Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • 1 month later...

The I.R.A. of the time was divided into those members who wanted a ceasefire witha view to peace, and those that wished to continue armed resistance.
In the mid Seventies, the group split into the Official IRA , who kept their weapons , but cached them and became political. The remainder became the Provisional IRA, and continued a campaign of violence, continuing , its limited capacity until today. This further split into the Real/Continuity IRA, who have continued up until the Omagh outrage, and since seemed to have mainly tailed away. wink.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 6 months later...
Guest Subway

After the abject failure of the 1950s 'border campaign', the IRA had become little more than a shadow. By the mid 1960s the organisation was basically defunct as a paramilitary grouping. Basically those who were 'in' were either wallowing in days of yore or turning towards leftist politics.

Thus when inter communal rioting seriously began in the 70s there was little or no preparation for 'operations' ... hence 'I RAN AWAY' being painted on gable walls in Belfast. At this time the IRA had little but old rifles and a few handguns.

Stung by jibes, the Belfast hard-men decided that the leftish-leaning leadership in Dublin was useless. The Provies were formed and attracted the young turks who had, at first, flocked to the old IRA banner only to find it had no substance.

History tells its tale from there. The Official IRA gradually became the 'Workers Party' and are still known to this day as 'Stickies' while the PIRA and Sinn Fein mounted their military and political campaigns. It was in the 80s that Danny Morrison coined the slogan 'armalite in one hand and ballot box in the other'. In the early days the PIRA were known as 'pinheads'.

Stickies - sticky back paper badges for Republican commemorations; Pinheads - because they used a pin to fasten their badges.

Along the way, some Officials were involved in the formation of the allegedly ultra-left wing Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) which was involved in the murder of Airey Neave and many other such actions. In latter days, this organisation often fought feuds with Provies and Stickies for control of criminal activity such as protection rackets etc.

The INLA had/have? a politicial wing called the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP). Now mainly defunct and its members either back in the main republican fold/dissidents or straight out gangsters. Not to say that the main Republican fold does not contain a fair number of gangsters in its midst!

The split in the Provies occurred because Sinn Fein opted to enter - against all Republican dogma - an elected assembly based at Stormont thus de facto recognising the state of Northern Ireland. This was too much for the hardcore who broke away ... thus the 32 County Sovereignty Cttee/Republican Sinn Fein/Real IRA etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The "Stickie"/ provo split also had a lot to do with age and Marxist ideology. The older Sticks were all hard core leftists. The Provos were/are socialists, but most didn't believe in "fostering class revolution and 'class interest would lead to uniting with the Prods" . The Provos just wanted to fight-hit back-and they did.

I remember one guy telling me that in 1971 just after the split the average provo was 19 years old and the average Stick was 45+.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I wonder which part of the split thinks it achieved its goal in the end.

   How 's Newtonards by the way?

It's ok. It's getting more "modern" every day:crime, crowding etc. etc. .

The Provos clearly won and they think so too. Adams once said as much to me 15 years ago.

They sit in the seats of power after all. Not bad for an ex-sailor and a barman.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very emotive subject Gentlemen with much truth being said. However can I remind you that the club rules do stipulate no politics and I can see this post starting to slip into this category.

Thank you

Chairman

Link to post
Share on other sites

It does make me wonder if although the military phase of the Republican campaign is nearly over, will they ever hand over their weapons. I do not believe for one minute that they will be 'put beyond use'. It will also be interesting to see where this will leave the 'Real IRA' , with Republican Politicians in office. What will they do?

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the military phase is over for at least a generation.

But I doubt they'll ever hand over all their weapons; even they've figured out that they can't fight a full fledged terror campaign in a world post-9/11.

Also, I suspect while they hold onto their guns to "save face", there's also a blunt tactical purpose in play as well. An armed enemy is treated much more seriously than an unarmed one.

Lastly, while the UDA/UFF fell apart back into their gangster elements, don't understimate them. If the balloon ever does go up again-watch out. The "Real IRA" downed weapons after the 3rd UDA Battalion made it very clear that Ms. Sands' kids were considered legitimate targets (complete with photos of them on their way to school). They also have been very efficient about killing their IRA targets.

If the UDA chose to expand their war to include family members and the Provos and others sit back and watch, the Real IRA would last all of a weekend.

There's a history in Ireland of Armed Militants becoming politicians and then-a generation later-being outflanked by the more militant (e.g. violent) group. I suspect that Sinn Fein are aware of that (certasinly Danny Morrison was and said so at the Ard Dheis in 1996) and thats' another reason AK47s still sit in bunkers near Killeybegs.

Anyway, the above isn't meant as "politics" but tactical assessment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Were the Provies ever going to lose?

Well, they certainly weren't going to win a military victory. But they eventually realized thet (@ 1987/89)-hence the "bullet and ballot box"/ Long War strategy where violence was used to augment elections.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 months later...

Gents,

getting back to the original question, splits have always been enshrined in Irish Republicanism. The standing joke is that the first item on any Ard Feis agenda is what the new break-away group is going to be called and I think this reflects a certain ambivalence in Irish attitudes to UK. There's a strong debate going on here in RoI about the real significance of the Easter Rising. Some take the traditional view (heroes, martyrs, etc.) and some view 1916 and the ensuing War of Independence as utter folly, bearing in mind that the Home Rule Bill was already signed & sealed in 1914 and was only on hold because of WW1. Some see it as a needless anarchy that separated Ireland from the most influential country in the world at the time and left Ireland reeling, economically and politically, for the next sixty years. This ambivalence was reflected at the Country's birth by the Civil War and has been continuously debated both physically and intellectually ever since. The IRA splits constantly because, at heart, it has always lacked any cohesive ideal that could keep it together. They will probably be with us always but their activist numbers will dwindle year on year as potential recruits realise that they're constantly trying to bang on an door that isn't even there.

Moving quickly away from any political considerations, it has to be said that NI presents a very interesting military proposition in terms of Low Intensity Operations as the IRA/UDA/UFF etc. morph into bandit groups. HMG spent a long time building up the RUC to be independent of the Military but the PSNI now seems to be anxious to present itself as some sort of a Home Counties Police Force. What they're up against now is probably best understood by reading George MacDonald Fraser's excellent book 'The Steel Bonnets', a history of the border reivers whose criminality laid waste the Scot's/English border in the 15th/16thC. Stuff that 'Community Policing' isn't going to crack. Can PSNI do it without the Military or without continuing to be more militaristic? Discuss!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, but the PSNI has downsized massively recently. There are still alot of troops based there, but in todays climate, for how much longer? Every large incident (Portadown for example) sees the deployment of troops. I wonder if soon, other County Forces will support, like over here....

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, but the PSNI has downsized massively recently. There are still alot of troops based there, but in todays climate, for how much longer? Every large incident (Portadown for example) sees the deployment of troops. I wonder if soon, other County Forces will support, like over here....

John

Equally interesting idea but utterly impossible, I think. The RUC were always different from mainland Police for a reason. Mainland Forces just wouldn't have the intelligence support or the degree of ability/credibility to prosecute the sort of campaign that's required, so any concept of Mutual Aid is out of the question for both operational and political reasons. They would be portrayed as modern-day 'Black & Tans' by the Sinn Fein spin doctors.

I was a Military Policeman in NI from 1972-74 and we tried to introduce 'Mainland Policing' in the form of joint (RMP/RUC) unarmed patrols in Nationalist areas in late '72 (Hearts & Minds, who would countenance the shooting of unarmed men etc.). The guys were just sitting targets and it took several fatalities/casualties to bring the idea to a close.

It's not widely reported that a Policing 'void' is being created in NI by many ex-RUC leaving to work in Iraq/Afghanistan as private contractors. They weren't happy with the whole PSNI deal and could earn more money working privately. They're not leaving in droves but we can assume that most of the best are being snapped up by people like CRG, Armor Group, Kroll etc.

Stay in touch. I'll have more to say about this.

Phelan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • Sounds great other than the Orange & Mango squash only because I prefer cran-pomegranate juice.
    • "(...) disgusting herbal concoction (...)" I took note of this description, to enrich my otherwise limited, English "Wortschatz"...
    • At work the standard indian tea such as PG tips is referred to as chimp tea. This goes back to the days when we had a Spanish girl working for us whose command of the English language was extremely limited. One lunch she said she was going to the shop could she get anything. I asked if she could get a pack of tea bags. She returned with some disgusting herbal concoction. I tried to explain what was required but without success. I then remembered PG tips had a picture of a chimpanzee on the packe
    • When I read Lapsang Souchong i decided to post something about these Tea . Many years ago I dont  know about Lapsang until I read James Michener book Centennial and the description of the savour of the Lapasang as a mix of tar and salt & smoked made me proof . It was exact ! and i liked it since then .
    • I have been known to drink Lapsang Souchong and Tea, Earl Grey, Hot... both "without pollutants". I normally have one mug of coffee in the morning, then spend the rest of the day drinking Orange & Mango squash (by the pint). Then evening comes and it's a pint, followed by red wine with dinner and sometimes a drop of Laphroaig afterwards.
×
×
  • Create New...