ED MALONEY : ” Do you intend to resume the bombing campaign in England ?”
IRA : ” We’re often asked this question and the standard reply whether we are bombing England at the time or not or planning to bomb England is no comment . ”
ED MALONEY : ” After the assassination of Lord Mountbatten the IRA threatened to kill more prominent personalities . Does that threat still exist ? ”
IRA : ” Yes. As I’ve explained , the importance of these people – like British ambassadors abroad – is that they put out false propaganda . They are part of the British military machine and whereas it would be stupid and morally wrong for us to attack an ordinary British person , for us to attack a so-called ‘pillar of the British establishment’ like Mountbatten or Quintin Hogg or Roy Mason, who we will never forget for what he did to the Irish people , gains us more attention and political effect. Yes we do intend to carry out more of those attacks. “
HOPE IN THE SHADOWS…….
For some Northern nationalists the Anglo-Irish Agreement (‘Hillsborough Treaty’,1985) only makes their lives more dangerous , for others it offers hope on a road to nowhere. Fionnuala O’Connor visited a (Provisional) Sinn Fein advice centre in the Ardoyne and Seamus Mallon’s office in Newry.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine, December 1986.
There’s a route the heavily-used local black taxis take into the area on the northside , generally regarded as the safest , but no one likes going south out of Flax Street – long , straight and usually deserted – onto the Crumlin Road , says Tom Fleming , and yet it’s the logical way out for taxis and everyone else.
As if on cue , a taxi-driver comes in to report what he thinks was a loyalist attempt to kill him at the end of Flax Street at one o’ clock that morning . He has already reported the incident – immediately afterwards – to the “…uniformed thugs of the sectarian RUC..” , as (P) Sinn Féin loves to call them * or , as he himself puts it with remarkable neutrality and as Tom Fleming repeats when checking his details , “…to the police..” . (*‘1169…’ Comment : the Provos now not only call the RUC/PSNI “the police” , but actually advise their neighbours , and anyone else foolish enough to listen , to pass-on any info on “dissident/traitor” activity to those “police” . Amazing what 30 pieces of Crown silver can buy…)
As the taxi-driver drove out of Flax Street with three women passengers , “…six guys in balaclavas and combat jackets…” jumped out of the shadows opposite . One of them , holding what looked like a rifle , dropped to his knee and took aim . The taxi driver threw the car into reverse – ” I don’t know how I did it so quick ” – and zoomed backwards all the way down the road to Tennent Street RUC Barracks , three to four hundred yards away . Belatedly , he registered lack of trust in them – ” The police (sic) weren’t too fussed , “ he says , ” they brought in a couple of young guys but they were only messers hanging about on the street , the guys with the hoods were more my age , big solid guys….”
TEN YEARS IN ENGLISH JAILS…….
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 security 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.
The airplane didn’t leave until later in the morning . When we arrived at Dublin airport we heard screaming – we’d never imagined there would be all these people there for us . It was overpowering . On the way home there were crowds all along the route , and cars and bands , and people came out to greet us and make presentations to us.
Sometimes we still can’t believe that we’re home. We remember the tree we used to watch changing season out of the prison cell window and we would say to each other – “another winter gone” , and now we are home we can enjoy all the changes in the seasons . We used to think about it all the time . However , we also remember that there are so many Irishmen still in English prisons , and they should at least be brought back to Ireland to finish their sentences.
[END of ‘TEN YEARS IN ENGLISH JAILS’]
(Next : ‘A BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS’ – from 1984)