Law­less ‘is­land’ could get a whole lot WORSE af­ter Brexit

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - COMMENT -

THE road run­ning through the Drum­mully Polyp in Co. Mon­aghan – or Cole­man’s Is­land or the Con­nons as it is bet­ter known – can­not be reached with­out cross­ing into North­ern Ire­land.

The strange, ir­reg­u­lar path of the bor­der stems from a land dis­pute be­tween two fam­i­lies, and it was deemed eas­ier to leave it as it was. The ‘is­land’ was a ma­jor headache dur­ing the Trou­bles, and re­sulted in the 3.5km stretch of road be­ing al­most im­pos­si­ble to pa­trol. Soldiers once had to be flown in by he­li­copter in an ef­fort to po­lice it.

The in­tri­cate bor­der is still used to­day by crim­i­nals with lo­cal knowl­edge hop­ing to get around the law.

In one rob­bery, crim­i­nals who used dig­gers to take cash ma­chines from two Ca­van banks im­me­di­ately made for the ‘is­land’ know­ing the au­thor­i­ties on ei­ther side of the bor­der could not get to them. Gar­daí polic­ing the bor­der are very con­scious of the po­ten­tial prob­lems this small piece of land could pose af­ter Brexit.


Red­hills Sta­tion, Co. Ca­van was closed in Novem­ber 2013. Even though it has been shut for over five years, lo­cals main­tain the sta­tion and erected a plaque out­side de­tail­ing when it closed


Cor­rin­shi­gagh Garda sta­tion, Co. Mon­aghan was closed in 2013. It sits a stone’s throw from the bor­der and is five kilo­me­tres from Cross­ma­glen


Smith­boro Garda sta­tion in Co. Mon­aghan closed in 2012 and it has been boarded up ever since


Emy­vale Garda sta­tion, Co. Mon­aghan is a one-of­fi­cer sta­tion. Emy­vale, and neigh­bour­ing Scot­stown, were once busy sta­tions and the gar­daí at­tached were solely re­spon­si­ble for polic­ing the bor­der. The two to three gar­daí at­tached to the sta­tions are now reg­u­larly called to as­sist in Mon­aghan

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