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Irish residents in uproar as border control fears conjure memories of violence

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By Euronews
Irish residents in uproar as border control fears conjure memories of violence

The 500 kilometre border between the North and Republic of Ireland lies at the heart of the Brexit impasse. The greater Britain’s independence from the European Union - the greater the risk that frontier controls will be introduced in a region that’s become used to freedom of movement and doesn’t want to give it up.

After Brexit, this will be Britain’s only land border with the European Union. There are real fears here that if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal, a so called hard border will be imposed.

“You put up physical infrastructure or what people can attack and the genie gets out of the bottle,” says Damian McGenity.

Memorials to the dead litter the borderlands. They were the scene of some of the worst massacres of Northern Ireland’s long conflict.

In one border village where dead gunmen are celebrated, a threat if Britain forces a hard border.

“Do you really think we’re going to have them coming in dictating to us again?,” says a resident. “I would say, let’s go back to war.”

War and economic collapse are the twin fears of the tight knit communities that straddle the border.

“55% of our lamb goes south for processing,” says farmer John Sheridan. “35% of our milk travels south for processing....that would be completely shattered. So our business could be ruined and the futures of our family and our children could also be ruined. It’s that’s serious? It’s that serious absolutely!”

Meanwhile thousands in Northern Ireland are seeking Irish passports in order to remain EU citizens.

“We’re delivering 6,7,8 times the normal volume of passports since the Brexit vote two years ago,” says postmaster James Gallacher. “People looking for Irish passports”