" 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, May 03, 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 4 ..

We are packing-up the camp ; the whole set-up has to be dismantled , carefully covering our tracks so that even aerial reconnaissance would not know we had been there . Then we were ready to move out .

This time there won't be any car to bring us back part of the way , so it's a long , long march across rough country weighed down by packs and rifles . A heavy blanket of cloud has covered the moon so we make slow progress , one uncertain step after another , making it all the more tiring . The T/O's tell us that if at any stage we're confronted by the (Free State) Task Force as we approach the camp , we'll move back the way we've come and try and lose them in the darkness .

But the four of us are so exhausted from this unaccustomed country march , too used to Belfast's tarmac pavements , that I reckon we'd just surrender if anyone mentioned retracing our steps !

At last , the shadow of our farmhouse camp comes into view ; first , a quick reconnaissance , during which a grazing cow momentarily gets mistaken for a Free State raiding party , then we crawl gratefully indoors and collapse . Even the tea tastes good after all that ....... !

[END of 'Day 4']. (Tomorrow - ' Day 5 : military and political discussion' .)


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 : " In the event of a British withdrawal how do you expect the Protestant population of the North to react ? What will your attitude be towards them ? "

IRA : " Many loyalists have a supremacist mentality like the Afrikaners in South Africa , the Pieds Noirs in Algeria or the Israelis . They may not have as many privileges but the mentality is the same . It is very possible that people with that mentality would try to re-partition the North - as Harold McCusker MP has already suggested .

And they have about 19,000 armed men in the RUC and UDR to help them do it ; we don't know how many of the loyalists would take that line , but anyone who opposes Irish self-determination with force will have to be met with force . On the other hand we are prepared to offer them within a united Ireland what has always been denied to us - equality . "

[END of - " The military struggle will not slow down to relate to Sinn Fein's political activity ."](Tomorrow - " We have now established a sort of Republican veto " : Michael Farrell interviews Gerry Adams MP).

FROM BELFAST PRISON . ...... 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.

Monday , January 28 , 1957 , was a wet and stormy day ; when the internees were going out to exercise in the Belfast Prison yard they had the prospect of being drenched with rain and frozen by the cold in a few minutes . The majority remained in a short corridor between the basement and the yard .

Some time later the Deputy Governor , a Mr. Taylor , came down . He said - " Come on , boys , you know it is against regulations not to be in the yard now . " Half a dozen voices said - " We can't face that rain and get drenched . " Says Mr. Taylor to the Prison Screws : " Give it to 'em , boys ... "

Warders with batons drawn rushed the internees ; one young man of our number was struck by a baton on the throat - he immediately struck the offending warder a blow on the face . A general melee followed , but sheer weight forced the internees into the yard . They took shelter in an open shed exposed to all the winds of Belfast .

When the internees came back to their cells for dinner the Prison Governor , Deputy Governor and the warders were lined along the wire-enclosed passage in front of the cells - intimidation . Since that day the shed in the yard has been covered up half-ways from the bottom with corrigated iron and a stove installed which the internees may light , sticks and coke being provided !

[END of ' FROM BELFAST PRISON '].(Tomorrow - 'Tomas O Criomhtain Commemorative Stamp').