Michael Gallagher went home to Circular Road, Omagh, in the early hours of Sunday morning to break the news to his family.

He said: "My wife was in the hall when I came in the door and the girls were there and I did not really have to say anything. They knew, they knew it was over."

That is from the book, Lost Lives, the narrative around the needless death of Aiden Gallagher, a 21-year-old man who was the victim of the Omagh bomb in 1998.

The book tells the stories of the men, women and children who died as a result of the violence in Northern Ireland. In simple and factual essays, it sets out the stories behind the 3,700 deaths that happened between 1966 and 2003.

Omagh bomb

Michael Gallagher sat beside me in the studio last Monday night as I listed the names of people who had died on that date, 11 February, in the years of the Troubles.

Michael’s son Aiden had travelled to Omagh to buy jeans and a pair of boots when he was blown up in the Real IRA bomb, along with 28 other people. Lost Lives has a 17,000 word account of the bomb in Omagh. I defy anyone to read it and not be moved to tears, as I was.

Lost Lives is dedicated by the authors "to our children, that they might learn from the lessons of the past".

It is a horrible irony that there are so many in positions of power who have not learned the lessons of the past and are intent on pushing the fragile peace to a dangerous cliff-edge Brexit.

These are people who lived through the bad days, who should know that infrastructure on the border has enormous potential to take us back to very dark times.

This week was another one filled with rhetoric and political paralysis - British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered another defeat in parliament, the British Labour party came up with a plan that Europe sort-of likes, but Brexiteers definitely don’t.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

Mrs May is accused of trying to run down the clock to force acceptance of the Withdrawal Agreement at the last minute when the only other option is no deal. In other words, it was another week when no one with the power to sort this mess out paid attention to the lessons of the past.

Michael Gallagher, who also lost his brother Hugh, in the Troubles, wants to keep the victims front and centre of the Brexit debate.

How insulting it must be for him to hear that this problem of what to do about how to manage Brexit on this island is an exercise in Project Fear. Those who want the UK to leave without a deal lump serious concerns about a return to violence in the 'codswallop' pile, accusing those who raise it of inventing problems where there are none.

How useful it would be for those advocating a no-deal Brexit to sit beside Michael Gallagher for a while - to get a flavour of his life since he had to say goodbye to his son, since he had to stand in a leisure centre in Omagh and listen in the middle of the night as a list of the names of survivors of the bomb were read out, knowing that as the last name was read out, his son was gone - ripped from him and his family. His son's crime was going to town to buy a pair of jeans.

Those people who say that this will never happen again are deluded. This week, an unnamed source in the EU told Reuters, that soon, Ireland is going to face facts in the event of a no deal, there will either be a hard border on this island or there will a border between Ireland and the rest of Europe.

So if that is to be believed, we return to being a divided island, with all that brings with it, or, we are cut adrift from the rest of Europe, an option that we should never have to face as a result of a vote in another jurisdiction.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was in Westminster during the week, speaking at the House of Commons Select Committee on leaving the EU. He kept his cool while he was asked whether Ireland might consider "re-joining" the UK or ignore its obligations to protect the EU’s border.

He painstakingly explained the difference between Belfast and Finchley in London and reminded them that the Good Friday Agreement set out those differences in the Irish constitution, adding,"Unfortunately we have an 800-year past of difficulties and that’s just a reality of our history".

As one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement, Bertie Ahern has not forgotten the lessons of the past, neither has Michael Gallagher or any of the families of the almost 4,000 other people who died in the Troubles.

The urgent problem is that those in the UK who seek to pull out of the EU without a deal are unwilling to remember and unwilling to learn those lessons that the authors of Lost Lives so wisely cautioned all of us to keep front and centre in our minds.

Claire Byrne Live is televised on Mondays at 10.35pm on RTÉ One