Out of service date for guncotton demolition slabs

I'm doing some research into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974 (I am not a journalist before anyone asks) and in the course of this I've come across evidence given to the inquiry into the attacks from a former ATO, a guy called Nigel Wylde. To cut a long story short, in 2000 he appears to have got into a rift with the MoD over what appears to have been a very poor decision on their part to prosecute him under the OSA for speaking to an author about operations during Op Banner during the seventies. The case collapsed and since then he's become a consultant for a nationalist group in Ireland seeking to prove collusion in the bombings, possibly as a way of hitting back at the government.

Anyway, reading through this transcript something jumped out at me. Basically he alleges that in the mid seventies loyalists, the UVF specifically, had virtually no commercial explosives (ie gelignite) and instead were using "wartime stocks" (his phrase) of guncotton demolition slabs as their main explosive. This is the first time I've heard of such things in this context and is totally contrary to the conclusion of the report from Judge Barron, every book I've read on the subject, and my own research. The bombs used in the attacks were made using ANFO and it's the contention of campaigners that the UVF did not possess and did not know how to use such stuff, which seems strange given that they appear to have used a hell of a lot of it in Northern Ireland at the time.

The digging that I've done so far indicates that these charges started to be withdrawn about 1941-42, replaced with things like Nobel 808 and military dynamite eg. TNT so any still around in the mid seventies would be very old indeed. What I'd like to know is when these things started to disappear from army stocks (ie. is it plausible they could have been stolen by loyalists in the seventies), and possibly if anyone who served during Banner ever encountered them in finds of loyalist arms dumps. I'm very sceptical of the former colonel's evidence so I'd be surprised if anyone did.


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