" 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...!


Friday, April 22, 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 3.

It's early afternoon before we're up and about , but once breakfast is over we're quickly busy again ; we take turns first of all to fix the .22 rifle firmly in a vice , and then to line the sights up precisely on a drawing pin one of the IRA T/O's has stuck into the door six feet away .
When we're satisfied that our aim is spot on , the T/O checks it . The point of the exercise , obviously , is to encourage absolute precision of aim . We are told that even the slightest inaccuracy at six feet is multiplied 50 times at 100 yards range - in practical operational terms , it means at least the difference between an enemy 'kill' and a graze or near-miss .
The vice technique will also come into use later on , when , maybe at a subsequent camp , we learn how to 'zero' a weapon fitted with a telescopic sight , for maximum sniping accuracy . 'Zeroing' itself is dependent on total consistency of accuracy . While one of us uses the vice , the others work away individually , stripping and re-stripping weapons , practicing breathing control , testing steadiness of aim , going through the 'jamming' procedure (' if the weapon jams , first re-cock and try to fire again ; failing that , if you're using a sub , turn the weapon upside down and try to shake the jammed round clear ; if it still won't fire , remove the 'mag' and clear the breech before reloading ... ' ) .
After an hour or so of working like this , and recapping over some of yesterday , we pin up a 'Faceless Man' target .......
(MORE LATER).


STONE COLD ....... Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end . By Andrew Lynch . First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 . Re-published here in 13 parts . (12 of 13).
" London is strange , " says Michael Stone , " no one over here seems to care about Northern Ireland (sic) , I can barely find it in the newspapers . I was just on Simon Mayo's radio show and he tore into me , told me I was an evil terrorist . Well , maybe , I said , but I'm an evil British terrorist . That seemed to throw him a bit . But Dublin is great - my brother was in a band and I used to go down and watch him play in the Baggot Inn . I was a big Thin Lizzy fan and I ended up lugging equipment around for all sorts of people , including Linda Martin .
Where do you live yourself ? Sandymount ? Oh , that's beautiful . I used to go for walks along the beach there , a great way to clear the head ..... "
I ask him if his war is now over .......
(MORE LATER).


STATEMENT RELEASED BY J. McGarrity , Runaidhe , IRISH REPUBLICAN PUBLICITY BUREAU , February 1957 . 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.
Every time that Irishmen have risen in defence of their country's right to freedom , the cry has gone up from the politicians that they had no mandate from the people . And although this may have been true in the literal sense , nevertheless the subsequent honour and love given to them by the people of Ireland showed that although they had not gone through the formality of an election process , their fight for freedom was in reality the cause of the people and had the support of the people .
Of this no greater example can be given than the Rising of Easter Week in 1916 ; it is admitted by anyone who has studied or has a personal knowledge of the period , that before the Rising less than five per cent of the people were sympathetic to the separatist movement . But at the 1918 elections when the people got the opportunity , they answered nobly the Call to Arms issued in the Proclamation of 1916 .
However , it cannot be said with truth that the Nationalist people of Occupied Ireland had not given a mandate for the campaign against British occupation Forces which opened on the 12th December 1956 .......
(MORE LATER).




Thursday, April 21, 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 2...
'Ambush Technique' concludes the lessons for today .
The Brits and RUC have introduced a new flak jacket in the past two years which is practically invulnerable to present calibres of ammunition used by the IRA so Volunteers are now trained not to bother attempting body shots on uniformed enemy personnel , but to aim instead for the head . The disadvantage in terms of diminished target area is more than offset by the advantages , both that it encourages Volunteers to 'get in close' instead of attempting improbable long shots , and that it requires more concentration and so produces greater accuracy .
The IRA Training Officers also elaborate on what parts of an armoured vehicle to aim at , how to fire most effectively in teams , and where and how to fire constructively after the all-important first aimed shot . We're feeling knowledgeable enough now to take the Brits on straightaway , hand-to-hand if necessary , although we've yet to fire a 'live' round , so it's maybe just as well the T/O's decide to call it a day and re-introduce reality with something to eat ! More frog spawn and gun geease , but it's well received after long hours of concentration ...
Tomorrow's going to be a long day , too : we'll be moving on to the firing range after dark , and there'll be no proper sleep until we get back on the following night . So , after an hour or two of yarning in the warmth of the kitchen , five of us head for the sleeping bags leaving the remaining one to start the 'stag' by himself . I'm so tired tonight that even the floor looks soft ...
[END of 'DAY 2']. (Tomorrow - 'Day 3 : .22 rifles in a vice .......' )
STONE COLD ....... Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end . By Andrew Lynch . First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 . Re-published here in 13 parts . (11 of 13).
Perhaps not surprisingly after so many years in a solitary prison cell , Michael Stone loves to talk ; in fact , much of the time he communicates in long , rambling monologues , listening to questions with obvious impatience before he sets off again . His air of wide-eyed honesty is , you soon come to suspect , more than a bit of a sham .
In reality he is fully aware of the disconcerting effect he has on people - and enjoys it immensely . " Hey , I'm waffling , " he says more than once , " come on , don't be frightened . Give me your best shot ... "
After he has declared " I'm British and proud ... " for what seems like the twentieth time , I impulsively ask him whether he feels any more at home in London than he does in , say , Dublin .....
(MORE LATER).
COMMENT BY A NEW YORK NEWSPAPER . From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 5.(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.
New York Paper 'Misses Boat' on Irish Problems ; by our New York Correspondent .
The 'New York Mirror' in a recent series of articles on the Irish situation , filed from that disturbed nation , "... missed the boat .. " according to Irish leaders here .
The artificial division of Ireland by partition has caused an economic imbalance which has contributed directly to the war now being fought ; unemployment , emigration , and lack of opportunity for young men have caused them to set their energies on the source of their difficulties - the British Army of Occupation in the industrial north .
Far from being "...terrorists.. " , the young men of the Republican Movement are fighting to preserve the natural union of Irish resources , and eliminate a foreign invader from their homeland .
Critics of the 'New York Mirror' newspaper expressed appreciation for the attention given to the situation in Ireland , but deplored the inadequate coverage which failed to present a true picture of the many factors affecting Ireland's political and economic freedom . Even if the close ties of blood and ideals that bind the United States and Ireland did not exist , Americans in their zeal for democratic principles would easily understand and appreciate the objectives of the Resistance Fighters in the light of their own historical experiences .
[END of 'COMMENT BY A NEW YORK NEWSPAPER'].(Tomorrow - 'STATEMENT RELEASED BY IRISH REPUBLICAN PUBLICITY BUREAU' .)




Wednesday, April 20, 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 2 ...

During the ' Safe Handling' aspect of weapons training , we learn how to remove the 'mag' and check that the breech is clear as soon as you handle a weapon , check the 'safe' mechanism is working , apply the 'safe' , finger off the trigger except when firing , never point the weapon at anyone when not in action . Like the field-stripping , we all keep forgetting bits at first (laughter when someone inadvertently swings around with the carbine , everyone ducks melodramatically though knowing it's unloaded) , but gradually the safety procedure beats itself into a routine .

Firing technique comes next : we look at the different postures a Volunteer can adopt when firing from ambush positions - prone , standing and kneeling ; and positions for short-range executions . How to work in pairs , one shooting , the other covering . How to grip the weapon properly to maximise accuracy , how to fire - sight the target steadily , take a breath , breath out taking the first pressure on the trigger with the finger tip , and as the final bit of air 'drifts' from the lungs the weapon should fire almost without your being aware of it , and so without jerking at the last moment .

Later , when we get to 'live' firing , we realise to our cost just how much the slightest tremor or 'flinch' affects accuracy over a range of 100-200 yards , and how much relaxed concentration is needed to get the necessary accuracy . By this time the acquired information is starting to form kaleidoscopic patterns inside my head , and it's just as well we're almost finished for today ; the whole process gets slowed down from time to time when we hear noises outside the farmhouse - then we have to sit rigid and in silence , eyes swivelling only to locate the weapons we've been assigned in case it's a raid .

Invariably , of course , it turns out to be a car passing on the road below , or a grazing cow that has strayed near .......

(MORE LATER).


STONE COLD .......
Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end .
By Andrew Lynch .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 .
Re-published here in 13 parts .
(10 of 13).


Michael Stone claims to have passed-up on an opportunity to have shot Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness on the morning of the Milltown funerals - " That was the second time I let McGuinness off . I had tried to murder him before but he had his wee daughter with him ; she was skipping beside him and he kept bending down to kiss her . To shoot him in front of her would have been just too barbaric . "

But what exactly , I ask , was all this killing meant to achieve ? If Stone's plan had come off - and by his own account , it almost did - then what ? " Well , if you want to kill a snake , you cut off its head , " he says cheerfully .

" Eliminating Adams and McGuinness would have brought the fight out on to the streets . The guerrilla war would have been over and we'd have had an open battle , us against them . The whole thing would have been settled once and for all . It would have been great ....... " ('1169...' Comment - Stone's "us... " would have included the British forces , not just the Loyalist paramilitaries and , whatever the outcome would have been , the "whole thing " would not "have been settled once and for all " - the British claim of jurisdiction over six of our counties would have remained . )

(MORE LATER).


FACING REALITIES .......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 5.
(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.


Irish Communists accuse us of having no economic policy at all ; they only feel important when talking of Russia or China ' .. producing fifty-six million pairs of boots ... ' or some-such figure beyond the comprehension of ordinary mortals , ' .... in the last eleven months of 1955 .... ' , and would rather like to bring us within the orbit of one of those vast imperialisms .

They forget that the essence of all economy is to transfer the food and other goods necessary to human life from the earth to mankind with the least possible loss , delay and difficulty .

[END of 'FACING REALITIES'].
(Tomorrow - 'COMMENT BY A NEW YORK NEWSPAPER').







Tuesday, April 19, 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 2 .


Breakfast at 11am , and it's a lot less leisured than it sounds ; the water tank outdoors can't be cleaned (in case a passer-by sees movement) and somehow it's full of frog spawn , most of which melts when the water's boiled . It does nothing for the flavour of the tea . And the margarine tastes like gun grease ...

The next nine or ten hours , almost without a break , are put to intensive use . The six of us - including the IRA T/O's - huddle in the cramped bedroom around the pile of weapons : the Colt .45 and 9mm Browning Hi-Power pistols , a .357 Magnum Revolver , the semi-automatic M1 Carbine and Ruger Mini-14 (a standard-issue RUC weapon) , the fully-automatic (C)AR15 and AK47 , a bolt-action .22 , the Italian Biretta and Israeli Uzi 9mm sub-machine guns , a shotgun and the heavy Gewher that feels like an elephant gun .

One of the T/O's summarises the characteristics and capabilities of each of the weapons as we come to it - the accurate range , the practical killing range , ammo calibre and magazine size , the weapon's length and weight , how the firing action works , methods of concealment . Each of us then takes turns to field-strip the weapon and re-assemble it , naming the parts and repeating the characteristics etc . It's unlikely that if a weapon jammed in the course of an operation the IRA Volunteer would have the time to field-strip it , but the constant handling of the component parts helps to 'demystify' the guns , which most of us have'nt handled before , and so to feel comfortable with them .

'Safe handling' becomes a constant training theme , and we go through the procedure repeatedly .......

(MORE LATER).


STONE COLD .......
Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end .
By Andrew Lynch .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 .
Re-published here in 13 parts .
(9 of 13).

When Michael Stone talks of his training , it is difficult not to conclude that he is exactly what Republicans say he is : a psychopath , pure and simple . He himself , predictably enough , takes enormous offence at such a description . He claims that his targets were all carefully chosen and that he despises indiscriminate killing .

Moreover , he claims that on a number of occasions he has refrained from pulling the trigger because his intended victim was in the company of friends or family : " On the morning of Milltown I was at the funeral service in the church , armed with seven grenades and three guns , " he says , " I could have taken Adams and McGuinness there and then , no problem . But the place was full of crying relatives . I remember one blonde teenage girl in particular , the sister of one of the dead IRA men .

I saw my own family reflected in her face . And I suddenly found that I just could'nt do it ....... "

(MORE LATER).


FACING REALITIES .......
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 5.
(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 Sinn Fein Social and Economic Programme is designed to build an economy that will support the entire Irish nation at home and end the economic necessity of emigration . Gaelic revivalists will have to realise that while emigration is a necessity the Irish people will continue to learn and speak English as their primary language .

Our only hope for the restoration of Gaelic as our every day speech is - 1) To inculcate in every Irish person a genuine love for it ; 2) To cease using Gaelic as a political 'catch-cry' ; 3) To use Gaelic as often as possible in our ordinary day-to-day business ; 4) To teach it in a proper manner . At the other extreme is the Socialist or Communist who talks in very resounding phrases of modern progress : the smallness of the world : the affinity of the workers in China or in Ireland : the 'class war' etc .

That person accuses us of having no economic policy at all and being motivated by an outworn tribal prejudice that would isolate us from our neighbours and lead the Irish Nation to economic futility and disaster . Those Communists only feel important when talking of certain issues .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, April 18, 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 1...

We are shown how to clean our guns ; on this occasion it's as well we're only training , as most of us are'nt that sure what we're doing . Come to think of it , only one of us seems to know what exactly most of the weapons are , and maybe even he's bluffing it a bit ...

Hopefully we will make up for the ignorance over the next few days ; it is now 2am and we get a cup of tea (at last !) and make tired conversation with the IRA T/O's for a while in the kitchen , before four of us head for sleeping bags and the floor , leaving two to start the all-night 'staggered watch' in the kitchen .

I'm shaken/kicked awake around 5am to start my three house of 'stag' - propped up in a kitchen chair with a copy of 'Small Arms Of The World' : its the only comfortable part of the night ...

[END of 'Day 1'].
(Tomorrow - 'Day 2').


STONE COLD .......
Michael Stone is infamous for his attack on a republican funeral at Belfast's Milltown cemetery . By his own count , he has murdered four men and had a hand in the deaths of six others . He says his war is over - but he still expects to meet a violent end .
By Andrew Lynch .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , July 2003 , pages 34, 36 , and 38 .
Re-published here in 13 parts .
(8 of 13).


It was UDA Commander Tommy Herron who drove Michael Stone and four of his friends out to a local quarry and allowed them to play for half-an-hour with his pet Alsatian . Then he presented the teenagers with a .22 calibre pistol and told them to kill the dog as it pranced at their feet .

As Stone's friends professed themselves unable to do it , young Michael Stone calmly took the gun , shouted at the dog to distract it and shot it in the back of the head . The UDA had found its 'natural born killer ' .

" I was basically turned into a one-man murder-machine , " Stone says , " they taught me to smear cartridges with mercury or garlic puree , because they get into the bloodstream and cause blood poisoning within seconds . They showed me how to strangle someone with the brake cable of a pushbike . They pointed out the exact spot on the neck to kill a man by scrambling their brain . Aye , it was a great training ....... "

(MORE LATER).


FACING REALITIES .
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 5.
(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.


Common to all who disagree with Sinn Fein and who are opposed to our policy is an appalling ignorance of what our policy really is . At least one Irish language 'enthusiast' , for instance , cuts the ground from under us in the most devastating English and asserts - again in the best Queen's English - that he knows some children " ... who will not be taught to admire English . "

What this nation needs is educated children , and eventually educated men and women and not a colony of illiterates in two languages . Eventually , if the Irish nation is wise and prudent , Gaelic will become the everyday spoken language in this country . To attain to that desirable end , straight hard thinking will have to be done by the whole Irish people . Pious sentiments and mouthy phrases won't cure the ills that afflict us .

The majority of our people speak English fairly fluently and are very proud of the knowledge ; a small percentage of our people on the Western Seaboard speak Gaelic fluently and are rather ashamed of it and do their utmost to ensure that their children have at least a working knowledge of English to carry them through the world when they go off 'navvying' or 'tatty-hoking' .

The Irish nation has got to reverse that attitude to the language and at the outset , out of sheer necessity , do it through the medium of English .......

(MORE LATER).