By Jack Holland
With the government’s announcement last week of the implementation of the Patten commission’s recommendations on police reforms, the Royal Ulster Constabulary is passing into history.
In the 30 years of conflict, the RUC was responsible for 54 deaths. Listed below are the RUC’s victims, compiled mainly from details in "An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993," by Malcolm Sutton, and "Lost Lives: Stories of the men, women and children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland Troubles," by David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney and Chris Thornton. The last on the list, John Hemsworth, is not mentioned in either but independent evidence recently gathered warrants his inclusion here.
July 14: Francis McCloskey, 67, a pensioner, was found with a head wound following a police baton charge during a riot in Dungiven.
July 17: Samuel Devenney, 42, died three months after police allegedly beat him during disturbances in the Bogside, Derry.
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
Aug. 2: Patrick Corry, 61, died after been hit by a baton during disturbances near Unity Flats in North Belfast.
Aug. 14: John Gallagher, 30, was shot by the B-Specials during riots in Armagh.
Aug. 14: Michael Lynch, 28, was shot during disturbances in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast.
Aug. 14: Patrick Rooney, 9, was killed during disturbances in Divis Street. Tracer bullets from an RUC heavy machine gun pierced the wall of his apartment and killed him.
Aug. 15: Hugh McCabe, 20, a British soldier at home on leave, was shot during the same disturbances.
Aug. 15: Samuel McLarnon, 47, was shot during street disturbances in the Ardoyne.
Oct. 24: Martin Forsythe, 19, an IRA member, was shot by detectives after a bomb attack in Belfast city center.
Feb. 10: Joe Cunningham, 26, an IRA member, was shot during a gun battle in Glengormley, North Belfast.
March 1: John Maugham, 19, and Michael Connors, 14, were shot in a stolen van.
March 4: Albert Kavanagh, 18, an IRA man, was shot during an attempted bombing in South Belfast.
Sept. 13: Robert Warnock, 18, a UDA man, was shot during an attempted robbery in East Belfast.
May 17: Michael Leonard, 23, was shot during a car chase after allegedly ignoring several orders to halt.
March 24: Michael Herbert, 31, and Michael Cotton, 36, two British soldiers in plain clothes, were shot by mistake in County Armagh
April 5: Sean McDermot, 20, a member of the IRA, was shot by an off-duty officer while trying to steal his car.
June 11: Edward Walker, 20, a Protestant, was shot in a stolen car near Newtownabbey.
July 1: Terence O’Neill, 26, an IRA member, he was shot after carrying out a punishment shooting in West Belfast.
July 23: Michael McCartan, 16, was shot while painting slogans on a gable wall in South Belfast.
July 9: Nora McCabe, 30, a housewife, was killed by a plastic bullet as she stood at the corner of her street on the Falls Road.
Aug. 9: Peter McGuinness, 41, was killed by a plastic bullet during a riot in North Belfast.
Oct. 19: Stephen Hamilton, 24, a Protestant, was shot while riding in a stolen car in North Belfast.
Sept. 28: Ronald Brennan, 22, a Protestant, was shot while trying to rob a post office near North Belfast.
Nov. 11: Eugene Toman, 21, Sean Burns, 21, and Gervase McKerr, 31, three IRA men, were shot near Lurgan, Co. Armagh, after police alleged they had driven through a checkpoint. These and the following three killings sparked the Stalker shoot-to-kill investigation.
Nov. 24: Michael Tighe, 17, shot by undercover officers staking out a shed.
Dec. 12: Seamus Grew, 31, and Roddy Carroll, 22, both INLA men were shot after police claimed they had gone through a checkpoint.
Jan. 19: Frank McColgan, 31, was shot following a robbery in West Belfast.
March 16: William Millar, 26, a member of the UVF, was shot while en route to assassinate a group of republicans in South Belfast.
July 26: John O’Hare, 25, was shot after robbing a post office in Lurgan, Co. Armagh.
Aug. 13: Brendan Convery, 26, and James Mallon, 31, members of the INLA, were shot dead during an attack on an RUC security barrier.
Nov. 28: Brigid Foster, 80, a pensioner, was shot during an exchange of fire between the police and post office robbers in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone.
Dec. 12: Anthony Dawson, 18, was shot by a drunken off-duty officer in East Belfast.
May 14: Seamus Fitzsimmons, 21, was shot during at attempted robbery in Ballygalley, Co. Antrim.
June 15: Paul McCann, 20, an INLA man, was shot during an exchange of fire in an apartment West Belfast in which an RUC officer also died.
Aug. 12: Sean Downes, 22, was killed by a plastic bullet during an anti-internment march in West Belfast.
Dec. 17: Sean McIlvenna, 33, an IRA man, was shot after detonating a landmine.
Feb. 8: Gerard Logue, 19, was shot in a stolen car in West Belfast.
April 14: Keith White, 20, the only Protestant to be killed by a plastic bullet, died after being injured in disturbances at a loyalist march in Portadown.
Aug. 9: Seamus Duffy, 15, was killed in North Belfast by a plastic bullet during riots.
Nov. 9: Ian Johnston, 31, an RUC officer, was shot accidentally by a colleague.
April 10: Colm Marks, 29, an IRA man, he was shot in possession of a mortar in Downpatrick.
Sept. 29: Kevin McGovern, 19, a student, was shot by mistake, near Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.
Nov. 3: Gerard Maginn, 17, shot in a stolen car in West Belfast.
Feb. 4: Patrick Loughran, 61, Patrick McBride, 40, and Michael O’Dwyer, 21, were shot by an off-duty officer who was mentally disturbed. The officer then killed himself.
Nov. 25: Pearse Jordan, 23, a member of the IRA, he was shot after his car was intercepted on the Falls Road.
Jan. 1: John Hemsworth, 40, an American citizen, died due to injuries sustained six months earlier when he was allegedly batoned by the police in West Belfast.
The 54 fatalities are the lowest for any active participant in the 30-year conflict.