Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Real Irish Republican Army (Real IRA (RIRA) Óglaigh na hÉireann (Volunteers of Ireland)

Posted in Uncategorized on 07/05/2011 by johnfcaba

John Francis McCabe Seán Próinsiás MacCába

Real Irish Republican Army
(Óglaigh na hÉireann)

The Real Irish Republican Army, otherwise known as the Real IRA (RIRA) and styling itself as Óglaigh na hÉireann (Volunteers of Ireland), is a paramilitary organisation which aims to bring about a united Ireland. Formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional IRA, it is an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland and designated as a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The organisation has been responsible for a number of bombings in Northern Ireland and England, most notably the 15 August 1998 Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people. On 7 March 2009 RIRA members claimed responsibility for an attack on the Massereene Barracks that killed two British soldiers, the first to be killed in Northern Ireland since 1997.




On 10 October 1997 a Provisional IRA General Army…

View original post 3,563 more words


Bobby Sands remembered in Havana – Cuba

Posted in Poblachtach martyrs AN GHAEILGE IRA - ARM Liberation NÁISIÚNTA NA hÉIREANN - Part 1 of 4, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 07/05/2011 by johnfcaba

A memorial dedicated to the Irish Hunger strike demonstrators sits in Havana

Irish tourists and local Cubans held a commemoration in Havana at the Irish Hungertrike memorial on Sunday evening to remember Booby Sands who died on hungerstrike in Long Kesh prison on the 5th of May 1981.

Over 60 people took part in a commemoration in central Havana, Cuba, last Sunday to remember Irish Hungerstriker Bobby Sands (27) who died in Long Kesh prison in May 1981.

A wreath was layed at the monument and a number of individuals spoke at the event. The crowd was made up of Irish tourists while a number of Cubans along with residents of other south American countries also attended.

Those in attendance then observed a minutes silence in memory of Sands and his nine comrades.

Who was Bobby Sands?

Sands was a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner who was serving 14 years in for possession of weapons which were found in the boot of a car in which he was travelling following a gun battle between IRA members and British troops in Belfast. At the time of his death he was the youngest elected member of the British Parliament (his election took place during his hungerstrike – he received over 30,000 votes in the Fermanagh/South-Tyrone constituency).

While in prison British authorities removed Prisoner of War status for imprisoned members of paramilitary groups and instead labelled them as criminals. Such measures were opposed by the IRA and the smaller Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) who considered themselves legitimate armies fighting against an occupational force.

As the opposition mounted the republican prisoners called a hungertrike – 7 members of the IRA and 3 members of the INLA died before the protest was called off. During that time Bobby Sands was elected to the British Parliament as an MP while another two were elected to the Irish Parliament.

Britain eventually restored special category status for paramilitary prisoners following the hunger strike. The strikes were also seen as the beginning of Sinn Féin’s electoral strategy.

Following his death many of Sand’s writings were published, including the novels “One Day in My Life” and “Skylark sing your Lonely Song”. A collection of his poetry entitled “Prison Poems” has also been released. Sands also wrote the lyrics to the songs “Back Home in Derry” and “McIlhatton” which were both recorded by Irish musician Christy Moore. Another one of his poems, “Sad Song for Susan” has also been recorded as a song by various artists.

Over 100,000 people attended Sand’s funeral in Belfast. His death lead to widespread rioting throughout Northern Ireland as well as protests in the south of Ireland, England, Soviet Union, France, Scotland, USA, India, Norway and elsewhere.

There are streets around the world named after Bobby Sands including in Tehran, Paris, Hartford, Nantes, St.Etienne, Le Mans, Vierzon, St.Denis and Elahieh

Unrepentant Irish Republican Freedom Fighter

Posted in Uncategorized on 07/05/2011 by johnfcaba



Fallen Volunteers (Irish Republican Freedom Fighters)

Posted in Uncategorized on 07/05/2011 by johnfcaba

Fallen Volunteers 

“Victory at all costs, victory in honor of all fallen comrades, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no Freedom”









1st Battalion

Vol Tony Henderson
Vol Terence McDermott
Vol Martin Forsythe
Vol Tony Jordan
Vol John Finucane
Vol Francis Hall
Vol Daniel Burke
Vol Gerard Fennell
Vol John Rooney
Vol Sean McDermott
Vol Thomas Kane
Vol Danny Lennon
Vol Brendan O’Callaghan
Vol Dan Turley
Vol Jim McKernan
Vol Margaret McArdle
Vol Kevin McCracken
Vol Caoimhin Mac Bradaigh
Vol Patricia Black
Vol Frankie Ryan
Vol Pearse Jordan
Vol John O’Rawe
Vol Jimmy Roe

2nd Battalion

Vol Liam McParland
Vol Jimmy Steele
Vol Peter Blake
Vol Tom McGoldrick
Vol Charles Hughes
Vol Seamus Simpson
Vol Danny O’Neill
Vol Albert Kavanagh
Vol Gerard Crossan
Vol Tony Lewis
Vol Sean Johnston
Vol Tom McCann
Vol Patrick Campbell
Vol Robert McCrudden
Vol Michael Clarke
Vol Jimmy Quigley
Vol Daniel McAreavey
Vol Patrick Maguire
Vol John Donaghy
Vol Joseph McKinney
Vol Stan Carberry
Vol Francis Liggett
Vol Edward O’Rawe
Vol Patrick Mulvenna
Vol James Bryson
Vol Martin Skillen
Vol John Kelly
Vol John Stone
Vol Paul Fox
Vol Sean Bailey
Vol James McGrillen
Vol Paul Marlowe
Vol Tommy Tolan
Vol Billy Carson
Vol Kevin Delaney
Vol Terence O’Neill
Vol Liam Hannaway
Vol James Burns
Vol Tony Campbell
Vol Brian Dempsey
Vol Finbarr McKenna
Vol Proinsias Mac Airt

3rd Battalion

Vol Henry McIlhone
Vol Michael Kane
Vol James Saunders
Vol Billy Reid
Vol Patrick McAdorey
Vol Tony Nolan
Vol Gerald McDade
Vol Joseph Cunningham
Vol Gerard Bell
Vol Gerard Steele
Vol Robert Dorrian
Vol Joseph Magee
Vol Samuel Hughes
Vol Charles McCrystal
Vol John McErlean
Vol Edward McDonnell
Vol Jackie McIlhone
Vol Joseph Fitzsimmons
Vol Martin Engelen
Vol Louis Scullion
Vol James Reid
Vol Joseph Downey
Vol Seamus Cassidy
Vol James Sloan
Vol Tony Campbell
Vol James McCann
Vol Patrick McCabe
Vol Brian Smyth
Vol Sean McKee
Vol Frederick Leonard
Vol Seamus McCusker
Vol Martin McDonagh
Vol Frank Fitzsimmons
Vol Joseph Surgenor
Vol Trevor McKibbin
Vol Jackie McMahon
Vol Jackie Mailey
Vol Denis Brown
Vol Jim Mulvenna
Vol Laurence Montgomery
Vol Frankie Donnelly
Vol Martin McKenna
Vol Laurence Marley
Vol Brendan Davison
Vol Thomas Begley


Vol Hugh Hehir


Vol Tony Ahern
Vol Dermot Crowley



Vol Dorothy Maguire
Vol Maura Meehan
Vol Anne Parker
Vol Anne Marie Petticrew
Vol Bridie Dolan
Vol Laura Crawford
Vol Rosemary Bleakley


Vol Vivien Fitzsimmons


Vol Pauline Kane


Vol Julie Dougan


Vol Thomas McCool
Vol Thomas Carlin
Vol Joseph Coyle
Vol Eamonn Lafferty
Vol James O’Hagan
Vol Colm Keenan
Vol Eugene McGillan
Vol John Starrs
Vol Seamus Bradley
Vol Michael Quigley
Vol John Brady
Vol James Carr
Vol James McDaid
Vol Joe Walker
Vol Gerard Craig
Vol David Russell
Vol Michael Meenan
Vol John McDaid
Vol Ethel Lynch
Vol Jim Gallagher
Vol Brian Coyle
Vol Denis Heaney
Vol Patrick Duffy
Vol George McBrearty
Vol Charles Maguire
Vol Eamonn Bradley
Vol Phil O’Donnell
Vol Richard Quigley
Vol Ciaran Fleming
Vol Danny Doherty
Vol Willie Fleming
Vol Charles English
Vol Tony Gough
Vol Philip McFadden
Vol Patrick O’Hagan
Vol Gerard Logue
Vol Paddy Deery
Vol Eddie McSheffrey


Vol Martin Lee
Vol John Bateson
Vol James Sheridan
Vol Danny McMullan
Vol Antoine Mac Giolla Bhrighde
Vol James Kelly


Vol Peter McElcar
Vol Raymond McLaughlin


Vol Patrick Cannon
Vol Colm Daltun
Vol Mick Timothy
Vol Christy Harford
Vol Martin Doherty


Vol Michael Gaughan

(Parkhurst Prison)
Vol James McDade
Vol Brian Fox

(Wakefield Prison)
Vol Francis Stagg
Vol Edward O’Brien
Vol Diarmuid O’Neill


Fian Gerald McAuley
Fian Michael Sloan
Fian Eamon McCormick
Fian Gerry Donaghy
Fian David McAuley
Fian Sean O’Riordan
Fian Michael Magee
Fian Joseph Campbell
Fian John Dougal
Fian Tobias Molloy
Fian Joseph McComiskey
Fian Bernard Fox
Fian Sean Hughes
Fian Michael Marley
Fian Robert Allsopp
Fian Kevin McAuley
Fian James O’Neill
Fian Paul McWilliams
Fian John Dempsey


Vol Jack McCabe
Vol Thomas O’Donnell
Vol Mairead Farrell
Vol Dan McCann
Vol Sean Savage
Vol Seamus Twomey


Vol Michael Motley
Vol Patrick Kelly


Vol Patrick Sheehy


Vol Francis Dodds
Vol Teddy Campbell
Vol Patrick Teer
Vol Hugh Coney
Vol James Moyne
Vol Henry Heaney
Vol Sean Bateson
Vol Pol Kinsella


*Vol Bobby Sands Died on Hunger Strike May 5 1981*
*Vol Francis Hughes Died on Hunger Strike May 12 1981*
*Vol Raymond McCreesh Died on Hunger Strike May 21 1981*
*Vol Joe McDonnell Died on Hunger Strike July 8 1981*
*Vol Martin Hurson Died on Hunger Strike July 13 1981*
*Vol Kieran Doherty Died on Hunger Strike Aug. 2 1981*
*Vol Thomas McElwee Died on Hunger Strike Aug. 8 1981*
*Vol Patsy O’Hara Died on Hunger Strike May 21 1981*
*Vol Kevin Lynch Died on Hunger Strike Aug. 1 1981*
*Vol Michael Devine Died on Hunger Strike Aug. 20 1981*


Vol Sean McKenna
Vol Peadar Mohan


Vol Colm Murtagh
Vol Patrick Hughes
Vol Oliver Rowntree
Vol Noel Madden
Vol Brendan Quinn
Vol Edward Grant
Vol Patrick McKeown
Vol Michael Hughes
Vol Robert Carr
Vol Brendan Watters


Vol Phelim Grant
Vol Charles McCann
Vol Henry Hogan
Vol Declan Martin
Vol Peter Rodden
Vol Gerard Casey


Vol Michael Crossey
Vol Charles Agnew
Vol John Francis Green
Vol Terry Brady
Vol David Kennedy
Vol Sean Burns
Vol Gervase McKerr
Vol Eugene Toman
Vol Eddie Dynes
Vol Sean McIlvenna ( )


Vol Tom Smith
Vol Brendan Seery


Vol Kevin Coen
Vol Joseph MacManus


Vol Michael McVerry
Vol Sean Boyle
Vol Francis Jordan
Vol Sean Campbell
Vol James Lochrie
Vol Peter Cleary
Vol Seamus Harvey
Vol Peadar McElvanna
Vol Brendan Burns
Vol Brendan Moley
Vol Eugene Martin
Vol Malachy Watters


Vol Louis Leonard
Vol Seamus McElwain


Vol Peter McNulty
Vol James Carlin
Vol Martin Curran
Vol Leo O’Hanlon
Vol Francis Rice
Vol Alphonsus Cunningham
Vol Paul Magorrian
Vol Colum Marks


Vol Denis Quinn
Vol Hugh Heron
Vol John Patrick Mullan
Vol Eugene Devlin
Vol Kevin Kilpatrick
Vol Sean Loughran
Vol Patrick Carty
Vol Gerard McGlynn
Vol Seamus Harvey
Vol Daniel McAnallen
Vol Patrick Quinn
Vol Desmond Morgan
Vol Jim McGinn
Vol Patrick McDonald
Vol Kevin Murray
Vol Eugene Martin
Vol Sean McKearney
Vol Neil Lafferty
Vol Paul Duffy
Vol Brian Campbell
Vol Colm McGirr
Vol William Price
Vol Charlie Breslin
Vol David Devine
Vol Michael Devine
Vol Declan Arthurs
Vol Seamus Donnelly
Vol Tony Gormley
Vol Eugene Kelly
Vol Paddy Kelly
Vol Jim Lynagh
Vol Padraig McKearney
Vol Gerard O’Callaghan
Vol Seamus Woods
Vol Brian Mullin
Vol Gerard Harte
Vol Martin Harte
Vol James Joseph Connolly
Vol Liam Ryan
Vol Dessie Grew
Vol Martin McCaughey
Vol Noel Wilkinson
Vol John Quinn
Vol Malcolm Nugent
Vol Dwayne O’Donnell
Vol Tony Doris
Vol Lawrence McNally
Vol Pete Ryan
Vol Danny McCauley
Vol Sean O’Farrell
Vol Kevin Barry O’Donnell
Vol Patrick Vincent
Vol Peter Clancy


Jim Murphy
Paul Best
Colm Mulgrew
Noel Jenkinson

(Leicester Prison)
Maire Drumm
Sean O Conaill

(Parkhurst Prison)
Peter Corrigan
Jeff McKenna
Paddy Brady
John Davey
Tommy Casey
Sam Marshall
Fergal Caraher
Eddie Fullerton
Padraig O Seanachain
Tommy Donaghy
Bernard O’Hagan
Pat McBride
Paddy Loughran
Sheena Campbell
Malachy Carey
Peter Gallagher
Alan Lundy
Pat McGeown


Vol Hugh Ferguson
Vol Danny Loughran
Vol Brendan McNammee
Vol Ronnie Trainor
Vol Seamus Costello
Vol Colm McNutt
Vol Tommy Trainor
Vol Tony McClelland
Vol Miriam Daly
Vol Ronnie Bunting
Vol Noel Little
Vol Jim Power
Vol Matt McLarnon
Vol Roddy Carroll
Vol Seamus Grew
Vol Neil McMonagle
Vol Brendan Convery
Vol Gerard Mallon
Vol Joe Craven
Vol Paul “Bonanza” McCann
Vol John O’Reilly
Vol Thomas “Ta” Power
Vol Mickey Kearney
Vol Kevin Barry Duffy
Vol Emmanuel Gargan
Vol James McPhilemy
Vol Alex Patterson
Vol Gino Gallagher
Vol John Morris
Vol Patrick Campbell


Colm Maguire


Rose Campbell
Hugh O’Neill
Michael Montgomery
Pearse Moore
Mary McGlinchey
Dominic McGlinchey
Hessy Phelan
Dermot “Tonto” McShane

Scottish Command

Vol Charles Carrigan
General James Connolly
Vol Iain McKenzie-Kennedy

Irish Republican Army (1917–1922)

Posted in Uncategorized on 07/05/2011 by johnfcaba
3rd Cork Brigade

3rd Cork BrigadeThe 3rd Cork Brigade, also known as Third (West) Cork Brigade was a unit of the Irish Republican Army that operated in the western areas of County Cork during the Anglo-Irish War.The Brigade was commanded by Tom Barry for most of the conflict and was responsible for the Kilmichael Ambush, which resulted in the deaths of 18 members of the Auxiliary Division, and the Crossbarry Ambush, during which the Brigade escaped encirclement by 1,200 British troops.List of attacks/ambushes by Third West Cork Brigade Toureen Ambush Essex Regiment Suffer Defeat at Toureen Ambush(Irish War of Independence - Third Cork Brigade)Site of the Toureen ambush.


Up until the ambush the Third West Cork Brigade hadn’t before engaged the British troops stationed in County Cork in a proper battle. The Brigade had finished its training and to get it ready for combat it had to get in an engagement with the British soldiers.

The Essex Regiment of the British Army was deployed to West Cork and had a reputation for violently raiding the houses throughout the countryside and arresting people believed to be IRA volunteers. They were also known to torture their prisoners in order to get information on the whereabouts of the flying columns, so this made them a despised enemy to the West Cork IRA.

The Essex were known to travel on the road from Bandon to Cork City every morning and return in the evenings. The road went through the village of Toureenwhich the Third West Cork Brigade was stationed at nearby and it was decided to ambush this column of the Essex Regiment as it made its way to Cork City.

Up until the ambush the Third West Cork Brigade hadn’t before engaged the British troops stationed in County Cork in a proper battle. The Brigade had finished its training and to get it ready for combat it had to get in an engagement with the British soldiers.

The Essex Regiment of the British Army was deployed to West Cork and had a reputation for violently raiding the houses throughout the countryside and arresting people believed to be IRA volunteers. They were also known to torture their prisoners in order to get information on the whereabouts of the flying columns, so this made them a despised enemy to the West Cork IRA.

The Essex were known to travel on the road from Bandon to Cork City every morning and return in the evenings. The road went through the village of Toureenwhich the Third West Cork Brigade was stationed at nearby and it was decided to ambush this column of the Essex Regiment as it made its way to Cork City.


Toureen Ambush
Part of the Irish War of Independence
Date 22 October 1920
Location Toureen, County Cork
Result IRA victory
Republic of Ireland Irish Republican Army
(Third West Cork Brigade)
United Kingdom British Army
(Essex Regiment)
Commanders and leaders
Tom Barry Captain Dickson 
32 volunteers 15 soldiers
Casualties and losses
none 5 dead, 4 wounded
6 captured


Thirty-two riflemen of the Third West Cork Brigade occupied ambush positions outside Toureen and lay in wait for the approaching Essex. The Essex normally went in two or three lorries to Cork City so the IRA placed a home-made mine on the road for use against them.

Scouts signalled the approach of two lorries which were coming down the road towards the ambush site. As the first lorry passed, the order to fire was given and a home made three pound bomb was thrown. The bomb landed inside the lorry but didn’t explode. The mine that was placed on the road also failed to detonate. As the volunteers opened fire, the second lorry stopped and the soldiers inside leaped out and returned fire, but the volunteers were hidden behind a large timber gate which gave them cover. The first lorry sped on to Cork Barracks and the men were found guilty of shameful desertion for not assisting the men in the second lorry. As the fight went on, the officer in command of the British troops, Captain Dickson, was shot in the head and killed as well as several of his men.

The British surrendered soon after and the IRA men ceased firing. The British were relieved of their weapons and ammunition, but otherwise unharmed. Fourteen rifles, bayonets, equipment, several Mills bombs, around 1,400 rounds of ammunition and a couple of revolvers were taken from them.

 Composite picture of the twelve East Cork Brigade men who fell in the fight at Clonmult. (Left to right)
(Back Row): Richard Hegarty (Garryroe); Jeremiah Aherne (Midleton); Christopher Sullivan (Midleton);
Joseph Morrissey (Athlone); Michael Hallahan (Midleton);
(Second Row): James Glavin (Cobh); John Joe Joyce (Midleton); James Aherne (Cobh); Michael Desmond (Midleton);
(Front Row): Donal Dennehy (Midleton); Liam Aherne (Midleton); David Desmond (Midleton)        

We’ll raise our voices in Ireland’s praise                                                             

Composite picture of the twelve East Cork Brigade men who fell in the fight at Clonmult

Composite picture of the twelve East Cork Brigade men who fell in the fight at Clonmult

For Ireland’s sons have proved their worth

In the good old I.R.A.

All parts fought well for Roisin Dubh

But we a record made.

In good old Cork, in famed West Cork,

The Third West Cork Brigade.

At Newcestown we struck a blow

For Ireland and Sinn Fein.                                                                              

Ballinhassig next we prove                                                                                                                         

Our rights we would maintain.                                                                                                                                    

The English foe we twice laid low,

We faced them undismayed.

In good old Cork, in famed West Cork,

The Third West Cork Brigade.

 The Black and Tans to Ireland came

To send us to our doom.

Their doughtiest warriors sallied forth                                                                                                  

In lorries from Macrom.

But at Kilmichael’s bloody fight

Their conquering course was stayed

By good old Cork, by famed West Cork,

The Third West Cork Brigade.

 Then at Crosbarry’s battlefield

Our gallant boys saw red.

For ten to one the Saxon host                                                                                                                     

Before our onslaught fled.

And o’er the hills we made our way

While our gallant piper played

In good old Cork, in famed west Cork

The third west Cork brigade

 Our boys fought well in every fight

we need not call a name

But Commandants Hales and Barry

Are now well known to fame

Napoleon like they led us on                                                                                                                                         

with courage we obeyed

In good old Cork, in famed West Cork

The Third West Cork Brigade.


But in our truimphs we shan’t forget                                                                                                         

Our comrades brave who fell

Some sleep today in nameless graves

But soon their deeds will tell

In grateful Ireland brave and free

We’ll have their names displayed

In good old Cork, in famed West Cork

The Third West Cork Brigade

 One of the first major ambushes carried out by the West Cork Brigade Flying Column under Tom Barry was at Toureen, near Ballinhassig, on the old main road between Bandon and Cork City,

At 4 a.m. on October 26th 1920, the column moved to occupy positions at Toureen, situated about seven and a half miles from Bandon.  At about 7 a.m. they arrived at a large house, belonging to a loyalist family named Roberts, which stood about twenty yards back from the road. All the occupants of the house were made prisoner and as the farm workers arrived, they were also held.

The plan of attack was reviewed once again. Unarmed men were to signal the approach of the lorries. Two riflemen each were to cover the western and eastern flank of the column. The rear flank was also protected by two riflemen. While two lorries were expected, provision had to be made to attack a third. Therefore, another five men were sent to occupy positions about sixty yards west of the point where the attack on the second lorry was planned.

This meant that there were only twenty one riflemen to attack the first two lorries which normally carried about thirty soldiers. Nine men, with Liam Deasy in charge, were placed eighty yards east of Roberts’ house, behind the ditch on the southern side of the road. Closer to the house, hidden behind a hedge, were Charlie Hurley and two riflemen. He was to explode mine under the first lorry, and then his small party and the eastern section were to open fire on the occupants, if that was needed to ensure their surrender. Sixty yards west of where the mine was placed, and behind a large timber gate which opened from the farmyard on to the road, a section of ten riflemen were in position to attack the second lorry. Ropes were fixed on the gate, which was to remain loosely closed until  When the rear of the first lorry was in line with it ropes attached to the gate were to be pulled immediately, and when the gate flew open, five men kneeling and five standing directly behind them were to be ready to fire a volley at their target, at a distance of only five or six yards. This aspect of the plan was practiced at least half-a-dozen times in order that there could be no slip-up. This section was expected to deal with the second lorry without help. By 8 a.m. all men were posted.

A little more than an hour later the scouts signalled the approach of the British convoy, and soon the waiting volunteers could hear the noise of its engines. On that morning only two lorries had set out from Bandon, the first, carrying a sergeant, six soldiers and a civilian court witness. The second lorry was occupied, according to British sources, by Lieutenant Dixon, attached to the 1st Essex regiment, a driver and six soldiers.

As the first British lorry passed over the mine Charlie Hurley depressed the plunger of his exploder. Nothing happened and the lorry drove on towards Cork City. Deasy’s party, who were awaiting the explosion of the mine before opening fire, allowed this vehicle to pass them unscathed, and managed only to fire a few ineffectual rounds at its receding tailboard.

Almost immediately the second lorry appeared and as her bonnet showed the order to fire was given. The volley sounded as one long loud shot. A three pound bomb was also thrown, which landed right in the body of the lorry but did not explode. The lorry skidded to a halt on the side of the road twenty yards from the gate, and the soldiers leaped out, led by their officer, Captain Dickson, and the fight was on. The enemy opened fire as they lay on the road facing the gate section.

The IRA men moved from behind the gate out on to the road. They now faced the Essex, whose shooting appeared to be wayward. Volley after volley was fired by the volunteers. Captain Dickson was shot through the head as he fired his revolver and soon more British soldiers were hit, some fatally. Before long the remainder of the British surrendered, raising their hands over their heads. Immediately the whistle to cease fire was blown and an order was given to divest the enemy of their arms and equipment.

The Brigade Commander came on to the road. He was disgusted at the failure of the mine and the escape of the first lorry. That lorry sped on and never halted until it reached Victoria Barracks in Cork city.

Five of the enemy were dead, including Captain Dickson and four were wounded. Fourteen rifles, bayonets, equipment, some Mills bombs, fourteen hundred rounds, as well as the officers’ revolvers and equipment were secured from them. Not one of the IRA was hit. The members of the Column helped to make the wounded Essex comfortable and supplied bandages to the unwounded for their comrades. An Essex sergeant, who was now in charge, thanked the IRA for their fair treatment. The dead were pulled away from the vicinity of the lorry which was sprinkled with petrol and set alight.

Within fifteen minutes of the opening of the attack, the IRA column had re-assembled and quickly moved off in the direction of Kilbrittain.


Five soldiers from the Essex Regiment were killed in the ambush, four were wounded and six were unhurt except for shock. None of the IRA volunteers were killed or wounded during the ambush and aid was given to the wounded soldiers, while the dead were pulled away from the lorry and it was then set on fire by the volunteers. The six soldiers who were not hurt during the ambush were released along with their wounded and they returned to their barracks.


Later that night, the Essex went on a violent rampage through Bandon, destroying property and seeking out anyone they believed to be connected to the ambush. It is believed that at least some of the rampaging soldiers were those released unharmed by the IRA earlier in the day.



The Crossbarry Ambush                                    


In the days leading up to the ambush at Crossbarry (March 19th, 1921) British forces were still on the increase as there was a growing need for their presence in the area. A document later captured by the I.R.A. showed that there were 8,800 front line infantry troops, 1150 Black and Tans, 540 Auxiliaries, 2080 machine gun corps, artillery and other units, a total of over 12,500 men. There was also the additional RIC (armed) police force. The Irish Army Volunteers had acquired arms over many months through ambushes and the men of the 3rd West Cork Brigade received training from their commandant general Tom Barry. Barry had served in the British army during The Great War and had strong republican ideals. Barry soon proved himself as a very able commander, fighting for Irish independence and carrying out many ambushes and assaults on the occupation forces, who carried out strict reprisals for such attacks and harassed the local population on a continual basis. The 3rd Brigade operated as a flying column with a single leader and drew its volunteers from the local population. Due to their ability to operate completely independently from other flying columns, the British were finding it hard to break these groups down. By March 1921 the 3rd West Cork flying column had 104 officers and men, armed with rifles or revolvers with approximately 36-40 rounds per man.  The column was split into 7 sections of 7 men each commanded by a section commander each. These were Sean Hales, John Lordan, Mick Crowley, Dennis Lordan, Tom Kelleher, Peter Kearney and Christy O’ Connell. Columns such as this relied on local sympathies to stay operational which lead to reprisals for anyone harbouring volunteer forces.

The British relied heavily on intelligence and sources had located the whereabouts of the column on the 16th and sent a reconnaissance plane to investigate. The British then set out quickly to circle the column. The IRA’s counter intelligence later reported British troop movements on the 19th to the area at roughly 1 a.m.; 400 left Cork, 200 left Ballincollig, 300 left Kinsale, 350 left Bandon, 120 Auxiliaries later left Macroom and still later more left Clonakilty and Cork. Sources one and two agree on this information however it is arguable whether such large professional forces of the British Army could have been deterred by just over 100 volunteers. However investigation into the ambush reveals how this came about.

At 2.30 a.m. while billeting at Ballyhandle, Barry received reports from his men of lights and lorries some miles to the west. 2 more reports came in simultaneously of enemy movements to the east and of lights and dogs barking to the south. Barry quickly came to the conclusion that they were to be surrounded and needed a quick break out of the encirclement as their lack of manpower and ammunition did not permit a prolonged engagement. Some of the British units dismounted and proceeded on foot to raid the surrounding country houses. It was in one of these raids 3 miles north of Crossbarry in which the British came across the wounded Charles Hurley who was recovering from a bullet wound received in a previous ambush (Upton ambush). He was killed at roughly at 6.30 a.m. by officers of the 1st Essex but was reported to have killed one and wounded two in the process. By this time Barry had the column in position to ambush British forces to the west as reports had suggested they were much closer than the other encircling troops and so could be engaged on their own.  Barry had sent a pair of volunteers to retrieve Charlie when the first reports of the British in the area came to him but these men were subsequently captured.

Barry’s ambush was meticulously organised. Mines were laid down by Capt. McCarthy, who had served in the Royal Engineers. Two small stone walls were built along the ambush site to prevent armoured cars from infiltrating the I.R.A. lines, as the volunteers could not deal with such an armoured threat directly if it were to come due to their sole possession of small arms. The ambush site was chosen west of the double crossroads at Crossbarry. The old Cork-Bandon road runs from west to east and is met by two roads running north-south creating a double crossroads 30 yards apart.  All seven sections were posted west of these crossroads. Hales’ Section was placed N of the road on the west side in a ditch which ran along the road.  This was capable of moving in behind the British once the ambush started. Christy O’ Connell’s Section was situated 600 yards west of Hales’ and was responsible for holding the right flank as it was the western most section. The four Sections belonging to the two Lordans, Crowley, and Kearney were posted east of Hales’ Section at two farmhouses along the road side. The last Section was that of Tom Kelleher placed in a field 600 yards to the rear of the four main Sections of the ambush. The mines were placed between these four sections. Three riflemen were detached from these four Sections and placed a half mile to the rear to delay enemy flank manoeuvres and prevent the enemy sneaking up on the column. It also provided the main ambushers with time to redeploy to face a new threat. So according to Barry, there were now 73 officers and men in the main ambush sector with 31 others protecting flanks and the rear. In addition to this, Flor Begley, an Intelligence Officer, brought had his pipes and was instructed to play traditional Irish war songs on his pipes in the farmyards among the main ambush force. Barry gave strict orders that no volunteer was to show himself until the fighting had begun. In addition to his no Section was to come to the aid of those fighting unless ordered, even if they themselves were not engaged, as the enemy was approaching fast from all directions and would infiltrate the column if this were to happen. Communication between Barry and his Sections was made via runners and the command post was between the centre Sections.

At 8 a.m. the convoy from the west approached, however a volunteer in the central farm houses exposed himself briefly and the British immediately saw an ambush and opened fire. The ambush had begun as Flor Begley’s pipes began to ring through the air. The fire fight was predominantly at less than ten yards due to the ambushers’ positions. The British soldiers confused and disorganised were routed quickly, running to the south across the fields. Three Sections were detached to pursue but returned after according to Barry felling “many men”. Barry had now the option to escape the noose as the west side had been obliterated but now stayed to engage the other British forces. The enemy arms and ammunition was seized along and an Irish hostage by the name of Edward White rescued. According to General Strickland hostages were often taken along as means of deterring an ambush. This apparently had no effect given the current situation.

The order to destroy the lorries was given and three were in flames when fighting broke out on the left flank. After brief intense fighting the British soldiers withdrew due to the strategic advantage of the defenders’ position. Following this fire broke out on the right flank, where apparent British raiding parties were taken surprise by O’ Connell’s Section as the British advanced cross country. These units also withdrew. Ten minutes later a British unit of 200 (according to Barry and Ryan) arrived to the flank at Tom Kelleher’s Section. Creeping along a ditch they had hoped to hit the column from behind, which would surely have caused chaos in the column. However Barry’s strategic positioning of Kelleher’s Section, who did not move despite seeing no action until this point, were waiting for the British. Allowing the British to come within fifty yards, they opened fire and these British units retreated after Barry had sent Jim “Spud” Murphy with eleven additional riflemen to reinforce this position. Barry then extended his men northwards to meet a possible flanking action from the British which came but was quickly repulsed.

Barry then moved the whole column except O’ Connell’s Section to Tom Kelleher’s position to rid the enemy of the rear and by the time Barry himself at arrived the enemy had retreated. The I.R.A. laid out their dead and the order to move out was given. Shortly following this a group of apparently disorganised British soldiers were spotted in a field discussing what to do some distance away in a field. Barry ordered all 100 rifles of the column to take aim and fire three volleys. These few soldiers “broke in all directions”. This was the last of the fighting of the ambush and the column moved off and leaving the scene of the ambush, began the 20 mile march to their next billets in the country side to continue their fight for independence.

In all according to Barry and Ryan the I.R.A. had lost three volunteers, Jeremiah O’ Leary, Con Daly and Peter Monahan. However according to Meda Ryan, Peter Monahan was not his correct name, a British solder with Irish parents from Fermoy, he defected to the I.R.A. and “will forever remain the unknown soldier”. In addition to this Charles Hurley, a leading figure of the column and great friend of Tom Barry’s was killed and two further volunteers were taken prisoner. Barry describes the British losses as, “corpses strewn on the Crossbarry road, in the fields south of it, in front of Dennis Lordan’s Section, near Christy O’ Connell’s Setion and now here were several more of them lying around Kelleher’s position”. This seems slightly exaggerated compared to Hamar Greenwood (source three) and his figures of six I.R.A. men injured and seven wounded and six taken prisoner (some were also taken in the house raids prior to the ambush). The I.R.A. did in fact have injured and Greenwood’s figures can only be derived from AARs (after action reports), however are not far off Barry’s figures. In addition the British controlled the ambush site following the columns departure and so could report accurately their own losses. This together with the official report to the British Cabinet can be looked upon with relative assurance when they report their own losses of, “eight (other ranks) soldiers and one policeman killed and five wounded (three officers and two other ranks) with one policeman being injured”.

This is seen as a sure victory for the I.R.A. of west Cork and was an “overdue strategic necessity” according to Barry, because had they not been attacked they would have continued to harass the population and arrest volunteers, thus reducing morale and interfering with the operations of the volunteers. Indeed it was described as Barry in a later interview as being “possibly a decisive factor in getting the British establishment to think of a truce”. It was also known that Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Great Britain had singled out the ambushes of Kilmichael and Crossbarry in communiqués leading up to a truce. The ambush was decisive in showing how independent fighting elements backed by a local population were extremely hard to gain intelligence on and their ability to mingle with the population and move around the area in which they knew all the terrain very well could be superior to that of the British Army. Barry’s command skills also played a decisive role in defeating the British as his expectation of British Army tactics allowed him to reply and repel their attacks. The British surely would have had the notion that there were many more volunteers than there was in reality. In an article published by the New York Times and associated press there were reports of up to 300 volunteers taking part in the ambush. General Strickland commented on the ambush saying “if the outcome had been successful {British prospective} it might easily have had decisive results as regards rebel activity in West Cork”. 

The following is a list of the republican soldiers who took part in the ambush at Crossbarry Co. Cork on Saturday 19th of March 1921.

Irish Republican Army :                                                                                                                             

Staff Officers

Surname Forename Rank

Deasy Liam Brigade Adjutant

Barry Tom Column Commandant                                                                                                    

Begley Flor Assistant Brigade Adjutant

Lucey Dr. Con Brgade M.O
Sullivan Tadhg Column Quartermaster

Crowley Mick Brigade Engineer (Section Commander)                                                                  

First Battalion

Surname Forename Address Rank Company

Hales Sean Knocknacurra Section Commander Ballinadee

Hales William Knocknacurra Volunteer Ballinadee

Hales Bob Knocknacurra Volunteer Ballinadee

O’Donoghue Con Rathrout Volunteer Ballinadee

O’Donoghue Jack Rathrout Volunteer Ballinadee

O’Donoghue Denny Rathrout Volunteer Ballinadee

Crowley Jim Kilanetig Volunteer (Wounded) Ballinadee   


Five soldiers from the Essex Regiment were killed in the ambush, four were wounded and six were unhurt except for shock. None of the IRA volunteers were killed or wounded during the ambush and aid was given to the wounded soldiers, while the dead were pulled away from the lorry and it was then set on fire by the volunteers. The six soldiers who were not hurt during the ambush were released along with their wounded and they returned to their barracks.

Later that night, the Essex went on a violent rampage through Bandon, destroying property and seeking out anyone they believed to be connected to the ambush. It is believed that at least some of the rampaging soldiers were those released unharmed by the IRA earlier in the day.

Crowley Tim Horsehill Volunteer Ballinadee

Healy Matt Rathrout Volunteer Ballinadee                                                                                              

Corkerry Jack Cloghane Volunteer Ballinadee

O’Leary Johnny Howes Strand Volunteer Kilbrittain

Lordan Denis Maryboro Section Commander Kilbrittain

Monahan Peter Volunteer (Killed) Kilbrittain

Roche Jack Kilbrittain Volunteer Kilbrittain

O’Brien Denny Clounboig Volunteer Kilbrittain

O’Sullivan Paddy Glanduff Volunteer Kilbrittain

Lehane Con Timoleague Volunteer Timoleague                                                                                 

Murphy Con Carhue Volunteer Timoleague

Hodnett Jimmy Carhue Volunteer Timoleague

Deasy Mick Volunteer Timoleague

Keohane Tim Volunteer Timoleague

O’Driscoll John Timoleague Volunteer Timoleague

Minnihane Dan Timoleague Volunteer Timoleague                                                                          

McCarthy Bill Volunteer Barryroe

Holland Dan Volunteer Ballyroe

Coleman Michael Volunteer Ballyroe

O’Brien Denis Butlerstown Volunteer Ballyroe

O’Sullivan Denis Volunteer Ballyroe

Callanan Con Volunteer Ballyroe

O’Donovan Dan Burrane South Volunteer Clogagh

Daly Con Ballinascarthy Volunteer (Killed) Clogagh                                                                       

Dempsey Paddy Volunteer Clogagh

O’Donovan Mick Volunteer Clogagh

O’Donovan Dan Clogagh Volunteer Clogagh

Mehigan Denis Dangan Volunteer Bandon

Kearney Mick Bandon Volunteer Bandon

Buckley Bill Bandon Volunteer Bandon

McCarthy Con Bandon Volunteer Bandon

Hurley Frank Laragh, Bandon Volunteer Mount Plesant                                                               

O’Brien Con Laragh, Bandon Volunteer Mount Plesant

O’Brien Jerh Tullyglass Volunteer Mount Plesant

Lordan John Coolinagh Section Commander Mount Plesant

Lordan Jim Coolinagh Volunteer Mount Plesant

Desmond Bill Volunteer Mount Plesant

Canty Dan Farnalough Volunteer Mount Plesant

Staunton Stephen Volunteer Mount Plesant

Desmond Jer Volunteer Mount Plesant

O’Callaghan Denis Lauravoulta Volunteer Mount Plesant                                                             

O’Callaghan John Lauravoulta Volunteer Mount Plesant

O’Brien Denny Tullyglass Volunteer Mount Plesant

Corcoran Dan Bengour Volunteer (Wounded) Mount Plesant

Doyle Jim Kilmore Volunteer Kilpatrick

Doyle Jer Kilmore Volunteer Kilpatrick

Crowley John Volunteer Kilpatrick

Kelleher Tom Crow Hill, Upton Section Commander Crosspound

Second Battalion

Surname Firstname Address Rank Company                                                                                                                    

Murphy Jim Clonakilty Section Commander Clonakilty

Nugent Dan Clonakilty Volunteer Clonakilty

Barry Jack Clonakilty Volunteer Clonakilty

O’Leary Con Brownstown Volunteer Ardfield

O’Sullivan Dan Cahir Volunteer Ardfield

McSweeney Eugene Castlefreke Volunteer Kilkernmore

McSweeney Jack Castlefreke Volunteer Kilkernmore

Third Battalion                                                                                                                                                 

An Cead Dáil Éireann (The First meeting of the Irish Parliament)

An Cead Dáil Éireann (The First meeting of the Irish Parliament)

Surname Firstname Address Rank Company

O’Donovan John Aultagh Volunteer Aultagh

Kearney Peter Lettergorman Section Commander Clubhouse

O’Connell Patsy Edencurra Dunmanway Volunteer Clubhouse

O’Donovan Pat Nedinagh Volunteer Clubhouse

Hurley Mick Gortnamuckly Dunmanway Volunteer Bredagh

O’Leary Denis Drimoleague Volunteer Knockbue

Fourth Battalion

Surname Firstname Address Rank Company

O’Leary Jerh Corran, Leap Volunteer (Killed) Corran                                                              

Dempsey Jack Dromindy Volunteer Drinagh

McCarthy Tim J. Lissane, Drimoleague Volunteer Bredagh

O’Neill Sean Baltimore Volunteer Baltimore

Fifth Battalion

Surname Firstname Address Rank Company

O’Driscoll Michael Snave, Bantry Volunteer Coomhola

Lucey Daniel Cooryleary, Bantry Volunteer Coomhola

O’Connor Jack Kealkil, Bantry Volunteer Kealkil

O’Sullivan Patrick Milleney, Bantry Volunteer Bantry

Keohane Patrick Parsons Bridge, |Bantry Volunteer Parsons Bridge

Norris Willie Caheragh Volunteer Caheragh                                                                                                   

Cathal Brugha - Shot 25 times during the 1916 rising and survived. After being blown across a room by British Artillery his Regiment were about to surrender, but Cathal rose singing "God Save Ireland" and the regiment held out to the end of the rebellion.

Cathal Brugha - Shot 25 times during the 1916 rising and survived. After being blown across a room by British Artillery his Regiment were about to surrender, but Cathal rose singing "God Save Ireland" and the regiment held out to the end of the rebellion.

O’Driscoll Denis Caheragh Volunteer Caheragh

Sixth Battalion

Surname Firstname Address Rank Company

O’Sullivan Michael Inchintaglan, Adrigole Volunteer Adrigole

O’Sullivan Matt Lackavane, Adrigole Volunteer Adrigole

McCarthy John Castletownbere Volunteer Castletown

Spencer Dick Rossmacowen Volunteer (Wounded) Rossmacowen

O’Shea Tim Droumard, Ardgroom Volunteer Ardgroom

Sheehan John Barrakilla, Ardgroom Volunteer (Wounded) Ardgroom

O’Connell Christy Eyeries Section Commander Eyeries, Kilcatherine, Inches

O’Driscoll Sean Eyeries Volunteer Eyeries, Kilcatherine, Inches

O’Dwyer Tim Eyeries, Caileroe Volunteer Eyeries, Kilcatherine, Inches

O’Sullivan Pat Eyeries Volunteer Eyeries, Kilcatherine, Inches

McCarthy Murt Inches Volunteer Eyeries, Kilcatherine, Inches

McAuliffe Jerry Croumlane Volunteer Eyeries, Kilcatherine, Inches

O’Sullivan Dan Gorth Volunteer Eyeries, Kilcatherine, Inches                                                                   

O’Sullivan John Kilcatherine Volunteer Eyeries, Kilcatherine, Inches

Seventh Battalion

Surname Firstname Address Rank Company

Allen Tim Ballydehob Volunteer Ballydehob

McCarthy Tom Schull Volunteer Schull

Outside of Battalion Area

Surname Firstname Address Rank Company

McCarthy Jerh Dreeney, Skibbereen Volunteer U.C.C.                                                                                              


Surname Firstname Address Rank

Finn Ted Crossbarry Scout

Collins J. Crossbarry Scout

Twomey Tadhg Crossbarry Scout

Cronin Paddy Crossbarry Scout

Doolin Denny Crossbarry Scout                                                                                                                                          

Begley Neilus Killeens Scout

Hartnett Bill Killeens Scout

Buckley Danny Inagh Scout

Buckley Miah Inagh Scout

O’Leary Paddy Ballyhandle Scout

Falvey Jack Ballymurphy Scout

Delaney Denny Belrose Scout

O’Mahony Jerome Belrose Scout

Lordan Jim Dunkerreen Scout                                                                                                                  

McCarthy Pake Upton Scout

Cronin Battie Clashinimud Scout

                                                                                                                                The Crossbarry Ambush
The Crossbarry Ambush
                                                                                                             The Crossbarry Ambush




Real Irish Republican Army (Real IRA (RIRA) Óglaigh na hÉireann (Volunteers of Ireland)

Posted in Uncategorized on 07/05/2011 by johnfcaba

Real Irish Republican Army
(Óglaigh na hÉireann)

The Real Irish Republican Army, otherwise known as the Real IRA (RIRA) and styling itself as Óglaigh na hÉireann (Volunteers of Ireland), is a paramilitary organisation which aims to bring about a united Ireland. Formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional IRA, it is an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland and designated as a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The organisation has been responsible for a number of bombings in Northern Ireland and England, most notably the 15 August 1998 Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people. On 7 March 2009 RIRA members claimed responsibility for an attack on the Massereene Barracks that killed two British soldiers, the first to be killed in Northern Ireland since 1997.




On 10 October 1997 a Provisional IRA General Army Convention was held in Falcarragh, County Donegal. At the convention Provisional IRA Quartermaster General Michael McKevitt, also a member of the 12-person Provisional IRA Executive, denounced the leadership and called for an end to the group’s ceasefire and participation in the Northern Ireland peace process. He was backed by his common-law wife and fellow Executive member Bernadette Sands-McKevitt. The pair were outmanoeuvred by the leadership, and a key ally, Kevin McKenna, was voted off the Army Council leaving the pair isolated. The convention backed the orthodox pro-ceasefire line, and on 26 October McKevitt and Sands-McKevitt resigned from the Executive along with several other members.

In November 1997 McKevitt and other dissidents held a meeting in a farmhouse in Oldcastle, County Meath, and a new organisation styling itself Óglaigh na hÉireann was formed. The organisation attracted disaffected Provisional IRA members from the republican stronghold of South Armagh, as well as other areas including Dublin, Belfast, Limerick, Tipperary, County Louth, County Tyrone and County Monaghan


The RIRA’s ultimate objective is a united Ireland by forcing the end of British sovereignty over Northern Ireland through the use of physical force. The organisation rejects the Mitchell Principles and the Belfast Agreement, comparing the latter to the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty which resulted in the partition of Ireland. The organisation aims to uphold an uncompromising form of Irish republicanism and opposes any political settlement that falls short of Irish unity and independence.

Sands-McKevitt, sister of hunger striker Bobby Sands and a founder of the RIRA’s political wing, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, said in an interview that “Bobby did not die for cross-border bodies with executive powers. He did not die for nationalists to be equal British citizens within the Northern Ireland state”. The RIRA adopts similar tactics to those used by the Provisional IRA in the 1990s, primarily using bombs in town centres to damage the economic infrastructure of Northern Ireland. The organisation also attempts to kill members of the security forces using land mines, home-made mortars and car bombs, and targets England using incendiary and car bombs to spread terror and disruption.


Early campaign

The organisation’s first action was an attempted bombing in Banbridge, County Down on 7 January 1998. The plot involved a 300 lb car bomb, but it was thwarted after being defused by security forces. The organisation continued its campaign in late February, with bombings in Moira, County Down and Portadown, County Armagh. On 9 May the organisation formally announced its existence in a coded telephone call to Belfast media claiming responsibility for a mortar attack on a police station in Belleek, County Fermanagh.[14]

The name “Real IRA” entered common usage when members staged an illegal roadblock in Jonesborough, County Armagh and told motorists “We’re from the IRA. The Real IRA”.The organisation also carried out attacks in Newtownhamilton and Newry, and a second attack in Banbridge on 1 August injured 35 people and caused £3.5 million of damage when a 500 lb car bomb exploded. Despite these attacks the RIRA lacked a significant base and was heavily infiltrated by informers. This led to a series of high profile arrests and seizures by the Garda Síochána in the first half of 1998, including the death of member Rónán Mac Lochlainn who was shot dead trying to escape from police following an attempted robbery of a security van in County Wicklow.

 Omagh bombing

Main article: Omagh bombing

On 15 August 1998 the RIRA left a car containing 500 lb of home-made explosives in the centre of Omagh, County Tyrone. The bombers could not find a parking space near the intended target of the courthouse, and the car was left 400 metres away. As a result three inaccurate telephone warnings were issued, and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) believed the bomb was actually located outside the courthouse. They attempted to establish a security cordon to keep civilians clear of the area, which inadvertently pushed people closer to the actual location of the bomb. Shortly after, the bomb exploded killing 29 people and injuring 220 others, in what became the single deadliest strike of the Troubles.

The bombing caused a major outcry throughout the world, and the Irish and British governments introduced new legislation in an attempt to destroy the organisation. The RIRA also came under pressure from the Provisional IRA, when Provisional IRA members visited the homes of 60 people connected with the RIRA and ordered them to disband and stop interfering with Provisional IRA arms dumps. With the organisation under intense pressure, which included McKevitt and Sands-McKevitt being forced from their home after the media named McKevitt in connection with the bombing, the RIRA called a ceasefire on 8 September.


Following the declaration of the ceasefire the RIRA began to regroup, and by the end of October had elected a new leadership and were planning their future direction. In late December Irish government representative Martin Mansergh held a meeting with McKevitt in Dundalk, in an attempt to convince McKevitt to disband the RIRA. McKevitt refused, stating that members would be left defenceless to attacks by the Provisional IRA. In 1999 the RIRA began preparations for a renewed campaign, and in May three members travelled across Europe to Split in Croatia to purchase arms which were subsequently smuggled back to Ireland. On 20 October ten people were arrested when Gardaí raided a RIRA training camp near Stamullen, County Meath. Officers found a firing range inside a disused wine cellar being used as an underground bunker, and seized weapons including an assault rifle, a submachine gun, a semi-automatic pistol and an RPG-18 rocket launcher. An earlier version of the rocket launcher, the RPG-7, had been in the possession of the Provisional IRA from as early as 1972, but this was the first time the RPG-18 had been found in the possession of a paramilitary organisation in Ireland.



 Return to activity

On 20 January 2000 the RIRA issued a call-to-arms in a statement to the Irish News. The statement condemned the Northern Ireland Executive, and stated “Once again, Óglaigh na hÉireann declares the right of the Irish people to the ownership of Ireland. We call on all volunteers loyal to the Irish Republic to unite to uphold the Republic and establish a permanent national parliament representative of all the people”. The RIRA launched its new campaign on 25 February with an attempted bombing of Shackleton Army Barracks in Ballykelly. The bombers were disturbed as they were assembling the device, which would have caused mass murder if detonated, according to soldiers. On 29 February a rocket launcher similar to one seized in the 1999 raid was found near an army base in Dungannon, County Tyrone, and on 15 March three men were arrested following the discovery of 500 lb of home-made explosives when the RUC searched two cars in Hillsborough, County Down. On 6 April a bomb attack took place at Ebrington Army Barracks in Derry. RIRA members lowered a device consisting of 5 lb of home made explosives over the perimeter fence using ropes, and the bomb subsequently exploded damaging the fence and an unmanned guardhouse.

 Bombings in England

The damage caused by the 3 August 2001 Ealing bombing

After the Omagh bombing, the RIRA leadership were unwilling to launch a full-scale campaign in Northern Ireland due to the possibility of civilians being killed.Instead they decided to launch a series of attacks in England, in particular London, which they hoped would attract disenchanted Provisional IRA members to join the RIRA. On 1 June 2000 a bomb damaged Hammersmith Bridge; a symbolic target for Irish republican paramilitary groups. The bridge had previously been targeted by the Irish Republican Army on 29 March 1939 as part of its Sabotage Campaign, and by the Provisional IRA on 24 April 1996. One month later on 19 July, security forces carried out a controlled explosion on a bomb left at Ealing Broadway station and public transport was disrupted when the Metropolitan Police closed Victoria and Paddington train stations and halted services on the London Underground. On 21 September a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the MI6 headquarters using an RPG-22 rocket launcher, which generated headlines around the world. On 21 February 2001 a bomb disguised as a torch left outside a Territorial Army base in Shepherd’s Bush seriously injured a 14-year-old cadet, who was blinded and had his hand blown off. A second attack in Shepherd’s Bush, the 4 March BBC bombing, injured a civilian outside the BBC Television Centre. The explosion was captured by a BBC cameraman, and the footage was broadcast on TV stations worldwide, and gained mass publicity for the group.

 On 14 April a bomb exploded at a postal sorting office in Hendon, causing minor damage but no injuries. Three weeks later on 6 May a second bomb exploded at the same building, causing slight injuries to a passer-by. The 3 August Ealing bombing injured seven people, and on 3 November a car bomb containing 60 lb of home-made explosives was planted in the centre of Birmingham. The bomb did not fully detonate and no one was injured.

 Renewed campaign in Northern Ireland

The damage caused by the 30 June bomb

The successful attack on Hammersmith Bridge encouraged the RIRA leadership to launch further attacks in Northern Ireland. On 19 June 2000 a bomb was found in the grounds of Hillsborough Castle, home of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Mandelson. On 30 June a bomb exploded on the Dublin to Belfast railway line near the village of Meigh in County Armagh. The explosion damaged the tracks, and caused disruption to train services. On 9th July a car bomb damaged buildings in Stewartstown, County Tyrone including an RUC station, and on 10 August an attack in Derry was thwarted by the RUC after a van containing a 500 lb bomb failed to stop at a police checkpoint. Following a car chase the bombers escaped across the Irish border, and the Irish Army carried out a controlled explosion on the bomb after the van was found abandoned in County Donegal.On 13 September two 80 lb bombs were planted at the Magilligan army camp in County Londonderry, one of which was planted in a wooden hut and partially exploded when a soldier opened the door to the hut. The second bomb was found during a follow-up search and made safe by bomb disposal experts. On 11 November the RUC and British Army prevented a mortar attack after stopping a van near Derrylin, County Fermanagh, and the RUC prevented a further attack on 13 January 2001 when an 1100 lb bomb was found in Armagh — the largest bomb found in several years according to the RUC.

On 23 January the RIRA attacked Ebrington Army Barracks in Derry for a second time, firing a mortar over a perimeter fence.[A mortar similar to the one used in the attack was found by Gardaí near Newtowncunningham on 13 February, and British army bomb disposal experts made safe another mortar found between Dungannon and Carrickmore on 12 April. On 1 August a 40 lb bomb was discovered in a car at the long stay car park of Belfast International Airport following a telephone warning, and was made safe with two controlled explosions by bomb disposal experts. In December a six day security operation ended when a 70 lb bomb found under railway tracks at Killeen Bridge near Newry was successfully defused. The operation began following a number of telephone warnings, and both the road and railway line connecting Newry to Dundalk were closed due to security alerts. A pipe bomb was discovered at a police officer’s home in Annalong, County Down on 3 January 2002, and two teenage boys were injured in County Armagh on 2 March when a bomb hidden in a traffic cone exploded. On 29 March 2002 the RIRA targeted a former member of the Royal Irish Regiment from Sion Mills, County Tyrone, with a bomb attached to his car that failed to explode. On 1 August a civilian worker was killed by an explosion at a Territorial Army base in Derry. The man, a 51-year-old former member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, was the thirtieth person killed by the RIRA.


Despite the RIRA’s renewed activity, the organisation became increasingly weaker due to the arrest of key members and continued infiltration by informers. McKevitt was arrested on 29 March 2001 and charged with membership of an illegal organisation and directing terrorism, and remanded into custody. In July 2001, following the arrests of McKevitt and other RIRA members, British and Irish government sources hinted that the organisation was now in disarray. Other key figures were jailed, including the RIRA’s Director of Operations, Liam Campbell, who was convicted of membership of an illegal organisation, and Colm Murphy who was convicted of conspiring to cause the Omagh bombing, although this conviction was later overturned on appeal.

On 10 April 2002, Ruairi Convey, from Donaghmede, Dublin was jailed for three years for membership of the RIRA. During a search of his home a list of names and home addresses of members of the Gardaí’s Emergency Response Unit was found. Five RIRA members were also convicted in connection with the 2001 bombing campaign in England, and received sentences varying from 16 years to 22 years imprisonment. In October 2002, McKevitt and other RIRA members imprisoned in Portlaoise Prison issued a statement calling for the organisation to stand down. After a two-month trial, McKevitt was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment in August 2003 after being convicted of directing terrorist Subsequent activities.Subsequent activities.

Since McKevitt’s imprisonment, the RIRA has regrouped and continues to be active in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The RIRA claimed responsibility for a series of firebomb attacks against premises in Belfast in November 2004, and an attack on a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) patrol in Ballymena during March 2006 was attributed to the RIRA by the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC). On 9 August 2006 a number of fire bomb attacks by the RIRA hit businesses in Newry, County Down. Buildings belonging to JJB Sports and Carpetright were destroyed, and ones belonging to MFI and TK Maxx were badly damaged. On 27 October 2006, a large amount of explosives were found in Kilbranish, Mount Leinster, County Carlow by police, who believe the RIRA were trying to derail the peace process with a bomb attack. The IMC believe the RIRA was also responsible for a failed mortar attack on Craigavon PSNI Station on 4 December 2006. The IMC’s October 2006 report stated that the RIRA remains “active and dangerous” and that it seeks to “sustain its position as a terrorist organisation”. The RIRA has previously stated it has no intention of calling a ceasefire unless a declaration of intent to withdraw from Northern Ireland is made by the British Government.

On 8 November 2007 two RIRA members shot an off-duty PSNI officer as he sat in his car on Bishop Street in Derry, causing injuries to his face and arm. On 12 November another PSNI member was shot by RIRA members in Dungannon, County Tyrone. On 7 February 2008, the RIRA stated that, after experiencing a three-year period of reorganisation, it intends to “go back to war” by launching a new offensive against “legitimate targets”. It also, despite having initially apologised for the Omagh bombing, denied any large scale involvement with the attack and said that their part had only gone as far as their codeword being used. On 12 May 2008 the RIRA seriously injured a member of the PSNI when a booby trap bomb exploded underneath his car near Spamount, County Tyrone. On 25 September 2008 the RIRA shot a man in the neck in St Johnston, near the Derry border. The same man was targeted in a pipe bomb attack on his home on 25 October, the RIRA did not claim responsibility for the attack, but security forces believe they were responsible for it.

On 7 March 2009, the RIRA claimed responsibility for the 2009 Massereene Barracks shooting. This shooting occurred outside the Massereene Barracks as four soldiers were receiving a pizza delivery. Two soldiers were killed, and the other two soldiers and two deliverymen were injured. On 3 April 2009 the RIRA in Derry claimed responsibility for carrying out a punishment shooting against a convicted rapist who was awaiting sentencing for raping a 15 year old girl. The RIRA was also blamed for orchestrating rioting in the Ardoyne area of Belfast on 13 July 2009 as an Apprentice Boys parade was passing. A number of PSNI officers were injured in the rioting and at least one shot was fired at police. In early November, the Independent Monitoring Commission released a report stating that the threat from the RIRA and other dissident republicans was at its most serious level since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

On 5 October 2010, a car bomb exploded outside a branch of the Ulster Bank on Culmore Road in Derry. Two police officers were slightly injured in the blast, which also damaged a hotel and other businesses. Several telephone warnings were received an hour prior to the blast allowing police to cordon off the area. The RIRA later claimed responsibility in a telephone call to the Derry Journal.

 Structure and status

The RIRA has a similar command structure to the Provisional IRA, with a seven member Army Council consisting of a Chief of Staff, Quartermaster General, Director of Training, Director of Operations, Director of Finance, Director of Publicity and Adjutant General. The rank-and-file members operate in active service units of covert cells in order to prevent the organisation from being compromised by informers. As of June 2005, the organisation is believed to have a maximum of about 150 members, according to a statement by the Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell.

The RIRA also has a political wing, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (formerly the 32 County Sovereignty Committee), led by Francis Mackey. The RIRA is distinct from the Continuity IRA, another Provisional IRA splinter group founded in 1986, although the two groups have been known to co-operate at a local level. The Provisional IRA have been hostile to the RIRA and issued threats to RIRA members, and in October 2000 was alleged to be responsible for the fatal shooting of Belfast RIRA member Joe O’Connor according to O’Connor’s family and 32 County Sovereignty Movement member Marian Price.

The RIRA is an illegal organisation under Irish and UK law (section 11(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000) because of the use of ‘IRA’ in the group’s name. Membership of the organisation is punishable by a sentence of up to ten years imprisonment under UK law. In 2001 the United States government designated the RIRA as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” (FTO). This makes it illegal for Americans to provide material support to the RIRA, requires US financial institutions to freeze the group’s assets and denies suspected RIRA members visas into America.


The RIRA initially took small amounts of materiel from Provisional IRA arms dumps under the control of McKevitt and other former Provisional IRA members, including the plastic explosive Semtex, Uzi submachine guns, AK-47 assault rifles, handguns, detonators and timing devices. The defection of senior Provisional IRA members also gave the RIRA the ability to manufacture home-made explosives and improvised mortars, including the Mark 15 mortar capable of firing a 200 lb shell.

In 1999 the organisation supplemented its equipment by importing arms from Croatia, including military explosive TM500, CZ Model 25 submachine guns, modified AK-47 assault rifles with a folding stock, and RPG-18 and RPG-22 rocket launchers. but a July 2000 attempt to smuggle a second consignment of arms was foiled by Croatian police, who seized seven RPG-18s, AK-47 assault rifles, detonators, ammunition and twenty packs of TM500.

Again in 2001, RIRA members travelled to Slovakia to procure arms, and were caught in a sting operation by the British security agency MI5. The men attempted to purchase 5 tonnes of plastic explosives, 2,000 detonators, 500 handguns, 200 rocket-propelled-grenades, and also wire-guided missiles and sniper rifles, but were arrested and extradited to the UK and subsequently imprisoned for 30 years after pleading guilty to conspiring to cause explosions and other charges.

In June 2006, the PSNI made a number of arrests following a MI5 sting operation targeting a dissident republican gun smuggling plot. The RIRA had attempted to procure arms from France including Semtex and C-4 plastic explosives, SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles, AK-47s, rocket launchers, heavy machine guns, sniper rifles, pistols with silencers, anti-tank weapons and detonators.On 30 June 2010, two of those arrested were found guilty following a trial by judge in Belfast. On 1 October 2010 one man was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for attempting to import weapons and explosives, the other was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for making a Portuguese property available for the purpose of terrorism.

History of Ireland – Stair na hÉireann

Posted in Uncategorized on 07/05/2011 by johnfcaba

Ireland The first known settlement in Ireland began around 8000 BC, when hunter-gatherers arrived from continental Europe, probably via a land bridge.Few archaeological traces remain of this group, but their descendants and later Neolithic arrivals, particularly from the Iberian Peninsula, were responsible for major Neolithic sites such as Newgrange.[2][3] On the arrival of Saint Patrick and other Christian missionaries in the early to mid-5th century AD, Christianity began to subsume the indigenous Celtic religion, a process that was completed by the year 600.

From around AD 800, more than a century of Viking invasions brought havoc upon the monastic culture and on the island’s various regional dynasties, yet both of these institutions proved strong enough to survive and assimilate the invaders. The coming of Cambro-Norman mercenaries under Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, in 1169 marked the beginning of more than 700 years of direct Norman and, later, English involvement in Ireland. The English crown did not begin asserting full control of the island until after the English Reformation, when questions over the loyalty of Irish vassals provided the initial impetus for a series of military campaigns between 1534 and 1691. This period was also marked by an English policy of plantation which led to the arrival of thousands of English and Scottish Protestant settlers. As the military and political defeat of Gaelic Ireland became more clear in the early seventeenth century, the role of religion as a new division in Ireland became more pronounced. From this period on, sectarian conflict became a recurrent theme in Irish history.

The overthrow, in 1613, of the Catholic majority in the Irish parliament was realised principally through the creation of numerous new boroughs, all of which were Protestant-dominated. By the end of the seventeenth century all Catholics, representing some 85% of Ireland’s population then, were banned from the Irish parliament. Political power rested entirely in the hands of an Anglo settler-colonial, and more specifically the state church (Church of Ireland) minority, while the Catholic and some Protestant denominations suffered severe political and economic privations. In 1801, the Irish Parliament was abolished and Ireland became an integral part of a new United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Act of Union. Catholics were still banned from sitting in that new parliament until Catholic Emancipation was attained in 1829, the principal condition of which was the removal of the poorer, and thus more radical, Irish freeholders from the franchise.

The Irish Parliamentary Party strove from the 1880s to attain Home Rule self-government through the parliamentary constitutional movement eventually winning the Home Rule Act 1914, though it was suspended on the outbreak of World War I.

In 1922, after the Irish War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the larger part of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom (UK) to become the independent Irish Free State; and after the 1937 constitution, Ireland. The six north eastern counties, known as Northern Ireland, remained within the United Kingdom. The Irish Civil War followed soon after the War of Independence. The history of Northern Ireland has since been dominated by sporadic sectarian conflict between (mainly Catholic) Nationalists and (mainly Protestant) Unionists. This conflict erupted into the Troubles in the late 1960s, until an uneasy peace thirty years later.