6 June 2002 Edition

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Dungannon Council backs demilitarisation

Dungannon District Council has passed a motion calling for a study into the economic benefits of reclaiming for economic regeneration purposes land currently occupied by British military installations.

Sinn Féin Councillor Seán McGuigan for the Clogher Valley welcomed the decision and said such a move would be particularly welcomed by the people of Clogher & Augher, who have had to try and live normal lives in an otherwise militarised area.

Calling for a pullout of troops from the area, McGuigan said the area had suffered from a lack of investment as a result of being turned into a war zone by British securocrats and PSNI chiefs over 30 years. The land should now be returned to the community and turned into an investment park to generate local jobs for all the people of the area, he said.

In a separate statement, Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew says she has been contacted by numerous people in the Clogher area over the actions of a British Army patrol on Saturday last, 1 June. Soldiers spent the whole day searching private properties in a nationalist area. That evening, another patrol stopped cars and tok details of nationalists making their way to Mass.

Gildernew said she would be seeking a meeting with British minister Jane Kennedy on the military situation in the Clogher/Augher area and to ask her directly why nationalists are being forced to live like second-class citizens in their own area.

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