Other people’s gunrunners
Assemblyman Joe Cryan is the former Chairman of the Democrat Party in New Jersey and an avowed supporter of the Irish Republican Army (a 2006 New York Times story notes that he has a photo of IRA leaders on his office wall). In 2007, Cryan and other New Jersey politicians were praised by the Vice President of the political arm of the IRA for their past support and for their “political influence brought to bear during a crucial time in the 1980s and 1990s.” That’s a direct reference to “The Troubles”, a time of IRA gunrunning of fully automatic “assault rifles” and other weaponry.
Of course, the weapons the IRA used were military grade and fully automatic - and the IRA was itself involved in criminal activities in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Somehow these fully automatic weapons in the hands of a criminal enterprise was okay. Today, in front of the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee, some of these same elected Democrats will argue for a ban of semi-automatic “assault style” weapons in the hands of innocent law-abiding citizens.
Assemblyman Cryan’s activism on behalf of the IRA is a family affair. His late father, the former Sheriff of Essex County, is honored by an Irish Republican website that provides the following biography:
“John (Cryan) entered government service initially as a Commissioner of the Newark Parking Authority. In November 1965 he was elected a member of the New Jersey General Assembly where he served until his appointment as Essex County Under sheriff in March 1967. Later he was elected Sheriff of Essex County, New Jersey largest county in November 1970 and he served for nine years.
At the onset of the renewed freedom struggle in Ireland in the late 1960s, a number of organizations in New Jersey commenced campaigning for an end to the corruptive British presence in Ireland and started raising money for the dependants of the ever-increasing numbers of Irish political prisoner. John Cryan support was critical to the success of these events throughout NJ.
In 1974 the US. Government, bowing to British pressure, introduced a policy of denying entry visas to proponents of Eire Nua including O’Brádaigh and Ó Conaill. This Visa denial policy was a bone of contention and a rallying point for Irish American activists directed by John Cryan a close friend of Peter Rodino, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.”
What was Eire Nua? Wikipedia provides this account of it:
Éire Nua, or “New Ireland”, was a political strategy of the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin during the 1970s and early 1980s. It was particularly associated with the Dublin-based leadership group centred around Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and Dáithí Ó Conaill, who were the authors of the policy. Éire Nua remains the policy of Republican Sinn Féin.
Éire Nua envisaged an all-Ireland republic that would be created when the British withdrew from Northern Ireland. It also involved the dissolution of the existing Republic of Ireland, which republicans of that era considered an illegitimate entity imposed by the British in 1922. Under Éire Nua, Ireland would become a federal state, with parliaments for each of its four provinces as well as a central parliament based in Athlone.
The entry states that is was “a political strategy of the Provisional IRA“. Who were they?
“The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) (Irish: Óglaigh na hÉireann) is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion.”
“The IRA’s initial strategy was to use force to cause the collapse of the Northern Ireland administration and to inflict enough casualties on the British forces that the British government would be forced by public opinion to withdraw from the region. This policy involved recruitment of volunteers, increasing after Bloody Sunday, and launching attacks against British military and economic targets. The campaign was supported by arms and funding from Libya and from some groups in the United States. The IRA agreed to a ceasefire in February 1975, which lasted nearly a year before the IRA concluded that the British were drawing them into politics without offering any guarantees in relation to the IRA’s goals, and hopes of a quick victory receded. As a result, the IRA launched a new strategy known as “the Long War”. This saw them conduct a war of attrition against the British and increase emphasis on political activity, via the political party Sinn Féin.”
“The IRA’s armed campaign, primarily in Northern Ireland but also in England and mainland Europe, caused the deaths of approximately 1,800 people. The dead included around 1,100 members of the British security forces, and about 630 civilians. The IRA itself lost 275-300 members, of an estimated 10,000 total over the thirty-year period.”
The entry states: “Éire Nua remains the policy of Republican Sinn Féin.” Who are they?
Republican Sinn Féin or RSF (Irish: Sinn Féin Poblachtach) is an unregistered minor political party operating in Ireland. It emerged in 1986 as a result of a split in Sinn Féin. The party views itself as representing “true” or “traditional” Irish republicanism, while in the mainstream media the party is portrayed as a political expression of “dissident republicanism”. Republican Sinn Féin refuses to reject the use of political violence (see physical force Irish republicanism) and has been linked to the Continuity Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Okay all you gun-controller wannabes out there: Are you getting a little uncomfortable with this?
And who are those two guys that benefitted from the political muscle of Cryan’s family?
“Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (born 2 October 1932) is an Irish republican. He is a former chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), former president of Sinn Féin and former president of Republican Sinn Féin.”
“On 13 August 1955, Ó Brádaigh led a ten-member IRA group in an arms raid on Hazebrouck Barracks, near Arborfield, Berkshire. It was a depot for the No 5 Radar Training Battalion of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. It was the biggest IRA arms raid in Britain and netted 48,000 rounds of .303 ammunition, 38,000 9 mm rounds, 1,300 rounds for .380 weapons, and 1,300 .22 rounds. In addition, a selection of arms were seized, including 55 Sten guns, two Bren guns, two .303 rifles and one .38 pistol. Most if not all of the weapons were recovered in a relatively short period of time. A van, travelling too fast, was stopped by the police and IRA personnel were arrested. Careful police work led to weapons that had been transported in a second van and stored in London.”
“As an IRA General Headquarters Staff (GHQ) officer, Ó Brádaigh was responsible for training the Teeling Column (one of the four armed units prepared for the Campaign) in the West of Ireland. During the Campaign, he served as second in command of the Teeling Column. On 30 December 1956, he partook in the Teeling Column attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary barracks in Derrylin, County Fermanagh. RUC Constable John Scally was killed in the attack; Scally was the first fatality of the new IRA campaign.”
The head of a militia-style political group that believes in violence, stealing and trafficking fully automatic machine guns and ammunition, and being the accomplice in the murder of a police officer. Charming.
Now here’s the other one:
“Dáithí Ó Conaill (1938 - 1 January 1991) was an Irish republican, a member of the IRA Army Council, vice-president of Sinn Féin and Republican Sinn Féin. He was also the first chief of staff of the Continuity IRA.”
“Ó Conaill helped form the Provisional IRA after the 1969 IRA split, served on the first Provisional IRA Army Council, and was the Provisional IRA’s Director of Publicity. In 1970 he travelled to New York and was instrumental in establishing Irish Northern Aid or NORAID, which raised funds for the Provisionals.
In 1971, he travelled to Prague and purchased 4.5 tons of small arms from the Czechoslovakia state arms marketing company, Omnipol. The consignment was later seized in the Netherlands.”
Yet another poster child for gun control. By the way, what is the Continuity IRA?
The Continuity Irish Republican Army, otherwise known as the Continuity IRA (CIRA), is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation that aims to bring about a united Ireland. It emerged from a split in the Provisional IRA in 1986 but did not become active until the Provisional IRA ceasefire of 1994. It is an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland and is designated a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Wow, that is some company you are keeping.
While giving aid and comfort to genuine threats, some in New Jersey’s political class want to disarm innocent law-abiding citizens. This is asinine, it is crazy, it is something you would expect from people who hang around with groups like. . .
Assemblyman Cryan, clean up your act before preaching to the innocent and law-abiding.
You can follow Rob Eichmann on Twitter: Follow @RobEichmannNJ