Northern Ireland news

UDR widow Margaret Hamilton dies on 50th anniversary of husband's murder by the IRA

Margaret Hamilton passed away exactly 50 years after her husband was shot dead

THE widow of part-time UDR man killed by the IRA has died on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Margaret Hamilton passed away aged 78 on Tuesday December 20, exactly 50 years to the day that her husband Ellis Hamilton was shot dead at work in Co Derry.

The part-time UDR private was 30 in 1972 when he was targeted by an IRA sniper while working as an electrician at Croppy Hill reservoir.

From Kildoag, near Claudy, Mr Hamilton was a member of the Orange and Black institutions, and father to five-year-old Jacqueline.

His sister-in-law Mary Hamilton was injured in the Claudy bomb some five months previous.


Part-time UDR private Ellis Hamilton was shot dead by the IRA in 1972


Mrs Hamilton’s daughter said she believed her mother was now “home” alongside her late father.

“I’m devastated, my mum was my world, everything I did was for her,” she said.

“Mum never got over dad’s murder and the loss of friends in the Claudy bombings, she waited until his 50th anniversary to go home and be with him.”

Mr Hamilton's death is thought to have have triggered a reprisal by members of the UDA, who later that day open fire on customers of Annie’s Bar in the Waterside area of Derry, killing five people.

Earlier this month, Mrs Hamilton and her daughter attended a special service of remembrance and thanksgiving for her late husband at Donemana Presbyterian Church.

A service of thanksgiving will be held for Mrs Hamilton in her home on Friday at 1pm, followed by burial in Upper Cumber Cemetery.