I’ve learned that Northern Ireland is a much more conflicted country than I first thought. The problems between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland that occurred around the 1920s are still quite relevant to the citizen today, despite their 20 years of peace. Before learning about Ireland and its history, I didn’t realise how much tension that lay between the two countries and how vulnerable their peace really is.
Northern Ireland is sort of an extension of England, many would say, and therefore they often follow the steps of England. As the UK will be leaving the EU, so will Northern Ireland. This is where the issues occur. As the Republic of Ireland will stay a part of the EU, a lot of regulations will come up between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These two countries have a lot of immigration between each other, and a lot of economic bonds that not only helps both the countries stay up and running, but also strengthens their already weak peace-agreement. If Brexit takes place, which it most likely will, the two countries are going to face more challenges than they have seen in over 20 years. As Brexit is already going as bad as it is for the UK, it is unclear when the effects of Brexit kicks in, and when Northern Ireland will see these changes drain their country. Just as England, Northern Ireland must create new bonds or new deals with other countries, and will have to undergo a bleeding economy for potentially the next few years.
There are also discussions about the issues being a religious one, as it was in the start. Ireland was split by England by the use of mass immigration of Catholics, whereas Ireland originally consisted of protestants. This then formed a religious disagreements and cultural differences between the two parts of what previously was one united Ireland. Ever since this time, Ireland has been in a weird situation where both parties sort of want Ireland reunited but both parties wants it in different ways.
Very recently, the new IRA or the new Irish republican army took responsibility for a shot and killed journalist in Northern Ireland. The new IRA is a group of a few hundred people from Northern Ireland. This group is not anything like what most people connect the IRA to, from past history. This new IRA are consisted of younger people that wants to supress Brexit protesters, and scare them away from the Irish border. This group has in recent times become known for their extreme methods and their terrorism. A group like this is definitely something that keeps Ireland from overcoming its previous conflicts and keeps the peace treaty hanging on a thin rope.
I do not see a full-on war breaking out between the two nations, this day in age, but I could see trade between them vanishing completely. Brexit is a big part of their current issues and will be crucial for both parts of the beer drinking island known as Ireland and its future.