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Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Ireland

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 May 2013
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Ireland, 30 May 2013, available at: [accessed 19 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: The United States and Ireland collaborated closely on counterterrorism, law enforcement, and information-sharing. An Garda Siochana (Irish Police at both the national and local level) has comprehensive law enforcement, immigration, investigative, and counterterrorism responsibilities, and continued to work closely with American counterparts. In 2012, as was the case in 2010 and 2011, there were incidents by dissident republican groups in Ireland, generally targeting other republican factions and often involving criminal activity. Some violent actions committed in neighboring Northern Ireland by members of dissident groups were traced back to support provided by persons living in Ireland. The immediate targets of violence were law enforcement personnel and the security structures of Northern Ireland in an attempt to disrupt the ongoing post-peace process community rehabilitation efforts. Irish authorities handle these legacy issues stemming from "The Troubles," and are actively involved in dealing with transnational terrorism issues.

2012 Terrorist Incidents: The list below details terrorism-related incidents reported in the public domain. As of December 31, 96 viable improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were disarmed and analyzed by Ireland's Army bomb disposal teams. Incidents included:

  • On January 5, five pipe bombs were found in County Clare. Army bomb disposal teams secured the devices.

  • On February 16, Garda recovered a handgun and three IEDs. The items were found in County Kildare during ongoing investigations into the activities of dissident republicans.

  • On May 1, Garda and Army bomb disposal experts neutralized a live 45-pound IED found in Phoenix Park near the residences of the U.S. Ambassador and the Irish President. The location of the IED was only one mile from Garda headquarters.

  • On June 23, Garda discovered eight pipe bombs in a housing estate in Limerick City.

  • On August 11, a device wrapped in plastic was discovered in Limerick. An army explosive ordnance disposal unit carried out a controlled explosion to destroy the device.

  • On August 21, Army bomb disposal teams dealt with four separate incidents in Dublin, two of which involved viable explosive devices.

  • On September 3, RIRA leader Alan Ryan was killed in north Dublin.

  • On September 17, a petrol bomb did considerable structural damage to Sinn Fein Irish Member of Parliament Aengus O Snodaigh's constituency office in Dublin. No one was injured.

  • On October 5, Garda uncovered what they believe to be a pipe bomb-making facility in north Dublin. Garda later arrested the man suspected of directing the facility.

  • On November 1, David Black, a prison officer from Northern Ireland, was murdered on his way to work; an investigation is underway. A Dublin-based alliance of dissident republican splinter groups claimed responsibility for his murder.

  • On December 4, Eamon Kelly, an alleged criminal gang leader and dissident republican, was shot in north Dublin.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: On November 9, the Irish government approved the drafting of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2012. This bill, if enacted, would amend the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 and create three new offences of: (1) public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, (2) recruitment for terrorism, and (3) training for terrorism.

A series of investigations into historical cases from "The Troubles" related to the Smithwick Tribunal were ongoing at year's end. The Smithwick Tribunal, begun in 2006, is reviewing the events surrounding the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Robert Buchanan of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the predecessor to the present day Police Services of Northern Ireland. Public hearings for the tribunal began in July 2011.

The Irish government has a good track record in responding positively and thoroughly to U.S. requests for cooperation on all law enforcement issues.

2012 arrests related to terrorist activity included:

  • On February 7, Garda arrested two men as part of an ongoing investigation into dissident republican activity.

  • On June 11, Garda arrested two men for dissident republican activity.

  • On July 3, Garda arrested a man and seized a gun during an investigation into dissident republican paramilitary activity.

  • On September 15, three men were charged by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin with membership in the RIRA. They were among 17 people who were detained during Operation Ambience, a Garda investigation into a paramilitary display that transpired at the funeral of RIRA boss Alan Ryan.

  • On September 27, police in Dublin investigating dissident republican activities arrested two men after surveillance equipment was found in a hotel room overlooking a Garda station.

2012 prosecutions related to terrorist activity included:

  • On January 24, an individual was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin for the 2008 murder of a man in County Donegal. The murder was linked to the dissident republican group, Oglaigh na hEireann.

  • On February 24, two men were found guilty of possessing explosive substances by an Irish court following a 2010 Garda raid on a suspected dissident republican bomb-making facility in Dundalk.

  • On March 31, a man was sentenced to four years imprisonment after he admitted to a 2010 charge of gun and ammunition possessing.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Ireland is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Bill of 2010 enacted the EU's third money-laundering directive into Irish law, giving effect to several FATF recommendations. The act consolidated Ireland's existing Anti-Money Laundering/ Counterterrorist Finance Laws and increased the obligations on a wide range of individuals and organizations to disclose information related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

Ireland implements all EU Council Regulations on financial sanctions against listed terrorists and related directives. The government continues to amend its primary 2010 legislation to strengthen it and implement FATF recommendations.

Law enforcement authorities monitor non-profit organizations for breaches of criminal law, but the Charities Act has yet to be fully implemented. Ireland is on the regular follow-up FATF list and is not yet eligible to be placed on the biennial review list. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: Ireland is a member of all relevant regional and international bodies to combat terrorism. This includes the Council of Europe, the OECD, the OSCE, and NATO's Partnership for Peace. Ireland has held the Chairmanship of the OSCE for the duration of the 2012 calendar year and hosted the 19th OSCE Ministerial Council in Dublin on December 6-7.

U.S. government officials worked with the Irish government on security efforts surrounding the 2012 Olympics in London.

In addition to counterterrorism capacity building in foreign states, it is important to mention the counterterrorism efforts in a regional context with Northern Ireland. The Irish Defense Forces provided a robust explosive ordnance disposal capability to the civil authority, routinely deploying to investigate and disarm ordnance around the country. The 2nd Eastern Brigade, which is responsible for the Dublin area and a significant portion of the territory along the border with Northern Ireland, responded to over 100 reports of explosive devices in 2012.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Ireland continued its significant efforts to assist in the integration process of minority groups in Ireland. These measures included providing social benefits, language training, and the proactive advocacy work of an ombudsman's office.

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