Chronology of Provisional Irish Republican Army actions (2000–09)

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This is a chronology of activities by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, an Irish republican paramilitary group from 2000 to 2009.


  • 16 March 2000: an IRA engineer defused a bomb left outside the offices of dissident republican party Republican Sinn Féin on the Falls Road, Belfast.[1]
  • April 2000: an IRA active service unit was intercepted by the Garda Síochána in Dublin and two members were arrested. The unit is believed to have been on its way to kill Dublin drug lord Martin Foley.[2]
  • 30 April 2000: Drug dealer Thomas Byrne was shot dead in central Dublin, allegedly by the IRA.[3][4]
  • 29 May 2000: Edmund McCoy died several hours after being shot at the Motte 'n' Bailey Bar, Kingsway, Dunmurry, County Antrim. He was reportedly a suspected drug dealer. The Royal Ulster Constabulary blamed the IRA for the killing.[5]
  • 29 September 2000: Patrick Quinn was shot dead in The Depot Bar, Union Street, Magherafelt, County Londonderry. Quinn was reportedly a suspected drug dealer and was shot shortly after the IRA had ordered him to leave the area.[5]
  • 13 October 2000: Real IRA member Joseph O'Connor was shot dead while sitting in his car in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast, during a republican dispute. The Provisional IRA is believed responsible.[5]


  • 7 January 2001: the IRA was blamed for carrying out a punishment beating on a convicted criminal in Ballymurphy, Belfast.[6]
  • 21 April 2001: Christopher O'Kane, reportedly a suspected drug dealer, was shot dead near his home, Milldale Crescent, Tullyally, Derry, by four gunmen. It is believed that the IRA was responsible.[7]
  • 14 July 2001: gangland figure Seamus "Shavo" Hogan is gunned down in Crumlin, Dublin, reportedly by the IRA or a proxy.[4]


  • 8 September 2002: the IRA was blamed for carrying out a punishment beating on a South Armagh man.[8]
  • 11 October 2002: a five-man IRA unit was captured by Gardaí in Bray, County Wicklow. It is believed the unit, members of the Dublin Brigade, were on their way to carry out an armed hijacking. The men were in a small van dressed in Garda uniforms, and had stun-guns and CS gas.[9][10][11]


  • 12 March 2003: Irish republican Keith Rogers was shot dead in Cullaville, South Armagh, during a shootout involving a number of feuding IRA members, according to police. The IRA claimed Rogers had been shot while confronting local criminals.[12]
  • 11 October 2003: The IRA were allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of a dissident republican, Brendan Rice, in Newcastle, County Down; Rice was later released.[13][14]


  • 19 January 2004: A dissident republican who was shot in the ankles in a punishment shooting blamed the Provisional IRA for the attack. The man from west Belfast was a member of an organisation which provided support to the families of imprisoned Real IRA (RIRA) members .[15]
  • 20 February 2004: The IRA were accused of being responsible for the kidnap and attempted murder of ex-Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) member Bobby Tohill. The van in which he was being transported was rammed by police and four men were arrested. The IRA stated that it had not authorised any action against the man in question. Tohill required 93 stitches following the ordeal and went into hiding.[16]
  • 5 September 2004: The IRA is believed to have been responsible for a fire-bomb attack on a fuel depot in South Belfast.[17]


  • 30 January 2005: Robert McCartney is stabbed to death in a fight with IRA members being involved. Initially Sinn Féin denied IRA involvement but later it suspended 7 Sinn Féin members who had been present and the IRA also cleared witnesses to co-operate with the police investigation.[18] McCartney's family claim they have been intimidated by the IRA.[19]
  • 2 February 2005: The IRA issued a statement summarizing their "ambitious initiatives designed to develop or save the peace process", including three occasions in which they had complied with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning in putting weapons beyond use. The statement went on to say, "At this time it appears that the two governments are intent on changing the basis of the peace process. They claim that 'the obstacle now to a lasting and durable settlement… is the continuing terrorist and criminal activity of the IRA'. We reject this. It also belies the fact that a possible agreement last December was squandered by both governments pandering to rejectionist unionism instead of upholding their own commitments and honouring their own obligations." The statement concluded with two points: "We are taking all our proposals off the table" and "It is our intention to closely monitor ongoing developments and to protect to the best of our ability the rights of republicans and our support base".[20]
  • 3 February 2005: Following statements from the British and Irish governments, claiming that the new IRA statement was no cause for alarm, the IRA issues a second two-sentence statement: "The two governments are trying to play down the importance of our statement because they are making a mess of the peace process. Do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation".[21]
  • 10 February 2005: The Independent Monitoring Commission reported that it firmly supports the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Garda assessments that the PIRA was responsible for the Northern Bank robbery and recommends financial and political sanctions against Sinn Féin.[22]
  • 6 April 2005: Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams calls on the IRA to initiate consultations "as quickly as possible" to move from being a paramilitary organisation to one committed to purely non-military methods.[23]
  • 12 April 2005: A Dublin man, Joseph Rafferty, was shot and killed in a shotgun attack in Dublin. The IMC and the family of the deceased have claimed that the IRA were responsible. The IRA has denied any involvement.[24]
  • May 2005: The IRA is believed to have been responsible for intimidating a family to leave their home in Belfast.[25]
  • 24 May 2005: The Independent Monitoring Commission claimed the IRA were still recruiting and training new members, and it was still involved in paramilitary and criminal activity.[26]
  • July 2005: The IMC blamed the IRA for a punishment shooting of an alleged criminal in early July.[25]
  • 28 July 2005: The IRA release a statement that it is ending its armed campaign and will verifiably put its arms beyond use.[27]
  • 26 September 2005: International weapons inspectors issue a statement confirming the full decommissioning of the IRA's weaponry.[28]


IRA Colour Party in Dublin - 2009
  • 1 February 2006: International weapons inspectors believe that not all arms were decommissioned on the day the IRA decommissioned. Claims began to circulate that the IRA held onto handguns and various other weapons.[29]
  • 10 March 2006: The IMC claimed that members of the IRA were responsible for the hijacking of a lorry containing a consignment of spirits in County Meath.[30]


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


  • 9 February 2010: A representative of the IRA using the pseudonym "P. O'Neill" issued a statement confirming that Joseph Lynskey of Belfast had been "executed" by the organisation in 1972. The statement said that the man had been an IRA member and was "court-martialled for breaches of IRA standing orders" and "was subsequently executed and buried in an unmarked grave." The statement went on to say that Lynskey had an affair with the wife of a Belfast republican and had ordered another IRA member to shoot the man. The IRA said it had not identified Lynskey's grave.[32]
  • March 2010: Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MLA for Newry & Armagh, Dominic Bradley, claimed the IRA were responsible for a recent punishment shooting in the town of Meigh and an armed robbery in Armagh during which shots were fired.[33]
  • August 2010: The 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Republican Network for Unity and the UPRG, claimed that the IRA were responsible for a shooting incident in Gobnascale, County Londonderry. It is claimed that up to 20 masked men, some armed with handguns, attacked a group of teenagers who were engaging in anti-social behaviour at an interface area. A number of the teenagers were attacked and shots were fired into the air. The men are then reported to have removed their masks when the PSNI arrived and were subsequently identified as members of the Republican Movement. Sinn Féin denied the IRA were involved.[34][35][36]


  • 20 June 2011: Jim Wilson and other Unionist leaders claimed the Provisional IRA was responsible for shooting two loyalist rioters in the legs during a UVF-led attack on the nationalist Short Strand area of Belfast. Alex Maskey denied the IRA was responsible for the shootings.[37]
  • 2 July 2011: An alleged member of the Provisional IRA was arrested for questioning over the stabbing of a man suspected of being linked to dissident republicans in the Markets area of Belfast.[38][39]


  • 16 August 2012: Three men and two women were charged with Provisional IRA membership in Belfast.[40]


  • 14 February 2013: Seán Kelly, the surviving Shankill Road bomber, was arrested over a punishment shooting of an 18-year-old man in Belfast.[41] Kelly was later released unconditionally. Jim Allister of the TUV suggested the IRA was involved in the shooting[42] while the Ulster Unionist Party claimed the PSNI had come under pressure to distance mainstream republicans from the attack.[43]
  • 1 March 2013: Seán Hughes, a suspected member of the IRA Army Council, was charged[where?] with IRA membership, speaking at a meeting and encouraging support for an illegal organisation.[44]
  • 26 August 2013: It was alleged that the PIRA were responsible for planting two mortars along the border in South Armagh. Gardaí claimed the primed devices were intended as a warning by the IRA to the PSNI to cease disrupting the Provisional IRA's smuggling and diesel laundering businesses along the border.[45]


  • 12 August 2015: Police believe members of the PIRA were involved in the fatal shooting of former IRA volunteer Kevin McGuigan in East Belfast. The shooting appears to be a revenge killing for the murder of another republican veteran in Belfast four months earlier.[46]

See also


  2. "RTÉ News: Foley interviewed by Gardaí following attempt on his life". 13 September 2000. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Up to 40 gang murders still unsolved" (reference to Thomas Byrne),; accessed 3 November 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". 10 October 1999. 
  6. McDonald, Henry (7 January 2001). "Sick mother speaks out over IRA beating of teenage son". The Guardian. London, UK. 
  7. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". 
  8. Cusack, Jim (15 September 2002). "Victims of 'punishment' beatings only 14 years old". Irish Independent. 
  9. "Ó Snodaigh baffled about election posters". 21 February 2005. 
  10. Birth of a Nation (28 November 2004). "Sinn Féin-IRA agents spied on McCreevy". 
  11. Staff. "Special Branch head 'believes men were in IRA'". 
  12. "CAIN: Issues: Violence - Draft List of Deaths Related to the Conflict in 2003". 
  13. "Abducted man released". BBC News. 12 October 2003. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  14. Staff (13 October 2003). "Police question man over abduction". 
  15. "January 2004". Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  16. Staff (26 February 2004). "Sinn Féin warned that time running out for end to paramilitary violence". 
  17. Staff (24 May 2005). "IRA still active". 
  18. "Spotlight on McCartney trial". Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  19. "McCartney 'killer plans US move'". Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  20. "IRA statement: 2 February 2005". BBC. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  21. "Concern over new IRA warning". CNN. 4 February 2005. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  22. "Fourth Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission" (PDF). Independent Monitoring Commission. 10 February 2005. 
  23. "Text of Adams speech in full". BBC. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  24. 20 best... (1 February 2006). "IMC report to link Joseph Rafferty's murder to Provos". Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 "318283_HC546_7th Report" (PDF). Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  26. David McKittrick (25 May 2005). "IRA still recruiting and robbing banks, says commission". London, UK: The Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  27. "Full text: IRA statement". London, UK: The Guardian. 28 July 2005. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  28. "IRA 'has destroyed all its arms'". BBC. 26 September 2005. 
  29. Mark Oliver (1 February 2006). "IRA 'still involved in crime'". London, UK: The Guardian. 
  30. "IMC claims IRA responsible for lorry hijacking in Meath" (PDF). Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  31. "Dissidents blame 'Provo gang' for weekend assault per Derry Journal". 1 August 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  32. "Forty years later, IRA finally admits to Belfast man's 'execution'". Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  33. "Provos Warlords Have Not Gone Away". 30 March 2010. 
  34. "Were Provos behind shooting incident in Gobnascale?",; accessed 8 October 2015.
  35. Republicans blamed for Gobnascale incident,; accessed 8 October 2015.
  36. The Nolan Show Radio Foyle,, 9 August 2010.
  37. "The Nolan Show, BBC Ulster". BBC. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  38. IRA suspect in McCartney killing arrested after stabbing at weekend,; accessed 8 October 2015.
  39. "Sisters claim McCartney killer stabbed their brother",; accessed 8 October 2015.
  40. "Legal ban on naming of IRA accused". Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  41. "Tensions mount as IRA bomber released over shooting". Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  42. Allister claims PIRA involved in shooting of 18 year old man in Belfast,; accessed 8 October 2015.
  43. "Latest News". Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  44. "Seán Hughes, 51, bailed over PIRA membership". BBC News. 1 March 2013. 
  45. "Provisional IRA behind mortar warning to PSNI". Irish Independent. 1 September 2013. 
  46. "Kevin McGuigan murder: Police link Provisional IRA to killing in Belfast". BBC News. 20 August 2015.