THE REAL IRA….
“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 32-County Sovereignty Committee , whose views coincide with that of the RIRA, plan to go ahead with its challenge through the United Nations later this year to Britain’s right to sovereignty in Ireland. They are also planning to publish the second edition of its paper, ‘The Sovereign Nation’, and is still attempting to raise funds in the United States. Gardai expect the new anti-terrorist laws to effectively remove whatever vestiges of support that still exist for the RIRA. Immediately after the Omagh bombing, a number of middleranking activists withdrew support from the organisation, although the hard core was more or less intact. Below the middle ranks, there existed a layer of supporters who supplied logistical back up, such as the provision of lands for storing or making weapons, providing vehicles, safe houses and so on.
Under the new legislation, lands or property used for paramilitary activities can be confiscated – a security source stated that he would “……envisage that very few supporters will risk having their lands or property taken from them, or face long periods in jail.” At the time of going to press, more than 20 people have been arrested on both sides of the border in the Omagh investigation and in the south, the investigation appears to be similar to the Veronica Guerin murder inquiry, whereby detectives on peripheral suspects initially and slowly built up a case against the main suspects.
On September 22nd, 12 people , including four brothers, were arrested in co-ordinated arrests in South Armagh and Castleblayney in Monaghan – some of those in the south were detained for an extended period under the terms of the new legislation. It is the third time that the amended ‘Offences Against the State Act’ has been used since it became law. A cache of weapons, including AK47 rifles , were also discovered by gardai in a wall at Magoney Bridge in Monaghan, but it is not yet known if the arms belonged to the RIRA or the Provisionals…. (MORE LATER).
THE NEW IRA IS YOUNGER, MORE RADICAL AND HAS SEEN LITTLE OF LIFE OTHER THAN VIOLENCE….. By Ed Moloney. From ‘Magill’ magazine, September 1980.
Although the re-organisation has undoubtedly revitalised the Provos, the most significant aspect of that development is that it demonstrated for the first time since the start of the IRA’s bloody campaign that the initiative in security matters was now with the British.
In 1970, 1971 and 1973, the Provisionals had toyed with the concept of cells, or active service units ; in 1973 they actually formed a number of such units with 40 men in Andersonstown in West Belfast. But those changes, if they had come about, would have been voluntary. The latest re-organisation was a matter of survival to them. The re-organisation has also made the IRA a more ‘efficient’ killing organisation, but it has necessitated a drastic reduction in the numbers of active service volunteers in their ranks. A joint RUC/British Army assessment last winter put the IRA’s strength throughout the North at around the 300 mark, with perhaps as many as 3 ,000 active sympathisers providing safe houses, refuges, transport, etc.
To put that into proper context, the strength of the 1st Battalion of the Belfast Brigade in 1972 was 300, with the same in reserve ; the total strength of the IRA in that year was between 1,500 and 2,000. Instead of growing as guerrilla armies have to if ultimate victory is to be realised, the Provisionals are actually declining in strength. Another principal, if rarely admitted reason for switching to a long war of attrition strategy is that support for widescale IRA activity has declined significantly in recent years. The war-weariness and pessimism evident in the Nationalist areas of the North is also reflected in the attitudes of many in the movement itself, who see little to be gained by continuing the fight. But that sort of thinking is less true of the new IRA. They are the younger, more radical types who have seen little of life other than violence, dawn raids, interrogations, rioting, shooting and bombing. They have taken over the mantle of militant Republicanism from the men of the ‘forties’, ‘fifties’ and ‘sixties’ and are increasingly impatient with what many of them see as conservative political and military elements in the old Dublin leadership. And the IRA they have created is much more ruthless and doesn’t need mass popular support….. (MORE LATER).
‘BLOODY SUNDAY’ PICKET, GPO, DUBLIN, SATURDAY 31ST JANUARY 2015.
Derry massacre to be remembered at the GPO in Dublin on Saturday 31st January 2015.
After a peaceful Civil Rights march on January 30, 1972 – from Creggan to Free Derry Corner – units of the British army Parachute Regiment opened fire with automatic rifles and shot dead 13 unarmed civilians, injuring many more. It was later revealed that some days prior to the massacre, the British soldiers involved had been briefed to “…shoot to kill..” at the march.
“This Sunday became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ and bloody it was. It was quite unnecessary. It strikes me that the (British) army ran amok that day and shot without thinking of what they were doing.They were shooting innocent people. They may have been taking part in a parade which was banned, but that did not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately. I would say without reservations that it was sheer unadulterated murder. It was murder, gentlemen….” -the words of British Major Hubert O’Neill, Derry City Coroner, at the conclusion of the inquests on the 13 people killed by the British Army on that day.
On Saturday, 31st January 2015, RSF will hold its annual ‘Bloody Sunday’ picket on the traffic isle facing the GPO in Dublin, at 12 Noon, to mark the 43rd anniversary of this massacre. All genuine republicans welcome!
TWO SIDES TO A COIN (EVEN IF IT IS VALUED AT $17 BILLION!).
The death on Thursday 22nd January last of ‘king’ Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (‘The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’) witnessed the Irish Tricolour being flown at half mast, “as a mark of respect”, on buildings controlled by the political administration in this State : that a so-called ‘republic’ should seek to ‘officially’ honour any so-called ‘royal’ is in itself wrong and exposes that ‘republic’ as the sham we Irish republicans know it to be, but to seek to honour a person with such a track record only compounds the mistake. The ‘king’ apparently ‘done the State some service‘ (as another wannabe ‘royal’ put it) but his good deeds were masked, in my opinion, by decadent deeds which outweighed them : public beheadings, the sentencing of Raif Badawi to a thousand lashes and ten years in prison for being critical of the state, and other ‘critics’ finding themselves imprisoned or otherwise silenced, not forgetting the many legal injunctions served on those who inquired about building non-Islamic places of worship.
Obviously, if you’re a multi-billionaire with control over/connections to oil fields and have friends in high places as a result of your good fortune then issues of morality need not apply to you. And corrupt politicians, having recognised themselves in you, will proudly fly a flag at half mast in your honour.
DOUBLE PROTEST OVER DOUBLE TAX….
On Saturday, 31st January 2015, an anti double-water tax protest will be held in the area of Dublin where I live (Clondalkin) and this, as with previous such protests, will be supported by Clondalkin-based members and supporters of RSF. The sheer size of this area (estimated 50,000 population) would mean that it would practically be a day’s outing for those living at one end of it to get to the other end and with this in mind, it was decided to have two assembly points for the protest – St. Bernadette’s School in Quarryvale (north end of the constituency : leaving from there at 11.45am and marching to Balgaddy Park) and the County Council offices near the Village (south end of the constituency : leaving from there at 11.30am and marching to Balgaddy Park).
The Clondalkin protest has been timed to allow participants to travel into Dublin city centre where a major anti double-water tax protest will be held that afternoon – those attending same from the south side of Dublin (ie Clondalkin, Tallaght, Lucan, Ballyfermot etc) are asked to assemble at Heuston Station and those from the north side of Dublin will assemble at Connolly Station. Both groups will leave their assembly points at 2pm , with one group heading for the north quays and the other group heading for the south quays , thus effectively shutting down Dublin city centre. It should be noted, even at this late stage in the campaign, that we are not looking for ‘free water’ or indeed ‘free’ anything – we are prepared to pay our way but we will not pay twice for any one service : in 1997 , the political administration in Leinster House added 2% to VAT on goods for sale and 5% to road tax and VRT to fund a water supply throughout the State. If one or other Department in or associated with Leinster House wants us to pay twice for a service, then let them campaign first for us to be paid twice for our work and double-up on the welfare allowances given to those who can’t get a job. Then , I’m sure, their demand that we pay twice can be properly discussed. Until then – see you on the protests!
ON THIS DATE (28TH JANUARY) 76 YEARS AGO : ‘A TERRIBLE BEAUTY’ DIES.
On the 28th January, 1939 – his 74th year on Earth – William Butler Yeats, born in Sandymount in Dublin, died in a boarding house on the French Riviera. He is buried in Drumcliff, in Sligo. Although he was ‘very close’ to Maud Gonne (and she to him) they never married, despite repeated requests from Yeats for them to do so, and probably just as well – Yeats was somewhat of a ladies man and, indeed, his eyes strayed on more than one occasion to Iseut Gonne, Maud’s daughter.
He attempted to express support for rebellion in Ireland but his feelings towards same weren’t heartfelt , as he was more at ease in so-called ‘aristocratic’ circles, a point he expressed in one of his poems, ‘Man and the Echo’ –
‘I lie awake night after night
And never get the answers right.
Did that play of mine send out
Certain men the English shot?
Did words of mine put too great strain
On that woman’s reeling brain?
Could my spoken words have checked
That whereby a house was wrecked?
And all seems evil until I
Sleepless would lay down and die.’
This gifted man of many contradictions , who loved and loathed not only the Easter Rising itself, but the men and women behind it and, indeed, the objective of the fight, is forever linked to same in our history, as it should be.
ON THIS DATE (28TH JANUARY) 8 YEARS AGO : IRISH NATIONALIST PARTY ENDORSES BRITISH ‘POLICE FORCE’ IN IRELAND.
Martin McGuinness (pictured, left) leaving the PSF ‘Special Ard Fheis’ on the 28th January 2007 at which he and his colleagues agreed to endorse, support and work alongside a British paramilitary ‘police force’ in Ireland.
Martin and his colleagues had more-or-less announced their intention to integrate with Leinster House and Westminster twenty-one years previous to the year in which they held their ‘Special Ard Fheis’ but knew then that they had to thread softly and encourage some within their party and affiliated organisations to stay on board by drip-feeding the bitter medicine of State recognition and cooperation to them. The ‘peace project’ was of no use to the British and the Staters unless a majority of those ex-republicans agreed to convert to constitutional nationalism and Gerry and Martin and the PSF Ard Chomhairle were aware of that fact. Plus, that time gap allowed them to ‘flush out’ those from within their ranks who showed any genuine reluctance to accept the ‘stepping stones’ path (…or, as Michael Collins tried to sell the same half-way house notion – “In my opinion it gives us freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire, but the freedom to achieve it…”) and transformed what was a revolutionary republican movement into a Fianna Fáil/SDLP-type ‘light’ so-called ‘republican’ political party, with the appearance of having more ‘political teeth’ than the other aforementioned parties it now shared common ground with.
This new nationalist-minded political party attracted disaffected members and supporters of Fianna Fáil , the SDLP and the Workers Party and other anti-republican elements who saw the opportunity to build a political career and at the same time project an image of themselves as having ‘a whiff of sulphur’ about them, as they sang rebel songs and winked and nudged their way from table to table at party conferences. It is a cause of wry amusement to Irish republicans today to note that any indication of a ‘whiff of sulphur/wink-nudge’ activity from members/supporters of the Provisional Sinn Féin party now would not only secure their dismissal from that party but could very well give rise to an arrest warrant being issued for them on foot of said information about them having been handed over to the RUC/PSNI by their own (ex-)party leadership. Oh what a tangled web we weave…..!
Thanks for reading, Sharon.