19 December 1997
British army foot patrols back on Derry streets
Sinn Fein Northern Chairperson Gerry Ó hEára has demanded an explanation for the resumption of British army foot patrols in Derry this morning.
Councillor Ó hEára said:
The reappearance of British army foot patrols and the heavy presence of RUC personnel in Derry this morning has outraged nationalists. People are entitled to ask why the British army is once more on our streets as we move towards six months of the restoration of the IRA s cessation.
My office has received numerous calls from people in the Pennyburn/Duncreggan Rd. area this morning wanting to know if something had happened. At a time when the British government should be seeking to instill confidence we now have the British army reinforcing the harassment and intimidation of nationalists which has been stepped up in recent months throughout the Six-Counties.
The British army should be withdrawn immediately and an assurance given hat there will be no further escalation of militarisation of our communities. Is this another caving in to the Unionist sabre rattling? If it is I can assure the British government that it will not diminish our demands nor our efforts to effect a complete demilitarisation of our society and a democratic settlement of the conflict.
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