Irish Republican News · July 2, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
More hype on base closures

An announcement that a British Army base in County Down is to close has been greeted with cynicism by republicans.

Sinn Féin’s Catriona Ruane condemned the relocation of the soldiers, saying that the announcement was “nothing more than a reorganisation of the British military presence in south Down”.

“Rationalisation is not the same as demilitarisation and it is now time the British government stepped up to the plate and started to honour its commitments as set out under the Good Friday Agreement,” Ms Ruane said.

A British army spokesman said no decision had yet been made regarding the military compound in the Rathfriland police station.

Previous statements on demilitarisation have also been criticised as attempting to give the impression of movement on the issue, without any real change on the ground.

It was pointed out that, even if the planned six-month timetable for moving the troops proceeds, they could return within a matter of hours.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News