" 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 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

Monday, April 25, 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..

We pin up a 'Faceless Man' target and fire some air pistol shots at it ; the 'enemy' survives with only a few flesh wounds . We're beginning to think we can't hit the proverbial barn door when one of the IRA Training Officers (perhaps only to boost morale !) says that the pistol is'nt very accurate . A break for tea , and then back to look at a card on which about 20 rounds of ammo of assorted calibres have been pasted . We are told to memorise these calibres and the specific weapon or weapons they fit : 7.92 (Gewher) , 7.62 Short (AK47) , 7.62 NATO (SLR , FN-FAL) , .30 Carbine (M1) , .223 (AR15) , .45 , 9mm , .38 , .22 , 22.250 , .45 Colt and so on .
If we're sent to an ammo dump one day to collect rounds of a specific calibre , this will come in useful . Right now , our heads are spinning with the effort of it . With all this talk of guns and ammunition , it would be wrong to give the impression that an IRA training camp is purely a military experience - practical limitations make it largely so , as time is short , with a lot of weapons training that can't easily be done elsewhere .

There is not much point having formal political lectures surrounded by IRA guns , with all the risk of a raid , but there is a political element to the camp nonetheless , mostly informal (at meals and tea-breaks) but quite informative at times . On one occasion , somehow, we get talking about Ronald Reagan and American politics , and that develops into a discussion about the Tories and the Labour 'Left' , and then about Irish Republican electoral strategy .
It all ends up pretty intense and animated , with camp democracy meaning that even the T/O's have to shout to get their point of view heard . A very republican style of discussion ....... !

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 . [13 of 13].

I ask Michael Stone if his war is over -
- " It is ," he says , sounding just a little doubtful . " But I'm not optimistic about the future . I support the principles of the Good Friday agreement but many things are not working out in practice . I think the situation could easy blow up again soon and if it does , there are plenty of dangerous men waiting to step back into the breach .

I'm just trying to get on with my life . I'd like to stay alive for a wee while longer . But when my time comes , I won't be surprised . You should'nt be , either . "
[END of 'STONE COLD'].(Tomorrow - 'THE ARMALITE AND THE BALLOT BOX' ; "The military struggle will not slow down to relate to Sinn Fein's political activity " - PIRA .)

STATEMENT RELEASED BY J. McGarrity , 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.

It is well to remember that ever since they were betrayed in 1922 , and thrown to the wolves , the Nationalist people of Occupied Ireland had tried to gain some measure of justice by constitutional processes . Year after year they had elected 'Nationalists' to the Stormont parliament or county councils , for the declared purpose of "... ending partition .. " .
Lulled into a false sense of hope by the specious promises of the party politicians , the people of Ireland on one Sunday morning contributed approximately £54,000 in answer to the hope held out to them that in this way the terrible wrongs of occupation and exploitation could be righted . But like snow of May , the money disappeared and with it the illusion that Ireland's freedom and unity could be gained by propaganda .

A stronger , more virile , spirit of resistance was awakened in the people of the North and in the elections to Westminster , they returned once more to their old allegiance , and voted 152,000 for the old principles and policy of Sinn Fein .
Subsequent to this election , they were told by the politicians of all parties that they had been deceived and that Sinn Fein had betrayed them .......