Money from Colombia?

Nuzhound picks up this piece from the Minister of Justice who claims that there was a deal in the offing in Colombia to trade arms expertise for hard cash: “the Provisional IRA was to be paid more than $10m (€8.34m) by the Colombian Farc guerillas in return for showing them how to make bombs”. This keys back into allegations first published by the Sunday Independent back in June.

  • Oilbhear Chromaill

    You wonder whether by arguing the toss, whether you grant the argument being made some spurious legitimacy.

    Just a few questions: If it’s McD’s contention that the IRA received hard cash for ‘expertise’, the Gardai should be arresting the Colombia Three and Gerry Adams and co forthwith on conspiracy charges. The same goes for Frank Connolly.

    If not he should shut the f**k up as what he’s saying is prejudicing any chance of this ‘evidence’ being tested in court, which, I suspect, is his main intention. (The PDs have past form on this point, Mary Harney famously put her foot in her mouth (in an interview with the Irish Indo, coincidentally) and as a result all charges against Charles Haughey had to be dropped.)

  • Betty Boo

    Was it not mortar “experience” the last time it came up?

  • Personally I find it hard to believe such allegations. The IRA training a force who have been fighting for 4 decades and who are probably better trained, equipped and financed than the IRA ever were?? It just doesn’t make sense IMO.

  • What’s the fuss?
    Brits and Yanks sell weapons to virtually anyone, and train soldiers abroad to kill.
    The IRA have skills to offer, they probably discovered the job on the internet and applied.

  • Mick Fealty

    Without some thorough independent investigation into these allegations, people will be free to believe what comes easiest for them. This Sunday Times piece noted techniques emerged in Colombia after the arrival of the Colombia Three.

  • Mickhall

    Leaving aside TOTALLY Mr O’Dowell, as there does come a time as
    Oilbhear Chromaill said when one does not wish to give any legitimacy to the Ministers alleged crimes. But what much of the media debate on this matter has exposed, is how little these people understand those who come to their politics from a progressive or anti imperialist angle.

    Just because many mainstream politicians and journalists would do very little unless it advances their careers or their palm has been crossed with silver, they simply find it incomprehensible anyone else might. There attitude reminds me of the English ruling class when the Cambridge spy ring was active within British Intelligence, the Foreign Office and BBC. That Philby and Co sided with the Soviets out of ideology and a hatred of the injustices within Britain, seems never to have occurred to this ruling elite, after all they surmised as all five came from the British ruling classes’ a life time of riley, living high on the hog was before them, only a fool would turn their backs on this and side with the great unwashed. Incidentally in a different way they showed the same attitude to Roger Casement and Erskine Childers, although as both men fought them openly as Irish Republican, the wretched English ruling class showed its true colour’s and hated them with a vengeance. But it was never the less a hatred based on an inability to place themselves in either men’s shoes.

    There are and always have been people who will cross oceans to offer what help they can to enhance the cause of the dispossessed and for no other reason that international solidarity. Without such help for example the ANC would not have survived as a fighting organization. What ever some may think of him the likes of Muammar Qadhafi [Gaddafi] did not give support to militants of the Spear of the Nation on the understanding they would murder his political opponents in return for millions of dinar’s. It was given for two reasons one he felt apartheid was wrong and secondly there may come a time when Mandela or his successor organization gains power. To Mandela’s credit and the worlds benefit on becoming SA President he refused to turn his back on the Libyan as the US and Britain insisted he do; and in the process convinced the West there was a better way in dealing with Muammar Qadhafi.

    From the days of Mazzini and Garibaldi and before, the two great Revolutions of the 20th century in Mexico and Russia, the Spanish civil war and the post WW2 anti imperialist explosion within the third world. There has always been like minded people from across the globe who have sought each other out and given common assistance. Equally so there has always been media talk of millions of dollars/ pounds/ gold coin being their motivating factor. The fact is amongst such people it was clearly understood, a victory for one is a victory for all; and this is as true today as it ever was hence my example of Mandela and Libya.

    The interesting thing about all of this is when such people returned home, if they were lucky enough to have survived, few if any lived on their return in luxury. So if there ever was any US, Mexican, Russian, etc gold as the media of the day claimed with such certainty one wonders what happened to it? As to the media, they were no longer interested, as they had long moved on to spin more fantastic tales in the interest of their masters. I will finish with a quote from Harold Pinter’s Noble Prize acceptance speech which for me sums up todays world perfectly.

    “The majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are
    interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of power.
    To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in
    ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of
    their own lives. What surrounds us, therefore, is a vast tapestry of
    lies, upon which we feed.”

    Harold Pinter

  • “This Sunday Times piece noted techniques emerged in Colombia after the arrival of the Colombia Three”

    Testimony from the trial in colombia;

    “the weaponry used by the IRA and FARC are vastly different, having to do with the diameter of the mortars, the different types of propellants used and different types of detonating devices.” – Dr Keith Borer’s testiony during the trial of the Colombia three in bogota.

    The question then is who has the lesser agenda, a paper that has consistently attacked republicans over the years or a leading scientist who has independent testimony has even been used against republicans, most famously in the hyde park bombings case.

    Dr Borer’s cv.

  • Your link is FUBAR, Mick.

    FARC started using gas cylinder bombs in February of 2001 and these guys were picked up in mid-August 2001 after spending five weeks incountry. FARC was thus using the gas cylinder bombs for four months before this group of republicans arrived. Perhaps the three came to resolve a patent dispute, although it probably was a technology transfer as charged. Since the trial testemony stated that the FARC devices were better stabilized, I’d wonder who was teaching whom. .Just the same, the tactician in me that is hell bent on survival knows that a couple of 81mm’s with forward observers could do a “better” job than those klutzy gas cylinder mortars.

    I just cannot understand what revolutionary fervor would cause anyone to use such a tacky weapon when 81’s and 120’s are available in Cuba. This world is hip deep in homicidal knuckleheads.

  • The Devil

    Standard military motars are indeed extremly effective with repeated rounds being fired. However with the improvised motars that the PIRA had perfected instead of having to put in place and maintain a firing team (very risky) to ensure substansial damage to any given target, up to twenty times as much damage can be done with a single “barrack Buster” motar with the added bonus of no repeated zoning and firing warning being afforded to the personnel of the target area thus ensuring a higher body count.

    PIRA were decaded ahead of any, repeat any unoffical military organisation. So to say that FARC were training them is a silly childish nonsense which only trivialises any arguement that a poster would be making.

    The figure of $10,000,000 is pretty to look at and to quote but over exaggerated, but the sums involved were still seven figured in sterling. The strangest thing is that Farc is solely financed from the sale of cocaine and yet here is the Sinn Fein coffers being lined with drug money at the same time as their “DA” was executing ten quid a time blow monkeys and not one Shinner has seen the hypocrisy of it.

  • elfinto

    Game set and match to Hensons. Dr Borer’s evidence debunks the anti-republican propaganda.

  • Shay Begorrah

    How many times are we going to have go through this technology smuggling nonsense?

    4 days ago I said the same thing as Mr Henson:

    I am sure after the initial acquital it was mentioned here as well.

    Why does this tired old chesnut keeps coming up (the web is full of it, 603 google matches for FARC IRA mortar) despite having been throuroughly debunked at the trial?

    The three gentlemen may well have been swapping revolutionary anecdotes with FARC but military technology (as opposed perhaps to hints on urban warfare?) was not being swapped as far as anyone can tell.

    The story is a plant, let it go.

  • The Devil

    “However with the improvised motars that the PIRA had perfected instead of having to put in place and maintain a firing team (very risky) to ensure substansial damage to any given target, up to twenty times as much damage can be done with a single “barrack Buster” motar with the added bonus of no repeated zoning and firing warning being afforded to the personnel of the target area thus ensuring a higher body count.”

    I disagree. A mortar team can set up and fire off a couple of rounds and be out of there before the first round has even fallen. An 81mm mortar crew could fire off about 20 rounds in a minuite and be spot on target from over 5km away. A “barrack buster” MIGHT hit the target, but then again it might miss completely, from up to 300 yds.

  • Oilbhear Chromaill

    I’m happy in a way this thread has started – but not with the manner in which my opening salvo was censored. I’ll say what I said again anytime, anyplace. I believe the Sunday Independent and its journalists are responsible singledhandedly for the decline of Irish journalism. And I think it’s wrong not to mention the Liam Lawlor incident, where they got it spectacularly wrong to the point that one wonders why any respectable politician would have anything to do with them.
    I’m happy this thread got started because the lie has been nailed here once and for all by some of the posters that a) Farc learned weapons technology from the IRA b)Or that the technology was in any way similar. The Sunday Times and other fantasy mags have been talking about fuel-air bombs etc for ages as if it were fact that the IRA had been a) using these themselves and b) training others in their use in the jungle. Crap and further crap. The only military hardware training going on in Colombia is by US military advisers, whose presence is proven, and it’s being given to Colombian right wing terrorists, who’re up to their ears in cocaine, as it happens.
    I hope that Mick no longer gives sluggerspace to such claims in the future given their comprehensive demolition by hensons and Smiling Jim.
    And finally, one more time, the Sunday Independent – it doesn’t have credibility as toilet paper, never mind as a newspaper. LIAM LAWLOR, LIAM LAWLOR, LIAM LAWLOR… infinitum.

  • The gas cylinder mortar is a crime against humanity. I think so and Human Rights Watch does as well. The gawdawful things just cannot hit the broad side of a barn and end up missing the police barracks completely and wasting the civilian population.

    Five or six men on foot (one carries the 81mm tube, one the base plate and two, maybe three, carry ammo) with one forward observer/ammo carrier will drop 30 nine pound rounds on target over three miles away in two minutes (tube overheats if you rush it) after the observer walks in the first two or rounds. Alternatively three men in a Japanese pickup can unload & set up a 120mm mortar in 20-30 minutes, drop 14-15 29 pound rounds per minute down the tube before it overheats too and boogie out 10 minutes later before the FAC is overhead while all hell is breaking loose 4.5 miles away. In both cases you retire with your weapons intact.

    You’ve just killed twenty or thirty 20 year old kids in uniform and made ash of their parent’s remaining lives but you’ve spared a churchful of 119 men, women and children