1992 in the North: 85 people killed in the Troubles

Peter Brooke was replaced by Patrick Mayhew as a new taoiseach was installed

1992  ended with a controversial speech  by Patrick Mayhew in which he said that Sinn Féin could be included in future talks if the IRA ended its campaign.  Photograph: Frank Miller

1992 ended with a controversial speech by Patrick Mayhew in which he said that Sinn Féin could be included in future talks if the IRA ended its campaign. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

The year 1992 began with an upsurge of IRA and loyalist violence in Northern Ireland.

On January 17th, seven Protestant building workers were killed by a massive IRA bomb at Teebane in Co Tyrone. On the same night the Secretary of State, Peter Brooke, who was attempting to kick-start a new round of political talks, sealed his fate by singing, My Darling Clementine on RTÉ’s Late Late Show. He was replaced by Sir Patrick Mayhew.

In February, three people were shot dead in a Sinn Féin office on the Falls Road by an off-duty RUC man while five Catholics were murdered by Loyalist gunmen in Sean Graham’s bookmaker’s shop on the Ormeau Road.

A few days later the SAS shot dead four IRA members who had opened fire on Coalisland RUC station.

February saw the resignation of Charles Haughey as taoiseach as the result of a phone-tapping scandal and his replacement by Albert Reynolds.

The issue of collusion continued to dominate the news and the meetings of the Anglo-Irish conferences during 1992. In January, former UDA intelligence officer and British army agent Brian Nelson was convicted of conspiracy to murder.

In March two UDR soldiers were convicted of aiding and abetting the UFF murder of South Down man, Loughlin Maginn in 1989. His murder had led to the establishment of the Stevens Inquiry into allegations of collusion.

In April, a Westminster general election returned a Conservative government under John Major. The UUP, with 35.5 per cent of the vote, and the SDLP (23.5 per cent) emerged as the strongest parties with the DUP on 13 per cent and Sinn Féin on 10 per cent. In a dramatic contest, Dr Joe Hendron defeated Gerry Adams in West Belfast.

In September, the UUP leader, James Molyneaux led his party into historic talks in Dublin.

The year ended with a controversial speech in Coleraine by Mayhew in which he said that Sinn Féin could be included in future talks if the IRA ended its campaign.

The Troubles death toll for 1992 was 85 killed.