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Martin - Forkhill Residents Complain about New British Army Mast

18 July, 2003

Newry & Mourne District Council Deputy Mayor, Elena Martin said there is mounting anger within the community at the size and scale of a huge new pylon recently erected in Forkhill British Army Barracks.

The Deputy Mayor said;

"Following intensive activity at Forkhill British army barracks local people have complained that a huge new pylon equipped with sophisticated surveillance cameras has been erected during the past week. Local people also complain about the increase in roadside checkpoints in the area.

"There has been considerable opposition in this area to the erection of mobile phone masts sited in close proximity to occupied dwellings and people living in the shadow of these barracks have questioned why the same restrictions and rules do not appear to apply to these British army installations. There is mounting anger within the community at the size and scale of this new pylon in Forkhill Barracks. Newry & Mourne District Council have adapted a policy of opposition to the siting of mobile masts within a radius of 700 metres to occupied dwellings yet these monstrosities appear overnight without any consultation in defiance of the wishes of local people.

"People are naturally losing faith and patience with empty British army promises to implement a rolling programme of demilitarisation in south Armagh. We are shown some bases being dismantled but refurbishing and refortifying other existing bases continues unabated. Demilitarisation must involve the complete removal of all British army personnel and equipment." ENDS

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