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 4 ..
Taking it in turns for each calibre of weapon , we fire off a few shots ; the thing that surprises most of us is that there's no noticeable 'recoil' , although the 'flash' is bigger that I expected and there's a terrible smell of cordite . Firing the Ruger , which has a great 'feel' to it , produces a ringing in the ears , and the Gewher not only looks like an elephant gun but sounds like one as well . We're told it's an accurate sniping weapon at ranges up to 500 yards .
Our confidence is on the increase after seeing the results of the heavy calibre shooting , though there are certainly no 'Annie Oakleys' among us ! One of the IRA Training Officers is patiently explaining the distinction between a marksman and a sniper ; the latter may not be a 'crack shot' , but unlike many of the former category he does possess the toughness of character and individualist aptitude of mind to 'create' the right conditions for a successful 'snipe' . Above all , he tells us , it comes down to total concentration , self-confidence and an unflagging desire for perfection .
The adrenalin's pumping but the total self-confidence has still to be acquired as we each get down to fire 25 rounds of .22 ammunition , in groups of five , into the five miniature 'Faceless Men' on each target . The point of the exercise is to get 'tight grouping' on all five shots in the centre of the blank white space between the peaked cap and the shoulders of the ' RUC man .......'
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 : " To what do you attribute the recent emergence of supergrasses ? "
IRA : " The Brits have had to resort to bribing IRA Volunteers - supergrasses - because our adoption of 'cells' , or Active Service Units , as we prefer to call them , meant they could'nt get information anymore . Very big sums of money are involved ; Volunteers have been offered up to £250,000 during interrogation .
A few IRA members who had been broken by spells in jail gave in to this temptation . We have learned from this and will be much more careful in future about re-involving people who have been in jail . "
MICHAEL FARRELL : " What effect have the supergrasses had on your organisation ? "
IRA : " The supergrasses were also an attempt by the Brits to shake the confidence of the people - on whom we rely for support - in the IRA . This worked for a while when they saw actual IRA Volunteers giving information , but the effect has worn off .
The proof of this is that the IRA is still operating effectively ; remember that every Volunteer needs a billet and every weapon a dump and these are provided by the people . Even if some Volunteers are jailed because of the supergrasses it will not affect our capabilities . We have never had to deploy even 50 per cent of our membership during the periods of most intense activity .
At one time almost 2,000 alleged IRA members were interned and it did'nt affect our capacity to continue the war . For some years now we have been turning away recruits because we don't need them and directing them into other areas of resistance ....... "
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.
But threaten and plead as those professional politicians will , denigrate and misrepresent as they do , imprison and persecute as much as they please : in spite of all their efforts they cannot stifle the truth . The young Freedom Fighters of this generation have restored once more for the Irish people and for the world the hard cold truth enunciated by Padraig Pearse -
" One of the sins against Faith is presumption ; which is defined to us as a foolish expectation of salvation without using the necessary means to obtain it .
Surely then it is a sin against national faith to expect freedom without using the necessary means to win and keep it . I know of no other way than the way of the sword ; history records no other . Time , reason and experience suggest no other . "
[END of ' STATEMENT RELEASED BY J. McGarrity , IRISH REPUBLICAN PUBLICITY BUREAU , February 1957'].
(MONDAY - 'FROM BELFAST PRISON' - THE REPUBLICAN INTERNEES AND ELECTIONS ; 17th February 1957 .)