Hardtalk interview with Kieran Conway

I knew Kieran a bit in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when he was the main IRA person liaising with the Irish Anti-Extradition Committee, of which I was the secretary/organiser at the time.

I liked his book Southside Provo and I like his frankness in this interview.  He said he left in 1993 the night of the Downing Street Agreement.  This was the last straw for me too.

When I saw (and then read) his book earlier this year I was surprised that he had left that early as he always gave me the impression that he was a dour, politically conservative militarist.  I was really surprised to learn that he joined the IRA as someone who identified with revolutionary socialism.  And that he had a sense of humour.

One of the things that he says in this interview is that by the time of the Downing Street Agreement the IRA was beaten.  It was heavily infiltrated, boxed in and beaten.  He also mentions that no-one in the Army was supposed to say that.

It struck me at the time that the armed struggle was in a cul-de-sac and that it may well have been necessary to replace it – by the replacement needed to be militant unarmed struggle and NOT an accommodation with British imperialism, let alone being integrated into the institutions of continuing British rule in the six counties and manoeuvring into position in the establishment in the twenty-six.

Anyway, here is the interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04d5ffs 

 

 

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Posted on November 15, 2016, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Interviews, Irish politics today, Prisoners - past, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in 1970s and 1980s. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I juxtaposed Kieran Conway’s interview with one by supergrass Raymond Gilmour who died a few days afterwards. Just a little compare and contrast exercise!!

    Here you are

    https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/the-provisional-ira-and-informers-the-way-we-were/

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