Northern Ireland The Forgotten War
These posts are not to promote any paramilitary group it is merely showing incidents that the RGJ might have been caught up in during their tours.
Events of the
Provisional I R A
1982 to 1987
8th January 1982: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA while working at a petrol station on the Antrim Road, Belfast.
19th January 1982: John Torbitt, an alleged informant, was shot dead by the IRA at his home in Lenadoon, Belfast.
5th March 1982: Seamus Morgan, an alleged inofrmant, was shot dead by the IRA in Forkhill, County Armagh.
15th March 1982: The IRA detonated a large car-bomb on Bridge Street, Banbridge, County Down following a warning to evacuate the area. One civilian was killed.
23rd March 1982: A British coal ship, the St. Bedan, was bombed and sunk by an IRA unit while at anchor in Lough Foyle.
25th March 1982: Rfn Daniel Holland, Rfn Nicholas Malakos, Rfn Anthony Rapley. A mobile patrol was escorting an RAF Sgt from Springfield Road RUC to North Howard Street Mill. The IRA had taken over a house in Cavendish St, holding an 81 year-old woman, her daughter and son-in-law hostage for 11 hours before the attack. A firing point was set up by the gunmen and as the two rovers left the station and drove into Cavendish St, they opened fire with assault rifles and an M-60 machine gun. As they came under heavy fire the front vehicle sped away; fire-fight was then switched to the second vehicle which stopped. Rfn Rapley was killed instantly; Rfn Holland and Rfn Malakos died later of their injuries. The RAF Sgt and four civilians were also injured in this attack. For bravery shown the lead vehicle driver, a corporal, was awarded the Military Medal for his action in assaulting the occupied house, a booby-trap device was later defused from the rear of the house.
28th March 1982: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA in Patrick Street, Derry.
1st April 1982: Two British soldiers were killed in an IRA sniper ambush outside Rosemount British Army base in Derry. Both soldiers were traveling in a British Army van when they came under fire.
2nd April 1982: An RUC officer was badly wounded in a gun attack on New Barnsley RUC Station in West Belfast. The officer died of his injuries on 16th April.
20th April 1982: The IRA launched a massive bombing offensive in Northern Ireland. A bank in Strabane was hit by a 900 kg carbomb; a garage and car showroom in Armagh was destroyed by three firebombs; a car bomb exploded at the Linen Hall in Ballymena; a 900 kg carbomb exploded in Derry and another 900 kg device was detonated in Bessbrook followed by a smaller 40 kg device which detonated in Bessbrook some hours later, and finally another carbombing in Magherafelt.
27th April 1982: A UDR soldier was shot dead in an IRA gun attack in Lisnagelvin, Derry.
30th April 1982: A British soldier was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in struck an IRA landmine in Belleek, County Fermanagh.
4th May 1982: An RUC officer was shot dead in an IRA sniper attack in The Diamond area of Derry.
12th May 1982: – Thomas Cunningham, ex-UDR soldier, shot dead in Fountain Park, Strabane.
11th June 1982: An RUC officer was killed in an IRA booby-trap bomb attack in the Shantallow area of Derry.
15th June 1982: An off-duty UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA in Strabane, County Tyrone.
20th July 1982: The Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings: In Hyde Park, a bomb killed two members of the British Army’s Household Cavalry performing ceremonial duties in the park, and seven of their horses were also killed. Another device exploded underneath a bandstand in Regent’s Park, killing seven bandsmen from the British Army’s Royal Green Jackets ( WOI. G.Barker, Bdsm. J.Heritage, SJT. R.Livinstone, Cpl. J.McKnight, Bdsm. G.Mesure, Bdsm. K.Powell, Bdsm. L.Smith,) as they played music to spectators.
27th July 1982: IRA volunteers fired machine-guns and a rocket at two RUC landrovers from an occupied house in West Belfast. Four RUC officers were hurt.
28th August 1982: Twenty-four buses were firebombed by the IRA at the Ulsterbus depot in County Armagh.
20th September 1982: A British soldier was killed when an IRA unit fired a rocket at his observation post at Springfield Road British Army barracks in Belfast.
1st October 1982: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA in Drum Manor, Tyrone.
14th October 1982: The IRA carried out a bomb attack on a British Army foot-patrol in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast.
22th October 1982: An off-duty UDR soldier was kidnapped in Glenanne, County Armagh. He was shot dead and his body was found on 29th October at Lislea, County Armagh. He was also a member of the Orange Order.
27th October 1982: Three RUC officers were killed in an IRA landmine attack on their patrol vehicle at Oxford Island, County Armagh.
30th October 1982: An IRA rocket hit an armoured vehicle carrying 12 British soldiers and RUC officers on Lower Falls Road, Belfast. No injuries were reported.
9th November 1982: An RUC officer and a civilian were killed in an IRA bomb attack in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
10th November 1982: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA shortly after leaving the Customs Office in Armagh town. He was also a member of the Orange Order.
11th November 1982: Three IRA volunteers were shot dead in an undercover RUC ambush in Craigavon, County Armagh.
16th November 1982: The IRA killed UVF leader Lenny Murphy outside his girlfriend’s house in Forthriver Park, Belfast. Murphy, who had been responsible for up to 20 sectarian killings which were carried out by his Shankill Butchers gang, was shot over 20 times at close range by two IRA volunteers.
19th December 1982: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA on Windmill Avenue, Armagh town.
6th January 1983: Two RUC officers were shot dead by the IRA while on patrol in Rostrevor, County Down.
16th January 1983: William Doyle, a judge, was shot dead by the IRA in Belfast.
18th January 1983: An off-duty RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA at a supermarket in Derry.
19th February 1983: A civilian was shot dead by the IRA near Enniskillen, Fermanagh. He had been mistaken for an off-duty British soldier.
20th February 1983: An RUC officer was killed by the IRA in a drive-by shooting at Warrenpoint RUC barracks.
21st February 1983: An RUC officer on foot-patrol was killed by an IRA remote-controlled bomb attack on Lower English Street, Armagh town.
25th February 1983: An off-duty UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA at his workplace in Ballygawley, Tyrone.
2nd March 1983: A female RUC officer was shot dead by an IRA sniper while she was on foot-patrol in the Greencastle area of Belfast.
15th March 1983: An off-duty RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA on Tandragee Road, Newry. He was also a member of the Orange Order.
17th March 1983: The IRA launched a gun and rocket attack on a British mobile patrol in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast.
18th March 1983: The IRA badly wounded a British soldier after his Saracen armoured vehicle was hit with an IRA rocket in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast. The vehicle was then sprayed with machine gun fire before the IRA unit made its escape.
31st March 1983: The IRA carried out a bomb attack on a British patrol in the Falls area of Belfast. One British soldier was badly injured and died of his wounds eight days later.
9th April 1983: A British soldier was killed in an IRA booby-trap bomb attack in Omagh, Tyrone.
( 10th April 1983: Rfn David Grainger Thought to have been shot by IRA in Belleek )
13th April 1983: An off-duty British Territorial Army soldier was shot dead by the IRA in Keady, County Armagh. He was also a member of the Orange Order.
16th May 1983: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA outside his home in Belfast.
24th May 1983: Andersonstown British Army barracks was devastated when the IRA detonated a massive van-bomb outside the front gate.
10th June 1983: A British soldier was killed when the IRA detonated a bomb hidden in a lamp-post as a British Army foot patrol passed in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast.
13th July 1983: Four UDR soldiers were killed when their vehicle struck an IRA landmine near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.
10th August 1983: Fort Pegasus British Army base in Belfast came under heavy machine gun fire from a number of IRA units. On the Whiterock road a British Army land-rover was hit by IRA sniper fire.
23rd August 1983: An off duty UDR soldier was shot dead as he left his workplace in Strabane, County Tyrone.
24th August 1983: A shopkeeper was shot dead after an altercation with an IRA unit in Derry.
25th September 1983: 38 IRA prisoners took part in the Maze Prison escape. One guard died of a heart attack during the escape, and six others were shot or stabbed.
6th October 1983: Two RUC officers were shot dead in an IRA ambush in Downpatrick, County Down.
10th October 1983: A civilian was shot dead by the IRA in Newry. He had been mistaken for an off-duty RUC officer.
15th October 1983: A British soldier was killed when the IRA detonated a bomb as a British mobile patrol passed in the Creggan area of Derry.
24th October 1983: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA near Aughnacloy, Tyrone.
28th October 1983: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA outside his home in Derry.
4th November 1983: The IRA detonated a time-bomb in the ceiling of a classroom in Jordanstown College. Two of the three RUC officers giving a lecture at the time died instantly, another died of his injuries several months later.
5th November 1983: An off duty RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA in Rasharkin, County Antrim.
7th November 1983: A British soldier was killed in an IRA bomb attack in Crossmaglen, County Armagh.
10th November 1983: An RUC officer was shot dead in an IRA gun attack in Ballymartin, County Down.
12th November 1983: An RUC officer was killed and several others injured when the IRA mortared Carrickmore British Army and RUC base.
14th November 1983: Charles Armstrong–who was a UDR soldier, an Orangeman and an Ulster Unionist Party councillor–was killed by an IRA booby-trap bomb attached to his car outside the District Council offices in Armagh town.
4th December 1983: Two unarmed IRA volunteers, Colm McGirr (23) and Brian Campbell (19) were shot dead by the British Army in Coalisland, Tyrone.
7th December 1983: An Ulster Unionist Party MLA was shot dead outside Queens University Belfast.
10th December 1983: An IRA bomb exploded at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London, injuring three people.
16th December 1983: An Irish Army soldier and a Garda officer were shot dead during a gun battle with the IRA in Ballinamore, County Leitrim in an attempt to free Don Tidey who had been taken hostage by an IRA unit which included Bik McFarlane.
17th December 1983: The Harrods bombing in London killed six people including three police officers, and injured 75 other people. On the same day the IRA shot dead a UDR soldier in Maghera, County Londonderry.
26th December 1983: The IRA was blamed for a bombing in London which later was revealed to be the result of the Abu Nidal Organisation.
Brighton’s Grand Hotel after the IRA bomb attack in October 1984 which nearly wiped out the entire British government.
2nd January 1984: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA in Castlederg, County Tyrone.
10th January 1984: An RUC officer was shot dead by an IRA sniper in Newry.
31st January 1984: Two RUC officers were killed in an IRA land mine attack on their armoured patrol car, near Forkill, County Armagh.
10th February 1984: An IRA unit fired a rocket at a British Army Saracen armoured vehicle in Glenalina Park, Belfast. The rocket bounced off the front of the vehicle and landed in a school. Nobody was injured.
21st February 1984: Two IRA volunteers and an SAS member were killed in a gun battle between an undercover British Army unit and the IRA at Dunloy, County Antrim.
2nd March 1984: A UDR soldier was killed in an IRA booby-trap bomb attack near Castlederg, County Tyrone.
3rd March 1984: A civilian was killed by a booby-trap bomb attached to a garage door at his workplace on Alexander Road, Armagh town. The IRA claimed responsibility and said he was a serving member of the UDR. He was also a member of the Orange Order.
6th March 1984:William McConnell, then Assistant Governor of the Maze Prison, was shot dead by the IRA outside his home in east Belfast.
8th March 1984: An off-duty UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA near Moira, County Down.
22nd March 1984: The IRA exploded three bombs in buildings in the centre of Belfast.
27th March 1984: A British soldier was killed in an IRA van-bomb attack in Derry.
8th April 1984: An IRA unit carried out a gun attack on Thomas Travers, then a Resident Magistrate, outside St Brigid’s Catholic Church in Belfast. Travers was badly injured in the attack but his daughter Mary Travers was shot dead.
11th April 1984: A former UDR soldier was badly injured when a bomb exploded underneath his car in Belfast.
14th April 1984: A British soldier was badly injured when he was shot in the face by IRA volunteers in an attack in Glassdrummond in south County Armagh.
16th April 1984: The IRA shot and badly injured a civilian in Derry City. They later apologised saying that he was mistaken for an undercover British soldier.
21st April 1984: An IRA unit launched a bomb attack against a British patrol in Derry City. Three British soldiers were injured and IRA volunteer Richard Quigley (22) was killed when he was struck by shrapnel from the explosion.
23rd April 1984: A British soldier was shot dead by an IRA sniper in Derry. Petrol bombers had dropped sweet-jars filled with petrol on two army landrovers. As the soldiers began fleeing the IRA opened fire, injuring six.
8th May 1984: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA in Dungannon.
9th May 1984: A British soldier was killed in an IRA bomb attack in Newry.
12th May 1984: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA while off-duty at his farm in Lismore, County Tyrone.
18th May 1984: Two RUC officers were killed when the IRA exploded a landmine as their armoured patrol car travelled near Camlough, County Armagh. One of the officers was also a member of the Orange Order.
18th May 1984: Two off duty British soldiers were killed, and another died later as a result of injuries, after the IRA planted a booby trap bomb under their car in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
21st May 1984: A British patrol came under IRA sniper attack in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast.
29th May 1985: A British soldier was killed in an IRA landmine attack near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. An IRA bomb on the Whiterock Road in Belfast was defused by the British Army.
4th June 1984: A UDR soldier was shot dead by an IRA sniper in Lurgan, County Armagh.
9th June 1984: Alleged criminal James Campbell was shot dead by the IRA in Conway Street, Belfast.
11th June 1984: A taxi-driver and former UDR soldier was lured and shot dead by the Provisionals’ East Tyrone Brigade off the main Omagh to Cookstown road. RUC detectives believe that the tax-driver died in a burst of automatic fire and his foot jammed on the accelerator, sending the car crashing into a gate post, where his body was found.
22th June 1984: A British soldier was badly injured when he was shot in the neck by an IRA sniper on the Whiterock Road in Belfast.
2nd July 1984: An IRA unit fired an RPG7 rocket at an RUC landrover patrol but missed in Ballygawley, County Tyrone.
13th July 1984: An IRA volunteer was shot dead by the British Army during a bomb attack in Ardboe, County Tyrone.
14th July 1984: Two UDR soldiers among an eight-member foot patrol were killed in a 200 lb (91 kg) IRA landmine attack near the border at Castlederg, County Tyrone. Detectives believed that the bomb was triggered just a few hundred yards across the border. Immediately after the explosion, gunmen opened fire on the foot patrol as colleagues radioed for help. The West Tyrone Brigade of the IRA claimed responsibility for the attack.
10th August 1984: A Garda officer was shot dead by the IRA in County Meath during an attempted armed robbery of a post office.
12th August 1984: One RUC officer was killed in a land mine attack on an RUC mobile patrol, Crockanboy, Greencastle, County Tyrone.
7th September 1984: One UDR soldier and a Protestant civilian were killed in an IRA attack in County Tyrone.
12th October 1984: Brighton hotel bombing: a bomb in the Grand Hotel killed five in a failed attempt to assassinate members of the British cabinet. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly escaped death. Several others including Margaret Tebbit, wife of Norman Tebbit, were left permanently disabled.
19th October 1984: Gunner Timothy Utteridge, A member of the Royal Horse Artillery on attachment to the 3rd Battalion of Royal Green Jackets was shot dead by an IRA sniper while on foot patrol on Norglen Road, Turf Lodge, Belfast.
2nd December 1984: Two IRA volunteers and one SAS member were killed in an exchange of fire after an attempted bombing in Kesh, County Fermanagh.
6th December 1984: Two members of the IRA were shot dead by undercover British soldiers in the grounds of Gransha Hospital, Derry.
17th December 1984: IRA volunteer Sean McIlvenna was killed by the RUC after carrying out a bomb attack against a British Army patrol.
1st February 1985: The IRA shot dead a member of the British Army’s UDR regiment in Derrylin, County Fermanagh. The soldier was driving a bus at the time when an IRA volunteer shot him seven times through the front windscreen. Two other gunmen then entered the bus and shot him a further 24 times at point blank range. Ulster Unionist MP Ken Maginnis claimed that this was a “genocide – a conscious effort by the IRA to systematically wipe out Protestant families in the community”. His statement was in relation to the fact that two of the soldier’s brothers, who were also British soldiers, had been killed by the IRA in 1981.
17th February 1985: A Prison Officer was shot dead by the IRA in Armagh town. The man was leaving Saint Patrick’s Cathedral when he was shot three times in the head at point-blank range.
21st February 1985: An RUC officer was killed when the IRA ambushed an RUC vehicle at Drumsallen, near Armagh town. Three gunmen attacked the vehicle with machine guns. They had taken over a house on the road and had been lying in wait. The IRA unit fired 36 shots.
23rd February 1985: Charles Breslin and two other IRA volunteers were shot dead in a British Army/SAS ambush in Strabane. Two other IRA volunteers managed to escape. The men were returning weapons to an arms dump when they were shot.
23rd February 1985: A civilian from Derry was shot dead by the IRA. They claimed he was a British informant.
28th February 1985: An IRA unit launched a devastating mortar attack on an RUC base in Newry. Nine officers (including a Chief Inspector) were killed while 37 people (including civilians) were injured.
28th February 1985: A UDR soldier was killed in an IRA booby-trap bomb attack while on patrol in Pomeroy, County Tyrone.
3rd March 1985: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA in Enniskillen. The officer was exiting his vehicle when he was hit by a number of bullets. As he lay wounded a gunman ran up and fired a number of shots into him at point blank range.
23rd March 1985: An alleged Garda informant was shot dead by the IRA in Cork. Garda informant Sean O’Callaghan claimed in an interview with a local newspaper that he had shot the man, although he later retracted this.
27th March 1985: A British soldier was killed in an IRA bomb attack while patrolling the Divis Flats Complex in Belfast. The killing was strongly condemned by the Irish government due to the fact that the attack took place in the centre of a heavily populated high rise flat complex. In response, Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin said that:”No Irish politicians who believe in Irish independence should condemn any IRA operation which is clearly directed against the British presence, which takes adequate safeguards to avoid civilian casualties and which is geared towards securing an end to British rule in Ireland. The responsibility for the death of the British soldier rests with the British government. That government is aided and abetted by Mr Barry [Irish foreign Minister] and his cronies in the Dublin administration.
29th March 1985: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA while working in a garage in Rathfriland, County Down. Two gunmen approached him and shot him three times at point blank range before escaping.
3rd April 1985: The IRA detonated a car-bomb outside Newry Courthouse killing an RUC officer and a security officer employed at the court.
3rd May 1985: The IRA shot dead a former Ulster Special Constabulary officer at his home in Leitrim, County Down. The IRA claimed that the man was currently an RUC Reservist and that he had been seen regularly at roadblocks. However, the RUC denied this.
20th May 1985: Four RUC officers were killed by an IRA remote-controlled bomb in Killeen, County Armagh. The officers were part of a police escort for an armoured car, which was transporting £2 million from Dublin to Belfast. The escort had just met the security van on the border when the first armour plated RUC vehicle was hit by a 1,000 lb (450 kg) roadside bomb. The vehicle was completely destroyed.
28th May 1985: A civilian who had just applied to join the RUC was shot dead by the IRA in Millfield, Belfast.
14th June 1985: A 1,000 lb (450 kg) IRA bomb exploded in the centre of Belfast causing severe damage.
15th June 1985: An RUC officer was shot dead in an IRA gun attack in Derry. The officer was sitting in his vehcile when an IRA volunteer fired through the windscreen with a revolver. The IRA man then opened the driver seat door and beat the officer over the head with the revolver before shooting him again at point blank range.
18th June 1985: An undercover RUC officer was killed after his patrol vehicle struck an IRA landmine in Kinawley, Fermanagh. Another RUC officer was badly injured.
23rd June 1985: Four mortars exploded in Crossmaglen British Army base, although no injuries were reported. The IRA claimed responsibility.
2nd July 1985: Fort Pegasus British Army base in Belfast was mortared by an IRA unit. The barracks kitchen was hit by an IRA missile and completely destroyed although it was empty at the time.
6th August 1985: IRA volunteer Charlie English (21) was killed during an engagement with an RUC patrol in Derry. He was killed when a home made rocket launcher jammed and then exploded as he tried to fire it. Another IRA volunteer was injured but managed to escape.
7th August 1985:The first of four Libyan shipments of weaponry to the IRA is landed by the trawler Casamara at Clogga Strand, near Wiklow, Republic of Ireland, with 10 tonnes of weaponry consisting of AK-47 rifles, RPG launchers, hand grenades, revolvers and ammunition. Another 14 tonnes were delivered on 2nd October.
20th August 1985: A civilian who worked as a contractor to the British Army was shot dead by the IRA at his home in Donnybrook, Dublin. The man’s family owned Roughan Castle and a 300-acre (1.2 km2) estate outside Coalisland. The IRA said he was killed because he supplied building materials to British forces. The IRA also said they had given him warnings by telephone, letter and even through an attack on his estate.
20th August 1985: A van fitted with mortar launchers exploded 100 yards from an RUC base in Newcastle, County Down. The mortars had malfunctioned. Four people were hurt.
22nd August: A civilian was shot dead by the IRA in Strabane. He was mistaken for a British Army contractor. The IRA admitted responsibility for the attack and extended “deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Kieran Murray”. The dead man had aided Sinn Féin in local elections.
24th August 1985: A civilian was shot dead by an IRA sniper in Pomeroy, Tyrone. The car he was traveling in had been mistaken for that of an undercover RUC officer.
31st August 1985: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA outside his home in Crossgar, County Down. Sinn Féin objected to the decision of Down district council to adjourn during the RUC mans funeral as a mark of respect. In a statement the Sinn Féin councillors said: “We feel if the council is going to do this sort of thing then they should do it for all those who have lost their lives due to British occupation, and not just a select few.”
4th September 1985: The IRA launched a mortar attack against Enniskillen RUC training centre. The compound was almost completely destroyed.
8th September 1985: Two civilians were found shot dead in the Turf Lodge area of Belfast. The IRA claim the couple were British Army agents and that they had been responsible for the capture of a 30 lb (14 kg) bomb and the arrests of three INLA members. Ex-members of the British Military have confirmed that the couple were recruited by the Special Branch.
22nd September 1985: A British soldier was shot dead by the IRA in Derry. The soldier was off-duty and returning from a disco when he was shot six times in the head by an IRA volunteer. Another soldier escaped uninjured.
7th October 1985: A civilian was shot dead in Strabane by the IRA. The IRA claim he was an informant and that he had admitted to working for the police for 13 months while under interrogation. It claimed he had provided the SAS with intelligence which resulted in the deaths of three IRA volunteers in an ambush earlier that year. The three IRA volunteers had been killed in a field overlooking his home.
7th October 1985: A British army base in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast was mortared by an IRA unit. The attack caused serious structural damage to the base and blew a large hole in the perimeter.
15th November 1985: An RUC officer was killed and another badly wounded in an IRA landmine near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. The officer was part of a joint RUC/British Army patrol which had been deployed by helicopter into the area around Crossmaglen.
18th November 1985: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA in the Waterside area of Derry.
21st November: A contractor to the British Army was shot dead outside his home in Derry City. The man was shot 15 times as he was about to drive to work.
29th November 1985: A UDR soldier, who was also employed as a contractor to the Royal Air Force, was killed when he triggered a booby-trap bomb which had been attached to his car in Kilkeel, County Down.
30th November 1985: Alleged criminal Edward Taggart was shot dead by the IRA in the Divis Flats complex in Belfast. The man was shot in the back and both legs. The dead mans family admitted he had been involved in joyriding activities and he had previously been imprisoned for joyriding offences.
7th December 1985: In an attack on the RUC barracks in Ballygawley the IRA killed two RUC officers and destroyed the barracks with a large bomb. IRA volunteers had been lying in wait outside the barracks and, as the officers left, two gunmen stepped out of concealed positions and shot both officers in the head from close range. Another IRA unit then directed heavy machine-gun fire at the front of the barracks, which provided cover for a bomb team to plant a 100 lb (45 kg) bomb inside. The bomb exploded ten minutes later, destroying the barracks. Three other RUC officers who were in the building fled through a back door. One of the dead policemen was also a Methodist preacher.
11th December 1985: The IRA claimed responsibility for mortaring Tynan RUC base, County Armagh. Four RUC officers were hurt.
19th December 1985: The RUC base in Castlederg, County Tyrone, was wrecked by a shell during a mortar attack carried out by the IRA. Seven people were injured, and about 250 families evacuated.
1st January 1986: Two RUC officers were killed when the IRA detonated a remote-controlled bomb hidden in a litter bin as their patrol passed on Thomas Street, Armagh town.
15th January 1986: A UDR soldier was killed when he triggered an IRA booby trap which had been attached to his car in Castlederg, County Tyrone.
3rd February 1986: A UDR soldier was killed when the IRA detonated a remote-controlled bomb hidden in a dry stone wall as a British Army foot patrol passed in Belcoo, County Fermanagh.
11th February 1986: An RUC Detective-Constable and a civilian were killed in an IRA gun attack in Maguiresbridge, County Fermanagh. An IRA bomb exploded at the scene 40 minutes later.
22nd February 1986: An IRA active service unit launched a sniper attack on a Fort George British Army base in Derry. In the gun-battle which followed IRA volunteer Anthony Gough was killed and another IRA volunteer was captured.
18th March 1986: Rfn David Mulley was killed and several others wounded when the IRA detonated a booby-trap bomb concealed in a derelict building as a British Army foot patrol passed by in Castlewellan, County Down.
26th March: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA while off duty near Omagh, County Tyrone. A lone IRA volunteer, who was not wearing a mask, approached him and shot him a number of times.
8th April 1986: A UDR soldier was killed when he triggered an IRA booby-trap bomb which had been attached to his car near Castlederg, County Tyrone.
23rd April 1986: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA in Newcastle, County Down. IRA volunteers opened fire on him from a wooded area on the opposite side of the road, hitting him a number of times. As he lay wounded they ran across the road and shot him at point blank range in the head.
26th April 1986: The Special Air Service (SAS) killed IRA volunteer Séamus McElwaine in Roslea, County Fermanagh. At an inquest held in 1993, McElwaine was found to have been unlawfully killed. He had been shot in the back after being handcuffed. Another IRA volunteer was wounded and arrested.
12th May 1986: Three British Army bases in west Belfast were targeted in IRA grenade attacks.
15th May: A former UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA in Newry. He was driving his delivery vehicle when a motorcycle pulled up alongside and the pillion passenger opened fire, hitting the man 15 times with low-velocity bullets.
17th May 1986: A civilian was shot dead near Dungannon. The man was ambushed as he drove his pick-up van. Over 30 shots were fired through the windscreen. The IRA claimed the man was a member of the British Army’s UDR Regiment but they did not claim responsibility for the killing. Later a caller from the Catholic Reaction Force claimed they were responsible for the killing although many have speculated that the IRA was involved. The dead man was a member of the Orange Order.
20th May 1986: The IRA kidnapped and killed a civilian in Killeen, County Armagh. The IRA claimed he was a local criminal and had been “given a free hand by the RUC in exchange for information on republicans in the area”. The RUC refused to comment on the allegations. He had been ordered to leave south Armagh by the IRA in 1979 but later returned.
22nd May 1986: Two RUC officers and a British soldier were killed in an IRA remote-controlled bomb attack in Crossmaglen, County Armagh.
25th May 1986: A civilian was found shot dead on the side of a road outside Castlederg. The IRA claimed he was a British informer and had previously been associated with the OIRA and was involved in a bomb attack which killed two civilian employees at a British Army base in Derry.
28th May 1986: A UDR soldier and his sniffer dog were killed and another soldier wounded in an IRA bomb attack in Kilkeel, County Down. The soldiers were searching for a bomb which the IRA had claimed they left in the area when the sniffer dog nudged an oil drum which contained a booby trapped mercury tilt switch device.
16th June 1986: A civilian contractor to the British Army was kidnapped by the IRA and found shot dead near Cullyhanna, County Armagh. The man had previously been warned to cease working for the British Army. He was found with two bullet wounds to his head and one to his neck.
1st July 1986: A UDR soldier was killed in an IRA booby-trap bomb attack in Drumaness, County Down.
8th July: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA at his farm in Rosslea, County Fermanagh. The man had been a member of the Orange Order. At his funeral, the local Church of Ireland minister claimed Protestants in Fermanagh were under siege.
9th July 1986: Two British soldiers were killed and two others injured when the IRA detonated a large car-bomb as a British Army foot-patrol passed near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.
10th July 1986: The oil-rig replenisher Villa landed 14 tonnes of weaponry and explosives smuggled by the IRA from Libya off the Clogga Strand, near Wicklow, by inflatable boats. The same ship repeated the operation in October, this time by landing an 80 tonnes cache which included one tonne of Semtex, reportedly ten SAM-7 missiles, more RPG-7s, AK-47s and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition.
26th July 1986: Three RUC officers were killed when IRA volunteers opened fire on an a stationary armoured patrol car from close range in Newry. The IRA unit fired six shots into the car through an open door. They then threw a grenade into the car although it did not explode as the pin had not been fully pulled out.
30th July 1986: A civilian contractor to the British Army was shot dead by the IRA in Greencastle, County Tyrone.
4th August 1986: A British patrol in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast was attacked by an IRA unit using blast-bombs.
4th August 1986: A UDR soldier was shot dead at his home in the Shankill area of Belfast by the IRA. A two man IRA unit was seen running up the street towards the man firing. They continued firing as he lay on the ground wounded before making their getaway.
11th August 1986: An IRA unit destroyed an RUC base at the Birches near Portadown, County Armagh. The unit drove a digger through the perimeter fence with a 200 lb bomb attached to the bucket. Some members of this unit would be killed the next year by the SAS during a similar attack on Loughgall RUC base.
15th August 1986: A civilian was shot dead by the IRA in the Clonard area of Belfast. The IRA claimed he was a British informer. The IRA said he had previously been a member of their organisation and that he was being paid by the RUC to work as an informer.
28th August 1986: A civilian contractor to the British Army was shot dead by the IRA in Derry. The IRA denied claims that the killing was sectarian stating: “The man’s religion is of no interest to us. Despite previous warnings he continued to work for the UDR, and that was the reason he was targeted.”
10th September 1986: The IRA shot dead a man they claimed was an informer in Lurgan. The IRA claimed he had been a member of their organisation but had become an informer in 1982 after he was arrested in connection with the bombing of Lurgan Golf Club.
14th September 1986: High-ranking UVF member John Bingham, who was suspected of involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings was shot dead by the IRA at his home in the Ballysillan area of Belfast. Two IRA men, armed with a rifle and a revolver, used an axe to smash down his front door before shooting him in both legs. The UVF man managed to make his way to an upstairs bedroom before being shot three more times. The IRA later released a statement saying: “Relying on accurate intelligence reports we were able to pinpoint the whereabouts of UVF murder-gang leader John Bingham, who after a period of intensive activities which resulted in the deaths of five innocent Catholics, had just in the last number of weeks felt safe to return home.” Bingham had also been a member of the Orange Order.
14th September 1986: An RUC foot-patrol came under fire from the IRA in west Belfast.
14th September 1986: Unarmed IRA volunteer James McKernan (29) was shot in the back by the British Army in the Brenda Park area of Belfast. The man was running away from a British Army patrol after planting a booby-trap bomb nearby.
6th October 1986: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA in Dungannon, County Tyrone. He was killed when three bullet fragments hit him after his vehicle was fired on.
11th October 1986: An RUC officer was killed and another officer injured when the IRA mortared New Barnsley British Army base in Belfast. The constable was killed when the mortar bomb exploded just above his head. Two civilians were also slightly wounded in the attack. The other injured officer was later killed by the IRA in 1990.
24th October 1986: A civilian contractor to the British Army was shot dead by the IRA in Magherafelt, County Londonderry. The IRA said the firm had ignored repeated warnings to stop working for the security forces. A DUP MP, Willie McCrea, accused a Sinn Féin councillor of carrying out the attack.
26th October 1986: An IRA unit fired a mortar at Crossmaglen British Army base in County Armagh.
28th October 1986: An IRA unit fired seven mortars at Drummuckavall British Army watchtower in County Armagh. This is the first recorded use of Libyan-supplied Semtex high-explosive. In the aftermath, a red Ford Escort was pursued while escaping across the border towards Thomas Murphy’s farm by members of the Scots Guards. One of the guards, a Lance Corporal, broke into a shed, where he was confronted by two IRA members. The guard had inadvertently crossed the border and after a brief brawl with the two men, a Gardaí patrol arrived at the scene and arrested the soldier, for being in possession of an illegal arm. He was taken to a police station at Dundalk but was released six hours later after negotiations between senior RUC and Garda officers.
23rd November 1986: Six British soldiers were wounded after the IRA launched seven mortars at a British Army barracks in Middleton, Armagh.
27th November 1986: The IRA launched a mortar at Newry RUC base; however, the device overshot its target, landing in a nearby residential area where it wounded more than 30 people (mainly from flying glass). The IRA apologised for the incident.
12th December 1986: A civilian was killed when he triggered a booby-trap bomb attached to his car. The IRA claimed he had been mistaken for an off-duty RUC officer and apologised for the killing.
16th December 1986: A bus bomb exploded outside a south Belfast RUC barracks slightly injuring seven people. The IRA claimed responsibility.
2nd January 1987: Three mortars were fired from a lorry toward Crossmaglen British Army base. Forty minutes later, a timer launched another three mortars at the base.
9th January 1987: An RUC officer was killed when the IRA detonated a remote control bomb hidden in a litter bin as an RUC foot patrol passed the High Street in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The RUC officer was also a member of the Orange Order.
26th January 1987: A British soldier was killed in an IRA gun attack in Coalisland, County Tyrone. The soldier was shot three times in the back and head by a two man IRA unit outside his home.
6th March 1987: New Barnsley RUC/British Army base in Belfast came under IRA gun attack. Meanwhile Fort Jericho British Army base, also in Belfast, was mortared by an IRA unit.
7th March 1987: An RUC riot squad were shot at by an IRA sniper in the Whiterock area of Belfast.
10th March 1987: An RUC officer was killed when the IRA detonated a remote controlled bomb at the Ardoyne Shops on the Crumlin Road in Belfast. The RUC had been lured to the area by a hoax phonecall claiming an armed robbery was in progress. The IRA had correctly anticipated which doorway the RUC would take cover in and detonated a small booby-trap bomb when they arrived. The IRA claimed his death was retaliation for “RUC brutality at republican funerals”.
13th March 1987: Two RUC officers were injured in an IRA bomb attack at Roselawn Cemetery in Belfast.
23rd March 1987: A Prison Officer was shot dead by the IRA as he sat in his car outside Magee College. Three masked gunmen approached the front of the vehicle and fired six shots through the windscreen using a low-velocity rifle. The Prison Officer was shot in the head and died instantly. The IRA unit was then seen casually walking away. The IRA said the officer was killed in reprisal for the inhumane conditions suffered by IRA prisoners in Magilligan Prison.
23rd March 1987: 2 RUC officers were killed when the IRA detonated a briefcase bomb on the Rock Road in Derry. The officers were examining the scene of a fatal IRA gun attack on a Prison Lecturer.
23rd March: 31 people were injured in a car bomb attack at Rheindahlen Military Complex, near Mönchengladbach in Germany.
30th March 1987: A British soldier was killed in an IRA blast bomb in the Divis Flats complex of West Belfast. The bombs were dropped from the flat complex onto the roof of a passing British land rover. One of the bombs fell through a hatch in the vehicle’s roof and exploded, killing one soldier and wounding another. A Sinn Féin member was later charged for his part in the attack. Author Tony Geraghty claims that the bombs were actually Mark-6 mortar shells dropped by hand.
30th March 1987: The IRA launched a gun and grenade attack on New Barnsley RUC/British Army base in Belfast.
3rd April 1987: A UDR soldier was shot dead by the IRA in Ederney, County Fermanagh.
3rd April 1987: An RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA outside Ballynahinch RUC base in County Down. Two RUC officers were leaving the base when an IRA unit fired on them from the opposite side of the road, killing one officer and wounding another.
11th April 1987: Two RUC officers were shot dead in an IRA ambush while on foot patrol on the Main Street in Portrush, County Antrim.
12th April 1987: The IRA shot dead a man they claimed was a British informer near Killeen, County Armagh. The man’s body was found in the back of a van. His hands were tied behind his back and a plastic bag was placed over his face.
16th April 1987: Thirteen