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Sinn Féin Condemn British Occupation of South Armagh

15 August, 2003

Sinn Féin Councillor Packie McDonald has condemned the recent upsurge in British army and RUC/PSNI activity in the south Armagh area, especially the increased helicopter activity.

Councillor McDonald said;

"Local people have been on the receiving end of an escalation in the activities of the military occupation forces in south Armagh. Contrary to the promises of the British government of a reduction in their militarisation of this part of Ireland they are moving to entrench themselves even further with ongoing construction evident in the Forkhill base. Local people reported a convoy entering the base within the past week and the level of harassment has increased dramatically. People have been stopped at nuisance roadblocks whilst on their way to mass at the weekend and a number of raids on homes have taken place, including one house when the family were on holiday.

"On Tuesday night up to 7 helicopters carrying a large number of British troops and RUC/PSNI members landed in Jonesboro and launched a raid on the home of an elderly woman who has serious medical problems. This kind of activity highlights the disparity between British government promises and the reality of the actions of their armed forces in this area." ENDS

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