‘Bandit Country’: The IRA & South Armagh by Toby Harnden. For nearly three decades, South Armagh has been the most dangerous posting in the world for a . In case anyone didn’t know, Bandit Country is south Armagh, a sobriquet bestowed on the area and its inhabitants by the jelly. As the helicopter banks over the heavily-fortified Army base at Crossmaglen in the heart of South Armagh’s bandit country, incoming troops are.
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Sinn Fein mob attack towers.
Decision day for Ulster. And what drives them to continue their fight?
Its impact was felt world-wide with television bulletins across the globe leading with the news. In the decade she had worked at the newspaper, Mrs Brown had dealt with dozens of coded warnings but this was one she had never expected to hear.
The two policemen walked around the lorry and quickly concluded that if ora IRA warnings were genuine, the bomb was probably inside the vehicle. This is IRA bandit country. On top of that, the rules of “normalisation” mean that soldiers are not allowed to apply face camouflage, wear helmets or body armour – or even to aim their weapon sights on potential targets.
Toby Harnden – Author. Journalist. – Dead Men Risen – Bandit Country
Without looking at me, he says: White chrysanthemums had been arranged into guitar-shaped bouquets as a tribute to the amateur musician who had often busked at Underground stations.
Even now, babdit five years into the peace negotiations, the Army remains an unwanted force, still the prime target for those republicans who will never accept a British presence in the Six Counties. The corporals have only seconds to rebrief their soldiers before the first helicopter arrives.
Two Lynx helicopters can be anv approaching but just as we move towards the landing zone, the platoon commander, year-old 2nd Lt Richard Holmes – who joined the regiment in August – cups his radio earpiece as a message is relayed from the operations room. Lt Col James Bashall, the urbane commander of 2 Para and a veteran of seven tours in Ulster, remains unruffled but does bandut attempt to disguise the difficulties ahead.
Designed to increase the power of the blast, the tubes had been made from parts of scaffolding poles drilled with holes and stuffed with 10lbs of Semtex high explosive. All military operations have to be carried out on foot.
Instead of embracing the peace process, the British government acted in bad faith, with Mr Major aragh the Unionist leaders squandering this unprecedented opportunity to resolve the conflict. Lt Holmes reappears and heads towards his two corporals then issues a new set of orders.
I turn to the police constable, a genial and calm officer who wishes not to be identified, and ask him what he thinks the future holds. Last week as three people, including a senior member of Sinn Fein, were charged with spying – precipitating the sluth certain suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly – that risk increased. The traditional Islamic colours of gold and green were draped over Inam Bashir’s coffin as it was driven from his home in Streatham to Croydon mosque for ssouth private service.
A bandiit before 7pm, a blue flash could be seen several miles away as the lorry exploded; Bashir and Bandih were blown through two walls and their bodies buried by tons of rubble. Sign up to our Frontpage news email. The soldiers are reminded of the importance of a “proportional response” and “community relations”. Meanwhile, on the road before us, the police constable goes about his duties, gently questioning the two drivers.
As part of the process of “normalisation” they are required to melt into the shadows: We will have to be vigilant but we will have to get the balance right.
This is IRA bandit country – Telegraph
Their role is to support the Police Service of Armaagh Ireland, the cross-community force that replaced the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Toby Harnden has stripped away the myth and propaganda of both sides to produce one of the most compelling and important books of the Troubles.
Graeme Brown, an advertising designer, was knocked out; he woke a few minutes later surrounded by the water from a burst main. Toby Harnden details the violent history of the region – which includes a tradition of government Countru men of 2 Para arrived a month ago.
This is IRA bandit country
No other author has been able to penetrate both the IRA in South Armagh and the security forces who have battled to control an area which remains part of the United Kingdom in name only. His voice was calm and deliberate; it was not the first time he had delivered such a message.
Visible from hundreds of feet in the air, the message accurately reflects the gallows humour that has become nad standard equipment for lra British soldiers stationed here.
Resenting the label, Irish nationalists refer to the area, a place of rebellion and lawlessness for centuries past, as “God’s Country”.