BY Daniel Harkins | October 5 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

2-IRELAND

British soldiers back on Belfast streets ‘within weeks of Brexit,’ says prominent Northern Irish priest

There will be British soldiers back on the streets of Belfast within weeks of Brexit, according to an Irish priest and peace campaigner who was involved in the infamous Holy Cross Primary dispute.

There will be British soldiers back on the streets of Belfast within weeks of Brexit, according to an Irish priest and peace campaigner who was involved in the infamous Holy Cross dispute.

Fr Gary Donegan CP, a Passionist priest, came to the fore of the Troubles in 2001, when he accompanied schoolchildren who had rocks and bombs thrown at them by Loyalist mobs during the 2001 Holy Cross Primary dispute.

He has since become a leading voice in the peace process, meeting Queen Elizabeth and advising US State Department officials.

“My fear, and I’m very much not on my own on this, is that you will see soldiers back on the streets of Belfast and the north of Ireland within weeks of Brexit,” he said.

Fr Donegan spent time last month in St Mungo’s parish in Townhead, Glasgow—which is run by the Passionists—regaling parishioners with stories of his time in his parish in Ardoyne, and giving a talk on peace and reconciliation.

“If you put a soldier, a custom man or Garda on the border, the very people who do not agree with the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process—commonly referred to as dissidents—you give them the oxygen they need and they will take out [kill] the first person on that within weeks.”

Fr Donegan was parish priest of Holy Cross Church in North Belfast for 15 years. He left in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

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