A PROTEST march aimed
at reversing a government decision to close two army
barracks in Co Donegal will be held in Letterkenny
The protest is being organised by the Donegal
Steering Group Against Barrack Closures who are
expecting a strong turn-out at the march from
The group claim government plans to close Rockhill
and Lifford barracks and merge them with Finner Camp
in Bundoran, will result in an estimated loss to the
north Donegal economy of around 12m.
Made up of former Lifford and Rockhill service
personnel and the partners of existing defence force
members, the campaigners want a military presence
kept in the region.
They are calling for Rockhill and Lifford barracks
to be amalgamated in one location allowing the local
community to "retain jobs and the associated
benefits to the local economy". The group also want
meetings with Defence Minister Willie O'Dea and An
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan to discuss their concerns.
They say if Donegal's entire army capacity is
centred in Bundoran, the border region will be left
vulnerable and the ability to deploy in an emergency
would be significantly curtailed.
A petition launched last weekend has already
collected more than 5,000 signatures, said steering
group chairman John Durran.
We are calling on the general public to show
support and solidarity with the members of the
defence forces and their families who play such a
vital role in the local community," said Mr Durran.
"It is essential that we ensure that one barracks is
retained in North Donegal. Our public
representatives at all levels should be mindful of
our plight. Often the very people who serve and
protect society do not have a voice that can be
heard. The irony is that it is left to a group of
citizens to defend our defenders.
The march begins at the Bus Eireann depot at 1.30pm
and will go through Letterkenny to the Market