Dáil Éireann - Volume 433 - 29 June, 1993

Written Answers. - British Army Border Incursions.

112. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of incursions by the British army across the Border in 1993; and the steps, if any, which are being taken to avoid such incursions.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): So far this year there have been 17 incursions by British Security Force Personnel across the Border.

The Deputy can be assured that I am fully aware of the disquiet and concern to which such incursions give rise, particularly in Border areas. All such incidents are immediately raised with the British authorities through the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast. The matter has also been discussed with British Ministers at meetings of the Anglo-Irish InterGovernmental Conference. They have informed us that all Northern Ireland Security Force personnel are given clear instructions that incursions are not permitted and that the greatest care should be taken to avoid crossing the border.

[93] While no incursion is acceptable, I am aware that in recent months when incursions have occurred the majority of these have been promptly admitted by the British authorities and an official apology received. We will continue to impress on the British authorities the need to take the steps necessary to avoid any such occurrence.