Joanna Lumley says people should reject Irish border return

Award-winning actress and activist, Joanna Lumley OBE speaking after an event marking the 20th Anniversary of Children in Crossfire, in the Millennium Forum yesterday afternoon.  DER3717GS015
Award-winning actress and activist, Joanna Lumley OBE speaking after an event marking the 20th Anniversary of Children in Crossfire, in the Millennium Forum yesterday afternoon. DER3717GS015

Actress Joanna Lumley has urged people to make it clear they will not accept any border on the island of Ireland.

The Absolutely Fabulous and New Avengers star was in Derry alongside the Dalai Lama to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Children In Crossfire by Derry man Richard Moore.

Award-winning actress and activist, Joanna Lumley OBE pictured with Richard Moore in the Millennium Forum yesterday afternoon, after one of the events marking the 20th Anniversary of Children in Crossfire.  DER3717GS021

Award-winning actress and activist, Joanna Lumley OBE pictured with Richard Moore in the Millennium Forum yesterday afternoon, after one of the events marking the 20th Anniversary of Children in Crossfire. DER3717GS021

Speaking at a press conference at the Millennium Forum on Monday, Ms. Lumley - also well known for her campaigning work in relation to the Gurkha Justice Campaign, human rights and animal rights - was asked, among other things, about her thoughts about Brexit and the border.

She said: “Politically, I don’t think we, and that means all of us here, should allow that border to be returned, just simply don’t allow it, say ‘we will do something else but that border will not return’.

“People might say ‘Oh, but it’s Brexit and stuff’. The European Union was set up by men and people who make the rules. It can be picked apart by people that make the rules.

“The border does not exist, borders don’t actually exist in the world. We have invented them, we have named these people this name, and these people that name, got a piece of paper to go in between.”

She said that she had heard one of the speakers due to arrive from Africa for the Children In Crossfire conference in Derry couldn’t come because he could not get a permit there.

“What has happened? What is happening to us? This is crazy,” she said. “So the first thing we say is there will be no further border.

“If we can agree that, that’s that. We go on, we deal with whatever it is, the border will not come back. Don’t you think?”

Ms. Lumley said Derry was in her heart and she had “never had a sweeter or more warn welcome”.

Ms Lumley said the only reason she had come to Derry was because of Richard Moore, telling him “I am your number one fan”.

Richard Moore lost his sight at the age of 10 in 1972 when he was shot by a British soldier.

The charity he founded, Children in Crossfire, works on the ground with children and families in war-torn and poverty stricken countries across the world.

Ms. Lumley also spoke about the importance of kindness and compassion for others.

Earlier on Monday, the Dalai Lama also said that each human being had a responsibility to help create a better, more humane world.

“Killing, bullying, cheating, basic human nature is not like this,” he said.

“It is extremely sad and untenable, very demoralising to see people of different religions fighting, killing. So now all religious believers have moral responsibility to build harmony.”

Ms, Lumley meanwhile is also planning to travel on from Derry to Ramelton, County Donegal, to visit relatives there.