Brexit protests organised across the border area

Sinn Fein elected representatives unite at Moybridge, near Aughnacloy, in support of Border Communities Against Brexit.
Sinn Fein elected representatives unite at Moybridge, near Aughnacloy, in support of Border Communities Against Brexit.

Protests against Brexit took place at a range of locations along the border on Saturday.

The demonstrations were organised by campaign group Border Communities against Brexit. Its members argue that Northern Ireland’s referendum result – in which a majority voted to remain in the EU – should be respected independently of the overall UK decision to leave the EU.

They are opposed to strengthening of border controls and say they must be heard when decisions are taken.

One of the largest demonstrations was at Carrickarnon, between Newry and Dundalk, where organisers put in place a mock customs building. A lengthy tailback of traffic was created.

Politicians from a number of political parties were present, including Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Fianna Fail.

“We want to stop the reimposition of those border posts,” said Border Communities Against Brexit spokesman Declan Fearon.

Mr Fearon runs a furniture business near Jonesboro in South Armagh.

His niece, Megan, is a Sinn Féin junior minister in the Executive Office at Stormont, previously known as the Office of First and Deputy First Minister.

Literature handed out repeatedly referred to ‘The North’, rather than Northern Ireland, RTE reported.

Participants handed out leaflets saying the ‘hard Brexit’ policy of Prime Minister Theresa May would mean severe restrictions on those who live in the border region.

They claimed Brexit would mean the introduction of customs check points and would have far-reaching, negative economic consequences.

Speakers also included business representatives.

The UK voted 51.9% to leave the EU while Northern Ireland voted 55.8% to remain.