Carlton Tower and Portman Hotel shootings

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Carlton Tower and Portman Hotel Shootings
Part of The Troubles
Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel.jpg
The Jumeirah Carlton Tower, previously just the Carlton Tower hotel which the IRA fired shots at
LocationPortman Square, London & Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge, London, England
Date19 January 1975
Attack type
WeaponsSten & M1 carbine
PerpetratorsProvisional IRA
Provisional IRA's Balcombe Street Gang

On the 19 January 1975 the Provisional IRA's Balcombe Street Gang carried out two separate gun attacks on hotels in London, England. It was the first attack of 1975 carried out by IRA unit who had been responsible for the Woolwich pub bombing & Guildford pub bombings which resulted in the deaths of seven people (5 off-duty British soldiers & 2 civilians) just a few months earlier. In total 12 people were injured from both attacks.[1]


The first attack was carried out on the Portman Hotel in Portman Square, the IRA team headed by Eddie Butler drove slowly by the hotel and fired approximately 20 rounds of 9mm ammunition into the hotel using a Sten Submachine gun.[2] Two hours later another IRA team drove by the Carlton Tower Hotel located along Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge and fired shots into it this time with an M1 carbine. Four people were injured in this attack mainly from flying glass.[3]

At first people believed the attacks might have been motivated by anti‐Semitism as both hotels were owned by Jewish businessmen. But police believed it to be the work of the Provisional IRA who carried out a similar shooting attack a month earlier in December 1974 against the Churchill Hotel also in Portman Square in which three people were injured.[4][5]

A Sten submachine gun lke the one used to shoot at the Portman Hotel by the IRA, in January 1975


The IRA continued carrying out attacks in England for the month of January 1975. On the 23 a time bomb at the Woodford Waterworks pumping station in North London exploded, causing three injuries. Then on the 27 January two of seven times planted by the Balcombe street gang exploded in Kensington High Street and Victoria street injuring a total of six people.[6] A bomb exploded in Manchester in which over 20 people were injured.[7]

In September 1975 the same IRA unit again attacked the Portman Hotel. They exploded a bomb outside the entrance injuring three people & blowing the glass out of the hotel windows.[8]

See Also[edit]



  1. ^ "CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict 1975". Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  2. ^ Steven P. Moysey - The Road To Balcombe Street: The IRA Reign of Terror in London: Second Edition p.158
  3. ^ Steven P. Moysey - The Road To Balcombe Street: The IRA Reign of Terror in London: Second Edition p.158,159
  4. ^ "CAIN: Chronology of the Conflict 1974". Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  5. ^ "2 London Hotels Are Hit by Shots". The New York Times. 1975-01-20. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  6. ^ "Prevention of Terrorism Legislation (Hansard, 4 March 1993)". Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  7. ^ "6 Bombs Go Off in England After I.R.A. Talks". The New York Times. 1975-01-28. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  8. ^