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Security Operation (Warrenpoint)

Volume 929: debated on Monday 28 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will make a statement about the arrest of Irish Republican Army terrorists at sea off Warrenpoint, County Down, by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines; and whether he is satisfied with the co-operation of the Irish naval service in preventing terrorists landing and seaborne attacks.

On the evening of Saturday 19th March a number of shots were fired, believed to have come from the area of Omeath in the Irish Republic and from a small boat in Carlingford Lough, at a Royal Marine patrol craft which was operating in support of Royal Navy forces. No casualties were sustained, and the fire was returned. The boat was intercepted and was found to contain weapons and explosives. The five occupants were arrested and have since been charged with various offences. The Irish authorities subsequently investigated the suspected firing point but I understand the results were negative.I am satisfied that the ability of terrorists to use stretches of water between the Republic and Northern Ireland is effectively curtailed by naval activity.