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Colin Farrell fears a hard border would galvanise people who 'doubt the worth of the peace process'

‘I just think that has to be at all costs avoided.’

IT’S HARDLY SURPRISING – given the current political climate – that most interviews with high-profile Irish individuals will steer itself in the direction of Brexit.

In recent weeks, Saoirse Ronan discussed the implications of a hard border during an interview with Harper’s Bazaaar, and in recent days Colin Farrell offered his opinion while speaking to Sky News.

2018 TIFF - Widows Screening Source: Hahn Lionel/ABACA

When discussion turned to Brexit’s potential repercussions, including its threat to the Irish economy as well as the peace process, Colin quickly replied:

All I’d say on that is that the idea of a hard border is just shocking; it’s just shocking.

“The progress that has been made over the last, you know, twenty years is astonishing, is life-affirming, is life-affecting,” he continued.

Envisioning a potential hard border, Colin said he feared that it would instantly diminish the progress which has been over the course of the last two decades.

The idea that, you know, a hard border and armed guards will be there on the border, dividing a line between north and south is… I think the implications of it, and I think how that would galvanise people, who still have maybe a little bit of doubt as to the worth of the peace process, I think it would galvanise them in a very unfortunate way, and I just think that has to be at all costs avoided.

While he is against the reintroduction of a hard border, he doesn’t believe that the relationship with Irish and British people will instantly disintegrate if it is to be introduced, but maintains that a percentage will use it to their advantage.

42nd Toronto International Film Festival Source: DPA/PA Images

“I don’t necessarily think so,” he replied when asked whether a border will be to the utter detriment of  Irish/British relations. “I think for a certain pocket of communities, yes.”

“But those who it will affect in a negative way already reside within a certain negativity in the perception of each other,” he added. “I don’t think it would change black to white or white to black.”

I think we’ve come too far and I think we enjoy a relationship that is born of a lot of hardship in the past that we have fought hard, and dealt with decently to get through, that I don’t think it will shatter that, but the hard border has to be avoided at all costs.

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Niamh McClelland

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