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Border workers missing out on Republic of Ireland's hardship payment is against Good Friday Agreement, says TD

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The failure of the Irish Government to extend a coronavirus hardship payment to people who live in Northern Ireland but work and pay taxes in the Republic has been described as going against the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement by a Donegal TD. (Niall Carson/PA)

The failure of the Irish Government to extend a coronavirus hardship payment to people who live in Northern Ireland but work and pay taxes in the Republic has been described as going against the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement by a Donegal TD. (Niall Carson/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

The failure of the Irish Government to extend a coronavirus hardship payment to people who live in Northern Ireland but work and pay taxes in the Republic has been described as going against the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement by a Donegal TD. (Niall Carson/PA)

The failure of the Irish Government to extend a coronavirus hardship payment to people who live in Northern Ireland but work and pay taxes in the Republic has been described as going against the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement by a Donegal TD.

Sinn Fein's Padraig Mac Lochlainn said he had been contacted by dozens of people who live in either Londonderry or Strabane but work in Donegal who have been left out of the fund.

Among those whose staff have fallen through this safety net are key workers at the Foyle Hotel in Moville in Co Donegal.

Owner and celebrity chef Brian McDermott said: "We have had to close down the hotel because of the pandemic and lay off staff but this payment of €350 came through quite quickly for 75% of them but the 25% who live in Derry didn't get the payment.

"This has left us with additional worries about a return to business because the workers it affects include key members of staff.

"I firmly believe people should get from the pot they pay into and the workers I employ from Derry all pay their contributions to the Republic and should get this pandemic payment."

North East Donegal TD Mr Mac Lochlainn said his party leader had written to the Irish Government but had not yet received a response.

Mr Mac Lochlainn said: "This scheme was set up for workers whose employers through no fault of their own had to make their staff redundant even temporarily because of the coronavirus restrictions.

"While it has worked well for workers who live in the Republic, workers who live in the North but who work in the Republic and pay their taxes here have been excluded from the scheme.

"They have been left blowing in the wind and quite frankly it is a disgrace. And in my humble opinion it is definitely against the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement."

Belfast Telegraph