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.

IRA : ” The British are sliding into their 1977 mistake of predicting our defeat . They’re fighting a statistical war , we’re not . We’re fighting a political war . The Brits are saying the Provos are beaten , operations are down , that there’s less poundage of explosives used , four British soldiers less have died this year etc . But that’s a false confidence and that’s OK with us because we will wreck that notion when we choose to .”

ED MALONEY : ” Have the tough security policies of Charlie Haughey contributed to those “circumstances forced on you” ? “

IRA : ” No . The majority of our operations are carried on by personnel who live within the Six Counties . Belfast , for instance , is the spearhead of our campaign . People there don’t run back across the Border – the IRA Volunteers who set up road blocks in Carrickmore last October didn’t run back across the Border . Our people are based in the North and our attacks occur there…….”

‘British Intelligence And Covert Action’ , by Jonathan Bloch and Patrick FitzGerald. Published by Brandon/Junction ,1983. Reviewed here by Peter Hayes.

This book reveals , for instance , how the post-war Labour government in Britain set up an ‘Information Research Department’ to create ‘grey’ propaganda – a mixture of slanted facts and total fiction – against what it called “international communism” . As well as sponsoring publishing houses who would publish propagandist tracts , ‘IRD’ set up a number of news organisations in the Middle East that were little other than ‘fronts’ for MI6 . One of these , the ‘Arab News Agency’, became Reuters’ sole news gathering agent in the Middle East between 1954-1969.

The shadowy use of supposedly ‘retired’ members of the SAS to ‘stiffen the ranks’ of mercenary forces recruited by ‘security specialists’ – a practice officially frowned on by the British Foreign Office is perhaps one of the most illuminating areas covered by the authors Jonathan Bloch and Patrick FitzGerald .

The SAS are perceived primarily as a specialist assassination unit , and assassination – unofficially , of course – is an integral feature of British covert operations -MI6 , for instance, repeatedly plotted to kill the Egyptian premier Gamal Abdul Nasser, then regarded as the Ghaddafi of the Arab world , in the years after 1952…….

Anne and Eileen Gillespie were arrested in April 1974 following an explosion in a Manchester house where IRA Volunteers were preparing incendiaries , and were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for earlier bombing attacks in which they had no part , serving the bulk of their sentence in the maximum securuty wing of Durham Jail. Released at the end of last August , they talked to ‘IRIS’ about their experience , at their home in Gweedore , County Donegal .
From ‘IRIS’ magazine, August 1984.

As soon as we arrived in Manchester they tried to force us on to an identity parade , but we were determined not to do so before we had seen a solicitor , and physically resisted them . Eileen was struck on the head by a police officer while resisting and she was cut on the forehead . Eventually , having seen a solicitor , we went on the identity parade and soon after that we were charged with conspiracy , arson , and possession of explosives . But they had absolutely no evidence at all .

We were held at Risley remand centre for nine months before the trial started . From the moment of our arrest we were treated as Category ‘A’ maximum security prisoners and were kept in punishment cells in Risley all the time – these had cement floors and beds raised four feet off the ground . We were locked up for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement , and had to fight and argue with the Screws for the right to exercise , which was the only time we could see each other .

All the rights extended to other remand prisoners were denied to us . For example , we couldn’t get food parcels or sets of clothing , of which we had only one . Every day at 4pm our cells were stripped of everything for the night and our one set of clothes removed . This went on for the full time we were at Risley…….

About 11sixtynine

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