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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

'If it's a hard border, we fear it will provoke reaction from a group like the IRA'

“I’ve seen it happen in the past, and I fear it will happen again,” Father Joe McVeigh said.


The video is part of’s Brexit Road Trip – watch it in full here.

ALL SIDES IN the Brexit negotiations have repeatedly committed to avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

But this week will prove crucial in deciding if all sides meant it when they made that commitment: EU leaders are due to discuss the Irish border issue tomorrow and on Thursday, and after years of talks they still seem no closer to reaching a deal that will please all sides.

During our recent Brexit Road Trip, we spoke to historian Father Joe McVeigh at St Michael’s Parish Church in Enniskillen about what danger the reemergence of a hard border would pose.

“The fear is now, that if there’s a hard Brexit and a hard border, and customs and excise posts are put up again, that will provoke some reaction from a group like the IRA, and that there will be attacks on these border posts as symbols of a division in Ireland.”

“I’ve seen it happen in the past, and I fear it will happen again,” he said, adding that he is still hopeful there will be a last-minute resolution. Which is also Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s prediction.

Video and additional reporting by Nicky Ryan

Watch our view above for the full report, or click here to watch our full short documentary on Northern Ireland’s border.

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