Tag Archives: Rosemary Nelson

Mark “Swinger” Fulton: Life and Death

Mark “Swinger” Fulton (c. 1961 – 10 June 2002) was a Northern Irish loyalist. He was the leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), having taken over its command following the assassination of Billy Wright in the Maze Prison in 1997 by members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Image result for Mark "Swinger" Fulton

Fulton was alleged by journalist Susan McKay to have carried out a dozen sectarian killings in the 1990s. He also allegedly organized the murder of a Catholic lawyer, Rosemary Nelson, in 1999 while he was out of prison on compassionate leave. In 2002, he was found hanged in his cell at Maghaberry Prison, an apparent suicide. He was awaiting trial having been charged with conspiracy to murder a man from a rival loyalist paramilitary organisation. At the time of his death, Fulton was married with two children

– Disclaimer –

The views and opinions expressed in these blog post/documentary 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

Early years

Mark Fulton was born in PortadownCounty Armagh in 1961, one of the children of Jim Fulton, a former British soldier who worked as a window cleaner. His mother, Sylvia (née Prentice), came from a family of wealthy car dealers. Fulton grew up in the working-class Protestant Killycomain area. A childhood friend described Fulton as “a lovely, sweet wee boy”.

Following the outbreak of the Troubles in the late 1960s, Fulton’s father became a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). According to journalist Susan McKay, senior Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) members Robin “the Jackal” Jackson and Harris Boyle were frequent visitors to the Fulton home in the early 1970s.

Jackson, one of the alleged leaders of the gang which carried out the 1974 Dublin car bombings, became the commander of the UVF’s Mid-Ulster Brigade in July 1975. Four days later, Boyle was blown up after placing a bomb on the Miami Showband’s minibus after the band was stopped at a bogus checkpoint by UVF gunmen, and three band members shot dead.

Ulster Volunteer Force

Fulton left school early and promptly joined the Mid-Ulster UVF, being sworn in at the age of 15.[3] According to Sean McPhilemy, Fulton’s early activity included being part of the UVF gang that opened fire on a Craigavon mobile sweetshop on 28 March 1991, killing two teenaged girls and one man, all Catholics. The attack was allegedly planned by Robin Jackson.

In the early 1990s, Billy Wright, also from Portadown, took over command of the UVF Mid-Ulster Brigade from Jackson. The Mid-Ulster Brigade, founded in 1972 by its first commander, Billy Hanna, operated mainly in the Lurgan and Portadown areas. Fulton soon became Wright’s closest associate and right-hand man and had an “extreme fixation and obsession over Wright; he even had an image of Wright tattooed over his heart.

Fulton was alleged to have perpetrated twelve sectarian killings in the 1990s, and reportedly was implicated in many other attacks. His victims were often questioned about their religion prior to their killings, and sometimes they were killed in front of their families.

He was very violent and had a quick temper. Wright was the only person who was able to control him. A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) detective who knew both of them said that whenever they were stopped by the police in the 1990s, Wright was “coolness personified”, while Fulton would rage, shout and make threats.

Although he was brought up in the Church of Ireland religion, Fulton was a follower of the Reverend Ian Paisley, founder and moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.  In appearance Fulton was heavily tattooed and was known for his habit of always wearing a waistcoat.

The Mid-Ulster Brigade called themselves the “Brat Pack”, which journalist Martin O’Hagan of the Sunday World altered to “Rat Pack”. After the nickname of “King Rat” was given to Wright by local Ulster Defence Association (UDA) commander Robert John Kerr as a form of pub bantering, O’Hagan took to describing Wright by that term.

This soubriquet was thereafter used by the media, much to Wright’s fury. This led him to issue threats against O’Hagan and all journalists who worked for the newspaper. The unit initially welcomed the Combined Loyalist Military Command ceasefire in October 1994; however, things were to change drastically over the next few years.

Loyalist Volunteer Force

Following the order given in August 1996 by the UVF’s Brigade Staff (Belfast leadership) for Wright and the Portadown unit of the Mid-Ulster Brigade to stand down, Fulton remained loyal to Wright and defied the order. This came after the Mid-Ulster UVF’s killing of a Catholic taxi driver, Michael McGoldrick, while the UVF were on ceasefire. Fulton was close to Alex Kerr, the sometime South Befast brigadier of the Ulster Defence Association who had become an ally of Wright during the Drumcree conflict and had been expelled by the UDA at the same time Wright was removed from the UVF.

After Wright defied a UVF order to leave Northern Ireland, he formed the breakaway Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), taking the members of the officially-disbanded Portadown unit with him, including Fulton. Fulton acted as an adviser to Kerr during the emergence of the LVF as a separate group and told both Kerr and Wright that the LVF should seek a closer relationship with the UDA in order to more fully oppose the UVF.

Fulton, as Wright’s deputy, assumed effective control of the LVF when Wright was sent to the Maze Prison in March 1997, and his relationship with Kerr, who had relocated to the LVF’s Portadown stronghold, soon ended. Fulton, who continued to advocate a closer alliance with the UDA, reasoned that the group would be more prepared to co-operate with the LVF if their dissident former brigadier was not involved and so before long Fulton and his cousin Gary, also a leading LVF member, began to threaten Kerr, resulting in the Kerr family fleeing to England.

Not long after this, on 13 May, Fulton was said by McPhilemy to have been responsible for the abduction and murder of 61 year-old civil servant and GAA official Séan Brown, who was kidnapped in Bellaghy before being murdered in Randalstown.

When Wright was shot dead by the INLA in December 1997, in a prison van while being taken to the Maze’s visitor block, Fulton assumed control of the LVF. In the immediate aftermath he attempted to minimise local violence as youths sympathetic to Wright amassed on Portadown’s loyalist estates preparing to riot in protest at the killing of their leader and local hero.[12] Unlike Wright, Fulton had always been on good personal terms with UDA chief Johnny Adair as the two had socialized together on and off since the early 1990s.

 The alliance was sealed soon afterwards when Mark and Gary Fulton arrived at the Maze prison,ostensibly to visit a friend, but instead sat at Adair’s table in the visiting room. Fulton was deeply affected by Wright’s death, and reportedly spent many nights alone by his grave.

The LVF published a magazine, Leading the Way. The special 1998 edition, commemorating Billy Wright, was edited by and written almost exclusively by Fulton. In an article, “Have Faith”, he advised loyalists to refuse the notion of extending the hand of friendship to “those who are genetically violent, inherent in the Catholic Church, a church as sly as a fox and vicious as a tiger”, citing historic examples of persecution of Protestants by Catholics. In May 1998, the LVF called a ceasefire. It was accepted by the Northern Ireland Office six months later.

See : Who are the Loyalist Volunteer Force

Rosemary Nelson killing

Fulton was arrested in 1998 after shooting at an off-duty soldier in Portadown. He was heavily intoxicated at the time and sentenced to four years imprisonment. While he was out on compassionate leave in early 1999, he allegedly organised the killing of Catholic human rights lawyer Rosemary Nelson. During the Drumcree standoff, Nelson had represented the Catholic Portadown residents who opposed the Orange Order‘s march through the predominantly nationalist Garvaghy area. She was blown up by a car bomb on 15 March 1999 outside her home in Lurgan. The bomb was allegedly made by a man from the Belfast UDA but planted by Fulton’s associates acting on his orders.

Colin Port, the Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary who headed the investigation into her death, said “without question” Fulton was the person who had masterminded her killing. Although he was back in prison at the time, he was excited when he heard the news of her death on the radio. He was linked to the killing by police informers but not forensics. It was also revealed that prior to his own death, Wright had threatened to kill Nelson in the belief she had defended IRA volunteers.

See: Rosemary Nelson – September 1958 – March 1999

Fulton was released from prison in April 2001.

Death

On 10 June 2002, Fulton, who was being held on remand in HMP Maghaberry since December 2001, was found dead in his prison cell with a leather belt around his neck. Fulton was found on his bed rather than hanging from the ceiling, leading to speculation that he has death had been accidentally caused by autoerotic asphyxiation.

 Friends claimed he had expressed suicidal thoughts due to both his failure to recover from his close friend Wright’s death, as well as fears he had that he was suffering from stomach cancer. Some reports suggested his unstable mental state had seen him stood down as leader several weeks before his death, with the LVF’s power base transferred to Belfast. He was also afraid that rival loyalist inmates wished to kill him inside the prison.

At the time of his death, Fulton had been awaiting trial, having been charged with conspiracy to murder Rodney Jennett, a member of a rival loyalist paramilitary organisation, in connection with an ongoing feud. He left behind his wife, Louise and two children, Lee and Alana. His funeral was attended by 500 mourners, including a number of senior loyalist paramilitaries, including Johnny Adair and John White, who acted as pallbearers alongside Fulton’s brother Jim and son, Lee. After a service at St Columba’s Parish Church, he was interred in Kernan Cemetery in Portadown. Among the tributes placed in the Belfast Telegraph was one which described Fulton as “Never selfish/Always kind”.

See: The Rise & Fall of UDA Brigadier of Bling James Gray – AKA ” Doris Day

Major events in the Troubles

See : Billy Wright

See:  Robin “the Jackal” Jackson 

See: Deaths in the Troubles 10th Feb

23rd April – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

23rd April

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Wednesday 23 April 1969

The Unionist Parliamentary Party voted by 28 to 22 to introduce universal adult suffrage in local government elections in Northern Ireland. The demand for ‘one man, one vote’ had been one of the most powerful slogans of the civil rights movement. James Chichester-Clark, then Minister of Agriculture, resigned in protest at the reform.

[This move further undermined the position of O’Neill who resigned on 28 April 1969, to be replaced by Chichester-Clark.]

Sunday 23 April 1972

The Sunday Times Insight Team published their account of the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’ (30 January 1972).

See: Bloody Sunday

Tuesday 23 April 1974

The United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) held a three-day conference in Portrush, County Antrim. The conference was attended by representatives of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and also by Enoch Powell.

The main focus of the conference is to agree a strategy for bringing about the end of the Executive. At the end of the conference (26 April 1974) the UUUC called for a Northern Ireland regional parliament in a federal United Kingdom (UK).

Saturday 23 April 1977

Paisley, in his role as head of the United Unionist Action Council (UUAC), threatened to organise a region-wide strike unless Roy Mason, then Secretary of State, acted against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and also implemented the Convention Report.

Thomas Passmore, then the County Grand Master of the Orange Order in Belfast, launched a verbal attack on the UUAC and its plans for a general strike. In addition he alleged that a member of the UUAC had been involved in discussions with the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

See The Orange Order 

Thursday 23 April 1981

In what was seen as a response to continuing rioting in Catholic areas, Loyalist paramilitaries decided to meet under the auspices of the Ulster Army Council (UAC) which was effectively a co-ordinating committee for Loyalist groups.

Marcella Sands, the sister of Bobby Sands, made an application to the European Commission on Human Rights claiming that the British government had broken three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights in their treatment of Republican prisoners.

[Two Commissioners tried to visit Bobby Sands on 25 April 1981 but are unable to do so because Sands requested the presence of representatives of Sinn Féin (SF). On 4 May 1981 the European Commission on Human Rights announced that it had no power to proceed with the Sands’ case.]

Wednesday 23 April 1986

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), announced a 12-point plan of civil disobedience in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Among the measures was a ‘rates’ (local government taxes) strike.

Thursday 23 April 1987

Peter Archer, then British Labour Party spokesman on Northern Ireland affairs, expressed support in a letter for the MacBride principles.

Thursday 23 April 1992

Two former Moderators of the Presbyterian Church revealed that they had held private talks with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Tom Hartley also of SF.

Friday 23 April 1993

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb attack on an oil terminal in North Shields, England. The bomb damaged a large storage tank.

John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), held another meeting.

Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, made a major speech on Northern Ireland to an audience at the Institute of Irish Studies in Liverpool. Mayhew stated that the British government was against the notion of “joint sovereignty” but did want to see a devolved government with wide powers.

Sunday 23 April 1995

The Sunday Tribune (a Dublin based newspaper) published what it claimed to be an internal Irish Republican Army (IRA) document. The document had been circulated within the Republican movement before being leaked and was believed to have dated from prior to the 1994 ceasefire.

The text contained the acronym ‘TUAS‘ which people were led to believed meant ‘Totally UnArmed Struggle’.

[Following the ending of the first IRA ceasefire some people suggested that TUAS actually stood for ‘Tactical Use of Armed Struggle’. Others suggested that the two interpretations were meant for two different audiences – inside and outside the Republican movement.]

Thursday 23 April 1998

kneecapping reversed.jpg

A 79 year old Catholic man living in the Nationalist New Lodge area of North Belfast was ‘kneecapped’ in his home. The man was tied up and beaten about the head before being shot in both knees and both ankles in a paramilitary style ‘punishment’ attack.

[No organisation claimed responsibility for the incident but local people blamed the Irish Republican Army (IRA) for the attack. The man was the oldest person in Northern Ireland to be the subject of a ‘punishment’ shooting.]

Five Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners, who were serving sentences in England, were transferred to Portlaoise Prison in the Republic of Ireland.

Three members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) shared a platform at the Ulster Hall in Belfast with Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), as part of a rally against the Good Friday Agreement.

The three UUP members were: William Ross, William Thompson, and Roy Beggs.

Also at the rally was Robert (Bob) McCartney, then leader of the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP), and also representatives of the Orange Order. Two Unionist members of the Parades Commission, Glen Barr and Tommy Cheevers, resigned from the organisation. The reason given for their decision was the level of media attention they had received since their original appointments to the Commission.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Irish Constitution began considering a proposal that Members of Parliament (MPs) elected in Northern Ireland should be entitled to sit in the Daíl. The committee also began considering the possibility of permitting Irish citizens living in the North to vote in presidential elections and referendums.

Friday 23 April 1999

A ‘Support Drumcree’ rally was held in Newtownards, County Down, and was attended by several hundred people. Adam Ingram, then Security Minister at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), announced that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) team investigating the killing of Rosemary Nelson was to get more assistance in the form of detectives from outside Northern Ireland.

See Rosemary Nelson

Sunday 23 April 2000

It was rumoured that Peter Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, might quit his position to return to Britain to help the Labour Party fight the next general election.

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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.

 7  People lost their lives on the 23rd  April   between 1977– 1987

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23 April 1977


Patrick Devlin  (72)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Security man. Shot at entrance to Legahory Inn, Craigavon, County Armagh.

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23 April 1977


Brendan O’Callaghan  (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot from concealed British Army (BA) observation post, while in car park of Hunting Lodge Bar, Stewartstown Road, Belfast.

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23 April 1981
John Robinson  (38)

Protestant
Status: ex-Ulster Defence Regiment (xUDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while driving firm’s van, Mullacreevie Park, Armagh.

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23 April 1984
Neil Clarke   (21)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper, while on British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Bishop Street, Derry.

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23 April 1986


 James Hazlett,   (54)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Bryansford Road, Newcastle, County Down.

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23 April 1987


Thomas Cooke  (52)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot shortly after leaving golf club, Prehen, Derry.

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15th March – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

 

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

15th March  

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Wednesday 15 March 1972

             

Christopher Cracknell & Antony Butcher

Two British soldiers were killed when attempting to defuse a bomb in Belfast.

William Logan, RUC

An RUC officer was killed in an IRA attack in Coalisland, County Tyrone.

[Public Records 1972 – Released 1 January 2003:

Record of a telephone conversation between Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, and Brian Faulkner, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, during which Heath invited Faulkner to a meeting in London on Wednesday 22 March 1972.]

Friday 15 March 1974

Two members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely in Dungannon, County Tyrone.

A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast.

A Protestant civilian was killed in bomb explosion in Magherafelt, County Derry.

Saturday 15 March 1975

       

John Fulton & Stephen Goatley

Two members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were shot dead in the Alexandra Bar, York Road, Belfast, in an attack by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). These killings were part of a feud between the two Loyalist paramilitary groups

Sunday 15 March 1981

Francis Hughes, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner in the Maze Prison, joined Bobby Sands on hunger strike

See  1981 Hungry Strike

Monday 15 March 1982

Alan McCrum (11), a Protestant boy, was killed and 34 people injured when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb in Bridge Street, Banbridge, County Down. An inadequate warning had been given.

Thursday 15 March 1984

Garret FitzGerald, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), addressed the United States Congress and called on Americans to urge the British to accept the proposals that were emerging from the New Ireland Forum.

[The report of the Forum was published on 2 May 1984.]

Sunday 15 March 1987

Two men were shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in Belfast.

Wednesday 15 March 1989

The Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act became law. One of the requirements of the Act was that candidates standing in district council elections should sign a declaration that they would not express support for illegal organisations or acts of violence.

Wednesday 15 March 1995

The north White House fountain has been dyed green for Saint Patrick’s Day

The Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) announced that a delegation would be attending the St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House, Washington, despite the presence of Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

15 March 1998

David Keys (26), who had been charged with the murder of two friends at Poyntzpass, Co. Armagh, was found hanged in his cell at the Maze Prison.

Victims

 

 

Both of Keys’ wrists were also slashed. At the time the RUC said that they were treating his death as murder.

[It was believed that Keys had been beaten and then hung from a window to give the impression that he had committed suicide. Keys had elected to be held in the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) wing of the Maze Prison and it is believed that the LVF killed him either because of the intense reaction to the Poyntzpass killings on 3 March 1998 or because the LVF thought he had informed on members of the organisation. Three other men were also charged with the Poyntzpass killings. Later over a dozen members of the LVF were charged with involvement in the killing of Keys.]

Monday 15 March 1999

Rosemary Nelson Killed

Rosemary Nelson, a Lurgan solicitor, was killed by a booby trap car bomb in Lurgan, County Armagh. Nelson had been driving away from her home in her BMW car at lunchtime when the explosion happened.

The Red Hand Defenders (RHD) claimed responsibility for the murder.

[The fact that commercial explosives had been used in the bomb led some commentators to speculate that one of the mainstream Loyalist groups was involved in the killing. In the following years it became clear that the name RHD was being used as a cover name by both the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

Nelson, who had represented Nationalist clients in several high-profile cases had complained of Loyalist paramilitary and RUC threats against her. Nationalists called for an independent international inquiry into the events surround the killing. Paul Murphy, then Secretary of State, announced a public Inquiry into the killing on 16 November 2004. The Inquiry opened on 19 April 2005.]

See Rosemary Nelson

Loyalists carried out a petrol-bomb attack on the home of a ‘mixed-marriage’ family in Larne, County Antrim. There were no injuries as a result of the attack.

Friday 15 March 2002

The third recruitment drive for Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was started. Figures released showed that during the second campaign a total of 525 out of 3,500 applicants were from the Republic of Ireland.

However a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member of the Police Board criticised the high numbers of Catholics joining from the Republic and said it masked a reluctance among local Catholics to join the new police service.

John Taylor, then Ulster Unionist peer (Lord Kilclooney), gave evidence for a second day to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. He said that the decision to block the Civil Rights march on Bloody Sunday from reaching the city centre was taken at the highest political level in London. He said the Joint Security Committee (JSC) at Stormont, which he chaired at that time, had recommended the march be stopped but the decision was agreed between the Chief of the General Staff (of the British Army) and Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister

See Bloody Sunday

 

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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.

23  People   lost their lives on the 15th  March between 1972 – 1999

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15 March 1972


William Logan,  (23)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot while on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol, Brackaville Road, Coalisland, County Tyrone.

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15 March 1972


Christopher Cracknell,   (29)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb, hidden in abandoned car, Grosvenor Road, Belfast

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15 March 1972


Anthony Butcher,  (24)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb, hidden in abandoned car, Grosvenor Road, Belfast.

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15 March 1973


Larry McMahon,  (42)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Killed in bomb attack on his home, Circular Road, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, County Antrim.

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15 March 1974
Patrick McDonald,   (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in premature explosion of land mine, Aughnacloy Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone

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15 March 1974
Kevin Murray,  (27)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in premature explosion of land mine, Aughnacloy Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone

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15 March 1974
Noel McCartan,   (26)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while walking along Ormeau Road, near Havelock Place, Belfast.

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15 March 1974
Adam Johnston,  (34)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in lorry bomb explosion, Queen Street, Magherafelt, County Derry. Inadequate warning given.

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15 March 1975


 John Fulton,   (20)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while in Alexandra Bar, York Road, Belfast. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

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15 March 1975


Stephen Goatley,  (19)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot while in Alexandra Bar, York Road, Belfast. Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

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15 March 1976
 Julius Stephen,  (34)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Tube train driver. Shot shortly after bomb exploded prematurely on tube train, at West Ham Underground Station, London.

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15 March 1977
David McQuillan,   (36)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot near his home, Bellaghy, County Derry.

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15 March 1980
John Bateman,  (18)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Crossmaglen, County

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15 March 1982


Alan McCrum,  (11)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in car bomb explosion, Bridge Street, Banbridge, County Down. Inadequate warning given.

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15 March 1983


Frederick Morton,   (59)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty reservist. Shot during ambush while driving his bread van, Tandragee Road, Newry, County Down.

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15 March 1986
John O’Neill,   (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found beaten to death at the rear of Boy’s Model School, off Ballysillan Road, Ballysillan, Belfast.

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15 March 1987


Gerard Steenson,   (29)

Catholic
Status: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot while travelling in car along Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

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15 March 1987


Anthony McCarthy,   (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot while travelling in car along Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

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15 March 1988


Charles McGrillen,  (25)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at his workplace, Dunne’s Stores, Annadale Embankment, Ballynafeigh, Belfast

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15 March 1993


Robert Shaw,   (56)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot while sitting in stationary van, Quay Road, Newtownabbey, County Antrim

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15 March 1996


Barbara McAlorum,   (9)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Shot, at her home, Ashfield Gardens, Skegoneill, Belfast. Her relative the intended target. Internal Irish National Liberation Army dispute.

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15 March 1998


David Keys,  (26)

Protestant
Status: Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF),

Killed by: Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
Found strangled in his cell, Long Kesh / Maze Prison, County Down. Internal Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) dispute.

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15 March 1999


Rosemary Nelson,  (40)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
Lawyer. Killed by booby trap bomb attached to her car, which exploded shortly after leaving her home, while travelling along Ashford Grange, Lurgan, County Armagh.

See Rosemary Nelson

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Rosemary Nelson – September 1958 – March 1999

Rosemary Nelson

4th  September 1958 – 15th  March 1999

Rosemary Nelson (née Magee; 4 September 1958 – 15 March 1999) was a prominent Irish human rights solicitor who was assassinated by an Ulster loyalist paramilitary group in 1999. A bomb exploded under her car at her home in Lurgan, Northern Ireland; the Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility. Allegations that the British state security forces were involved in her killing led to a public inquiry.

It found no evidence that state forces directly facilitated her murder, but could not exclude the possibility that individual members had helped the perpetrators. It said that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) failed to protect her and that she had been publicly threatened and assaulted by officers, which helped legitimize her as a target.

 

— Disclaimer –

The views and opinions expressed in this post/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.

Career

Rosemary Nelson, née Magee, obtained her law degree at Queens University, Belfast (QUB). She worked with other solicitors for a number of years before opening her own practice. Nelson represented clients in a number of high-profile cases (including Michael Caraher, one of the South Armagh Snipers, as well as a republican paramilitary accused of killing two RUC officers.

She also represented the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition in nearby Portadown in the long-running Drumcree conflict against the Orange Order and RUC.

 

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Assassination

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Solicitor Rosemary Nelson murdered in Lurgan

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Nelson claimed she had received death threats from members of the RUC as a result of her legal work. Some RUC officers made abusive and threatening remarks about Nelson to her clients, which became publicly known.

In 1998, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Solicitors, Param Cumaraswamy, noted these threats in his annual report, and stated in a television interview that he believed her life could be in danger. He made recommendations to the British government concerning threats from police against Solicitors, which were not acted upon.

Later that year, Nelson testified before a committee of the United States Congress investigating human rights in Northern Ireland, confirming that death threats had been made against her and her three children.

Nelson was assassinated, at the age of 40, by a car bomb outside her home in Lurgan, County Armagh, in 1999. A loyalist paramilitary group calling itself the Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility for the killing.

She was survived by her husband and their three children.

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Posthumous

In 2004, the Cory Collusion Inquiry recommended that the UK Government hold an inquiry into the circumstances of Nelson’s death. Nelson was posthumously awarded the Train Foundation‘s Civil Courage Prize, which recognises “extraordinary heroes of conscience”.[15]

Inquiry

The resulting inquiry into her assassination opened at the Craigavon Civic Centre, Craigavon, County Armagh, in April 2005. In September 2006 the British Security Service MI5 announced it would be represented at the inquiry. This move provoked criticism from Nelson’s family, who reportedly expressed concerns that MI5 would remove sensitive or classified information.

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The results of the inquiry were published on 23 May 2011. The inquiry found no evidence that state agencies (the RUC, British Army and MI5) had “directly facilitated” her murder, but “could not exclude the possibility” that individual members had helped the perpetrators.

It found that state agencies had failed to protect her and that some RUC intelligence about her had ‘leaked’. Both of these, it said, increased the danger to her life.

The report also stated that RUC officers had publicly abused and assaulted her in 1997, and made threatening remarks about her to her clients, which became publicly known.

It concluded that this helped “legitimise her as a target in the eyes of loyalist terrorists”.