" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Thursday, April 14, 2005

FIVE DAYS IN AN IRA TRAINING CAMP .......
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 ...
In a room on the IRA Camp ; a collection of books on a table - the one surprise in the pile is a copy of Frederick Forsythe's 'The Day Of The Jackel' , but on reflection even that does'nt seem to be out of place here . Finally , the black plastic sheeting tacked up across the window re-inforces our awareness that the semi-derelict farmhouse we have just arrived in is thought locally to be uninhabited , and that despite its relative isolation the next few days will be spent on the alert against the possibility of Garda raids . None of us is keen on spending the next few years in Portlaoise Prison !

We had left Belfast about twelve hours earlier , travelling separately to avoid the risk of being arrested together if anything went wrong . We reached our first pick-up point in the Free State without incident , however , and made the pre-arranged contact with the local IRA ; we then found ourselves waiting silently in a draughty bedroom until after dark , the four of us spending hours trying to find a game we all knew , with the 51-card pack which was all we could find in the room .

Night fell at last , thankfully , and we were smuggled out of the house and into a car , on our way now to the IRA Camp itself . Two changes of car later , several delays while other cars scouted ahead or while we doubled back , and an endless succession of winding country lanes behind us , we were just beginning to appreciate how the IRA is able to organise a regular flow of training camps for Volunteers across the North , despite the best efforts of the Garda Task Force .

Just then , the car glided to a halt , two figures stepped forward from the shadows towards us , and the driver said : " Okay . We're here . "

The same sense of security and anticipation that we had experienced on the way is echoed again now , the moment the IRA Training Officers enter the room .......

(MORE LATER).


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 .
(6 of 13).


These days , Michael Stone's work is sold through galleries in Belfast and London and he can command up to £6,000 for a painting ; he is , however , still a very long way from respectability . Despite his support for the peace process he remains something of a 'folk hero' to the Loyalist movement - a status which he claims (not altogether convincingly) makes him deeply uncomfortable .

" I've had songs and poems written about me , " he says , " and I've met plenty of kids who think I'm some kind of hero . I'm like Rambo to them . But I always say that there's nothing romantic about taking a life . People bleed , and there's no Hollywood director to say 'cut' . You get to hear their dying words , see the final seconds of their life . I was trained to block out the human aspect ....... "

(MORE LATER).


MUNSTER !.
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.


The Sinn Fein T.D. for South Kerry , John J. Rice , received a big ovation at a victory meeting held in College Square , Killarney , on Saturday 9 . It was one of the biggest meetings held in Killarney for many years . In the course of his address , J.J. Rice said that since his election he had received shoals of telegrams and messages of congratulations on his success , but he believed that those should have been addressed to the gallant band of workers who strived night and day in Killarney and throughout the constituency to make his campaign a success .

His next thanks should go to the 5,500 voters in South Kerry who gave him their No. 1 votes : " I am not suffering from any swelled head and I know that I did not get those votes as John Joe Rice , but as the standard bearer of Sinn Fein in South Kerry .

I believe that the heart of the people of South Kerry is as good today as it was 40 years ago . I believe that the people of South Kerry are staunchly Republican . "

Continuing , he said that he did not want the people to sit back because they had elected a T.D. , but to carry on the Movement , because they did not know when another election would be sprung on them .......

(MORE LATER).