9 March 2006 Edition

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British surveillance of GAA exposed

Declan Fearon, Conor Murphy and Davy Hyland

Declan Fearon, Conor Murphy and Davy Hyland

A British army spying operation on Dromintee GAA club in South Armagh has been raised by Sinn Féin with the British Prime Minister.

Newry/Armagh MP Conor Murphy, recently produced for the media a British army R21M Pathfinder reference document that listed up to a dozen cameras and the subjects on which they were trained.

Declan Fearon, a member of the Dromintee GAA club, confirmed that the homes of those being spied on were members of the South Armagh club. The British army document also showed that the club itself and its car park were being watched.

Sinn Féin councillor Packy McDonald is one of those whose home was being spied on.

The document produced on a A4 sheet, detailed names of people and the specific camera detailed for watching their home. It had been found earlier by a farmer and is believed to have been dropped by a British soldier at the entrance to the spy tower at Faughill Mountain which overlooks the main Dublin to Belfast road.

There are over 30 fixed spy cameras located on top of the Faughill mountain, but this reference document showed only the location of 12 cameras, leading to much speculation as to where the other 20-plus cameras are placed.

"Most of these cameras are spying on individuals in their homes but what is equally worrying is that one of these cameras was fixed on the GAA club in Dromintee. This begs the question as to the nature of this spying activity, given that unionist death squads have used British army information to target and kill nationalists in this area."

Dromintee club spokesperson Declan Fearon said that the GAA club had raised the issue with GAA headquarters at Croke Park and expected the Irish Department of Foreign affairs to raise the matter with the Northern Ireland Office.

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