The 1993 Harrods bombing occurred on 28 January 1993 when a bomb exploded near the Harrods department store in London, England.

1993 Harrods bombing
Part of the Troubles
Brompton Road, looking north from Harrods in 1993
LocationKnightsbridge, London, United Kingdom
Date28 January 1993
09:40 (UTC)
Attack type
PerpetratorProvisional Irish Republican Army



The Provisional IRA began intensifying its bombings in London in 1992. A month before the Harrods bomb, on 10 December 1992 the IRA exploded two bombs in litter bins outside the Wood Green Shopping City centre injuring four police officers and seven civilians.[1] A week later on 17 December two more IRA bombs exploded in London outside shops injuring four people at Oxford Street and Cavendish Square.[2]



On 28 January 1993 a bomb exploded near the Harrods department store in London, England. At 9:14, two telephoned warnings were issued, saying that two bombs had been planted: one outside and one inside Harrods.[3] The store was due to open at 10:00.[3] Police cordoned off the area and began a search. However, some bystanders ignored the police cordon.[3] At about 9:40, a package containing 1 lb (450 g) of Semtex exploded in a litter bin at the front of the store.[3] It injured four people and damaged the shopfront.[3][4] The cost of damage and lost sales was estimated at £1 million.[5] Harrods was previously targeted by the IRA before, first two firebombs in August 1973 caused minor damage,[6] in 1974 the IRA's active service unit known as the Balcombe Street Gang exploded another firebomb gutting a clothes shop inside the store and injuring one member of staff and in 1983 a car bomb killed six (3 civilians and 3 police) and injured 90 people,the 1993 bomb was much smaller than the 1983 one.



Those responsible were English Irish nationalist activists associated with the Provisional IRA: Jan Taylor, a 51-year-old former corporal who had served in the British Army Royal Signals Corps, and Patrick Hayes, a 41-year-old computer programmer of Irish descent, with a degree in business studies from Polytechnic of Central London and a member of Red Action.[4][5]

In March 1993, police captured them at Hayes' home in Stoke Newington, London.[7] They each received prison sentences of 30 years for the January Harrods bombing and for a second attack on a train a month later which caused extensive damage but no casualties. Hayes was also convicted of conspiracy to cause three additional explosions in 1992. Neither man had any apparent links to Ireland beyond their "unswerving support for the IRA".[8] Both were released in 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement.[citation needed]

See also



  1. ^ Bennett, Will (11 December 1992). "Police and shoppers injured in bomb blasts". The Independent. Independent Digital News & Media Ltd. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  2. ^ Schmidt, William E (17 December 1992). "4 Hurt as 2 I.R.A. Bombs Go Off on Busy London Shopping Street". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e Bennett, Will (29 January 1993). "Four hurt by IRA bomb outside Harrods – UK, News". The Independent. London, UK. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b Geraghty, Tony (2000). The Irish War: the hidden conflict between the IRA and British Intelligence. JHUPress. p. 163. ISBN 0-8018-6456-9.
  5. ^ a b Seaton, Matt (29 January 1995). "Charge of the New Red Brigade". The Independent. London, UK. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  6. ^ Shuster, Alvin (25 August 1973). "2 IN LONDON HURT BY A LETTER BOMB;High Stock Exchange Aide Injured—Scotland Yard Officially Blames I.R.A." The New York Times. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  7. ^ Mickolus, Edward (1997). Terrorism, 1992–1995: a chronology of events and a selectively annotated bibliography. Greenwood Press. p. 282. ISBN 0-313-30468-8.
  8. ^ Ward, Stephen (13 May 1994). "'Proud' IRA bombers jailed for 30 years: Police remain mystified why two Englishmen, who had no apparent connections with Ireland, became terrorists". The Independent. London, UK. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 28 April 2018.

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