Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said the future of green energy research in the north could be jeopardised by Brexit.
Murphy outlined the loss to critical research for the environment, and opportunities for economic growth in renewable energies, as a result of Brexit:
"The fact that Queen's University, Belfast has been awarded an £8 million Interreg funding package for research into renewable energy shows the opportunities that exist as a result of our EU membership.
"This funding will help benefit the all-Ireland green energy sector and has the potential to significantly enhance our knowledge in environmental research."
Speaking of the reduced opportunities local young people now face, Murphy said:
“Brexit clearly threatens to derail the educational and professional opportunities for thousands of young people in Newry & Armagh, many of whom will be heading to Belfast to study in September.
"This is the type of funding we stand to lose as a result of the Tory Brexit agenda.
"Not only will this loss of funding impact on research but it will also limit the opportunities of students as it could lead to less PhD places and post-doctoral research places.
"It shows that not only is Brexit bad for our economy but also the majestic local environment in the Slieve Gullion area.
"In order to protect EU Interreg research funding in the future we need to secure designated special status for the north within the EU."