Nobody wants a return to war in Northern Ireland but events can create their own momentum

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The 310-mile-long border that divides the north from the Irish Republic is a trip wire which has the capacity to trigger a political explosion, writes Patrick Cockburn from Belfast.

  • Independent

At the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s I used to visit Crossmaglen, a village in South Armagh close to the border with the Irish Republic and notorious as an Irish Republican stronghold.

I would go there with my friend Ben Caraher, a teacher in Belfast who came from the village and was a low profile but important figure in the moderate nationalist SDLP.

Once we were taking a walk along a road in the pretty countryside outside the…

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