Society for the Anthropology of Europe
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Since June of 2016, negotiations over the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, or “Brexit,” have been ongoing, with particular disagreement over the status of the Irish Border. Based on historical analysis and ongoing ethnographic research, this paper explores the potential impacts of Brexit in the Irish Borderlands with a particular emphasis on the Republic of Ireland, which shares the only land border with the U.K. Using the tourist town of Bundoran in the Republic of Ireland as a case study, this paper argues that some areas will be better situated to weather the impacts of a potential “hard” Brexit than others. Because Bundoran’s tourist economy is based on connections to not only Northern Ireland, but to Europe more broadly, the town has the tools to continue to thrive in a post-Brexit world. However, this paper is not meant to minimize the impacts of Brexit; it ultimately demonstrates that despite being an event of a global character, Brexit’s fallout will be felt locally and unevenly.