Tuesday 16 July 2019

Brexit will not be 'pretty' - Chief Supt

Margaret Roddy at Joint Policing Committee meeting

The looming prospect of Brexit presents a scenario which 'is not pretty', Chief Supt Christy Mangan stated at the Joint Policing Committee meeting in Carlingford last week.

He feared that the politicians in Northern Ireland, the UK and Ireland don't know what is coming down the tracks and from a policing perspective, he wanted that they will be facing 'a very difficult situation'.

'I do not want a hard border. No one wants that with all the difficulties and old memories it would bring,' he stated.

Any confusion on the border will create opportunities for crime, he said, pointing to the on-going problem with diesel laundering, the recently discovery of one of the biggest illegal cigarette factories in Europe, as well as the potential for human trafficking.

'We need clarity from our leaders,' he said.

He revealed that he did have a plan for what sort of policing will be needed after Brexit, but it would take a lot of resources.

Pointing to the condition of the Garda Stations along the border, he branded the condition of Dromad station as 'disgraceful'.

'It's in very, very poor condition and if I have to bring in 20 guards to operate in this building, and I'm being very kind in calling it a building, it would fall apart.'

He warned that the resources needed to police the border would have a knock on effect on other areas.

However, if there's a soft border, he didn't think it would result in a situation that would be too taxing.

He was responding to a question from Vivian Mee of Ravensdale Community Alert who had voiced concerns about the consequences of Brexit for those living close to the border.

Cllr Anne Campbell asked him if he was working with the Defence Forces in coming up with his plans as she knew that they were deployed along the border for a number of years to complement the gardai.

She also queried if he had a plan for a hard border and a plan for a soft border, and asked if infrastructure along the border was part of what he was considering.

Chief Supt Mangan again referred to the condition of Dromad Garda Station and stressed that he had no money to carry out improvements. He said some of the stations along the border were in 'deplorable conditions' and would require a lot of money and improvements or else they should be closed, but he didn't want to close them as they are wanted by the local communities.

He told Cllr Campbell that the gardai were working with the Defence Forces, with whom they had a very good relationship.

The Argus