Irelands Invasion of the North

#1
Although I cannot verify its authenticy, The Times has reported that the Irish army had plans in place to "defend the catholic community" in Northern Ireland in 1969 from alleged British Army aggression. This included invading Ulster to take on the Beastly Brits.

Interesting!!

From what I can remember, the Republic's armed forces consited of a few baked bean tins on wheels and prats along the border who didn't have the bottle to confront terrorists returning to the "safety" of the Free State having carried out their dastardly deeds!!
 
#2
tartar66 said:
Although I cannot verify its authenticy, The Times has reported that the Irish army had plans in place to "defend the catholic community" in Northern Ireland in 1969 from alleged British Army aggression. This included invading Ulster to take on the Beastly Brits.

Interesting!!

From what I can remember, the Republic's armed forces consited of a few baked bean tins on wheels and prats along the border who didn't have the bottle to confront terrorists returning to the "safety" of the Free State having carried out their dastardly deeds!!
True about the first part, there was alll sorts of ideas floating about, some half arsed other full arsed., there is a TV doco coming on on TV here about it, second part maybe not so true.....the RA have killed both cops and soldiers here...

BTW update the old atlas, the "free state" hasn't existed for a few years.
 
#3
tartar66 said:
From what I can remember, the Republic's armed forces consited of a few baked bean tins on wheels and prats along the border who didn't have the bottle to confront terrorists returning to the "safety" of the Free State having carried out their dastardly deeds!!
I think that this is a rather jaundiced view of the Irish Republic's armed forces who are very able soldiers. If my memory serves me correctly there was a battalion of them in UNFICYP in the next area to the Brits and they were impressive. Maybe I didn't see as much of them as I saw of the Danes who had saunas and a seemingly unlimited supply of beer.
 
#6
Bit of poetic licence. They were considering annexing S Armagh and Derry using Coy size Battlegroups with perhaps irregulars sabotaging key points elsewhere.

Bugger all to do with 'defending the Catholics from British Army aggression'.
 
#7
duffdike said:
The UNFICYP commander was a drunken doddery old fool from Eire when I was there.
And yet he was still in command...fuck me we're good. 8)
 
#8
In 1969 I was in 8 Flt AAC.
We where the Spearhead Flt and due to support 3 LI in event of a call out.
Following the troubles after the marches of the 12th, the Spearhead Det was put on notice to move.
Then the entire 24 Inf Brigade was ordered to move by the weekend.
We deployed and landed at RAF Bellykelly just outside Londonderry.
I flew over in a 2 Sioux detachment, the Scouts flew over in a second section and I remember one guy, Larry Poultney, having to go to Wallop to collect Scout XR 601 which was in following a Tail boom and complete transmission change after our most interesting incident at the Aldershot Display.
Some years later I was serving under one of our former 8 Flt Officers and he askes if I understood why we had gone to NI fully tooled up, including all our wartime ammo, and with forward firing and waists mounts for GPMG on our Scouts.
He then explained it was because the SI gov had threatened to invade to protect the Catholic population.
john
 
#10
I remember reading somewhere the irish army said it could take derry but hold it for less than 24 hours.
 
#11
I was told later in 1970 while in Londonderry, that it was thought that the Irish could have taken the "Derry Enclave" up to the river Foyle and then asked the international comunity for support, to stop the ethnic cleansing that was going on there at that time, It would have been little more than a pain in the Arrse for the British Army but a massive political problem for the UK in world public opinion
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#12
An Irish invasion of Sovereign UK territory would not need to have been a military succes for long - just long enought to truly internationalise the 'troubles' and to ensure that the UN - and by that, read USA - got involved; which was surely Jack Lynch's main aim?

Political pressure on the UK, at a time of economic chaos and a Labour Government (the normal combination) would have been immense.
 
#13
"I take it the pension goes much further in your neck of the woods.
Mucking right, despite the 20-30% devaluation of the Pound Sterling, I can still afford a bowl of rice gruel.
john
Luxury.
 
#14
In 1969, the B Specials could have fought off the Irish Army.
 
#15
The Irish Free State ceased to exist in 1949.

It is important to remember that we are talking about before British troops were deployed onto the North's streets and the bulk of the British Army was the BAOR.
 
#16
This old chestnut keeps coming up every time someone remembers Jack Lynch's "we will not stand idly by" comment, which in itself shows the complete disconnect from reality that every Irish government in history has shown with respect to defence - either the need to provide for it, or the mistaken ideas of what could be done with an expenditure amounting to pocket change.

The army, as ordered, came up with a plan and plastered all over it caveats to the effect of "We'll do what we can if you order it, but you'd better realise the sh!tstorm that follows will be a disaster - because it's all or nothing".
you'll find a brief summary here

What everyone needs to realise is that the history of Ireland's Defence Forces since independence has been the story of a Department of Finance methodically ensuring, with the active participation of the Department of Defence, that the defence forces would never be capable of any such thing. Likely this originated with fear of military influence in the government in the early days of the state, but it became a habit.
The only thing amounting to a defence plan in the history of the state was compiled in 1934 and rejected on the basis that Finance thought it ridiculous to even pretend to have one, and the notion of actually equipping the army to do anything more than parade never got attention until 1939, when De Valera started begging Britain to sell him second hand stuff.

Bottom line? Some hotheads in Government, just like on September 3 1939, belatedly thought "we probably should do something, our interests appear to be at issue" and the DF, pointedly underlining the utter lack of numbers or equipment available, sent back a plan that looked more like a suicide note.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#17
In 1969, the spearhead unit of RGJ were moved to Palace barracks at 4 hours notice, to reinforce the rear party of a unit that had gone to BG. We didn't understand, at the beginning, why we had been moved, but after a week were briefed that there may be some problems emanating from the south and we were there to put on a display of strength.
 
#18
tropper66 said:
I was told later in 1970 while in Londonderry, that it was thought that the Irish could have taken the "Derry Enclave" up to the river Foyle and then asked the international comunity for support, to stop the ethnic cleansing that was going on there at that time, It would have been little more than a pain in the Arrse for the British Army but a massive political problem for the UK in world public opinion
The "Ethnic cleansing" going on in Londonderry then was the wholesale destruction of protestant owned businesses ( and the businesses of what were once called "castle catholics"). For example I witnessed on one hectic afternoon the destruction of five long established and respectable family owned retail establishments (by condom/cassette/acid incendiaries).

This was nothing however to what McGuinness achieved in the next few years
The "ethnic cleansing" of protestants was happening then and is still continuing.
 
#19
irlsgt said:
The Irish Free State ceased to exist in 1949.

It is important to remember that we are talking about before British troops were deployed onto the North's streets and the bulk of the British Army was the BAOR.
Errr - no!

In 1969 we had a Parchute Brigade that could actually parachute in with all supporting Arms and Services!

3 Div was in the UK as part of the Strategic Reserve with 5, 19 and 24 Brigades as well as supporting armour (includinga a Chieftain Regiment) and logistics services with the capability to actually establish and run an airhead.

We also had 3 Commando Brigade.

But as our Southern Irish colleagues have already stated - a load of nonsense! Must be a slow week in the news organisations to resurrect this old chesnut :D
 

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