Protesters urge Kenny to demand special NI Brexit deal

Border group claims Dublin should have veto on any agreement British makes with EU

Declan Fearon of Border Communities Against Brexit explains why his organisation has created a 'symbolic' customs post outside of Government Buildings, Dublin. Video: Mary Minihan


Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been urged by anti-Brexit campaigners to fight for special status for Northern Ireland when he participates in the European Council summit at the weekend.

Declan Fearon, spokesman for Border Communities Against Brexit, was among about 100 protesters who handed in a letter for Mr Kenny at Government Buildings on Tuesday morning.

He said they wanted to see the North remain in the European Union. If this could not be delivered, Dublin should be granted a veto on any deal the British government struck with the EU, Mr Fearon said.

“As we see it there is no other solution to it. To try and reimpose the Border in any form is an absolute no-go. It’s not something that communities along the Border would stand for.

“To go back to the bad days of 20-odd years ago is not something that anybody should be contemplating. It’s time that people realised that the only solution is that the North should be given special status.”

Customs posts

He said the protesters were concerned about the effects that Brexit could have on communities all along the Border. He said there could possibly be road closures and new customs posts.

“We’re calling on the Taoiseach to, at Saturday’s meeting of the European Council, to look for that special status that we need to ensure that life as it is along the Border can continue like that and there’ll be no change to that.”

JJ O’Hara from Leitrim, who runs travel company Irish Life Tours, said he was particularly concerned for farmers and homeowners whose properties straddled the Border.

“These are real things and real people on the ground,” Mr O’Hara said.

Posing as old-style customs officers at the protest were Séamus McDonnell, a farmer from Clontigora, south Armagh, and John McNamee, chairman of a cross-Border regeneration group that links Killeen in south Armagh and Edentober in Co Louth.