BorderIrish


BorderIrish or @BorderIrish was the pseudonym of an anonymous satirical author, resident on the island of Ireland, who from 2018 to 2020 wrote in the first person about being the 97-year-old 499 km (310 mi) Irish border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (i.e. an anthropomorphism), both on Twitter as @BorderIrish and in print with I Am the Border, So I Am (2019);[1] and in particular on the implications of Brexit on the Irish land border.[2][3][4][5]

Map of Northern Ireland and the border
GenreSatire
SubjectIrish border
Notable worksI Am the Border, So I Am (2019)
Years active2018–2020
Website
@BorderIrish

Authorship


The author first began posting satirical tweets as the Irish border in February 2018, tweeting "I'm seamless and frictionless already, thanks. Bit scared of physical infrastructure. Don't like the sea".[6][7] In a December 2018 interview with Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung, BorderIrish said (as the border): "I had retired and spent the past 20 years watching the sheep and the clouds. Everyone had forgotten me, but then Brexit came and suddenly journalists were looking for me and politicians were talking nonsense about me, so I decided to make me heard".[5]

In a December 2018 interview with BBC News (both as the author, and as the border), the author identified as male, and said he had lived on both sides of the border;[3] however, he has not clarified any other facts regarding his identity, and speaks through his agents.[8][9]

The author has been interviewed as his pseudonym, both by Irish and British media[6][10][3] and by media from the European continent;[7][5] and his satirical tweets as the Irish border have been discussed in wider media coverage on Brexit.[11][12][13]

In January 2019, the Twitter account of Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar was noted as a follower of @BorderIrish;[14][11][5] other notable followers of @BorderIrish include Robert Peston and Alastair Campbell.[9]

On 31 January 2020, as the United Kingdom left the European Union, BorderIrish announced that he was retiring his Twitter account telling The Irish Times: "It feels like I won the battle and lost the war"; and signing off his Twitter account with "I was the Border, so I was".[15]

Works


In October 2019, BorderIrish released a book titled I Am the Border, So I Am,[1] which was favourably reviewed,[16][17][18] and described by Fintan O'Toole as "among the best satires of the Brexit era",[19] and listed by Alex Clark in the Financial Times "Best audiobooks of 2019".[20]

Bibliography


  • BorderIrish (31 October 2019). I Am the Border, So I Am. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-835699-6.

See also


References


  1. BorderIrish (31 October 2019). I Am the Border, So I Am. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-835699-6.
  2. Rory Carroll (24 November 2018). "Brexit: anonymous Twitter account gives droll voice to Irish border row". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  3. Meabh Ritchie (7 December 2018). "The Irish border and Brexit explained by @BorderIrish". BBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2019. The man behind the account, who wants to remain anonymous, has lived on both sides of the Irish border.
  4. Julien Marsault (13 November 2019). "Sur Twitter, l'humour sans limite de " The Irish Border "" [On Twitter, the boundless humor of "The Irish Border"]. Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 26 December 2019. Les Monty Python n'auraient pas renié le compte @BorderIrish qui s'exprime sur le Brexit au nom de la ligne, presque invisible, qui sépare les deux Irlandes. [Monty Python would not have surpassed the humour of the twitter account @BorderIrish, which expresses the effect of Brexit on the almost invisible line which separates the two Irelands.]
  5. Siobhán Geets (6 December 2018). "Die irische Grenze schlägt zurück: Ein anonymer Twitter-Account bringt Schwung in die endlose Brexit-Debatte" [The Irish Border strikes back: An anonymous Twitter account boosts the endless Brexit debate]. Wiener Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  6. Freya McClements (24 February 2018). "The Border has decided it's time to go public". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  7. Armand Back (26 October 2018). "Alle reden über sie, jetzt ergreift sie selbst das Wort: Das 'Tageblatt'-Interview mit der Irischen Grenze" [Everyone talks about her, now she takes the floor herself: The Tageblatt interview with the Irish border]. Tageblatt. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  8. "@BorderIrish". Caskie Mushens. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  9. News Team (14 March 2019). "HC crosses the line with Border buy". The Bookseller. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  10. Patrick Freyne (26 October 2019). "Are you crinkly or squiggly? And 19 other questions for the Irish Border". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  11. Ed Dracott (2 January 2019). "Twitter account aims to bridge divide over border". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  12. Chris Johns (22 April 2018). "The UK government has made Brexit promises it cannot keep". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  13. "Smiling stock photo actors used in post-Brexit immigration scheme advert". Sky News. 28 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  14. Ed Dracott (1 January 2019). "Meet The Brexit-bashing Twitter account followed by Leo Varadkar". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 December 2019. With Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and more than 66,000 other followers, The Irish Border – Twitter handle @BorderIrish – trolled the Brexit process throughout 2018 with its brand of dry wit.
  15. Freya McClements (31 January 2020). "The Irish Border signs off Twitter: 'It feels like I won the battle and lost the war'". Irish Times. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  16. Kathy Foley (15 December 2019). "Book review: I Am the Border, So I Am, by @BorderIrish". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  17. Asa Bennett (10 December 2019). "The best British politics books to buy for Christmas 2019". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  18. Paula Shields (5 January 2020). "'I Am the Border, So I Am': A satire that borders on the ridiculously funny". Business Post. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  19. Fintan O'Toole (16 November 2019). "Fintan O'Toole on Brexit satire: It would be funny if it wasn't so serious". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019. Books by @BorderIrish and Led By Donkeys are among the best satires of the Brexit era
  20. Alex Clark (22 November 2019). "Best books of 2019: Audiobooks". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019. What started life as a satirical Twitter account has slowly morphed into an insightful spotlight on the vagaries, complexities and historical importance of perhaps the most intractable and misunderstood aspects of Brexit.