The Twelfth Day of July, the Irish backstop and Brexit

This year our 7C, 7D and 7E classes, as part of the mandatory class reader in English, are reading a well-known novel by Joan Lingard The Twelfth Day of July, set in Northern Ireland in the height of the so-called “Troubles.” It is the story of two teenagers, a Protestant girl and a Catholic boy and the tense and hostile relationship, so often fraught with problems, between their religious and ethnic communities in Belfast.
Taking the novel and the background in which it is woven as a point of departure, Mrs Kate Oliver from the Irish embassy in Vienna kindly offered us a vivid account of the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland and an explanation why any breakthrough in the negotiations between the European Union and the UK will be difficult to achieve, especially with regard to the backstop question, that is, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which may have to be controlled in the future in the event of a hard Brexit.