Current Affairs Military Politics

Hyping Up A Seizure Of Weapons

Captured revolver put on display by Gardaí, 2013
Captured revolver put on display by Gardaí, 2013

Irish journalism surely loves its hyperbole. From the “Oirish” Mirror:

“A large seizure of explosives and guns has put a dent in the activities of dissident republicans, say detectives.”

From RTÉ:

“It is the largest ever dissident republican arms and explosives find.”

Wow. Largest ever. And what exactly was found?

  • 3 shotguns (one double-barrelled and two single-barrelled civilian firearms, two of which had the barrels shortened)
  • 10 handguns (four actual weapons of various calibres and six imitation firearms or blank pistols, some badly corroded)
  • 1 submachine gun (a military firearm, poorly maintained)
  • 1 air rifle (civilian)
  • 1300 rounds of assorted ammunition (mostly 9mm, some corroded and possibly unsafe to use)
  • 15kg of Semtex-H explosives (much of which looks to be in a parlous state. All Semtex produced before the mid-1990s had a viable shelf-life of ten years even in “optimum conditions”. In other words not stored in a wet hole in the ground. The vast majority of the Semtex-H variant acquired by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in the 1980s is now almost certainly unusable)
  • Fireworks (the “explosive” contents or components of which are used in the production of…)
  • 9 pipe-bombs (of unknown explosive content or completeness – in fact only one or two look ready for use)
  • Various electronic items and other pieces of equipment

Okay, so basically what we have above is the equivalent of the average arsenal of one of Dublin city’s smaller nacro-gangs (minus the Semtex-H – though these days you never know). It’s hardly the basis on which to launch a sustained armed struggle against one of the largest military powers in Western Europe.

Uzi submachine gun seized by Gardaí, 2013
Uzi submachine gun seized by Gardaí, 2013

The Oirish Indo newspaper has this claim in relation to the Semtex found in the arms dump:

“The cache contained enough explosives to be used in more than 180 bombs.”

And how the hell is that calculated? 15kg of high explosives equals exactly 180 bombs? What, off a production assembly line where all mixes between commercial and improvised explosives are the same? Sigh…

At the end of the day a small quantity of weapons and explosives have been seized, one man has been taken into custody under our draconian anti-subversive laws and several more have been arrested in an unrelated operation by An Garda.

More of our fellow Irish citizens are facing lives irrevocably altered in the pursuit of a righteous cause that most believe could be better achieved by other means.

And one is forced to ask: how many of those who claim to serve that cause are actually using it as a cover for pursuing other more venal causes of their own and in doing so are bringing ruination on all?

WorldByStorm has more here.

Badly degraded quantities of Semtex-H explosives found in a former Provisional IRA arms dump, Dublin, Ireland


3 comments on “Hyping Up A Seizure Of Weapons

  1. This arms dump likely never had anything to do with the “dissidents.” By the looks of those weapons, it was likely an abandoned Provo dump that was uncovered by accident.


    • Given the above average level of support for the Irish Republican Army in the north Dublin region during the historic conflict and the area’s use for storing or transiting munitions that would certainly be possible. However the arrest of someone in the immediate vicinity makes that more unlikely. We shall have to wait for more information. It certainly doesn’t merit the hyped up manner of reporting engaged in by much of the Irish media. Very reminiscent of the Donegal arms finds of yore and we all know how that ended:

      “Senior Irish police officers planted fake IRA bombmaking equipment and ammunition on both sides of the Northern Ireland border to reap praise for “discovering” them, according to a report published yesterday.

      The police from county Donegal in north-west Ireland, went to bizarre lengths to orchestrate high-profile bogus finds of homemade explosives, bullets and fake prototype IRA rockets in the early 1990s.

      The officers planted the hoaxes at a tense and violent moment of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, just before the first IRA ceasefire in 1994.

      Their aim was to impress the Royal Ulster Constabulary with their skills. The fake finds were so elaborate and unchecked they fooled a Northern Ireland minister who commended the Irish government on the “heartening success” of one operation.

      The hoax finds began in 1993. Desperate for kudos, Superintendent Kevin Lennon and Detective Garda Noel McMahon enlisted an “unusual” Irish businesswoman who was to make and deliver much of their fake arms caches. Described by the judge as “mischievous”, Adrienne McGlinchey, 28, was said to be attracted by the attention and excitement of becoming an IRA informer for the police – although she had never been a member of the organisation.

      When the police found out Ms McGlinchey was a fraud they decided that rather than discard her they would use her “for the fulfilment of their agenda”.

      Over a period of more than a year she ground fertiliser by hand in a coffee machine while watching television in her flat, stored bomb-making equipment in her bedroom, and delivered neatly-packaged hoax weapons stashes.

      She even made fake pieces of ammunition to the police officers’ specifications, including a bizarre “metal tube with fins coming out of it”. The Irish police sought to convince the RUC that this was a new prototype IRA rocket.

      Ms McGlinchey’s charade to help the corrupt police was so melodramatic it was described by one local resident as reminiscent of the 1970s police show, Hawaii Five-0.

      On September 11 1993, Ms McGlinchey, at the two officers’ guidance, carried a lunchbox containing bullets and shotgun cartridges across the Northern Ireland border into Strabane, in county Tyrone. She had been instructed to leave the box behind a shop. Supt Lennon wanted the package left in Strabane “so that he could demonstrate his skill to the RUC by alerting them that it was there”.

      The RUC duly launched a large operation to close and seal off part of Strabane where they found the equipment.

      This was the first of seven significant hoaxes that have been detailed in the report. In Donegal Ms McGlinchey helped police plant ammonium nitrate and ground-up fertiliser in neatly divided domestic freezer bags in several locations.

      She transported the stashes by bus and once allegedly in a police patrol car.

      One of the caches was discovered by a man walking his dog near a sweet factory in Letterkenny, Donegal. Each time the officers were commended on their work in making the finds, despite the fact the IRA normally kept their fertiliser for bomb making in fertiliser bags, not family freezer bags.

      In July 1994 the officers spent months preparing two caches of homemade explosives, in-cluding ground fertiliser, in 70 plastic freezer bags which they were to “discover” in farm outhouses in Rossnowlagh, Donegal.

      It was highly unusual to find IRA equipment in farm sheds that were in use.”


  2. I could never get my head around these dissident republicans’ propensity of using pipe bombs. From all media accounts these devices are crude and not very sophisticated. And yet,we are also told that these dissidents have former Provisional IRA volunteers in their ranks; the same IRA who developed, according to reports, sophisticated and potent explosive devices like the coffee jar and drogue bomb.
    I can never recall hearing a report during the troubles of pipe bomb attack by the PIRA. I do however recall british militia using them at the tail end of the troubles when they were stepping up the campaign of terror on the ‘pan-nationalist front’. And of course it has and continues to be proven that these militia’ were run by the british security services’.
    I just wonder how much of the british security services sinister hand is involved with dissident activity??


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