Czech Republic Visit

Dundalk Chamber represented by Paddy Malone and Paddy Matthews met with a delegation from the Czech Republic.

The delegation also met Chair of Louth County Council Colm Markey, Conor Patterson of Newry Chamber and Carlingford Heritage, Mark Deery.

A number of the delegation had been here in September and they had recommended a longer visit to understand the complexities of BREXIT. The delegation afterwards told Paddy Malone that they understood the randomness of the border itself and recognised that the community had been artificially split in two. When Czech and Slovakia split in 1993 there was no such problem.

Paddy emphasised the fact that 3,000 cross the border daily in our region, people go to Daisy Hill hospital and that all of us in the South would have relatives in the NEWRY region. He explained that the agri business saw product switching back and forward across the seamless border, particularly in milk. There was a single code for veterinary and for the electric market.

Conor emphasised the change in Newry since 1996. He explained how the two economies of Newry and Dundalk support each other, while at the same time compete. Peace and the lack of an artificial border has allowed businesses to work on both sides of the border.

Paddy believes that the delegation will ask the Government of the Czech Republic to continue to support the Irish Government and Barnier.