Photos From A 1966 IRA Training Camp

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In the mid 1960s the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ran training camps. These photographs are from one such camp held on March 1 1966.

In The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party by Brian Hanley and Scott Millar, we’re told:

The Garda Special Branch estimated that there were 48 IRA training camps in the South between February 1965 and October 1966. The camps began to reflect the new political priorities, incorpotating lectures on history and social agitation.

 

A time bomb made from hand grenade and alarm clock, at the IRA camp.  (Photo by Terrence Spencer/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

A time bomb made from hand grenade and alarm clock, at the IRA camp.

 

In The IRA 1956-69: Rethinking the Republic by Matt Treacy, we get more:

A meeting of the IRA leadership took place on February 1966 to draw up a new training programme…. Instruction was given at the camps in short arm rifles, Thompson and Bren machine guns, bazooka and explosives and there were also night exercises and firing practice. The biggest camp held in 1965 took place in Kerry… Around sixty Volunteers including some from England and Northern Ireland attended: “An unusually  large amount of ammunition was made available” and the “general feeling of those attending the camp was that an early resumpton of Border activities was likely.”

In 1966, a camp in Cavan featured training in time bombs.

 

Trainees tackeling the obsticale course,

Trainees tackeling the obsticle course

 

Were children really on the camp with the adults? These photos suggest that they were. Does any out there know any more? Were you there?

 

Thompson sub-machine gun is demonstrated

Thompson sub-machine gun is demonstrated

Time bomb made from hand grenade and ala

Time bomb made from hand grenade and alarm

Blindfolded trainees assembling weapons,

Blindfolded trainees assembling weapons

During a IRA (terrorist organization) bo

During a IRA (terrorist organization) gi