Belfast Telegraph

People fear a return to our divided past, says Lord Eames

Lord Eames
Lord Eames
Alf McCreary

By Alf McCreary

Former Church of Ireland Primate and Archbishop of Armagh Lord Eames has said that fears of violence and division are re-emerging as the prospect of a hard border looms.

Writing in the Church of Ireland Gazette, he said that those living near the border "dread a return of a hard border, with all that could mean for family and business life".

"Bishops and clergy in cross-border dioceses and parishes wonder what Brexit could mean for their pastoral work.

"Doctors and teachers worry that there will be fresh problems for health and education if there is no agreed provision in a Brexit agreement," he wrote.

"There are worries that the Good Friday Agreement which held out so much hope for the future of Northern Ireland could suffer with no agreement."

Lord Eames stressed that "our memories of those devastating days of the past, when violence dominated so many lives, have re-emerged through the fear that it could all happen again".

He said that "nothing could be more questionable than to assume that 'It will all pass and life here will go on as usual'."

"Deep lines of division have also appeared, and there are sharp divisions of opinions between communities, politicians and even within families," he added.

Lord Eames was Archbishop of Armagh from 1986 to 2006.

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