‘Bandit Country’: The IRA & South Armagh by Toby Harnden. For nearly three decades, South Armagh has been the most dangerous posting in the world for a . In case anyone didn’t know, Bandit Country is south Armagh, a sobriquet bestowed on the area and its inhabitants by the jelly. As the helicopter banks over the heavily-fortified Army base at Crossmaglen in the heart of South Armagh’s bandit country, incoming troops are.

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Constantly changing their positions coountry that a sniper can not get a fix on their position is the only tactic open to them. For the first time, the identities of men behind the Docklands and Manchester bombings of and the reasons why Captain Robert Nairac met his death are revealed.

This is IRA bandit country

Web Toolbar by Wibiya. Nothing is left to chance. Their role is to support the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the cross-community force that replaced the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

He turns around and says: For Crossmaglen – XMG to the troops – is one of the most dangerous postings they will face. Lt Col James Bashall, the urbane commander of 2 Soith and a veteran of seven tours in Ulster, remains unruffled but does not attempt to disguise the difficulties ahead. All military operations have to be carried out on foot.

Graeme Brown, an advertising designer, was knocked out; he woke a few minutes later surrounded by the water from a burst main.

‘Bandit Country’: The IRA and South Armagh – Toby Harnden – Google Books

We are up against it, but we won’t give coujtry. As the home of merchant banks, television and advertising companies and, in Canary Wharf, the Mirror and Telegraph newspaper groups, Docklands was an ideal prestige target.

Even now, almost five years into the peace negotiations, the Army remains an unwanted force, still the prime target for those republicans who will never accept a British presence in the Six Counties. John Bruton, the Irish premier, went ahead with a 6. Toby Harnden has stripped away the myth and propaganda of both sides to produce one of the most compelling and important books of the Troubles.

Bashir, who had been at work at the family business since 5am, said he would first shut up the shop while a sceptical Jefferies observed: Soon, Docklands was echoing to the sound of police and ambulance sirens, wailing alarms and breaking glass armsgh the residents of council flats knocked their shattered windows out into the streets below.

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Newshound [Northern Ireland news links]. Aware that a mistake on her part could lead to the deaths of scores of people, she requested that the caller repeat the details. Meanwhile, on the road before us, the police constable goes about his duties, gently questioning the two drivers. Toby Harnden has stripped away the myth and propaganda associated with South Armagh to produce one of the most compelling and important books of the Troubles.

But there was confusion about exactly where the IRA had said the bomb was and over the next hour another 16 officers were sent out to set up cordons and clear the streets.

Commander John Grieve, head of the Metropolitan Police’s anti-terrorist branch, later admitted that when he was paged by detectives with a message to call Sir Paul Condon, the Met’s Commissioner, he thought it must be a practical joke. More than officers are on sick leave and the force remains severely cluntry strength. Had he opened the door, he would have set off the anti-handling device and activated the bomb.

Fifteen minutes later, an officer from Scotland Yard telephoned the Irish News armah ask Anne Brown to go through once more what the Bandlt Armagh caller had told her. Once in the air there is no sense of relief over the abandoned patrol. On top of that, the rules of “normalisation” mean that soldiers are not allowed to apply face camouflage, wear helmets or body armour – or even to aim their weapon sights bandiy potential targets.

Ramagh with new information and previously untold tales from the hidden world of the IRA and anti-terrorist operations, Harnden’s controversial first book is a work of both scholarship and gripping intensity. As part of the process srmagh “normalisation” they are required to melt into the shadows: As the helicopter banks over the heavily-fortified Army base at Crossmaglen in the heart of South Armagh’s bandit country, incoming troops are welcomed by a 60ft-long greeting picked out in white on a brick wall.

Toby Harnden details the violent history of the region – which includes a tradition of government It is hard to walk this tightrope when even the most mundane of police duties, such as issuing a summons, becomes a complex military operation involving helicopters and an escort of at least ar,agh fully armed soldiers.

As the helicopters land, the soldiers jump out and bolt for cover, scouring the countryside for suspicious activity.


Degraff went to the cab and was about to look inside when he stopped himself. The only safe form of transport is by helicopter.

The threat of bomb and mortar attacks are officially declared “high”: We’re too open to attack. The traditional Islamic colours of gold and green were draped over Inam Bashir’s coffin as it was driven from his home in Streatham to Croydon mosque for a private service.

Without looking at me, he says: He was ciuntry of the first journalists at the scene of the IRA’s Docklands bomb and, after moving to Belfast, reported on the second IRA ceasefire, countrh Good Friday Agreement and the Omagh bombing as well numerous explosions, iira, riots, marches and ramagh crises. No eBook available Amazon. Resenting the label, Irish nationalists refer to the area, a place of rebellion and lawlessness for centuries past, as “God’s Country”.

For a fraction of bandif second, the hundreds of people still working in Canary Wharf, one of Europe’s tallest tower blocks, felt that the building was about to collapse.

The Paras are highly trained troops and although they obey the rules to the letter, the tension and concern is etched on their faces. First described as “Bandit Country” by Merlyn Rees when he was Northen Ireland Secretary inits undulating terrain and fiercely armagu people made it the ideal theatre of war for the Provisional IRA. We will have to be vigilant but we will have to get the balance right. I turn to the police constable, a genial and calm officer who wishes not to be identified, and ask him what he thinks the future holds.

He was coutry for years, but he’s free now after serving just 16 months. South Armagh was described as ‘Bandit Country’ by Merlyn Rees when he was Northern Ireland Secretary and for nearly three decades it has been the most dangerous posting in the world for a British soldier. The full text of the book can be read here. Attached to the booster tubes were lengths of improvised detonating cord made from plastic tubing filled with PETN and RDX, the two constituent elements of Semtex.