CAIN Web Service
'Bloody Friday', Belfast Friday 21 July 1972
- Main Events
Page Compiled: Martin Melaugh
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change
Details of the Main Events of 'Bloody Friday'
The following page provides some (draft) details of the events that took place in, and around, Belfast on the afternoon of Friday 21 July 1972. A total of 22 bombs were planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and, in the resulting explosions, 9 people were killed and a further 130 seriously injured. The day became known as 'Bloody Friday'.
The accounts of the events that appeared in the first editions of local and national newspapers were, naturally enough, somewhat confused about the details of the events of the day. The following details are based on a number of secondary reports and accounts. The timings referred to below are approximate.
Thirty years after the killings the IRA issued a statement of apology.
2.09 pm (Windsor Park, Belfast)
A bomb (estimated at 30 pounds of explosive) was detonated on the footbridge over the Dublin to Belfast railway line at Windsor Park. There were no injuries in the explosion.
2.36 pm (Brookvale Hotel, Brookvale Avenue, north Belfast)
A bomb (estimated at 50 pounds of explosive) exploded at the Brookvale Hotel, in Brookvale Avenue, north Belfast. The bomb was contained in a suitcase and was planted by two men. The area had been cleared and no injuries occurred.
Bomb warnings about other devices planted in Belfast were being received every few minutes.
2.40 pm (Ulster Bank, Limestone Road, north Belfast)
The car bomb (estimated at 50 pounds of explosive) exploded outside the branch of the Ulster Bank on the Limestone Road, north Belfast. The site of this bomb was a few hundred yards from the first bomb. This area had not been cleared. A local Catholic woman was caught in the blast and lost both legs. Motorists, in cars which were caught up in the traffic chaos, were also injured in the blast.
2.52 pm (Botanic Railway Station, Botanic Avenue, Belfast)
A car bomb (estimated at 50 pounds of explosive) exploded outside the railway station in Botanic Avenue. There was considerable damage to property but no serious injuries.
2.53 pm (Queen Elizabeth Bridge, Belfast)
A car bomb (estimated at 160 pounds of explosive) exploded without warning on the Queen Elizabeth Bridge. There were no serious injuries in this explosion. There was some damage to the structure of the bridge.
3.02 pm (Agnes Street, Belfast)
A car bomb (estimated at 30 pounds of explosive) exploded outside a group of Protestant houses in Agnes Street. Those in the area did not receive a warning but there were no serious injuries.
3.02 pm (Liverpool Bar, Donegall Quay, Belfast)
A bomb (estimated at 50 pounds of explosive) exploded in the Liverpool Bar in Donegall Quay. There was no clear warning but the explosion caused few casualties.
3.02 pm (Bellevue, north Belfast)
A bomb (estimated at 30 pounds of explosive) exploded on the bridge over the M2 motorway at Bellevue in north Belfast. There were no serious injuries in this explosion.
3.03 pm (York Street Station, York Street, Belfast)
A bomb (estimated at 30 pounds of explosive) exploded York Street railway station. The bomb was contained in a suitcase and it exploded before the station could be cleared. There were a number of casualties.
3.04 pm (Ormeau Avenue, Belfast)
A car bomb (estimated at 50 pounds of explosive) exploded in Ormeau Avenue. Those in the area did not receive a warning however there were no serious injuries.
3.05 pm (Eastwood's Garage, Donegall Road, Belfast)
A car bomb (estimated at 150 pounds of explosive) destroyed Eastwood's Garage on Donegall Road. There were no serious injuries in the explosion.
3.10 pm (Oxford Street Bus Depot, Oxford Street, Belfast)
A car bomb exploded outside the Ulsterbus depot in Oxford Street. This explosion resulted in the greatest loss of life and the greatest number of casualties, of any of the bombs on the day. The area was being cleared but was still crowded when the bomb, in a Volkswagen estate car, exploded. Two British soldiers, Stephen Cooper (19) and Philip Price (27) were close to the car bomb and died instantly. Also killed in the blast were: William Crothers (15), William Irvine (18); Thomas Killops (39) and John Gibson (45). All four were Protestant civilians who worked for the Ulsterbus company.
3.15 pm (Stewartstown Road, Belfast)
A bomb, thought to have been abandoned on the Stewartstown Road, exploded but caused no serious injuries.
3.20 pm (Cavehill Road, north Belfast)
A car bomb (estimated at 50 pounds of explosive) exploded outside a row of single storey shops near the top of the Cavehill Road, north Belfast. Those caught in the blast had no warning of the bomb. The shops were in a religiously-mixed residential area. Two women and a man died in this blast. Mrs Margaret O'Hare (37), a Catholic mother of seven children, died in her car. Her 11-year-old daughter was with her in her car and was badly injured. Miss Brigid Murray (65), a Catholic, was also killed. Stephen Parker (14), a Protestant teenager, also died in the explosion. In addition there were a number of serious injuries.
3.25 pm (Railway Line, near Lisburn Road, Belfast)
A bomb exploded on the railway line near the Lisburn Road, but caused no casualties.
3.25 pm (Crumlin Road, Belfast)
Two bombs (both estimated at 50 pounds of explosive) exploded at the Star Garage on the Crumlin Road. There were no serious injuries in the explosions.
3.30 pm ('Nutts Corner', west of Belfast)
A landmine was detonated on the road to Nutts Corner, west of Belfast, just as a bus full of schoolchildren was passing. The driver saw the device and swerved, avoiding the worst of the blast. It was thought that the bus may have been mistaken for a British army vehicle. There were no serious injuries in the explosion.
3.30 pm (Northern Ireland Carriers Depot, Grosvenor Road, Belfast)
A bomb (estimated at 50 pounds of explosive) exploded at the Northern Ireland Carriers depot on the Grosvenor Road. There were no serious injuries in the explosion.
3.30 pm (Sydenham, east Belfast)
A bomb on the Sydenham flyover was defused by the British Army.
[Awaiting further information on the following bombs]
Time unknown (Garmoyle Street, Belfast)
A bomb exploded at a seed merchants in Garmoyle Street.
Time unknown (Salisbury Avenue, Belfast)
A car-bomb exploded on Salisbury Avenue,
causing no injuries and little damage.