Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Disappointment at Council “snub” of Brexit Border Group 

Slieve Gullion area Councillor Mickey Larkin has said that the decision by Newry Mourne & Down Council to refuse to recognise the contribution of the Border Communities Against Brexit Group (BCAB) in helping raise concerns about the impact of Brexit and the return of a “hard border” is deeply disappointing and viewed by many as a snub.

Criticising the Council for its lack of support, the Sinn Féin Councillor said: “The Border Communities Against Brexit have been a leading voice in the campaign to press to ensure there is no return to a hard Border in Ireland.  The Group were awarded the prestigious European Citizens Prize for 2017 and were also recipients of a recognition by the Mid Ulster Council.  Unfortunately my request for Newry Mourne and Down Council to similarly recognise the work of this Group was turned down.”

He hit out at the Council Chairman, who he says ultimately took the decision not to officially recognize the group’s efforts: “Chairman of the Council, SDLP Councillor Mark  Murnin, who made this decision, justified the refusal because my nomination did “not seem to fit into the criteria” for awards recognition. It is disappointing that a DUP Mayor in Mid Ulster could see it appropriate  to host an event honouring this Group, whilst Cllr Murnin refused to.”

Councillor Larkin said the refusal to recognise the work of the BCAB Group is disappointing and a snub.

“Brexit and a hard border have the potential to cause devastation to our economy, our industries, jobs and especially to the farming sector, to the free movement of people crossing the border every day in our communities to work, study or to trade. 

This Group have worked with communities and all stakeholders from across the divide to highlight the grave concerns most of us have about the impact of Brexit here.  This is hugely disappointing and is a snub to all those involved. I would appeal to the Chairperson of Council, Councillor Murnin, to review his decision”.