Saturday 17 November 2018

As manhunt goes on, 'damage already done'

Jeremy McDermott

THE three Irishmen convicted of training Marxist rebels may have fled Colombia, but according to security forces they have left a legacy that has changed the course of the 40-year civil conflict.

"The damage is already done," said a Colombian general, on condition of anonymity. "The guerrillas have taken the lessons the IRA taught them, improved on them and employed them. And I believe the worst is yet to come."

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan are now officially on the run, not just from the Colombian authorities, but with the issue of a 'red notice', from Interpol as well. Two of the men have proven links to the IRA or, in the case of Connolly, to Sinn Fein. McCauley, 41, was convicted of firearms offences in 1985. Monaghan, 58, spent time in prison for possession of explosives in the 1970s. Connolly, 38, was Sinn Fein's representative in Cuba.

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