Strand Bar bombing

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Strand Bar bombing
Part of the Troubles
Welcome to Short Strand.jpg
An entrance to Short Strand
LocationAnderson Street, Short Strand, Belfast
Coordinates54.59805, -5.90936
Date12 April 1975
21:00 (GMT)
TargetIrish Republicans,
Irish Nationalists
Irish Catholics
Attack type
Time bomb
WeaponsExplosives and a pistol
Deaths6
Injuries
~50
PerpetratorRed Hand Commando (a group linked to Ulster Volunteer Force)

The Strand Bar Bombing was a gun and bomb attack carried out by the Loyalist Paramilitary organisation Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in Belfast in 1975. The blast destroyed most of the building and killed six civilians and injured about 50 more.[1]

Background[edit]

The Provisional IRA (PIRA) and British government entered into a truce and talks in February 1975.[2] This led Loyalists to believe they were about to be sold into a United Ireland and this provoked the Loyalist paramilitaries, the UDA and UVF, into stepping up their sectarian campaigns against the nationalist community. On the 15 March two people were killed and 15 others injured in an attack on Conway's Bar.[3] A week before the Strand Bar attack on the 5 April, the UVF using a covername " The Protestant Action Force " bombed McLaughlin's Bar in the New Lodge area of Belfast killing two more Catholic civilians. In retaliation for McLaughlin's bar bombing the Republican Action Force blew up a Protestant owned pub the same day, killing 5 and injuring 60 people, which was the worst bombing of the year so far.[4][5]

Strand Bar attack[edit]

The UVF's Belfast Brigade Staff (its ruling body) argued for the need to hit back even harder after the Mountainview Tavern attack as a show of strength to the Republicans.

The attack was a no-warning bombing When the UVF decided to strike the bar was packed with many elderly people in the bar. A white car stopped right outside the bar door and UVF members threw the bomb in. Right after the bomb had been thrown in a burst of shots was directed inside the pub, probably to deter anbody from trying to escape and the explosion came just seconds after the shots of gunfire. People trying to rescue others were hindered when a wall fell down and several more people were injured. Some of the 50 or so injured were badly mutilated with some losing legs and arms. Witness say they saw the white car speed off in to the direction of Loyalist East Belfast. In the confusion a man shot and badly injured as he drove slowly past the bombed pub. After this attack the IRA leadership in Dublin gave their units in Belfast the permission to retaliate to attacks of this nature. The people killed in the attack were Mary McAleavey (57), Elizabeth Carson (64), Marie Bennett (42), Agnes McAnoy (62), Arthur Penn (33) and Michael Mulligan (33) [6]

Aftermath[edit]

As the same as the gun & bomb attack a member of the Official IRA was killed by the Irish National Liberation Army along The Falls Road in Belfast bringing the number of dead to seven for the day. This killing was part of an on-going feud between the INLA & OIRA.[7] The Loyalist paramilitary on-slaught against the Nationalist & Catholic community continued at an ever growing pace & became more brutal as time went on. Republicans retaliated with attacks on Protestant civilians

  • Nine days later on the 21 April three Catholics, two brothers and a sister were killed when the UVF booby-trapped their family home in Dunganon in Tyrone.[8]
  • Six days later on the 27 April three Catholic civilians were shot dead near a social club near Lurgan.[9]
  • On the 23 May two Catholics were shot dead by the UVF near Lurgan.[10]
  • 10 Days later on the 3 June the South Armagh Republican Action Force killed two Protestant civilians and a UDR soldier in Killen, South Armagh.[11]

Tensions were high as the North seemed liked it was braced for an onslaught from both sides. Some of the worst attacks happened that summer and autumn like the UVF McGleenan's Bar bombing which killed three, one of the most shocking attacks of the whole war again by the UVF - the Miami Showband killings which killed another 3 civilians, the Bayardo Bar attack by the PIRA which people believe was in response to the Miami attacks, the Tullyvallen Orange Hall massacre by the IRA which killed 5 people, the Belfast and Coleraine attacks, 1975 by the UVF which killed 12 (8 of whom were civilians), the Drummuckavall Ambush were the IRA killed 3 British soldiers in an ambush and the Donnelly's Bar and Kay's Tavern attacks which killed 5 and injured 26 carried out by the UVF with help from the UDR.[12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Major deaths in, or associated with, the Troubles Northern Ireland 1969-1998". Wesleyjohnston.com.
  2. ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. "CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict 1975". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  3. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  4. ^ "Scene following Provisional IRA bomb at Mountainview Tavern Belfast N Ireland April 1975 - Victor Patterson". Victorpatterson.photoshelter.com.
  5. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "CAIN: Paul Crawford (25), then a member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), was shot dead on the Falls Road, Belfast. This killing was another in the feud between the OIRA and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  8. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  9. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  10. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Ccain.ulst.ac.uk.
  11. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  12. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  13. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Ccain.ulst.ac.uk.
  14. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  15. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  16. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  17. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.
  18. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk.

News report[edit]