Three army bases face demolition in Fermanagh

 

Demolition work is to begin early in the new year on the last three British army patrol bases in Co Fermanagh. It is the latest measure in the reduction of security along the Border.

Contractors will start to dismantle the posts at Mullan Bridge, Clonatty Bridge and Annaghmartin soon after Christmas, the British army said yesterday.

Clearance work is nearing completion at three other Fermanagh bases - Killyvilly, Rosscor Bridge and Wattle Bridge.

A huge demolition project is also under way at the former British army camp at Long Kesh, Co Antrim, which closed in November.

The party's Assembly member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Ms Michelle Gildernew, said: "The announcement that the work is to begin is welcome although it has taken long enough for it to happen.

"My main concern is the fact that while we have the removal of the physical bases, the removal of military personnel on the ground is also an important aspect."

Meanwhile, the North's Deputy First Minister, Mr Seamus Mallon, has criticised recent comments by Mr Peter Mandelson on security.

The Northern Secretary had said the dismantling of British military instalments had to be balanced against security concerns and the need to prevent another Omagh.

Mr Mallon said the Northern Secretary would have been better saying nothing. "The last time in the world to be making statements that would be controversial is actually in the run-up to Christmas."