Gardai cant't control the border, according to Louth's policing chief. PICTURE: ARTHUR KINAHAN
Gardai in Louth will face a “doomsday scenario” when Brexit finally becomes a reality next year, something Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan has expressed to the Minister for Justice.
Minister Charlie Flanagan visited Dundalk Garda Station on Monday morning this week for a discussion with senior Garda officers from the Louth division about a number of issues – including border patrols once Brexit is implemented.
Speaking at the Joint Policing Committee meeting at County Hall on Monday, Chief Superintendent Mangan said, “I met with Minister Flanagan on Monday morning.
“I was very frank with him in regards to the difficulties we would face on a doomsday.
“We have 36 border crossing points in Louth and we can’t man them.
“There’s no point saying we will. It’s nigh on impossible,” he continued, citing personnel issues within Louth.
“In regards co-operation with the PSNI, that will continue. They rely on us and we rely on them,” Mangan said.
“It’s the logistics of sealing a border. It was very hard to do 30 years ago and it is hard today.
“It certainly would be very taxing and difficult for a Garda organisation to police the border. There’s no other way to say it.”
The UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29th 2019. Issues pertaining to border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic are a major sticking point in negotiations between the UK and Irish governments and the EU thus far.
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was in Dundalk last Monday for the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, where he reiterated his stance on the border issue.
“It is significant that the United Kingdom committed to avoiding a hard border with no physical infrastructure or related checks or controls,” he said in a speech at Dundalk Institute of Technology.