GAA urged British Army's Crossmaglen withdrawl

GAA president Conor O’Murchu appealed to Taoiseach Jack Lynch to pressure the British government to withdraw the Army from the occupied Crossmaglen Rangers club, it was revealed today.

Mr O’Murchu described the local community as highly responsible and said they had remained calm in the face of extreme provocation.

The Army first took over part of the club in 1971.

Mr O’Murchu wrote to Mr Lynch on November 30, 1977 after meeting him and raising the issue the previous Sunday.

A year earlier, a possession order had been served under emergency provisions but attempts by officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs to block it failed.

Mr O’Murchu wrote: “The occupation of the property by the British Army, with the constant damage and deliberate destruction of the property plus the harassment and interference with the members of the GAA and the community, constitute an appalling deprivation of the rights of the community.

“I am appealing to you to bring your own good offices to bear on the powers that be, i.e. I take it the British Government at present, to (1) withdraw the troops from using the property, (2) give back full possession to the club, the rightful owners of the property, (3) pay adequate compensation for damage to pitch, property and the community.”

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