As the United Kingdom eventually left the European Union over three years after the Brexit referendum last Friday night protestors gathered on the Border of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in opposition to Brexit.

At Belcoo/Blacklion and Aghalane Border Communities Against Brexit (BCAB) protests coincided with demonstrations in Carrickcarnon, Aughnacloy, Lifford and Bridgend.

At Aghalane, Fr. Joe McVeigh, speaking to a crowd of around 100 local people, said Northern Ireland was being “dragged out of the European Union, against our will”.

“Brexit does not have the support of the people in Ireland. Whilst the current deal means that there will be no hard infrastructure at the Border, many threats and serious challenges remain.

“Because of our campaign, Special Measures are in place to ensure no Border roads are closed.

“Without those special measures Border roads would be sealed off, with only a handful left open.

“Many of you, older people, will remember the inconvenience and suffering that was caused in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s when the British closed most of the roads along the Border.

“The Good Friday Agreement offered the citizens of Ireland a chance to go forward towards unity and peace but all signatories must respect the Agreement and the terms of that Agreement.”

Fr. McVeigh told the crowd gathered that Brexit in any form is bad for citizens, for the economy and a threat to the peace and future of the island of Ireland.

He also called on the British Government to meet their obligations under the Good Friday Agreement.

“The interests of Ireland and the rights of citizens in the North must be front and centre of negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and Britain. The lobbying profile and activity of Border Communities Against Brexit, with the support of people across the island like you here tonight, helped to ensure that there will be no hard Border in Ireland.

“Our engagement with political representatives at local, national, EU level and in America has been vital to the process.

“Political representatives in the border counties need to keep up the pressure to ensure that the Irish Government continues to stand up for our interests and those of all the people in the North.”

In finishing, Fr. McVeigh told the demonstrators that Brexit was not an Orange and Green issue with religion or identity not in the slightest “mitigate against the Economic or Social hardship which leaving the EU will bring”.

“Without any doubt whatsoever, Brexit will make all of us poorer,” added Fr. McVeigh.