" 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...!


Wednesday, April 20, 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 2 ...

During the ' Safe Handling' aspect of weapons training , we learn how to remove the 'mag' and check that the breech is clear as soon as you handle a weapon , check the 'safe' mechanism is working , apply the 'safe' , finger off the trigger except when firing , never point the weapon at anyone when not in action . Like the field-stripping , we all keep forgetting bits at first (laughter when someone inadvertently swings around with the carbine , everyone ducks melodramatically though knowing it's unloaded) , but gradually the safety procedure beats itself into a routine .

Firing technique comes next : we look at the different postures a Volunteer can adopt when firing from ambush positions - prone , standing and kneeling ; and positions for short-range executions . How to work in pairs , one shooting , the other covering . How to grip the weapon properly to maximise accuracy , how to fire - sight the target steadily , take a breath , breath out taking the first pressure on the trigger with the finger tip , and as the final bit of air 'drifts' from the lungs the weapon should fire almost without your being aware of it , and so without jerking at the last moment .

Later , when we get to 'live' firing , we realise to our cost just how much the slightest tremor or 'flinch' affects accuracy over a range of 100-200 yards , and how much relaxed concentration is needed to get the necessary accuracy . By this time the acquired information is starting to form kaleidoscopic patterns inside my head , and it's just as well we're almost finished for today ; the whole process gets slowed down from time to time when we hear noises outside the farmhouse - then we have to sit rigid and in silence , eyes swivelling only to locate the weapons we've been assigned in case it's a raid .

Invariably , of course , it turns out to be a car passing on the road below , or a grazing cow that has strayed near .......

(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 .
(10 of 13).


Michael Stone claims to have passed-up on an opportunity to have shot Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness on the morning of the Milltown funerals - " That was the second time I let McGuinness off . I had tried to murder him before but he had his wee daughter with him ; she was skipping beside him and he kept bending down to kiss her . To shoot him in front of her would have been just too barbaric . "

But what exactly , I ask , was all this killing meant to achieve ? If Stone's plan had come off - and by his own account , it almost did - then what ? " Well , if you want to kill a snake , you cut off its head , " he says cheerfully .

" Eliminating Adams and McGuinness would have brought the fight out on to the streets . The guerrilla war would have been over and we'd have had an open battle , us against them . The whole thing would have been settled once and for all . It would have been great ....... " ('1169...' Comment - Stone's "us... " would have included the British forces , not just the Loyalist paramilitaries and , whatever the outcome would have been , the "whole thing " would not "have been settled once and for all " - the British claim of jurisdiction over six of our counties would have remained . )

(MORE LATER).


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.


Irish Communists accuse us of having no economic policy at all ; they only feel important when talking of Russia or China ' .. producing fifty-six million pairs of boots ... ' or some-such figure beyond the comprehension of ordinary mortals , ' .... in the last eleven months of 1955 .... ' , and would rather like to bring us within the orbit of one of those vast imperialisms .

They forget that the essence of all economy is to transfer the food and other goods necessary to human life from the earth to mankind with the least possible loss , delay and difficulty .

[END of 'FACING REALITIES'].
(Tomorrow - 'COMMENT BY A NEW YORK NEWSPAPER').