1981 in the Irish Republican Army


1981 in the Irish Republican Army

"See also:"
1980 in the Irish Republican Army,
other events of 1981,
1982 in the Irish Republican Army and the
list of 'years in the Irish Republican Army'.

----

Events

*January 8 - Two people are injured and extensive building damage occurs in a bomb explosion northwest of the Uxbridge Airforce Base in London, England (a building is later evacuated and gasoline barrels are removed after the discovery of more explosives). The Provisional IRA later claims responsibility for the bombing.
*January 10 - Two police officers are injured in isolated incidents in Belfast.
*January 15 - In the first case of soldiers being tried for criminal activity in Northern Ireland, soldiers Sgt. John Byrne, Staff Sgt. Stanley Hathaway, Iain Chestnut, and Capt. Andrew Snowball are sentenced to imprisonment for the murder of IRA members Michael Nann and Andrew Murray.
*January 16 - Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, a former member of Parliament, and her husband are seriously wounded after being confronted by three unidentified gunman in their farmhouse in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The three are soon arrested following the assault.
*January 16 - Ivan Toombs, a 42 year old part-time Major in the Ulster Defense Regiment, is killed by two men at his off-duty place of work, Warrenpoint customs office in County Down, Northern Ireland. Toombs' murder would mark the first IRA-related death of the year.
*January 20 - One soldier is killed and another wounded by an IRA sniper at a security gate between Derry and the Bogside.
*January 20 - A statement issued by the IRA claims a recently found body near South Armagh, Northern Ireland was a police informant.
*January 21 - Sir Norman Stronge, a longtime Protestant supporter within the Parliament of Northern Ireland, is killed with his son James in their home in County Armagh, Northern Ireland by unidentified gunmen, later claimed by the IRA to have been responsible.
*January 26 - A series of bombings throughout five of Northern Ireland's six counties, occurring within a 12 hour period between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., injure 12 people.
*January 26 - After receiving a death threat, a candidate representing the Official Unionist Party officially withdraws from the Belfast City Council elections.
*January 29 - A furniture store in Belfast, Northern Ireland is bombed and, although causing a fire, there are no reported casualties.
*January 29 - The "dirty campaign" resumes after a two week truce as 96 prisoners (of an estimated 400 suspected IRA members involved in the campaign) of Belfast's Maze Prison spread excrement throughout their cells.
*February 7 - Commandeering a pilot launch, seven masked IRA members board a British coal ship "Nelly M" off the coast of Donegal and, forcing its crew into life rafts, set off several explosions with the purpose of submerging the ship.
*February 10 - Samuel Montgomery, a part time member of the Ulster Defense Regiment, is killed in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
*March 1 - A new hunger strike is begun by four Maze inmates demanding political status for IRA prisoners.
*March 17 - The IRA claims responsibility for an attack on a reserve policeman in Derry, Northern Ireland.
*March 20 - The IRA issues a formal apology for the death of Gerry Rowland, who had been killed in an attack intended for ex-UDF soldier Maurice Lutton.
*March 20 - A 17 year old is killed by members of the Ulster Defense Force after a high speed car chase.
*March 24 - British businessman Ross McMahon is attacked and shot in both legs, or "kneecapped", by unidentified gunmen in Dublin, Ireland. The unidentified men were reportedly observed shouting "H-Block", a reference to the section of Maze Prison housed by Irish prisoners.
*March 26 - A statue of Queen Victoria is torn down by IRA sympathizers at Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin.
*April 2 - Kenneth John Acheson, a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, is killed by an IRA car bomb.
*April 7 - Joanna Mathers, an Irish census worker, is shot and killed by an unknown assailant in Derry, Northern Ireland. Despite prior threats to interfere with the census, the IRA denied any involvement in the murder.
*April 10 - Now in his fifth week of the 1981 Irish hunger strike, Bobby Sands is elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
*April 14 - Francis Tiernan & Garda Eoin Corrigan are kidnapped by members of the IRA from his home in Forkhill, Northern Ireland.
*April 15 - Several buildings are set on fire during demonstrations in Derry, Northern Ireland supporting imprisoned IRA member Bobby Sands.
*October 17 - British Marine commandant Lt. Gen. Stuart Pringle is severely wounded, later losing his right leg, after his home in West Dulwich, England is bombed by members of the IRA.
*October 21 - A member of the Ulster Defense Regiment is shot and killed by an unidentified gunman disguised as a mailman in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
*October 26 - Two IRA members are arrested while attempting to detonate a landmine on a road in Northern Ireland.
*October 26 - After discovering a bomb hidden in some bushes, police in Northern Ireland successfully the bomb and arrest two IRA members asleep nearby.
*October 26 - Kenneth Robert Howorth, an Explosives Officer with the Metropolitan Police, is killed while attempting to defuse an IRA bomb found in a Wimpy Burger restaurant, Oxford Street, London.
*October 27 - Two suspicious looking packages, thought to have been delivered by the IRA, are detonated by police in the Oxford Street section of London, England.
*October 28 - The Irish National Liberation Army issues a statement claiming responsibility for the death of a man found near a garbage dump Derry, Northern Ireland.
*November 4 - An Ulster Defense Association member, suspected to be an informant, is killed by members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters.
*November 7 - An IRA bomb wounds three British soldiers in Crossmaglen, South Armagh.
*November 8 - The son an Ulster Defense Regiment member is accidentally killed in a car bomb explosion Lisnadell.
*November 9 - Ulster Defense Regiment member Cecil Graham is gunned down in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh.
*November 10 - Charles Neville, a member of the Ulster Defense Regiment, is killed after a grenade is hurled into his car in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.
*November 20 - Over 30 suspected members of the Irish Republican Army are arrested.
*November 22 - Three members of the Protestant Third Force are arrested by police carrying a van loaded with explosives in Newry.
*November 28 - William Coulter is killed, along with five other members of the Royal Constabulary Force, after being lured into an IRA stronghold.
*November 28 - A police officer is killed in a car bomb explosion in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
*December 13 - Two people are killed in a car bomb explosion in London's West End.
*December 20 - A nailbomb explosion near a group of soldiers injured one person in Derry, Northern Ireland.


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