Irish police drawing up list of IRA sympathisers ahead of proposed hard border 1 year ago

Irish police drawing up list of IRA sympathisers ahead of proposed hard border

Remember the past?

Remember the days when there was the underlying threat of violence everyday in both Ireland and England? Remember when armed soldiers would search your car when you were travelling along the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland?

Remember smuggling? Remember communities ripped apart over sectarianism?

If you don't, fear not! Because those days might not be that far away.

Brexit is on its way, one way or another, with Theresa May seemingly on course for a terrifying game of chicken with the European Union.

Unlike most games of chicken though, this is not some sort of mutually assured destruction that will damage or spare the EU and the UK equally.

Instead, this is more like a game of chicken between a human face and a concrete wall, and will result simply in the UK falling out of the EU without any tangible arrangements whatsoever on March 29.

One of the consequences of Britain leaving the EU with a no deal Brexit would be the likely return of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.


This is because the Irish backstop (a sort of insurance policy that would ensure that the Irish border remains open regardless of how negotiations between the UK and EU go) would not apply in the event of a no deal.

With just under a month until Brexit is scheduled to happen, Irish police have begun preparing for the eventuality that a hard border will return by compiling a list of known IRA sympathisers.

According to a report in the Irish Mirror, police are seeking to build an up to date intelligence report on potential dissidents in Ireland.

A source told them: "There is a strong move to gather information on people who have relationships with dissident groups.

"The old guard has changed and there may be young recruits now who were not part of these organisations previously.

"There have been a lot of successes for the Gardai and the security services in the North but the need for detailed intelligence is critical.

"The gardai are continually looking at these people and compiling intelligence - there clearly is a new desire to launch a fresh campaign.

“These dissidents are led by a hardcore handful of fundamentalists with a crop of new young recruits from both sides of the border."

It is believed the compilation of the list relates to the New IRA, an off-shoot of a number of other dissident groups.

In a statement in January, the group claimed responsibility for a car bomb planted in Derry in January:

"We also caution those who collaborate with the British that they are to desist immediately as no more warnings will be given.

"All this talk of Brexit, hard borders, soft borders, has no bearing on our actions and the IRA won’t be going anywhere. Our fight goes on."

Despite their claim that hard or soft borders "have no bearing" on their actions, it is expected that the return of a hard border would massively increase the likelihood of a return to violence on the Irish border.

Under a normal government, there would be no chance of this happening, but Theresa May's government is not a normal one. It is one which confuses governance with regularly cutting its own nose off, and one which would rather cling onto power than ensure no more of its citizens get hurt.