Friday, April 15, 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 . 1 ...

The IRA Training Officers enter the room ; each of us is immediately assigned responsibility for some of the weapons stacked against the wall - in the event of a raid on the Camp at any time our first job is to grab our own particular weapons , and so throughout the camp we will always have to know exactly where the weapons have been left down .

IRA Standing Orders forbid the use of firearms in the 26 Counties other than for training , but the T/O's reckon we've a fair chance of getting away if we're raided , as long as we are quick enough not to get surrounded in the farmhouse . In that case , we have no intention of leaving much-needed IRA weapons in Free State hands . The T/O's explain what direction we're all to head in if raided , and the spot where we'll all try and regroup .

After the raid procedure we're told to clean the weapons ; it's something we'll do repeatedly in the course of the camp . One of the most frequent causes of a gun jamming is dirt and excess oil , and the result of this happening on an operation could be disastrous .......


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 .
(7 of 13).

Michael Stone stated - " I was trained to block out the human aspect . I never wanted to think about the grieving widow or the crying children left behind . But when you take a man's life , a little part of you dies too . You lose that part of your humanity forever . "

The way Stone tells it , he never really had a chance ; growing up in East Belfast in the 1970's , he quickly learned to accept street battles and random killings as a way of life . At the age of 13 he joined the Tartans , an infamous loyalist group that roamed the streets at night , beating up Catholics and vandalising property .

Before long his reputation as a hard man attracted the attention of Tommy Herron , a 'legendary' UDA 'Supreme Commander' , who spotted the young Stone's potential .......


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.

In his victory speech , the Sinn Fein TD for South Kerry , John Joe Rice , stated -

- " I ask you to continue the good work you have started for the realisation of a 32-County Republic and not to be bam-boozled by talk of good times and talk of grants . Organise and stand shoulder to shoulder and stand up for your rights . "

Mr. J. O'Shea (Killarney) , who presided at the event , said that it had been brought to their notice that an insidious rumour had been set in motion during the election that they were using the funds of the Prisoners' Dependents to fight the election in South Kerry ; he denied that such was the case and said that all the work on behalf of the Sinn Fein candidate was done voluntarily .

He thanked the people who worked for them , subscribed and gave their cars free of charge on the day of the elections . The meeting concluded with the National Anthem played by the Cullen Pipe Band .

[END of ' MUNSTER ....... ! '].
(TOMORROW - 'FACING REALITIES ' : from the same source).