That OIRA ‘navy’? October 19, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
A while back I was loaned ‘Gunrunners: The Covert Arms Trail to Ireland’ by Sean Boyne, published by O’Brien in 2006. An interesting book in its own way, it tracks the means by which an array of formations acquired and imported arms to the island during the period of the conflict.
How much credence one can give it is difficult to judge, given that it sits at a nexus of journalism, rumour, state and paramilitary information and disinformation and so on… but there are some fascinating bits and pieces in there nonetheless.
For example in discussing Saor Éire it suggests, and I’ve heard this elsewhere, that Ernest Mandel would have been introduced to some of their activists, albeit they would not have been introduced as such. True? Incorrect? Who can say?
Some interesting material on Official IRA arms shipments in the early 1970s too. But here’s an anecdote and an half…
[Talking to a former OIRA activist] he did disclose an intriguing piece of information – he said that the OIRA at this period had its own trawler.’If they wanted to get stuff into the country they would have used it,’ he said. It appears the OIRA kept the trawler for only a short period, before deciding that it was a waste of mine. A decision was made to dispose of the trawler, and the OIRA ‘navy’ was no more, according to this source’.
Sounds a bit of a shaggy dog story to me… but then, who knows?