27 April 2006 Edition

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Concrete falls from Brit chopper

An Armagh man said his family were lucky to be alive after lumps of concrete fell from a British army Chinook helicopter onto the roof of his Forkhill home on Thursday 20 April.

British army engineers have been using Chinooks to transport debris from a number of hilltop spy posts currently being dismantled in the area.

Patrick McQuade said he and his family were in the house when a British army helicopter was flying overhead. "We heard this unmerciful thump and under further investigation I found a tile on the roof had been broken and bits of rubble were sitting on the tile", he said.

McQuade said there had been a lot of low flying British army helicopter activity in the area for the past two months. "Just two days before this, I was cutting the lawn. If this had hit someone, it could have killed them".

Sinn Féin's Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy is seeking an explanation for the damage to the roof of the house and said the incident raised serious questions. "Once again there appears to have been a shoddy approach to the carrying of materials by British army helicopters over people's homes", he said.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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