From Belleek all the way down to Belcoo
“But in what country have we been?” - John Montague
Belleek is one of those - dare I say it - typical towns were there is more than one border and they can be found within 50 metres from each other. You know, just around the next corner, ... and the next. And than there is Pettigo, same thing and one might actually end up in Lower Lough Erne at the end of the road near Boa island / Lusty Beg. About 20 min out north east of Pettigo I ended up in Lettercran where there are 2 border crossing literally next to each other. it was a wet evening and Roseline, 94 years of age recalls her smuggling years when she would by tobacco at Tommy Haughey's Shop in the South. The ruins of the shop are still there. From there on I took the the second border-crossing back. The border zigzags for several kilometers over the main road until it reaches Pettigo again. It would be an interesting wall indeed, if trump would get his way ... On the road between Beleek and Pettigo near the the Cross, a border pub, there are the overgrown remains of a railway bridge on the border with Republic.
In Beleek, more or less perpendicular to the mainroad Jonny Cunningham historical expert on the region and book writer showed me Doland's road where Brandon and a land with a yellow sports sportscoat were walking their dogs. During the troubles this road was reduced with concrete blocks and only 1 car could (barely) pass at the time crossing the border. Taking the direction of Bundoran I headed south bound where the border cuts through Lough Melvin and continues over land, passing Rossinver, Kiltyclogher and finally meandering through Upper Lough Macnean into Blacklion and Belcoo. On the road to Kiltyclogher the regular cues of identifying border crossings becomes more challenging and a lone farmer out for a walk was able to point me in the right direction - "somewhere around that second tree in the distance".
On a pier looking over Lough Melvin, I met Susan Huggins from Cork. Her dad had passed away earlier in the year and she came to the pier to reflect and enjoy the peacefulness of the Lough... Until I arrived with my ton of gear. She is tired about hearing about Brexit. She feels that the population was manipulated and the referendum result a not informed decision. She believes that the people on the border will be impacted the most and that it will be the end of free roaming. Perhaps that argument might have swung the decision in favour of the remain camp.