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 .')