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Cross-Border Security

Volume 990: debated on Thursday 7 August 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what improvements have been made in the last two months to cross-border security, including action to block some roads.

In the past two months eight more roads between County Fermanagh and County Monaghan have been closed. The security forces are continuing intensive efforts to prevent further terrorist attacks along the border and to apprehend those responsible for previous incidents. The extensive and increasing co-operation between the security forces on either side of the border is paying substantial dividends I shall consider additional closures or other measures if the Chief Constable advises me that they would be of real operational value and would not unduly interfere with legitimate traffic.

I thank my right hon. Friend for the action that he has taken since my last question on this subject. Is he aware of the growing concern about the numbers of assassinations of people on the so-called "hit list"—not all being prominent citizens, but many being supporters of law and order and of the union with this country—and the feeling that those assassinations are greatly facilitated by the open cross-border routes?

Everyone in Northern Ireland is concerned at any assassination. There is considerable concern about the way in which terrorists can move to and fro across the border. Closing roads is one way of stopping them. I am sure that the increasing co-operation between the security forces in Northern Ireland and the Republic is the most effective way of putting an end to this traffic.