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Irish Explosives Expert

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Ireland is famous for many things. The lush, green countryside. The friendliness of the people. Their red hair and mellifluous brogues (accents). The song, the music, the dance (céilí). People skilled with the use of explosives.

A Subtrope of Oireland, Demolitions Expert and Mad Bomber, the Irish Explosives Expert is a person hailing from the Emerald Isle whose use in the plot is that of the explosives expert. As the Oireland page says, a great many Irish characters in action movies tend to be this trope. This trope is derived from The Troubles, a dark period of time for both the North and South, where bombings were carried out by various paramilitary groups (most notably the Irish Republican Army) against targets both military and civilian.

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Often found as part of a Western Terrorists cell. This trope also tends to overlap with Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters.

As this is Truth in Television and an inflammatory issue even today, No Real Life Examples, Please!. In a less inflammatory sense, likely also Truth in Television due to the number of Irish workers involved in railway construction in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, and Australia.


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Examples

Comic Books

  • One storyline from Judge Dredd involved Irishmen planting explosives around The Theme Park Version of Ireland, which is what Ireland has become by that time.
  • The Kitchen Irish arc of The Punisher has one, though his face is completely mangled from the time one of his bombs exploded in his face.
  • Brian from Sin City is a former-IRA bomber who now works as a mercenary, who admits that explosions are his preferred method of killing.
    "Y'see, I'm not too fond of shootin'. It's my preference to blow things up. Once you blast the roof off a pub and see all the parts flying off people, a little bang-bang's never gonna match the sight of that."

Film

  • Blown Away gives us Ryan Gaerity and Liam "Jimmy" Dove. One's a Psycho for Hire that loves making Stuff Blowing Up while the other is a Shell-Shocked Veteran of The Troubles that decided to apply his explosives expertise (taught by Gaerity) in working for the Boston Police's Bomb Squad.
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  • Seamus Finnegan, from Harry Potter. Various projects of his exploding are a Running Gag throughout the movies.
  • Jonah Hex. Burke is a rather psychotic Irish mercenary with a fondness for explosives, though he also likes to kill up and close with his Bowie knife.
  • In Ronin, a mysterious Irish woman hires the characters to move a briefcase, but won't tell them what it contains - the leader assumes it's a bomb. It turns out to contain documents crucial to the Northern Irish peace process.
  • Viva Maria!: the Maria played by Brigitte Bardot is half-French, half-Irish and learned all about the art of making bombs and setting them off from her father. She puts them to good use in a rebellion in a Banana Republic.
  • John Mallory from A Fistful of Dynamite. His demolition expertise is put to good use by the rebels.

Literature

  • Rats, Bats and Vats: The BombardierBats, cybernetically uplifted and gengineered giant bats that mostly fight by emplacing and using high explosives. Part of their soft-cyber implants was "Irish revolutionary songs and old 'Wobbly' tunes", causing them to all speak with broad Irish accents and adopt Irish names.
  • The Hound Of The Durbervilles: The group of Irish revolutionaries includes a notorious bomber, Tyrone Mountmain.

Live-Action Television

  • Fiona of Burn Notice is a former Irish Republican Army operative that Michael met years ago while undercover and fell in love with. She plays Red Oni to his Blue Oni, although those roles start to shift in later seasons, and she usually argues for the most violent of all possible options. Whenever Michael needs explosives—or, for that matter, guns—Fiona tends to be the one supplying them.
  • In an early episode of Little House on the Prairie Pa goes out looking for work and joins an Irish "powder monkey" who knows where they can get jobs blasting tunnels for the railroads.
  • Oz had an arc where Padraic Connelly, an IRA terrorist, was put in the titular prison while awaiting deportation to the UK. Ryan O'Reily, the show's main member of The Irish Mob, palled up with him and basked in the reflected glory of being friends with a "freedom fighter" for a time... until he discovered that Connelly was a Mad Bomber who was planning to blow up the whole wing and kill everyone.

Music

  • A novelty song by the Glencoves from 1963 is "It's Sister Ginny's Turn To Throw The Bomb," which details an Irish family of MadBombers. "It's sister Ginny's turn to throw the bomb. / The last one, it was thrown by brother John. / Mom's aim is bad, / And the coppers all know Dad, / So it's sister Ginny's turn to throw the bomb."

Theater

  • Macmorris in Henry V, who is in charge of mining the town of Harfleur, is a curious example in that the play predates the events, or at least the technology, that led to the existence of the stereotype. Macmorris's quick temper and defensiveness about his nationality reflect both English sterotypes of the Irish and the fact that there was a rebellion in Ireland going on at the time Henry V was written, but of course it would be several centuries before bombing became a tool of political violence pertaining to Ireland (indeed, the play itself also takes place before explosives were widely used in any sort of combat in Europe. In medieval warfare, mining involved digging tunnels beneath a city's defenses, but thanks to Shakespeare's tendency toward Anachronism Stew the text of the play includes several references to explosives, which had become part of the process by his own time). The association is sometimes Played for Laughs in modern productions.

Video Games

  • Jagged Alliance 2 features one of these as a local explosives merchant and recruitable NPC.
  • Sean Devlin, from The Saboteur, is an explosives expert working with the French Resistance.
  • Packie McReary, Nico's main contact in the Irish Mob in Grand Theft Auto IV, will supply Nico with car bombs once the two become good friends.
  • Silent Storm has the party member Colleen "Holly" Cullen, an Irish explosive specialist who joined the Wehrmacht because she viewed World War Two as a golden occasion to harm British occupation of Northern Ireland (personal revenge plays a part in it: her father took part in the Easter Rising and was executed after its failure).

Western Animation

  • On Archer, an Irish bomber Disguised in Drag is revealed to be a man when Archer (accidentally) rips off his dress after drunkenly hitting on him at a party at the house of a British Lord. Archer throws a serving tray into the bomber's head before he can detonate his suicide vest.


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