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 2 .
Breakfast at 11am , and it's a lot less leisured than it sounds ; the water tank outdoors can't be cleaned (in case a passer-by sees movement) and somehow it's full of frog spawn , most of which melts when the water's boiled . It does nothing for the flavour of the tea . And the margarine tastes like gun grease ...
The next nine or ten hours , almost without a break , are put to intensive use . The six of us - including the IRA T/O's - huddle in the cramped bedroom around the pile of weapons : the Colt .45 and 9mm Browning Hi-Power pistols , a .357 Magnum Revolver , the semi-automatic M1 Carbine and Ruger Mini-14 (a standard-issue RUC weapon) , the fully-automatic (C)AR15 and AK47 , a bolt-action .22 , the Italian Biretta and Israeli Uzi 9mm sub-machine guns , a shotgun and the heavy Gewher that feels like an elephant gun .
One of the T/O's summarises the characteristics and capabilities of each of the weapons as we come to it - the accurate range , the practical killing range , ammo calibre and magazine size , the weapon's length and weight , how the firing action works , methods of concealment . Each of us then takes turns to field-strip the weapon and re-assemble it , naming the parts and repeating the characteristics etc . It's unlikely that if a weapon jammed in the course of an operation the IRA Volunteer would have the time to field-strip it , but the constant handling of the component parts helps to 'demystify' the guns , which most of us have'nt handled before , and so to feel comfortable with them .
'Safe handling' becomes a constant training theme , and we go through the procedure repeatedly .......
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 .
(9 of 13).
When Michael Stone talks of his training , it is difficult not to conclude that he is exactly what Republicans say he is : a psychopath , pure and simple . He himself , predictably enough , takes enormous offence at such a description . He claims that his targets were all carefully chosen and that he despises indiscriminate killing .
Moreover , he claims that on a number of occasions he has refrained from pulling the trigger because his intended victim was in the company of friends or family : " On the morning of Milltown I was at the funeral service in the church , armed with seven grenades and three guns , " he says , " I could have taken Adams and McGuinness there and then , no problem . But the place was full of crying relatives . I remember one blonde teenage girl in particular , the sister of one of the dead IRA men .
I saw my own family reflected in her face . And I suddenly found that I just could'nt do it ....... "
FACING REALITIES .......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 5.
(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 Social and Economic Programme is designed to build an economy that will support the entire Irish nation at home and end the economic necessity of emigration . Gaelic revivalists will have to realise that while emigration is a necessity the Irish people will continue to learn and speak English as their primary language .
Our only hope for the restoration of Gaelic as our every day speech is - 1) To inculcate in every Irish person a genuine love for it ; 2) To cease using Gaelic as a political 'catch-cry' ; 3) To use Gaelic as often as possible in our ordinary day-to-day business ; 4) To teach it in a proper manner . At the other extreme is the Socialist or Communist who talks in very resounding phrases of modern progress : the smallness of the world : the affinity of the workers in China or in Ireland : the 'class war' etc .
That person accuses us of having no economic policy at all and being motivated by an outworn tribal prejudice that would isolate us from our neighbours and lead the Irish Nation to economic futility and disaster . Those Communists only feel important when talking of certain issues .......