The Troubles in Ballymoney

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The Northern Irish Troubles resulted in 14 deaths in or near the County Antrim town of Ballymoney. Seven people were killed by various loyalist groups, four by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and three by the British Army. Two IRA members and one British soldier were killed in a gun battle between undercover soldiers and the IRA in Dunloy, near Ballymoney, in 1984. A former member of the IRA was also killed by the Ulster Freedom Fighters in 1992. Two of the other victims were members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary; one was killed by an IRA booby trap bomb in 1978, and the other was beaten to death by a non-specific loyalist group in 1997. Another victim was a prison officer killed by the IRA. The other seven victims were all civilians; five Catholics and two Protestants.

One incident to occur in Ballymoney during the Troubles was the Quinn brothers' killings in July 1998. The three Catholic brothers, aged 9, 10 and 11, were killed during a sectarian Ulster Volunteer Force petrol bomb attack on their home at Carnany Park, in a predominantly Protestant area of Ballymoney. The family had only moved into the house the previous week. The mother and her partner escaped, but couldn't save the three children. The incident followed a number of sectarian threats and attacks in the area at the height of the Drumcree protests in Portadown. There was widespread local and international condemnation of the attack. Strong condemnation came from Democratic Unionist Party leader, Ian Paisley, about these killings in his constituency, but he told Independent Television News that "the IRA carried out far worse murders than we had at Ballymoney, over and over again". Just over a week later a Ballymoney man was charged with murder.


  • McKittrick, D, Kelters, S, Feeney, B and Thornton, C. Lost Lives. Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 1999, pp. 1434 to 1436. ISBN 1-84018-227-X

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