IRA engages Crown Forces
With tension rising across the North IRA units engaged the
British armed forces in many areas of the Six Counties using a
variety of weapons and tactics.
In the first IRA attack following the forced Orange march at
Garvaghy Road a Volunteer opened fire with an AK 47 assault rifle
from the corner of Artana Street in the Lower Ormeau area of
The target was an RUC patrol sitting on the nearby bridge over
the river Lagan. Five shots hit an armoured personnel carrier in
the centre of the bridge. The attack was recorded by a BBC
television crew filming nearby.
Later that evening across the river in the Short Strand gunfire
was directed at another Crown Forces patrol operating on the
Newtownards Road. Only the heavy armour on the personnel carrier
Shortly after this another South Belfast ASU swung into action
firing 20 shots at British riot squads attempting to move into
the Markets area beside the city centre.
The first Crown Forces casualty was a female RUC member shot by
the IRA's East Tyrone Brigade.
The RUC member, who is from the Portadown area, was hit in the
face on Monday morning while sitting in an armoured car after a
Volunteer calmly walked up to it and opened fire with a shotgun.
The attack took place in the centre of Coalisland beside the
heavily fortified RUC barracks.
This tactic was repeated in the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown
in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when a masked man opened
fire hitting his RUC target on the leg and arm. Heavy rioting was
taking place at the time.
This was also the case in Armagh City when two IRA Volunteers
opened fire on an RUC patrol late on Sunday night. 15 shots were
fired as the RUC operated a roadblock in English Street just
before midnight. Return fire was reported, and later this same
roadblock came under intense petrol bomb attack.
Part of the huge £20 million overall cost to the British
government was the result of a daring attack on a train near
Lurgan on Sunday when nine masked men boarded it and set it
alight. All five carriages were completely destroyed. Another
train was partially burned in Newry station on Tuesday. Buses too
were targeted. Fifteen have been confirmed as being torched and
at an average cost of £120,000, financial costs are soaring,
particularly after British government buildings were destroyed in
Continuing their statement documenting the IRA's Belfast
operations the Belfast Brigade said that dozens of its Volunteers
also took part in attacks in North and West Belfast.
In North Belfast prior to a rocket attack in the Hallidays Road
area of the New Lodge three RUC members had an extremely lucky
escape when an ASU from the Ardoyne area scattered an RUC mobile
support unit making its way up the Crumlin Road. Details of the
shooting later emerged showing how close the 20 shots were. One
bullet went through one RUC man's riot helmet, another ripped
into a flak jacket and one smashed into a radio microphone
attached to another flak jacket. The RUC returned fire but failed
to hit anyone.
Later a Volunteer opened fire at a British soldier at the
junction of Woodvale and Crumlin Roads. He had been continually
firing plastic bullets at young people. Fifteen shots were
directed at him, this action was again recorded by Independent
television news pictures.
d while this was taking place a lone Volunteer fired one round
at an RUC member in position on Alliance Avenue.
Thirty minutes later 20 shots were fired at the RUC deployed on
the Oldpark Road. Again, while the RUC returned fire no one was
Later on Monday night as loyalists opened fire into Ardoyne two
loyalists were hit as the IRA returned fire. One loyalist was
later admitted to the causality unit of a nearby hospital. The
loyalists had been engaged in the petrol bombing of a nationalist
In West Belfast two joint British Army/RUC bases came under
grenade and rifle fire as 20 shots were fired into New Barnsley's
Henry Taggart barracks. A grenade was also used, hurled at one of
its lookout posts. A mile away the Woodbourne base at the bottom
of Lenadoon Avenue was the scene of an improvised grenade attack,
with 15 shots also being directed at it.
Further down the Falls Road close to the Grosvenor and
Springfield Roads 20 shots were fired at British forces putting a
checkpoint into place. Despite return fire all Volunteers in this
operation moved out of range, returning safely to base.