A new website part-funded by the EU has been created for the 23,000 people a day who cross the border in Ireland to work or study.
The new site www.borderpeople.info will advise the cross-border citizen on everything from taxation, social security and job seeking, to health, banking, housing and telecoms.
It is estimated that 14 million cars cross the border between Dundalk and Newry every year and that at least 18,000 workers and 5,200 students cross the border every day to work and study.
According to Patricia Clarke, research manager for the Centre for Cross Border Studies, that’s 1.7 million people who cross the border on a regular basis every year.
“Through our research, the stark reality of an all-island economy has highlighted the fact that thousands of cross-border users are missing out on entitlements and services,” Clarke explained.
“This website will enable people who cross the border to meet future challenges, be they economic, social or educational. There are a number of common difficulties faced by people moving across the border to work, live, study or retire, which are caused by information problems.”
Joint head of the North/South Ministerial Council Secretariat, Tom Hanney, explained: “One of the main difficulties for people is identifying a resource that is dedicated to providing relevant, up-to-date, credible information.
“The question, ‘Where do I start looking when inquiring about specific cross-border issues?’ is a common one. The Border People website is an important online resource to help people find the answers to these questions with the simple click of a button,” Hanney added.
By John Kennedy
Pictured: broadcaster Claire Byrne with Dr Patricia Clarke from the Centre for Cross Border Studies