Irishman asked for his passport on Belfast to Dublin bus
Can I see your Passport?
An Irishman was shocked a few weeks ago when he was asked by a member of An Garda Siochána for his passport on the Belfast to Dublin bus.
Derry man, Tristan Drysden was asked for a passport after the Gardaí boarded the Translink bus on which was travelling. All the passengers on the bus were asked to show their passport or photographic ID.
Tristan obviously didn’t have his passport or any ID at the time because he is Irish and travelling on this island of Ireland and he said he was caught "completely unaware."
The Guards boarded the bus shortly after the bus had entered the Republic of Ireland. He told The Belfast Telegraph:
"I couldn't believe it when the two guards boarded the bus and started asking passengers for passports.
"I didn't have my passport on me because I didn't think for a second it was necessary.
"I am not a frequent user of the bus; I usually drive across the border in my car and I have never once been stopped and asked to show a passport or any form of photographic ID.
"I explained to the guard that I didn't have my passport or any form of photographic ID and he said, 'Why not, you are crossing a border?' which stunned me because I assumed people were free to move from one part of Ireland to the other.
"The guard didn't say why he wanted to see my passport so I assumed it was something to do with Brexit and maybe they were preparing for a hard border."
Tristan said though, that when the guard heard his Northern accent, he was told it was OK. Several passengers had also been asked for passports.
He said that anyone thinking of travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland by bus should carry some form of photographic ID just in case.
An Garda Siochána didn’t make any comments but the bus company, Translink suggested that checks may be carried out for immigration purposes. A spokeswoman said:
"Occasionally, immigration checks are carried out on cross-border services. We facilitate these checks, which are not related to Brexit."
The Citizens Information Website advises travellers to carry passports for this reason.
"As you are being asked to prove that you are an Irish or UK citizen who is entitled to avail of the Common Travel Area arrangements, it is advisable to travel with your passport."