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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 22 February, 2018
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Hard border fears as government accused of seeking out locations for customs posts

Sinn Féin wants clarity on the ‘hard border’ issue.

An old disused border post.
An old disused border post.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams has said he is worried of the catastrophic effect a hard border would have on the island and said he was concerned at claims the government is preparing for a return to the days of border controls.

Reports in yesterday’s Irish Examiner claimed that revenue officials had been meeting to determine all “legal and practical implications of a range of scenarios”.

Adams said: “This allegedly includes the examination and identification of locations for full border checkpoints with ‘red and green channel’ facilities in Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, and Donegal. It is also claimed that the M1 motorway between Dublin and Belfast is to be a particular focus for customs officials.”

Adams had used his Dáíl speaking time to ask the Taoiseach about the reports. Kenny responded by saying  he had seen reports drafted by customs officials but “I have an agreement with the British government that there will be no return to the border of the past and that means customs posts along the border”.

Kenny added that he and his party do not want to see a return to the old days and that “nobody north or south wants to a return to that”.

But Sinn Féín said it was not happy with that response and said it wanted clarity on what is to happen.

Adams, who is a TD for Louth, added: “The government urgently needs to clarify these contradictory positions. The people of Louth and the border community do not want a return of customs posts and checkpoints. Such a development would have serious economic consequences for jobs, the farming community, the fishing industry and local enterprises. Brexit is already hurting local businesses and this would make that situation worse.”

Read: Warning as ‘oily fatbergs’ turn up on Irish beaches >

Read: ‘Imagine the trauma, fear and confusion’: 55% surge in child homelessness >

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