[Sinn Fein]

18ú Deireadh Fómhair 2001

British Claims rubbished

Louth Sinn Fein Councillor Arthur Morgan has described dismissals from the British Army that their helicopters made an illegal incursion across the border as `ridiculous'. Councillor Morgan said that he received further calls today from residents in the Hackballscross area confirming that two British helicopters were in the area for more than 15 minutes yesterday and at one stage flew less than 40 feet from the ground. The residents are fearful that the continued foot patrols in South Armagh increase the risk of Foot and Mouth disease.

Councillor Morgan said:

``The people of Hackballscross know where the border is and  have suffered greatly as a result of it. When they tell me that British Army helicopters flew south of the border I believe them.

``These people are furious that the British Army has once again denied their actions. I share their frustrations because this type of incursion is now a regular occurrence. The Dublin government have failed to take appropriate action to bring this activity to an end and I again call on them to raise this matter with Tony Blair.

``The British Army is not welcome in South Armagh. The same is true of North Louth. Incidents such as this highlight once again the need for their fortresses across the six counties to be dismantled. Rather than denying their actions a commitment should be given by the British that they will demilitarise now.''

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