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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 ?

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)

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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?

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!

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?

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

Eyewhisker Fri 07-Dec-18 14:19:13

I’ll take the OP at face value.

The reason why there would be a problem with a hard border is that many people in ‘Northern Ireland’ believe that Ireland as an island is a single country.

Ireland was invaded and occupied by Britain for centuries. A war was fought 100 years ago, after which Britain withdrew from most of the country. However, it held onto a corner of the country which had a high percentage of the descendants of British settlers (the Protestant/Unionist population).

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.

So the short answer is that there is tension because the border was artificially imposed by a foreign country and did not reflect the views of Irish people.

This situation is not unique. Palestine and India where the British also decided to play map-drawing have similar tensions.

There are interesting questions as to why the Protestant population didn’t mix with the native Irish. This is common with many British colonies e.g. America, India, Australia but not with other countries e.g. Spain/Portugal where there was much intermarriage with the ‘natives’

GD12 Fri 07-Dec-18 13:57:05

Didn't read the full thread but how can the UN get involved in a border that doesn't exist? If the UK put a border in and the UN "polices" it, the UK have still put a border in, its a border and you can kiss goodbye to the GFA and will be looking at the troubles starting up again.

dippledorus Fri 07-Dec-18 13:47:23

Thank you @mnhq!!!

kenandbarbie Fri 07-Dec-18 13:33:43

Well done mnhq on deleting those goady posts!

PositivelyPERF Fri 07-Dec-18 13:17:02

Thank you. smile

VictoryOrValhalla Fri 07-Dec-18 13:13:30

I understand what you were doing with those posts.

VictoryOrValhalla Fri 07-Dec-18 13:12:52

No perf, not your posts at all!

PositivelyPERF Fri 07-Dec-18 13:09:14

Sorry VictoryOrValhalla. Just in case you actually think I have a problem with English people, I was trying to show how ridiculous purist was being. I’ve had enough of the collective bullshite to last me a lifetime. Sarcasm doesn’t come across in type.

PositivelyPERF Fri 07-Dec-18 13:05:40

This is an excellent explanation of Brexit.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=S-VadvQUADw

Here’s Paddy Kielty

mobile.twitter.com/patrickielty/status/1045782711816708096?lang=en

VictoryOrValhalla Fri 07-Dec-18 13:00:56

I’ve reported some of the posts on this thread for their obvious offensivesness and deliberate goading.

I’ve also reported the OP as I don’t believe it was started in good faith at all. I suspect a new attempt at stirring up bad feeling after the recent threads discussing anti Irish sentiment.

PennyMordauntsLadyBrain Fri 07-Dec-18 13:00:38

purits showing a smashing display of the anti-Irish sentiment that was flagged a few weeks ago.

The “border” here isn’t manned- there’s no queues or huts for checkpoint agents. There’s barely even a sign- it’s just a continuation of the same motorway. You simply can’t compare it to the Canadian border, because of the unique circumstances which caused it to be set up in the first place.

DH crosses the border every morning for work, along with hundreds of other normal commuters, farmers and students going along their daily business.

I honestly believe people from the rest of the UK should have to do a quick quiz on the history of the Troubles before they’re allowed to comment on this issue- the ignorance displayed even from senior government officials on NI is farcical.

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