What Happened

NOTE: The news accounts below were originally linked to the original sources. However, as many of them are now disappearing from the internet, I have quoted them here so that they will remain available to those who wish to know what happened to Ciaran. I have not made any changes in their original content.

Catholic Teenager Gunned Down in Antrim

Date: 04 July 2001 Source: The Guardian Unlimited
A 19-year-old Catholic man was shot dead today in Northern Ireland in a killing that police have described as "professional and well organised".

Body of Slain Man Removed from Scene

Date 04 July 2001 Source: AP
The body of Mr Ciaran Cummings is removed from the scene of his death in Greystone outside Antrim town yesterday. Photograph: Peter Morrison/AP

Fear follows shooting of Catholic

Date: 05 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
By Monika Unsworth, in Antrim
Fear and hostility were palpable on Antrim's Greystone Estate Thursday afternoon as shoppers hurried home, keen to avoid eye contact with neighbours and strangers.

Killing of Catholic on way to work condemned

Date: 05 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
By Suzanne Breen, in Belfast
Nationalists have been warned to be vigilant following the killing of a Catholic man in Antrim. Sinn Féin and the SDLP have said the murder was sectarian. There was growing concern last night of further attacks as tension mounts in advance of Sunday when loyalists will gather at Drumcree after the Orange Order was banned from marching down the Garvaghy Road.

Catholic Teenager Killed by LVF Says Sinn Féin

Date: 05 July 2001 Source: An Phoblacht/Republican News
Ciaran Cummings, the Catholic teenager shot dead in Antrim on 4 July, had been threatened by loyalists, says Sinn Féin councillor Martin McManus, who blames the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) for the killing.

Trimble blames republicans for murder of Catholic

Date: 05 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
Ulster Unionist leader Mr David Trimble today said there was "good reason" to suspect the 19-year-old Catholic man killed in Co Antrim yesterday was murdered by republicans. The former First Minister suggested the fatal shooting of Mr Ciaran Cummings as he waited at a roundabout on the outskirts of Antrim town could be linked to drugs.

Loyalist murder victim buried in Antrim

Date: 07 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
Loyalist murder victim Ciaran Cummings will never be "a mere statistic" of Northern Ireland's Troubles, as long as family and friends remember him, mourners at his funeral in Antrim were told today.

Trimble Allegations Cause Outrage, Consternation

Date: 06 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
By Monika Unsworth, in Belfast
The RUC officer in charge of the investigation of the murder of Ciaran Cummings, Detective Superintendent John Brannigan, flatly contradicted suggestions by resigned First Minister David Trimble that Mr. Cummings was shot by nationalists involved in drug dealing, saying there was "no information to suggest that republicans were involved". An RUC spokesman confirmed that while Mr Cummings had a number of minor criminal convictions none of them was in any way drugs-related. Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist sources appeared bewildered by Mr Trimble's comments, with a party spokesman saying the UUP leader had not been briefed by party headquarters on the matter.

Trimble apologises over murder claim

Date: 06 July 2001 Source: BBC News
Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble apologised to the family of an County Antrim teenager shot dead on Wednesday. The former Northern Ireland first minister had claimed the murder of 19-year-old Ciaran Cummings was a result of a link with drugs and had been carried out by republicans.

Motorbike Possibly Linked to Slaying

Date: 06 July 2001 Source: BBC News
Police hunting the killers of a Catholic teenager who was shot dead on 4 July are examining a black motorbike found at a garage in a loyalist area of Antrim.

Trimble apologises to Cummings family

Date: 07 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
By Paul Tanney, in Belfast
The Ulster Unionist leader has apologised to the family of a County Antrim teenager shot dead on Wednesday after he linked his death with drugs.

Tribute paid at funeral of Catholic murder victim

Date: 09 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
By Michael Bradley, in Belfast
The name Ciaran Cummings will soon be forgotten by all but the friends and family of the 19-year-old shot dead in Antrim, the Bishop of Down and Connor, Dr Patrick Walsh, told mourners at his funeral on Saturday.

Protestants and Republicans Alike Join In Offering Condolences

Date: 10 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
Ciaran's mother reports receiving condolences from all over the Republic of Ireland and from her Protestant neighbors as well.

RUC discover motorbike and weapons in Antrim forest

Date: 12 July 2001 Source: The Irish Times
By Niamh O'Donoghue
The RUC are investigating a possible link between a stolen motorbike, a cache of amuunition, pistols, rifles, a smoke grenade and a flare uncovered at Tardrey forest in Antrim last night and the murder of Catholic teenager, Ciaran Cummings.

Same Terrorist Group Kills Protestant Teenager in Front of Glengormley Sports Club

Date: 03 August 2001 Source: The Irish Times
RUC officers today arrested two men in connection with the murder of Gavin Brett, the Protestant teenager shot dead outside a Catholic sports club in Glengormley, on the outskirts of Belfast. Mr Brett (18) died in the arms of his paramedic father after he was hit by gunfire in a drive-by shooting claimed by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD). The murdered teenager was with friends outside St Enda's GAA Club when he was hit by gunfire intended for Catholics in the group.

Antrim Residents Continue to Live in Fear

Date: 16 June 2002 Source: Sinn Fein Antrim
Loyalist thugs continue to make threats and carry out bombings and beatings against Catholic residents of Antrim. Part of this attack included the painting of death threats on roads, pathways and lamps outside of St. Malachy's Catholic School, which Ciaran's family went out and painted over. Despite wide publicity in local newspapers, authorities seem to be helpless to stop the intimidation.

Diane Byrne interviews Kathleen Cummings

Date: 23 June, 2002
Diane V. Byrnes, the producer and host of "Echoes of Erin", a weekly radio program on WEDO-AM, Sundays at 1 to 2 p.m., inteviews Ciaran's mother, Kathleen Cummings, about what it is like to lose her son to sectarian violence.

Cummings family continues to be victimized, along with many others

Source: Sinn Fein Antrim
Ciaran is only one of many victims of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. Protestant Trevor Lowrey was beaten to death by thugs who thought he was Catholic. Eighteen year old Gavin Brett was gunned down while standing with friends in front of the GAA Club in Glengormly. Postal worker Daniel McColgan, 20, was killed on his way to work in a North Belfast Post Office. These young people and more have died at the hands of the terrorists, who continue to intimidate their families by vandalizing graves and memorials and threatening them.

Loyalists Continue Taunts on Anniversary

Date: 4 July, 2002
Photo taken at a tourist spot in Antrim town close to Lough Neagh Antrim Arena. featured in Irish news service

Date: 28 July, 2002
Journalist Máirtin Ó Muilleoir has written a wonderful piece, telling people about this web site and why it was created. He deserves a lot of gratitude for helping with the effort to keep Ciaran's memory alive.

Belfast residents rally for peace, urge political parties and paramilitaries to get on board

Date: 02-August, 2002 Source: RM_Distribution
Backed by trade unions, church leaders and nearly all the political parties, Mr Maskey, Belfast's first Sinn Fein Mayor, had called the huge demonstration after Catholic teenager Gerard Lawlor was gunned down by the loyalist UDA two weeks ago

Updated Book cites those killed during "peacetime"

Date: 12-June-2004 Source: The Belfast Telegraph
The book Lost Lives charts the human stories of the victims of the Troubles. Now, a new edition of the book includes those killed since the paramilitary ceasefires. for, as one of the book's co-authors Chris Thornton points out, even in "peacetime", the killings continue. (Includes a comment from Ciaran's mother, expressing appreciation for the support and condolences given the family by both Catholic and Protestant, despite continued actions by unionist terrorists, and a list of the killings up to June, 2004)

Antebellum Antrim Town - still a cold house for Catholics and a fridge freezer for Irish Republicans

Date: 14-July-2004 Source: The Blanket
Ciaran's name is still used in loyalist gang graffitti to terrorize Antrim Catholics and Republicans, while the Police Service of Northern Ireland do nothing to stem the tide of hate and violence fomented by these thugs.

Red Hand Defenders Still Active

Date: 17-March-2006 Source: The Belfast Telegraph
A caller claiming to belong to the Red Hand Defenders claimed the group had left explosive devices at a St Patrick's Day commemoration in Dungannon.

NOTE: Ciaran is mentioned several other times in news reports, but generally just in passing reference during a report on some other issue. For instance, his name comes up on several lists of terrorist victims for 2001, and he is mentioned as an additional victim in reports of other murders by loyalists in Northern Ireland. Since these reports provide no new information, I have not reproduced them here. However, it is interesting that since mid-July 2001, police do not appear to have announced any further discoveries in the case, nor has anyone been questioned, arrested or charged, as far as I am aware. This speaks very poorly of either their investigative expertise or their desire to find and punish those who murdered Ciaran.

If you have any additional reports or sources of information which should be included here, please e-mail them to me and I will investigate. Thank you.

Background on the Terrorists

Terrorist Group Profiles: Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
Dudley Knox Library
US Naval Postgraduate School
From: Patterns of Global Terrorism, 2000. United States Department of State, April 2001.

CAIN Abstract of Organizations
Conflict Archive on the INternet

BBC News—Background Information on Northern Ireland
Red Hand Defenders

Red Hand Defenders admit bomb attacks
RTE News Online—Sunday, January 24 1999

Red Hand Defenders Admit Killing Rosemary Nelson
By T. R. Reid Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, March 16, 1999; Page A13

Red Hand Defenders Responsible for Murdering Belfast Lawyer
US Department of State Patterns of Global Terrorism
Europe Overview, 1999

Loyalist Groups Gear Up for "Orange Jihad"
29 June 1999—Red Hand Defenders and Orange Volunteers, splinter groups composed of radical members of LVF and UVF, promise to "pull the teeth of the Celtic Tiger."

British Parliament's Rationale for Adding the Red Hand Defenders to the List of Proscribed Groups
Draft Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (Specified Organisations) Order 1999

Official British Parliamentary Action Proscribing the Red Hand Defenders and the Orange Volunteers
Approved 3 March 1999, in force 4 March 1999.
Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 525
The Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1996 (Amendment) Order 1999

The Loyalist Network's Description of the Red Hand Defenders

Background on life and murder of Belfast human rights defender Rosemary Nelson
Killed in pipe bomb attack 15 March 1999 by Red Hand Defenders

Links to Related Sites

Twinbrook Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee
Tribute to the victims of the 1981 hunger strike in Long Kesh prison and those killed by plastic and rubber bullets in Ireland.

Lyrics to song "Ciaran Cummings"


This page last updated 21-Mar-2006