" 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...!

Wednesday, May 04, 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 5 .

Not surprisingly perhaps , the final day is more relaxed than those that have gone before , the anti-climax after the shooting . Everyone had been a little keyed-up beforehand , wondering how he or she would do , but now - for better or worse - the results are a pile of used targets which the IRA Training Officers are scrutinising as part of the individual assessment of each Volunteer which will be sent back to the Brigade area .

The assessment covers all aspects of behaviour and ability while at the camp , and is important insofar as it may affect a Volunteer's future deployment by the IRA .
The tension which is inevitable when six strangers are forced upon each other without a break , for five days , and which has flared-up briefly now and again , has its uses too in giving clues to a Volunteers's character , as well as giving us an understanding of the type of personality clashes we will inevitably have to cope with in operational conditions .

I , for one , am weighing up my three Belfast comrades and trying to assess how I'd feel about being in the same IRA Active Service Unit with them - none of us knows at this stage if we'll be working together when the camp is over - and I'm sure they're all doing the same .......


THE ARMALITE AND THE BALLOT BOX ....... " We have now established a sort of Republican veto . " Michael Farrell interviews Gerry Adams MP , vice-president of Sinn Fein . From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1983 , pages 13 , 14 , and 17 .

MICHAEL FARRELL : " There has been a lot of argument about whether the Sinn Fein vote was a vote for violence . Was it , or what do you see it as a mandate for ? "

GERRY ADAMS : " The IRA does not need an electoral mandate for armed struggle - it derives its mandate from the presence of the British in the six counties . A large percentage of the Sinn Fein vote was a vote for the armed struggle , but I don't know how to quantify that . The others showed an understanding of the need for armed struggle . Attempts are now being made to explain the vote away as a protest against bad housing , unemployment , discrimination . If we got votes because of that I think that is a good base to build on . We stood on four clear points : against the British connection and the loyalist veto , for a democratic socialist republic and defending the right of people to engage in armed struggle . "

MICHAEL FARRELL : " What is your strategy now ? Will your success in the elections affect the balance between political and military action by the Republican Movement ? "
GERRY ADAMS : " Our strategy has three main prongs , not in any special order . We want to show clearly the degree of support for Sinn Fein and restrict the SDLP's freedom to manoeuvre ; the British , in order to maintain the partition set-up , need the support of a party which appears to represent the nationalist population and the SDLP have fulfilled that role admirably ....... " ('1169 ...' comment - how ironic that now , 22 years after Adams spoke those words , he is in charge of a political party which is on the same political 'road' as the SDLP were/are on : giving credence to the British 'right' to be in Ireland !)


TOMAS O CRIOMHTAIN COMMEMORATIVE STAMP . From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 7.(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.

After some little persuasion , An tAire , Roinn Phoist agus Telegrafa has acceded to the many requests made by Gaelgeori to issue a stamp commemorating Tomas O Criomhtain , the author of 'An tOileanach ' . The stamp will be issued in the twopenny and fivepenny values .

It is worthy of note that a man who shamed his country before the world is being commemorated at the same time ; 40,000 of our countrymen lost their lives fighting for 'Great Britain' in the First World War . For this black betrayal of his fellow countrymen , John Redmond merits not remembrance but the charity of our silence .

We suggest that all friends of the Irish language refrain from stamping their letters with the three-penny Redmond stamp and use instead the two-penny O Criomhtain Commemorative stamp and the penny map of Ireland stamp .
[END of ' TOMAS O CRIOMHTAIN COMMEMORATIVE STAMP .'](Tomorrow - ' SEPARATIST MOVEMENT GROWS IN STRENGTH : analysis of recent General Election in the 26-Counties .')