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Irish Explosives Expert

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"Better come clean with ya now, sweetheart. That was an outright lie I was giving ya about me revolver being wet. You see, I'm not too fond of shooting. 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 going to match the sight of that. And here I am with all these fine grenades, and such a sweet beauty of a remote."
Brian, Sin City

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. In a real life inversion of this trope, the Defence Forces has a bomb disposal unit that makes regular callouts to disarm or perform controlled detonation on suspect devices that are a result of this.

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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    Comic Books 
  • The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones: In #29, Indy clashes with IRA agent Michael Cobb, but is forced to join forces with him in #30 after they realise they have a mutual foe. Although Cobb is happy wielding a Tommy gun, he has an especial fascination with dynamite—referring to it as his 'calling card'—and wearing an overcoat lined with sticks of it sealed in waterproof pouches.
  • 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.
  • The page quote is provided by Brian from Sin City, a former-IRA bomber turned mercenary who admits that explosions are his preferred method of killing. But still, he feels the need to try to take a knife to Dwight McCarthy, only to wind up shanked himself by Deadly Little Miho.

    Film — Live Action 
  • 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.
  • John Mallory from A Fistful of Dynamite. His demolition expertise is put to good use by the rebels.
  • Seamus Finnegan, from Harry Potter. Various projects of his exploding are a Running Gag throughout the movies.
  • Jonah Hex (2010): 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 The Hallelujah Trail, the real reason Wallingham hired the Irish teamsters was to look after the wagons secretly loaded with dynamite.
  • In Ronin (1998), a mysterious Irish woman hires the characters to move a briefcase but won't tell them what it contains — the leader assumes that 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.

  • The Hound of the D'Urbervilles: The group of Irish revolutionaries includes a notorious bomber, Tyrone Mountmain.
  • Rats, Bats and Vats: The BombardierBats, cybernetically uplifted and gengineered giant bats that mostly fight by emplacing and her 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.
  • A heroic example is found in Rainbow Six, where the demolitions expert of the team is the Irishman, Paddy Connolly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Owen Slaeter of Boardwalk Empire is a former IRA enforcer who stayed in Atlantic City because being a mobster paid better and is shown to be very proficient at bomb making.
  • 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.
  • Luke Dillon in the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Rigid Silence" is a member of the Irish terrorist organisation Clan na Gael, who sees himself as an expert on dynamite. Julia goads him into talking by discussing how inept one bombing was, which he insists would have been due to his instructions not being followed, had he been involved, which he wasn't.

  • 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 Mad Bombers. "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."

  • A non-violent example shows up in The Men from the Ministry episode "A Slight Case of Demolition" with O'haggoti's Demolition Company Ltd., an Irish demolition company that manages to knock down the Potters Green public convenience very efficiently in a single weekend. Too bad Lamb accidentally gave them the address of Sir Gregory's new house instead of the toilet...

  • 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 
  • The Bourne Conspiracy, the video game adaptation of the first Jason Bourne movie, has its first mission be to assassinate an Irish bombmaker named O'Connor in the employ of Wombosi.
  • Packie McReary, Niko's main contact in The Irish Mob in Grand Theft Auto IV, will supply Niko with car bombs once the two become good friends.
  • 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.
  • 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 
  • In 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.