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Passport checks on Belfast to Dublin bus

(16 Posts)
threadneedle Sun 15-Sep-19 11:03:28

DH sent me this, makes for startling reading.
Coincidentally we drive up to Carlingford yesterday, it's so lovely there. It didn't occur to me to bring my passport in case we decided to drive further in to enjoy the view.

Depressing times.

OP’s posts: |
Cittadina Sun 15-Sep-19 11:06:14

This is really scary. Thank you for posting.

BillywigSting Sun 15-Sep-19 11:13:37

This is one of the things I really feared. I have family and friends in Belfast and in Co wicklow and Dublin (I'm currently in Liverpool and regularly get the boat over to Dublin then drive up to wicklow).

I remember not even needing id for the boat which you do now, but being checked at the ni border is chilling. I remember the 90s. It feels so much like a huge backwards step putting peace in jeopardy. That sounds dramatic but that is honestly how it feels. There is still bad blood on both sides.

DuchessDumbarton Sun 15-Sep-19 20:31:15

I was in Northern Ireland for work last week- it did occur to me to check with my insurer that my insurance covered me for the day.
Did not think to bring my passport with me sad

beanaseireann Tue 17-Sep-19 19:22:11

Surely we don't need passports yet as Brexit hasn't happened??

beanaseireann Tue 17-Sep-19 19:24:49

I would have thought the checks on the bus have more to do with illegal immigration rather than Irish people travelling in and out of the North.

NigellaAwesome Tue 17-Sep-19 19:34:40

I'm not sure that I believe this. It certainly isn't routine, and it smacks of scaremongering. Nor is the border between the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland 'the English border' as the poster has claimed.

It could well be an intelligence-led stop - who knows? I note the stop took place south of the border, and the AGS were asking for ANY form of ID, not specifically passports. There is a huge amount of cross border crime, including drug trafficking, and cross jurisdictional operations are common.

Interestingly, every time we have driven between the French & Italian border we get stopped and asked for passports. No-one kicks up a fuss about that.

AgileLass Tue 17-Sep-19 19:43:18

This was happening when I was travelling regularly between Belfast and Dublin from 2004-2009. It’s not new. It’s also highly racially targeting - only non-whites are asked to prove their identity with documents or detained (the Guards generally leave people with Irish accents alone).

AgileLass Tue 17-Sep-19 19:44:43

Interestingly, every time we have driven between the French & Italian border we get stopped and asked for passports. No-one kicks up a fuss about that.

Gee whatever could explain the difference in sensitivities between the Franco-Italian border and the border in Ireland?

mummagirl Tue 17-Sep-19 19:45:32

Don't believe this for one minute

NigellaAwesome Tue 17-Sep-19 20:12:27

@AgileLass, in a post that is made in the context of this being an outworking of Brexit, it is relevant. Passport checks have been common at borders within mainland Europe for years.

And it is precisely because of sensitivities at the Irish / NI border that this is scaremongering.

AgileLass Tue 17-Sep-19 22:03:28

I’m not quite sure I understand your position, Nigella - are you saying that this doesn’t happen and the whole thing is made up, or that passport checks in mainland Europe happen so it’s no big deal if it happens in Ireland?

NigellaAwesome Wed 18-Sep-19 08:57:06


What I am saying is that a lot of issues appear to be conflated in the twitter post.

1. If this did happen, I think it is more likely that it was a law enforcement operation by AGS. This is supported by the fact that the AGS are reported as asking for any identification, not passports.

2. The poster appears to be suggesting that this is as a result of Brexit. I don't believe that for a second.

3. The implication that people within the EU are able to cross borders at will, without passports is a fallacy. Freedom of movement is about people being able to move within the EU for work, not about being able to cross borders without passports. Whilst passport checks may not happen on every occasion, I know from experience that they do occur. I appreciate that UK / Ireland differs somewhat due to the Common Travel Area which predated the EU, but only applies to Irish / UK citizens.

4. The issue of the NI border and whether it is a hard border / soft border is a very live political issue, and as you pointed out, extremely sensitive. For the twitter user to suggest that passport checks have been introduced ahead of Brexit is scaremongering and disingenuous.

AgileLass Wed 18-Sep-19 09:28:01

Agreed on all counts! smile

MindyStClaire Wed 18-Sep-19 13:54:54

This has always happened - I've travelled regularly between Dublin and Belfast for 17 years. Couple of times the Gardaí (? I think, Irish officials anyway) got on the Enterprise (Dublin-Belfast train). I had no ID at all on me, but my white face and Irish accent were immediately accepted. Not sure what would've happened to my black colleague with Dublin accent...

I've regularly seen the Aircoach pulled over on the side of the M1 with a police (? again) car beside it, but never been pulled over while on board.

I know international students in Belfast need to get a visa to travel to Dublin, for example for a flight, so I presume the same can be said for plenty of non EU citizens, and that it is violations of those rules that is being looked for.

However, this should absolutely not be confused with a hard border in Brexit discussions.

NigellaAwesome Wed 18-Sep-19 16:21:50

And Mindy the sad fact is that NI is used as a transit route by organised crime gangs for drugs, human trafficking, and smuggling in both directions, primarily, although not exclusively by Eastern European gangs.

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