The British army in Northern Ireland has begun blowing holes in some of he roads linking Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.
The British army in Northern Ireland has begun blowing holes in some of he roads linking Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. A British Broadcasting Corporation reporter went with the troops, where aim is to bring the entry points into Northern Ireland under tighter control. His commentary accompanies the film, with good sound of the blasts. It is transcribed below. A Visnews commentary is provided overleaf for optional use.
Irish Republic Prime Minister, Mr. Jack Lynch, was quick to protest saying the blasts would aggravate an already deteriorating situation. But Mr. John Taylor, Northern Ireland Minister of Home Affairs, said that if Dublin had taken effective action against the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the roads would have remained intact.
The B.B.C. commentary starts as the lorries move up to the border under cover of darkness:
Lorries with a heavily-loaded team of engineers move out before dawn from a barracks at Armagh. Ahead of them, a one hour drive to the South Terrain border. Security is tight. Only the officer in charge knows which roads are to be blown. Once there, nothing can be done until the sun is up and there is enough light to search for booby traps and make sure the terrorists are not one step ahead of them. This close to the border, the threat is very real.
Within half an hour the soldiers had moved into position.....
The first charge was just enough to break the surface of the road. Then a long pipe was forced down full of plastic explosives until the charger could be dropped down into position.
For the first car to try to use the road, a ten-foot crater in the way. Meanwhile the team had moved onto another road and more bangs. In most cases, two crater were blown, each about 25 yards. The army aren't saying how many craters were blown altogether today and they won't be giving any details until the whole operation is complete.
SYNOPSIS: The British army in Northern Ireland has begun blowing up roads along the border between the North and the Republic of Ireland. Lorries with a heavily-loaded team of engineers left Armagh barracks before down on Wednesday. Security was tight. Only the officer in charge knew which roads were to be blown up, and in which order. The aim: to bring the entry points into Northern Ireland under tighter control. When there was enough light, the soldiers looked for booby traps, just in case the Irish Republican Army had got there first.
The first charge was a small one - enough to break the road surface.
Plastic explosives were then thrust down by a pipe, and the charger dropped into position.
The first car to try to use the road found its path blocked by a ten-foot crater. And the soldiers had moved on to their next road.
In most cases, two craters were blown, at 25 yard intervals. The army aren't saying how many roads were out on Wednesday, and they won't give any details until the operation is complete.
There's been an immediate protest from the Republic of Ireland's Prime Minister Mr. Jack Lynch. He said the blestings would aggravate a bad situation. But the Home Affairs Minister of the North said if the IRA had been brought under control, there would be no need for this.