CHAPTER 1-OUR TRADITION
No nation has a greater tradition of guerrilla warfare than Ireland. Our history is full of examples of its successful use. We have produced some fine guerrilla leaders whose true qualities have never been fully assessed.
Their strength lay in the support they received from the Irish people. In the final analysis it was the people who bore the enemy's reprisals. Whoever betrayed the cause, or gave up the fight, or suffered loss of spirit, it was seldom the people.
KERNE OF OLD
The kerne of old were lightly armed foot soldiers. Their tactics were of the skirmishing kind. They harassed the Normans. In open or positional warfare they had no hope of breaching the defences of the strongly-armed, iron-clad Normans. Art Og MacMorrough Kavanagh was a typical guerrilla leader of his period. Richard II of England came twice with large armies to subdue him (1394 and 1399) and never succeeded. Another was Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne and yet a third Leinster leader was Rory O'More. The O'Byrne's great victory at Glenmalure followed the strict application of guerrilla tactics. Ulster produced its quota of which Shane (the Proud) O'Neill was only one. The English leader Sydney paid him a fine tribute when he said: "He armeth and weaponeth all the peasants of his country, the first that ever did so of an Irishman." But it was left to the finest military leader Irish history has produced, Hugh (the Great) O'Neill, to understand fully the potentialities of guerrilla warfare. He proved it too or 9 years.
Military Manuals IRA Handbook 2015-01-27
HANDBOOK FOR VOLUNTEERS OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY NOTES ON GUERRILLA WARFARE