State Violence and Collusion Timeline 1972
Events related to state violence and collusion in Northern Ireland in 1972.
- 7 In a memo addressed to the General Officer Commanding British Forces, Lt. Gen. Sir Harry Tuzo, and headed 'The situation in Londonderry as at 7th January 1972', the Commander of Land Forces in the North, General Robert Ford, wrote "I am coming to the conclusion that the minimum force necessary to achieve a restoration of law and order is to shoot selected ring leaders among the DYH [Derry Young Hooligans], after clear warnings have been issued In other words, we would be reverting to the methods of IS found successful on many occasions overseas."
- 27 In a paper on 'Marches in 1972', a senior Army planner in the North, Lt Col Harry Dalzell-Payne, tried to 'anticipate some of the problems we may face on Monday 31 Jan 72, if events on Sunday prove our worst fears'. He wrote: 'We must take stronger military measures which will inevitably lead to further accusations of "brutality and ill-treatment of non-violent demonstrators".' The paper concludes: "The only additional measure left for physical control is the use of firearms i.e. "Disperse or we fire". Inevitably, it would not be the gunmen who would be killed but "innocent members of the crowd". This would be tantamount to saying "all else has failed", and for this reason must be rejected except in extremis. It cannot, however, be ruled out. We must await the outcome of the events planned for the weekend of 29/30 Jan 72."
- 30 - The Bloody Sunday massacre took place in Derry when soldiers from the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a civil rights march. 13 people died on the day, and a 14th, John Johnston, died later as a result of his injuries.
- 15 - Joe McCann, a member of the Official IRA, was shot dead by members of 1 Battalion, the Parachute Regiment on 15 April 1972.
- 13 - Patrick McVeigh is killed in Andersonstown by plain-clothes soldiers in an attack which journalist Martin Dillon suggests may have been linked to the Military Reaction Force.
- 22 - Shots are fired from a civilian car on the Glen Road, wounding two men on the street, and a third, Thomas Gerard Shaw, in the bedroom of a nearby house. It later emerges that Captain James McGregor and Sergeant Clive Graham Williams of the Military Reaction Force are in the car.
- 10 - Northern Ireland Secretary William Whitelaw presides over a Stormont meeting which concludes that "The Army should not be inhibited in its campaign by the threat of court proceedings and should therefore be suitably indemnified." It was also decided that "The GOC would see UDA leaders that afternoon and impress upon them that while their efforts as vigilantes in their own areas were acceptable, their presence in any riot or shooting situation would not be tolerated.
- 27 - Nineteen-year-old Daniel Rooney is killed and 18-year-old Brendan Brennan is wounded by a plain-clothes army patrol in the St James district. Martin Dillon suggests this attack may have been linked to the Military Reaction Force.
- 1 - . A statement asserting Rooney's innocence is read at local Catholic churches after Lt-Col Robin Evelegh of the Royal Green Jackets claimed he was an IRA gunman who had fired at the army.
- 2 - the Provisional IRA attacked the Four Square laundry van on the Twinbrook estate, killing the driver, 21-year-old Sapper Ted Stuart. His colleague Lance Corporal Sarah Jane Warke of the Royal Military Police escaped. At the same time, other IRA units attacked two offices linked to the MRF: one above a massage parlour at 397 Antrim Road, and the other at College Square East, but succeeded only in wounding a bystander.
- 31 - First Director and Co-ordinator of Intelligence (Northern Ireland) appointed. This was presumably Frederick Allan Rowley.
- 1 - At 7.58 pm, a car bomb exploded near Liberty Hall, Dublin. There were no fatalities but many people were injured. At 8.15pm a second car bomb exploded at Sackville Place, off O'Connell Street, killing a bus driver George Bradshaw (30) and a bus conductor Tommy Duffy (23). In the wake of the attack, Fine Gael withdrew their opposition to a bill being debated in the Dáil that evening to amend the Offences Against the State Act to strengthen provisions against the Provisional IRA.
- 28 - At 10.28pm on Thursday 28th December 1972 the second in a series of three co-ordinated bombs exploded in a red Ford Escort car at Main Street, Belturbet, Co, Cavan. Two young teenagers, Geraldine O'Reilly, aged 15 and Paddy Stanley, aged 16, lost their lives. Eight others were seriously injured. A bomb had previously exploded in a blue Morris 1100 car on Fermanagh Street, Clones, Co. Monaghan at 10.01pm seriously injuring two men. A third bomb exploded outside the licensed premises of Hugh Britton at Mullnagoad, near Pettigo, Co. Donegal, it had been left near the gable wall. No one was injured but the pub was extensively damaged.
- Eamonn McCann, Bloody Sunday truth 'was known 25 years ago', The Guardian, 19 September 1999.
- HISTORY – BLOODY SUNDAY – EVENTS OF THE DAY, Museum of Free Derry, accessed 7 April 2011.
- McCann Family Press Conference on the HET Report, Cedar Lounge Revolution, 31 January 2013.
- Martin Dillon, The Dirty War, Arrow Books, 1991, pp.53-55.
- Martin Dillon, The Dirty War, Arrow Books, 1991, p46.
- State Impunity was Official Policy, Relatives for Justice, 18 June 2012.
- Martin Dillon, The Dirty War, Arrow Books, 1991, p29-32.
- Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.621.
- Ronan Fanning, Co-operating on the Border against a common enemy, independent.ie, 4 January 2004.
- DUBLIN BOMBINGS OF 1st DECEMBER 1972, Justice for the Forgotten, accessed 18 June 2012.
- BELTURBET BOMBING 28th DECEMBER 1972, Justice for the Forgotten, accessed 19 June 2012.