[Sinn Fein]

17 October 2001

British Army Enter County Louth

Louth County Councillor, Arthur Morgan, has reacted angrily to local reports that British Army helicopters entered the Hackballcross area of County Louth this morning.  This follows an incursion of a British foot patrol in August of this year.

Councillor Morgan has called on the government to raise this issue immediately with the British government.  

Councillor Morgan said:

``It is a disgrace that the British Army have again entered County Louth.  The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Taoiseach must let the British government know that this is unacceptable.

``The incursion occurred at 9.30 this morning in the Hackballscross area of County Louth.  Local people immediately contacted my office and I in turn requested that my colleague Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD raise the issue with Brian Cowen.  This has since happened.  

``It is unacceptable that the British Army continues to patrol nationalist areas of the six-counties.  To cross the border is simply a disgrace.  The government must stop excepting British excuses of map reading errors they must demand that Britain stop this practice.

``This action again stands as a stark reminder that the British government are not serious about demilitarisation.  As the media continue to focus on silent IRA weapons the British Army continues to flaunt its military might against nationalists.''

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