IMPACT/SIPTU symposium on Brexit

The border: A Brexit deal bargaining chip or another victim of Brexiteer folly?

Symposium will examine future of Northern Ireland’s border post-Brexit

IMPACT AND SIPTU will host a joint symposium on Brexit, on Friday 24th November, in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, County Donegal.

Focusing on the issue of the border with Northern Ireland, the symposium will examine questions of the border’s future post-Brexit. Has the border become a Brexit deal bargaining chip or is it yet another victim of the failure of ‘Brexiteers’ to consider the consequence of their folly?

IMPACT official Richy Carrothers says it’s the greatest single threat to the normalisation of life on both sides of the border. “The border, as it was, ran nearly 500km from Lough Swilly in Derry to Carlingford Lough in Louth. Now, everyday tens of thousands of people crisscross freely the border areas. Students, shoppers, tourists, commuters, school children, hauliers and workers. In fact, the border is crossed 110 million times a year.

“This figure represents the continued normalisation of politics on this island, and of life on both sides of the border, and is reflected in the majority referendum vote (56%) in favour of ‘Remain’ in Northern Ireland. Now the British government is in the process of dismantling the rights and entitlements of EU citizenship and all that brings,” he said.

The event will run from 10.30am to 3.15pm and will feature speakers from across the trade union movement, civic society and the business community.

Speakers include:

  • Anne Marie O’Kane (Border People manager, Centre for Cross Border Studies)
  • Paul Mac Flynn, (senior economist, Nevin Economic Research Institute)
  • Michala Lafferty (area organiser, USDAW)
  • Oisín Hassan (vice president, Union of Students in Ireland)
  • Kevin Callinan (vice president, ICTU and deputy general secretary, IMPACT)
  • Damien McCallion (director general, CAWT and national director, HSE)
  • Jacquie Reid (deputy general secretary, Ulster Teacher’s Union)
  • Seamus Neely (chief executive, Donegal County Council)
  • Gerry McCormack (assistant general secretary, SIPTU)
  • Toni Forrester (chief executive officer, Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce)
  • Sean McDermott (managing director, Kirchhoff Ireland Ltd.)
  • Bert Stewart (regional chairman, Irish Farmers Association)

Richy added, “The event will have three panel discussions, covering the free movement of people, Brexit and public services and Brexit and the economy.”

Richy is encouraging all IMPACT branches to send representatives to the symposium and take part in the discussion.

The full event programme is available HERE.

To register, please email the IMPACT Sligo office (please put ‘Brexit Symposium’ in the email subject line) or call 071-9142400 no later than 10th November 2017.

Read Richy’s special feature on Brexit and the border in the latest edition of Work & Life HERE (hosted at