Thursday, March 31, 2005


Official IRA/UVF Meetings

In chapter 7 of Joe Tierney's great book, The Dublin And Monaghan Bombings And The Murder Triangle, he writes about an interview he held with veteran republican Cathal Goulding who had close contacts with the UVF throughout the early years of the 1970s. The following is Tierney's account on pages 146/147:

"For a time senior figures in the UVF such as Gusty Spence, Ken Gibson and its leader Jim Hanna (no relation to Billy Hanna) expressed an interest in socialism and they believed they and the Officials had many things in common. In August 1973 a meeting to discuss such issues was held in the West County Hotel outside Dublin, attended by high-powered delegations from both organisations. The meeting, which was top secret, lasted all day and was held in a conference room in the hotel. The Official IRA delegation was led by the party leader Thomas MacGiolla and included Goulding and Sean Garland. The UVF side was led by Jim Hanna accompanied by Billy Mitchell and other senior figures whose names Goulding could not remember. At the end of the day-long meeting the delegates repaired to the bar for drinks and some informal discussion. Towards the end of the evening, according to Goulding, Jim Hanna pulled him to one side and told him he wished to speak to him in confidence. Goulding said:

He asked me if we, the Official IRA, would be willing to carry out bank robberies here in the South and they, the UVF would claim them. Then, if we wished, they would carry out similar robberies in the North and we could claim them. He said army intelligence officers he was in contact with in the North had asked him to put the proposition to us as they were anxious to bring about a situation in the South where the Dublin government would be forced to introduce internment. When I refused to accept his proposition, as we were already on ceasefire, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Look, there's no problem. You see those car bombs in Dublin over the last year, well we planted those bombs and the army provided us with the cars. There's no problem.' When I asked him how the bombings were carried out, he said the 1972 bombs were planted in false petrol tanks in both cars. He said they travelled down the main road from Belfast to Dublin and were stopped at a Garda checkpoint at Swords [in north County Dublin] but because the cars were not reported stolen and the Gardai found nothing suspicious in them they were allowed to proceed.

Following the Goulding interview, I (Joe speaking here) spoke to former Gardai who served in Swords at the time and they confirmed that a permanent Garda checkpoint was positioned on the Dublin-Belfast road, north of Swords at the time.
Goulding said he was shocked at the proposition but because he had known Hanna and Mitchell for some time and had met them a number of times previously he decided to continue with the meetings in his efforts to bring about working-class solidarity across the two communities. However, when the big bombs exploded in Dublin and Monaghan nine months later, Goulding decided to end the contacts as he believed the UVF was not serious about socialism and that he and his colleagues were being strung along."

Extraordinary stuff yet again from Mr Tierney and I don't doubt a word of it. Clearly the British State was up to its knees in collusion and criminality and was responsible for the murder of innocent Irish civilians. It's enough to make you sick.I would recommend that you order Joe Tierney's amazing book if you can. To do so, email:


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