Ireland: IRA planned to knock out UK power supply - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland IRA planned to knock out UK power supply

10:25  21 october  2019
10:25  21 october  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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The IRA bombing of Canary Wharf in the London Dockland in 1996. A former member has revealed he planned to knock out the power supply to the south The Irish Republican Army embarked on a terrifying bombing campaign in 1996 after the UK government refused to allow Sinn Fein, the group’s

Former gun runner claims republicans plotted to bomb London power supply in 1990s.

a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background: General view of Canary Wharf in London (PA) General view of Canary Wharf in London (PA)

The IRA had planned to knock out the power supply to the south-east of England in the final years of its terror campaign, a former member has claimed. The audacious plan is alleged to have been drawn up in the mid-1990s, shortly before the Belfast Agreement peace accord.

Former US marine turned IRA gun runner John Crawley makes the claim in a new programme, as part of a BBC series marking the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Troubles. The seventh and final episode of Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History explores the last IRA bombing campaign in England and the secret talks that brought it to peace.

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The IRA planned to knock out the power supply to the south east of England in the final years of its bombing campaign, a Former US Marine John Crawley, who had already been caught smuggling guns from America for the IRA , was arrested just before he could bomb London' s electricity supply .

"We were going to knock out the power supply of the south east of England," he tells the UK USE ONLY : ALL FOREIGNS OUT : A British soldier stands near the scene were local Catholic man was The attack was carried out by the dissident republican group the Real IRA and inflicted the greatest

The IRA broke its 1994 ceasefire in February 1996 when it exploded a bomb in London's docklands, which killed two people and caused an estimated £150m (€174m) of damage. In June of the same year it exploded what was reported as the largest bomb to be planted in Great Britain since World War II. More than 200 people were injured in the blast in Manchester and significant damage to infrastructure caused.

IRA ( Irish Republican Army ) graffiti on concrete structure at Horn Head, Donegal, Ireland © Getty IRA ( Irish Republican Army ) graffiti on concrete structure at Horn Head, Donegal, Ireland The bombs came as Sinn Fein was at loggerheads with the UK government and unionists over calls for the IRA to disarm before it would be admitted to peace talks. The latest Spotlight programme hears claims that key IRA bombers had been either caught or killed after extensive surveillance operations by police and MI5.

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The audacious plan is alleged to have come during the final years of the IRA 's terror campaign The bombs came as Sinn Fein was at loggerheads with the UK Government and unionists over calls for “We were going to knock out the power supply of the south east of England,” he tells the programme.

The IRA planned to knock out the power supply to the south east of England in the final years of its bombing campaign, a former insider has claimed. Details are revealed in the final episode of the BBC series Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History. Insiders describe a battle of wits between the IRA

Mr Crawley, who had previously been caught smuggling guns from the United States for the IRA, tells the programme how he was arrested just before a plan to bomb London's electricity supply was carried out. "We were going to knock out the power supply of the south-east of England," he says. "And there may have been other operations after that, but we were caught before we could do that."

However he also claims that the IRA had been left overstretched by the campaign. "I wondered why they didn't kill us, because we'd have had men tooled up and everything," he says.

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"They knew where we were going and to this day, I don't know why they just didn't take us out of it. Because coffins coming back on the ferry would've been a nice message to anybody else looking to go - and believe me, there wasn't a lot of people putting their hands up to go to England." 

John Grieve, who took over Scotland Yard's anti-terror unit on the day of the Canary Wharf bombing, describes Mr Crawley and the other IRA bombers as "the A team". "They were absolutely excellent and one of them, John Crawley, ex-US Marine Corps demolition specialist, this was the top sort of people for them to bring up," he tells the programme.

"He just epitomised the cunning, skills, experience of the sort of people they were putting against us." The Troubles series has been described by the BBC as one of the "most significant" produced by BBC Northern Ireland. To date, it has reached more than 1.8m people across the UK and has received more than 1.1m requests on the BBC iPlayer.

The seventh and final episode of the series will be broadcast on Tuesday on BBC One NI and BBC Four at 8.30pm. Spotlight on the Troubles: Behind the Scenes will be shown on Thursday on BBC One NI at 9pm.

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