1972 in Northern Ireland
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- January 17 - The "West Belfast Seven" Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) internees escape from prison ship Maidstone moored in Belfast Lough by swimming ashore.
- January 30 - Bloody Sunday: Thirteen unarmed civilians are shot dead in Derry as British paratroopers open fire on a banned civil rights march. A fourteenth, John Johnston, is also to die some months later after having been shot by a paratrooper.
- February 9 - A day of disruption takes place in Northern Ireland as people take to the streets in protest.
- February 10 - The IRA[which?] announces a ceasefire.
- February 12 - William Craig launches the Ulster Vanguard movement in Lisburn.
- March 28 - Northern Ireland Parliament suspended after Prime Minister Brian Faulkner resigns. Direct rule introduced.
- April 19 - A report by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery, into the Bloody Sunday shootings exonerates the British troops of blame because the demonstration had been illegal.
- May 30 - The Official Irish Republican Army declares a ceasefire in Northern Ireland.
- June 3 - A Protestant demonstration in Derry against the creation of "no-go" areas in the city ends in violence.
- June 13–14 - The Provisional Irish Republican Army proposes a ceasefire. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), as intermediaries, make offer to British, who accept terms.
- July 9 - End of British–IRA ceasefire.
- July 21 - Bloody Friday: Nine people die and over one hundred are injured in a series of Provisional IRA explosions in Belfast city centre.
- July 31
- Operation Motorman, 4:00 AM: British Army begins to regain control of the "no-go areas" established by Irish republican paramilitaries in Belfast, Derry and Newry.
- Claudy bombing (“Bloody Monday”), 10:00 AM: Three car bombs in Claudy, County Londonderry, kill six immediately with three dying later in hospital. It becomes public knowledge only in 2010 that that a local Catholic priest was an IRA officer believed to be involved in the bombings but his rôle was covered up by the authorities.
- July - Shankill Butchers begin killing Catholics.
- September 10 - Three British soldiers are killed and four injured when the IRA blows up their Saracen armoured personnel carrier at Sanaghanroe near Dungannon.
- September 25 - Darlington conference on the future of Northern Ireland opens.
- 1972 is the worst year for casualties in The Troubles, with 497 people killed (including 130 British soldiers) and 4,876 injured.
Arts and literature
- The Planning (Northern Ireland) Order first provides for listed buildings in Northern Ireland.
- Seamus Deane's poetry Gradual Wars is published.
- Winners: Glentoran
- On 13 October 1972 Derry City withdraws from senior football in the Irish League due to security problems in the Brandywell Stadium area.
- Ulster Grand Prix cancelled due to the political situation.
- Alex Higgins wins the World Professional Snooker Championship.
- 15 January - Derek Heasley, cricketer.
- 24 January - Éamonn Burns, Gaelic footballer.
- 12 February - Owen Nolan, ice hockey player.
- 6 March - Terry Murphy, snooker player.
- 24 April - Sinéad Morrissey, poet.
- 21 June - Neil Doak, former cricketer and rugby player.
- 9 July - Darren Corbett, boxer.
- 6 September - Gary Arbuthnot, flautist.
- 1 November
- 24 November - Iain Jenkins, soccer player.
- 28 November - Bronagh Gallagher, actress and singer.
- Full date unknown
- 22 February - Eva McGown, Official Hostess of Fairbanks and Honorary Hostess of Alaska (born 1883).
- 15 April - Joe McCann, Official Irish Republican Army volunteer killed by British soldiers (born 1947).
- Hamill, Desmond (1985). Pig in the Middle: The Army in Northern Ireland, 1969-1984. London: Methuen. p. 95. ISBN 0413508005.
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- "Larkspirit Irish History".[dead link]
- "1972: 'Bloody Sunday' report excuses Army". On This Day. BBC. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "1972: Official IRA declares ceasefire". On This Day. BBC. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "1972: Protestant march ends in battle". On This Day. BBC. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict - 1972
- "Claudy bomb: conspiracy allowed IRA priest to go free". BBC News Northern Ireland. 2010-08-24. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- "A Chronology of the Conflict - 1979". Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN). Retrieved 29 January 2010.
- Edwards, Aaron (2011). The Northern Ireland Troubles: Operation Banner 1969-2007. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. pp. 40–44,88. ISBN 978-1-84908-525-0.