Sydney School of Arts & Humanities
Helping writers to write and publish their work
by Gerdette Rooney
Brexit has been dominating the airwaves for the past three years and talk of hard and soft borders bandied about in a willy-nilly fashion. Few understand what the terms actually mean for Northern Ireland and Ireland, and what effect it will have on people’s daily lives on the new UK EU border on the island. The following is an account of how it was for me and my family growing up in Monaghan during the 1960s and 1970s with a ‘Hard Border’.
I was eight years old in the early 1960s when my smuggling training commenced. My mother was an expert at it and her excitement at evading the customs officers and saving some housekeeping shillings was contagious. For my brothers and me, it was our weekly adventure going to the wee North and meant treats of milky ice lollies and Opal fruits – made to make your mouth water. This was our payment for helping her out in illegal operations, doubling her butter quota, and keeping our mouths shut.