Thursday 12 December 2019


The Provisional IRA shot dead two policemen in the village of Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone.  The two RUC men were patrolling in an unmarked car in the early hours of the morning.  As they pulled up to the junction at Main Street/Coneen Street, two terrorists armed with automatic weapons attacked from either side, spraying the car with more than 20 bullets.  The IRA later claimed to have fired on an army helicopter that had been deployed following the killings.

The two murdered officers were Andrew Beacom and Ernest Smith.  Constable Beacom, 46, lived on the same street he was murdered and left a widow and three children.  His wife Jean heard the shooting and was one of the first people on the scene, but her husband had already perished.  Constable Beacom had served in the RUC for almost 24 years.

Reserve Constable Smith, 49, came from the village of Augher and was married with two children.  He had been a police reservist for 19 years.

Andrew Beacom and Ernest Smith of the Royal Ulster Constabulary