THE IRA : the new IRA is younger , more radical and has seen little of life other than violence.......
By Ed Moloney.
From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.
IRA : " What is happening is that Charles Haughey, without the sanction of the Irish people , is spending over £80 millions of their money making sure that IRA operations from 'his side' of the border on British occupation forces are inhibited .
These occupation forces infringe the sovereignty of the 26 Counties - those forces are the same ones who have fired across the border and killed people , that go over in plain clothes and block off border areas , hindering the farming communities in those areas . The 1,000 State troops and Garda Special Task Force are there on the border to suppress the people and to collaborate with the Brits . But that is not the reason for the lower level of operations this year. "
ED MOLONEY : " What effect did the appointment of Sir Maurice Oldfield as security co-ordinator have on the IRA ? "
IRA : " Well there was a feeling of expectancy whenever Oldfield was appointed - after all , this was what Margaret Thatcher offered after the massive demoralisation on British forces of Warrenpoint and the execution of Mountbatten. Some of us thought internment might come in but instead they produced Maurice Oldfield and he said that he would have the IRA beaten within six months . Now he's gone without any success except the much lauded detente between the RUC and the British Army ."
SPIES UNDER A SPOTLIGHT.......
'British Intelligence And Covert Action' , by Jonathan Bloch and Patrick FitzGerald. Published by Brandon/Junction ,1983. Reviewed here by Peter Hayes.
This book contains useful insights into the organisational structuring of the British Intelligence world - a 'Who's Who' of military personnel and senior civil servants . One interesting inclusion for republicans is the mention of British Lieutenant-General Sir James Glover as Deputy Chief of the (British) Defence Staff (Intelligence) : obviously his candid (and complimentary) assessment of the IRA did his career prospects no harm at all .
Elsewhere is a lengthy section on covert operations in Ireland , both North and South - interesting enough but containing little new information , and republicans will be surprised to learn , for example , that according to the authors , the Republican Movement has only recently rejected 'the legitimacy of the Dublin government' !
There's also a mention of Edward Heath's chairmanship of an international advisory council to a firm of political risk analysts known as 'IRIS', the 'International Reporting and Information Systems' , although how he fits the job in among all his other 'non-political' pursuits is hard to imagine.......
TEN YEARS IN ENGLISH JAILS.......
Anne and Eileen Gillespie were arrested in April 1974 following an explosion in a Manchester house where IRA Volunteers were preparing incendiaries , and were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for earlier bombing attacks in which they had no part , serving the bulk of their sentence in the maximum securuty wing of Durham Jail. Released at the end of last August , they talked to 'IRIS' about their experience , at their home in Gweedore , County Donegal .
From 'IRIS' magazine, August 1984.
Our trial started on February 3rd 1975 and lasted four-and-a-half weeks : we knew we were going to go down , but we thought we'd receive about 7-year sentences . We were taken aback by the severity of them .
Neither of us had ever been away from home before and we had been brought up as a very close , tight family . We never had to make our own way . Really , we were very sheltered and had no idea what prison was going to be like . It was a very hard ordeal for us that first year .
Before we were moved to Durham Prison after the trial we were visited by a doctor who had been sent by the British Home Office . He came into our cells and said - " The Home Office has asked me to notify you that if you embark on a hunger-strike you will be allowed to die. " Then we were taken to 'H' Wing of Durham Jail as that was the only place in that one prison where they could hold Category 'A' women prisoners . Marion and Dolours Price were also there and it was great to see people belonging to ourselves . They really did help to make life bearable for us.......
(PLEASE NOTE : We will be taking a break shortly for a few weeks . More Later...)