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The Breakaway IRA Faction is a terrorist group that appeared in Season Six of Criminal Minds. The group and its leader, Ian Doyle, were driven by Irish nationalism before the latter sought a personal vendetta against former Interpol agent Emily Prentiss.


The group was led by Ian Doyle, operating a war of attrition to force the United Kingdom, which has occupied Ireland for about 800 years, to withdraw rule of Northern Ireland and install a United Republic of Ireland like most IRA groups. They followed his commands without question and are willing to kill their own in order to preserve their organization. It is mentioned that the group has its origins in the IRA, a real-life Irish paramilitary organization, but currently appears to be working independently. Sometime in the early 2000s, the organization was infiltrated by JTF-12, an Interpol team of profilers of which Emily Prentiss was a member. Having infiltrated the faction by posing as an arms dealer and seducing Doyle, she was instrumental in bringing the group down and getting him incarcerated. However, the organization became active again when Doyle escaped from prison, killing a motorist in the process.

Season Six[]

Sense Memory[]

After watching Prentiss being taken away by Interpol, Doyle realizes that she is a mole and calls an unidentified person, stating "They got her." before being arrested by two Interpol agents. The call receiver is most likely a member of the faction.

Valhalla (Part 1)[]


A member opens fire with his rifle.

Under the influence of Doyle, the organization begins their rampage in Washington D.C. by killing several members of a counter intelligence agency responsible for Doyle's transportation to prison and their families. The BAU investigate the victims and find their connection to Doyle. They also realize that Byron Delaney is next on their hit-list, and Prentiss and Morgan rush to Delaney's home only to find him dead and his four killers attempting to make their getaway. The two agents engage in a gunfight with the four men, and Prentiss manages to injure one of their opponents. The injured man is then shot and killed by one of his own allies. As the remaining three drive away, the man who shot his compatriot is revealed to be Doyle. One of the men, identified as Liam, is then seen accompanying Doyle as he stalks Prentiss.

Lauren (Part 2)[]

In Lauren, Prentiss is captured by the group during a failed attempt to kill Doyle. She is taken to their HQ and held captive. There, Doyle forces her to order the hit of Jack Fahey. When the BAU and SWAT raid the place, all of the guards and other members, including Liam, are shot and killed. Doyle, hearing the gunfire approaching, flees off-screen and isn't seen for the rest of the episode.

It is unknown if there are more members of the faction still active after that, and what had become of them when Doyle was killed in the next season.

Modus Operandi[]

Not much about the group's first activities is known. When they killed in Valhalla, they targeted people responsible for Doyle's incarceration and their families. They would typically strike at night, wearing white masks to conceal their faces, infiltrate the house, take Doyle's handlers hostage and make him or her watch their husbands/wives and, if possible, children get executed. The Cosenzas were executed with suppressed gunshots and their deaths staged to look like a murder-suicide committed by the father. The Fagans were both asphyxiated with towels and their deaths were covered up by staging a gas explosion. Both attacks were, however, loud, conspicuous, and covered up badly enough for the forensic proof to be detectable upon examination (possibly by design). Prentiss suggested that it was in order for the killings to attract the attention of the BAU (and by extension her). When the group killed Byron Delaney, they infiltrated his home, subdued him, and injected a poison between his toes to make it look like natural causes. They later attacked Prentiss and Morgan with automatic AKMSU carbine rifles outside Delaney's house.


The faction was profiled as a European team with considerable training. For one of the members, it is personal, since they could have spared Samuel Cosenza, a child, but chose not to. An attacker who was shot and killed had the remains of a tattoo on his wrist; on the surface, the tattoo may look like a simple four-leaf clover, but the stem has a "v" at the end. It is believed that it is associated with the hidden sect of fallen warriors, and also the name of a ship famous for its journeys from Dublin to America to Valhalla.

Known Members[]

  • Ian Doyle (leader; deceased). Portrayed by Timothy V. Murphy.
  • Liam (deceased; presumably the second-in-command). Portrayed by Andy McPhee.
  • Calum (deceased; killed by Doyle after being injured by Prentiss). Portrayed by Fionn William O'Brien.
  • At least five other unnamed members (all deceased). All portrayed by uncredited actors.

Known Victims[]

  • Numerous unspecified crimes committed prior to Doyle's incarceration that got them recognized by Interpol
  • Presumably killed numerous unnamed victims prior to Doyle's incarceration
  • 2011:
    • January(?)-March, Washington, D.C., U.S.: Stalked the following:
    • February 15, Paris, France: Jeremy Wolff (poisoned; made to look like natural causes)
    • February 28, Brussels, Belgium: The McCallister family (all killed by unknown causes; deaths were presumably covered up)
    • Washington, D.C., U.S.:
      • March 3:
        • The Cosenza's (shot once in the forehead; covered up as a familicide-suicide):
          • Ron Cosenza (one of Doyle's handlers)
          • Lauren Cosenza
          • Samuel Cosenza
        • Frank and Kerry Fagan (asphyxiated with a towel; covered up as casualties of a gas leak and house explosion):
          • Frank Fagan
          • Kerry Fagan (another one of Doyle's handlers)
      • March 4: The attack at Byron Delaney's house:
        • Byron Delaney (assaulted and also poisoned via injection by Doyle; made to look like natural causes)
        • Emily Prentiss and Derek Morgan (attempted)
    • March 7, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.:
      • David Rossi and Ashley Seaver (intended to snipe)
      • Jack Fahey (sniped under Prentiss's reluctant orders)



  1. Doyle called a member on his cell phone