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Sinn Féin TD writes to Taoiseach and British Prime Minister over Policing Board land grab

7 July, 2006

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Arthur Morgan has written to the Taosieach Bertie Ahern and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair to demand an end to the PSNI and Policing Board plan to steal land from the residents of Crossmaglen currently occupied by the British Crown Forces.

Deputy Morgan said:

"Last week I visited the families and businesses affected by this PSNI and Policing Board attempt to grab land . It is a shabby underhand conspiracy which in principle undermines British government commitments on demilitarisation and devalues efforts currently underway to remove the British war apparatus from the South Armagh countryside.

"This land was stolen by the British Army over 30 years ago. With the retreat of the British military from South Armagh this land has to be returned to its rightful owners. Efforts by the PSNI through the Policing Board to vest this land will be resisted by the local community with the support of Sinn Féin. Already the SDLP have tried to talk out of both sides of their mouth on this issue. You cannot on one hand oppose the land theft while on the other hand you are a member of the Policing Board who are doing the stealing.

"I have written to both the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair on this issue. I have also raised the matter in the Dáil. Sinn Féin are determined that any land occupied by British Crown Forces in the course of the last 30 years will be returned to its rightful owners." ENDS

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