IRA: ” The object of our armed struggle is two fold : further destabilise the inherently unstable Six County State and also to wear down the will of the British government . Either the British government itself comes to the conclusion that it must leave or that conclusion will be forced on them by British public opinion .
We can make the occupation of the North extremely expensive * – present costs are running at £1000 million annually and of course we will be hitting at their soldiers continually and causing their morale to be so low that they will find that they are incapable of maintaining any sort of order in the North ** . ”
( * ‘1169…’ Comment : and “extremely expensive” it surely must be for Westminster , as the PIRA are now a Westminster-funded armed militia acting as a “bulwark” against republicanism / ** : how ironic that that same organisation , the PIRA , are now paid assistants in trying to insure that “order” – albeit British ‘order’ – is maintained in the Six Counties!)
THE KITSON EXPERIMENT…….
Review by Cathal McGivern of Roger Faligot’s 1983 book ‘Britain’s Military Strategy in Ireland : The Kitson Experiment’.
From ‘IRIS’ Magazine , 1983.
Active support for the British Army of occupation in Ireland from the British press has on occasions been so obvious that it gave rise to jokes like the one quoted by Roger Faligot, which is doing the rounds in Irish press circles – ” I never remember which one is which : The Observer is MI6 and The Sunday Times is MI5 . Or is it the other way around ? “
The history of the ‘Peace People’ is admirably traced : as early as 1971 Frank Kitson had dreamed up the creation of ‘a movement for peace’ which would stimulate the political isolation of the IRA from the population of the Northern ghettos , on the lines of a similar tactic that had already been used in Vietnam and Algeria .
The tragedy that actually sparked off the formation of the ‘Women’s Peace Movement’ in August 1976 is also examined . Contrary to the story put out by the British Army within an hour of the incident , only British soldiers fired shots . IRA Volunteer Danny Lennon was already shot dead at the wheel of the car when it careered into the Maguire children . Moreover , according to various statements , including those of the late Mrs Maguire , and to indications that filtered down from the post-mortems (the findings of which the authorities have always declined to reveal) her children had been hit by British Army SLR bullets before the car struck them . Such realities did not of course prevent the British cynically manipulating for political ends the initially emotional response that occurred .
I have really only managed to skim the surface of an excellent , information-crammed book . Get it and study it.
[END of ‘The Kitson Experiment’ .]
(Next : ‘Spies Under A Spotlight’ – from 1983.)
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.
On the ordeal of prison visiting , Marion Coyle’s mother says – ” We leave Derry at 3am and arrive in Limerick at 10am after seven hours of travelling on the PDF minibus. When we finally got into the waiting room it could be an hour before the prison Screws will search us and bring us over to see Marion . Then you are under the strict supervision of two Screws and aren’t allowed to discuss the conditions in the jail .
Our Marion has not been out for exercise in well over a year and because of the ruling I can’t even ask her how the solitary confinement is affecting her for fear that my visit will be ended .
At the end of the visit , it’s another seven hours back to Derry . We feel no wiser , no happier , but I know in my heart that Marion is suffering an unnatural ‘justice’ at the hands of a Free State bent on revenge.”
[END of ‘The Undaunted Women In Armagh’ .]
(Next :’Ten Years In English Jails’ – from 1984.)