Brexit fanaticism in full effect as the Conservative Party politician Jacob Rees-Mogg, one of the main leaders of the anti-European campaign in the United Kingdom, is caught on camera arguing that the UK can reimpose security checks on the formerly militarised frontier around the British legacy colony on the island of Ireland “just like during the Troubles”.
Hundreds of Roman Catholics who live next to British army installations on Northern Ireland’s border believe they are being used as ”human shields” to deter IRA attacks.
”I have become their front line of defense,” said Kathleen Rutherford, who has watched with trepidation as an army post has grown around her home.
Several of the army’s 17 border checkpoints are near villages, and virtually all are near houses. The posts have come under sporadic attack in the past two years…
The IRA blasted an army post south of Newry in October 1990 and again in May. The second blast killed a soldier. The army’s top brass decided to build a bigger post up the road – coincidentally, they said, nearer the local school.
On the road heading north from Londonderry, Rutherford braces for an IRA attack on the expanding army base next door.
She moved into the house five years ago when the army presence was little more than a tower and gate that monitored passing cars.
”Now look at it. It is a monstrosity on my doorstep,” she said, gesturing out her back window at the anti-bomb trenches, barbed wire, searchlights and watchtowers that have sprouted up in the past few months.
…army engineers and an extra battalion of troops have overhauled the string of checkpoints into full-blown patrol bases, seizing farmland in the process.
The Irish News, Belfast’s main nationalist newspaper, argued in an editorial that nearby residents in effect have been ”deployed in order to defend an army base” as a ”human shield.”
”This is the sort of tactic which was resorted to by Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War,” the newspaper argued.
A senior British official who visited the Rutherford home last month came away apparently unmoved.