The Boxty Without Borders food festival has been given the green light to go ahead as originally planned on the Fermanagh/Cavan Border after the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) approve the required road closure ahead of schedule.

Concerns over the road closure had been raised at a meeting of the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council by Sinn Fein Councillor Chris McCaffrey at the start of August. Councillor McCaffrey had been approached by festival organisers who had been advised that the DfI consultation period for a road closure could take up to 12 weeks prior to approval. At this point, there was only six weeks until the date the festival was to take place.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter this week, Councillor McCaffrey said: “The roads issue is now resolved. The DfI were able to lead the consultation and they have said there is no issue, so it should be going ahead as intended.”

Following the approval of the road closure, the festival will take place as planned on Sunday, September 15 on the bridge connecting the villages of Belcoo and Blacklion, which also marks the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Boxty Without Borders is a long table food gathering, bringing people together to mark and celebrate the very best food and drink from the island of Ireland, highlighting boxty, a traditional dish of the region, as well as providing a feast featuring the incredible produce of the surrounding counties and the wider island.

Led by chef Gearoid Lynch, the Irish Food Champion Assembly (IFCA), will welcome 150 guests to take their seats for a lunch served on Belcoo Bridge, at a long table running from one side of the bridge to the other, and one neighbouring country to another.

“I’d like to thank the DfI Roads service for their co-operation and hard work in getting this issue resolved and also thanks to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council employees and Cavan County Council employees who have been working to ensure the festival could go ahead,” concluded Councillor McCaffrey.