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HomeFarm FamilyEvents FamilyTaking a walk through history along the Irish border

Taking a walk through history along the Irish border

Across three serialised episodes, Assume Nothing: Breaking Up – beginning on Saturday (November 27) on BBC Radio Ulster at noon and BBC Sounds – Ophelia Byrne follows a line on the map into the world of the Irish Boundary Commission, set up in 1924 to finalise the shape of the Irish border.

It takes her into an improbable world of high statecraft, split communities, broken promises and many thousands of lives changed forever.

Through original testimonies, secret letters and classified police reports, Ophelia tries to uncover what really happened up to the moment in 1925 when proposals for the new, final border line in Ireland hit crisis point.

Then, both the British and Irish governments were prepared to take drastic action to have the Commission’s report ‘burned or buried’. Why? And what does it all mean now?

In episode one, Drawing the Line, when Ophelia travels from Northern Ireland to visit her parents in Galway, her mum tells her she’s worried about the potential for violence over the future of the border in Ireland.

Tracing descendants of those who testified to the Irish Boundary Commission almost a century ago, Ophelia discovers what was at stake for those who back then made their case to be included on one side of the frontier or the other.

And a search through previously classified government correspondence reveals one of the Commissioners may not have been playing by the rules.

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