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 .......

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 . ).

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 .......