Recruits are also given anti-interrogation training on a scientific basis : simulation is never employed but IRA leaders have isolated a dozen interrogation techniques used by the British which the IRA instil into their recruits . Cell members are also encouraged to adopt false identities and discouraged from habituating known Republican haunts .
The British Army reckons that the Provisional IRA campaign and related political activity now costs the organisation some £2 millions a year – in 1978 British General Jim Glover estimated that it cost £780,000 and that income exceeded that amount by £170,000 , which was all spent on arms and explosives . He drew the Provisionals ‘profit and loss account’ as follows – ‘ Income: Theft in Ireland £550,000/ Racketeering £250,000/ Overseas Contributors £120,000/ Green Cross £30,000 = Total £950,000. Expenditure: Pay (@ £7,500 per week) £400,000/ Travel and Transport £50,000/ Newspapers and Propaganda £150,000 / Prisoners’ Welfare £180,000/ Surplus £170,000 = Total £950,000.
It’s impossible to verify the claim by the British that inflation has more than doubled the Provo’s costs since 1978 ; one source says that a spin-off benefit from the slimmed down re-organisation was a saving of money . However, there are one or two errors in Glover’s calculations which as a result seriously understate the amount the IRA has left for arms spending . It could be the case that the Provos have a lot more to spend on weapons than the Brits realise…….
IRIS : “The general tendency within the Republican Movement , especially over the past year , seems to be towards a massive upsurge in internal and external education . To what degree has this affected the average IRA Volunteer in terms of his or her politicisation and understanding of republican goals ? “
IRA: “If you’re talking about new recruits since the  hunger-strike , I think the honest answer to that is that it’s too early to say how well the education process has been taken in . It will take several more months to assess . As for longer-established Volunteers , their politicisation has been going on for over ten years , inside and outside jail . The current education process will only be formalising it for them . “ (‘1169..’ Comment : ….the question has since been asked re the education of Volunteers and Sinn Fein members as to how some of them have confused mere ‘civil rights under the rule of Westminster’ with true Republican objectives as outlined by Irish Republicans ?)
THE UNDAUNTED WOMEN IN ARMAGH…….
The full story of the republican prisoners in Armagh Jail has yet to be told. It has yet to be sung , and properly described , other than as an after-thought in public speeches – “…and of course the women in Armagh..” Republicans have a right to be proud of those women who, from the Divis Flats grandmother doing six months for what an Orange judge called “riotous behaviour” to the young IRA Volunteer inside for the second time and not yet 25-years-old , have managed, whether they numbered 12 or 120 , to maintain their resistance to the most vicious prison system in Europe. The words that follow , says writer Patricia Collins , were written to encourage more of those women to come forward and tell their story , and are based on conversations with several
ex-prisoners , and on visits and letters from those women presently imprisoned. They were written in the hope of jogging the memory of all those women who wrongly think their contribution to Ireland’s future peace is not worth mentioning.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , August 1984.
August 9th 1971 : internment re-introduced in the Occupied Six Counties . Hundreds of men from Nationalist areas were thrown in jail , most of them after severe beatings , some after horrific torture . Some internees were put in Armagh Jail at first but , by mid-1972 , all internees had been transferred to Long Kesh or Magilligan Prison.
On the outside , women began to take a more active and direct part in the armed struggle and in 1971 two republican women received long sentences for taking part in bombings – Margaret O’ Connor (sentenced to 9 years) and Susan Loughran , (12 years) . In May and June 1972 sentenced republican prisoners went on hunger-strike for political status in Crumlin Road and Armagh Jails : their protest was successful and sentenced women POW’s were to insist successfully that those hard-won rights be extended to them .
However their conditions improved more dramatically after the arrival of the first women internees at the beginning of 1973 . This is when the name Liz McKee came to the forefront…….
(PLEASE NOTE : blogging will be ‘light’ over the next week or so and , indeed , we may even be late next Wednesday (10th) in posting our usual ‘3-in-1’ article: we are leaving Dublin this Friday for Wexford to attend a wedding which will be taking place on Monday . However – this being an Irish wedding , celebrations begin on Saturday and will probably only finish the following Thursday . Somewhere in between those two days the happy couple may indeed find time to get married , but the celebrations will definitely be held regardless…!))