The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has warned that "an infrastructure of suspicion and division" could set back decades of progress between communities on both sides of the border.
In his message for St Patrick's Day to the people of Ireland at home and abroad, Archbishop Eamon Martin expressed concern over the impact of the ongoing political and economic uncertainty over Brexit.
"I hope this weekend that the prayers and example of Saint Patrick will help our politicians, community leaders and all of us to treat each other with respect in these trying times," the Archbishop of Armagh said.
He added that Ireland's patron saint was a champion for the peaceful resolution of problems.
The Archdiocese of Armagh will be seriously affected by Brexit as its flock lives on both sides of the border.
Today, Armagh - where St Patrick founded a church in 445AD - is the primary seat of both the Catholic Church in Ireland and the Church of Ireland, and both cathedrals in the town are named after Patrick.