By Tom Dare
SHOCKING footage of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) controlling the UK border with Ireland has re-emerged this week as questions were raised by the political wing of the IRA, Sinn Fein over the future of the border post-Brexit.
The footage, taken back in February 1922, shows members of the IRA armed with rifles guarding the border between Northern Ireland and the South.
The video also shows IRA members stopping a car attempting to pass through the checkpoint and searching the driver, while another shot shows a soldier holding a machine gun while he smokes a cigarette.
The film is thought to have been taken in the town of Clones in County Monaghan, a small Irish town on the border of North and South.
At the time of filming tensions were high across Ireland, with the Anglo-Irish treaty establishing the North/South divide just a few months before, in December 1921.
And just eleven days before the video was taken a violent struggle at a County Monaghan railway station had resulted in the death of the local IRA commandant and four Ulster Special Constables, after the former had attempted to arrest the Ulster group. Relations between the pro-treaty Irish nationalists and anti-treaty Irish republicans only worsened as time went on, too, resulting in the June 1922 Civil War between the two sides.
The border issue has reared its head again in recent months in the wake of the Brexit result.
Once Brexit goes through then Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, will leave the EU along with England, Scotland and Wales, while Ireland will remain in the European Union.
And many fear that this will lead to a return of the hard border of the troubles-era, with checkpoints being reintroduced to monitor the flow of people and goods from the European Union to the United Kingdom.
But on Wednesday the British government moved to reassure people that they had no intention of returning to the hard border of the past, saying in a paper that there should be an “unprecedented solution,” to the issue. The plans have, however, been criticised by many, including the Labour party, who called the proposals a “fantasy frontier.”