IRA and its Supporters
Randy Black said that in reference to the IRA, John Heelan overlooked its ideology (Marxist), training support (Libyan) and is linked to ETA, FARC and the PLO. It is evident that the IRA is training Palestinians and Colombians in bomb-making technology. John Heelan replies: Randy Black is correct in some of what he says. [By the way, I hold no brief either for the IRA (or its splinter groups) or their opposite numbers on the Unionist side of the running sore that has been Northern Ireland, until recently. Further, having been personally endangered from their activities for 30 years or so, I wished a plague on both their houses and was in favour of withdrawing British troops from the Province and ashamed of some of the activities of those troops- viz. "Bloody Sunday". Even now, it seems impossible for the two parties to live side by side. There are regular reports of them harassing each other, even using primary school children as the targets of that vituperation. I happened to be in Merrimack, NH the night the IRA hunger striker, Bobby Sands, died. In that fervently Republican area, it was dangerous to have a British accent that night as the local crazies on shock-jock radio station phone-ins were seeking immediate revenge! Thus I have had more than a little interest in the NI conflict. For many years.
Mr. Black is partially correct in claiming the IRA's Marxist ideology, however it became limited to some splinter groups who broke off because the main-cause IRA was rejecting that ideology. Further Randy is correct about the IRA's links with other terrorist organisations and states: the Colombian link was the subject of a recent court case. I am not aware that the IRA trained Palestinians, but it is probable and undoubtedly Mr. Black has some evidence to back up his claim. The point I was trying to make is that some 3000 people died over the years as a direct result of the NI conflict- roughly the same number as in the Twin Towers tragedy. Much of the funding for the share of that carnage caused by the Republicans emanated from the United States. There are still American groups funding those activities clandestinely. If they were funding Al-Quaida, they would probably be imprisoned under the Patriot Act. [Perhaps Randy Black would like to investigate if the IRA (or any of its splinter groups) has/had training or other links with Osama bin Laden?]
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September 26, 2004