What the IRA has in its armoury

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The Independent Online

The size of the IRA's arsenal has varied, necessarily, over the years, dependent on how active its units had been. Most of the weapons, republican and security sources agree, are buried in Co Monaghan and Co Louth, easily accessible across the border.

The size of the IRA's arsenal has varied, necessarily, over the years, dependent on how active its units had been. Most of the weapons, republican and security sources agree, are buried in Co Monaghan and Co Louth, easily accessible across the border.

The former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and Cyril Ramaphosa, the ex-secretary ceneral of the African National Congress, have made several inspections of two key dumps. They were taken there by the Gardai, but some Unionist politicians claim that the dumps are just window dressing and show just a tip of the provisionals' arms and ammunition.

There have also been reports that the Real and Continuity IRA had taken weapons and explosives from IRA arms dump when they broke away, although unauthorised removal is said to carry the most severe penalties.

A few years ago the Libyan government gave British authorities a list of arms supplied to the IRA in the 1980s. Much of the subsequent inventory has been based on this.

The IRA stockpile, roughly accepted by republican activists and the security forces, consists of:

700 AK47/AKM assault rifles;

600 bomb detonators;

500 pistols;

40 to 50 Armalite AR-15 assault rifles;

40 RPG-7 rocket launchers;

20 12.7mm DshK heavy machine-guns;

12 7.62mm FN MAG machine-guns;

Six LPO-50 flamethrowers;

Three tons of Semtex plastic military explosive;

Two .50cal Barret M82A1 sniper rifles;

One SAM-7 surface-to-air missile; and

One million rounds of ammunition.

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