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IRA Truce: 9 February 1975 to 23 January 1976
- A Chronology of Main Events



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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

This page contains a chronology of the main events associated with the IRA truce in Northern Ireland from 9 February 1975 to 23 January 1976. The reader should also consult the main chronologies for other entries related to this event.

IRA Truce: 9 February 1975 to 23 January 1976 - A Chronology of Main Events

Chronology

1974

Tuesday 10 December 1974
Representatives of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) held secret talks with Protestant clergymen at a location in Feakle, County Clare.

Wednesday 18 December 1974
Protestant clergymen met with Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, to report on their meeting with representatives of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on 10 December 1974.

Friday 20 December 1974
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced that a ceasefire would take place between midnight on 22 December 1974 and midnight on 2 January 1975.

Sunday 22 December 1974
Irish Republican Army (IRA) Ceasefire

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) observed a ceasefire between midnight on 22 December 1974 to midnight on 2 January 1975. The ceasefire was called to allow the British government to respond to proposals put by the IRA to Protestant clergymen on 10 December 1974. [The IRA initially extended this ceasefire, then called it off, and then renewed it on 9 February 1975. Government officials also held talks with Sinn Féin (SF) from this date through until 17 January 1975. Many commentators felt that an announcement of British withdrawal from Northern Ireland was a possibility at this time.]

Tuesday 31 December 1974
Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, said that the Government would respond positively if a "genuine and sustained cessation of violence" occurred.


1975

Thursday 2 January 1975
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.]

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

Sunday 9 February 1975
Two Catholic civilians, both aged 19, were shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries as they left St Brigit's Catholic Church, Malone, Belfast.
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
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
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).

Friday 9 May 1975
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.

Monday 7 July 1975
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.

Monday 14 July 1975
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
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.]

Sunday 10 August 1975
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.]

Wednesday 13 August 1975
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.

Saturday 30 August 1975
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). Stephen Geddis (10) a Catholic boy died two days after being hit by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier. An off-duty member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Whitecross, County Armagh

Monday 1 September 1975
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). 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. Denis Mullen (36), then a member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was shot dead at his home near Moy, County Tyrone. Thomas Taylor (50), a Protestant civilian, was shot dead by Republican paramilitaries at his place of work in Donegall Street, Belfast. Another Protestant civilian was shot dead by mistake by the UVF at a scrap metal yard near Glengormley, County Antrim. The intended targets were the Catholic owners of the business.

Friday 5 September 1975
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb at the Hilton Hotel in London and killed two people and injured a further 63. [This attack marked the start of a renewed bombing campaign in England.]

Monday 22 September 1975
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
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb in Caterham, Surrey, England.

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

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

Thursday 9 October 1975
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb outside the Green Park Underground Station in London and killed one person and injured 20 others.

Thursday 23 October 1975
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.
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.

Wednesday 29 October 1975
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.]

Friday 31 October 1975
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. 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.

Monday 3 November 1975
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.

Sunday 9 November 1975
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.

Monday 10 November 1975
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
Four men were killed in the continuing feud between the two wings of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Wednesday 12 November 1975
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. One person was killed when the IRA threw a bomb into Scott's Restaurant in Mayfair, London.
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.

Tuesday 18 November 1975
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, London.

Friday 22 November 1975
Three British soldiers were shot dead in a gun attack on a British Army observation post near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

Tuesday 25 November 1975
Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were shot dead while on patrol by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Pomeroy, County Tyrone.

Thursday 27 November 1975
Ross McWhirter, who had publicly criticised Irish Republican Army (IRA) violence, was shot dead by the IRA at his home in Enfield, London.

Monday 1 December 1975
Two members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were killed in King Street, Belfast, when the bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely.

Saturday 6 December 1975
Balcombe Street Siege

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.]
Two members of the IRA were killed when the land mine they were preparing exploded prematurely near Killeen, County Armagh.

Thursday 18 December 1975
Harold Wilson, then British Prime Minister, paid a visit to Derry. 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).


1976

Monday 5 January 1976
Kingsmills Killings

Ten Protestant civilians were killed by the Republican Action Force (RAF), believed to be a covername for some members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), in an attack on their minibus at Kingsmills, near Bessbrook, County Armagh. The men were returning from work when their minibus was stopped by a bogus security checkpoint. An RUC officer was shot dead by members of the IRA near Castledawson, County Derry.

Tuesday 13 January 1976
Two Catholic civilians and two members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were killed when a bomb exploded prematurely at a shopping arcade in North Street Belfast.

Friday 23 January 1976
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) truce was officially brought to an end. [Indirect contact between the British government and the IRA were maintained for a period after the ending of the truce.]


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