Sinn Fein Colr. hits out at army training in Drumsurn

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A Sinn Fein councillor has hit out at British army training in Drumsurn in County Derry, claiming concerned residents say it is “terrifying” their children.

Colr. Chivers said training had taken place in the last week in the Legavallon Road area.

Sinn Fein Colr. Brenda Chivers.  (DERR1111SJ10)

Sinn Fein Colr. Brenda Chivers. (DERR1111SJ10)

The Ministry of Defence confirmed reservists are involved in “essential training”.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “Councillor Chivers is correct in her assertion that reservists from 38 (Irish) Brigade were involved in essential training.

“This training ensures that the reservists, drawn from across the community, are ready for any commitments including humanitarian aid; for example reserve deployments to combat Ebola in western Africa and current international training against poachers in Gabon.”

Colr. Chivers said: “I have been contacted by concerned locals about troops training around Drumsurn and how this is terrifying their children who have witnessed many lorry loads of armed men. I contacted the PSNI and they simply said they are aware of the training that is going on.”

Video footage filmed on Friday by Rory Donaghy, a member of the Causeway Policing and Community Safety Partnership, shows uniformed men armed with what appears to be guns walking along the Legavallon Road.

Colr. Chivers added: “This is 2015 and it is time for the entire County Derry area to be demilitarised as we have seen in recent years troops training in Magilligan, these actions are seriously hampering the growth of local tourism and simply are not wanted by local people given the history of the British army.”