List of bombings during the Northern Ireland Troubles and peace process

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A British Army ATO approaches a "suspect device" in Belfast, Northern Ireland

This is a list of notable bombings related to the Northern Ireland "Troubles" and their aftermath. It includes bombings that took place in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain since 1969. There were at least 10,000 bomb attacks during the conflict (1969–1998).[1]


  • 2 November Red Lion Bar bombing – Three Protestant civilians were killed and dozens injured by an IRA bomb attack on a Protestant bar on the Ormeau Road, Belfast.
  • 4 December McGurk's Bar bombing 15 civilians were killed and 17 injured by a Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) bomb attack on a Catholic bar in Belfast.[2]
  • 11 December 1971 Balmoral Furniture Company bombing - Three Protestant civilians were killed, two of them children, and one Roman Catholic civilian was also killed. 19 people were injured in the attack. [3]





  • 16 March Mildred Harrison (26), a Protestant, was the first RUC woman to be murdered on duty, killed by an explosion from a UVF bomb while on foot patrol passing Ormeau Arms Bar, High Street, Bangor, County Down.[18]
  • 17 July Four British soldiers were killed by a Provisional IRA bomb near Forkhill, County Armagh. The attack was the first major breach of the February truce.
  • 5 September Two killed and 63 injured when a bomb was detonated in the lobby of London's Hilton Hotel.[19]





  • 17 January Dunmurry train explosion – a Provisional IRA bomb prematurely detonated on a passenger train near Belfast, killing three and injuring five civilians.




  • 9 May A territorial Army reserve soldier died when the IRA booby-trapped their car. Two others in the car were seriously injured in the explosion. Belfast Road, Newry.
  • 18 May Three British soldiers were killed by a Provisional IRA landmine in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. Two RUC officers were killed by a Provisional IRA landmine near Camlough, County Armagh.
  • 12 October Brighton hotel bombing – the Provisional IRA carried out a bomb attack on the Grand Hotel, Brighton, which was being used as a base for the Conservative Party Conference. Five people, including MP Sir Anthony Berry, were killed. Margaret and Denis Thatcher were at the scene but unharmed.[25]



  • 8 November Remembrance Day bombing – 11 civilians were killed and sixty-three injured by a Provisional IRA bomb during a Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. One of those killed was Marie Wilson. In an emotional BBC interview, her father Gordon Wilson (who was injured in the attack) expressed forgiveness towards his daughter's killer, and asked Loyalists not to seek revenge. He became a leading peace campaigner and was later elected to the Irish Senate. He died in 1995.[27]




  • 9 April Four UDR soldiers were killed when the Provisional IRA detonated a culvert bomb under their patrol vehicle in Downpatrick, County Down. The bomb contained over 1,000 lb (450 kg) of explosive and was so powerful that the vehicle was blown into a nearby field.[29][30]
  • 20 July The Provisional IRA bombed the London Stock Exchange.[31]
  • 30 July Conservative MP Ian Gow was killed by a car bomb outside his house near Eastbourne.
  • 6 September The Provisional IRA planted two bombs aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary replenishment ship RFA Fort Victoria. One of them exploded, disabling the ship which had been constructed in Belfast and launched some weeks before. The second bomb failed to go off and was found and defused 15 days later.
  • 24 October Proxy bomb attacks – the Provisional IRA launched three "proxy bombs" or "human bombs" at British Army checkpoints. Three men (who were working with the British Army) were tied into cars loaded with explosives and ordered to drive to each checkpoint. Each bomb was detonated by remote control. The first exploded at a checkpoint in Coshquin, killing the driver and five soldiers. The second exploded at a checkpoint in Killean; the driver narrowly escaped but one soldier was killed. The third failed to detonate.[32]



  • 17 January Teebane bombing – A 600-pound (270 kg) (1,500-pound (680 kg) per another source[39]) roadside bomb detonated by the Provisional IRA destroyed a van and killed eight construction workers (one of them a soldier) on their way back from Lisanelly British Army barracks in Omagh, County Tyrone, where they were making repairs. Another eight were wounded.[40]
  • 10 April Baltic Exchange bombing – a van loaded with one-ton of home-made explosives went off outside the building of the Baltic Exchange company, at 30 St Mary Axe, London, killing three people and injuring other 91.[41] The Provisional IRA bomb caused £800 million worth of damage, £200 million more than the total damage caused by the 10,000 explosions that had occurred during the Troubles in Northern Ireland up to that point.[42]
Three hours later, a similar sized bomb exploded at the junction of the M1 and the North Circular Road at Staples Corner in north London, causing much damage but no injuries. Both bombs were placed in vans and were home-made rather than Semtex; each weighed several hundred pounds.[43]
  • 1 May Attack on Cloghogue checkpoint - the Provisional IRA, using a van modified to run on railway tracks, launched an unconventional bomb attack on a British Army checkpoint in South Armagh. The checkpoint was obliterated when the 1,000 kg bomb exploded, killing one soldier and injuring 23.
  • 12 May Coalisland riots – After a small Provisional IRA bomb attack in the village of Cappagh, in which a paratrooper lost both legs, British soldiers raided two public houses and caused considerable damage in the nearby town of Coalisland. This led five days later to a fist-fight between soldiers and local inhabitants. Shortly thereafter, another group of British paratroopers arrived and fired on a crowd of civilians, injuring seven. Two soldiers were hospitalized.
  • 19 September Forensic Science Laboratory bombing - The Provisional IRA detonated a 3,700 lb bomb[44] at the Northern Ireland forensic science laboratory in south Belfast. The laboratory was obliterated, 700 houses were damaged, and 20 people were injured.[45] 490 owners and occupiers claimed for damages.[46]
  • 21 October The IRA detonated a 200-pound (91 kg) bomb, causing large amounts of damage to nearby buildings, in Main Street, Bangor, County Down.[47]
  • 13 November The IRA detonated a large van bomb in Coleraine town centre. Extensive property damage was caused, resulting in several major buildings being demolished, but no one was killed. The Coleraine Town Hall required major structural work, and was not reopened until August 1995.
  • 3 December Manchester Car bomb behind Kendalls. Later that morning, after other threats of other bombs including the Arndale Centre, a bomb was detonated on Cateaton Street. 59 were injured, one seriously.[citation needed]


  • 4 February Two IRA bombs exploded in the London area, one at South Kensington Underground station and another on a Network Southeast train at Kent House station in Beckenham. Bank and Monument stations in the City of London were also closed by telephoned bomb warnings.[48]
  • 7 March The IRA detonated a 500-pound (230 kg) car bomb in Main Street, Bangor, County Down. Four Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured in the explosion; the cost of the damage was later estimated at £2 million, as there was extensive damage to retail premises and Trinity Presbyterian Church, as well as minor damage to the local Church of Ireland Parish Church and First Bangor Presbyterian Church.[49]
  • 20 March Warrington bomb attacks – after a telephoned warning, the Provisional IRA detonated two bombs in Cheshire, England. Two children were killed and 56 people were wounded. There were widespread protests in Britain and the Republic of Ireland following the deaths.[50]
  • 24 April Bishopsgate bombing – after a telephoned warning, the Provisional IRA detonated a large bomb at Bishopsgate, London. It killed one civilian, wounded 30 others, and caused an estimated £350 million in damage.[51]
  • 6 July A large IRA bomb caused widespread damage to the centre of Newtownards, Co Down. The centre of the market town was devastated by a bomb which the IRA said contained 1,500 lbs of explosive. Seven people were injured, one seriously.[52]
  • 23 October Shankill Road bombing – eight civilians, one UDA member and one Provisional IRA member were killed when an IRA bomb prematurely exploded at a fish shop on Shankill Road, Belfast.
  • 24 October Bombs exploded at Reading railway station (trackside and in a station toilet). A bomb was discovered at Basingstoke railway station and there were telephoned warnings of other devices planted at Waterloo and Guildford railway station. The rail network was extensively disrupted.[53]


  • 9 February London Docklands bombing – the Provisional IRA bombed the Docklands in London. The bomb killed two civilians, and brought to an end the ceasefire after 17 months and nine days.[54]
  • 18 February Aldwych Bus Bomb – Edward O'Brien, a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteer, died on 18 February 1996 when an improvised explosive device he was carrying detonated prematurely on a number 171 bus in Aldwych, in central London.[55][56] The 2 kg semtex bomb detonated as he stood near the door of the bus.[57] A pathologist found O'Brien was killed "virtually instantaneously", while other passengers and the driver (left permanently deaf) were injured in the explosion.
  • 15 June Manchester bombing – the Provisional IRA detonated a bomb in Manchester, England. It destroyed a large part of the city centre and injured over 200 people. To date, it is the largest bomb to be planted on the British mainland since World War II. The devastation was so great, that several buildings were damaged beyond repair, and had to be demolished.[58]
  • 7 October The Provisional IRA detonated two car bombs at the British Army HQ in Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn. One soldier was killed and 31 injured.





See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CAIN: Northern Ireland Society – Security and Defence". Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Joe Graham, Rushlight Magazine. "McGurk's Bar Massacre". Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "1972: IRA bomb kills six at Aldershot barracks". BBC News. 22 February 1972. 
  5. ^ Bangor, County Down#The Troubles
  6. ^ "Bloody Friday: What happened". BBC News. 16 July 2002. 
  7. ^ "Claudy bombing: Should there be an inquiry?". BBC News. 23 December 2002. 
  8. ^ Worthington, Dave (1988), "Tales of the Unexpected", Sprint (The TVR Car Club Magazine), no. June 1988, p. 22 
  9. ^ Kirkpatrick, John (1988), Sprint (The TVR Car Club Magazine), no. August 1988, p. 26  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ The Troubles (May–June 1973), no. 21, p. 17  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "1974: Soldiers and children killed in coach bombing". BBC News. 4 February 1974. 
  12. ^ A Chronology of the Conflict – 1974
  13. ^ "1974: Bombs devastate Dublin and Monaghan". BBC News. 17 May 1974. 
  14. ^[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "1974: Four dead in Guildford bomb blasts". BBC News. 5 October 1974. 
  16. ^ "1974: Birmingham pub blasts remembered". BBC News. 21 November 1974. 
  17. ^ "1974: Heath's home is bombed". BBC News. 22 December 1974. 
  18. ^
  19. ^,
  20. ^ "Memorial for ambassador". BBC News. 22 July 2001. 
  21. ^ "1979: Car bomb kills Airey Neave". BBC News. 30 March 1979. 
  22. ^ "1979: Soldiers die in Warrenpoint massacre". BBC News. 27 August 1979. 
  23. ^ "1979: IRA bomb kills Lord Mountbatten". BBC News. 27 August 1979. 
  24. ^ "1982: IRA bombs cause carnage in London". BBC News. 20 July 1982. 
  25. ^ "1984: Tory Cabinet in Brighton bomb blast". BBC News. 12 October 1984. 
  26. ^ "EDINA NewsFilm Online Service Decommissioned". Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "1987: Bomb kills 11 at Enniskillen". BBC News. 8 November 1987. 
  28. ^ "1989: Ten dead in Kent barracks bomb". BBC News. 22 September 1989. 
  29. ^ "A Chronology of the Conflict −1990". CAIN. 
  30. ^ McKittrick, David (2001). Lost Lives. Mainstream, pp. 1195–1196. ISBN 1-84018-504-X
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ Schmidt, William E. (20 February 1991). "I.R.A. Bombs And Motives". The New York Times. 
  34. ^ Campbell, Duncan (19 February 1991). "Man killed, 38 hurt, as IRA switches target to stations". The Guardian. London. 
  35. ^ McKittrick, pp. 1254–1255
  36. ^ "Wreath laid in memory of IRA St Albans bomber". BBC News. 
  37. ^ "IRA rail bomb causes chaos for commuters". The Herald. Scotland. 17 December 1991. 
  38. ^ "IRA rail bomb causes chaos for commuters". The Herald. Scotland. 17 December 1991. 
  39. ^ Elliot, Sydney and Flackes, Williams (1999). Northern Ireland: a political directory, 1968–1999. Blackstaff Press, p.465. ISBN 0-85640-628-7
  40. ^ Peter Brooke statement in the House of Commons Archived 19 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. 20 January 1992
  41. ^ Oppenheimer, A. R. (2009). IRA: The Bombs and the Bullets. A History of Deadly Ingenuity. Irish Academic Press, p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7165-2895-1
  42. ^ De Baróid, Ciarán (2000). Ballymurphy And The Irish War. Pluto Press. p. 325. ISBN 0-7453-1509-7. 
  43. ^
  44. ^ Oppenheimer, A. R. (2009). IRA: The Bombs and The Bullets. A History of Deadly Ingenuity. Irish Academic Press, p. 132. ISBN 978-0-7165-2895-1
  45. ^ "IRA blast damages over 1,000 homes". The Independent. London. 24 September 1992. 
  46. ^ Oppenheimer, p. 133
  47. ^ Bangor, County Down#The Troubles
  48. ^ Bennett, Will (4 February 1993). "IRA bombs train and Tube station: Two explosions bring disruption to the transport network in London as terrorists introduce new tactic". The Independent. London. 
  49. ^ Bangor, County Down#The Troubles
  50. ^ "Warrington remembers IRA bombing victims". BBC News. 14 March 1998. 
  51. ^ "1993: IRA bomb devastates City of London". BBC News. 24 April 1993. 
  52. ^ "Town blasted by 1,500lb IRA bomb". The Independent. London. 6 July 1993. 
  53. ^ "IRA bomb strike paralyses main railway network Setback for peace talks after weekend of terrorist outrage". The Herald. Scotland. 25 October 1993. 
  54. ^ "1996: Docklands bomb ends IRA ceasefire". BBC News. 10 February 1996. 
  55. ^ "Bomb blast destroys London bus". BBC News. 18 February 1996. Retrieved 2007-06-13. 
  56. ^ English, Richard (2003). Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA. Pan Books. p. 291. ISBN 0-330-49388-4. 
  57. ^ Bennetto, J. Dead IRA man 'had hit-list' of bomb targets. The Independent, 17 April 1996.
  58. ^ "1996: Huge explosion rocks central Manchester". BBC News. 15 June 1996. 
  59. ^ Jury, Louise (27 March 1997). "IRA back in fray with trackside explosions". The Independent. London. 
  60. ^ Atkins, Stephen E. (2004). Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups. Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 69. ISBN 0313324859
  61. ^ "A Chronology of the Conflict – 1997". CAIN. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  62. ^ "Inquiry into Nelson murder opens". BBC News. 19 April 2005. 
  63. ^ "BBC bomb prompts terror warning". BBC News. 5 March 2001. 
  64. ^ "Ealing bombers 'will be caught'". BBC News. 5 August 2001. 

External links[edit]