BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Northern Ireland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Tom Coulter
"There is still a huge millitary presence"
 real 56k

Monday, 31 July, 2000, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Army dismantles NI post
The army sanger in Crossmaglen is being dismantled
The army sanger in Crossmaglen is being dismantled
The British Army has begun dismantling one of its main observation posts at Crossmaglen in south Armagh.

It is part of the demilitarisation programme announced by the RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan in May as part of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Borucki Sangar observation post was built in 1976 after the IRA killed six members of the security forces in separate incidents in the village.

Solider dismantling the observation post
The Borucki Sangar post is being removed after 24 years
It was named after a soldier who was killed near to where it was erected in the market square.

Demolition work on the post is expected to take a week.

Social Democratic and Labour Party assembly member John Fee said it was a day the local community had been waiting for, for many years.

"I think it's probably the single biggest vote of confidence in the peace process by the British Government and I very much welcome the guts and the vision of the people who made this decision."

Sinn Fein assembly member Conor Murphy said it was a long overdue step, but added: "We sincerely hope it's the first step along the process of demilitarisation and we hope that's a very speedy process."

Army scale down

Commenting on the demolition, Sir Ronnie said the security forces remained fully alert to the threat from dissident republicans in the area.

He said there would be no let up in the continuing effort by security forces to thwart the intentions of terrorists.

He also said the recent seizures of weapons and explosives in Croatia showed the commitment and level of international co-operation to ensure they do not succeed.

In June, work began to dismantle two British Army observation posts in Belfast as part of a process of scaling down its presence in Northern Ireland.

Preliminary work to dismantle bases in Cookstown in County Tyrone and in Londonderry had also begun.

In May, Sir Ronnie said the scaling down of the army presence was as a result of a security assessment which indicated the threat of paramilitary violence had been reduced.

The government hopes to take "substantial measures" to normalise security arrangements by June 2001, the new deadline by which both London and Dublin aim to secure full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

02 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Army posts being removed
10 May 00 | Northern Ireland
Mixed reaction to security move
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Northern Ireland stories