Thursday, April 21, 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 . 2...
'Ambush Technique' concludes the lessons for today .
The Brits and RUC have introduced a new flak jacket in the past two years which is practically invulnerable to present calibres of ammunition used by the IRA so Volunteers are now trained not to bother attempting body shots on uniformed enemy personnel , but to aim instead for the head . The disadvantage in terms of diminished target area is more than offset by the advantages , both that it encourages Volunteers to 'get in close' instead of attempting improbable long shots , and that it requires more concentration and so produces greater accuracy .
The IRA Training Officers also elaborate on what parts of an armoured vehicle to aim at , how to fire most effectively in teams , and where and how to fire constructively after the all-important first aimed shot . We're feeling knowledgeable enough now to take the Brits on straightaway , hand-to-hand if necessary , although we've yet to fire a 'live' round , so it's maybe just as well the T/O's decide to call it a day and re-introduce reality with something to eat ! More frog spawn and gun geease , but it's well received after long hours of concentration ...
Tomorrow's going to be a long day , too : we'll be moving on to the firing range after dark , and there'll be no proper sleep until we get back on the following night . So , after an hour or two of yarning in the warmth of the kitchen , five of us head for the sleeping bags leaving the remaining one to start the 'stag' by himself . I'm so tired tonight that even the floor looks soft ...
[END of 'DAY 2']. (Tomorrow - 'Day 3 : .22 rifles in a vice .......' )
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 . (11 of 13).
Perhaps not surprisingly after so many years in a solitary prison cell , Michael Stone loves to talk ; in fact , much of the time he communicates in long , rambling monologues , listening to questions with obvious impatience before he sets off again . His air of wide-eyed honesty is , you soon come to suspect , more than a bit of a sham .
In reality he is fully aware of the disconcerting effect he has on people - and enjoys it immensely . " Hey , I'm waffling , " he says more than once , " come on , don't be frightened . Give me your best shot ... "
After he has declared " I'm British and proud ... " for what seems like the twentieth time , I impulsively ask him whether he feels any more at home in London than he does in , say , Dublin .....
COMMENT BY A NEW YORK NEWSPAPER . 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.
New York Paper 'Misses Boat' on Irish Problems ; by our New York Correspondent .
The 'New York Mirror' in a recent series of articles on the Irish situation , filed from that disturbed nation , "... missed the boat .. " according to Irish leaders here .
The artificial division of Ireland by partition has caused an economic imbalance which has contributed directly to the war now being fought ; unemployment , emigration , and lack of opportunity for young men have caused them to set their energies on the source of their difficulties - the British Army of Occupation in the industrial north .
Far from being "...terrorists.. " , the young men of the Republican Movement are fighting to preserve the natural union of Irish resources , and eliminate a foreign invader from their homeland .
Critics of the 'New York Mirror' newspaper expressed appreciation for the attention given to the situation in Ireland , but deplored the inadequate coverage which failed to present a true picture of the many factors affecting Ireland's political and economic freedom . Even if the close ties of blood and ideals that bind the United States and Ireland did not exist , Americans in their zeal for democratic principles would easily understand and appreciate the objectives of the Resistance Fighters in the light of their own historical experiences .