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  • IRA 'carefully infiltrated parts of Army'

    IRA 'carefully infiltrated parts of Army'
    Irish Independent 29/12/2005

    Fergus Black

    DOCUMENTS released under the 30-year rule claim the Provisional IRA had carefully infiltrated parts of the Irish Army and planned to involve it to "stage" incidents along the Border.

    This was the Provos' plan, if Northern Protestants decided to make a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) upon Britain withdrawing and the result of the Northern Ireland Convention was "favourable to a united Ireland".

    In a report marked "secret" and sent to the secretary of the Department of Justice in June 1975, a garda chief superintendent said he had been directed by the Garda Commissioner to forward an analysis of Provisional IRA activity which had come to hand from a "confidential and usually reliable source".

    It revealed the Provos had a plentiful supply of ammunition and had $50,000 to buy sophisticated weapons.

    The document also claims the PIRA was assured of the total withdrawal of all British forces from the North and in return undertook to await the result of the Convention which was to have been favourable to them.

    However, the Provos were convinced the Protestants would never agree to a handover and would ultimately resort to force.

    "The Provisionals' reaction to this situation will take the form of 'token resistance', giving the appearance of weakness and irresolution but sufficient to provoke the Protestants to over-reaction. The PIRA then plans to 'stage' border incidents involving the Irish army, part of which has been carefully infiltrated by the Provisionals to this end.

    "By implication, having once involved the forces of the Irish Republic , the Provisionals would then turn on the Protestant paramilitary forces using their full strength and every weapon available to them, hoping to gain Catholic support throughout Ireland."

    Another "secret" memo, from then Assistant Garda Commissioner Ned Garvey, said it appeared that the ceasefire in place at the time rested securely enough on some kind of undertaking by the British Government that their troops would be withdrawn from the North.

    Such a withdrawal would be phased and there was some evidence that it had already begun, he said.

    But he warned that should the Northern Ireland Convention prove a failure there was a very real likelihood of UDI.

    Mr Garvey suggested that the first concern of the authorities here must be the security of the organs and processes of government in our own State.

    The maintenance of the authority of the government here must constitute the surest deterrent against PIRA designs, he wrote.

  • #2
    I think a lot of this is speculation and that a handful of squaddies that are sympathetic to the provies would find it difficult to start any sort of cross-border battle on their own.
    One thing is for sure though, even though the last 35 years were pretty bad in hindsight things could have been a lot worse.
    Could a Northern state have survived as a seperate entity, probably not.
    Would the attempt to declare UDI have run smoothly or would things have descended rapidly down-hill into a civil war with a huge body count on a par with FYR?
    More than likely :-(

    Comment


    • #3
      Remember rooster this is from the archives of 30 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Consider in particular that the government at the time were considering Invading NI to protect the catholics. Thankfully the British Army got there first.


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Goldie fish
        Remember rooster this is from the archives of 30 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Consider in particular that the government at the time were considering Invading NI to protect the catholics. Thankfully the British Army got there first.
        Well only we stopped for dinner in Dundalk, we would have made it first
        it will be long, it will be hard, and there will be no withdrawl
        Winston churchill

        Comment


        • #5
          ,.What is intresting is that had lynch given the go ahead for the 'invasion of the north' Britain would then have had the legal right ' tecnically speaking' to attack the republic for invading its territory. Britain could have attacked the republic in the knowledge that world opinion would force it to cease operations allowing them to get the unionist's to agree to whatever was put in front of them (there is a suggestion at the time to say they would have loved to have got rid of the north ) , and remove its claim on the north . We could have ended up with a UN presence knowing that both sides would not have agreed to either an irish army/ british army presence . Either way ,it looks quite likely that their would indeed have been a bloodbath between both communities before any solution was found.

          QUOTE ' Eh, sorry to have to intrude, but' there's a yankee about .' ( yosmite sam )
          Last edited by stephen.haugh; 31 December 2005, 20:22.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Goldie fish
            Remember rooster this is from the archives of 30 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Consider in particular that the government at the time were considering Invading NI to protect the catholics. Thankfully the British Army got there first.

            I think there was a documentary about the ''possible invasion'' on UTV about 10 years ago, a number of southern senior officers were interviewed and they said the invasion would have involved crossing the border at Monaghan/Tyrone getting on the M1 motorway and driving straight for Belfast.
            One of the main reasons it was called off was the lack of air support and the fact that only a few thousand troops were available at the time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by stephen.haugh
              ,.What is intresting is that had lynch given the go ahead for the 'invasion of the north' Britain would then have had the legal right ' tecnically speaking' to attack the republic for invading its territory. Britain could have attacked the republic in the knowledge that world opinion would force it to cease operations

              Why would World opinion be against the UK if it was the UK that was the one being attacked?
              When you talk about the legal right to attack the republic, wouldn't just about every country in North America and Western Europe have the same right under the NATO charter, or am I just being pedantic??

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rooster
                Why would World opinion be against the UK if it was the UK that was the one being attacked?
                When you talk about the legal right to attack the republic, wouldn't just about every country in North America and Western Europe have the same right under the NATO charter, or am I just being pedantic??
                Yes , your point is a valid one but one has to remember that the idea or plan' as i seem to recall was not nesscerly to attack the british forces or Police in northern ireland (although thats what it could or would have been seen as, and the republics army at the time given it's strenght would have only being able to sustain a short term objective) 'but for the irish army to position itself in quay parts of the north and if nessacary go into areas were catholics were being haressed and persecuted by loylist mobs and protect them on moral grounds that the republic was protecting its citizens ,quite a percentage of whom still aligned themselfs to the republic.Whether world opinion on the republics side , would have being a deciding factor in Britains decision to defend its territory remained to be seen but it is highly unlikely that the royal navy would have being pounding the republics shores (one must not forget the republics contribution to the british armd forces throughout history and quite a few men from the republic were serving in the british forcess at the outbreak of the troubles), one example is when Belgium sent in it's paratroops to the congo in 1960 to protect and remove its citizens as well as it's intrests and we ended up with a UN situation witch, coincidentLy, involved irish UN troops.As for north america and europe having the same right under the nato charter well' if french speaking canadians were being persecuted by say, english speaking canadians ' wouldent France feel the need to intervine to protect its intrests and citizens?, although i have to own up and sadmit that i am not sure if france still has any claim's on canada . On a larger scale , Hitler had to have an excuse to attack poland to 'kick start' the second word war and nevil chamberland's '' we have peace in out time '' speech wasent worth a hill of beans then and of course NATO was only a twinkle in its fathers eye's.

                Comment


                • #9
                  what? Where did all that come from?
                  It is only by contemplation of the incompetent that we can appreciate the difficulties and accomplishments of the competent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bam Bam
                    what? Where did all that come from?
                    were did all what come from ?

                    QUOTE-' What's the big, i say' what's the big idea, dont just stand there gawking son, speak up, say somthing, explain yourself ? Your tounge's flapping but no noise is coming out of your mouth '.

                    ( Foghorn Leghorn )
                    Last edited by stephen.haugh; 2 January 2006, 17:42.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You go from the Congo, to Canada to NI with little to no punctuation and it seems that your rambling a bit.
                      Last edited by Bam Bam; 2 January 2006, 17:40.
                      It is only by contemplation of the incompetent that we can appreciate the difficulties and accomplishments of the competent.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bam Bam
                        You go from the Congo, to Canada to NI with little to no punctuation and it seems that your rambling a bit.
                        Have to figure out just what i'm dealing with here '.

                        Quote- ' Pay attention boy, i'm cutting but you aint bleedin'........... Witch part should i explain again ?

                        ( Foghorn Leghorn)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you punctuated you might not have to explain again!

                          I, for one, haven't a clue what your point was there!
                          WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to ring them at 4am!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Snacker
                            If you punctuated you might not have to explain again!

                            I, for one, haven't a clue what your point was there!
                            i was just a general response to roosters point about 'legality ' of one country to attack or invade another and i rolled several points into one . I dont claim to be a military acedemic or anything put what i did point out was

                            1 There was a plan in place for the north to be invaded by the irish army .

                            2 Britain might have responded by attacking the republic for invasion of its terrortority,witch as we all know the republic gave up when michael collins signed the aggreement .

                            3 I was pointing out that giving the amount of irishmen from the whole of ireland who served in the british forces ,this might have a strong impact on any british decision (to invade the republic) and the republics position was one of moral gaurdian in protecting its NI catholics.

                            4I used the beligian situation in the congo as an example of the situation the republics goverment found itself in in 1969 although, i know the republic has no colonial baggage

                            5 I did move slightly away from the topic in that i mentioned 'canada/france' and hitler/poland ,only in the wider context of of the NATO treaty and except that it was off topic .

                            6 My views are responding to -sledgers' thread quote- ' the ira infiltrated parts of the army 'and i was using a variation on a theme.As a ordinary citizen who remembers the times quite well and not as mentioned, an acedemic on military history ,and i suppose i did wonder of in punctuation. However the points i do make are well known as facts of the time .

                            Quote- ' Look sister, is any of this filtering tru that little blue bonnet of yours ?',

                            (foghorn leghorn)

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