The first border crossing opened since the IRA ceasefire is closed by the British Army.
With the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire in its fifth day, locals in Derryvullan, County Fermanagh open the road between Rosslea in County Fermanagh and Scotstown in County Monaghan. It is the first border crossing to be reopened since the IRA declared a complete cessation of violence. A few miles away a crossing at Lackey Bridge in the Magheraveely area of County Fermanagh is also opened.
To the anger of locals, both crossings are closed by British soldiers. They turn up with bulldozers and both roads are opened again, in the case of Derryvullan for the 37th time in two and a half years.
Locals say it’s an ongoing campaign and it is not a provocative action a week after the ceasefire.
Since 1969 dozens of roads along the border have been closed off by the British Army because of security concerns. That the Derryvullan and Lackey Bridge openings are still considered a security risk is disputed by local people.
Michael McPhillips, Chairman of the Fermanagh/Monaghan Association is from Newtonbutler in County Fermanagh, where there are two main roads open and the rest are closed. Despite the road closures, terrorist attacks took place,
It was nonsense to say it prevented terrorist attacks in Fermanagh, it didn’t.
Michael McPhilips cannot understand the policy of closing reopened roads when there is a ceasefire in place,
From this day on, I’m sure for the next month, roads will be constantly reopened along the border.
Michael McPhillips hopes Táiniste Dick Spring will stress the need for the roads to be opened when he meets with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Patrick Mayhew.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 September 1994. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.