The Border has decided it’s time to go public
The Border is fed up being ignored by the very people making decisions about its future
The Border has a voice – and it has decided the time has come to use it.
“I’m seamless and frictionless already, thanks. Bit scared of physical infrastructure. Don’t like the sea,” it writes.
Fed up with being ignored by the very people making decisions about its future, the Border has taken to Twitter to explain why it’s terrified by any suggestion of a hard border. Within days it has racked up a significant following
“I could hear people talking over the top of me, but I didn’t think anyone was really hearing the Brexit debate from my point of view,” the Border told The Irish Times.
“I’m scared that there are very powerful people talking about me who don’t really understand me, and who no doubt will try to solve their problems by building things on top of me without realising the consequences.”
It’s the first time the Border – which tweets as @BorderIrish – has spoken out in almost 100 years of existence.
It decided to go public following the apparently contradictory agreement which concluded the first phase of Brexit talks in December. “When you’re a border your job is to divide people and bring them together at the same time, so you know when people are saying two things at once, and that’s dangerous,” it said.
On Thursday it sneaked into Chequers for the Conservatives’ crunch Brexit talks.
“I see they have the Mad Max DVD and the projector all ready to go,” it tweeted. “Now they’re all having tea. And cake. And eating it.”
Being in the public eye has been difficult for the Border, which in recent years has come to enjoy its relative retirement.
“I quite like being a feature on the landscape that people sometimes remember and sometimes ignore,” it said.
“I am temperamentally nervous, I think it’s my history. I’m conflict-averse. I found the Troubles very traumatising. It was like being awake for years and never getting any proper sleep. It was very difficult to see people crossing the Border with murderous intent, or using you as an excuse.
“The last 20 years have been a great relief, and it’s very frightening to see people who don’t understand the Border do things that might resurrect me as a different type of Border.
“This isn’t just about me as a Border, there are people living very closely on either side of me, and then there are the people of the whole island. Their futures are being played with, and I’m not sure they’re the priority of the people who are going to make the ultimate decisions.”
While the Border claims to be equally fond of every part of its almost 500km length, the Border does admit to a soft spot for Strabane and Lifford.
“I’m very fond of them because they’re right beside each other and I can see both from where I am. I like that.
“My least favourite part is Lough Foyle because it’s very wet and it’s also very difficult to know where to go and then I get very confused because people keep asking me where I am.
“It’s happened a few times, and I get a bit worried about Lough Foyle in case I’m in the wrong place.”
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