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IT'S FOYLE'S WAR... Border dispute for lough after Brexit.

Byline: BRIAN HUTTON

BREXIT has sparked its very first territorial dispute - reigniting an ancient row over the ownership of Lough Foyle.

Claims over the vast estuary between Co Derry in the North and Co Donegal have been made since partition almost a century ago.

After the Good Friday Agreement, a cross-border body called the Loughs Agency was handed responsibility for the waters, a key strategic naval base during World War II. But in the wake of the vote f to leave the EU, the North's Secretary of State James Brokenshire has reasserted London's claim over the entire lough.

He was asked in a parliamentary question how fishing rights will be decided in both Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough - which also straddles both jurisdictions - after the UK leaves the EU.

Mr Brokenshire added: "The Government's position remains that the whole of Lough Foyle is within the UK."

However, our Department of Foreign Affairs swiftly rejected the claim. It said: "Ireland has never accepted the UK's claim to the whole of Lough Foyle."

Sinn Fein Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn branded Mr Brokenshire's remarks as "arrogant and provocative".

He added: "The Loughs Agency tasked with responsibility for managing Lough Foyle by both governments has been repeatedly calling for a resolution so that the real tourism and fisheries potential of the Lough can be fully realised."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 18, 2016
Words:222
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