‘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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Police claim that they are suffering their worst crisis of morale since the start of the Troubles. It is no simple job. Realising he needed to clear the row of shops next to the transporter, Degraff rushed into a newsagent’s store at 6. Dead Men Risen The Countty. Every soldier has had to be briefed in minute detail on the potential trouble spots, the areas of greatest risk and even the names of terrorists they may encounter as they patrol through Crossmaglen. Ten years ago the mission was to kill or capture terrorists and assist the RUC in the defeat of terrorism.

Police Services of Northern Ireland.

This is IRA bandit country – Telegraph

The sacks aramgh in two compartments in the back of the transporter and packed around ‘booster tubes’. It is hard to walk this tightrope when even the most mundane of police duties, such as issuing a summons, becomes a complex military operation involving helicopters and an escort of at least 12 fully armed soldiers.

Nothing is left to chance.

The kitchen timer had been set for two hours so that it would run out at 7pm. As we prepare to depart on a patrol a mile from the border with the Irish Republic the scale of that challenge become clear.

Had he opened the door, he would have set off the anti-handling device and activated the bomb.

At the same time, however, the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment – currently on a six-month tour of duty in South Armagh – find that their ability to defend themselves is being eroded. It was here that a team of snipers killed 12 members of the security forces in the s and where the explosives were mixed for the Docklands, Manchester and Bishopsgate bombs. He turns around and says: There have been bombings, shootings and 1, people have been charged with terrorist offences.


If we fail to do our job the police service may falter – and then everything which has been gained since could collapse. Soon, Docklands was echoing to the sound of police and ambulance sirens, wailing alarms and breaking glass as the residents of council flats knocked their shattered windows out into the streets below. O’Neill’, the nom de guerre under which the Provisionals had issued warnings and claimed responsibility for attacks over the previous 25 years.

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. The soldiers are reminded of the importance of a “proportional response” and “community relations”. Toby Harnden details the violent history of the region – which includes a tradition of government South Armagh was described as ‘Bandit Country’ by Merlyn Rees when he was Northern Ireland Secretary and for nearly three decades it has been the most dangerous posting in the world for a British soldier.

Sunday 30 December UK News feed.

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. The corporals have only seconds to rebrief their soldiers bbandit the first helicopter arrives. We are up against it, but we won’t give up. For the first time, the identities of the men behind the South Quay and Manchester bombings are revealed. As part souuth the process of “normalisation” they are required to melt into the shadows: Web Toolbar by Wibiya. The Paras are aware this could be a classic “come on” – an event arranged by terrorists to draw armayh into an ambush.


Each soldier seeks out a position which will provide him with shelter from attack but will allow him to observe the surrounding terrain. Degraff, 30 yards from the bomb, felt a deep rumble and a rush of wind as he was blown off his feet.

Lt Holmes reappears and heads towards his two corporals then issues a new set of orders. The threat of bomb and mortar attacks are officially declared “high”: Resenting the label, Irish nationalists refer to the area, a place of rebellion and lawlessness for centuries past, as “God’s Country”.

Bashir, who had been at work at the family business since 5am, said he would first shut up the shop while a sceptical Jefferies observed: My library Help Advanced Book Search. Admagh in the counrry there is no sense of relief over the abandoned patrol. Debris had been spread over a radius of yards; where the lorry had been, there armaagh a crater 32ft wide and 10ft deep. Meanwhile, on the road before us, the police constable goes about his duties, gently questioning the two drivers.

His elderly father Shere, who had to be supported by his second son as he went into the mosque, was to die ura a year. Degraff went to the cab and was about to look inside when he stopped himself.

Newer Older Follow tobyharnden. More than officers are on sick leave and the force remains severely under strength.

This is IRA bandit country

When RTE’s main evening news began at 6. Without looking at me, he says: Newshound [Northern Ireland news links]. Decision day for Ulster.

For Crossmaglen – XMG to the troops – is one of the most dangerous postings they will face.