Paul Marlowe (Irish Republican)

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Paul Marlowe
Died16 October 1976
OccupationParatrooper, Special Air Service
Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer & Training Officer
Military career
Allegiance Irish Republic
 British Army
Years of service1969–1976
UnitProvisional IRA, Belfast Brigade, 3rd battalion
ConflictsMalayan Emergency, Aden crisis, The Troubles

Paul Marlowe was a Volunteer in the Provisional IRA's Belfast Brigade. He held the rank of Training Officer (T/O) when he and two other experienced Volunteers, Frank Fitzsimons and Joey Surgenor, were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely at Belfast gasworks in October 1976. Marlowe was 31 and had a wife and three children when he died.[1]

Early life[edit]

Paul Marlowe was born in Ardoyne, in north Belfast, an Irish nationalist enclave surrounded by Loyalist areas in 1945. He moved to England in the early 1960s. Marlowe joined the British Army sometime in the 1960s, and was a paratrooper who served with the SAS in both Malaysia during the Malayan Emergency and in Aden during the Aden crisis.[2]

Irish Republican Army[edit]

Marlowe returned from England and joined the Irish Republican Army in 1969 sometime after the 1969 Northern Ireland riots in which Ardoyne was heavily attacked and two Catholic civilians (Samuel McLarnon, 27, and Michael Lynch, 28) were killed by machine-gun fire.[3] Marlowe decided to side with the Provisional IRA when they split with the Official IRA in December 1969. He was a part of the Belfast Brigade's Third battalion which located around Ardoyne, the New Lodge and Ligoniel's area in north Belfast. He moved up the Brigade level fast because of his experience in the British Army and he helped to train new recruits. He was interned for a short period in 1972 and quickly released. Marlowe was credited with developing the IRA's version of a Claymore mine.[4]

He was killed on 16 October 1976 when he and comrades Frank Fitzsimons (28) and Joey Surgenor (23) were planting a bomb at a Belfast gasworks on the Ormeau Road. The bomb exploded prematurely creating a huge explosion and killed the men instantly.[5] All three men were very experienced Volunteers and had over 15 years of experience between the three of them. Surgenor was one of the Volunteers who helped Billy McKee defend the Short Strand in June 1970.[6] The three mens funerals took place on 20 October 1976 and they were buried in the Republican plot at Milltown Cemetery.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Troubles 38 by Joe Baker". Issuu. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  2. ^ I nDil Chuimhne - Tirghra: Ireland's Patriot Dead pp.202
  3. ^ Malcolm Sutton. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  4. ^ Robert W Hite - Out Of The Ashes: An Oral History Of The Provisional Irish Republican Movement. pp.142
  5. ^ "CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict 1976". Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  6. ^ Robert W Hite - Out Of The Ashes: An Oral History Of The Provisional Irish Republican Movement. pp.142
  7. ^ "Provisional IRA funeral of Paul Marlowe Francis Fitzsimmons Joseph Surgeoner who died premature explosion in Belfast Gasworks attack October 1976". Victor Patterson. Retrieved 2018-12-18.