One of the Ireland related Wikileaks revelations reveal a briefing from a Garda source to the effect that:
While the IRA had been proficient in smuggling, robbery, and racketeering since the 1970s, the Celtic Tiger economic boom of the 1990s had prompted the IRA to diversify into more sophisticated business enterprises.
Perhaps Lord Blackheath knows something about this? Interestingly he recently claimed in the Lords that:
The IRA had five companies completely ruined. They had built the companies up as pensions funds.