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18 September 1997 Edition

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Spy bunker uncovered

The discovery of a British Army bunker under a derelict house in South Armagh is the most sinister in a series of incidents which have alarmed nationalists in the South Armagh area. Reports of British Army and RUC harassment and incursions into the 26 Counties have risen dramatically in the last weeks.

The well-constructed bunker, which was discovered when a derelict house near Culloville was being demolished, had four beds, a toilet and two escape hatches. It was approximately ten foot square and six foot high and was wired for electricity and fitted with television monitors.

Electric cable ran below the ground from the bunker to the main Dundalk to Castleblaney road, a distance of almost one hundred yards. It is believed British soldiers in the bunker were monitoring video cameras on the road.

Local people who spoke to An Phoblacht said they were outraged that even during an IRA ceasefire and the British government's public commitment to the peace process, this type of military activity was still going on.

Meanwhile South Armagh Sinn Féin councillors Packie McDonald and Jimmy McCreesh have spoken of a number of disturbing incidents. On Wednesday 27 August nine RUC men in two armoured cars sat outside Hughes's public house in Roscrea, County Louth. At 5.00am on Monday 8 September four masked soldiers tried to gain entry to a house in Jonesborough. When the female occupant rang the RUC they said there were no military patrols in the area. Earlier on the same night, in a separate incident, an RUC car followed a motorist across the border onto the main Dublin-Belfast road in County Louth. When the motorist got out of his car, the RUC tried to drag him into their car but a crowd gathered and the RUC men withdrew across the border.

Both Councillors have also reported a sharp increase in the harassment of young people in the area. They have called for the Crown Forces to be removed from South Armagh.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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