For being Irish in the wrong place and at the wrong time

God help you if ever you’re caught on these shores
The coppers need someone...

Breandán Morley • 21 March 2004

Amidst the current focus on the continued activities of paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, I recently had a very personal experience of the extent to which the British police remain unaffected by the peace process when dealing with Irish people travelling to the UK.

Three days after discovering that my father, who is 75, had been diagnosed as suffering from cancer, I boarded a flight from Dublin to Manchester in order to visit him.

When I arrived at Manchester Airport I was stopped by two special branch officers at the police control desk reserved for visitors from the Republic of Ireland and asked for identification. I handed over my passport and explained the reason for my visit. The police then asked me to fill in a landing card, while one officer walked off with my passport.


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