Chronology of Continuity Irish Republican Army actions

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This is a chronology of activities by the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA), an Irish republican paramilitary group. The group started operations in 1994, after the Provisional Irish Republican Army began a ceasefire.

Note: All actions listed took place within Northern Ireland, unless stated otherwise.

1994[edit]

1995[edit]

  • 7 February: A small bomb was planted by the CIRA on Newry.[1]

1996[edit]

  • 6 January : The Irish Republican Publicity Bureau issued a statement saying 'a reborn Irish Republican Army had emerged led by the "Continuity Army Council"'.[2]
  • 13 July : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a 1,200 lb car bomb outside Kilyhelvin Hotel in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The blast caused serious damage and injured 17 people as they were being evacuated from the hotel.[3]
  • 29 September : The CIRA claimed responsibility for abandoning a 250 lb car bomb in Belfast. Security forces made the device safe using a controlled explosion.[3]
  • 21 November : The CIRA claimed responsibility for planting a 600 lb bomb in Derry. It failed to explode and was made safe by the security forces.[3]

1997[edit]

  • 31 July : The CIRA planted a bomb (estimated at between 500 and 1,000 lb) in the grounds of Carrybridge Hotel near Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh. It was defused by the British Army.[4]
  • 9 August : The CIRA planted a hoax van bomb on Craigavon Bridge in Derry, shortly before the start of the Apprentice Boys' parade through the city. Disturbances broke out during the march when loyalist bandsmen broke ranks to attack nationalist residents who were watching the parade.[4]
  • 16 September : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a 400 lbs van bomb outside the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base in Markethill, County Armagh. The bombing happened a day after Sinn Féin joined the political negotiations which led to the Belfast "Good Friday" Agreement.[4]
  • 30 October : The CIRA claimed responsibility for planting a holdall bomb in an office of a government building in Derry. The bag contained a quantity of Semtex and petrol, but failed to detonate properly.[4][5]
  • 20 November : The CIRA planted a small bomb behind Belfast City Hall. The Progressive Unionist Party claimed the device was aimed at their ground floor office.[4]

1998[edit]

Note: for some of the incidents in 1998, it is unclear whether the Continuity IRA, the Real IRA, or both organizations were responsible.[6][7][8]

  • 6 January: A 500 lb car bomb was defused by the security forces in the centre of Banbridge, County Down. A telephoned warning had been sent.[6]
  • 24 January : Following a telephoned warning, a car bomb exploded outside the 'River Club' on Factory Road in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The building was extensively damaged, but there were no injuries. It is believed the CIRA was responsible.[6]
  • 20 February: Following a telephoned warning, a 500 lb car bomb exploded outside the RUC base in Moira, County Down. Seven RUC officers and four civilians were hurt. The blast caused widespread damage.[9][10]
  • 23 February: Following a telephoned warning, a 300 lb car bomb exploded near the RUC base on Edward Street in Portadown, County Armagh. The blast caused widespread damage but no injuries.[11]
  • 20 March : A bomb was left in the Northern Bank on Guildhall Square in Derry, and the area was cleared for four hours while the British Army defused it. The CIRA claimed responsibility and said a Republican had tried to stop the CIRA members from planting the bomb.[6]
  • 4 May : There was an attempted mortar attack on Grosvenor Road RUC base in Belfast. One of the mortars fell short of the target and the other exploded in its launch tube.[6]
  • 9 May : There was a mortar attack on the RUC base in Belleek, County Fermanagh. The mortars fell short of their target and one exploded as the RUC was clearing the area. There were no injuries.[6]
  • 15 May : A car and trailer bomb were abandoned in Kinawley, County Fermanagh. The British Army recovered and made safe two mortars, containing between 100 lb and 150 lb of explosives. It is believed the CIRA was responsible.[12]
  • 4 September : The CIRA claimed to have launched an attack on an RUC patrol on Moy Road, between Portadown, County Armagh and Moy, County Tyrone. The RUC denied any knowledge of an attack in the area.[13]

1999[edit]

  • 14 January : There was a gun attack on Woodbourne RUC base in Belfast. Four men were later arrested. It is believed the CIRA was responsible.[14]
  • 4 February : Channel 4 documentary Dispatches showed a CIRA propaganda video, which included members armed with a hand-held grenade launcher, an AK-47 assault rifle and a Magnum revolver.[15]
  • 4 May : There was a gun attack on Lisnaskea RUC base in County Fermanagh. It is believed the CIRA was responsible.[14]
  • 1 June : A telephone warning using a recognised CIRA codeword claimed a 500 lb bomb had been left in Russell Street, Armagh. The RUC searched the area disrupting rush hour traffic, but no bomb was found.[16]
  • 27 December : Approximately 20,000 people were evacuated from Kempton Park Racecourse following a bomb alert. The CIRA was blamed.[14]

2000[edit]

  • 6 February : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a bomb at Mahon's Hotel in Irvinestown, County Fermanagh. A telephoned warning was sent and the hotel was evacuated beforehand.[17]
  • 25 February : The CIRA claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on Shackleton British Army Barracks in Ballykelly, County Londonderry. It caused slight damage but no injuries. Three gas cylinders packed with explosives found at the scene failed to detonate.[18]
  • 10 May : The CIRA issued a statement calling on the Provisional IRA to disband and hand its weapons over to those who were "prepared to defend the Republic".[19]
  • 19 May : A series of bomb alerts caused serious disruption in Belfast. Telephoned warnings, allegedly from the CIRA, claimed bombs had been left in several locations including the BBC studios at Broadcasting House. British Army bomb disposal experts carried out several controlled explosions before declaring the area safe.[20]
  • 31 October: The CIRA claimed responsibility for planting a pipe bomb outside Castlewellan RUC base in County Down. It was hidden under a traffic cone and badly injured an RUC officer.[21]
  • 17 December : The CIRA was believed to have been responsible for leaving a booby-trap pipe bomb on a mountain road in Kilcoo, County Down. A telephoned warning was sent and the bomb was defused by security forces.[21][22]

2001[edit]

  • 19 July : A bomb was thrown from a car and up to six shots fired during an attack on Castlewellan RUC base in County Down. The station suffered minor damage but there were no injuries.[23]
  • 2 August: Former Social Democratic and Labour Party MLA Eamonn O'Neill had his family car attacked with CIRA slogans in Castlewellan, County Down. It is believed the attack happened after O'Neill criticised a CIRA attack on the village's RUC base in the weeks previous.[24]
  • 30 October : Two gunmen, claiming to be from the CIRA, hijacked a bus in Belfast and ordered the driver to drive to Woodbourne RUC base. The men fled leaving a holdall estimated to contain 5 kg of explosives. The security forces tried to defuse the bomb but it exploded during the operation. Damage was restricted to the bus and the gates of the base, and there were no injuries.[25][26]
  • 16 December : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a small bomb outside a Customs and Excise office on the Killyhevlin Industrial Estate in County Fermanagh. A telephoned warning had been sent. The office was unmanned at the time and there were no injuries.[27]

2002[edit]

  • 14 January : Over 1,000 pupils were sent home from Boys Model School in Belfast following a hoax bomb warning. The caller claimed to be from the CIRA.[28]
  • 21 January: The CIRA was linked to a gun attack in a pub in Ardglass, County Down. Two masked gunmen entered the pub and fired shots into the ceiling before leaving. It was claimed that they were searching for a leading member of a rival republican group, intent on killing him.[29][30]
  • 12 March : The CIRA were suspected off holding a family hostage in Downpatrick, County Down.[31]
  • 17 April : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a bomb at a police training college in Belfast. The blast damaged gates and fencing.[32]
  • 24 July : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a bomb on the estate of Unionist peer Alan Brooke. A small crater was found after a three day search of the 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) estate at Brookeborough, County Fermanagh.[33]
  • 25 October : The CIRA was blamed for leaving a van bomb near Windsor House in Belfast. A telephone warning was sent. Witnesses reported a muffled explosion came from the van shortly before the arrival of bomb disposal experts, who then carried out a controlled explosion.[34]
  • 2 September : The CIRA was blamed for a gun attack on PSNI and British Army personnel in Downpatrick, County Down. Up to five shots were fired as they searched houses in the Model Farm Estate. Nobody was injured.[35][36]

2003[edit]

  • 8 January : The CIRA claimed responsibility for planting a large firebomb at a waterworks on Castleblayney Road in Keady, County Armagh. A telephone warning was sent and the bomb was defused by security forces.[37]
  • 13 January : The CIRA claimed responsibility for planting a firebomb outside a supermarket in Dungannon, County Tyrone. It was made safe by security forces.[37]
  • 2 February : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a bomb at the perimeter fence of a Territorial Army base in south Belfast. Another bomb attached to the fence was defused by security forces.[38]
  • 7 February : The CIRA claimed responsibility for leaving a car bomb on Blacks Road, Belfast. The M1 motorway was closed while security forces made it safe.[39][40]
  • 10 February : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a small bomb at the back of the town hall in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. A telephone warning was sent. Three PSNI officers were hurt.[41][42]
  • 18 February : The CIRA claimed responsibility for throwing two nail bombs over the perimeter fence of Antrim Road PSNI base in north Belfast. One exploded, causing minor damage, and the other was defused.[43]
  • 19 February : A pipe bomb was found on the roof of Woodbourne PSNI base in Belfast. It was unclear when the device was thrown. The CIRA claimed responsibility.[44]
  • 7 May : The CIRA claimed responsibility for throwing a coffee jar bomb at a PSNI patrol car in Armagh. It failed to explode.[45]
  • 14 October : The CIRA claimed responsibility for planting an incendiary car bomb outside the PSNI base on York Road, Belfast. It was made safe by security forces.[46]
  • 24 November : The CIRA claimed responsibility for exploding a bomb outside a British Army base in Dungannon, County Tyrone. A telephone warning was sent. Two PSNI officers were hurt while trying to clear the area.[47]

2004[edit]

  • 14 June : The CIRA was blamed for exploding a 50 lb bomb at a golf clubhouse in Lurgan, County Armagh. The golf club was closed at the time and the bomb caused minor damage.[48][49]
  • 15 September : A suspect car was found in the New Lodge area of Belfast following a telephone warning from the CIRA. The security forces carried out controlled explosions on the car.[50]

2005[edit]

  • 1 January : The CIRA claimed responsibility for an attempted firebomb attack on Grosvenor Road PSNI base in Belfast. Two gunmen forced a taxi driver to drive the bomb to the base. It was made safe by security forces.[51]
  • 20 January : The CIRA was believed to have been responsible for planting a pipe bomb under a van at Belcamp Crescent, Dublin. It was made safe by security forces. Two men were arrested nearby.[52]
  • 5 July : A telephone caller, claiming to be from the CIRA, said a bomb had been thrown at a PSNI vehicle the day before in Keady, County Armagh. Security forces examined a suspicious device on Kinelowen Street, but later declared it was an elaborate hoax.[53]
  • 12 July : The CIRA was blamed for attacking PSNI officers with blast bombs during rioting in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, following an Orange Order parade. Eighty officers were injured, one seriously, and several people were arrested.[54]
  • 6 November : In a telephoned warning, the CIRA claimed responsibility for planting a hoax bomb during the Down Royal horseracing festival. The festival was abandoned.[55]
  • 8 December : A suspected CIRA member was arrested while driving a bomb through Dublin. Gardaí believe the device was intended for use against drugs gangs in the city.[56] The man, Martin O'Rourke, was subsequently sentenced to seven years imprisonment for possession of an explosive device.[57]
  • 26 December : The CIRA again sent a hoax bomb alert to a horse race at Down Royal. The site was evacuated but nothing was found.[58]

2006[edit]

  • 9 November : The CIRA was believed to be responsible for firing shots at a PSNI base in Keady, County Armagh.[59][60]
  • 7 December : The CIRA was believed to be responsible for planting a pipe bomb outside a PSNI base in Lurgan, County Armagh. It failed to explode.[61][62]

2007[edit]

  • 12 March : The CIRA shot dead two of its former members in response to the establishment of a rival group.[63]
  • 11 November : The IMC blamed the CIRA for a coffee jar bomb during a British Army remembrance service in Newry. The explosives were detonated inside the barrel of a ceremonial cannon during the traditional 11am silence.[64][65]

2008[edit]

  • 2 January : A CIRA unit fired a volley of shots over the grave of ex-RSF President Dan Keating at Kiltallagh Cemetery. The event was carried out to coincide with what would have been his 106th birthday.[66]
  • 13 February : The IMC said the CIRA was responsible for orchestrating rioting and public disorder in Newry and Craigavon, during which PSNI officers came under attack from youths armed with bricks, bottles, stones and paintbombs.[65][67]
  • 22 March : CIRA members fired a volley of shots at a commemoration in Edencork, County Tyrone.[68]
  • 14 June : The CIRA claimed responsibility for an attempted a landmine attack on a PSNI patrol-car in Rosslea, County Fermanagh. The landmine partially exploded as the car passed, injuring two officers.[69][70][71]
  • 19 July : The CIRA threatened to shoot civil servants from Northern Ireland's Driver & Vehicle Agency for co-operating with the PSNI.[72]
  • 16 August: The CIRA claimed responsibility for firing a rocket-propelled grenade at a PSNI patrol in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh. It partially exploded, lightly hurting three officers.[73][74]
  • 25 August and 26 August : The IMC blamed the CIRA for orchestrating civil disturbances, hijackings and rioting in Craigavon, County Armagh. It said that it believed the CIRA tried to lure police officers into positions where they could be attacked. A number of shots were fired during the disturbances.[75]
  • 4 October : The IMC blamed the CIRA for a roadside bomb near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh.[76]
  • 5 November : The CIRA claimed responsibility for a blast-bomb attack against Lurgan PSNI base. There were no injuries.[77]
  • 26 November : The CIRA issued threats against community workers who co-operate with the PSNI in north Belfast.[78]

2009[edit]

  • 12 January: The CIRA fired shots at a house on the Grosvenor Road, Belfast.[79]
  • 14 January: The CIRA claimed responsibility for destroying a JCB digger at Casement Park, Belfast. It was destroyed after the contractor refused to pay protection money to the group.[80][81]
  • 29 January: The IMC blamed the CIRA for an armed robbery in Dungannon, County Tyrone.[76]
  • 10 February: The CIRA is believed to have been responsible for leaving three pipe bombs on Shiels Street, off the Falls Road in Belfast. They were made safe by the British Army.[82]
  • 10 February: The IMC blamed the CIRA for a hoax bomb alert in Armagh town.[76]
  • 3 March: The CIRA was blamed for the discovery of pipe bombs at a house in the Phibsboro area of Dublin.[83]
  • 9 March: The CIRA claimed responsibility for shooting dead a PSNI officer in Craigavon. The officer was shot by a sniper as he and a colleague investigated a complaint of broken windows in a nearby home. This was the first police fatality in Northern Ireland since 1998.[84][85][86]
  • 17 May: A member of the CIRA fired a volley of shots over the grave of Jim Gallagher in Derry.[87]
  • 15 June: The CIRA claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack against the PSNI base in Armagh town. A bomb was thrown at the base but failed to detonate properly.[88]
  • 13 July: An armed CIRA member appeared at a riot in Armagh town.[89]
  • 21 September: The IMC claimed the CIRA was responsible for the armed robbery of a bank in Belleek, County Donegal.[90]
  • 12 October: The IMC blamed the CIRA for the punishment shooting of a man in his home in Belfast.[90]
  • 20 November: The CIRA claimed responsibility for shooting a man three-times in the leg in a punishment attack in Belfast.[91]
  • 23 December: The IMC blamed the CIRA for the punishment shooting of a man in Belfast. The man had been convicted for a role in the death of a shopkeeper two years earlier.[90]

2010[edit]

  • 7 January: The IMC blamed the CIRA for the punishment shooting of a man in Armagh town.[90]
  • 18 January: The IMC blamed the CIRA for the punishment shooting of a man in Lurgan.[90]
  • 4 April: Sixteen CIRA prisoners along with other republican prisoners barricaded themselves in the dining hall of Maghaberry Prison. The protest was in response to conditions in the prison. The stand-off ended after two days, when prison staff raided the room.[92]
  • 5 April: The CIRA claimed responsibility for a failed car bomb attack on Crossmaglen PSNI base. A telephoned warning was given and the bomb was made safe by the British Army.[93]
  • 13 April: The CIRA claimed responsibility for a failed car bomb attack on Newtownhamilton PSNI base. A telephoned warning was given and the bomb was made safe by the British Army.[94]
  • 4 May: The IMC blamed the CIRA for exploding a pipe bomb outside Lurgan PSNI base. The base was unscathed but a nearby building was damaged.[95][96]
  • 17 May: The CIRA were blamed for orchestrating rioting in Lurgan. Two blast bombs and several petrol bombs were thrown at PSNI officers. Six officers suffered minor injuries.[90]
  • 31 May: The CIRA were blamed for shooting a man in the leg at Juniper Park, Belfast.[97]
  • 9 June: It was reported that an "unauthorised" meeting was held by disgruntled CIRA members who were allegedly seeking to set up a breakaway paramilitary group and carry out more military action. Some disgruntled members also allegedly tried to seize the offices of Republican Sinn Féin and its newspaper, Saoirse. In a statement, the CIRA leadership said that it expelled or suspended those involved.[98]
  • 16 June: The CIRA claimed responsibility for a bomb that partially exploded outside a house in the Finglas area of Dublin.[99]
  • 18 June: The IMC blamed the CIRA for shooting a man in the chest in West Befast. The man was shot as he tried to run away from three masked men.[95][100]
  • 11 July: The CIRA was blamed for orchestrating rioting in the Broadway area of Belfast in the run-up to the 12th of July Orange Order marches.[101] A PSNI officer was badly wounded by shotgun fire, which was also blamed on the CIRA.[95]
  • 13 July: The IMC blamed the CIRA for firing shots at PSNI officers during rioting in Belfast.[95]
  • 22 July: The IMC blamed the CIRA for a pipe bomb attack on Woodbourne PSNI base in Belfast.[95]
  • 28 July: The IMC blamed the CIRA for the kidnapping and punishment shooting of a man in Belfast.[95]
  • 28 July: In an interview with the Irish Times, members of a "militant Northern-based faction within the CIRA" claimed to have overthrown the leadership of the organization. They also claimed that an Army Convention representing "95 per cent of volunteers" had unanimously elected a new 12-member Army Executive, which in turn appointed a new seven-member Army Council. The moves came as a result of dissatisfication with the southern-based leadership and the apparent winding-down of military operations. A senior source from Republican Sinn Féin said: "We would see them [the purported new leadership] as just another splinter group that has broken away." [102]
  • 2 August: The CIRA was blamed for a blast bomb attack on Craigavon PSNI base.[103]
  • 14 August: The IMC blamed the CIRA for a bomb attack that injured three children in Lurgan. The PSNI received a warning that a bomb had been left in the grounds of Lurgan Model Primary School. This device was found to be a hoax. Shortly after, a bomb exploded inside a bin on North Street, where the PSNI had set-up a cordon. Three children (aged twelve and two), who were walking past at the time, were hurt by debris and suffered shock.[95][104]
  • 24 August: The IMC blamed the CIRA for an attempted pipe bomb attack on Woodbourne PSNI base in Belfast. The device failed to explode.[95]
  • 11 September: The CIRA claimed responsibility for the punishment shootings of two men in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.[105]
  • 29 September: A CIRA firing party fired a volley of shots over the grave of veteran republican Paul Stanley in Straffan, County Kildare.[106]
  • 17 November: The CIRA ordered a man to leave the country within a week or face being killed, this came after a CIRA attack on the man in Tallaght, Dublin.[107]

2011[edit]

  • 16 March: The CIRA was blamed for the punishment beating of a heroin dealer in Clondalkin, Dublin.[108]
  • 6 July: The CIRA were blamed for hijacking vehicles and firing shots at a police patrol during disturbances in Craigavon. The trouble started after Republican Sinn Féin president Des Dalton was arrested during a public meeting.[109]
  • 17 September: The CIRA claimed responsibility for firing a rocket-propelled grenade at a PSNI vehicle in Craigavon. The alleged attack happened on Lake Road, between roundabouts one and two of Craigavon, shortly after midnight. There were no reports of injuries.[110]

2012[edit]

  • 26 July: The Continuity IRA released a statement claiming that a new leadership (Army Council) had been elected.[111]

2013[edit]

  • 25 January: The CIRA claimed responsibility for firing shots at the PSNI in the Drumbeg estate in Craigavon.[112]
  • 30 March 2013: A small bomb exploded near PSNI landrovers in the Kilwilkie area of Lurgan. It had been hidden in a bin. The PSNI were monitoring an unnotified march that included masked CIRA members.[113]
  • 6 April: The CIRA claimed responsibility for shooting dead a former member in West Belfast. Kieran McManus was killed by a masked man welding a shotgun in front of his 16 year old brother. The Continuity IRA claimed he was killed for "terrorising his community with knives, hatchets and swords". In a telephone statement the Northern command of the CIRA claimed it was prepared to kill former members if they engaged in anti-social behaviour and criminal activity using the Continuity IRA's name.[114]

2014[edit]

  • 14 March: The CIRA claimed responsibility for planting a booby-trap bomb under a PSNI officer's car in Belfast. The bomb was found after it fell off the car on Blacks Road. The CIRA added that it "has had a complete reorganization […] and is now in a position to sustain and carry out attacks on occupational forces throughout Ireland".[115]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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