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  1. ITV Report

Pettigo: Irish village at centre of Brexit border conundrum

Brexit negotiations have continually stalled on the question of the Irish border.

When you visit the rural village of Pettigo, which straddles both the Republic and Northern Ireland, you can appreciate the difficulties.

Cut in half, a customs border once ran through people's gardens in Pettigo.

For Bridget Britton, her property runs over the two different countries.

"For me to go to my garden in the north, I would have to go from Eire to Northern Ireland," she tells ITV News.

"That's no bother now because the customs hut is closed, but if the customs hut was open I would have to report to them that I was going to go for my potatoes."

Bridget Britton's garden straddles both countries.

People here know what life was like with a hard border, and they don't want it back.

Mervyn Johnston knows the border is politically sensitive, with a history of violence.

His business is located right on the border, and has been blown up eight times by terrorists.

Mervyn Johnston's business has been repeatedly targeted by terrorists.

Since the Good Friday Agreement came into effect the border has become virtually invisible.

"We're living and dying on both sides of the border. It's almost at times as if it's one unit," says Father Frank McManus.

Asked if there is any desire for this to change, his answer is "absolutely not".

These stories are why Brexit negotiators are still trying to come up with the solution as to how they can control the flow of goods and people, yet keep the border as invisible as possible.

The border is marked by the bridge in Pettigo.

Some countries use technology - cameras and computers - but Ireland has more crossing points to monitor than the world's longest border between America and Canada.

When it comes to Republican groups, they are staunchly against anything that represents the partition of Ireland.

When digital camera installations were erected before, they were cut down and burned out - believed to be by armed Republicans.

Border cameras were cut and burned down by Republicans.

Peace prevailed in this part of the world when the border was out of sight, out of mind, but Brexit puts it front and centre.

Now politicians need a solution that won't close border crossings and re-open old wounds, because when it comes to the Irish border, both sides have experienced bloodshed.