NEWS

Hundreds turn out at Donegal border for Brexit protests

"It was a powerful demonstration of people power"

Connie Duffy

Reporter:

Connie Duffy

Email:

connie.duffy@donegaldemocrat.ie

Hundreds turn out  at Donegal border for Brexit protests

Johnny Kelly from Border Communities Against Brexit being interviewed on Lifford bridge during Wednesday' night's protest

Hundreds of people joined the Border Communities Against Brexit Group, (BCAB), as they staged silent protests on Wednesday night at a number of border crossings between Donegal and Derry, Tyrone and Fermanagh.

These came as negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the British Government continued on the eve of a critical European Union Summit taking place on Thursday.

Johnny Kelly, Border Communities Against Brexit Group, Pat Doherty, former West Tyrone MP and current Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP, Órfhlaith Begley, in Lifford on Wednesday night

Political heavyweights from Northern Ireland attended the various gatherings in the county including SDLP leader, Colum Eastwood who was in Bridgend and West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP, Órfhlaith Begley, who was in Lifford.

A separate took place a few miles up the road at Clady.

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A number of representatives from other groupings were also present.

The various groups were holding candles and posters to indicate their opposition to the uncertainty created by Brexit.

A number carried signs with slogans such as No Boris Border and No to Borders in Ireland.

The protests, organised by Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) in opposition to any imposition of customs posts or border infrastructure as a result of Brexit, marked the eve of Thursday’s critical European Union Summit.

Donegal County councillor, Jack Murray at the Border Communities Against Brexit rally in Bridgend

Speaking at the event BCAB Spokesperson Damien McGenity said that evening’s mobilisation of local people, right across the border region.

"It was a powerful demonstration of people power and of the implacable opposition that exists in border counties to the North being dragged out of the EU and of our determination to resist the imposition of any border infrastructure.

“The uncertainty around the outcome of Brexit negotiations are a cause for deep concern and too much uncertainty around the border issue remains.

“Border communities are going to be the collateral damage if there is a no-deal Brexit so we wanted to make a very clear stand today against the return of any hard border in Ireland.

Protesters taking part in the demonstration at Clady

“Border Communities Against Brexit wish to commend and congratulate all those local people who turned out to defend their livelihoods and to defend our economy and our peace process,” he said.

BCAB representatives are due to meet EU Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the Brexit impasse and the impact it is having on people living in border communities.