16 July 1998 Edition

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Two incursions in seven days

Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín O Caoláin has requested the Minister for Foreign Affairs David Andrews that two incursions by the British Army into County Monaghan should be raised at the highest level with the British authorities.

The latest incursion came on Sunday 12 July when a convoy of eight British Army Land Rovers crossed the Armagh/Monaghan border at Kerr's Height, Derrynoose. The crossing occurred at around 9pm and the convoy drove onto the N2 Dublin/Derry Road four miles from Monaghan town. After the incursion the British Army convoy turned back up the lane known locally as Green Lane and travelled towards Keady, County Armagh at the Drumboe border crossing.

Gardai arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and spoke to irate local residents.

Exactly a week earlier two British Army Land Rovers made an incursion into the Castleblayney area. Both vehicles crossed the border from the Mountainy Road into the Mullyash area of the county. Eyewitnesses said they travelled to McKelvey's Grove, on to the main Castleblayney/Keady Road, crossing back into the Six Counties at Tullinagrove. A local witness said they had flashed lights and sounded horns.

Commenting on the two incursions Monaghan Councillor Owen Smyth said:

``These crossings were clearly deliberate. On both occasions the British Army travelled across the border on roads which were signposted. It is significant that following complaints about the first incursion on 5 July another incursion involving eight vehicles should occur a week later. I believe there are elements in the crown forces snubbing their noses at the Irish government and at people in this county. For this to happen at a time of such heightened tension in the Six Counties is doubly unacceptable.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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