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Tag Archives: IRA

Shannon historian reflects on Provo history in the South

SHANNON historian Gearóid Ó Faoleán’s book A Broad Church – The Provisional IRA in the Republic of Ireland, 1969-1980 has just been published and has provoked a huge media reaction north of the border. The 31-year-old is a past pupil of St Patrick’s Comprehensive and is now based in London. He is getting married next month. Obviously, his home town has a very large northern population, while his own mother arrived from Belfast in the early ’70s, as the Troubles raged. The subject of Republicanism in the south really came into focus for Gearóid when he was a history student based in Limerick. “When I was in Mary Immaculate College, I was studying history and we had to do a final year project. What I looked at was the settlement in Shannon from the North, the push and pull factors and why they ended up here. It’s easy to see why they left the North but I looked at how …

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The story of The Accidental Spy

AN Ennis journalist has written the extraordinary true story of how American trucker David Rupert infiltrated the Real IRA and his evidence sent the terrorist group’s leader Michael McKevitt to jail for 20 years. Sean O’Driscoll comes from the Tulla Road in the county town and is a past pupil of Rice College and St Flannan’s. He is now the night news editor for the Irish Daily Mail. The book, The Accidental Spy, tells how David, a 6’7”, a 300lb frustrated trucking manager with three failed marriages and no connection to Ireland, began a relationship with a Noraid supporter, before becoming an FBI and then MI5 spy, while penetrating the army council of the Real IRA. Much of the book is based on Sean’s extensive interviews with David but he also spoke to dissidents and some involved in the UK and US agencies that supported him. Sean describes the story as the most extraordinary one he has come across in …

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Vast research behind The Time of The Tans

STILL a teenager when he started collecting people’s stories, Tomás Mac Conmara’s new book The Time of the Tans is backboned by many years of work. It’s an oral history of the War of Independence in Clare and he said the fact that he spent so long gathering the information and accounts at the core of the book, means The Time of the Tans means a lot to him. “I’d say it is the most important one at a personal level. Anything you do like that, in terms of publishing a book, you put a lot of years and time into it, and you should do so as a historian. But because it has been 20 years in the making, almost all of the people who I interviewed and who were good enough to share their memories with me have passed away. It’s very sad in one sense, but it was always my point, that they would be gone. Historian …

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Dr Harty condemns “Manchester slaughter’

Clare TD Michael Harty has condemned “in the strongest possible words the indescribable slaughter of the Innocents in Manchester last night.” The West Clare GP said, “To kill and injure teenagers and children on a happy night out at a concert is beyond comprehension. It goes without saying that no cause, no ideology can excuse this outrageous attack on the young and vulnerable. “As a doctor, I am very well aware of the grief and pain suffered by the loved ones of those who die in horrific circumstances. I am equally aware of the slow, difficult and sometimes incomplete recovery of those who survive. They are all in our thoughts today as they battle for life and hope in the face of this atrocity.” The independent Deputy, Dr Harty spoke of the close links between Ireland and County Clare and the city of Manchester. “Over the decades, many of our sons and daughters emigrated there. They found work and a …

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Building bridges for peace in Scariff

PEACE advocates Jo Berry and Pat Magee will open this year’s Scariff Harbour Festival. Jo is the daughter of Sir Anthony Berry, a Tory MP who was killed during the Brighton Bombing of 1984 and Pat Magee was the Republican activist who planted the bomb. Having sought out and reconciled with Pat, Jo went on to found Building Bridges for Peace and now she and Pat conduct peace and reconciliation talks and workshops. They will hold a workshop for a group of Foróige members on Saturday, July 30 and will give a talk at Scariff Library during the festival. On October 12, 1984, the IRA exploded a bomb in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, during the Conservative Party Conference killing five people, including Sir Anthony, and injuring many more. Sir Anthony’s family were devastated but for his daughter Jo, it also started a life-long mission for peace. Sixteen years later, Pat, the man who planted the bomb, was released from prison …

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Tulla boycott notice goes under the hammer

A NOTICE issued by the IRA during the War of Independence in 1920, calling for a public boycott of Pepper’s grocery shop in Tulla, will go up for auction this Saturday. The notice, issued by “Oglaigh na hEireann – West Clare Brigade IRA” and handwritten on a sheet of the shop’s own headed notepaper, has a pre-sale estimate of €300 to €400. Newcastle West antiques auctioneer Pat O’Donovan, who puts the document under the hammer, described the notice, which has come to light after 96 years, “as very rare”. Also a noted local historian, Mr O’Donovan explained that such notices were very rare because “most businesses supplying the British army in Clare heeded verbal warnings and so, presumably, the IRA didn’t need to issue written boycott notices”. The shop, owned by John Pepper and his family, was a general merchant shop that also sold tea, wine and spirits, ran a posting establishment and also operated flour, meal and bran stores. Mr …

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