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Politics

In Pictures: Irish border residents watch for Brexit fallout

Updated : 2020-02-02 12:31:13

The border was drawn in 1921, splitting communities and sometimes property, as the British government sought to create a home for the majority Protestant population of Northern Ireland at a time when the largely Catholic Republic of Ireland won its independence.

With Brexit coming in to effect, residents on both sides of the border are concerned about protecting the relative peace and prosperity after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. That accord helped end three decades of sectarian violence between paramilitary groups that wanted to reunify Ireland and those who insisted the six counties of Northern Ireland should remain part of the UK.

Gerry Storey, left, an 83-year-old Catholic trainer at the Holy Family Boxing Club, spars with Jack Douglas, a protestant 19-year-old from Antrim, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Gerry Storey, left, an 83-year-old Catholic trainer at the Holy Family Boxing Club, spars with Jack Douglas, a protestant 19-year-old from Antrim, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. "What we are doing here is really essential," said Storey, of the club's long history of training both Catholic and Protestant boxers together. "When you come in here, you don't talk politics. You don't swear. And there are no football jerseys. In here everybody is treated fairly and squarely. And it doesn't care who or what you are." (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A change in the pavement marks the rural border between the Republic of Ireland and the village of Silverbridge, Northern Ireland. The 310-mile (500-kilometre) border between the Republican of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be the United Kingdom's only land border with an EU country once Britain leaves the now 28-nation bloc. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A change in the pavement marks the rural border between the Republic of Ireland and the village of Silverbridge, Northern Ireland. The 310-mile (500-kilometre) border between the Republican of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be the United Kingdom's only land border with an EU country once Britain leaves the now 28-nation bloc. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Musicians play at the John Hewitt, a bar opened by a nonprofit with the intent of bringing together communities by providing services for the unemployed and is a popular gathering spot for artists, both Catholic and Protestant in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Musicians play at the John Hewitt, a bar opened by a nonprofit with the intent of bringing together communities by providing services for the unemployed and is a popular gathering spot for artists, both Catholic and Protestant in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Members of the Orange Order march down the road in front of Drumcree Parish Church for their weekly protest in front of a waiting policeman who prevents them from continuing on through a Catholic area in Portadown, Northern Ireland. The weekly protests have continued since 1998 when the Protestant group was last permitted to complete their traditional route through a Catholic area and is viewed by some groups as controversial. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Members of the Orange Order march down the road in front of Drumcree Parish Church for their weekly protest in front of a waiting policeman who prevents them from continuing on through a Catholic area in Portadown, Northern Ireland. The weekly protests have continued since 1998 when the Protestant group was last permitted to complete their traditional route through a Catholic area and is viewed by some groups as controversial. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Members of the Orange Order including Nigel Dawson, left, and Dean Elliott, are stopped by police while marching down the road in front of Drumcree Parish Church as part of their weekly protest against a ban on them continuing on through a Catholic area in Portadown, Northern Ireland. The weekly protests have continued since 1998 when the Protestant group was last permitted to complete their traditional route through a Catholic area and is viewed by some groups as controversial. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Members of the Orange Order including Nigel Dawson, left, and Dean Elliott, are stopped by police while marching down the road in front of Drumcree Parish Church as part of their weekly protest against a ban on them continuing on through a Catholic area in Portadown, Northern Ireland. The weekly protests have continued since 1998 when the Protestant group was last permitted to complete their traditional route through a Catholic area and is viewed by some groups as controversial. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A mural commemorating a Protestant infantry division fighting in World War I's Battle of the Somme, in which both Catholics and Protestants fought a common enemy, decorates the side of a housing complex in Portadown, Northern Ireland. The mural replaced a loyalist painting showing scenes of illegal gun smuggling and firearms training and was an attempt to tone down the confrontational message and reconcile community relations. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A mural commemorating a Protestant infantry division fighting in World War I's Battle of the Somme, in which both Catholics and Protestants fought a common enemy, decorates the side of a housing complex in Portadown, Northern Ireland. The mural replaced a loyalist painting showing scenes of illegal gun smuggling and firearms training and was an attempt to tone down the confrontational message and reconcile community relations. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Pharmacist Tom Murray, 46, stocks shelves at his pharmacy in Castlefinn, Ireland, just over the border from Northern Ireland.
Pharmacist Tom Murray, 46, stocks shelves at his pharmacy in Castlefinn, Ireland, just over the border from Northern Ireland. "My historical political view, I think Ireland should always be a united country and should be free of the shackles of Britain. But at the same time, we have to accept that there are one million people living a mile away who identify as British," said Murray. "I think we have to protect their identity, their culture, their Britishness every bit as much as we have to protect my Irishness. Otherwise, it just won't work." (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Fourth-generation farmer RT Ferguson, 73, works on his farm in Stewartstown, Northern Ireland.
Fourth-generation farmer RT Ferguson, 73, works on his farm in Stewartstown, Northern Ireland. "Nobody really knows what's going to happen with the subsidy," said Ferguson. "If the subsidy is done away with, we'll have to close the doors. We'll only be wasting time working." (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A pedestrian walks by St. Mary's Catholic Church in Aughnacloy, Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland's six counties are part of the United Kingdom. Most of its Catholics, historically discriminated against, sought unity with the Republic of Ireland to the south. They became known as nationalists or republicans. Most Protestants insisted on remaining in the union and became known as unionists or loyalists. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A pedestrian walks by St. Mary's Catholic Church in Aughnacloy, Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland's six counties are part of the United Kingdom. Most of its Catholics, historically discriminated against, sought unity with the Republic of Ireland to the south. They became known as nationalists or republicans. Most Protestants insisted on remaining in the union and became known as unionists or loyalists. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
An old British telephone booth sits on the side of a rural road in Aghnablaney, Northern Ireland. The 310-mile (500 kilometres) border was drawn in 1921, splitting communities and sometimes properties, as the British government sought to create a home inside the United Kingdom for the majority Protestant population of Northern Ireland at a time when the largely Catholic south won its independence. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
An old British telephone booth sits on the side of a rural road in Aghnablaney, Northern Ireland. The 310-mile (500 kilometres) border was drawn in 1921, splitting communities and sometimes properties, as the British government sought to create a home inside the United Kingdom for the majority Protestant population of Northern Ireland at a time when the largely Catholic south won its independence. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Adrian McSorley, 50, tends to his sheep on his farm in Scraghey, Northern Ireland.
Adrian McSorley, 50, tends to his sheep on his farm in Scraghey, Northern Ireland. "We've been getting a subsidy from the EU for farming. Whatever happens, we'll just have to get on with it," said McSorley whose lamb meat ends up south of the border. "But, if there isn't a subsidy for farming, it'll become non-existent." (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Gary Ferguson, 27, wrangles a sheep on his father's farm in Stewartstown, Northern Ireland.
Gary Ferguson, 27, wrangles a sheep on his father's farm in Stewartstown, Northern Ireland. "You just get on with life and that's just it. Irish, British, it doesn't matter," said Ferguson, a Protestant, on whether the result of the U.K.'s recent election puts the island closer to a united Ireland. "As long as farming stays OK, that's all. And no wars start." (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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