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A Chronology of the Conflict - 1975



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Text and Research: Martin Melaugh
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

A Chronology of the Conflict - 1968 to the Present 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003            

The following is a draft chronology of the conflict for the year 1975

1975 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sources Notes

1975

January 1975

Wednesday 1 January 1975
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Note of a meeting between Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, and the leaders of the main Churches in Northern Ireland.]

Thursday 2 January 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced an extension of its ceasefire. [This stage of the ceasefire was to last until the 17 January 1975. Secret talks were held between officials at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and representatives of the IRA and these talks led to a truce between the IRA and the security forces.]

Tuesday 7 January 1975
item mark Representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held a meeting with Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland. However the meeting broke up over arguments about the contacts between government officials and the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Wednesday 8 January 1975
[ proni on cain IRA Truce. ]

Thursday 9 January 1975
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Part of a note prepared for the British government which provided a summary of political events in Northern Ireland for the period 19 December 1974 to 9 January 1975. The note gives an indication of the secret contacts that had been taking place between the IRA and the British government since 10 December 1974.]
[ proni on cain IRA Truce; Constitutional Convention. ]

Friday 10 January 1975
[ proni on cain IRA Truce; Constitutional Convention. ]

Thrusday 14 January 1975
[ proni on cain IRA Truce. ]

Thursday 16 January 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced that it would call off its ceasefire as of midnight 16 January 1975.

Friday 17 January 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army's (IRA) ceasefire came to an end. Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that he would not be influenced by arguments supported by the bomb and the bullet.
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Document entitled 'Terms for Bi-lateral Truce' which appears to be a list of 12 terms required by the IRA before a bi-lateral truce would be entered into with the British government. The date of the document is uncertain but may have been delivered to the British government sometime between 17 January 1975 and 10 February 1975.]

Sunday 19 January 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out two gun attacks on hotels in London. Shots were fired into the Carlton Tower Hotel and the Portman Hotel. Twelve people were injured in the attacks.

Monday 20 January 1975
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Telegram containing a note of a meeting between Galsworth, then of the British Embassy in Dublin, and Liam Cosgrave, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). The telegram mentions the concerns of Cosgrave about the likely impact on public opinion if it became known that the British government was negotiating with the Irish Republican Army (IRA).]
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Letter from Joel Barnett, then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, about the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.]

Tuesday 21 January 1975
item mark There was a series of bomb explosions in Belfast in attacks carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
item mark Two members of the IRA were killed when a bomb they were transporting by car exploded in Victoria Street, Belfast.
death button       [ proni on cain IRA Truce; Constitutional Convention. ]

Thursday 23 January 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) placed a large time bomb at the Woodford waterworks pumping station in North London. Three people were injured in the explosion and there was substantial damage.

Monday 27 January 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted seven time bombs at locations across London. At 6.30pm a bomb exploded at Gieves, the military outfitters, in Old Bond Street. At 9.30pm bombs exploded at the Moreson chemical plant in Ponders End and a disused gas works in Enfield. Only minimal damage was caused by these two bombs. Two further bombs exploded in Kensington High Street and Victoria street; two people were injured. A warning was given of a bomb in Putney High Street and a British Army bomb-disposal officer was able to defuse the device. A warning was also given for a bomb in Hampstead and it was defused. item mark The IRA also exploded a bomb in Manchester which injured 26 people.
[ proni on cain IRA Truce. ]

Wednesday 30 January 1975
item mark The Gardiner Report (Cmnd. 5847), which examined measures to deal with terrorism within the context of human rights and civil liberties, was published. The report recommended that special category status for paramilitary prisoners should be ended. The report also recommended that detention without trial be maintained but under the control of the Secretary of State.

Friday 31 January 1975
[ proni on cain IRA Truce. ]

February 1975

Monday 3 February 1975
[ proni on cain IRA Truce. ]

Wednesday 5 February 1975
item mark 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.

Sunday 9 February 1975
item mark Two Catholic civilians, both aged 19, were shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries as they left St Brigit's Catholic Church, Malone, Belfast.
death button
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced that it was reinstating its ceasefire for an indefinite period as of 6pm on 10 February 1975.

Monday 10 February 1975
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) Truce
item mark Two Catholic civilians were shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries in a gun attack on Hayden's Bar, near Pomeroy, County Tyrone.
item mark A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast.
death button
item mark The renewed Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire began. [The ceasefire was to last officially until 23 January 1976 (?) however there were a number of incidents during 1975 involving members of the IRA. During the period of the ceasefire the British government and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) denied that a deal had been made with the IRA. Sinn Féin (SF) and the IRA said a 12 point plan had been agreed with the British. Some of the elements of this alleged deal were to become apparent such as the setting up of 'incident centres' and a reduction in security force activity in Nationalist areas.]

Wednesday 12 February 1975
item mark A series of seven 'Incident Centres' were established in Nationalist areas across Northern Ireland to monitor the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire and the response of the security forces. The centres were manned by members of Sinn Féin (SF) who liased with government officials at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

Tuesday 18 February 1975
item mark Airey Neave was appointed as the Conservative Party's spokesman on Northern Ireland.
[ proni on cain IRA Truce; Constitutional Convention. ]

Monday 19 February 1975
[ proni on cain Internment. ]

Thursday 20 February 1975
item mark A feud began between the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) on one side and the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) on the other. Hugh Ferguson (19), then chairman of Whiterock IRSP, was shot dead at his place of work in Ballymurphy, Belfast. It was believed that the OIRA were responsible for this killing. [There were further incidents on: 25 February 1975, 6 April 1975, 12 April 1975, 28 April 1975, and 5 June 1975, before this particular feud ended.]
item mark A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast.
death button
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Telegram sent by James Callaghan, then British Foreign Secretary, to the British Ambassador in Dublin. The telegram contains notes about matters related to Northern Ireland that Callaghan wanted the Ambassador to raise with Liam Cosgrave, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).]

Friday 21 February 1975
item mark Robert Lowry, then Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, was appointed as the Chairman of the Constitutional Convention.

Wednesday 26 February 1975
item mark A member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot dead a police officer in London. During a subsequent search operation a bomb-making facility was uncovered in Hammersmith.
death button       [ proni on cain Hunger Strike. ]

March 1975

Thursday 13 March 1975
item mark Two people died as a result of a Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gun and bomb attack on Conway's Bar, Greencastle, Belfast. One of those killed was a Catholic civilian, and the other was a member of the UVF who died when the bomb he was planting in the pub exploded prematurely.
item mark A Catholic civilian died three weeks after been shot by Loyalists in Belfast.
death button

Friday 14 March 1975
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Note by Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The note deals with plans for the Constitutional Convention; the election to which was held on 1 May 1975.]

Saturday 15 March 1975
item mark 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.
death button

Monday 17 March 1975
item mark Thomas Smith (26), then an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner, was shot dead by the Irish Army during an attempted escape from Portlaoise Prison, County Laois, Republic of Ireland.
death button

Tuesday 18 March 1975
item mark The two Price sisters, Marion Price and Dolours Price, were transferred from Durham Prison to Armagh Prison following a long protest campaign. The Price sisters had been convicted of causing explosions in London on 8 March 1973.
[ proni on cain IRA Truce. ]

Tuesday 25 March 1975
item mark Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to Stormont and announced that an election to the Constitutional Convention would be held in Northern Ireland on 1 May 1975.

Thursday 27 March 1975
item mark [Senior members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) began a three day 'conference' to consider political options for the future. The meeting was held in Hotel Frommer in Holland. A brief note of the discussions that took place was written by 'independent observers' (PDF; 439KB).]

April 1975

Wednesday 2 April 1975
[ proni on cain IRA Truce. ]

Thursday 3 April 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Saturday 5 April 1975
item mark Two Catholic civilians were killed in a bomb attack on McLaughlin's Bar in the New Lodge area of Belfast. The attack was claimed by the Protestant Action Force (PAF) a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).
item mark Republican paramilitaries carried out a bomb attack on Mountainview Tavern, Shankill Road, Belfast, and killed five people. Four of the dead were Protestant civilians and one was a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).
item mark A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists as he walked home in the Ardoyne area of Belfast.
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item mark Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, said that Loyalist paramilitaries had tried to assassinate him in 1974.

Sunday 6 April 1975
item mark Daniel Loughran (18), then a member of the People's Liberation Army (PLA; later to become the Irish National Liberation Army, INLA), was shot dead at Divis Flats, Belfast, by members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) in the continuing feud between the OIRA and the INLA.
item mark A Protestant civilian was shot dead by Republicans in Belfast.
death button

Monday 7 April 1975
[ proni on cain IRA Truce. ]

Saturday 12 April 1975
item mark Loyalist paramilitaries killed six Catholic civilians in a gun and bomb attack on the Strand Bar, in the Short Strand area of Belfast.
item mark Paul Crawford (25), then a member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), was shot dead on the Falls Road, Belfast. This killing was another in the feud between the OIRA and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).
death button

Monday 21 April 1975
item mark Three Catholic civilians, two brothers and a sister, were killed by a booby-trap bomb in a house in Killyliss, near Dungannon, County Tyrone. The attack was claimed by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), which was a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).
death button       [ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Sunday 27 April 1975
item mark Three Catholic civilians were shot dead by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), which was a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), during an attack on a social club, Bleary, near Lurgan, County Down.
death button

Monday 28 April 1975
item mark Liam McMillan (48), then a member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), was shot dead by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the continuing feud between the OIRA and the INLA.
item mark A Protestant civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast. His Catholic workmate had been the intended target.
death button

n.d. April 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

May 1975

Thursday 1 May 1975
Constitution Convention Election
item mark The election for the Constitutional Convention was held in Northern Ireland. The election was based on proportional representation (PR) and candidates contested 78 seats. The United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) won 47 seats (with 54.8 per cent of the first preference vote); the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) won 17 seats (23.7%); The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) won 8 seats (9.8%); the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (UPNI) won 5 seats ((7.7%); and the Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP) won 1 seat (1.4%). Those elected to the Convention held their first meeting on 8 May 1975. [As the UUUC opposed power-sharing the chance of the convention reaching agreement on a constitutional settlement were very remote from the outset. The convention eventually collapsed in the autumn.]

Monday 5 May 1975
item mark The Fair Employment (NI) Bill was introduced to the House of Lords. [The resulting Fair Employment Act came into effect on 1 December 1976.]

Thursday 8 May 1975
item mark 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.]

Friday 9 May 1975
item mark In a statement at Westminster Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, said that recent violence in the region was as a result of feuding between Republican groups and had no connection with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) truce.

Friday 23 May 1975
item mark Two Catholic civilians were shot dead by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), which was a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), during an attack on a house in Mount Vernon, Belfast.
death button

June 1975

Tuesday 3 June 1975
item mark Two Protestant civilians and an off-duty member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) were found shot dead in a car in Killeen, County Armagh. Republican paramilitaries were responsible for the killings.
death button

Thursday 5 June 1975
item mark Brendan McNamee (22), then a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), was shot dead by members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) in the continuing feud between the OIRA and the INLA.
death button
item mark There was a referendum held across the United Kingdom (UK) on whether or not the UK should continue to remain in the Common Market (later to become the European Union). There was a slight majority in Northern Ireland in favour of joining the Common Market.

Thursday 12 June 1975
item mark Two members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) were killed when a bomb they were transporting by car exploded prematurely in Great Patrick Street, Belfast.
death button

Wednesday 18 June 1975
item mark At Westminster a Bill was introduced to make amendments to the Northern Ireland Emergency Provision Act (1973). The main amendment had the effect of giving control of detention to the Secretary of State.

Sunday 22 June 1975
item mark A Catholic civilian was shot dead in an attack by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), which was a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), in Greenisland, County Antrim. item mark Another Catholic civilian died having been shot two days earlier in Fraser Street, Belfast. item mark Two Protestant civilians were shot dead by Republican paramilitaries in an attack at Westland Road, Belfast. item mark A Catholic civilian was stabbed to death by Loyalists (paramilitaries?) in an attack at Baronrath Bridge, near Sallins, County Kildare, Republic of Ireland.
death button

July 1975

Monday 7 July 1975
item mark A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer was killed by a booby-trap bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at a school in Lurgan, County Armagh.
death button
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Note by the Official Committee on Northern Ireland. The note is entitled 'Northern Ireland: Future Policy Options' and deals with the outcome of the Constitutional Convention.]

Friday 11 July 1975
item mark During the trial of the 'Birmingham Six' the prosecution admitted that the men were physically assaulted while in custody.

Sunday 13 July 1975
item mark Denis Berry (21), then a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), was shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in Belfast. The killing was part of a continuing feud between the UDA and the UVF.
item mark A Catholic boy (16) was shot dead by the British Army in Belfast.
death button

Monday 14 July 1975
item mark Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, outlined the governments response to the Irish Republican Army's (IRA) truce. There had been a reduction in the level of British Army patrols, and house searches had been scaled down. He also indicated that in the event of a permanent end to paramilitary violence, security would be returned to a 'peace time level'.

Thursday 17 July 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed four British soldiers in a remote controlled bomb attack near Forkhill, County Armagh. [While the IRA claimed the attack was in retaliation to the killing of a Catholic earlier in the month, this incident was another serious breach of the truce.]
death button

Thursday 24 July 1975
item mark Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, announced that all those interned without trial would be released by Christmas.

Thursday 31 July 1975
Miami Showband Killings / 'Miami Massacre'
item mark photograph of Miami Showband members The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) carried out a gun and bomb attack on the members of the Miami Showband. Three members of the band were killed and one seriously injured during the attack. Two members of the UVF gang were also killed when a bomb they were handling exploded prematurely.
The Miami Showband had been playing at 'The Castle Ballroom' in Banbridge, Count Down. Five members of the band left in their minibus and travelled south on the main dual-carriageway. The minibus was stopped by what appeared to be a Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) checkpoint at Buskhill, near Newry. However the checkpoint was bogus and was being operated by approximately 10 members of the UVF - at least four of whom were also members of the UDR.
The members of the band were ordered out of the van and told to line up by the side of the road. Two UVF men then planted a bomb into the van. The bomb exploded prematurely killing the two UVF members. At this point the other UVF members opened fire on the band musicans.
Francis (Fran) O'Toole (29), the lead singer with band and famous for his good looks, was shot 22 times in the face while he lay on his back on the ground. Two other band members Anthony Geraghty (23), who was shot four times in the back, and Brian McCoy (33), shot nine times, both died at the scene. Another member of the group was shot with a 'dum-dum' bullet and seriously injured but survived. The two UVF men who died were Harris Boyle (22) and Wesley Somerville (34); both were also members of the UDR.
[There was speculation after the event that the UVF had tried to hide the bomb on the minibus with the intention of the bomb exploding after the members of the van had resumed their journey. It would then have been claimed that the members of the band were transporting explosives on behalf of the IRA. In 1976 two members of the UDR were sentenced to prison for their part in the attack. They received life sentences but were later released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. (Source: 'Lost Lives'; entry: 1417.)]
[On 14 December 2011 some details of an Historical Enquires Team (HET) report into the incident were released by the familes of the three men killed. The HET report found that Robin Jackson (aka 'the Jackal'), a leading mid-Ulster member of the UVF, had been linked by fingerprints to one of the weapons used. Jackson later claimed in police interviews he had been tipped off by a senior RUC officer to lie low after the killings. RUC headquarters was told about this claim, but no action was taken. The HET report said that Jackson claimed that he was told that his fingerprints had been found on a silencer attached to a Luger pistol used in the murders. The HET said the murders raised "disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour". (Source: BBC.)]
death button

August 1975

Friday 1 August 1975
item mark Two Catholic civilians, Joseph Toland (78) and James Marks (42), died as a result of a gun attack on a minibus near Gilford, County Down. Marks died from his injuries on 7 January 1976. No group claimed responsibility but 'Lost Lives' (2004; p614) records: "the attack ..., according to reliable loyalist sources, was carried out by the UVF".
death button
item mark David House, then a Lieutenant-General in the British Army, replaced Frank King as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the army in Northern Ireland.

Sunday 10 August 1975
item mark There was an outbreak of shooting between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the British Army in west Belfast. Two Catholic children, aged 4 and 15 years, were killed in the crossfire during separate incidents and another eight people were injured. [These incidents mark a further dilution of the IRA truce.]
death button

Wednesday 13 August 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb and gun attack on the Bayardo Bar, Shankill Road, Belfast killing five people and injuring 40 others. One of those killed was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) the other four were Protestant civilians.
death button

Thursday 21 August 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Friday 22 August 1975
item mark Three Catholic civilians were killed in a gun and bomb attack on McGleenan's Bar, Upper English Street, Armagh. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.
item mark A Catholic civilian died six days after being shot by Loyalists in Belfast.
death button

Sunday 24 August 1975
item mark Two Catholic civilians were abducted and shot dead by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The shootings happened near Newtownhamilton, County Armagh.
death button

Monday 25 August 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Wednesday 27 August 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a time bomb in the Caterham Arms public house in Caterham, Surrey, England. There was no warning and the bomb exploded at 9.20pm injuring 23 civilians and 10 off-duty soldiers. The pub was used by members of the Welsh Guards who were based at a barracks nearby. [This attack marked the start of a renewed bombing campaign ('Phase Two') in England.]

Thursday 28 August 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a time bomb in Oxford Street, London. The bomb had been booby-trapped and was designed to kill anyone trying to defuse it. The bomb was not discovered and exploded without causing any injuries.
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Friday 29 August 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a booby-trapped time bomb in Kensington Church Street, London, and then gave a telephone warning. Roger Goad (40), who was a British Army officer in a bomb-disposal squad, was killed as he tried to defuse the device. [Goad was posthumously awarded the George Cross.]
item mark A member of the youth section of the IRA was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast.
death button
item mark Eamon de Valera died at the age of 92.
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Saturday 30 August 1975
item mark Two Catholic civilians died as a result of injuries received during a gun and bomb attack on the Harp Bar, Hill Street, Belfast. The attack was carried out by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). item mark Stephen Geddis (10) a Catholic boy died two days after being hit by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier. item mark An off-duty member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Whitecross, County Armagh.
death button
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a time bomb in High Holborn, London. No one was injured in the explosion.

September 1975

Monday 1 September 1975
item mark Five Protestant civilians died and seven were injured as a result of an attack on an Orange Hall in Newtownhamilton, County Armagh. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by a group called the South Armagh Republican Action force (SARAF) which was considered by many commentators to be a covername for members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). item mark Two members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in the continuing feud between the two Loyalist paramilitary groups. item mark Denis Mullen (36), then a member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was shot dead at his home near Moy, County Tyrone. item mark Thomas Taylor (50), a Protestant civilian, was shot dead by Republican paramilitaries at his place of work in Donegall Street, Belfast. item mark Another Protestant civilian was shot dead, in a case of mistaken identity, by the UVF at a scrap metal yard near Glengormley, County Antrim. The intended targets were the Catholic owners of the business.
death button       [ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Tuesday 2 September 1975
item mark At a conference held in the United States of America (USA) representatives of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) indicated their organisations' support for an independent Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 3 September 1975
item mark Two Catholic civilians, a father and daughter, were shot dead at their home by Loyalist paramilitaries in Higtown Road, Belfast.
death button       [ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Thursday 4 September 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Friday 5 September 1975
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb at the Hilton Hotel in London and killed two people and injured a further 63. [It was later established that a 20 minute warning had been given but this was not passed on to the hotel.]
death button

Saturday 6 September 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Sunday 7 September 1975
item mark The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) shot dead one of their members near Templepatrick, County Antrim, alleging that the had been an informer.
death button

Monday 8 September 1975
item mark During a United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) meeting William Craig was the only member to vote for a voluntary coalition with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Tuesday 9 September 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Thursday 11 September 1975
item mark Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, together with Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a meeting with Margaret Thatcher, then leader of the Conservative Party, to brief her about a number of matters including Northern Ireland. [On 3 May 2006 the Irish News (a Belfast based newspaper) published details of confidential cabinet minutes that had been taken at the meeting. The minutes reveal that the British government was aware of collusion between the security forces, particularly the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), and Loyalist paramilitaries.]

Tuesday 16 September 1975
[ proni on cain Internment. ]

Friday 19 September 1975
item mark [Public Records 1975 - Released 1 January 2006: Note which discusses the Constitutional Convention and in particular proposals by William Craig, then a member of the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC), for a voluntary coalition with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).]

Monday 22 September 1975
item mark There was a series of bomb attacks on towns across Northern Ireland. [The Irish Republican Army (IRA) claimed responsibility for some of the attacks thus putting further strain on the truce. Many commentators considered that the truce was effectively over by this time.]

Sunday 28 September 1975
item mark [The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb in Caterham, Surrey, England.??]

Monday 29 September 1975
item mark Seven people were injured in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attack in Oxford Street, London.

Tuesday 30 September 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

October 1975

Thursday 2 October 1975
12 People Killed in UVF Attacks
item mark 12 people died in a series of Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) attacks across Northern Ireland. item mark Four Catholic civilians were killed in a UVF gun attack at Casey's Bottling Plant, Millfield, Belfast. item mark Two other Catholic civilians were killed in separate bomb attacks in Belfast and County Antrim. item mark Two Protestant civilians were also killed in UVF attacks. item mark And four members of the UVF died when a bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely near Coleraine, County Derry.
death button

Friday 3 October 1975
item mark The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was declared a 'proscribed' (illegal) organisation.
item mark Tiede Herrema, then a Dutch industrialist living and working in the Republic of Ireland, was abducted and held hostage at a house in Monasterevin, County Kildare. [On 21 October 1975 Gardaí surrounded the house and a siege began which lasted until the release of Herrema on 6 November 1975.]
[ proni on cain Law Order. ]

Thursday 9 October 1975
item mark A British soldier was killed in an Irish Republican Army (IRA) land mine attack near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb outside the Green Park Underground Station in London and killed one person and injured 20 others.
death button

Sunday 12 October 1975
item mark There was a split in the Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP) following William Craig's support for a coalition with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).
item mark Craig was expelled from the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) for advocating a coalition with the SDLP.

Tuesday 21 October 1975
item mark Gardaí surrounded a house in Monasterevin, County Kildare, where Tiede Herrema, then a Dutch industrialist, was being held hostage. A siege began which was to last until 6 November 1975.

Wednesday 22 October 1975
'Guildford Four'
item mark Patrick Armstrong, Gerard Conlon, Paul Hill, and Carole Richardson (who became known as the 'Guildford Four') were found guilty at the Old Bailey in London of causing explosions in London in October 1974. The four were sentenced to life imprisonment. [Following an appeal the four were released on 19 October 1989. The court of appeal decided that the 'confessions' had been fabricated by the police.]

Thursday 23 October 1975
item mark Two Catholic civilians, Peter McKearney (63) and his wife Jane McKearney (58), were shot dead by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at their home near Moy, County Tyrone.
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a bomb on a car outside the home of Hugh Fraser, then a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP). A person passing the car was killed when the bomb exploded prematurely.
death button

Wednesday 29 October 1975
item mark The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) shot and killed Robert Elliman (27), then a member of the Official IRA (OIRA), in McKenna's Bar in the Markets area of Belfast. [Between 29 October 1975 and 12 November 1975, 11 people were to died in the continuing feud between the two wings of the IRA. Most of those killed were members of the 'official' republican movement.]
item mark A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Lurgan, County Armagh.
death button

Friday 31 October 1975
item mark Thomas Berry (27), then a member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), was shot dead by the Provisional IRA (PIRA) outside Sean Martin's Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Club in the Short Strand, Belfast. item mark Seamus McCusker, a senior member of Provisional Sinn Féin (SF), was shot dead by the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) on the New Lodge Road, Belfast. Both these killings were part of the continuing feud between the two wings of the IRA.
item mark Columba McVeigh was abducted and became one of the 'disappeared'. [He is believed to have been killed by the IRA. His body has not been recovered.]
death button

November 1975

Monday 3 November 1975
item mark James Fogarty (22), who had been a Republican Clubs member, was shot dead at his home in Ballymurphy, Belfast, by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). This killing was part of the continuing feud between the two wings of the IRA.
death button

Tuesday 4 November 1975
item mark Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, announced that anyone convicted of terrorist crimes committed after 1 March 1976 would not be accorded special category status.

Thursday 6 November 1975
item mark The siege at the house in Monasterevin, County Kildare, where Tiede Herrema, then a Dutch industrialist, was being held hostage, ended with his safe release.

Friday 7 November 1975
item mark A United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) report was endorsed by a vote at the Constitutional Convention. The Convention voted by 42 to 31 to submit a draft report to the Secretary of State. The report recommended a return to the 'majority rule' system of government for Northern Ireland with the addition of a series of all-party committees to scrutinise the work of departments. [The Report was published on 20 November 1975.]

Sunday 9 November 1975
item mark John Kelly (19), then a member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), was shot dead by the Provisional IRA (PIRA) in the New Lodge area of Belfast. This killing was part of the continuing feud between the two wings of the IRA.
death button

Monday 10 November 1975
item mark The 'incident centre' in Derry was blown up in a bomb attack carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The IRA in the city was opposed to the truce.

Tuesday 11 November 1975
item mark Four men were killed in the continuing feud between the two wings of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
death button       [ proni on cain Internment. ]

Wednesday 12 November 1975
item mark Michael Duggan (32), then Chairman of the Falls Road Taxi Association, was shot dead in Hawthorne Street, Belfast, by members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA). This killing was part of the continuing feud between the two wings of the IRA.
item mark One person was killed when the IRA threw a bomb into Scott's Oyster Bar (Restaurant) in Mount Street, Mayfair, London.
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item mark Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, announced the closure of the remaining incident centres that had been set up under the arrangements for the IRA truce.

Thursday 13 November 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Friday 14 November 1975
item mark Margaret Thatcher, then leader of the British Conservative Party, paid a visit to Northern Ireland.
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Saturday 15 November 1975
item mark During a disturbance involving members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) at the Park Bar in Tiger's Bay, Belfast, a Protestant civilian was shot dead. The fracas was part of an ongoing feud between the UDA and the UVF.
item mark A Catholic civilian died almost one year after being injured in a Loyalist bomb attack in Crossmaglen.
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Monday 17 November 1975
item mark Over the next few days Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, held meetings with local political parties to discuss possible ways forward. [The Report of the Convention was published on 20 November 1975.]

Tuesday 18 November 1975
item mark Two civilians were killed and 23 were injured when members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) threw a bomb into Walton's Restaurant in Walton Street, Knightsbridge, London.
death button

Thursday 20 November 1975
item mark The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) published the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention Report. [The Report was debated in the House of Commons on 12 January 1976. The United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) later published a pamphlet entitled 'A Guide to the Convention Report'.]

Saturday 22 November 1975
item mark Three British soldiers were shot dead in a gun attack on a British Army observation post near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.
death button

Tuesday 25 November 1975
item mark Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were shot dead while on patrol by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Pomeroy, County Tyrone.
item mark Francis Crossan (34), a Catholic civilian, was found dead with his throat cut in the Shankill area of Belfast. Members of he Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang known as the 'Shankill Butchers' were responsible for the killing. [See: 20 February 1979]
item mark A member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Derry.
death button

Thursday 27 November 1975
item mark Ross McWhirter (50), who had publicly criticised Irish Republican Army (IRA) violence, was shot dead by the IRA at his home in Village Road, Enfield, London. McWhirter was a founder of the Guinness Book of World Records and had offered a £50,000 reward for the capture of the IRA members responsible for the bombings in London.
death button

Friday 28 November 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

Satruday 29 November 1975
item mark Archibald Waller (23), then a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was shot dead by fellow UVF members in an internal feud. The shooting occurred in the Shankill area of Belfast.
item mark An airport employee was killed by a Loyalist bomb at Dublin airport.
death button

Sunday 30 November 1975
item mark Noel Shaw (19), then a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was shot dead by fellow UVF members in an internal feud. The shooting occurred in the Shankill area of Belfast.
death button

December 1975

Monday 1 December 1975
item mark Two members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were killed in King Street, Belfast, when the bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely.
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Tuesday 2 December 1975
item mark Two Protestant civilians were shot dead by Republican paramilitaries in the Dolphin Restaurant, Strand Road, Derry.
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Friday 5 December 1975
End of Internment
item mark The last 46 people who had been interned without trial were released. The end of Internment was announced by Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, who said that those found guilty of crimes would be brought before the courts. [During the period of Internment, 9 August 1971 to 5 December 1975, 1,981 people were detained; 1,874 were Catholic / Republican, while 107 were Protestant / Loyalist.]

Saturday 6 December 1975
Balcombe Street Siege
item mark British police chased a group of four Irish Republican Army (IRA) men through the West End of London. There was a car chase and an exchange of gunfire before the IRA members took over a council flat in Balcombe Street and held the married couple living in the flat hostage. [This marked the beginning of a six-day siege during which time the IRA members demanded a plane to take them to the Republic of Ireland. The siege ended when the hostages were released unharmed and the IRA members surrendered to police.]
item mark Two members of the IRA were killed when the land mine they were preparing exploded prematurely near Killeen, County Armagh.
death button

Tuesday 9 December 1975
item mark A poll published in the Daily Telegraph (British Newspaper) showed that 64 per cent of people in Britain wanted the British Army to be withdrawn from Northern Ireland.

Thursday 18 December 1975
item mark Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to Derry.
item mark Shortly after the Prime Minister's visit two British soldiers were killed in Derry in a bomb attack which was carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
death button

Friday 19 December 1975
Loyalists Kill Five People
item mark Two men were killed as a result of a car bomb planted by the Red Hand Commandos (RHC), a group closely associated with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), outside Kay's Tavern, Crowe Street, Dundalk, County Louth. The bomb exploded at 6.15pm. [Hugh Walters (60) was killed immediately and Jack Rooney (61) died later on 22 December 1975 as a result of his injuries.]
item mark Three Catholic civilians were killed during a gun and bomb attack by the RHC on the Silverbridge Inn, near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. Patrick Donnely (24) had just arrived outside in his car when he was shot dead by the Loyalist paramilitaries who then began shooting into the bar before throwing a bomb into the premises. Michael Donnelly (14), the son of the owner of the bar, was shot dead as was Trevor Bracknell (35). Six people were injured, some seriously, in the explosion. It is believed that the same Loyalist gang carried out both the attack in Dundalk and the attack on the Silverbridge Inn. [It was later claimed that there had been collusion between the security forces and the Loyalists in the attack. The Ireland on Sunday (a Dublin based newspaper) published an article on 14 March 1999 which claimed that a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were part of the Loyalist gang. A similar claim was made in an article in the Irish News (a Belfast based newspaper) on 2 May 2006.]
death button

Monday 22 December 1975
item mark The authorities in the United States of America (USA) foiled an attempt to ship weapons to the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Wednesday 31 December 1975
item mark Three Protestant civilians were killed in a bomb attack, carried out the People's Republican Army (PRA), a covername used by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), on the Central Bar, Gilford, County Down.
death button

n.d. December 1975
[ proni on cain Constitutional Convention. ]

 


Sources
This chronology has been compiled from a number of sources:
  • Bew, P. and Gillespie, G. (1999) Northern Ireland A chronology of the Troubles 1968-1999. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan Ltd.
  • Elliott, S. and Flackes, W.D. (1999) Northern Ireland A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: The Blackstaff Press.
  • Fortnight Magazine's monthly chronology of 'the Troubles'.
  • Sutton, M. (1994) An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993. Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications. The Sutton Index of Deaths 1969-2001 - see in particular the list of deaths for 1975.
  • Various newspapers
  • For a full list of, and links to, on-line sources see the Guide to the Internet.

    Notes
    Each entry contains information, where relevant, on the following topic areas:

  • Major security incidents
  • Political developments
  • Policy initiatives
  • Economic matters
  • Other relevant items
    Information contained within square brackets [   ] may contain commentary or information that only became publicly available at a later date. Any piece of information which is followed by a question mark in parenthesis (?) is a best estimate while awaiting an update.

    A Chronology of the Conflict - 1968 to the Present 1968 1969
    1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
    1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
    1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
    2000 2001 2002 2003            

  • CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
    CAIN is based within the University of Ulster.


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