" 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...!


Tuesday, April 26, 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'll soon be pitch-black outside , and we're getting ready to move ; almost the last task is to check the assorted rounds of ammo we'll be taking with us , smooth any rounds that are a bit pitted with rust from being buried in an arms dump , using emery cloth , and discard any dud or badly corroded rounds . The camp's low on food now , so we each get handed a small rations pack which will have to do us for about 26 hours .
A car pulls up outside , its lights switched off as it approaches , and two of us climb in , along with one of the IRA Training Officers . The three of us are moving off first to establish a camp at the firing range several miles away , with the others following on an hour later . We're getting driven the first part of the journey , but we still have a couple of miles to march after that .

Lying flat on the folded-down car seats for concealment , dressed in IRA combat uniform and clutching an array of automatic weapons between us , I can visualise the looks of astonishment there would be if any republican-harassing gardai inadvertently stopped our car and found us jumping out !
The hypothetical situation does'nt arise of course - the roads having been thoroughly scouted beforehand - and we reach the drop-off point without incident . The cross-country hike is next .......
(MORE LATER).


THE ARMALITE AND THE BALLOT BOX . " The military struggle will not slow down to relate to Sinn Fein's political activity . "Michael Farrell interviews two spokespersons authorised to speak on behalf of the leadership of the IRA . From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 , pages 7, 9 and 11 .


MICHAEL FARRELL : " Sinn Fein has achieved striking successes at the polls in the last nine months . What do you see as the significance of those successes ? "

IRA : " For years the political establishment claimed that the IRA had very little support . The election results have answered that conclusively and have quantified our support . Of course we do not say that all who voted for Sinn Fein were voting for active support of the IRA but they were showing at least passive support .
The results have been a big morale boost for the IRA and have revived the enthusiasm of any Volunteers who were inclined to flag . We see the Sinn Fein vote as a clear vote for the Brits to get out ."


MICHAEL FARRELL : " What effect will the election successes have on the strategy and tactics of the IRA ? "

IRA : " The history of other anti-colonial struggles like those in Zimbabwe , Mozambique and Vietnam have shown the need for guerrilla movements to have widespread political support to succeed . The election results have shown that we are building up that support . They will not lead to any real change in the strategy or tactics of the IRA , however . ('1169...' Comment - As we now know , the "strategy and tactics" of the PIRA [since 1986] have been subverted to suit the requirements of its political representatives in Provisional Sinn Fein).
We attack when and where we can ; our tactics are determined by intelligence and logistics - the availability of weapons and personnel . The military struggle will not slow down to relate to Sinn Fein's political activity . If anything , subject to logistical considerations , the war is likely to be stepped up . " ('1169...' Comment - the PIRA military struggle , against the British , anyway , is over . Provo Sinn Fein has asked , and indeed encouraged , that this , in effect , be 'put in writing' by the PIRA ; the PSF leadership will then present said statement to Leinster House , Stormont and Westminster . Wrapped , as it should be , in a white flag . ).
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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.


When Mitchell's seat was declared vacant because he was a " felon " the people showed again that they had not been fooled and that they had voted for Sinn Fein not because they were deceived but because , at last , they saw the light and once more they voted for Sinn Fein and elected Mitchell - a " felon " who was in jail for fighting against the British Army of Occupation , and who was elected this time with an increased majority .

But England again declared the election invalid and for the third time the issue was put to the people ; again the people put forward Mitchell , and the Unionists , beaten twice , decided not to contest the seat . But the politicians of Leinster House , dismayed by the determination and solidarity of the Nationalist people of the North induced an 'Anti-Partition' candidate to go forward against Mitchell so that , as they put it , " ... the people of the North could show their true feelings . "

Outside every Church and at every cross-roads , in every village and town in Mid-Ulster , the supporters of the 'Anti-Partition' candidate - the representative of the Dublin Government , the protege of Mr. Costello and Mr. de Valera - 'warned' the people of Mid-Ulster that a vote for Sinn Fein was a vote for 'violence' ; that a vote for Mitchell was a vote for war ; that a majority of Nationalist votes , if given to Mitchell , would be a mandate for physical force .......

(MORE LATER).