Mass protests on Derry-Donegal border to mark Brexit

Grianan Outdoors on the Derry-Donegal border is Ireland's first retail store to implement a card-only payment policy

Mass protests on Derry-Donegal border to mark Brexit

Catherine Weatherall, store manager at Grianan Outdoors which operates a card-only payment policy

A number of protests will take place on the Derry-Donegal border tonight to send the message that local communities rejected Brexit.

At 11pm, the UK, including Northern Ireland, will legally leave the EU.

That means the UK will no longer be represented in EU institutions and Northern Ireland's three MEPs, including Derry Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, will no longer sit in the European Parliament.

Trade negotiations will now take place which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson aims to complete within a year, however, the EU insists it will not be rushed.

Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) is holding a rally at Bridgend tonight at 9.30pm to show its opposition to Brexit. 

Further demonstrations will take place at the Magilligan ferry terminal at 11pm in parallel with others at Strabane, Aughnacloy and Killean to highlight uncertainties that remain.

Protesters have been encouraged to use their mobile phones to light up the border area.

BCAB's Dermot O’Hara concluded by saying political representatives in border counties must continue to apply pressure to ensure that the Irish Government stands up for the interests of all the people in the North.

One business which set-up on the Derry-Donegal border amid Brexit uncertainty last November is Grianan Outdoors.  Located at Bridgend at the site formally occupied by Harry’s restaurant, the store specialises in top outdoor brands.

Store manager, Catherine Weatherall said that concerns have lessened given assurances that no border infrastructure will be put in place.

However, Brexit has partly influenced their decision to operate a card-only policy because of constantly fluctuating exchange rates. She said they are the first retail store on the island to implement such a policy.

“Business has been going great, and I suppose you do think about what’s going to happen after Brexit. Our staff would come in from the north so we would never want to see a hard border.

“Then there’s the issue of tax and whether you’d be charged more.  If that happened then it would have a big impact on business.

“In terms of goods coming in, if manufacturing prices went up then that would also have a knock-on effect for retail and for everybody.”

Visit the BCAB Facebook for more details about this evenings rallies.

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