MacGIOLLA’s GUERRILLAS …….
Fifteen years ago , the leadership of the ‘Official Republican Movement’ (now ‘The Workers’ Party’) stated that their armed wing , the ‘Official IRA’ , went out of existence .
Today , the ‘Official IRA’ is alive and well and living mainly in Belfast and Newry . In the days when both organisations were operating in an overt way , the leadership of ‘The Workers’ Party’ and the ‘Official IRA’ overlapped to a certain degree .
Tomas MacGiolla , the man who led the ‘Official IRA’ for the last twenty-five years has always maintained the position that the ‘Official IRA’ went out of existence in 1972 . But the ‘Official IRA’ still march on , not an army fighting the British , but as a fund-collecting agency .
DEREK DUNNE traces the roots of the ‘Official IRA’ and ‘The Workers’ Party’ .
From ‘IN DUBLIN’ magazine , October 1987 .
The nucleus of the then Republican Movement , which included Roy Johnston , Cathal Goulding and Tomas MacGiolla , took a decision to effectively drop the physical force emphasis which had existed within the IRA and Sinn Fein ; it was Roy Johnston who argued that if links were sufficiently forged between the people and the Republican Movement it would be possible for their representatives to enter ‘illegal’ places such as Leinster House without being corrupted . (‘1169…’ Comment – a slightly updated version of those same words was to be used later by ‘Johnston’-type figures , again in an attempt to turn a revolutionary movement into a political party .)
Sinn Fein involved itself with agitations , housing-rights and ‘fish-ins’ ; it moved away from the ‘simplistic’ view that the border could be removed exclusively through violence : but , as it did so , the older and more militarily-minded among its members moved away from the Movement . Roy Johnston was in favour of launching a civil rights movement in the North , and wanted the IRA to control it ; the ‘socialist strategy’ adopted by Roy Johnston called for an expansion of the base of the party into urban areas through involvement in agitations . In time , that traditional rural base would be eroded completely , as the party moved from a position of being on the side of small farmers to one where they were against all farmers !
Apparently this change was adopted because they wished to capitalise on the rural/urban divide and show up the differences between the two ; in that they were largely successful , and the party prepared in those heady days for the inevitable socialist triumph that appeared to be just ahead . They had also taken up the ‘Stages Theory’ which , while not a new concept by any means , was adopted specially for the Irish situation : it held that agitation around the civil rights issue in the North would be a means to allow ‘democratic capitalism’ to be established . The working class , North and South , would come together , with ‘the Final Stage’ believing that the ‘powers-that-be’ would act repressively towards this class and then a co-ordinated militant action would overthrow capitalism on the whole island . The ‘Theory’ was a breakthrough for a movement which had for so long stagnated and was a specific ‘tactical blueprint’ for action …….
GARDA GUN FIRE : WHO TO BELIEVE…….?
Close analysis of television news film of incidents last month at Emyvale suggests a garda’s gun went off accidentally . But that is not what the Minister of Justice told the Dail .
GENE KERRIGAN looks at the evidence.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , June 1987 .
On Tuesday , May 19th , 1987 , the ‘Irish Press’ newspaper reported ‘…a stormy meeting..’ within the Garda Representative Association at which it was decided to raise the matter (of the gunfire incident) with the Garda Commissioner ( Laurence Wren) : the image of the Gardai force had been hurt , the ‘Press’ newspaper was told by its sources , because on TV the garda in the stream was seen to discharge his gun “…wildy..” and by “…accident..” .
The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors Executive (AGSI) had their routine monthly meeting with the Garda Commissioner on Monday , May 18th , 1987 , and the ‘Emyvale Incident’ was NOT discussed ! But the following day , the AGSI was contacted by members in County Monaghan , following publication of the leaked story from the Garda Representative Association . On Wednesday , May 20 , 1987 , the ‘Irish Press’ newspaper printed a vehement denial from the AGSI , who claimed that the garda , Detective Sergeant Joe Darwin from Monaghan , fired “…on purpose.. ” : the AGSI said that the garda “… felt he had no option but to discharge a warning shot to quieten the crowd ” .
This statement , like that of the State Minister’s , Gerry Collins , is a denial of what millions of people saw on their TV screens ; there are several reasons why this is of consequence …….
LIAM MELLOWS AND THE IRISH CIVIL WAR …….
This is the bulk of a public lecture given at University College , Galway , by Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle member and Deputy General Secretary of the ‘Local Government and Public Services Union’ , Phil Flynn , on December 8th 1982 , the 60th Anniversary of the Free State’s execution of Liam Mellows .
First published in ‘IRIS’ magazine , March 1983 .
In December 1933 , Cumann na mBan stated – ” The same , small owning class is still as powerful as ever . It commands our land , our industries , our means of wealth , and may well it sneer at the colour of our pillar boxes . Its chief concern is to distract our attention from the power it possesses over our land and our liberties . It rejoices at every issue we raise , at every action we take which does not challenge its power .
In the North , religious prejudices are inflamed ; in the South , political rivalries are encouraged , minds are excited and passions are aroused on issues , the outcome of which does not interfere with its undisputed domination . The Fianna Fail cabinet (some members of which were the comrades of Liam Mellows years ago , but who can never have shared his views) have failed to avail of their opportunity to weaken the power of our enemies . It remains for us to define the sort of freedom we are working for , in order to ensure that the coming of the Republic will mean the changing of the whole social system .
The organisation of the production of food and industry for USE instead of profit : the ending of oppression and exploitation of man by man – in short , the happiness of all the people of Ireland , for which Liam Mellows fought and died . ”