Political leaders have not truly considered the “day-to-day impact” a hard border would have on people across the island of Ireland, a new group has claimed.
Derry Girls Against Borders has called on those involved in the Brexit negotiations to listen to the fears and anxieties of those living in border communities.
The group, whose name is a nod to the popular TV series, held a meeting on Monday night to kick off a campaign against borders being introduced on the island of Ireland or in the Irish Sea.
Founder Tanya McCamphill said women from all walks of life had come together because they were worried and felt that their way of life was being threatened.
“It is widely recognised that a hard border in Ireland or down the Irish Sea would cause significant social, economic and political challenges, yet still there is no agreed solution,” Ms McCamphill said.
“Our campaign reflects a growing anxiety that our way of life is under threat.”
She said the conversation to date had not yet focused on the effect a border would have on local communities.
“We’re looking for practical assurances and much more of a concrete solution than jargon and repetitive rhetoric,” Ms McCamphill said.
“That does not satisfy the fears that people have here which are more than economical [concerns]; they’re psychological and they’re emotional.”
She said local people were as worried about an east-west border as much as a north-south border and that people’s family lives and their friendships would be negatively affected if the status quo changed.
“Where we come from in this part of the world, we know the incredible value of the freedoms we currently have,” she said.
“We’re saying please engage meaningfully with a way of life that is cherished and valued by people from all different backgrounds.”
She added: “This is not a political campaign....people who have been through borders before are frightened.
“We don’t think we are being heard.”