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Language police… February 25, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Is this really true? The IT has a long piece about how SF and how it refers to the Republic and NI. It asks:

What’s in a name? Quite a lot if you are engaged in the linguistic contortions Sinn Féin use to avoid calling the two political administrations on this island by their officially-recognised names.


“The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland, ” declares Article 4 of the Irish Constitution though not for Sinn Féin for which Ireland is the politically divided island and not the State.
Neither will the party use the Republic of Ireland, or the Republic for short. This is, according to the 1948 Republic of Ireland Act, the description of the State though not its name.
Similarly, the name “Northern Ireland” is regarded as a British construct and is anathema to Sinn Féin supporters who prefer “north of Ireland” which sounds like a slip of the tongue but is intended to convey, in their eyes, the illegitimacy of the political entity north of the border.
This extends to its ministers in the Northern Executive not using the name Northern Ireland, though they are in government there.

Yet, while it is true that the terms Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland as such in its 2020 Election Manifesto, it does actually have a quote from the GFA/BA using exactly that latter term. Moreover it does actually use the term Ireland in reference to the ROI – or in contexts where it can only mean this state, and use the term the State as well in reference to the ROI. For example:

The current Fine Gael Government, supported by Fianna Fáil, has shown a complete lack of empathy and a detachment from the reality of life for most people in Ireland in 2020.


The Irish and British Governments also accept that if the people of the island of Ireland exercise their right of self-determination through a referendum and on the basis set out in the Agreement there “will be a binding obligation on both Governments to introduce and support in their respective parliaments legislation to give effect to that wish.”

Likewise it refers to the “Irish tax system” in reference to the ROI tax system.

But then the thought strikes me, why not examine Fianna Fáil’s manifesto (and thanks to Michael Pidgeon’s excellent archive of manifesto’s available here). Interestingly, not one Republic of Ireland (at least not in full). Northern Ireland appears a number of times. For Fine Gael the situation is as bad, or good, with a whole section on Northern Ireland and no mention of the Republic.

So what does this tell us? Perhaps that this supposed ‘issue’ is overstated in the extreme.


1. EWI - February 25, 2020

If you go looking for use of ‘the North’ in the IT’s own pages, what will you find?

Also, the use of ‘Ireland’ to refer solely to the 26-counties state (after the modification of Articles 2 and 3) is very, very stupid.

Liked by 1 person

2. Phil - February 25, 2020

We’re still on “the Irish Republic” over here, e.g.

Liked by 1 person

Phil - February 25, 2020
WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2020

Brilliant point – that escaped me completely but it does show up
How risible all this is


Stan - February 25, 2020

People do get confused: I’ve heard some use ‘Eire’ because they think it’s more respectful – and once, two women from Bradford were telling me about their trip to Derry when one corrected it to ‘Londonderry’ and apologised for getting it wrong. Didn’t quite know ehere to start there….


Joe - February 25, 2020

I studied in Wales for a year in the early nineties. In an effort, I think, to give full respect to my nationality a Scouse lecturer there described me as coming from the Republic of Éire.


3. roddy - February 25, 2020

I never use my “slave name” in official correspondence and interestingly asked for “Londonderry” not to be put on my driving licence when up for renewal.They renewed it and instead of putting “Derry” on it ,they opted to put no county on it all ,using “Magherafelt ” (my nearest large town) instead!


4. An Sionnach Fionn - February 25, 2020

More barrel-scraping nonsense from the rearguard of FF, FG, Lab and the remnants of the PDs and Democratic Left, with whatever revisionist trolls are still knocking around these days. The Irish press is in Shinner-derangement mode.

Look at MSNBC, New York Times, etc and their reaction to Bernie Sanders. It’s not so dissimilar.

It almost makes you long for the simpler days of Haughey, FitzGerald and Spring. Almost! 😉


5. Paul Culloty - February 25, 2020

You will generally find MLMD referring to the Republic in speech as “this State” – echoes of when SF would solely describe the Dáil as “Leinster House”, because they regarded any such body in existence after the Treaty as illegitimate.


Dr. X - February 25, 2020

It’s a funny thing, even though we habitually talk about “the Stormont regime”, no one ever uses “the Leinster House regime” to discuss the southern state.


WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2020

Yeah, true re regime

I use the term ‘this state’ myself in part because it’s easier than spelling ours ROI, in part because it seems more precise if taking about the island etc. I certainly wouldn’t believe it illegitimate as a political entity, anything but. Then again do MLM/SF really believe otherwise? Perhaps there’s a rhetorical thing but it doesn’t appear too substantive.


Michael Carley - February 25, 2020

Didn’t O’Brádaigh say PSF had effectively accepted partition once they dropped abstention in the republic?

Liked by 2 people

benmadigan - February 25, 2020

And didn’t Shakespeare settle the whole “What’s in a name” controversy 400 odd years ago?

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”


6. ar scáth a chéile - February 25, 2020

Craig Murray queuing outside Belmarsh at 6am to cover the Assange trial. His first report is here:


He needs donations to keep going. Try and give him a few quid.


7. ar scáth a chéile - February 25, 2020

Sorry wrong thread ..meant for WYWTS

Liked by 1 person

8. CL - February 26, 2020

So long as people on the mainland know what people on ‘this island’ are referring to it shouldn’t matter.


9. ar scáth a chéile - February 26, 2020

Seeing as we’re quoting the Bard of Avon here’s Macmorris in Henry V about our island:

“Of my nation? What ish my nation? Ish a villain and a basterd and a knave and a rascal. What ish my nation? Who talks of my nation?”


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