Hugh Doherty (Irish republican)

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Hugh Doherty is an Irish republican and former volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army. He is noted for his role in the Balcombe Street Siege of December 1975, at the resolution of which he was sentenced to eleven terms of life imprisonment for murder, with a judicial recommendation he serve at least 30 years.[1][2][3]

Doherty and fellow members of his active service unit had targeted civilians, off-duty soldiers, policemen and politicians as part of the IRA's campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland.[4][5][6][7] During this time they are believed to have killed sixteen people in England[8] including Ross McWhirter, who had offered a reward for their arrest, and Gordon Hamilton-Fairley. Doherty served 23 years in British prisons before being transferred to Portlaoise prison in Ireland. He made an appearance at the 1998 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis at which the party accepted the Belfast Agreement, under the terms of which Doherty was later released from prison.[1]

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland,[9] and now works as an artist in Ireland.[8] He is the brother of Sinn Féin MP and MLA Pat Doherty.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Balcombe Street gang's reign of terror". BBC News. 9 April 1999. Retrieved 26 August 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "1975: Balcombe Street siege ends". BBC News. 12 December 1975.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 2010: Hugh Launches New Website displaying his Art Click To Visit
  4. War in the Shadows: The Guerrilla in History Volume 2 by Robert B. Asprey (ISBN 978-0-595-22594-1), page 1125
  5. Global Geopolitics: A Critical Introduction by Klaus Dodds (ISBN 978-0-273-68609-5), page 205
  6. British Civilization by John Oakland (ISBN 978-0-415-26150-0), page 108
  7. Northern Ireland by Jonathan Tonge (ISBN 978-0-7456-3141-7), page 2
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ruth Dudley Edwards
  10. "Balcombe Street gang to be freed". BBC News. 9 April 1999.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>