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18 March 1999 Edition

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Roslea protest calls for base closures

A rally calling for the permanent closure of the numerous British bases along the Fermanagh border Jimmy Cosgrove of the Farmers and Residents Against Military Bases (FARM) accused, ``British securocrats of saturating the area with military bases and troops''.

Mr Cosgrove pointed out that Roslea was the most militarised rural area in the Six Counties with the exception of South Armagh, houses in it's three main British army and RUC bases 600 operational crown force personel. This represents one member of the crown forces to every three members of the population''.

The rally held on Sunday 14 March was attended by several hundred people, including several local Sinn Fein councillors and Monaghan councillor Pat Treanor.

Toni and Peter Carragher of the South Armagh Farmers and Residents Committee also supported the rally.

Barry McElduff the party's West Tyrone Assembly member was the main speaker.

``The British military garrison in the North amounts to 135 installments under the control of the British army and 161 barracks under the control of the RUC. The crown forces have a combined strength of 30,000 personel'', pointed out Mr McElduff.

Mr McElduff went on to point out that with all the hype over decommissioning most commemtators had conveniently forgotten about the heavy British militarisation of many parts of the north and that no-one had made any kind of an issue out of this''.

``If you pass a pond and see two fish fighting you will know the British have been there before you''. A Sierra Leone proverb told to McElduff as he travelled in the US.

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