The view from the Border

images (1)
Irish Border Protests: a mock hard border Saturday 26 January 2019

I share the following eyewitness account of yesterday’s IRISH BORDER PROTESTS here because it deserves a wider audience so that those of you residing here in Spain can see what is happening on your behalf, as well as for the people of Northern Ireland.

They are at the real crunch point of Brexit where lives are threatened not just the practical inconveniences that we may suffer. This was published on the Veterans for Europe public page, so it is already in the public domain.

Personally, as I remember the shock of my cousin Dennis being blown up in an army Landrover in the early 1970s, and who never fully recovered from his severe injuries and died quite young and very bitter, I find the testimony here to reconciliation remarkably moving. I also find the gung-ho attitudes of the selfish Brexiters like Rees-Mogg and Johnson etc. murderous in their disregard for an international peace agreement – which is what the Good Friday Agreement is.

images (3)


Over the past 6 months or so I have been seeing things which have led me to believe a certain thing could be happening. Today it was so powerful I now believe it is actually happening. Please bear with me as I think this is remarkable.

I was invited to a Brexit discussion by our friends in BCAB a few months ago. It was in Crossmaglenn. (Yeah really. Me in Crossmaglenn in a pub.) How the world has changed.

The panel speaking was a mix of 2 unionists and one nationalist. Mike Nesbit the former head of the UUP, John a unionist landowner and Martina who is a MEP from Sinn Fein. The audience was also mixed with both sides which surprised me. (Hello Crossmaglenn!) I came away from that thinking its a positive story on Brexit in NI as people arent thick. They see through the BS. It was also my first time seeing both sides in the same room and on the same political side.


I have also seen articles online letting me think this Brexit milarky is actually bringing NI people together. Demographic breakdown of the population of NI. Roughly 40% nationalist, 40% Unionist and 20% other. Brexit is having a reverse polarisation effect. On mainland UK its the opposite and has polarised the nation. I voiced this to D***** after the event in Crossmaglenn and it surprised him but he felt it as well.

Fast forward to this morning. I thought we would have about a hundred or so come to the protest as it was in the middle of fkn nowhere. As I live in the middle of fkn nowhere it was quite convenient to get to. I waited at the Hotel RV for Senator Ged Nash and then drove him there. I didn’t realise we were actually building it on the road and there was a diversion in place manned by volunteers. MENTAL. Anyway thousands turned up.


As the de-polarisation of the NI population is in my mental consciousness it meant I was looking and listening. There were many people there from Ireland. We regard anyone from the island of Ireland as Irish. Thats not a nationalist thing. Like we see anyone from Wales being Welsh. But for the sake of nit pickers I will break it down. People came from all over Ireland. People came from all over Northern Ireland. From NI they came from both sides of the divide and for 2 hours we were all Irish. No political bollocks. All joined in our fear of what Brexit will bring to the border counties. It was truly remarkable and my new bud Senator Ged Nash was beside me witnessing this.

So what exactly was remarkable about today. Well its the realisation that a common enemy/ goal can depolarise the most polarised population in the EU. With Brexit whatever happens the nation will be split/ polarised. As the Northern Irish have been polarised for the best part of 40 years now its the people from NI that will be best placed to help with the healing post Brexit. How remarkable is that?