Gardaí search a disused mine in County Carlow they believe the IRA were using for weapons training.

The Rossmore Colliery which closed in 1986 is situated in an isolated area about 6 miles from Carlow Town. Gardaí made a detailed search of the mine-face following the evidence of weapons being fired in a disused mine-shaft.

The haul recovered so far includes a homemade rocket launcher, grenades, a quantity of ammunition and thousands of spent cartridges, along with cooking equipment.

The real significance of this find appears to be the Gardaí have found an Irish Republican Army (IRA) training ground and target shooting range. 

An Garda Síochána technical experts have already made a number of trips down the mine-shaft. The disused shaft is an ideal place for a clandestine training camp as it runs deep underground, with numerous off-shoots. 

At the end of the warren of tunnels, about 1,000 feet underground, the mine-face opens out into a large chamber where bullet riddled targets were found along with spent cartridges from different weapons including Kalashnikov rifles. 

It appears the main purpose of the camp was to train people in the use of a heavy duty anti-aircraft machine gun.

One of these guns was used to damage a British army helicopter in South Armagh and it is one of the most deadly in the IRA’s arsenal of weapons.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 September 1988. The reporter is Charlie Bird.