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Crossmaglen land grab - MP meets with Irish government officials

14 July, 2006

Newry And Armagh MP Conor Murphy today met officials from the Irish government to discuss the ongoing crisis in relation to the PSNI's attempted land grab in Crossmaglen. The meeting was in response to representations made to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern by the Mr Murphy and Louth TD Arthur Morgan. Mr Murphy said that he had set out in very clear terms that people were not going to accept what he termed was the "theft of their land".

Mr Murphy said:

"I received an assurance that this issue is to be raised by the Irish government at the next meeting of the British and Irish Intergovernmental Body. If no progress is made at that meeting then I will be seeking to meet with Foreign Affairs minister Dermot Ahern. I am still awaiting a full response from British Direct rule minister Paul Goggins on the matter and my request for him to meet myself along with those residents affected.

"There is also a sense amongst many that the statement issued by the local PSNI Commander was rather devious and disingenuous towards the local community and their concerns. There was no argument advanced at all as to why the PSNI feel that they need to steal acres of land to develop what was initially told to people would ultimately be a „shop front Police Station

"Many people within the South Armagh community are now wondering what type of policing future was envisaged for the area by the PSNI with the retention of this huge military complex." ENDS

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