Let me preface this with everything you are about to read is unsubstantiated, this may be a made up story, and, as far as I know, anyone that can verify or deny is dead or incapable of comment. So here it is.
It was in 1976 during the Waiahole/Waikane valley’s “takeover” that the first rumors were heard. And they were deeply disturbing. In the early 70’s the Hawaiian sovereignty movement began to gather speed and notice.
At this time there were a considerable number of Nam vet’s living in Hawaii, and the tales of AK-47 and M-16 “souvenirs” were plentiful. There were even a few arrests concerning some of these weapons. The fact that Air America cargo planes were often seen at the Lagoon hangers really didn’t do anything to quiet rumors of illegal freight coming through the Aloha State.
Of course, the Irish had been battling the British for several hundred years, but during this time period, it was very heated. Stories of IRA trained men and women going worldwide and spreading “the troubles” were told almost weekly in the news rooms across the world.
At first is was just the story of some tourists with funny accents wandering around Waiahole. Then the HPD intel unit came up with a disturbing bit of information. There was a group of Irish Republican Army “soldiers” in Hawaii to talk with the sovereignty leaders. The story varied in there were either 5 or 7 members visiting. What was consistent that there were 2 women involved, and all were said to have heavy Irish accents.
Their sell was simple, they wanted the Hawaiian movement to adopt violence in their effort to get the Hawaiian people recognized. With the large military and federal presence in Hawaii, targets were plentiful. Once the violence started the next step would be decided by the response.
If the U.S. government responded with violence, such as the Brit Army had done, the Hawaiian’s would go to the U.N. and saying, “OH look at how the United States is suppressing us. Oh, please help us”. Then the IRA would vote to support Hawaii, ask the UN to step in, and then demand the UN give Ireland the same assistance.
If the U.S did not respond, and instead choose to sit at the table with the Movement and try to come to terms, well the IRA would again go to the UN and demand the Brit’s do the same thing. To them it was a win-win situation.
What they didn’t count on was the response they did get. The Chief of Police, himself of Hawaiian descent, promptly put a “no news what so ever” blanket on the whole thing. Members of the intel unit were given 1 task, find the Irish. It was said the chief told the members of the press, if one word was leaked to the public, the leaker would have to find employment elsewhere, like Antarctica. Line cops were told there was no such thing happening and to avoid any confrontation with the sovereignty people.
And everything pretty much died from there. The State of Hawaii made a deal with the residents of the two valley’s, the occupier’s moved on, and nothing was ever heard from or about the “Irish”.
Is/was the story true? Unknown. If it were true, what happened to the IRA members? Again, unknown. There has never been any claim by the IRA that they were or weren’t in Hawaii.
What do I think? I try not to, it hurts. As I said, this whole story is what I heard and totally unsubstantiated. Make up your own mind.