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Noraid

#1
I remember when I was very young, my Grandmother refusing to take us to McDonalds as apparently 1p in every £1 went to the IRA (utter tripe I suspect!)

But to those of us who were not around during the troubles, what exactly was NORAID? Was it just a collection made in a few Irish pubs in Boston sent to NI, or was it more organised, did it run deeper into US society?
 
#2
I remember when I was very young, my Grandmother refusing to take us to McDonalds as apparently 1p in every £1 went to the IRA (utter tripe I suspect!)
I believe that some franchises in the US did support Noraid which is where the story came from but I will stand corrected if somebody can enlighten us further.
It was credible enough way back then to ensure I've never eaten in a MacDonalds. I've never felt inclined to try one since.

As I understand it, Noraid were active in sheltering IRA members who legged it to the USA as well as raising a signifcant amount of money. I don't know how active they were in buying weapons in the US butI would imagine they weren't shy about it.
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#4
IRA in US terms is a form of taxation. So the story snowballed that MacDs was funding the IRA, well yes but it is not the PIRA etc but a US Tax Fund.

NORAID was part of a wider Republican campaign to garner support outside of NI/6 counties (viewpoint depending) and to use that support for either logistical support or to apply political pressure on the UK government. In NORAIDs case it was both, access to weapons, funding, safe havens, safe working places to conduct business with others "in the trade" and to use the US Irish community to apply pressure via their political parties (see Ted Kennedy for examples of this in action).

In some areas it worked, the political pressure aspect for example, but in others it did more harm. Weapons buys were FBI stings and it was argued that money and time was wasted pursuing them when those arms could have been sourced elsewhere. THe save haven aspect was interesting and again as so much in life had success and failure. The FBI, contrite to what many think, had good successes against the PIRA in the US and was the one part of the FBI that ran what we would now understand to be CT operations.

The money raised by NORAID was either big ticket donations or money tin rattles. But it was less about the money but more about the political pressure.

Many were duped by NORAID and believed the "oppressed" stories and tales told of life in NI. Like many today who are useful idiots for extremist groups some had their emotions played with and supported something they never fully understood.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
PIRA were succesful in the application of NORAID influence to some degree in that they did get supplies (albeit limited) of weapons and ammo through that network. The barrett and the Armalites they were using were source via NORAID conacts were they not?

It's interesting to note that the bête noire of US/UK relations at this time, Colonel Gadaffi, was working with PIRA to supply arms and ammunition by the boat-load at the same time as PIRA were being supported, funded and armed by US citizens via NORAID.

Megrahi kind of shrinks in significance when viewed in the light of 25 years of 'troubles' and terrorism, costing thousands of lives.
 
#7
It's interesting to note that the bête noire of US/UK relations at this time, Colonel Gadaffi, was working with PIRA to supply arms and ammunition by the boat-load at the same time as PIRA were being supported, funded and armed by US citizens via NORAID.

Megrahi kind of shrinks in significance when viewed in the light of 25 years of 'troubles' and terrorism, costing thousands of lives.
come now - you don't expect our american friends to act consistently do you? terrorism was fine as long as it didnt affect them... and like a reformed smoker, after 9/11 they are now the world police against terrorism.

ah well. at least they came round in the end, even if it was decades too late. the war on terrorism is not the first war they've been late to, and it won't be the last.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Did it enjoy any patronage & funding at a high political level? Or was it mostly Boston police officers passing around a kitty for the cause?
It received the patronage of the Kennedy clan as well as Clinton, which resulted in better funding from a more wealth-diverse bunch of setpic.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
As the United States was born out of terrorism, you would hardly expect anything otherwise but for them to be easily seduced by misleading Irish moonshine.
 
#11
A few comments re NORAID in the Boston area. As I am from Boston area (Cambridge) and my surname starts with "O'C" I have avoided these threads as I did not want to be labeled a "tin-rattling plastic paddy" which I definitely an not. I am posting to clarify a few points.

NORAID became visible (at least to me) in Boston around the time that internment began in NI. The pretext for collections was that it was to support families in which the wage earner had been interned. I was a university student at the time and two fellow students were collecting for NORAID. Both were arrested by the FBI and charged with failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. IIRC, neither had jail time but fines and probation. One had an uncle in the Longshoremens Union and through him had a highly paying night job loading and unloading ships and lost that job and access to the docks. Support for NORAID was a lot less widespread that some here think. As to the comments about BPD officers, i knew a lot of BPD officers and never heard of NORAID supporters there. Not saying it didn't happen but I never saw or heard about it.

As to Armalites and Baretts; Barretts did not exist then if you are talking about the .50BMG guns, don't think they came along until the late 80's. A large number of M 16's and several M 60's were stolen from a National Guard facility in Danvers, a community north of Boston and smuggled to NI. This did not involve NORAID. Another fellow student was both a member of the National Guard who trained in Danvers and a member of the Weathermen, a radical left wing group. A few days after the Danvers theft he left school and Boston and deserted the National Guard for Canada. The guns were allegedly smuggled out by a Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger. Whitey was and probably still is an evil vicious killer. He has been a fugitive for many years but supposedly had bank accounts in both Ireland and the UK. FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive - James J. Bulger If you look at the link and should see the man call the US Embassy and you might get a $2 million reward from the FBI and do the world a favo(u)r also. He is elderly now but I am sure still evil.
 
#12
David, my comment about the BPD was not intended to cause offence, but was a sweeping stereotype of Irish-Americans and I only picked them and that scenario to demonstrate our view of the lowest rung on the ladder of support for NORAID. Sorry!

Was Whitey Bulger an IRA supporter then or just an opportunist looking for a business deal when he smuggled weapons to NI?
 
#13
NORAID wasn't just confined to the typically Irish areas of America i.e Boston. I distinctly remember donating in San Jose during an exercise in California. The dollar was worth it as the bird collecting was ******* stunning. I used her mouth as an arctic sock later on that night. Best money I ever spent.
 
#15
Noraid, ask Most Americans and they will have no idea what it is, they'll likely think its like Farm-Aid or something similar. This British myth that it was US policy or that It had tremendous support is really a sad joke, almost hysteric in its propagation. Do you really think if the US wholeheartedy supported the PIRA that a Brick would be standing in the UK unmolested?


Honestly?

My Question is when I see AR-180's in PIRA Hands and the rifle was being built in the UK by Sterling in Essex (1976-mid 80's) how did PIRA get them?



Were US Guns sent to the PIRA? You bet your ass they were. You'll find some people will do anything for a Buck or a cause, not neccessarily Irish. Mafia, Marxists, Micks, would all trip over themselves to smuggle weapons, be it for Money, Revolution of the Proleteriat, or Nationalism.

If it had massive US Support, you would have been inundated with enough firepower to kill anyone in the way. Instead small job lots of stolen Weapons (by the way after the robbery David BOC mentioned bolts & even firing pins (M1911A1s)had to be stored seperately in another alarmed vault for ARNG units (JSIDS). Strawman purchases which would still trace back to the Buyer via 4473 forms.

M1921 Thompsons? since US Issue had the Cutts Compensator and horizontal foregrip they either were shipped in the 20's-30's or UK lend lease.

Anyhow just wanted to inject some facts into this circle jerk before the mass snowballing among you starts
 
#16
David, my comment about the BPD was not intended to cause offence, but was a sweeping stereotype of Irish-Americans and I only picked them and that scenario to demonstrate our view of the lowest rung on the ladder of support for NORAID. Sorry!

Was Whitey Bulger an IRA supporter then or just an opportunist looking for a business deal when he smuggled weapons to NI?
Blonde Guy:

No offence, I expected a bit of incoming mentioning that I was from Boston area.

As to Whitey all I can say is that Whitey Bulger is a Whitey Bulger supporter...period!! He does stuff that benefits him. He did try to get a bit of a Robin Hood image though. He was known to support animal charities. A number of years ago he was on the run in a poor area of Louisiana and gave a ride to a young woman walking with groceries. He saw her again a few days later and asked why she shopped for food so often and she told him her fridge was broken. He had a new fridge delivered to her. Don't let it fool you, he is evil. Look at the link above; 19 murder indictments, some he did personally.

I do think that the idea of broad support for NORAID is a bit of a myth and stereotype in the UK. They never were that well known and popular. As to guns from the US, most weaons came out of the port of New York where the Longshoremans Union has a reputation for being corrupt.

Based on what I know of the ARNG soldier/ Weatherman suspect on the Danvers guns he was of English and Greek ancestry. He did it as a Marxist, not for ethnic reasons.
 
#17
If it had massive US Support, you would have been inundated with enough firepower to kill anyone in the way. Instead small job lots of stolen Weapons (by the way after the robbery David BOC mentioned bolts & even firing pins (M1911A1s)had to be stored seperately in another alarmed vault for ARNG units (JSIDS). Strawman purchases which would still trace back to the Buyer via 4473 forms.
It was not only ARNG units that were hit. USAR units that had weapons were also targeted. In one instance Puerto Rican separatists targeted an Army Guard arms room in Oak Creek, WI. They did not succeed but it was a good wake-up call. Bolts and firing pins of unit weapons were stored in a separate alarmed vault from the one in which the weapons were kept. This security measure was required for both Guard (State-run) and Reserve (Federal) units.
 
#18
Noraid, ask Most Americans and they will have no idea what it is, they'll likely think its like Farm-Aid or something similar. This British myth that it was US policy or that It had tremendous support is really a sad joke, almost hysteric in its propagation. Do you really think if the US wholeheartedy supported the PIRA that a Brick would be standing in the UK unmolested?


Honestly?
Nice to see you maintaining your usual balance there Goldbricker.
What makes you think the USA could achieve what the whole German war machine failed to do? Honestly?
Its a diversionary an non-sensical argument. Can we stick to sensible discussion rather than you puffing your chest out and informing us all how the mighty USA would have crushed puny Britain if they had the desire?
 
#19
I remamber seeing Kennedy on a "fact finding tour" being stopped in a VCP on the news. The full screw in charge gave him a hard time - brilliant.
He was then filmed at the Divis where a "show of force" was presented.
Two PIRA with rifles.
They were both holding (very obviously) plastic toys.
Priceless!!!
 
#20
I was in a pub (ok a bar) in Boston Mass in ..... hmm bloody hell when was that, must have been before Belize so prolly 74 ish. In came a bunch of people with a large bucket in which there was a couple of inches of coins and notes, they asked for money, I declined to donate and got some abuse for my accent. I was with some lovely American people who were hosting me so I refrained from smiting the collectors hip and thigh.

But the sympathisers were certainly collecting and on many occasions I was asked by concerned Americans why we didn't give up the colony in Ireland and set our slaves free.
 

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