SAS invade Irish Republic by mistake http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=QF3JNLG5SZ3Q5QFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/28/nosplit/narchive128.xml "A map reading error by an SAS patrol threatened to undermine Britain's Northern Ireland policy, the records showed. The eight heavily-armed soldiers, six in civilian clothes, made an "accidental incursion" 300 metres into the Republic of Ireland while patrolling the border in three unmarked cars. They were arrested by the Garda and members of the Irish army at a checkpoint after a brief stand-off in May 1976. Ordinarily, they would have been released but the newly-appointed Director of Public Prosecutions in Dublin, Eamonn Barnes, was determined to demonstrate his independence. The men were charged with possession of firearms with intent to endanger lives and possession of firearms without a licence. The charges carried up to 20 years in prison. In the run-up to the men's two-day trial in Dublin in March 1977, London kept up a diplomatic onslaught, which included telephone calls between the Prime Minister, James Callaghan, and his Irish opposite number, Liam Cosgrave. Britain feared long-term damage to relations with Dublin if the men were jailed while the Republic said it could not be seen to bow to pressure from London. In a letter released today, Fred Mulley, the Defence Secretary, told the Prime Minister: "The men were acting in pursuit of our security policy in Northern Ireland." If they were jailed "the effect on the morale of the security forces and on Parliamentary and public opinion would be serious, there would be a public outcry especially if they suffered at the hands of the Provisional IRA." "Our whole Northern Ireland policy could be undermined," Mr Mulley wrote. The troopers were eventually acquitted on the more serious charge and escaped with a £100 fine." I always remember this matter for ten years later we where supporting a winter warfare escape and evasion Ex down in Bavaria and one night over a few Beers I asked the Senior from the Regt about how cum their lads had got lost. He actually blushed and then gave Acceptable version of what had happened. john Basically THEY where set up by local NI polis.