“A SOFT BORDER IS A HARD BORDER BY STEALTH” — CAPACITY CROWD AT CLONES MEETING TOLD

14 September 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) held a public meeting and exhibition in Clones on Sunday evening last. Before the meeting, the function room of the Creighton Hotel was packed to capacity with people of all ages from those who remembered the realities of the original hard Border, to toddlers in pushchairs. At the outset, BCAB stated that it was a broad organisation with no political allegiance. Public representatives from across the political spectrum were invited but some had sent apologies citing other engagements.

There was a predominant Sinn Féin presence, notably, Martina Anderson MEP, Matt Carthy MEP, Michelle Gildernew MP and Colm Gildernew MLA (the Gildernews are siblings), Seán Lynch MLA, as well as various councillors including Cathaoirleach of Ballybay/Clones Municipal District Pat Treanor and former Clones Town councillor Niall Quigley. After the meeting, Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, who was due to speak but could not attend due to circumstances beyond his control, contacted The Northern Standard to ensure that his apologises were recorded, along with his wholehearted support for BCAB.

Mr. Damien McGinnity, Coordinator of BCAB, who chaired the meeting, began by introducing the panel on the top table: JJ O’Hara from Sligo/Leitrim, John Sheridan from Fermanagh and John Moyna from Knockatallon. There were a couple of documentary makers and photographers present, in addition to the local media. “One of the reasons we decided to host this event tonight, was that it is the 25th anniversary of the Border Road Opening Campaign,” the chair explained. “For a few years now it’s been a bit like ‘Back to the Future’,” he observed.

Thanking people for coming out in such numbers on a Sunday night, Mr. McGinnity explained: “BCAB have a hectic schedule at the moment. We hope to say hello to Boris Johnson tomorrow in Dublin, that will be interesting! I don’t think he will want to say hello to us! On Thursday (today) we are going to the French Embassy in Dublin to meet the French Ambassador….

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