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.

ED MALONEY : ” What are the present state of relations between the IRA and the Palestine Liberation Organisation ? ”

IRA : ” Well unfortunately the PLO are in a bad situation . They have found it necessary to adopt certain policies – some would say in order to ingratiate themselves with the EEC governments for recognition – but we do not question or judge them because we know the position of their people is very bad .

They are denied their homeland and live in deplorable refugee camps , and are subjected to frequent Israeli attacks and from Haddad on Southern Lebanon . We sympathise with them but we cannot dictate their relationships with other people . That’s just unfortunate . There are only solidarity links between the IRA and the PFLP but the British have used that to try to embarass us , as they did with the Marxist smear .The IRA is a national liberation organisation. “

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.

Talking about the attempted attack on him by armed loyalists , the taxi-driver was concentrating on telling the story , looking across the counter , not at all looking at the wall behind the counter , which was covered in posters – “Bas no an bua….Death or Victory” , guns held high above the heads of big solid guys in combat jackets , faces covered . Tom Fleming wrote it all down , checking his name . ” I’ve told the other drivers , ” said the taxi-man , “but I’d like you to spread the word to be careful.” And off he went , civic duties done in all directions.

Tom Fleming said that was the most dramatic complaint he’d had in a long time , though he didn’t doubt sectarian aggression everywhere was rising as a result of the ‘Anglo-Irish Agreement’ (Hillsborough Treaty) . ” And for what ? What I dread is Stormont coming back – the unionists have an unbeatable majority there and we’re going to be out-voted all the time. There’s nothing in it for us . They can talk about power-sharing but the last time we saw what that meant. Austin Currie introduced the ‘Recovery of Debts Acts’ * . And I don’t know where that fella Peter Barry ( Cork Fine Gael Free State minister) gets his information from that the RUC is a changed force !”

But the SDLP would hold their vote , unless the Hillsborough Agreement (Hillsborough Treaty) completely collapsed . ” They have the media and the church ; not around here , but in outlying areas the church is very influential. “
(*A financial Act which forced those withholding rent to hand it over or loose the house they were renting.)

A look at issues raised by Liz Curtis’ recent book.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine, August 1984.
Review by Trisha Fox.

Published earlier this year by Pluto Press, Liz Curtis’ ‘Ireland :The Propaganda War’ sold out within six weeks and is now being republished . For anyone interested in examining Britain’s ‘relationship’ to Ireland and how the media represents that ‘relationship’ , it is essential reading , cataloguing how the British government uses censorship as part of a concrete strategy to maintain ideological control of the struggle in the North as it is perceived by the British public and abroad.

The manner in which this strategy is achieved is typified in journalist Mary Holland’s remark – ” For every programme that gets banned there are about twenty that don’t get made.”

In the early 1970’s there had been discussions within the BBC’s hierarchy and the British government about introducing legislation allowing “direct censorship” of material broadcast in relation to Ireland , but the implications of shattering the BBC’s ‘balanced and impartial public image’ would have been too obvious a form of political censorship. So , as Liz Curtis explains – ” Instead , a system of hidden censorship was brought in , which the public remains generally unaware of . This system is known as ‘Reference Upwards’ or ‘Managerial Censorship’ : all items on Ireland have to be checked from the ideas stage onwards.”

About 11sixtynine

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