Monday 27 July 2020


The Provisional IRA murdered an off duty policeman in his home in Ballymena, Co Antrim.  Constable Norman Kennedy was on sick leave at the time and was watching television with his wife when the gunmen broke in.  Just after midnight two masked terrorists smashed down his back door with a sledgehammer and burst into the living room.  One was armed with a submachine gun and the other a revolver.  The policeman had no time to react and was shot ten times.  His distraught wife was unhurt during the shooting, after which the terrorists fled.  Their 14-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter were upstairs asleep at the time.

The murder was a cruel twist as the family had been forced to leave their previous home by loyalist paramilitaries.  Ten months earlier the family had to leave the town of Limavady, 30 miles away in Co Londonderry, after loyalist protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement led to dozens of police officers being displaced.  Const Kennedy's sister told journalists:  "When they left Limavady we thought his troubles were behind him.  Then this happens".

Constable Norman Kennedy

Constable Kennedy was 41.  The IRA claimed responsibility for his murder later the same day.