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"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...!

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 .......