Belfast Telegraph

Brexit: Protestors use bin lids to voice opposition at border crossings

Hundreds of residents of the border community have gathered to demonstrate their opposition to Brexit in a series of protests which took place on Wednesday night.

Local people from both sides of the border came together along 38 of the 200 different border crossings between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, holding candles and posters to indicate their opposition to the uncertainty created by Brexit.

It came on the eve of a critical European Union summit taking place on Thursday.

At a protest in Bridgend, on the border between Donegal and Derry, residents voiced their views against the imposition of border infrastructure by using bin lids in a gathering organised by Border Communities Against Brexit.

There were some clashes amongst those attending the Bridgend protest with some smoke bombs used.

"We are still investigating who had the smoke bombs. That was not approved by BCAB and would never be," said a spokesperson.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the organisation said they think the message was clearly sent to the UK and EU governments that they will not accept anything less than a deal with the backstop, no border and the protection of citizens rights.

Speaking from Bridgend, spokesperson for the organisation Dermot O'Hara said: "My position is that people in the north of Ireland voted in a majority to remain under the Good Friday Agreement.

"One of the fundamentals was that the status of Northern Ireland wouldn't change unless the majority of people agreed to it," he said, speaking to the BBC.

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"If we don't come out and demonstrate and call on the Irish and British governments and the European Union to take note of our democratic mandate, it certainly won't happen.

"We're opposed to Brexit and we want to remain in the EU, if some sort of condition comes that we remain in the EU, we'll be happy enough.

"If we leave on 31 October, the impact on the northwest will be massive. This is an area of high deprivation, high unemployment, low manufacturing base, we have much further to go down the ladder until we hit zero," he said.

Mr O'Hara said Border Communities Against Brexit has widespread political support.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood was in attendance, as was Sinn Fein MP Elisha McCallion and MLA Karen Mullan.

"If you look around here now, there's a number of local politicians here. The Ulster Unionist Party voted to remain," said Mr O'Hara.

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