Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) member and self-confessed participant in more than thirty killings, Dominic ‘Mad Dog’ McGlinchey was blasted to death by gunmen who used pump-action shotguns in an ambush in Drogheda, Co Louth. His 18-year-old son was with him when he died.
A former ‘chief of staff’ of the Irish National Liberation Army, he had been a marked man since being released from prison in the Republic of Ireland in 1993. He had already survived one attempt on his life – in June 1993, a bullet lodged in his skull but did not kill him.
It had been an open secret that he was on the death list of a prominent republican family based in the border area of south Armagh. The family held McGlinchey and his late wife, Mary, responsible for killing one of their own in 1983. Family members shot dead Mrs McGlinchey in 1987 and have since reputedly been waiting for their chance to kill her husband.
A native of Derry, McGlinchey was originally an IRA member and in the late 1970s led a much-feared gang held responsible for the killing of members of the security forces. However, he was considered ill-disciplined by the IRA and broke with it.
Switching allegiance to the smaller INLA, he instituted a wave of violence in border areas. The 1982 shootings of republicans by the RUC, later became known as the ‘Stalker affair,’ were reputedly aimed at eliminating McGlinchey.
In a 1983 newspaper interview he claimed he had carried out about thirty murders and more than 200 other operations against the security forces. Those included the 1982 Ballykelly disco bombing in which six soldiers and 11 civilians were killed.
He made legal history by becoming the first republican to be extradited from the Republic of Ireland to the North of Ireland. Previous extradition requests had been rejected when defendants claimed the offence was politically motivated, but the Irish supreme court said the charge against him – the ‘revolting and cowardly crime’ of shooting an elderly woman – could not be described as political activity.
Featured photo: McGlinchey with Francis Hughes (who died on hunger strike in 1981) when they were both on the run, c. 1970’s