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Final British Watchtowers being removed - Conor Murphy

3 April, 2006

Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy has today welcomed the beginning of the demilitarization of the remaining British Army watchtowers in South Armagh and called for the completion of the process as speedily as possible. Mr. Murphy said that local people also needed to be assured that the British Army would bring an end to all of their spying on local homes and businesses.

Speaking from Jonesboro Mr. Murphy said:

"Sinn Féin has actively sought the removal of Britain‚s war machine from South Armagh and right across the Six Counties. This has been a crucial element of our discussions with the British Government over this past number of years. Consistent pressure from Sinn Féin has ensured movement on this issue.

"However, there is considerable anger and frustration at the slow pace of movement regarding demilitarization.

"The people of South Armagh need to know that in removing the Jonesboro watchtower, there is not a correlating increase in covert spying operations. In February of this year, documentation was discovered that the British Army was continuing to spy on local homes and the Dromintee GAA club. Actions such as these only serve to increase local anger.

"I am calling for the completion of this process as speedily as possible and the lands taken from local communities to be returned to them forthwith." ENDS

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