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IRA strategist Brian Keenan - "the single biggest threat to the British state" - interviewed by An Phoblacht this Thursday

9 April, 2008

AN PHOBLACHT, the Sinn Féin weekly published on Thursday, carries the third and final instalment of a rare interview with former IRA leader Brian Keenan, described during the war years by Tony Blair's Chief of Staff at 10 Downing Street as "the single biggest threat to the British state".

Brian Keenan joined the IRA in 1968. In the intervening 40 years he became one of the IRA's foremost strategists.

In this week's instalment, Brian Keenan talks to columnist Jim Gibney about how the IRA sustained a heroic guerrilla campaign against one of the most powerful nations in the world for decades until a viable alternative for political progress was presented.

And this leading exponent of the most successful IRA campaign since the 1920s has a message for those who cling to armed struggle as a principle rather than a tactic.

v Excerpts from this week's interview with Brian Keenan:-

'The Army leadership began to think more strategically and politically. It was out of this thinking that, by 1973, the 'Long War Strategy' took shape'

'We aimed to exhaust the patience of the British through war in the Six Counties and subsequently the campaign in England'

'To operate in England was very demanding on IRA Volunteers and a huge drain on the IRA's resources but the dividend was worth the effort'

'Of 82 Volunteers interviewed to go, the IRA selected only four'


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