[Sinn Fein]

29 August 1997

TD calls for Govt. protest to British over border incursions

Cavan/Monaghan Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caoláin has called on the Irish Government to raise with the British a number of border incidents this week involving incursions by British forces and reinforcement of British posts along the border.

The first incident involved the recent construction of a British Army dugout at Kerr's Heights, Derrynoose, on the Armagh/Monaghan border near Clontibret. Deputy O Caoláin said:

``Sinn Fein has been contacted in recent days by farmers in the Derrynoose area bringing to our attention the increased level of activity by British army personnel. Farmers have been startled by the presence of Brtiish soldiers in fields and along hedgerows around this dugout at Kerr's Heights which has apparently been newly constructed. We have also had complaints about RUC checkpoint activity along the border.''

Deputy O Caoláin also raised an incursion by nine members of the RUC into County Louth on Wednesday 27 August. Nine uniformed members of the RUC were seen outside Hughes's public house at Roscrea, County Louth, on that morning. According to one local eye-witness who reported to Sinn Fein and the Gardái in Dundalk, there were six officers in one car and three in the other.

Deputy O Caoláin said:

``These incidents raise the question as the whether the British Army and RUC are using the IRA cessation to assert their unwanted presence along the border, and in the 26 Counties. Communities along the border are angry that their concerns have been ignored by the media and governments in the debate on `decommissioning'. There has been no sign on the ground of any demilitarisation by the British Army or RUC.''

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