We look at the stories that were making the headlines this week in the Andersonstown News in 1980
UDR walks the streets of Andytown
MEMBERS of the Ulster Defence Regiment are now on patrol duty in Andersonstown and other nationalist areas of Belfast, disguised in the uniform and insignia of other British Army regiments.
And, local people are convinced that this is the first step in transferring ‘security’ in these areas from the regular British army to a militia which many people regard as the B Specials under another name.
Over the past week we have received a number of reports of ‘Ulster’ accents heard among British soldiers at check-points or on patrol. On at least three occasions during the week, motorists were stopped in Ballymurphy and questioned in ‘broad Belfast’ by soldiers at vehicle check-points.
The soldiers were wearing the insignia of the current occupying regiment; but the motorists were convinced that they weren’t part of the regular ‘team’.
“He stuck out like a sore thumb,” one man told our reporter, referring to a soldier who questioned him at a check-point on the Whiterock Road. “In the first place, he jumped out in front of the car like a madman. I nearly knocked him down. ‘Show us your licence, fella,’ he said, as ignorant as get out. And all the while the other Brits were standing watching him. He was an oddity, alright.”
Another man said that when he told a British soldier carrying out an illegal ‘census’ to go back to his own country, the man replied, ‘I’m from Lisburn.’
About three years ago UDR patrols first ventured furtively into the Andersonstown area wearing their own uniform and insignia. In April 1978 we carried a report about a UDR patrol questioning and ‘screening’ young people from Lenadoon Avenue. At that time a number of UDR patrols were seen in this area; and while such patrols are an every-day sight in Dunmurry and Derriaghy, normally they don’t come any close to the Falls area than the Stockman’s Lane entrance to the M1, the M1 bridge on Finaghy Road North, and the Springfield Road/West Circular Road junction.
The fact that they are now being ‘slipped’ in, in the company of regular British army personnel, is seen as an indication of the British government’s ‘Ulsterisation policy of placing ‘security’ in the hands of the RUC with a local back-up military force.
THE campaign of assassination of Catholics is an ongoing one, involving the UDA and the ‘security forces’, and we think we should bring to our readers’ attention the latest edition of ‘Combat’, the journal of the Ulster Volunteer Force, in which they state their intention of taking an active part once again in the assassination campaign.
“The defence of the Union is a legitimate military aim,” says the front page comment, “and in defending it the Ulster Volunteer Force will not be hindered by any YELLOW CARD restrictions.”
The threat appears above the name Captain William Johnston. Entitled ‘This We Will Maintain’ the article is an answer to the IRA’s August 10 declaration that they have a mandate from the Catholic people to ‘tear down’ the ‘NI state.
And even though the UVF say that the IRA activists are their enemy, we know from bitter experience that any Catholic will do to satisfy their bloodthirst.
The article ends with the words: “There are a few weeks for people to do some serious heart-searching about the way forward. After that we shall uphold the mandate of the Border Poll.”
They can’t spell it out any plainer than that; and out message this week is, as often before, to proceed with caution.
Hibs beat Celtic
LAST Sunday the Davy Kavanagh Shield Final took place between Hibs and Donegal Celtic, before a large crowd at Beechmount Leisure Centre.
This was a very attractive game, especially in the first half, and the Hibs teams, playing some good football, went ahead when Paddy ‘Pancho’ Finley, scored a goal in a million for Hibs, giving the Celtic goalie no chance from about 20 yards.
Celtic, trying as hard as they could, still couldn’t break through the Hibs defence who were in great form, and the first half finished 1-0.
After the interval, Celtic came into the game more, but missed some very good chances through bad finishing.
In one of the Hibs attacks, the referee awarded them a penalty, and John Halliday, who still hits the ball harder than anybody, struck the spot kick. The Celtic goalie did very well to get his hands to the ball, but could not stop it going in.
Celtic again missed a few chances, and even missed a penalty by blasting the ball over the bar.