" 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.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Friday, May 06, 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 ..


It's now early evening - time to get ready to leave . A lengthy process which involves once again stripping , cleaning and oiling the weapons before they're taken away to be buried in an arms dump . Once we leave there'll be little evidence that the farmhouse has been occupied recently , until the next training camp begins .


We all strip and clean too ( no oiling for us , just a bit of frog spawn in the shampoo rinse !) ; we don't anticipate any problems on our way back from the IRA training camp but we want to get rid of forensic evidence that we've been in contact with firearms .


A car pulls up outside , its lights switched off as it approaches , and we're ready to go . Hurried goodbyes - " See you again ." "Good luck ." Squashed up on the floor of the car (again !) , this time unarmed and in civilian clothes . Another series of cars and detours . Back in the draughy bedroom waiting for the morning and the return journey .......


(MORE LATER).




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 : " What are your short and medium-term objectives in the North ? "


GERRY ADAMS MP : " We want to consolidate and strengthen our organisation . The Westminster election took us into some completely new areas and showed up other areas where we were weak . We want to build up our organisation there . We are planning for the next local elections in 1985 when we can probably win the balance of power on a number of councils , certainly Derry City Council , and we will contest by-elections which may be coming up .


We have not yet decided our attitude to the EEC elections - whether to stand and whether to say we would take seats - but I think our vote could be increased there . We found , especially in the rural areas , that we can eat into the SDLP vote . Our longer term objective is to become the majority nationalist party as well as , of course, making considerable inroads in the 26 counties . "


MICHAEL FARRELL : " Even if you do replace the SDLP as the majority nationalist party you will still be left with the Protestant population . What is your attitude to them ? Do you accept that you have to win the consent of at least some of them to a united Ireland ? "


GERRY ADAMS MP : " The Unionist working class have no great reason to move away from their present position . The sectarian divisions are caused and maintained by the British ; they have marginal privileges and the Unionist ruling class have significant privileges . You have to get rid of the prop which causes the sectarianism and in that new situation working class unity can be built . It would be preferable , but I don't think it is possible , to win Unionist consent to break the British connection .


We have to break the loyalist veto . But I don't think it would be possible to build a democratic socialist republic without the consent of all the people , including what would then be ex-Unionists ....... "


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SEPARATIST MOVEMENT GROWS IN STRENGTH : analysis of recent General Election in the 26-Counties .......
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.


Had all 40 Constituencies been contested by our candidates it seems reasonable to assume that the over-all average reached in the 19 contested constituencies would also have been secured in all of the 40 constituencies . This would have given a result of approximately 140,000 which , coupled with the vote of over 152,000 obtained by candidates of the Republican Movement within the Six Counties in the last General Election to Westminster indicates a very practical and satisfactory demonstration of a national resurgence that gives hope for the ultimate success of the Cause of Ireland's liberation from English aggression .


There are several aspects of the election results to which attention could be drawn in the analysis of the first preference figures ; the purpose of this brief survey is not an attempt to examine those figures in detail . From an electorate of 1,738,278 the party forming the Government received a total of 591,994 first preference votes . In view of this piquant situation it will be particularly pointless for spokesmen of the Government to harp about a minority seeking to impose its will on the people of Ireland .


From past experience it may be anticipated that this minority Government will use the resources at its disposal to impose its will on the citizens of the 26 Counties ; that it will continue to use military and police forces of the State in alignment with the British occupation forces in the Six Counties in a combined attempt to prevent Irishmen and Irishwomen from continuing the struggle for Ireland's independence is also to be expected .......


(MORE LATER).
(Re the 'Lyons/Hathaway' query : I can only suggest you enter those names in the 'GOOGLE' searchbox on this blog ; other than that , I can only wish you 'Good Luck' in your search . Sorry ! - Sharon .)





Thursday, May 05, 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 ..

Back to work in the afternoon , talking about other aspects of an IRA Volunteer's work (other than firing a gun , that is ) . The first topic is Operational Intelligence , how to build up patterns of the enemy's movements , and to develop initial sources of intelligence to identify potential targets . Then we itemise the actual planning of an operation : the 'run-back' deployment of personnel , limiting their involvement to the 'need-to-know' , the use of houses and vehicles , the choice of weapons , and so on .

We discuss the need to cover every contingency for what may go wrong in the original plan of operation , the need for personal security , how informers utilise loose-talk , and how to maximise the anonymity and operational independence of an IRA Active Service Unit .

Finally , we discuss the all-important topic of building popular confidence in the integrity and professionalism of the IRA and its Volunteers , to the extent where sympathetic civilians are prepared to help in some aspect of military activity or to increase the level of their assistance . This covers areas such as providing safe houses for arms dumps , houses from which to group before an operation and to return to afterwards , meeting houses , call houses , wash houses (for use after firing/handling weapons) , grub houses , snippets of local intelligence on the enemy etc .

The list of possible assistance is endless , and includes of course the equally valuable non-military help which civilians can provide the Republican struggle with . It's now early evening ; time to get ready to leave .......
(MORE LATER).



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 asked : " 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 MP replied : " ... we have now established a sort of Republican veto which I believe will grow . And we want to politicise our own organisation . I don't think the election will make a big difference to the IRA's tactics . Although there have unfortunately been some exceptions over the last few weeks , the IRA has for some time been adopting more discriminating tactics , has been a bit more refined in its tactics . It is up to them to learn the lessons from the application of armed struggle .
I would be confident that if the IRA continue to refine their operations and make sure they have the maximum propaganda and political effect , there won't be any conflict between what they're doing and what we're doing . I think over the last few years the lessons of the previous period - the need for control , the need for a change in tactics , the need to militarise the war , to concentrate against the British , the RUC , and the UDR - have been learned by the IRA . "

MICHAEL FARRELL : " Revolutionary movements which use force usually argue that it is made necessary because political action is closed to them . Sinn Fein has been able to take political action very successfully recently . How does that , in your view, affect the justification for the use of force ? "

GERRY ADAMS MP : " It does'nt . I believe the use of force in the six counties is justified by the British presence . They don't give people much choice . At the end of the day they won't be argued or talked out ; a Movement that wants them out will either have to use force or the threat of force . " ('1169 ... ' Comment - at the time that Adams made that statement , Westminster claimed jurisdiction over our six north-eastern counties ; today , 22 years later , Westminster STILL claims jurisdiction over those same six counties . But "the use of force , or the threat of force " to remove that jurisdictional claim is no longer justified , according to Adams and his supporters . Why ? We suggest it is because , as Liam Mellows predicted in the Treaty debate , on 4th January 1922 - " Men will get into positions , men will hold power , and men who get into positions and hold power will desire to remain undisturbed and will not want to be removed . " That is the only context in which we would use Adams' name , and that of Liam Mellows , in the same sentence . And even that hurts . )

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SEPARATIST MOVEMENT GROWS IN STRENGTH : analysis of recent General Election in the 26-Counties . 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.



The General Election in the 26 Counties State is over ; the Republican Movement is justly proud of the support given to its candidates . Some optimists may have hoped for better results in some of the constituencies contested . With a little more time and better organisation such hopes could have been realised .

However , when it is borne in mind that the spokesmen of the Republican Movement did not enter the ' political auction mart ' to bid for the votes of the electorate ; and that the policy and programme of the Republican Movement is based on the National plane , rather than the selfish and party plane of the political parties , the total of almost 66,000 first preference votes is a result most gratifying to those who love Ireland .

The total first preference votes cast in favour of the candidates of the Republican Movement gives an average of approximately 3,500 for the 19 Constituencies contested .......

(MORE LATER).




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 .......

(MORE LATER).

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 !)

(MORE LATER).


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 .')

(MORE LATER).




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' .)

(MORE LATER).



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).
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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').
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Monday, May 02, 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 ..


During target practice , four great shots and the last pulled an inch off centre is no good , we learn to our regular frustration . We see the point when it's explained that a one-inch miss at that range represents four inches at only 100 yards , the difference between a ' kill ' and whistling a bullet past the enemy's ear .

A Volunteer's 'grouping' is worked out by adding together the furthest distances between shots over the five groups , adding one-fifth to the total , and dividing by five . From this the IRA Training Officers can work out the probability , expressed as a percentage , of a particular Volunteer achieving a ' kill ' at a given range with a given number of shots .

Eventually the shooting's over , the shooting 'tunnel' dismantled and the hundred's of spent ammo cases (and the cigarette butts !) gathered up . Time to pack-up , and clean up the area as if we were never there .......

(MORE LATER).




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 : " The IRA has kidnapped the father of Raymond Gilmore , the Derry supergrass . What will happen to him ? "

IRA : " The fate of Raymond Gilmore's father rests in Raymond Gilmore's hands . It all rests with him . "

MICHAEL FARRELL : " The IRA has attacked many off-duty UDR men and RUC Reservists . You justify this because they are members of the British forces , but do you not accept that such killings alienate the Protestant communities among whom these people live and work ? "

IRA : " It is a euphemism to talk of off-duty or part-time UDR men or RUC men . They are never off-duty . They are armed all the time and if they came upon IRA Volunteers they would attack them , whether they were on duty or not . We cannot allow an armed organisation which is ranged against us to go undeterred because of the sensitivities of the loyalist population .

Do they care about the sensitivities of the nationalist population who have suffered so much ....... ? "

(MORE LATER).




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.


Belfast Prison , 17th February 1957 .


On the eve of this General Election we , the Internees in Belfast Prison , appeal to all Irish men and women to sink all petty differences and support the Sinn Fein candidates in this contest . After thirty-five years of what is termed 'self-government' it is clear beyond doubt that none of the 'major parties' has a solution for attaining freedom of our country .

The candidates of Sinn Fein are the true followers of Pearse and Connolly despite coercion and misrepresentation by those who deviated from the true Republican principles . In this grave hour when the Freedom Fighters of the North have been treacherously stabbed in the back we call on you to become alive to your serious responsibilities to the Irish Nation .

Every vote cast for Sinn Fein is a vote for freedom - political and economic . Rally to the standard-bearers of the Republican Movement .......

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