Tullyvallen Orange Hall massacre

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Tullyvallen Orange Hall Massacre
Part of The Troubles
Tullyvallen Orange Hall - geograph.org.uk - 1442874.jpg
The front of Tullyvallen Orange Hall before the massacre
Location Tullyvallen, Newtownhamilton, Ireland
Coordinates 54°36′14″N 5°56′53″W / 54.604008°N 5.948119°W / 54.604008; -5.948119Coordinates: 54°36′14″N 5°56′53″W / 54.604008°N 5.948119°W / 54.604008; -5.948119
Date 1 September 1975
22:00 GMT
Attack type
shooting, bombing
Weapons AR-15 Rifles
Hand guns
Time bomb
Deaths 5 civilians killed
Non-fatal injuries
7 civilians injured
Perpetrator claimed by Republican Action Force
Suspected perpetrator
Provisional IRA

On 1 September 1975 Irish Republicans from the Provisional IRA using the covername South Armagh Republican Action Force carried out a gun attack on an Orange Order building (known as a Orange Hall) in Tullyvallen, Newtownhamilton, County Armagh close to the Irish border. Five people were killed in the attack and seven were injured.[1][2]

The Republican Action Force

The South Armagh Republican Action Force (SARAF) or just simply the Republican Action Force (RAF). Was a loose alliance of Republican paramilitaries who were against the 1975 IRA truce with the British government. They were a response to the Protestant Action Force (PAF) who were a cover name for the UVF when carrying out sectarian attacks on Catholics.[3][4] Most the members of this rogue group were IRA volunteers especially the ones in border counties like South Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh. There was also members of Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) involved in the group according to journalist Jack Holland.[citation needed]

Previous attacks

The attack preceded a string of tit-for-tat sectarian killings carried out by Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries as far back as February 1975 [5] on the same day as truce between the IRA and the British Army was supposed to start.[6] In August, the month before the Tullyvallen attack, Loyalists and Republicans carried out a string of sectarian attacks, leading to over 20 deaths and 100-plus injuries.

  • On 22 August three Catholics were killed in a bomb attack on a bar in Armagh. Another Catholic died of injuries caused by Loyalists a few days earlier.[7]
  • Two days later two Catholic civilians were abducted and murdered by the UVF in Armagh.[7]
  • On 30 August the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) bombed a pub in Belfast killing two Catholic civilians.[8]

Orange Hall Attack

On 1 September 1975, a few days after two Catholic civilians were had been abducted and then shot dead by the UVF a short distance way in , the South Armagh Republican Action Force claimed responsibility for a gun attack on Tullyvallen Orange Hall near Newtownhamilton, County Armagh. The attack happened at about 10pm, when a group of Orangemen were holding a meeting inside.[9] A number of the Orangemen were members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and British Army and were armed. Two gunmen entered the hall and using deadly AR-15 rifles sprayed it with bullets while another stood outside and shot through a window.[9] One of the Orangemen was an off-duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer. He returned fire with a pistol and believed he hit one of the attackers.[9][10] Five of the Orangemen, all civilians, were killed while seven others were wounded.[11] The attackers planted a 2 pounds (0.91 kg) bomb outside the hall but it failed to detonate.[9] A caller to the BBC claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was in retaliation for "the assassinations of fellow Catholics in Belfast".[12] Shortly after, the Orange Order called for the creation of a legal militia (or "Home Guard") to deal with republican paramilitaries.[9]

Aftermath

On the same day as the Tullyvallen attack, there were four other attacks that day around the six counties that lead to another five deaths. SDLP member Denis Mullen (36) was shot dead at his home by Loyalists.[13]

Two days later on 3 September Loyalists killed two Catholic civilians, a father and daughter in their house.[citation needed]

See also

Sources

  • CAIN project
  • Bowyer Bell, J (2013) The IRA, 1968-2000: An Analysis of a Secret Army. Routledge. ISBN 1136333088

References2013

  1. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Tullyvallen massacre, 40 years on: 'The memories never really go away'". www.newsletter.co.uk. Retrieved 3 July 2017. 
  3. ^ UVF - The End Game by Henry McDonald & Jim Cusack
  4. ^ McDonald, Henry; Cusack, Jim (30 June 2016). "UVF - The Endgame". Poolbeg Press Ltd. Retrieved 3 July 2017 – via Google Books. 
  5. ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. "CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict 1975". cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  8. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c d e McKittrick, David. Lost Lives. Mainstream Publishing, 1999. p.572
  10. ^ McKay, Susan. Northern Protestants: An unsettled people. Blackstaff Press, 2005. p.190
  11. ^ Melaugh, Dr Martin. "CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict 1975". cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  12. ^ English, Richard. Armed Struggle: The history of the IRA. Pan McMillen, 2004. p. 171
  13. ^ "1975 murder of SDLP man 'still fresh in my mind': daughter". www.newsletter.co.uk. Retrieved 3 July 2017. 
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