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Mock checkpoint on border as hundreds join organised protest against Brexit

A woman is stopped at mock customs post as the Border Communities Against Brexit group protest in Newry
A woman is stopped at mock customs post as the Border Communities Against Brexit group protest in Newry
Gerry Adams at the checkpoint
A man protests on bridge over A1
Protesters at Bridgend
Protesters at Bridgend

By Cate McCurry

Hundreds of people took part in a number of mass demonstrations on the border in opposition to Brexit on Saturday.

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Border Communities Against Brexit was marking the day after the UK had been due to leave the European Union.

The demonstrations took place at crossing points in Co Tyrone, Co Louth, Co Donegal, Co Fermanagh, Co Cavan and Co Monaghan.

Demonstrators set up a mock checkpoint on the Old Dublin Road in Carrickcarnon manned by people dressed as customs officers. The road was closed to the public as protesters carried anti-Brexit placards and EU flags.

Around 300 people gathered at the site, on a road that was closed during the Troubles.

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald was joined by party vice-president Michelle O'Neill and Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein Assembly Member Conor Murphy.

Border Communities Against Brexit's Declan Fearon warned a crash-out Brexit was "increasingly likely".

He said: "A border in the past meant this road was closed for over 40 years and this community was divided.

"We won't allow the very hard right-wing Tories and the ERG (European Research Group) and especially the DUP to destroy this community and bring us back to days when this was an economic wasteland."

Colin Harvey, a professor of human rights law at Queen's University Belfast School of Law, said he is against any attempt to "undermine or attack" the Good Friday Agreement.

He said: "We have long experience of people trying to put walls in our way and we take them down.

"If anybody attempts to put barriers on this island again they are coming down.

"Any obstacles on this island will be removed.

"We as a society are used to people putting up mountains for us to climb and we will continue to climb them. There will be no hard border on the island of Ireland.

"We are going to be the generation who ends the major division on this island, who can achieve the unification of our own country and we are going to get there."

Ms McDonald said: "We are at a very dangerous moment where we inch ever closer to the real possibility of a crash and a chaotic Brexit.

"At this stage people should understand how serious that would be for all of us."

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