Apr 022015

Northern Ireland The Forgotten War

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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


1999 to 2013


27th January 1999: Former IRA volunteer and RUC informant Eamon Collins was killed near Newry, shortly after testifying against Thomas “Slab” Murphy, leader of the South Armagh Brigade in a libel case with the Sunday Times. Mr. Collins was badly beaten and had a spike pushed through his face.

9th May 1999: Brendan Fegan, a convicted drug dealer and believed to be one of the most prominent drug dealers in Northern Ireland, was shot dead by the IRA in Newry.

13th June 1999: Paul Downey, regarded as one of the most prominent drug dealers in Newry, was kidnapped from a hotel in Newry by an IRA unit, he was then shot in the head and his lifeless body dumped near Beleek.

17th June 1999: British agent Martin McGartland was shot seven times at close range by the IRA while at his home in Tyneside, England. He survived despite serious injuries.

30th July 1999: Charles Bennett was shot in a punishment attack outside a GAA club in west Belfast. He died of his injuries a short time later. The IRA is believed to have been responsible.It is believed he was suspected of stealing IRA weapons.
16th March 2000: An IRA engineer defused a bomb left outside the offices of dissident republican group Republican Sinn Féin on the Falls Road, Belfast. Tom Hartley, Sinn Féin councillor for the area, said “the discovery and defusing of this device has undoubtedly saved lives.´´

April 2000: An IRA active service unit was intercepted by police in Dublin and two members were arrested. The unit is believed to have been on its way to kill notorious Dublin criminal and drug lord Martin Foley.

30th April 2000: Thomas Byrne was allegedly shot dead by the IRA in central Dublin.

29th May 2000: A suspected drug dealer was shot dead in Dunmurry, County Antrim. Police blamed the IRA for the shooting.

29th September 2000: A suspected drug dealer was shot dead in a bar in Magherafelt shortly after the IRA had ordered him to leave the area.

13th October 2000: A Real IRA member, Joseph O’Connor, was shot dead while sitting in his car in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast. The Provisional IRA are believed to have been responsible.


7th January 2001: The IRA was blamed for carrying out a punishment beating on a convicted criminal in Ballymurphy, Belfast.

21st April 2001: A major drug dealer was shot dead near his Derry home by four gunmen. It is believed that the IRA was responsible.

14th July 2001: Gangland figure Seamus “Shavo” Hogan a close associate of Martin Cahill was gunned down in Crumlin, Dublin. It is claimed that the IRA is responsible.


8th September 2002: The IRA was blamed for carrying out a punishment beating on a 20-year-old South Armagh man.

11th October 2002: A five man IRA unit was captured by Gardaí in Bray, County Wicklow. It is believed the unit, members of the Dublin Brigade, were on their way to carry out an armed hijacking. The men were in a small van and dressed in Garda uniforms, they also had stun-guns and CS gas.


13th January 2003: The IRA were blamed for punishment attack on a leading member of the Continuity IRA in Downpatrick, County Down.

12th March 2003: IRA member, Keith Rogers, was shot dead in South Armagh during a shootout involving a number of feuding IRA members. The IRA admitted Rogers was a member but claimed he had been shot confronting local criminals.

11th October 2003: The IRA were allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of dissident republican, Brendan Rice, in Newcastle, County Down.


19th January 2004: A dissident republican who was shot in the ankles in a punishment shooting blamed the Provisional IRA for the attack. The man from west Belfast was a member of an organisation which provided support to the families of imprisoned Real IRA (RIRA) members .

20th February 2004: The IRA were accused of being responsible for the kidnap and attempted murder of ex-Irish National Liberation Army member Bobby Tohill. The van in which he was being transported was rammed by police and four men were arrested. The IRA stated that it had not authorised any action against the man in question. Mr. Tohill required 93 stitches following the ordeal and has since gone into hiding.

5th September 2004: The IRA is believed to have been responsible for a fire-bomb attack on a fuel depot in south Belfast.


30th January 2005: Robert McCartney is stabbed to death in a fight with IRA members being involved. Initially Sinn Féin denied IRA involvement but later it suspended 7 Sinn Féin members who had been present and the IRA also cleared witnesses to co-operate with the police investigation. McCartney’s family claim they have been intimidated by the IRA.

2nd February 2005: The IRA issued a statement summarizing their “ambitious initiatives designed to develop or save the peace process”, including three occasions in which they had complied with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning in putting weapons beyond use. The statement went on to say, “At this time it appears that the two governments are intent on changing the basis of the peace process. They claim that ‘the obstacle now to a lasting and durable settlement… is the continuing terrorist and criminal activity of the IRA’. We reject this. It also belies the fact that a possible agreement last December was squandered by both governments pandering to rejectionist unionism instead of upholding their own commitments and honouring their own obligations.” The statement concluded with two points: “We are taking all our proposals off the table” and”It is our intention to closely monitor ongoing developments and to protect to the best of our ability the rights of republicans and our support base”.

3rd February 2005: Following statements from the British and Irish governments, claiming that the new IRA statement was no cause for alarm, the IRA issues a second two-sentence statement: “The two governments are trying to play down the importance of our statement because they are making a mess of the peace process. Do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation”.

10th February 2005: The Independent Monitoring Commission reports that it firmly supports the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Garda assessments that the PIRA was responsible for the Northern Bank robbery and recommends financial and political sanctions against Sinn Féin.

6th April 2005: Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams calls on the IRA to initiate consultations “as quickly as possible” to move from being a paramilitary organisation to one committed to purely non-military methods.

12th April 2005: A Dublin man, Joseph Rafferty, was shot and killed in a shotgun attack in west Dublin. The IMC and the family of the deceased have claimed that the IRA were responsible. The IRA has denied any involvement.

In May 2005: The IRA is believed to have been responsible for intimidating a family to leave their home in Belfast.

24th May 2005: The Independent Monitoring Commission claimed the IRA were still recruiting and training new members, and it was still involved in paramilitary and criminal activity.

In July 2005: The IMC blamed the IRA for a punishment shooting of an alleged criminal in early July.

28th  July 2005: The IRA release a statement that it is ending its armed campaign and will verifiably put its arms beyond use.

26th September 2005: International weapons inspectors issue a statement confirming the full decommissioning of the IRA’s weaponry.


IRA Colour Party in Dublin – 2009

1st February 2006: International weapons inspectors believe that not all arms were decommissioned on the day the IRA decommissioned. Claims began to circulate that the IRA held onto handguns and various other weapons.

10th March 2006: The IMC claimed that members of the IRA were responsible for the hijacking of a lorry containing a consignment of spirits in County Meath.


31st July 2008: The 32 County Sovereignty Movement (often considered the political arm of the Real IRA), accused the IRA of assaulting one of their members in Derry, leaving the man with serious head and facial injuries.


9th February 2010: A representative of the IRA using the pseudonym “P. O’Neill” issued a statement confirming that Belfast man Joe Lynksey was “executed” by the organisation in 1972. The statement said that the man had been an IRA member and was “court-martialled for breaches of IRA standing orders” and “was subsequently executed and buried in an unmarked grave.” The statement went on to say that Lynskey had an affair with the wife of a Belfast republican and had ordered another IRA member to shoot the man. The IRA said it had not identified Lynskey’s grave.

In March 2010: Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MLA for Newry & Armagh, Dominic Bradley, claimed that the IRA were responsible for a recent punishment shooting in the town of Meigh and an armed robbery in Armagh during which shots were fired.

In August 2010: The 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Republican Network for Unity and the UPRG, claimed that the IRA were responsible for a shooting incident in the Gobnascale area of Derry. It is claimed that up to 20 masked men, some armed with handguns, attacked a group of teenagers who were engaging in anti-social behaviour at an interface area. A number of the teenagers were attacked and shots were fired into the air. The men are then reported to have removed their masks when the PSNI arrived and were subsequently identified as members of the Republican Movement. Sinn Féin denied the IRA were involved.


20th June 2011: Jim Wilson and a number of other members of the unionist community claimed that the Provisional IRA was responsible for shooting two loyalist rioters in the legs during a UVF-led attack on the nationalist Short Strand area of Belfast. Alex Maskey denied that the IRA were responsible for the shooting.

2nd July 2011: An alleged member of the Provisional IRA was arrested for questioning over the stabbing of a man suspected of being linked to dissident republicans in the Markets area of Belfast.


16th August 2012: Three men and two women were charged with Provisional IRA membership in Belfast.


14th February 2013: Well-known republican and former IRA Volunteer Seán Kelly was arrested over the punishment shooting of an 18-year-old man in Belfast. He was later released unconditionally. Jim Allister suggested the IRA was involved in the shooting while the Ulster Unionist Party claimed the PSNI had come under pressure to distance mainstream republicans from the attack.

1st March 2013: Seán Hughes, a suspected member of the IRA Army Council, was charged with IRA membership, speaking at a meeting and encouraging support for an illegal organisation.

26th August 2013: It is alleged that the IRA were responsible for planting two mortars along the border in south Armagh. Gardaí claimed the primed devices were intended as a warning by the IRA to the PSNI to cease disrupting the Provisional IRA’s smuggling and diesel laundering business along the border.

Sourced from Wikipedia