Sinn Fein

The British Military Garrison in Ireland

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Picture of Spy Tower in Derry



SINCE THE British Government's enforced partition of Ireland in 1921, they have systematically created and sustained a military state in the six north-eastern counties of Ireland.

This garrison comprising the regular British army regiments, the locally recruited Royal Irish Regiment(RIR) and the militarised state police of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), currently hold the occupied area with a combined military strength of c. 32,085 personnel. The British army has a total of 135 installations within their control, while the RUC has a total of 161. In addition to these bases the British government have installed throughout the North a massive network of security restrictions, which affect every aspect of civilian life. Add to this the surveillance capacity of these forces and one arrives at an appreciation of the overpowering nature of this military presence. It is time for this garrison to go.

Clickable Map of the British Garrison in Ireland

Map of north Ireland

OUTLINED in these pages is a structural overview of the current levels of overt British militarisation in north eastern Ireland. Since the IRA initiative of August 31st 1994, deployment of British troops and the militarised state police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), has continued unabated.

The English militia garrison in Ireland is comprised of personnel from the regular British Army regiments, the locally recruited Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) and the RUC.

Queen's University lecturer Mike Tomlinson (Irish Times, 1 May 1993) estimated that 1994 troop levels would have risen to the extent where there is one British Army/RUC member for every 3.7 Catholic males between the ages of 16 and 44.

All matters pertaining to the military occupation of the Six Counties are directly controlled by a British cabinet committee. This committee is chaired by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and is comprised of representatives from the British intelligence services, Northern Ireland civil service, and the heads of the British Army and the RUC.

Estimating the full costs to the British government of its garrison in Ireland is a difficult exercise. However one estimate commonly accepted is from Costs of War and Dividends of Peace, published by West Belfast Economic Forum. It produced a 25-year (1969-94) total cost figure of 18.205 billion (August 1994).

This includes army costs of 5.669 billion, compensation payments of 1.593 billion and prison/RUC costs of 10.943 billion.

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For further information regarding the contents of these pages contact Sinn Fein Peace Action Monitor through any of the following offices:

Sinn Fein Head Office: 44 Cearnóg Pharnell, Baile Átha Cliath 1. Ph. +353-1-8726100/+353-1-8726932.

Sinn Fein Six-County Office: 51/55 Falls Road, Béal Feirste BT12. Ph. 611729.

Sinn Fein Belfast: 147 Andersonstown Road, Béal Feirste BT11. Ph. 301719.

Sinn Fein Derry: Cable Street, Doire. Ph. 68926.

Republican Press Centre: 51/55 Falls Road, Béal Feirste BT12. Ph. 230261.

Originally published by An Phoblacht/Republican News, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Ph. +353-1-8733611/+353-1-8733839. Fax: +353-1-8733074; and 51/55 Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 Ph. 624421 Fax 622122

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