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A question about the Irish/Northern Ireland border

(64 Posts)
Heatherjayne1972 Fri 07-Dec-18 10:54:40

So was chatting with a friend about all things brexit and he wants to know how come places like Canada North America and Mexico ( and other countries) can exist side by side harmoniously. ( ish) when they are sovereign states Yet there’s tension on the NI/ROI border
I’ve explained the good Friday agreement being an international legally binding thing / history/ the troubles / Ireland being its own sovereign state Etc
But he thinks the border should be ‘handled ‘ by the UN. Like north and South Korea
What would you say to this ?

Heatherjayne1972 Fri 07-Dec-18 14:27:02

Not my intention to stir up anything
As i said my friend asked me a question I didn’t have an answer for
So I asked people who know more than me. - you lot

bellinisurge Fri 07-Dec-18 17:29:05

@Heatherjayne1972 - shouldn't you and your friend be asking yourself why the heck you didn't know this already. Assuming you were both old enough to vote in the 2016 referendum. How could either of you voted without knowing this?

FishesaPlenty Fri 07-Dec-18 17:56:35

To the non-settler population, a good analogy would be drawing an international border between Kent and Hampshire and telling the people of Kent that they were no longer English as England started after Kent. The people of Kent I’m sure would be outraged.

Not as outraged as the people of Sussex and Surrey would be. You've just written them out of existence!

Rdoo Fri 07-Dec-18 19:08:07

Heatherjayne1972

I'm from a border area, grew up about half a mile from it. All my family still in the area. It's an issue because a almost half of people in Northern Ireland consider themselves Irish, not British. The border area would be almost exclusively contain people who consider themselves Irish.

If you erect a border you are cutting off people from their country.
Those who would erect a border would be British - to the people of those communities they are foreigners. There are foreigners coming to their country to cut them off from the rest of their country.

Think about it like the French erecting a border around Surrey. How would English people feel?

OlennasWimple Fri 07-Dec-18 19:21:13

Just to chip in on the UN point...

Although it wasn't the UN, there was significant international leadership involved in brokering the negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement. Bill Clinton was prominently involved, but also George Mitchell (a US senator), Richard Haass (a US diplomat) and others behind the scenes to help achieve the fomerly impossible

Linwin Fri 07-Dec-18 19:22:07

The short answer is Identity. I live in NI, it’s not just that I work in Dublin and drive down every day for work, so a border would be a pita. I have an Irish passport. I identify as Irish. A key part of the Good Friday Agreement was Ireland giving up its claim over NI but instead people in NI were allowed to identify as Irish or British or both if they wish.
There can never be a border here again, it is simply not possible due to the identity provisions of the GFA, this is a very unique situation and is not replicated anywhere else in the world. Support for the GFA here is overwhelming, if only our politicians would get back to work and start representing us properly.

By the way, the DUP do not speak for NI on the issue of the backstop. Many here welcome the WA provisions for the backstop if it means an economic boost for an area that has been deprived for so long. I’ve seen representatives from small business, farming and industry here all saying this.

mathanxiety Fri 07-Dec-18 19:30:07

Your friend needs to read up on quite a lot, including the border between North and South Korea. The UN is not involved there at all, and to my knowledge never has been

The DMZ is policed by forces from North and South, each staring balefully at the other across a no man's land, with very twitchy fingers on various hot buttons and triggers.

The peace, and also the pressure on North Korea, is kept by a significant US military presence in South Korea on land, in the sea and the air.

bellinisurge Fri 07-Dec-18 19:30:54

I would be embarrassed to admit I didn't know anything about this.

1tisILeClerc Fri 07-Dec-18 19:42:29

{The DMZ is policed by forces from North and South, each staring balefully at the other across a no man's land, with very twitchy fingers on various hot buttons and triggers.}
I have been to the S Korean side and you can watch the N Korean soldiers patrolling up and down. The DMZ is about 1Km or so wide. Feels quite odd somehow.

FishesaPlenty Fri 07-Dec-18 19:50:15

Your friend needs to read up on quite a lot, including the border between North and South Korea. The UN is not involved there at all, and to my knowledge never has been

The US and S Korea troops patrolling the border were under direct UN control until the late 70s. They're still carrying out their duties on behalf of the UN.

Positi Fri 07-Dec-18 19:55:37

Because, Ireland is an island and was invaded by Britain and colonised. Collins sent to negotiate due to DeValera's weakness, agreed to hand over 6 Irish counties to Britain. A lot of people in those 6 counties disagreed with this.
In Northern Ireland (the 6 counties), there was a class and religious divide, based on the planted Lords (protestants) and the native Irish (Catholics).
Catholics were mistreated appallingly over the decades since that divide and they rebelled.
The IRA was originally Ireland's legitimate army. However, after the divide, when the 6 counties came under British rule, and hence British police, the IRA became the name for a breakaway paramilitary movement.
Thus comments several decades of bombings in NI and Britain (and Bloody Sunday in the South and at least one bomb that I can recall in Dublin in the 70's).
It became tit for tat guerilla warfare.
What preceded this was 800 years of occupation of Ireland by British.
There was a border which was patrolled by British Army Soldiers in the 70's 80's and early 90's (not sure whether it was there in the 60's).

Eventually, after years of negotiations, they both decided to down arms. Tanks were removed from Belfast and the IRA cease fire.

If you want to know what Bloody Sunday was, Bono sings about it, google it, but it was basically where a british tank went into Ireland's national stadium and opened fire on civilian spectators merely watching a Gaelic football match.

That's why Ireland is different. Tensions were and probably still are high. Peace is hung by a silk thread. All over 6 little counties in Ireland. But Britain would not relinquish control.

And there you have it. The NI debacle in a nutshell. Probably loads I haven't included, but that's the basics of it as I understand them to be.

Then you had things like the Guildford 4? Remember them? Years spent in prison as innocents.

Lots of British army atrocities. Lots of atrocities by the IRA.

America got involved. Not sure that the UN ever did to be honest. Happy for someone to correct me on that.

blubberyboo Fri 07-Dec-18 20:07:35

To put it as basically to your friend as possible to help him understand..you are driving along in your car at 70 miles per hour in northern ireland...you dont reduce speed at all ...then suddenly you are in the republic of Ireland and you continue your journey at 70 miles per hour..( or 120 km per hour as the road signs change)...it is invisible..Just the same as driving between England and Scotland.....and this keeps the peace and stops the killing .It has worked just fine for 20 years.

If the UN or anybody else was " managing" the border the car would have to slow down and stop...big no no for peace. Their presence would actually CAUSE conflict.

blubberyboo Fri 07-Dec-18 20:42:50

@eyewhisker just on your note about intermarriage i would just like to point out that there is indeed much intermarriage between Catholics and protestants in NI it is usually just ignored in politics and media as it doesnt serve either sides individual agenda. In fact such ppl used to be considered traitors by their " own side" and suffered persecution

I myself am the product of such a union and i was born in 1979. My mother is protestant daughter of an orangeman and my father is a catholic. Indeed many of his siblings intermarried too and i have many friends nowadays who intermarry or who themselves are the product of intermarriage from 70s or 80s

To confuse matters further sometimes my mother votes for the SDLP a nationalist party and my father has been known to vote for the DUP if a certain councillor has helped him sort a social problem etc..

Personally i am grateful to have grown up with a broad balanced view of both sides.

www.nimma.org.uk

SgtFredColon Fri 07-Dec-18 21:57:56

If you want to know what Bloody Sunday was, Bono sings about it, google it, but it was basically where a british tank went into Ireland's national stadium and opened fire on civilian spectators merely watching a Gaelic football match.

Bono’s Bloody Sunday is the other one (where British soldiers opened fire on a bunch of unarmed civilians in Derry during the civil rights march)

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