Limerick man walking from Swansea to London to join people’s vote march

Edmund Sides to join anti-Brexit demonstration on March 23rd after 321km walk

 

A Co Limerick man who is walking from Swansea to London to join the People’s Vote March against Brexit later this month got off to a damp start, but is determined to march on no matter what the weather.

Edmund Sides, who is originally from Castletroy but has lived in Swansea for the last 12 years, is walking the 321km from Swansea to London.

Mr Sides set off in heavy rain on March 6th, and will be walking almost every day until March 22nd. He was accompanied by his wife Rhiannon and three other walkers for the first leg of the walk along the Welsh coast path, around 22km.

He will be taking one rest day on St Patrick’s Day, March 17th before arriving in London the day before the march.

On March 16th, the day Ireland play Wales in the Six Nations, he and Rhiannon will walk carrying both countries’ flags.

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Dual citizen

The last People’s Vote March took place in October 2018 and attracted more than 700,000 people.

Now a dual British and Irish citizen, Mr Sides has previously lived in Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands, where he worked as a geologist, before settling in Wales with his Welsh wife and their children.

Mr Sides has been an active member of the Swansea for Europe group, actively campaigning for a second referendum, leafleting and manning stalls. “Leaving the EU would be the biggest decision in a generation, and a lot has changed since the referendum nearly three years ago. That’s why we need a people’s vote,” he says.

“In my view, there is no deal we can get which is better than the one we have, as EU members.

“But we should let the people decide, now that we know the real options, not just campaign slogans.”

Negativity

Although not a regular occurrence, Mr Sides has received some negative feedback as an Irishman living in the UK in the wake of the referendum result.

“In Killay where I live, one person who came up to our stall told me that because I was Irish I was irrelevant, even though I told him that I am now a dual British-Irish citizen, having obtained a British passport as part of my personal Brexit contingency planning. He then refused to discuss or engage with me on the Brexit issue that we were discussing at the time, and ignored me while talking with one of our other members.”

Describing Mr Sides as “a true Swansea hero”, Paul Wilner, Chair of Swansea for Europe believes that “the tide has turned against Brexit”, based on feedback they have received in the community.

Mr Sides will be tweeting his journey on @EUwalker4.

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