meet any political leaders.

Wednesday 30 September 1998

Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), announced that a number of British Army installations and check-points were to be demolished. There was a further series of releases under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), addressed a meeting of the of the Labour Party conference in Blackpool, England. Mallon, while acknowledging that there was no pre-condition to Sinn Féin’s (SF) entry into an Executive, nevertheless called on the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to make a confidence building gesture.

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), also addressed the meeting and stated that the row over decommissioning had the potential to wreck the Good Friday Agreement.

Thursday 30 September 1999

See below for more details on Robert Hamill Killing

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided not to charge any Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer in connection with the killing of Robert Hamill following a beating he received on 29 April 1997. Hamill was severely beaten in a sectarian attack by a gang of up to 30 loyalists in the centre of Portadown, County Armagh, and he died from head injuries on 8 May 1997.

Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were present close to the scene of the attack and were accused by witnesses and Hamill’s family of not intervening to save him. Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), travelled to Dublin for a meeting at his request with Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).

The meeting was called to discuss a series of attacks that had occurred on Free Presbyterian churches in the Republic of Ireland. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) launched a three year strategic plan part of which was to involve the drafting of a Bill of Rights.`


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.

  16 People lost their lives on the 30th September  between 1970 – 1992

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30 September 1970
David Murray,  (49)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Wilton Street, Shankill, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


Patricia McKay,   (20)

Catholic
Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot during attempted attack on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Ross Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


Francis Lane,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot on waste ground, Glencairn Road, Glencairn, Belfast.

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30 September 1972
John Kelly,  (43)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Died three days after being shot during altercation between local people and British Army (BA) patrol, Tullagh Park, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


Thomas Rudman,   (20) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Ladbrooke Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


Patrick McKee,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in car bomb attack outside Conlon’s Bar, Smithfield, Belfast.

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30 September 1972


James Gillen,   (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Injured in car bomb attack outside Conlon’s Bar, Smithfield, Belfast. He died 17 October 1972.

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30 September 1972


Joseph Lynskey,   (45)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Went missing from the Beechmount area, Belfast, during August/September 1972. Presumed killed. Body never found.

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30 September 1974


Ralph Laverty,   (55)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his workplace, bakery, Orby Road, Bloomfield, Belfast.

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30 September 1974
John Cameron,  (57)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot at his home, Elimgrove Street, off Cliftonville Road, Belfast. Mistaken for a Catholic neighbour.

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30 September 1978


James Taylor,   (23)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) member, Ballygoney Road, near Coagh, County Tyrone.

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30 September 1980
Robert Shields,  (44)

Protestant
Status: ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (xRUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot at his workplace, ambulance depot, Royal Victoria Hospital, Falls Road, Belfast.

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30 September 1982


Gerard O’Neill,   (28)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his workplace, Rosetta petrol station, Ormeau Road, Belfast.

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30 September 1990


Martin Peake,  (17) Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while travelling in stolen car, Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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30 September 1990


Karen Reilly,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while travelling in stolen car, Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast.

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30 September 1992


Harry Black,  (27)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while in friend’s home, Annadale Flats, Ballynafeigh, Belfast.

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Death of Robert Hamill

Robert Hamill

Robert Hamill was an Irish Catholic civilian who was beaten to death by a loyalist mob in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Hamill and his friends were attacked on 27 April 1997 on the town’s main street. It has been claimed that the local Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), parked a short distance away, did nothing to stop the attack. At the time of the murder, tension between loyalists (mainly Protestants) and Irish nationalists (mainly Catholics) was high, mostly due to the ongoing Drumcree parade dispute.

Death

Hamill and his friends were attacked by a group of loyalists while walking home from St. Patrick’s dance hall at about 1.30 a.m on 27 April 1997.[1][2] After walking along Market Street from the dance hall, they came to the intersection of Market and Thomas Streets in Portadown, where they were attacked.[1][2] Hamill and his friend, Gregory Girvan, were kicked by the crowd while their attackers shouted abuse at them and Robert Hamill was knocked unconscious almost immediately.[2] Girvan’s wife and sister, Joanne and Siobhán Garvin, respectively, called for help from four RUC officers sitting in a Land Rover about twenty feet away from the attack, but they did not intervene to stop the attack.[2] The assault lasted about ten minutes, leaving both men unconscious.[1] Just before the ambulance arrived, one of the RUC men got out of the Land Rover and told Garvin to put Robert into the recovery position.

Robert Hamill never regained consciousness and died of his injuries eleven days later on 8 May 1997, aged 25.[1] The cause of his death was recorded as “Diffuse Brain Injury associated with Fracture of Skull due to Blows to the Head”.[1] Six people were arrested after Robert Hamill’s death, but only one was eventually tried for his murder.[2]

Investigation

Trial of Paul Hobson

Paul R. Hobson was charged with murder, but found not guilty, though he was found guilty of unlawful fighting and causing an affray and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. The case under which Hobson was prosecuted is questionable as the main witness, Constable Atkinson of the then RUC, was at one stage a suspect in conspiracy to cause murder in the same case. His solicitor also did not use crucial evidence in the case to cross-examine witnesses.[2][3] Mr. Justice McCollum said during his verdict that the killing was a sectarian act, with a very large number of loyalists attacking a small number of nationalists, but that he could not decide whether the RUC men had left their Land Rover or not during the attack.

Allegations of police collusion

The RUC have been criticised for initially claiming in press releases that there was a riot between two large groups; then afterwards claiming it was a large group attacking a group of four.[1][2] Rosemary Nelson was solicitor for the Hamill family until she was assassinated by a loyalist car bomb in Lurgan.[1]

There have been allegations of collusion between the RUC and suspects.[1][4] A public inquiry is currently being held on the recommendation of Cory Collusion Inquiry.[5]

New charges

In December 2010 it was announced that three people, including a former RUC officer, were to be charged in relation to Robert Hamill’s death