In the shadow of the enemy
BY LAURA FRIEL
A Strabane mother of two brothers shot dead by the British SAS in 1985 is to mount a legal challenge against a proposed 40-meter-high military installation to be erected beside her home. The Courtrai Park home of Patsy Devine has been overshadowed by a watch tower and other fortifications of the nearby RUC barracks for the last 30 years.
At a time when residents were hopeful that political developments would see a reduction in British military installations, the planned imposition of an even more intrusive spy tower has angered local people, whose homes are already overlooked by fortifications.
``I have to keep a light constantly switched on in my kitchen because the natural light is blocked by the barracks which overlooks the back,'' said Patsy, ``we thought that with the peace process the equipment would be coming down instead of new apparatus being installed.''
Sinn Féin Councillor Jarlath McNulty said residents were also concerned about possible risks to their health posed by a 40-metre mast to be erected so close to their homes. A nearby nursery school has also expressed concern.
``Increased cancer risks continue to be linked to the installation of surveillance masts and residents will be lodging their objections with the planning service,'' said Jarlath.