Wednesday, April 13, 2005

From the moment a new recruit enters the Irish Republican Army he or she undergoes a rigorous and intensive training to assess the individual Volunteer's level of commitment , general ability and particular aptitudes . After the initial recruitment lectures , this period includes training in personal security and anti-interrogation , basic intelligence work , political education - and of course training in the use of weapons . In this supplied article , a Volunteer in the IRA's Belfast Brigade describes his experience of taking part in an IRA training camp .
From 'IRIS' magazine , November 1983 , pages 39 , 40 , 41 , 42, 43 , 44 and 45 .

DAY 1 .
Shortly before midnight . The four of us , after scrambling across rock-strewn fields from where the last car dropped us off , are ushered quickly , without a word spoken , into a cramped and sparsely furnished room by two IRA Training Officers , and left on our own to look around .

Four sets of combat fatigues are laid out neatly beside a pile of folded sleeping beds . An assortment of pistols , two sub-machine guns , rifles , stand stacked against a wall next to plastic tubs of ammunition . A few posters sellotaped to one wall provide the room's only decoration ; one is of Bobby Sands , two more are hand-drawn wallcharts , illustrating operations procedures , breathing control , ammo calibres and weapons maintenance .

The fourth poster is the simplest and most striking : a black-and-white sketch beneath the caption - " Faceless Men : British terrorists who rule our country ." It takes a while before we realise that it is meant to depict the peaked cap and shoulders of an RUC man and is the target we'll be using for shooting practice . The 'face' has no shape and no features ; when you look through the sights of an automatic rifle at a target one-hundred yards away , we will be told later on , the outline of the uniform - not the face itself - is all you see .

Almost the only other contents the room can boast of are a pile of books on the table , weapons manuals , Republican literature , political books and pamphlets .......


STONE COLD .......
Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end .
By Andrew Lynch .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 .
Re-published here in 13 parts .
(5 of 13).

Despite being sentenced to over 800 years in prison , Michael Stone ended up walking free from the Maze in July 2000 as one of the last inmates to be given early release under the terms of the 'Good Friday Agreement' (ie the Stormont Treaty) . Since then , he has spent much of his time concentrating on his prison hobby of painting .

" I was in solitary confinement for a year and they gave me pencils and a sketch book to pass the time , although they took the pencils off me at night , because I was on suicide watch , " he says , " I had to draw from memory because there obviously was'nt much to look at . Eventually , I got access to a lot more materials , including watercolour and oil paints .

Painting on the back of lockers and bed headboards in the H-Blocks helped to keep me sane ....... "


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 4.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.

At the Sinn Fein rally in Church Square , Seamus Sabhat said they should regard this victory rally as the start , and not the end , of their campaign . He congratulated the people of Monaghan on electing a Sinn Fein candidate , and he congratulated Eineachan O'Hanlon on his success .

Eineachan O'Hanlon thanked all who had voted and worked for Sinn Fein in the election ; he made it clear that he would not take his seat in Leinster House because the people had voted for him to take his seat in a 32-County Parliament only . Mr Tom Carragher , Donaghmoyne , also spoke , and the meeting concluded with the sounding of the Last Post for Sean Sabhat and Fergal O'Hanlon .

Then the playing of " A Nation Once Again " and the National Anthem brought proceedings to a close .

[END of 'ULSTER !'].
(TOMORROW - 'MUNSTER!' ; from the same source).