Concern raised over cross border emergency co-operation post Brexit
Sinn Féin councillors on both sides of the border have raised the issue of cross border emergency co-operation post Brexit and says that the UK’s impending exit from the European Union shout not cost lives.
The Cross Border Fire and Ambulance Services gave a presentation to Councillors and members of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week.
Sinn Féin councillors from Louth, Armagh and Down expressed concern that the current Memorandum of Understanding between Louth County Council Fire & Rescue and NI Fire that has been in place since 2012 would be in jeopardy post Brexit.
Councillor Antóin Watters had raised the issue a few weeks ago following an accident on the main A1 dual carriageway just north of Dundalk. Louth County Council Fire and Rescue were called to assist the Newry Fire Services following a car accident.
Sinn Fein councillor for the Slieve Gullion Area Mickey Larkin said: “We need to ensure that this cross border co-operation continues after Brexit. We received a very valuable presentation from Joe Lumdsen for Louth County Council Fire and Rescue which related to Cross Border Emergency Planning. He informed us that they have been mobilised to 31 incidents on both sides of the border since the Memorandum of Understanding started in 2012.”
Cllr Watters added: “Let’s face it, people from the remote part of North Louth, like Omeath and Edentubber would get an ambulance much quicker from Newry than they would from Drogheda. People in these areas need to be able to rely on these vital cross border services. There is so much uncertainty around Brexit but this is one issue that we need confirmation and clarity on.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan who is joint Chair of the MOU said: “We must ensure that response times and access to both sides of the border is not affected. Brexit should not cost people’s lives and with all the uncertainty around the issue and the possibility of a hard border, we in Sinn Féin are calling on the Irish and British Governments to ensure this vital co-operation continues.”
Pictured above main: Sinn Féin councillors at the Memorandum of Understanding meeting, left to right: Cllr Antóin Watters, Cllr Mickey Larkin, Cllr Roisin Mulgrew, Cllr Edel Corrigan and Cllr Pearse McGeough