Landscape without Borders

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Cavan Femanagh Border, Belcoo, Blacklion

There was no sentry box, no barrier, not even a camera – but we had definitely crossed the border. I knew it because the sign said ‘kms’ instead of ‘miles’.

We had crossed the bridge from Belcoo, County Fermanagh into Blacklion, County Cavan. We then turned left towards Cladagh Glen. The road less travelled? Perhaps, but it’s a lovely part of the country, with limestone cliffs, ancient Ash woodland and cascading waterfalls.

“Fair fa’ ye”, the sign said, Ulster Scots for “Greetings”, or “You are welcome”. It was also written in Irish, English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Chinese. Now, that’s what I call a lovely Irish welcome!

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Cavan Fermanagh Border at Blacklion

And we spent the weekend crossing back and forth – over that invisible border – between the Republic and Northern Ireland. The curious thing was that we were supposedly crossing from the North to the South and back but mostly, we were simply travelling along these winding country lanes that crisscross the landscape.

And everyone we talked to said that Brexit would be terrible.

A hard border would completely change the story around here. It would be so disruptive, so inconvenient, so aggravating, so provocative, so damn dangerous… Ah, it makes no sense whatsoever.

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of dew on leaves in Cavan Burren Park

It is a quiet, natural landscape, and it’s a UNESCO Geopark. It is internationally recognised as having an exceptional geological heritage and is important for highlighting the culture, archaeology, wildlife and history of the area along the county border between Fermanagh and Cavan.

And it was a North/South Peace initiative. Don’t mess it up!

Marble Arch Caves Geopark



  1. well said Eoin – our ‘Europe of the Regions’ mean barriers of historic hatred dissolve and we are ‘ e pluribus, unum ‘ ; we have been having this conversation here in the Alt Pirineu about Catalan culture – what matters most is that our cultures flourish with mutual respect , even affection ?……………………


  2. Is breá liom an píosa seo…Don’t mess it up! Tá an-chiall leis. Ach ní hé Boris an ceannaire is ciallmhaire, faraor…


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