An Phoblacht

South Armagh health threat from British spy posts

Photo: A two-headed calf born recently in South Armagh

The South Armagh Demilitarisation Committee (SADC) says there are growing genuine fears that emissions from British Army surveillance and communications equipment is triggering cancer in both animals and humans living in the South Armagh area.

Pictured is a two-headed calf born within the past three weeks in the South Armagh area. The farm at which the calf was born is in close proximity to a British Army spy post extensively equipped with low frequency microwave radiation-emitting surveillance equipment.

There are local farmers who are convinced that the regular birth of deformed livestock are as a result of mutations caused by a concentration of toxic substances and radiation caused by the huge surveillance, transport and building operations of the British military forces bedded into South Armagh.

Whilst globally it is common knowledge that instances of births of such deformed calves are rare, there is evidence that in the South Armagh and border regions, incidents like this are becoming regular, says the campaign.

"This is not some Old Testament pestilence, it is a here and now reality," said one farmer. He is convinced that the number of cancer patients and the huge variety of cancer types in the South Armagh area provide ample evidence of the need for full disclosure by the British Government of what equipment its forces are using. The SADC also wants details such as the health impact on British service personnel over the years to be made available.

Dr Damien Beirne, a Belfast doctor, carried out extensive research into emissions from British military surveillance and communications equipment. The veteran GP, who had worked in the City's Falls Road area for many years, found that cancer was the main killer in his practice. His research found in his practice 120 deaths from cancer had occurred in seven years, with another 140 people on the practice list suffering from 37 different types of cancer.

An SADC spokesperson said that South Armagh in particular has borne the brunt of a growing and intensive occupation by the British military forces. He adding that whilst there was an illusion that spy posts, with their complicated and deadly surveillance machines, were coming down, the reality of the situation on the ground in South Armagh and other border areas is quite the opposite.

"More communication masts, more helicopter flights, more foot patrols, more sickness, more distress for the communities are what we are getting" said the spokesperson, who added that the whole issue of the health and wellbeing of the community has to be opened for debate.

"It's not just the environmental damage to our landscape that people should be worried about, but the reality that there is the potential for sickness and death as a result of the emissions from all these ranges of military equipment" he said.

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