Billy McKee

Founding member and former leader of the Provisional IRA

Billy McKee (Irish: Liam Mac Aoidh;[1] 12 November 1921 – 11 June 2019) was an Irish republican. He was a founding member and leader of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA).[2] McKee became the first OC of the Provisional IRA Belfast Brigade.

Billy McKee
Born12 November 1921
Died11 June 2019 (aged 97)
Known forFounder of the PIRA

On 15 April 1971 McKee, along with Proinsias MacAirt, was arrested by the British Army when found in possession of a hand gun.[3] He was charged and convicted for possession of the weapon and imprisoned in Crumlin Road Prison. McKee was released on 4 September 1974 and resumed his position as OC of the Belfast Brigade.

McKee died on 11 June 2019, aged 97. [4][5] His funeral took place on 15 June 2019 in west Belfast.[6]


  1. Irish Republican Felons Association 1964–2004, p. 10.
  2. Keefe, Patrick Radden (16 March 2015). "Where the Bodies Are Buried". The New Yorker.
  3. Moloney, Ed (2002). A Secret History of the IRA. Penguin Books. p. 98. ISBN 0-14-101041-X.
  4. "Funeral of former IRA leader Billy McKee to be held on Saturday". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  5. "Billy McKee, Provisional IRA founding member dies". BBC News. Northern Ireland. 2019-06-12. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  6. "Hundreds attend IRA founder's funeral". 2019-06-15. Retrieved 2019-06-15.