The Troubles

Much has been written, and will continue to be written about the period in our recent history that has become known as “The Troubles” and which has touched the lives of many people, not just here but across the island of Ireland, in Britain, Europe and beyond.

For almost 25 years until the ceasefires (1994) and for a number of years after this time, media reports of the conflict that claimed the lives of more than 3,600 people were an almost daily occurrence. No town, village or community was left unscathed by these tragic events.

It is not for the Society to speculate on the reasons for the Troubles and the legacy that remains, we can leave that to the politicians and academics. In this section however, we simply record the names of those who died and who came from this area or, in the case of Michael Boxwell, was killed here.

Adam Johnston (15th March 1974) was killed when a lorry bomb exploded in Queen Street, Magherafelt. He was 34 years old. Adam came originally from Tamlaghtduff.

Colm McCartney (24th August 1975) was shot while travelling by car after having been stopped at a bogus vehicle checkpoint near Newtownhamilton, County Armagh. He was 22 years old.

Clifford Evans (5th January 1976) was 30 years old. He was a member of the RUC when he was shot dead by a sniper while on mobile patrol near Castledawson.

John Arrell (22nd January 1976) was a member of the UDR and was shot while travelling home in his firm’s minibus through Clady, Portglenone. John was 32 years old.

David McQuillan (15th March 1977) was also a member of the UDR and was shot dead near his home at Mullaghboy Road. He was 36 years old.

William Strathearn (19th April 1977) lived in Ahoghill near Ballymena. He was shot when he answered a late night call to his shop from someone requesting assistance. He was 39 years old

Francis Hughes (12th May 1981) originally from Tamlaghtduff and a cousin of Thomas McElwee, was 25 years old when he died on hunger strike after 59 days as part of the Republican prisoners campaign for political status.

Thomas McElwee (8th August 1981) like his cousin Francis Hughes was also from Tamlaghtduff. He was 23 years old when he died on hunger strike after 62 days.

Mary McGlinchey (31st January 1987) was 32 years old when she was shot in front of her two young children at their home in Dundalk. Mary was the wife of former INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey who was killed later in 1994.

Michael Boxwell (6th November 1991) Michael Boxwell was a member of the UDR and came from Coleraine. He was 27 years old when he was killed in a horizontal mortar attack on his mobile patrol near the Chapel.

Dominic McGlinchey (10th February 1994) Dominic was killed in front of his son while at a public telephone kiosk near his home in Drogheda. He was 42 years old when he was shot and was the former leader of the INLA.

Kathleen O’Hagan (7th August 1994) Kathleen (nee McPeake) came originally from Culbane, Ballynease. She was 38 years old and seven months pregnant when she was shot as she lay in her bed with her eighteen month old child at Greencastle near Omagh.

Sean Brown (12th May 1997) Sean, aged 61, was abducted from the local GAA club and was later found shot dead near Randalstown.

During an earlier period in our history, also euphemistically referred to as the Troubles, Constable John Harvey was killed and Sergeant Kerr wounded in an IRA attack on the RIC barracks on 22nd May 1922. Three members of the IRA were later captured by the B Specials.

1 thought on “The Troubles

  1. Hello. My name is John Strathern. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. My family is the Stratherns, Bellaghy. My great grandfather was William Strathern. He had a house and farmed land on Killyberry Lane after serving in the 2nd Regimen Bengal Fusiliers from 1849 to 1860, in the India campaigns. My relatives own the land and have relatives throughout the Bellaghy area. Other ancestry names in the area: Diamond, Kennedy, Keilt, Cunningham etc. I am going to ask my brother Richard to send a picture of the Strathern family homestead circa 1912. The Strathern family is in the 1901 and 1911 Irish census: Killyberry, Bellaghy, Magherafelt, County Derry. My father William had to leave for political reasons in 1923. I have visiited Ireland a few times since 1911.

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