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Gardaí to increase border county presence as Brexit transition period comes to a halt

State agencies are also warning of potential disruption at Dublin Port in the days ahead.

Image: Sam Boal

PEOPLE LIVING IN the border counties can expect to see an increased garda presence in the coming days as the Brexit transition period comes to an end at 11pm tomorrow night.

Officials from state agencies have also warned of potential disruption at Dublin Port as a result of new regulatory and customs checks on British goods coming into the country.

The border between north and south will remain frictionless after Brexit and gardaí won’t be setting up any Brexit-related checkpoints on the border.

However, in the coming days, they say regular checkpoints and patrols will be increased.

The plans were outlined by Superintendent Liam Geraghty of the Garda Press Office at a media briefing at Dublin Port this afternoon.

Asked what concerns gardaí have about the impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union on the region over the coming days, Supt Geraghty said the increase in presence is mainly to reassure communities.

“I suppose there’s no very specific concerns that we have or specific intelligence that we have,” he said.

“But we are very conscious that any change that comes into place has the potential for organised crime groups to try and take advantage of that. Our presence is to give a reassurance to communities along the border that we are out there we are present.”

Port plans

Supt Geraghty was speaking alongside representatives of other state agencies, including the Revenue Commissioners and the departments of Agriculture and Transport, who outlined their plans for the end of the Brexit transition period.

At 11pm tomorrow, Britain will become a ‘third country’ for the purposes of business and trade with the European Union.

It means that goods travelling from the UK into Ireland will have to be checked to ensure they meet European safety standards.

Speaking at the briefing, Revenue Commissioner Gerry Harahill said that dealing with these extra customs and regulatory checks could cause disruption.

“Customs and other regulatory checks take time — and some take longer amounts of time than others,” he said.

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However, he said that Revenue will have staff on-site at the port 24 hours a day.

He added, “We have facilities in place to cater for checks, whether documentary or physical and we have systems and processes in place to manage the checks in an orderly way. So my message today is change is happening, things cannot and will not stay the same.”

Department of Transport official Eddie Burke highlighted the post-Brexit traffic management plans put in place by his department and Dublin City Council, which were announced earlier this month.

It’s a colour-coded ‘traffic light’ system with green, amber, red and blue status warnings corresponding to the level of traffic congestion.

Blue, he explained, is the “worst-case scenario where, effectively, the port is closed”.

Regular updates on the traffic situation in and around Dublin Port will be broadcast on Dublin City Council’s ‘Live Drive’ radio station (103.2FM).

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