Tag Archives: William McManus

5th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

5th February

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Saturday 5 February 1972

Two IRA members were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely. A man died from injuries received in an explosion six days earlier.

Monday 5 February 1973

Following a decision to intern two Loyalists, suspected of the murder of a Catholic man, there was a call for a general strike under the auspices of the United Loyalist Council (ULC) .

[Although Internment had been introduced on Monday 9 August 1971 and hundreds of Catholics / Nationalists had been arrested and interned, this was the first time that Protestants had been held under the Detention of Terrorists Order. This decision was to lead to a strike by Loyalists and an upsurge in Loyalist violence.]

Wednesday 5 February 1975

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) published a discussion paper on power-sharing, The Government of Northern Ireland: A Society Divided. This was the third discussion paper published in advance of the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention. Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, announced that new blocks (‘H-Blocks’) were to be built at the Maze Prison while waiting for a new prison at Maghaberry, County Antrim, to be completed.

Thursday 5 February 1981

In a statement Republican prisoners warned that there could be further hunger strikes if they were not granted special category status.

Wednesday 5 February 1986

John Hermon, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), instructed leaders of the Northern Ireland Police Federation (NIPF), the main union for RUC officers, not to give interviews to the media without receiving clearance from RUC headquarters. The chairman of the Federation later stated that the Police Act (1970) protected the organisation’s freedom of speech.

Friday 5 February 1988

John Stalker, who initially investigated the ‘shoot to kill’ inquiry, alleged that he was removed from the inquiry because his investigations would have caused political embarrassment.

Wednesday 5 February 1992

Sean_Graham_2

Shooting at Bookmaker’s Shop The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), shot dead five Catholic civilians, including a 15 year old boy, in a gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop on the lower Ormeau Road in Belfast.

[The UDA at this time was a legal organisation and there were calls for it to be proscribed. A statement from the UFF concluded with the words “Remember Teebane”.]

See Sean Graham bookmakers’ shooting

See Teebane Bus Bomb

A member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was shot dead by the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) in County Fermanagh.

Friday 5 February 1993

Roger Wheeler, then a Lieutenant-General in the British Army, replaced John Wilsey as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the army in Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 5 February 1997

Billy McCaughey, an ex-officer of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) who had served 16 years for a sectarian murder, denied that he was organising the pickets each Saturday night outside the Catholic chapel at Harryville, Ballymena.

Thursday 5 February 1998

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), published his response to remarks made by John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). In the response Adams set out SF’s opposition to any new Assembly at Stormont. David Andrews, then Irish Foreign Minister, paid a visit to Northern Ireland. He travelled to Kilkeel and Newcastle, County Down before travelling to Belfast. In Belfast Andrews laid a wreath at the site of the shooting of five Catholics on the Lower Ormea Road in 1992. Unionist politicians criticised the visit.

Friday 5 February 1999

Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), warned against any attempt to “park” (to suspend) the Good Friday Agreement.

Monday 5 February 2001

There was a pipe-bomb attack on a Catholic family in Ardoyne, north Belfast. The device failed to explode and was found in the living room. Two adults and three children, aged one to 15, were uninjured in the incident. The man, a former republican prisoner, said he received a warning from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) on Friday night that he was being targeted by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD).

The man discovered the device at 8.45am when he was preparing to take his children to school.

[The RHD is a cover name that has been used in the past by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).]

There was a pipe-bomb attack on a Cathoic family in north Belfast. The father said he was sitting watching television in the house shortly after midnight when he heard two men talking outside. He said one of the men smashed the window and the other threw something into the front room. He and his family escaped injury when a fire-ball tore through the house and gutted the building. Both attacks were carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

Tuesday 5 February 2002

Jane Kennedy, then Security Minister, announced new security measures and new peace lines at a number of interface areas in Northern Ireland. The schemes mainly involved extensions to existing peace lines and the cost was estimated at £670,000.

[The following details, of the schemes involved, were published. North Belfast – 250 metre fence at Newington Avenue / Halliday’s Road (completed); 250 metre extension of a fence at Alliance Avenue / Glenbryn Park; security fencing at Wyndham Street. West Belfast – extension to the existing fence at Ainsworth Avenue / Springfield Road to Kirk Street / Workman Avenue; extension to the existing fence at Bombay Street. East Belfast – closure of the road and construction of a security structure at Madrid Street. Portadown – series of security measures in the Corcrain Road area. Derry – modification of the fence at Harding Street.]

The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) held separate private meetings with Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and Nuala O’Loan, then Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI).

The meetings were to allow the NIPB to hear reports on the investigation of the Omagh bombing (15 August 1998) and also to see if it could come to a decision on the public disagreement between O’Loan and Flanagan.

[However it was clear that the NIPB was deeply divided on the issue with one Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member calling, prior to the meeting, for the resignation of O’Loan.]

It was revealed that the Department of Health and Social Services had spend £180,000 implementing the bilingual policy adopted by Bairbre de Brún (SF) then Minister of Health. The policy means that all public notices, documents, and advertising campaigns, are available in both English and Irish. The total also includes translations into other languages including Chinese, Punjabi, and Ulster Scots.

Two men who admitted being members of the “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA) were jailed for 18 months each by the Special Criminal Court (three judges but no jury) in Dublin. A special branch officer testified that the men had played only a peripheral part in the organisation.

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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.

12  People   lost their lives on the 5th February  between  1972 – 1992

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05 February 1972
 Paul McFadden,  (31)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died six days after being injured in van bomb explosion at Castle Arcade, off Castle Lane, Belfast. Inadequate warning given.

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05 February 1972
Phelim Grant,  (-9)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion while travelling on barge, near Crumlin, Lough Neagh, County Antrim.

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05 February 1972


Charles McCann,   (-9)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion while travelling on barge, near Crumlin, Lough Neagh, County Antrim.

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05 February 1977


Robert Harrison,   (50)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on joint Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) mobile patrol, Gilford, County Down

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05 February 1980


Aubrey Abercrombie,   (44)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his farm, Edenmore, near Kinawley, County Fermanagh.

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05 February 1987


Anthony McCluskey,   (32)

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

Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Found shot, Middletown, County Armagh. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

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05 February 1992
Joseph MacManus,  (21)

nfNI
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)
From County Sligo. Shot while involved in gun attack on an off duty Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) member, Scardens Upper, near Belleek, County Fermanagh.

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See Sean Graham Shooting

05 February 1992


Peter Magee,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


 Jack Duffin,   (66)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


James Kennedy,  (15)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


William McManus,   (54)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


Christy Doherty,  (52)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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Sean Graham bookmakers’ shooting

Sean Graham bookmakers’ shooting

5 February 1992

On 5 February 1992, a mass shooting took place at the Sean Graham bookmaker‘s shop on the Lower Ormeau Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a loyalist paramilitary group, opened fire on the customers, killing five civilians and wounding another nine. The shop was in an Irish nationalist area, and all of the victims were local Catholic civilians. The UDA claimed responsibility using the cover name “Ulster Freedom Fighters”, and said the shooting was retaliation for the Teebane bombing, which had been carried out by the Provisional IRA less than three weeks before

 

Background

 

Ulster Freedom Fighters insignia in the Annadale Flats area, January 2012

The start of 1992 had witnessed an intensification in the campaign of violence being carried out by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) under their UFF covername. The group’s first killing that year was on 9 January when Catholic civilian Phillip Campbell was shot dead at his place of work near Moira by a Lisburn-based UDA unit.[1] The same group killed another Catholic civilian, Paul Moran, at the end of the month and a few days later taxi driver Paddy Clarke was killed at his north Belfast home by members of the UDA West Belfast Brigade.[2]

However, the Inner Council of the UDA, which contained the six brigadiers that controlled the organisation, felt that these one-off killings were not sending a strong enough message to republicans and so it sanctioned a higher-profile attack in which a number of people would be killed at once.[2] On this basis the go-ahead was given to attack Sean Graham bookmaker’s shop on the Irish nationalist Lower Ormeau Road. This was a major arterial route in the city and was near the UDA stronghold of Annadale Flats.[2] According to David Lister and Hugh Jordan, the bookmaker’s shop was chosen by West Belfast Brigadier and Inner Council member Johnny Adair because he had strong personal ties with the commanders of the Annadale UDA.[3] A 1993 report commissioned by RUC Special Branch also claimed that Adair was the driving force behind the attack.[3]

The shooting

Names of the dead commemorated on a plaque in Hatfield Street

The attack occurred at 2:20 in the afternoon.[4] A car parked on University Avenue facing the bookmakers and two men, wearing boiler suits and balaclavas, left the car and crossed the Ormeau Road to the shop.[5] One was armed with a VZ.58 Czechoslovak semi-automatic rifle and the other with a 9mm pistol. They entered the shop—in which there were 15 customers—and opened fire, unleashing a total of 44 shots on the assembled victims.[6]

Five Catholic men and boys were killed: Christy Doherty (52), Jack Duffin (66), James Kennedy (15), Peter Magee (18) and William McManus (54).[7] Nine others were wounded, one critically.[4] Four of them died at the scene although 15-year-old Kennedy survived until he reached the hospital, his final words being reported as “tell my mummy that I love her”.[8] Kennedy’s mother Kathleen died two years later after becoming a recluse. Her husband, James (Sr.), blamed his wife’s death on the shooting by claiming “the bullets that killed James didn’t just travel in distance, they travelled in time. Some of those bullets never stopped travelling”.[8]

One of the wounded described the shooting to British journalist Peter Taylor:

“There was a right crowd in [the betting shop] and I cracked a joke with a couple of them – they were like that, always laughing and carrying on. I had only been in for about twenty or twenty-five minutes when the shooting started – I was standing next to the door with a docket in my hand studying the form. At first I thought it was a hold-up but then the shooting started and somebody yelled, ‘Hit the deck’. I just lay there and prayed that the shooting would stop. It seemed to go on for a lifetime. There wasn’t a sound for a few seconds – everybody was so stunned, but then the screaming started. People were yelling out in agony. You could hardly see anything. The room was full of gun smoke and the smell would have choked you”.[9]

In a separate incident, a unit of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) had travelled to the area at the time of the attack with the intention of killing a local Sinn Féin activist based on intelligence they had received that he returned home about that time every day. The attack was abandoned, however, when the car carrying the UVF members was passed by speeding Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) vehicles and ambulances. The UVF members, who had already retrieved their weapons for the attack, were said to be livid with the UDA for not co-ordinating with them beforehand and effectively spoiling their chance to kill a leading local republican.[10]

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The Victims

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05 February 1992


Peter Magee,  (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


 Jack Duffin,   (66)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


James Kennedy,  (15)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


William McManus,   (54)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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05 February 1992


Christy Doherty,  (52)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on Sean Graham’s Bookmaker’s shop, Ormeau Road, Belfast

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Aftermath

Memorial stone laid in February 2012

A UDA statement in the aftermath of the attack claimed that the killings were justified as the Lower Ormeau was “one of the IRA‘s most active areas”.[8] The statement also included the phrase “remember Teebane”, suggesting that they intended the killings as retaliation for the Teebane bombing in County Tyrone less than three weeks earlier. In that attack, the IRA had killed eight Protestant men who were repairing a British Army base.[11] The same statement had also been yelled by the gunmen as they ran from the betting shop.[8] Alex Kerr, who was then UDA Brigadier for South Belfast, released a second statement about a month after the attack in which he sought to justify the killings. Kerr stated that “the IRA was extremely active in the lower Ormeau and the nationalist population there shielded them. They paid the price for Teebane”. He added that if there were any further bombings like that at Teebane then the UDA would retaliate in the same way as at Sean Graham’s.[12]

See Teebane Bus Bomb

teebane2
Teebane Bus Bomb

 

 

The idea that the killings were justified because of Teebane was shunned by Rev. Ivor Smith, a Presbyterian minister who was based in the area and who worked with the families of the bomb victims. He said that the UDA claim was “like a knife through the heart. We were absolutely appalled at the thought that somebody would try to do something like that and justify it by bringing in Teebane. As far as the families were concerned, it was very definitely not ‘in my name'”.[11] A letter expressing deep sympathy from Betty Gilchrist, a Protestant whose husband had been killed at Teebane, was read out at the funeral of Jack Duffin.[12] Alasdair McDonnell, a general practitioner and Social Democratic and Labour Party councillor in the area, also suggested that the attack had been in response to Teebane. However, he was strongly rebuked by the Lower Ormeau Residents Action Group, a residents’ association with Sinn Féin links, for seemingly justifying the killings with this claim.[13]

When a July 1992 Orange Order march passed the scene of the shooting, Orangemen shouted pro-UDA slogans and held aloft five fingers as a taunt to residents over the five deaths.[4][14] The claim is corroborated by Henry McDonald and Jim Cusack. The images of Orangemen and loyalist flute band members holding up five fingers as they passed the shop were beamed around the world and was a public relations disaster for the Order.[15] Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that the actions of the marchers “would have disgraced a tribe of cannibals”.[14] The incident led to a more concerted effort by Lower Ormeau residents to have the marches banned from the area, which later succeeded.[15]

No one was ever convicted for the killings although, locally, blame fell on Joe Bratty and his sidekick Raymond Elder, the two leading UDA figures in the Annadale Flats.[12] McDonald and Cusack suggest that, whilst Bratty had been the brains behind the attack, the gunmen he had used were actually from East Belfast and that a UDA member later convicted of supplying one of the guns had been at the shooting.[12] Lister and Jordan, however, claim that one of the gunmen was actually from west Belfast and was supplied to Bratty by Adair.[3] Bratty was charged with involvement in the attack although the charges were withdrawn.[16] Following his release from custody, Adair organised a lavish celebration party for Bratty in Scotland where he allegedly gave Bratty a gold ring inscribed with the initials UFF.[3]

The IRA did not immediately retaliate although in a statement they claimed to know the identity of the killers and claimed that they would “take them out when the time was right”.[17] When Bratty and Elder were shot dead by the IRA in July 1994, revellers in the Lower Ormeau hailed the attack as revenge for Sean Graham’s.[18]

On 5 February 2002 a plaque was erected on the side of the bookmaker’s shop in Hatfield Street carrying the names of the five victims and the Irish language inscription Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a n-anamacha (“May God have mercy on their souls”). A small memorial garden was later added.[19] The unveiling ceremony, which took place on the tenth anniversary of the attack, was accompanied by a two-minute silence and was attended by relatives of the dead and survivors of the attack.[20] A new memorial stone was laid on 5 February 2012 to coincide with the publication of a booklet calling for justice for the killings.[21]

Historical Enquiries Team findings

The attack was one of a number to be investigated by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) in 2010. It found that a Browning pistol used by the gunmen had been given to them by the police. UDA quartermaster and police agent William Stobie had handed the gun to police and the police had given it back to him. Police “may have thought they had tampered with it to prevent it from being used”. According to the HET report this operation “would have required both the authority of a senior police officer and a recovery plan, generally short-term and where possible supported by the security forces within a short period of time. Clearly in this case, there was a significant failure and the repercussions were tragic and devastating”. The gun was, the report continued, also used in other UDA killings.[22]

Alex Maskey, a Sinn Féin MLA for the area, commented that “the finding by the HET that the Browning pistol used by the UDA in this attack was handed back to them by the RUC will come as no surprise to the people of the Lower Ormeau area who have long known that a high degree of collusion took place in this attack”.[22]

Officers from the HET were told by police that the assault rifle used in the attack had been “disposed of”. However, it was later discovered on display in the Imperial War Museum.[23]

Jackie McDonald

In February 2012 Jackie McDonald, the incumbent commander of the UDA South Belfast Brigade (the area in which the shop is located), admitted that the victims of the shooting had been innocent. However, McDonald said that he could not apologise for the attack, arguing that as he was imprisoned at the time he played no part in what had happened.[11] In an earlier interview with Peter Taylor, McDonald suggested that it was the rise in sectarian killings and attacks such as that at Sean Graham’s that “brought about the ceasefire at the end of the day”.[9]

Attack on James Murray’s bookmakers

On the afternoon of 14 November 1992, the UDA carried out another attack on a betting shop in Belfast. The target was James Murray’s betting shop on the Oldpark Road in the north of the city, which was used mostly by Catholics.[24] One gunman fired into the shop from the doorway with an automatic weapon, while another smashed the window and threw a grenade inside. As he did so, he shouted “Yous deserve it, yous Fenian bastards!”.[25] Two Catholic civilians were killed outright and another died in hospital shortly after;[25] all of them were elderly men.[26] Thirteen others were wounded, some seriously. Like the shooting at Sean Graham’s, the November attack had also been planned by Adair. It “was followed by a raucous celebration in a loyalist club in south Belfast with Adair occupying centre stage”.[25] According to McDonald and Cusack the attack on this shop, which also had a few Protestant patrons who were present during the shooting, was carried out by Stephen McKeag.[27]