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Low flying British Army helicopter activity hospitalises 15 year-old girl

14 February, 2008


Sinn Féin MLA for Mid-Ulster, Francie Molloy has voiced his concerns about the upsurge in low-flying British Army helicopter activity in the Bellaghy and Portglenone area.

He made his comments after a 15 year-old-girl from the townland of Culbann near Portglenone was thrown off her horse as a result of low flying helicopter hovering over her family home yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 13 February). She received neck, back and leg injuries. Aine had to remain in Antrim Area Hospital until 11pm last night before being allowed home.

Mr Molloy said:

"Aine's injuries could have been fatal. They were due to these reckless British Army training manoeuvres which are taking place on a regular basis along the stretch of the river Bann which runs from Toome to Portglenone. We have been informed that these routine manoeuvres are in preparation for British military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Local Sinn Féin councillor, Ian Milne said:

"Our offices in Gulladuff have been inundated with complaints from people in the neighbouring parishes of Greenlough, Bellaghy and Lavey in recent weeks about low-flying British Army helicopter activity which takes place mostly at night just when young families are trying to settle down for a night's sleep.

"There have been meetings regarding this with British civil representatives as well as complaints lodged. The rights of Irish people are obviously being denied when we see what happened yesterday afternoon in Culbann. These manoeuvres must end before they result in tragedy." ENDS

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