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Sinn Féin TDs slam British military saturation of South Armagh

11 August, 2003

The five Sinn Féin TDs have strongly criticised the current military saturation of parts of South Armagh which is causing serious concern and anger among local residents. The five have written to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen to request that he insist that the British authorities bring an end to the unwanted and unwarranted intrusion. They have also passed on details of specific incidents to the Anglo-Irish section of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Speaking on behalf of the five TDs Martin Ferris said:

"While much has been made of the relative peace of the loyalist marching season, the people of South Armagh are currently living under virtual siege.

"This is making it increasingly impossible for communities to get on with their daily lives as local businesses, sporting events and religious ceremonies have been deliberately disrupted by the activities of unwelcome and unnecessary British troops. Furthermore, none of this can be in any way justified by any alleged 'security situation'.

"We have written to Minister Cowen to request that the Irish Government demands that the British authorities put a stop to this, and to insist that they abide by their commitment to implement the agreed, albeit limited, demilitarisation of this part of Armagh". ENDS

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