Tag Archives: Stephen Dodd

17th December – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

17th December

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Tuesday 17 December 1974

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) placed three time bombs at telephone exchanges in London. In one of the explosions George Arthur (34), a post office telephonist, was killed.

Sunday 17 December 1978

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a series of bomb attacks on cities in England. Bombs exploded in Bristol, Coventry, Liverpool, Manchester, and Southampton.

Wednesday 17 December 1980

Tomás Ó Fiaich, then Catholic Primate of Ireland, called on the hunger strikers to call off their strike. He also appealed to Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, to intervene personally in the protest.

Friday 17 December 1982

The Michelin company announced that it was to close its factory at Mallusk, County Antrim, with the loss of over 2,000 jobs.

Saturday 17 December 1983

Three members of the British police and three civilians were killed as a result of an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attack on Harrod’s store, Brompton Road, London. Approximately 90 people were also injured as a result of the blast. [The IRA later issued a statement claiming that the attack had not been authorised by the Army Council and that it regretted the deaths.] A member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was shot dead by the IRA in County Derry.

See Harrod’s Bombing

Friday 14 December 1984

First Soldier Convicted of Murder Ian Thain, a Private in the British Army, was convicted of murdering a civilian.

[He was the first British soldier to be convicted of murder during the course of the conflict. Thain was released in January 1987 and allowed to rejoin his regiment and resume active service.]

Tuesday 17 December 1985

Unionist MPs Resign All 15 Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) resigned their seats in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). Their intention was to highlight opposition to the Agreement in Northern Ireland during the by-elections that would be caused.

Sunday 17 December 1989

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), denied that he had ended the UUP boycott of ministers.

Thursday 17 December 1992

Louis Blom-Cooper (Sir), then a Queen’s Council (QC), was appointed to oversee conditions at the three holding centres where people suspected of paramilitary crimes were questioned.

Sunday 17 December 1995

The International Body on Arms Decommissioning travelled to Dublin and met a number of the Irish political parties.

Tuesday 17 December 1996

John Major, then British Prime Minister, began a two day visit to Northern Ireland. Michael Howard, then British Home Secretary, refused to allow the cases of 14 people convicted on Irish Republican Army (IRA) related offences to be reopened. This was despite indications that forensic evidence used against those convicted could have been contaminated.

John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), met with Bill Clinton, then President of the United States of America (USA), in Washington. In a statement both men said that they were in favour of a swift entry to the Stormont talks for Sinn Féin (SF) if there was an IRA ceasefire.

Thursday 17 December 1998

The Orange Volunteers (OV) claimed responsibility for a blast-bomb attack on a public house in Crumlin, County Antrim.

[The attack was later also claimed by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD).]

Danny McNamee won an appeal against his conviction for the Hyde Park bombing in July 1982. The court decided the conviction was unsafe.

Friday 17 December 1999

The Inaugural Summit Meeting of the British-Irish Council took place in London and a Joint Communiqué was issued. The British-Irish Council is made up of representatives of: the British government, the Irish government, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, and the institutions of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

The British-Irish Council decided to look at the topics of transport, social exclusion, the environment, illegal drugs, and ‘society’. Five men, alleged to be members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were found guilty of shooting and beating two Catholic brothers in their home in July 1999.

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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.

10  people   lost their lives on the 17th December between 1974  -1984

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17 December 1974
George Arthur,  (35)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb attack on Bloomsbury telephone exchange, off Tottenham Court Road, London.

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17 December 1979
William Wilson,   (58)

Protestant
Status: Prison Officer (PO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside Buffs Social Club, Century Street, off Crumlin Road, Belfast

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17 December 1983


Brown McKeown,   (40)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his workplace, shop, Maghera, County Derry.

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17 December 1983
Noel Lane,  (28)

nfNIB
Status: British Police (BP),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given.

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17 December 1983
Jane Arbuthnot,   (22)

nfNIB
Status: British Police (BP),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given.

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17 December 1983
Philip Geddes,   (24)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given.

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17 December 1983
Kenneth Salvesan,   (28)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given.

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17 December 1983
Jasmin Cochrane-Patrick,   (25)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department StoreBrompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given

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17 December 1983
Stephen Dodd,   (34)

nfNIB
Status: British Police (BP),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Injured by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given. He died 24 December 1983

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17 December 1984
Sean McIlvenna,  (33)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot while running across field, shortly after being involved in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) land mine attack on Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) mobile patrol, off Lisbofin Road, Mullanary, near Blackwatertown, County Armagh.

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Harrods Bombings – Saturday 17 December 1983

Harrods Bombings 

Saturday 17 December 1983

Image result for Harrods Bombings - Saturday 17 December 1983

The Harrods bombing usually refers to the car bomb that exploded outside Harrods department store in central London on Saturday 17 December 1983. Members of the Provisional IRA planted the time bomb and sent a warning 37 minutes before it exploded, but the area was not evacuated. The blast killed three police officers and three civilians, injured 90 people, and caused much damage.

The IRA Army Council claimed it had not authorised the attack and expressed regret for the civilian casualties. The IRA had been bombing commercial targets in England since the early 1970s, as part of its “economic war”. The goal was to damage the economy and cause disruption, which would put pressure on the British government to withdraw from Northern Ireland.

Harrods was the target of a much smaller IRA bomb almost ten years later, in January 1993, which injured four people.

1983 bombing

Following the first Dublin bombings the Provisional IRA decided to take its campaign to Britain. From 1973 the Provisional IRA had carried out waves of bombing attacks in London and elsewhere in England, as part of its campaign. Harrods—a large, upmarket department store in the affluent Knightsbridge district, near Buckingham Palace—had been targeted before by the IRA.

On 10 December 1983, the IRA carried out its first attack in London for some time when a bomb exploded at the Royal Artillery Barracks, injuring three British soldiers.

One week later, on the afternoon of 17 December, IRA members parked a car bomb near the side entrance of Harrods, on Hans Crescent. The bomb contained 25 to 30 lb (14 kg) of explosives and was set to be detonated by a timer.

It was left in a 1972 blue Austin 1300 GT four-door saloon car with a black vinyl roof, registration plate KFP 252K.[4] At 12:44 a man using an IRA codeword phoned the central London branch of the Samaritans charity. The caller said there was a car bomb outside Harrods and another bomb inside Harrods, and gave the car’s registration plate.

However, according to police, he did not give any other description of the car.

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BBC2 News Summary 1983

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The bomb exploded at about 13:21, as four police officers in a car, an officer on foot and a police dog-handler neared the suspect vehicle.

Six people were killed (three officers and three bystanders) and 90 others were injured, including 14 police officers. The blast damaged 24 cars and all five floors on the side of Harrods, sending a shower of glass down on the street.

The police car absorbed much of the blast and this likely prevented further casualties.

Image result for Philip Geddes (24), a journalist

Philip Geddes

The bystanders killed were Philip Geddes (24), a journalist who had heard about the alert and went to the scene ,   Jasmine Cochrane-Patrick (25)  and Kenneth Salvesen (28), a US citizen.

The Metropolitan Police officers killed were Sergeant Noel Lane (28); Constable Jane Arbuthnot (22); and Inspector Stephen Dodd (34), who died of his injuries on 24 December.  Constable Jon Gordon survived, but lost both legs and part of a hand in the blast.

At the time of the explosion, a second warning call was made by the IRA. The caller said that a bomb had been left in the C&A department store at the east end of Oxford Street. Police cleared the area and cordoned it off but this claim was found to be false.

In the aftermath of the attack, hundreds of extra police and mobile bomb squads were drafted into London. Aleck Craddock, chairman of Harrods, reported that £1 million in turnover had been lost as a result of the bombing.

Despite the damage, Harrods re-opened three days later, proclaiming it would not be:

 

“defeated by acts of terrorism”.

Denis Thatcher, the husband of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, visited the store and told reporters:

“no damned Irishman is going to stop me going there”.

The Innocent Victims

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17 December 1983
Noel Lane,  (28)

Image result for Sergeant Noel Lane harrods bombing

Status: British Police (BP),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given.

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17 December 1983
Jane Arbuthnot,   (22)

Image result for wpc-jane-arbuthnot

Status: British Police (BP),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given.

FUNERAL JANE ARBUTHNOT, VICTIM OF HARRODS BOMB BLAST

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17 December 1983
Philip Geddes,   (24)

Image result for Philip Geddes (24), a journalist

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given.

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17 December 1983
Kenneth Salvesan,   (28)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given.

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17 December 1983
Jasmin Cochrane-Patrick,   (25)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department StoreBrompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given

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17 December 1983
Stephen Dodd,   (34)

Image result for Inspector Stephen Dodd

Status: British Police (BP),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Injured by car bomb which exploded outside Harrod’s Department Store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. Inadequate warning given. He died 24 December 1983

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IRA response

The bombing badly damaged the IRA’s support, due to the civilian deaths and injuries.

In a statement issued the day after, the IRA Army Council admitted that IRA members had planted the bomb, but claimed that it had not authorised the attack:

The Harrods operation was not authorised by the Irish Republican Army. We have taken immediate steps to ensure that there will be no repetition of this type of operation again. The volunteers involved gave a 40 minutes specific warning, which should have been adequate. But due to the inefficiency or failure of the Metropolitan Police, who boasted of foreknowledge of IRA activity, this warning did not result in an evacuation. We regret the civilian casualties, even though our expression of sympathy will be dismissed. Finally, we remind the British Government that as long as they maintain control of any part of Ireland then the Irish Republican Army will continue to operate in Britain.

Leon Brittan, the Home Secretary, commented:

“The nature of a terrorist organisation is that those in it are not under disciplined control”.

Image result for gary mcgladdery

In his book The Provisional IRA in England, author Gary McGladdery says the bombing illustrated one of the problems with the IRA’s cell system, where units:

 

“could become virtually autonomous from the rest of the organisation and operate at their own discretion”.

The IRA had adopted the system in the late 1970s.

Memorials

Image result for Jasmine Cochran-Patrick harrods bomb

 

There is a memorial at the site of the blast. Yearly prizes in the honour of Philip Geddes are awarded to aspiring journalists attending the University of Oxford. Also, every year the Philip Geddes Memorial Lecture on the theme of the future of journalism is given by a leading journalist.

1993 bombing

On 28 January 1993, Harrods was once again targeted. At 9:14, two telephoned warnings were issued, saying that two bombs had been planted: one outside and one inside Harrods.

The store was due to open at 10:00. Police cordoned off the area and began a search. However, some bystanders ignored the police cordon.

At about 9:40, a package containing 1 lb of Semtex exploded in a litter bin at the front of the store. It injured four people and damaged the shopfront.

The cost of damage and lost sales was estimated at £1 million.

Those responsible were English far left activists associated with the IRA: Jan Taylor, a 51-year-old former corporal who served in the Royal Signals Corps of the British Army, and Patrick Hayes, a 41-year-old computer programmer with a degree in business studies from Central London Polytechnic and a member of Red Action.

In March 1993, police captured them at Hayes’ home in Stoke Newington, north London.  They each received prison sentences of 30 years for the January Harrods bombing and for a second attack on a train a month later which caused extensive damage but no casualties. Hayes was also convicted of conspiracy to cause three additional explosions in 1992. Neither men had links to Ireland.

 

 

Lest We Forget !

Image result for wpc-jane-arbuthnot

The Police Memorial Trust