Friday, April 22, 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 3.

It's early afternoon before we're up and about , but once breakfast is over we're quickly busy again ; we take turns first of all to fix the .22 rifle firmly in a vice , and then to line the sights up precisely on a drawing pin one of the IRA T/O's has stuck into the door six feet away .
When we're satisfied that our aim is spot on , the T/O checks it . The point of the exercise , obviously , is to encourage absolute precision of aim . We are told that even the slightest inaccuracy at six feet is multiplied 50 times at 100 yards range - in practical operational terms , it means at least the difference between an enemy 'kill' and a graze or near-miss .
The vice technique will also come into use later on , when , maybe at a subsequent camp , we learn how to 'zero' a weapon fitted with a telescopic sight , for maximum sniping accuracy . 'Zeroing' itself is dependent on total consistency of accuracy . While one of us uses the vice , the others work away individually , stripping and re-stripping weapons , practicing breathing control , testing steadiness of aim , going through the 'jamming' procedure (' if the weapon jams , first re-cock and try to fire again ; failing that , if you're using a sub , turn the weapon upside down and try to shake the jammed round clear ; if it still won't fire , remove the 'mag' and clear the breech before reloading ... ' ) .
After an hour or so of working like this , and recapping over some of yesterday , we pin up a 'Faceless Man' target .......

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 . (12 of 13).
" London is strange , " says Michael Stone , " no one over here seems to care about Northern Ireland (sic) , I can barely find it in the newspapers . I was just on Simon Mayo's radio show and he tore into me , told me I was an evil terrorist . Well , maybe , I said , but I'm an evil British terrorist . That seemed to throw him a bit . But Dublin is great - my brother was in a band and I used to go down and watch him play in the Baggot Inn . I was a big Thin Lizzy fan and I ended up lugging equipment around for all sorts of people , including Linda Martin .
Where do you live yourself ? Sandymount ? Oh , that's beautiful . I used to go for walks along the beach there , a great way to clear the head ..... "
I ask him if his war is now over .......

STATEMENT RELEASED BY J. McGarrity , Runaidhe , IRISH REPUBLICAN PUBLICITY BUREAU , February 1957 . From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 6.(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.
Every time that Irishmen have risen in defence of their country's right to freedom , the cry has gone up from the politicians that they had no mandate from the people . And although this may have been true in the literal sense , nevertheless the subsequent honour and love given to them by the people of Ireland showed that although they had not gone through the formality of an election process , their fight for freedom was in reality the cause of the people and had the support of the people .
Of this no greater example can be given than the Rising of Easter Week in 1916 ; it is admitted by anyone who has studied or has a personal knowledge of the period , that before the Rising less than five per cent of the people were sympathetic to the separatist movement . But at the 1918 elections when the people got the opportunity , they answered nobly the Call to Arms issued in the Proclamation of 1916 .
However , it cannot be said with truth that the Nationalist people of Occupied Ireland had not given a mandate for the campaign against British occupation Forces which opened on the 12th December 1956 .......