‘I’m not British, I’m Britirish’

A Northern writer’s view on Brexit, borders and bars

Rosemary Jenkinson: ‘I can hang out at a loyalist bonfire or I can go to an Irish language play in the Culturlann – I can be in two countries in one day if I choose’

Rosemary Jenkinson: ‘I can hang out at a loyalist bonfire or I can go to an Irish language play in the Culturlann – I can be in two countries in one day if I choose’

Brexit is manna from heaven to a satirical writer and I’ve had great fun with it in plays like Michelle and Arlene. On the serious side though, it’s thrown up huge uncertainty over the future of the Irish Border.

I grew up a Protestant in Belfast with my mum, dad and brother, but we often travelled across the border. We spent summers with my cousins on Achill Island as my Aunt Moira was a Southern Irish Catholic and loved it there. Once, when we went on holiday to Brittany, we were asked by a Breton where we were from. I expected Dad to say Northern Ireland, but he said Ireland instead which met with delight. It was at that moment I understood that leaving the “Northern” out could be socially advantageous.

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