The Ballygawley Bus Bombing was an attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on a bus carrying British Army soldiers in Northern Ireland. It occurred in the early hours of 20 August 1988 in the townland of Curr near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.
The unmarked bus had been transporting 36 soldiers of the The Light Infantry from RAF Aldergrove to a military base near Omagh. After it passed Ballygawley, IRA members remotely detonated a 200lb roadside bomb, killing eight soldiers and wounding the remaining 28. The explosion left a crater 6 ft deep and hurled wreckage at least 100 yards. The soldiers killed were: Jayson Burfitt (19), Richard Greener (21), Mark Norsworthy (18), Stephen Wilkinson (18), Jason Winter (19), Blair Bishop (19), Alexander Lewis (18) and Peter Bullock (21). This was the single biggest loss of life for the British Army since the Warrenpoint ambush in 1979.
Shortly thereafter, the Provisional IRA issued a statement claiming responsibility. After the attack the British military decided to start ferrying their troops to and from East Tyrone by helicopter to stop any future attacks. Tom King, then British Government's Northern Ireland Secretary, said there was "some evidence" that the explosives used were part of a consignment from Libya. He also stated that the possibility of reintroducing internment was "under review". Libyan weaponry enabled the IRA to mount some of its biggest operations during its campaign. The Ballygawley bus bombing is generally believed to have been one of these attacks. Three members of the IRA in Tyrone who were ambushed and killed by the Special Air Service on 30 August 1988, Gerard Harte, Martin Harte and Brian Mullin were identified by British intelligence as the perpetrators of the bombing.