She wondered where they would go, and could not bear the thought of somewhere that was impossible to imagine. She cried to herself among the ferns that grew in clumps a few yards from the stream. ‘It’ll be the end of us,’ Henry had said when she had listened, and Bridget had said it would be. The past was the enemy in Ireland, her papa said another time.
Does it mean: in past somethings had happened and because of that these trouble was happening in Ireland?
or in the past there was an enemy in Ireland?
Source: The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor