After the border row, do the Irish need to ‘get over themselves’?

The Brexit row has led to concerns that a hard border may be reintroduced between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

It is amazing how little the Irish border featured in the Brexit referendum debate in the United Kingdom last year, even though the result of the vote will have a huge impact on so many lives.

Relationships between our two governments have been tense over the past couple of weeks and yet a British TV presenter felt a need to describe the entire affair as a “kerfuffle”.

Are the Irish an over-sensitive lot? And, in the United Kingdom, are we generally just an afterthought or an irrevelance?

The recent row over the implications Brexit will have on the Irish border has opened up old wounds.

It has also underlined just how little the Irish border communities featured in the debate before the vote across the UK last year.

I have heard people in Britain marvel over the fact that we share a common language, with no understanding that there was a deliberate campaign by our British ‘masters’ to wipe out the Irish language over two centuries.

I have heard people urge Ireland to leave the European Union and rejoin the UK, with no knowledge of the long history of oppression and colonisation by the British Empire in Ireland.

Last week’s online debate following unfortunate remarks by a Sky News TV presenter prompted me to write an opinion piece for Irish Central, which was published this morning.

The border was not something the Irish people wanted. It led to a bloody civil war, partition, and discrimination against the Catholic minority in the six counties for well over four decades.

Respect works both ways. One land cannot seem to forget its past, and the other sometimes shows that it knows nothing about it.

 

It is actually shocking that British people think the Irish should have no opinion on the implications the Brexit vote will have on the border and, indeed, all of our lives.

You can read my Irish Central article in full here:

https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/others/do-the-irish-need-to-get-over-themselves

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *