When Martin McAllister stands on the terrace of his house, he looks up
a landscape in which he "spent a lot of time on the British army
He is, he says, in the command structure of the Irish Republican Army
(IRA) had been "well placed". More about his former position in the militants
The underground organization does not want to reveal the 65-year-old. McAllister lives in the
republic Irelandbut if he did not tell the visitor, you would not know exactly
in which country you landed now. His remote property is adjacent to a lake,
It is lined with green hills. "The shore," says McAllister, driving
the contours with the index finger off, "belongs to the Republic, behind it begins Northern Ireland."
If Great Britain from the European Union, a new EU external border would run here. At all crossings along a 340-kilometer-long line, customs duties would have to be checked, products checked for standards, and illegal entries prevented. The geography would not be the only opponent. The area has been a political tripping wire for a hundred years. After the British pulled the line between the northern and southern parts of the island in 1920 to split a predominantly Protestant-Unionist province from the defiant (ex) colony of Ireland, the IRA fought the division. Twenty years ago, McAllister's homeland, the south of Northern Ireland's county of Armagh, resembled a war zone; From virtually everywhere, the villagers saw a towering British Army watchtower looming on some hillside, soldiers checking cars for weapons or explosives at checkpoints. The army bases were supplied by helicopters because the IRA's snipers and bombers were lurking on the ground.
Only with the Good Friday Agreement, which was concluded in 1998, was both a story: border controls and violence. Should be with the Brexit but now Northern Ireland Leaving the EU, there would be checkpoints again. Does this also threaten a resurgence of the IRA campaign?
Ex-IRA man McAllister weighs his head. He is skeptical. The head of the IRA, the so-called army council, still exist. But McAllister does not think they are militant republicans who would be the first to strike. "It would rather be the normal people here." To explain why he sees it this way, he asks in his car, to drive along the border. McAllister points to the left, to the right, in driveways, over hedges and at intersections. You have to grow up here, he says, to see the border. It runs across fields, villages, partly through farms. If the inhabitants of some houses leave their driveway, they are in another state. Farmers constantly chug their tractors from north to south and back. In 1938, a surveyor wrote that the Irish-Northern Irish border was "one of the densest networks of highways in Western Europe". No fewer than 180 roads crossed their course, and in almost 40 cases the border was identical to the road. Over the past 20 years of peace, this network has grown together as closely as ever.
"I'll tell you what happens when customs huts are set here," says McAllister. And when metal piles are set up with cameras, their power is cut off first, and then people come at night with angle grinders. " McAllister's hand first makes a saw, then a falling motion. "Zack!" Boundaries, he believes, would simply be furbished, dumped and dredged away. "And if the British eventually use armed personnel to protect them, someone will shoot at them."
However, the mafia-like IRA, which today dominates the border region, has no interest in such an escalation, McAllister believes. It benefits from the Irish division. As the? "Count it," he says for explanation. He refers to the conspicuous number of petrol stations and Mineralöllager that line the village streets here in South Armagh. Within three minutes we pass no less than eleven of them. Behind high fences often several meters high fuel tanks lined up next to gasoline trucks. In the plants, so McAllister, tax-favored red diesel, as it may be used only in agriculture, illegally transformed by chemicals into significantly more expensive white car diesel. The gas stations offer him with discount. For example, British Pounds are displayed on a gas pump in the Republican stronghold Crossmaglen on the Northern Irish side of the border, but the amount is settled in euros, which means a lower price. "That's how the IRA financed the war, and many IRA leaders have made personal gains from it, and they're still doing it today." McAllister calls names, but does not ask them to publish. "That would be enough to get shot."
From what the IRA once was, and from what it is today, two wounds in McAllister's body tell. One is a bullet scar left below the neck. During an IRA "Operation" in 1974, McAllister says he was hit by British soldiers. The shot went through the lungs. Some of the British soldiers had kicked him when he lay on the ground, but another had pushed them away. "He turned me over and gave me a respirator, he saved my life." This experience has strengthened his conviction to fight soldiers as a soldier, McAllister said. A little later, when the IRA started killing civilians, he criticized it and later turned away from it. At the end of the seventies he had dropped out of the IRA.