Ballougry PS put on its nativity play as custom officer complained of border slackness

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Pupils of Ballougry Primary School (pictured above) took part in a nativity play for parents and friends in the school, thirty years ago, in December 1985.

It’s likely the children or nieces and nephews of the shepherds, kings, and Mary and Joseph above are taking part in this year’s nativity at the school.

What else was happening back then?

On the front page of the Sentinel on December 18, 1985, we reported on a ‘Border customs shock!’

“Customs control on the 70 miles border in the Londonderry and Strabane area is being relaxed, a disillusioned Customs officer has claimed,” read the Sentinel report at the time.

The man said he and his colleagues had been reprimanded for carrying out checks on the unapproved crossings were the majority of contraband was smuggled across.

He accused members of senior management of preventing officials from ‘doing their work properly.’

He said that he was afraid that what he called slack security along the border will lead to increased smuggling of illegal drugs, cattle and other contraband into NI.