“We will not disband.” Although on a permanent cease-fire, the RIRA say they will not be disbanding and would dump rather than surrender any weapons. By Liz Walsh. From ‘Magill’ magazine, October 1998.

The RIRA source claimed that ongoing indirect negotiations between the Irish government (sic) and the RIRA , through intermediary Fr Alec Reid, would inevitably have brought about a cease-fire. The negotiations began earlier this year and also involve Martin Mansergh, the Taoiseach’s adviser on the North. There was a lull immediately after Omagh but ‘Magill’ was told that negotiations resumed some 10 days after the bombing and included face to face meetings between Fr Reid and senior members of the RIRA.

“Omagh brought the cease-fire forward, but it would have come eventually. We had to take into account that the majority of people voted for the Good Friday Agreement * , even though we believe that republicans were deceived by the Provisionals as to what exactly they were voting for. But the Irish people voted for peace and they didn’t get it. And we bear responsibility for that **. All these things were factored into the decision to call a permanent end to the military campaign. If, by some miracle, the Stormont Agreement works , if for example unionism moves from fascism towards a democratic politics, and sectarianism decreases, then that would be a positive move forward. But if the Agreement comes crashing down around the Provisionals in the future – which we believe it will – then it’s possible there will be a return to armed struggle. History tells us that is what will happen. Whether this organisation will be involved though is doubtful,” the RIRA source said.
The source is emphatic that the RIRA will not surrender its arms “…under any circumstances. The IRA constitution forbids it. If it comes to that, we will dump arms, we will never surrender them..”

(* ‘1169’ comment – not so : 43.97% of those entitled to vote in this State on Friday 22nd May 1998 did not bother to do so and 19% of those in the Six Counties who were entitled to a vote on that Treaty [‘Agreement’] did not bother to do so either, which is why it is not correct to claim that “the majority of people voted for it”// ** It’s the British government that bear that responsibility, not Irish republicans.)




The result of the re-think was two fundamental changes in policy : the first was the concept of ‘the long war’ which was first outlined by Jimmy Drumm, ironically one of those intimately involved in the secret ceasefire talks with the British government. That concept was articulated by him at Bodenstown in June 1977 as was the second major change – a political change, which involved pushing the IRA and its political wing, Sinn Féin, in a radical direction and to involvement in trade union, poverty, housing and unemployment issues , that which Sinn Féin President, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh now calls “occupying ground vacated by the Sticks (Official Sinn Féin)”.

That particular move has been far from as successful or complete as its architects planned and has caused the greatest tensions within the Republican Movement since the Official/Provisional split of 1970. The fact that it has been at all successful rests entirely on the fact that those responsible for the military re-birth of the IRA were also those backing the advocates of radicalism. In republican politics the sword has always been mightier than the pen and this time in the IRA’s history both sword and pen were pointing in the same direction. (MORE LATER).


“…US use of Shannon Airport makes Ireland a target…..Ireland is a legitimate target for attack because of its decision to allow American planes refuel at Shannon Airport on their way to bombing Muslim
countries… the eyes of al-Qaeda and others, it is a place which is being used to aid and abet the war… the Irish claim that it is neutral is not something which has been bought by Muslims around the world…..”
(from here.)

Much as I don’t like admitting it, the speaker has a point – there is no doubt, unfortunately, but that the ‘military allowances’ gifted to the US war effort (albeit a ‘resource war’) by the State administration here, for short-term monetary gain for a few, is viewed by some, not in euro and cents ‘value’, but blood and tears ‘expenditure’. The US , as a country, has not got enough resources in its own territory to sustain itself comfortably and, like many other nations, faces two options – reduce its consumption or obtain more of the resources it uses and its political leadership finds it easier to do the latter. But there is still a ‘price’ to be paid and, because of the abuse of the facilities at Shannon Airport, the Leinster House administration has placed a price on our heads. Indeed, one of those very political parties – the Labour Party, which currently ‘governs’ this State alongside the Fine Gael party – actively campaigned (when in ‘opposition’) against the misuse of Shannon Airport –

– but, as expected, has ignored the opportunity it now has to do something about that misuse. In the ‘Charlie Hebdo’-world we live in, that party and those like it may have actually signed our death warrant.


‘While the British army is one of the best equipped and most experienced in the world in combat operations, it does not have the Irish Army’s (sic) experience in peacekeeping. One of the motivating factors behind the agreement is to provide the British with access to the peacekeeping expertise of the Irish (sic) defence forces….’ (from here.)

Well! That’s certainly news to Irish republicans – that the British Army ‘does not have experience in peacekeeping’! And it’s bound to be news, too, for all the following countries ,states and regions in which Westminster claimed it was ‘keeping the peace’ in (listed alphabetically, for your convenience) : Aden, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Egypt, Falklands, Fiji Islands, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, St.Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia, St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United States, Vanuatu, Western Samoa and Zambia.

We think that’s the full list, but if there are any omissions please contact the ‘Peacekeeping Head Office’ in Whitehall, London, and, while you’re talking to them, you could take the opportunity to remind them that Britain has ‘kept the peace’ more than any other state since the Roman Empire, and since its defence against the Spanish Armada in the 16th century, it has had no occasion to ‘keep the peace’ (ie fight a war of defence) . All its ‘peace keeping duties’ since then have been ones of choice. The world just wouldn’t be the same without them. Literally.


I should have mentioned it in our last post, but I was too busy to do so! We have a smaller-than-usual offering today because our weekend was taken up with the monthly 650-ticket raffle for the Movement on the Dublin/Kildare border on Sunday last (11th January) which took Friday evening and most of Saturday to prepare for and on Monday evening last the usual raffle ‘autopsy’ was held in Dublin city centre. And, although like all women , I can multitask even I have my limits!

But we did manage to keep on the good side of eight people – the prize winners : our bus driver, Anto, sold the winning ticket (080, €200) to a Mr. William Langan and even though Willie himself wasn’t physically present we heard how delighted he was when Anto rang him to give him the good news! Our second winner, Dubliner Jack Morris, won €100 on ticket 497, which he purchased about ten minutes before the raffle started from the top table where we were – and sent the four of us over a drink to celebrate and a tenner for five tickets for the February raffle (…we hope you win first prize next month, Jack – dinner and drinkies on you!). Anto B , one of our regular ticket sellers, scored twice at the raffle – he sold the third prize winning ticket to Sióbhan (564, €40) and the sixth prize to Micko (555, €20) but no one bought him a drink, never mind a dinner!

The fourth prize (€20) was again a ticket (368) sold from our table on the day itself and the prize was won by a delighted Waterford woman Vicki H who, after she calmed down (“God sake, woman – it’s only 20 quid….” !) picked stub number 593 (€20) from the drum for the fifth prize, which was claimed by a local man, Martin (from Kildare) . The second-last prize , €20 (stub 394), went (again) to Waterford, another lovely lady from the south-east ; Sandy, who pulled out the last prize (€20) which was won by Alfie L , from Mullingar, on stub 274.

It was, as usual, worth all the preparations and the rushing around even though it can sometimes feel that it’s not worth it (like when it comes to having to refuse sales because there are no more tickets left!) but we wouldn’t change the actual format of the event, nor the location, nor the people we do it for or with. And experience tells us that the next eleven raffles (up to Christmas 2015!)will be just as hectic for us and equally just as profitable for the Movement. Bring it on…!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics. and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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