Irish Republican News · February 24, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: THE SPYING GAME
THE SPYING GAME

A document has been found which reveals the extent of ongoing covert British military activity in south Armagh.

A Gaelic athletic sports club and the homes of nine individuals were targeted by spy cameras, according to the British Army document.

Sinn Fein Newry and Mourne MP Conor Murphy yesterday produced the single-page document, believed to have been dropped by a soldier at the entrance to a spy tower at Faughill Mountain in south Armagh, which overlooks the main Dublin to Belfast road.

The paper, labelled “R21M Path-finder Camera Reference Guide” listed 12 cameras positioned on the homes of nine people, a guesthouse and the Dromintee GAA club.

The document detailed the name of the individuals and the number of the camera used for surveillance on their house. Four of the cameras were detailed as no longer being in use at the locations.

R21M is the British Army’s identification code for their installation at Faughill Mountain.

Mr Murphy is demanding to know why the surveillance cameras were monitoring the homes of the individuals, a guest-house and a GAA club. He said the focus of the operation was not, as alleged by the British army, on IRA activities, but on the entire community in the south Armagh area.

“It is quite clear that the British state have taken a conscious decision to spy on the local GAA club and its members,” he said.

“Local people are outraged at this exposure and this operation raises very serious matters for the GAA at national level.

“The spying on the local GAA club of course also raises very serious questions for Tony Blair and the British government.

“Why are they spying on local people 10 years into a peace process?

“How long has the operation against the GAA being ongoing and what other clubs are involved?

“Why are they specifically targeting the GAA and this club?

“Who authorised the spying operation on Dromintee club and what was the motivation behind it?”

“It is quite clear that the British state have taken a conscious decision to spy on the local GAA club and its members. Local people are outraged at this exposure and this operation raises very serious matters for the GAA at national level.

“The spying on the local GAA club of course also raises very serious questions for Tony Blair and the British government.

“Why are they spying on local people 10 years into a peace process?

“How long has the operation against the GAA being ongoing and what other clubs are involved?

“Why are they specifically targeting the GAA and this club?

“Who authorised the spying operation on Dromintee Club and what was the motivation behind it?

“These are the sort of questions local people are asking and demanding answers to.

He confirmed Sinn Fein will be raising this matter with both the British Prime Minister and 26-County Taoiseach in discussions next week.

“It has long since past the time for Tony Blair to commit his system to peaceful and democratic activity,” he added. “They must end their war against ordinary nationalists and republicans if progress is to be made in the coming months.”

Declan Fearon, a member of Dromintee GAA club’s ruling committee, confirmed that the club has been in contact with GAA headquarters in Croke Park about the document.

“It is our hope that they will bring this matter to the attention of the Irish Government, especially the Department of Foreign Affairs, who could then raise the issue with the British government,” said Mr Fearon.

“We want to know after so many years down the line, and despite absolutely no paramilitary activity in this area for over 10 years, why we continue to be the target of their surveillance.”

© 2006 Irish Republican News