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A Chronology of the Conflict - 1982



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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 1982

1982 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sources Notes

1982

January 1982

Wednesday 13 January 1982
item mark Lord Gowrie, then an Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Minister, said that Direct Rule was "very unBritish" and indicated that he personally preferred a form dual citizenship, with Britain and the Republic of Ireland being responsible for the administration of those who considered themselves to be Irish.

Monday 15 January 1982
item mark James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced the setting up of a Committee of Inquiry into the sexual abuse of children who lived in the Kincora Boys Home in Belfast. [The Kincora Scandal first broke on 3 April 1980 when three staff members of the Kincora Boys Home, Belfast, were charged with acts of gross indecency. Allegations continued to be made that elements of the security service, civil servants and a number of Loyalists had been involved in the abuse of young boys at Kincora. One of those sentenced was William McGrath who was the leader of a Loyalist paramilitary group called Tara.]

Tuesday 19 January 1982
item mark The first meeting of Anglo-Irish Inter-government Council took place.

Thursday 21 January 1982
item mark Owen Carron and Danny Morrison, then both members of Sinn Féin (SF), were arrested when they tried to illegally enter the United States of America (USA) from Canada. Both men were later deported back to Canada.
item mark James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held a meeting with John DeLorean, then head of the DeLorean Motor Company, to discuss the financial problems that the company was going through.

Saturday 23 January 1982
item mark Two members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a father and son, were shot dead in their home by other UDA members in an internal dispute.
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Wednesday 27 January 1982
item mark The coalition government of Fine Gael (FG) and the Irish Labour Party in the Republic of Ireland collapsed when independent Teachta Dála (TDs; members of Irish Parliament) voted against proposed tax increases on items such as petrol, alcohol, and tobacco.

Thursday 28 January 1982
item mark James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that the DeLorean Motor Company would not be offered any further public funding. He also announced that Kenneth Cork would be appointed to examine the whole DeLorean affair.

Friday 29 January 1982
item mark John McKeague, who had been a prominent Loyalist activist, was shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in his shop, Albertbridge Road, Belfast.
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February 1982

Monday 1 February 1982
item mark Representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held a meeting with James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and they told him that they were opposed to his policy of 'rolling devolution'. Michael Foot, then leader of the Labour Party, began a three day visit to Northern Ireland.

Sunday 7 February 1982
item mark Martin Kyles (19), a Catholic civilian, died two days after being shot by British Soldiers as he travelled ('joy riding') in a stolen car in the grounds of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Falls Road, Belfast.
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Friday 12 February 1982
item mark Three of the five members of the Committee of Inquiry set up to investigate the Kincora Scandal resigned. They claimed that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) had not dealt with all the major criminal matters surrounding the case.
item mark The DeLorean Motor Company laid off 1,100 of its 2,600 workers. [This was a major blow to the economically deprived area of west Belfast.]

Monday 15 February 1982
item mark The shipyard Harland and Wolff in Belfast announced that it would lay off 1,000 workers from its workforce of 7,000.

Thursday 18 February 1982
item mark James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that a full public inquiry would take place into the matters surrounding the Kincora Scandal. [Three members of the private inquiry resigned on 12 February 1982.]
item mark There was a General Election in the Republic of Ireland. [When the count of the votes was completed the ruling coalition government of Fine Gael (FG) and Irish Labour Party lost the election and a minority Fianna Fáil (FF) government was returned. Charles Haughey became the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). Sinn Féin (SF) had seven candidates in the election but none were returned.]
[ proni on cain Political Developments; Employment.]

Friday 19 February 1982
item mark The DeLorean Motor Company was put into receivership. [The remaining jobs were lost when the factory in west Belfast closed in May 1982. The government had provided public funds of £80 million, most of these were lost with the collapse of the company.]

Saturday 20 February 1982
item mark Patrick Reynolds (24), then an Officer in the Garda Síochána (the Irish police), was shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) when he went to a house in Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght, Dublin.
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Tuesday 23 Februay 1982
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) sunk a British coal boat, the St Bedan, in Lough Foyle.

Wednesday 24 February 1982
item mark The British government indicated that it would amend laws in Northern Ireland relating to homosexual acts to bring them into line with laws in Britain. [On 22 October 1981 the European Court ruled that Britain was discriminating against homosexuals by treating homosexuality as a crime in Northern Ireland.]

March 1982

Monday 1 March 1982
item mark The British Enkalon company announced that it would close its factory in Antrim with the loss of 850 jobs.

Tuesday 2 March 1982
item mark Lord Lowry, then Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice, was attacked by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as he paid a visit to the Queen's University of Belfast. The IRA fired several shots at Lowry who was not injured but a lecturer at the university was wounded by the gunfire.

Thursday 4 March 1982
By-Election in South Belfast
item mark Following the killing of Robert Bradford on 14 November 1981 there was a by-election in the constituency of South Belfast to fill the vacant Westminster seat. Martin Smyth, then head of the Orange Order, won the election as a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) candidate. [The election campaign was marked by antagonism between the UUP and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) who both fielded candidates.]
item mark Gerard Tuite, formerly a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), was arrested in the Republic of Ireland following a period 'on the run'. [Tuite became the first person to be charged in the Republic for offences committed in Britain. He had escaped from Brixton Prison in London on 16 December 1980 where he had been serving a sentence for bombing offences in London in 1978. He was sentenced in July 1982 to 10 years imprisonment.]

Friday 5 March 1982
item mark Seamus Morgan (24), a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), was shot dead by fellow members of the IRA who alleged that he was an informer. His body was found near to Forkhill, County Armagh.
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Sunday 14 March 1982
item mark John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said that the plans for 'rolling devolution' were "unworkable".

Monday 15 March 1982
item mark Alan McCrum (11), a Protestant boy, was killed and 34 people injured when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb in Bridge Street, Banbridge, County Down. An inadequate warning had been given.
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Wednesday 17 March 1982
item mark Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), paid a visit to the United States of America (USA) as part of St Patrick day celebrations. During the visit he called on the US government to put more pressure on Britain to consider the possibility of Irish unity.

Thursday 25 March 1982
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed three British Soldiers during a gun attack on Crocus Street, off the Springfield Road in west Belfast. Five other people were injured in the attack. [It was believed that an M-60 machine gun was used in the attack.]
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Friday 26 March 1982
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) said that it would grant an 'amnesty' to any informers who retracted evidence given to the security forces.

April 1982

Thursday 1 April 1982
item mark Two undercover members of the British Army were shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as they drove a civilian type van from the joint Army / Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base in Rosemount, Derry.
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Friday 2 April 1982
item mark Following the invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina, the issue of Northern Ireland fell further down the British political agenda. [The Falklands War was ended when British Forces retook the territory on 15 June 1982.]

Monday 5 April 1982
White Paper Published
item mark The British government published its White Paper, 'Northern Ireland: A Framework for Devolution' (Cmnd 8541). The paper set out proposals for the establishment of an elected 78 member Assembly at Stormont. The Assembly would then be asked to reach agreement on how any powers devolved to it from Westminster would be administered. The proposals indicated that it would need the agreement of 70 per cent of Assembly members before powers would be devolved. It was also envisaged that power would be passed to particular Northern Ireland Departments one at a time; because of this the scheme became known as 'rolling devolution'. [The ideas contained in the White Paper had been discussed for some time prior to its publication and most of the political parties had expressed opposition to it.]

Wednesday 14 April 1982
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) carried out a raid on the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) headquarters in Belfast. The raid uncovered ammunition and gun parts. Four leading members of the UDA were arrested. [At this time the UDA was not a 'proscribed' organisation. It was only declared illegal on 10 August 1992.]

Friday 16 April 1982
item mark Stephen McConomy, an 11 year old Catholic boy, was struck in the head by a plastic bullet in Derry. [McConomy died on 19 April 1982 from the injuries he received.]
item mark James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said that he had no plans to proscribe the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

Saturday 17 April 1982
item mark A British soldier driving an armoured personnel carrier rammed the vehicle into the gable wall that formed 'Free Derry Corner'. The soldier was later taken into military custody.

Monday 19 April 1982
item mark Stephen McConomy, an 11 year old Catholic boy, died as a result of the injuries he received when he was hit on the head by a plastic bullet in Fahan Street, Derry. [His death lead to calls for the weapon to banned. On 13 May 1982 the European Parliament called on member states not to use plastic bullets.]
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Tuesday 20 April 1982
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a series of attacks in Northern Ireland. Wilbert Kennedy (36) and Noel McCulloch (32), both Protestant civilians, were killed in a bomb blast at the Diamond, Magherafelt, County Derry. An inadequate warning had been given. A further 12 people were injured in the attacks. Bombs exploded in Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Bessbroke, Derry, and Magherafelt, and caused an estimated £1 million pounds in damage.
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Thursday 22 April 1982
item mark Sinn Féin (SF) the Workers' Party denied media claims that the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) was still active.

Sunday 25 April 1982
item mark Sinn Féin (SF) the Workers' Party changed its name to the Workers' Party.

May 1982

Monday 3 May 1982
item mark Paddy Power, then Irish Defence Minister, criticised Britain over the sinking of the Argentinean ship the Belgrano during the Falklands War.

Wednesday 5 May 1982
item mark Maureen McCann (64), a Protestant civilian, was stabbed and shot by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), during an armed robbery at her post office in Killinchy, County Down.
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Saturday 8 May 1982
item mark Nicholas Budgen, then an Assistant Government Whip, resigned his post because of his opposition to the Northern Ireland Bill which would introduce a new Assembly.

Monday 10 May 1982
item mark In a Commons debate on the Northern Ireland Bill, which set out proposals for a new Assembly at Stormont, James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said: "A policy of continuing with Direct Rule does not offer a long-term answer. We either move to a position of total integration ... or we seek a gradual devolution of power ...".
item mark Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), appointed Seamus Mallon, then Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), to the Irish Senate. He also appointed John Robb of the New Ireland Group to the Senate.

Thursday 13 May 1982
item mark The European Parliament called on member states to ban the use of plastic bullets.

Monday 24 May 1982
item mark It was announced that the DeLorean car factory would close with the loss of 1,500 jobs.

Tuesday 25 May 1982
[ proni on cain Political Developments; Employment.]

Saturday 29 May 1982
item mark A United States of America (USA) Congress group called Friends of Ireland paid a fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland.

June 1982

Tuesday 1 June 1982
item mark Robert Richardson, then a Lieutenant-General, succeeded Richard Lawson as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the British Army in Northern Ireland.

Friday 4 June 1982
item mark James Flynn (37), believed to be a member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), was shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in North Strand Road, Dublin. [The INLA later claimed that Flynn was responsible for the killing of Seamus Costello, who had been leader of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), on 5 October 1977 in Dublin.]
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Tuesday 15 June 1982
item mark The Falkland Islands were recaptured by British forces. [This brought an end to the Falkands War.]

Friday 18 June 1982
item mark Lord Gowrie, then a Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Minister, was quoted as saying: "Northern Ireland is extremely expensive on the British taxpayer ... if the people of Northern Ireland wished to join with the South of Ireland, no British government would resist it for twenty minutes."

Monday 21 June 1982
item mark The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested four men in New York who they claimed were trying to buy surface-to-air missiles on behalf of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

July 1982

Thursday 1 July 1982
item mark The Garda Síochána (the Irish police) found a large cache of bombs at Castlefin, County Donegal.

Wednesday 14 July 1982
James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that elections to the new Assembly at Stormont would be held on 20 October 1982.

Friday 16 July 1982
item mark Colm Carey (28), a Catholic civilian, died from loss of blood following a 'punishment' shooting carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at his home on Strabane Old Road, Gobnascale, Derry. Carey had been shot in the knee. Lenny Murphy, who had been leader of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang known as the 'Shankill Butchers', was released from prison.

Saturday 17 July 1982
item mark Norman Maxwell (33), a Protestant civilian, was severely beaten and then killed when a car was driven over him several times. The attack was carried out by members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang known as the 'Shankill Butchers' at the rear of Rumford Street Loyalist Club. Maxwell's body was later dumped in Alliance Parade off the Old Park Road, Belfast. [It is believed that Lenny Murphy, who had been the leader of the 'Shankill Butchers' was responsible for the killing with the attack happening one day after Murphy's release from prison (Dillon, 1990).]

Monday 19 July 1982
item mark James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, paid a visit to the United States of America (USA) to explain his 'rolling devolution' plans.

Tuesday 20 July 1982
Hyde Park and Regent's Park Bombs
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded two bombs in London, one at South Carriage Drive, close to Hyde Park and the other at the Bandstand in Regent's Park, resulting in the deaths of 11 British Soldiers. The first bomb exploded shortly before 11.00am when soldiers of the Blues and Royals were travelling on horseback to change the guard at Horseguards Parade. Three soldiers were killed instantly and a fourth died of his injuries on 23 July 1982. A number of civilians who had been watching the parade were also injured. One horse was killed in the explosion but a further six had to be shot due to their injuries. The bomb had been left in a car parked along the side of the road and is believed to have been detonated by a member of the IRA who was watching from within Hyde Park.
item mark The second bomb, which exploded at lunch time, had been planted under the bandstand in Regent's Park. The explosion killed 7 bandsmen of the Royal Green Jackets as they were performing a concert at the open-air bandstand. Approximately two dozen civilians who had been listening to the performance were injured in the explosion. It is thought that the bomb had been triggered by a timing device and may have been planted some time in advance of the concert.
item mark [British public opinion was outraged by the carnage caused by the IRA attacks. In 1987 a man was sentenced to 25 years for conspiracy to cause explosions; the charges were linked to the Hyde Park bomb. He was released in 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. In December 1998 he sucessfully appealed against his conviction which was quashed.]
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Friday 23 July 1982
item mark The 'Northern Ireland Act 1982', which established the rules for the proposed Assembly, became law.

Thursday 29 July 1982
item mark Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, stated that, "no commitment exists for Her Majesty's government to consult the Irish government on matters affecting Northern Ireland".

August 1982

Sunday 8 August 1982
item mark At an Internment anniversary rally in west Belfast representatives of Noraid and the People's Liberation Organisation (PLO) addressed the crowd.

Sunday 15 August 1982
item mark During a visit to the United States of America (USA) Martin Smyth, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP), alleged that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 25 August 1982
item mark The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) announced that it would contest the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly elections but those elected would not take their seats. [Following this decision Sinn Féin (SF) confirmed that it would oppose the SDLP in a number of constituencies. SF made clear that its preference would have been to support a complete boycott of the poll by all shades of northern nationalism, however it stated that under no circumstances would any of its successful candidates sit in the new assembly. Instead the party’s decision to take part in the poll was "... to give the nationalist electorate (in Northern Ireland) an opportunity to reject the uncontested monopoly in leadership which the SDLP has had ...". [In the end SF decided to field 12 candidates in 6 of the 12 Northern Ireland constituencies.]

Saturday 28 August 1982
item mark The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) found one and a half tons of commercial explosive hidden in a lorry near Banbridge, County Down. The Garda Síochána (the Irish police) found 10,000 rounds of ammunition and commercial explosives at Glencree, County Wicklow.

September 1982

Wednesday 1 September 1982
item mark The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) shot and wounded Billy Dickson, then a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) member of Belfast City Council.
item mark A new Department of Economic Development was formed when the merger took place between the Departments of Commerce and Manpower.
item mark [During September unemployment in Northern Ireland increased to 22.3 per cent of the workforce. (?)]

Sunday 5 September 1982
item mark Brian Smyth (30), who had been a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) until 1978, was shot dead by members of the UVF in Crimea Street, Shankill, Belfast. [This killing was reported as an internal feud but was a personal grudge between Lenny Murphy, who had been leader of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang known as the 'Shankill Butchers', and Smyth to whom Murphy owed money (Dillon, 1990).]
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Thursday 16 September 1982
item mark The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) carried out a booby-trap bomb attack on a British Army patrol in the Divis Flats in Belfast and killed two Catholic children, Stephen Bennett (14) and Kevin Valliday (12), and one soldier, Kevin Waller (20).
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Thursday 23 September 1982
item mark John Hermon, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) were both "reeling" from the evidence given by informers (called 'supergrass' by the media) and the subsequent arrests.

October 1982

Friday 1 October 1982
item mark A motion was passed at the Labour Party conference which called for a ban on the use of plastic bullets in the whole of the United Kingdom (UK).

Wednesday 6 October 1982
item mark Des O'Malley, the Irish Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism, resigned for the government in the Republic of Ireland. O'Malley resigned because of disagreements with Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), on matters related to Northern Ireland and the Republic's economy. [O'Malley later formed a new political party in the Republic called the Progressive Democrats.]

Thursday 7 October 1982
item mark A member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and a Prison Officer were killed in a connected incident in Kilmore, County Armagh.
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Tuesday 19 October 1982
item mark The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) carried out a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in Glengall Street, Belfast. The building was badly damaged by the blast.

Wednesday 20 October 1982
Assembly Elections
item mark Elections to the new 78 seat Northern Ireland Assembly took place across Northern Ireland. This was the first election in Northern Ireland since the beginning of 'the Troubles' to be contested by Sinn Féin (SF) which won 10.1 per cent of the first preference votes and secured 5 of the seats. The Social Democratic and Labour Party's (SDLP) performance was relatively poor and it obtained 18.8 per cent of the vote and 14 seats. Both the SDLP and SF had adopted a policy of abstentionism and therefore refused to take their seats. The largest vote went to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP); 29.7 per cent and 26 seats. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) obtained 23.0 per cent and 21 seats. The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) obtained 9.3 per cent of the vote, which was less than SF, but got 10 seats, double that of SF. [The emergence of SF as a political force in Northern Ireland was to cause almost panic in British establishment circles. Many commentators speculated that SF would replace the SDLP as the main voice of Nationalists in Northern Ireland. It was to counter the rise of SF that the British government went on to sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement on 15 November 1985.]

Sunday 24 October 1982
item mark Joseph Donegan (48), a Catholic civilian, was abducted, tortured, and beaten to death by members of a Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang in an attack that bore the hallmarks of the 'Shankill Butchers'. [Lenny Murphy, who had been leader of the 'Shankill Butchers', was one of the gang who abducted and killed Donegan (Dillon, 1990).]
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Wednesday 27 October 1982
item mark Three Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers where killed when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated a land mine as the RUC patrol passed near Oxford Island, near Lurgan, County Armagh.
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November 1982

Tuesday 2 November 1982
item mark Representatives of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) held a meeting with James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and told him that the party would continue its boycott of the Assembly.

Thursday 4 November 1982
item mark The Irish coalition government was defeated in a vote of confidence in the Dáil.

Friday 5 November 1982
item mark In the United States of America (USA) a court acquitted five men of charges of conspiring to ship arms to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during 1981. The men used the defence that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had approved the shipment of arms although this was denied.

Tuesday 9 November 1982
item mark Garry Ewing (31), an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, and Helen Woodhouse (29), a Protestant civilian, were killed by a booby trap bomb attacked to Ewing's car by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at the Lakeland Forum Leisure Centre in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
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Thursday 11 November 1982
'Shoot to Kill' Allegation
item mark Sean Burns (21), Gervaise McKerr (31), and Eugene Toman (21), all members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), were shot dead by members of an undercover unit of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) at a police check point on Tullygalley Road, Craigavon, County Armagh. None of the three men were armed at the time of the shooting. [This shooting incident, together with other similar incidents where unarmed Republican paramilitaries were shot dead led to claims that the security forces were engaged in a 'shoot to kill' policy. This claim was officially denied. The RUC claimed that the three men had driven through a Vehicle Check Point. There were similar incidents on 24 November 1982 and 12 December 1982. Eventually the British government set up the Stalker inquiry (later taken over by Sampson) into the incidents.]
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item mark The first sitting of the new Northern Ireland Assembly took place at Stormont, Belfast. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Féin (SF) did not take up their seats.

Tuesday 16 November 1982
item mark Lenny Murphy (29), who had been leader of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang the 'Shankill Butchers', was shot dead by Irish Republican Army (IRA) at Forthriver Park, Glencairn, Belfast. [It was later claimed that Loyalist paramilitaries had colluded with the IRA in having Murphy shot because no group was able to control him. Murphy's gang had been responsible for a series of particularly brutal murders of Catholic civilians. Many of those killed were first abducted, then beaten and tortured with butcher knives and hatchets before being killed and their bodies dumped.] item mark A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Mount Merrion Avenue, Rosetta, Belfast. item mark Two reserve members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) at a security barrier in Markethill, County Armagh.
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Thursday 18 November 1982
item mark The Irish Republican Army (IRA) kidnapped Patrick Gilmour in Derry. Patrick Gilmour was the father of Raymond Gilmour who had been a member of the IRA and an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) informer and who had gone into protective custody to become a 'supergrass'. [The IRA later said that Patrick Gilmour would not be released until his son retracted his evidence.]

Wednesday 24 November 1982
'Shoot to Kill' Allegation
item mark Michael Tighe (17), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by an undercover Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) unit at a farm in Derrymacash, near Lurgan, County Armagh. Martin McCauley, a Catholic civilian, was shot and wounded in the same incident. [The farm shed where the shooting occurred was being used by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to store weapons and it was believed that the young men had discovered the arms by accident. This shooting, following on from the shooting on 11 November 1982 convinced many Nationalists that the security forces were operating a 'shoot to kill' policy.
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item mark There was a General Election in the Republic of Ireland. [When the count was finished a new coalition government of Fine Gael (FG) and the Irish Labour party was elected. Garret FitzGerald became the new Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).]

Tuesday 30 November 1982
item mark James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, addressed the Northern Ireland Assembly and announced that the strength of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) would be increased by 500 officers and the RUC Reserve by 300.

December 1982

Monday 6 December 1982
'Droppin Well' Bomb
item mark The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) exploded a bomb at the Droppin' Well Bar and Disco in Ballykelly, County Derry, and killed 17 people (one of whom died ten days after the incident). The dead included 11 British soldiers and 6 civilians. Approximately 30 people were also injured in the blast some of them seriously. The soldiers, mainly members of the Cheshire Regiment, regularly socialised in the pub which was close to the British Army base in Ballykelly. [Tomás Ó Fiaich, then Catholic Primate of Ireland, called the killings "gruesome slaughter". Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, said: "This is one of the most horrifying crimes in Ulster's tragic history. The slaughter of innocent people is the product of evil and depraved minds, and the act of callous and brutal men." Although the bomb was small, believed to be 5lbs or 10lbs of commercial (Frangex) explosives, it had been placed next to a support pillar in the bar and when it exploded the blast brought down the roof. Many of those killed and injured were crushed by fallen masonry. In June 1986 four people recieved life sentences for the attack and a fifth person received a ten year sentence.] (See also: Sutton Index of Deaths )
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Tuesday 7 December 1982
item mark The Irish Supreme Court made a ruling which opened up the possibility of extradition between the Republic and the United Kingdom (UK). The court rejected the claim that paramilitary offences were politically motivated.

Wednesday 8 December 1982
item mark William Whitelaw, then British Home Secretary, imposed a banning order on Gerry Adams, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), and Danny Morrison, then a leading member of SF. The order was imposed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and meant that Adams and Morrison could not enter Britain. The two men had received an invitation from the Greater London Council (GLC) to go to London for a series of meetings.

Sunday 12 December 1982
'Shoot to Kill' Allegation
item mark Rodney Carroll (22) and Seamus Grew (31), both members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), were shot dead by an undercover unit of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) at a Vehicle Check Point (VCP) in Mullacreavie, County Armagh. [This became the third incident where allegations were made that the security forces were operating a 'shoot to kill' policy.]
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Tuesday 14 December 1982
item mark The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) announced that party members would not take their seats on the Northern Ireland Assembly scrutiny committees until the powers of the Speaker were clarified. [This boycott continued until February 1983.]

Thursday 16 December 1982
item mark Seamus Mallon, then Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), is removed from his Northern Ireland Assembly seat by an Election Petition Court. The reason given was that Mallon was a member of the Irish Senate at the time of the election.

Friday 17 December 1982
item mark The Michelin company announced that it was to close its factory at Mallusk, County Antrim, with the loss of over 2,000 jobs.

Monday 20 December 1982
item mark The British Parliament approved the increase in the number of Members of Parliament (MPs) representing Northern Ireland at the House of Commons from 12 to 17. [This figure was increased in 1997 to 18.] Parliament also decided that the number of members of any future Northern Ireland Assembly would be increased from 78 to 85, which represented five members per constituency.

Thursday 23 December 1982
item mark Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, paid a one day visit to Northern Ireland. She mainly spent the time visiting members of the security forces.

Monday 27 December 1982
item mark Patrick Elliott (19), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by British soldiers as he ran from a fish and chip shop which he had robbed on the Andersonstown Road, Belfast.
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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 1982.
  • 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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