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Joe Cahill, Figure in Modern IRA, Dies

Joe Cahill, a founding father of the modern Irish Republican Army who once narrowly avoided the hangman’s noose, has died, the IRA-linked Sinn Fein party announced Saturday. He was 84. Cahill died Friday in his Belfast home after suffering for years from asbestosis, a lung-ravaging condition he acquired while working in Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyards in the 1950s. Cahill was the first Belfast commander of the modern “Provisional” wing of the IRA founded in December 1969, the year that Northern Ireland descended into decades of civil unrest. He was also the principal mentor of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, who, as an IRA member, served under Cahill’s direct command in the early 1970s, when the IRA began killing British soldiers and police and bombing towns and cities in Northern Ireland and England. Full Story

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