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Postcards from Ballykinlar

Ballykinlar (also Ballykinler) Camp started life as a firing range for the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles as they trained for the war in South Africa, fighting the Boers. At the time they were garrisoned in Downpatrick, 8 miles away,…

The Hard Border

The contentious issue of the Irish border is not a new one. In secret documents uncovered at the National Archives at Kew, one page in particular highlights measures that were considered and dismissed by military planners. A ‘cordon sanitaire’ a…

Mobile Screens

In order to separate crowds of protesters and offer some protection to security forces and members of the opposite community, a series of mobile sight screens were introduced; constructed out of hessian and timber and mounted on the side of…

Armoured Fish and Chip Van

On 8 April 1971, a high priority order was received for three vehicles to be fitted out for use as fish and ship vans in Northern Ireland. After some deliberation, it was decided to use the Bedford J Type (J2SZ2,…