Republican News · Thursday 4 September 1997

[An Phoblacht]

DIY demilitarisation continues

Residents in West Belfast's Whiterock and Springfield Road areas decided to assist the British army and RUC in their departure from the Henry Taggart Barracks on the Springfield Road last Friday 29 August.

Local people heard that the barracks was being decommissioned to make way for the new purpose built barracks only yards away. During a post festival party residents decided to turn their festivities into an ad-hoc farewell party to the infamous military base. After the party, several hundred revellers marched up to the barracks to hold a protest and see if the departing military personnel wanted any help in packing up and going home.

However on arrival at the barracks, at around 2.30 am, protesters were attacked with plastic bullets, fired by RUC officers stationed in the base. Several people were hospitalised as at least three were hit with plastic bullets. The playful protest was quickly transformed into a confrontation due to the actions of the RUC.

Speaking to An Phoblacht, local community worker Tommy Holland said that while the closure of the base is being welcomed by local people, the reason for its closure (the new base next door) has caused much anger and frustration.

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