Incident Summary:

11/19/2003: The Real IRA was responsible for an attempted bomb attack on police in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. The police found and disarmed the explosive device before anyone was harmed. The device, comprised of 20 kilograms of explosive material, was hidden at the abandoned Enniskeen Hotel. Police had entered the hotel after receiving a telephone tip about a bomb at the location. However, a hoax bomb had been planted at the site to divert the police officer’s attention. Newcastle police believed the Real IRA had been attempting to lure them into a trap.



United Kingdom

Western Europe

region/u.s. state:

Northern Ireland


Location Details:
Down (County)

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) No
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Enniskeen Hotel
Specific Description Enniskeen Hotel in Newcastle
Nationality of Target Northern Ireland
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity Newcastle Police Department
Specific Description Newcastle police officers responding to a potential bombing attack.
Nationality of Target Northern Ireland
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Time Fuse
Weapon Details
A homemade device composed of 20 kilograms of explosive material was used in the attack. A hoax bomb was also planted at the site of the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) (suspected) Unknown
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Alan Erwin, “Real IRA Lured Police into Bomb Trap,” Press Association, November 19, 2003.
“Real IRA Foiled in Bid to Slay Police,” Belfast News Letter, November 20, 2003.
“N Ireland: Dissident Republicans Attempt to Lure Police Officers into Bomb Trap,” UTV, November 19, 2003.