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.

The IRA has so far spent most of this year (1980) killing ‘soft’ targets like so-called ‘off-duty’ UDR men and the campaign against prison warders has been halted to await the out-come of the H-Block negotiations .

But it is Charlie Haughey’s tough policy and legal moves against IRA operations in the Border counties which has done more to impair the IRA in the last year than the RUC and British Army combined in the last three years . Cross-border ‘co-operation’ between the Garda and the RUC at regional commander and ground level combined with meticulous Free State Task Force searches of Border farms have seriously disrupted IRA logistics and produced a number of significant arms and explosives dumps .

Those tactics are described by one IRA leader as “devastating” and things could get worse for the Provos if Haughey’s attempt to activate the dormant ‘Criminal Law Jurisdiction Bill’ for cross-border offences succeeds…….


IRIS talks to a spokesperson authorised to speak on behalf of the Irish Republican Army.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , July/August 1982.

IRIS : ” If you were to specify one particular need which you consider the highest political priority for republicans at this time , what would it be ? ”

IRA : ” To organise support and structure it . And to ensure that opposition to British rule is not restricted to military actions but that people’s opposition is channelled into resisting in whatever way they are able.”

(NEXT : ‘ Black Propaganda And Bloody Murder’ – from ‘Magill’ magazine 1986)

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.

As prisoners with political status were being released , their numbers rapidly dwindled : in August 1979 there were only 7 left , a month later , 4 – the Price sisters, Chris Sheerin and Pauline Deery . The first three were eventually released on compassionate grounds for extreme ill health . As the women got fewer , the prison screws got more aggressive – ” They were trying to get us to give up our political status…, “ says Kate McGuinness, released in August 1979 , ” …in petty ways they were trying to take away our rights.”

Pauline Deery writes – ” By 1980 , education classes for republican prisoners were almost non-existent , and exercise time has also been substantially reduced from 1976 . In 1976 we could stay in the exercise yard all day but , by 1980 , it was down to two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon . In 1983 I was moved to a unit on ‘B1’ on my own , and my exercise time was halved . Food parcels are now strictly limited , as are handicrafts .

Political papers and film shows have been stopped and cell searches , in the absence of those occupying the cells , have been introduced , as have strip-searches . I am unable to see my brother or my fiance , who are both in Long Kesh prison, because I won’t take the strip-search . A remand prisoner was charged for talking to me through her window last year , and she was locked up for it…”


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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