PLANS are in place to deploy round the clock armed support units to police the border.
With Brexit looming large it has emerged that one third of all new Gardai graduating from Garda College this Friday will be allocated to four border divisions.
Of these divisions three units border Fermanagh: Donegal, Cavan-Monaghan and Sligo-Leitrim. It is understood that a percentage of these new officers will be allocated to these units. This is one aspect of the border plans in the process of being finalised by Garda chiefs which aims to deal with the fallout from Brexit.
Commenting, Newtownbutler Councillor Thomas O’Reilly said at this time it is “very hard to tell if there is a necessity for a lot of Guards along the border”.
Mr O’Reilly added that should the backstop be agreed there would be no need for police or Garda to man the border. “That’s not what they are designed to do. They are designed to be trained to go out and prevent and detect crime, not to be standing on a border, that’s not what police forces in any country is designed for.”
This news has compounded fears and apprehensions of those living along the border. “People are very apprehensive, farmers and businesses particularly, who are having to try and plan ahead and are doing so in a vacuum of information.
“There is uncertainty, and uncertainty is always bad for any business. The fact that negotiations are still going on right up until the deadline, and the possibility that there is going to be an extension doesn’t do anything for confidence.”
Sean Lynch MLA echoed these sentiments remarking that Brexit is the topic ‘on everyone’s lips’. “They are concerned,” he said,
“People are coming in and asking, ‘what is this green card needed to travel south?’
“All of this mirrors issues that can be avoided with no hard border. A seamless border which has been there for the last 20 years.”
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