Goodbye Ireland, hello Éire Ireland

It will no doubt please many to hear that in official European parlance the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings. It seems following the decision to make Irish an official EU language that Ireland will now go under the name “Éire Ireland”. The Éire Ireland name change will apply to signage and name plates at Council of Minister meetings and leaders’ summits from January 2007 in what an Irish government spokesperson described as an “entirely consistent move”.

  • Pete Baker

    Surely, on a pedantic note, the signage will display both language versions of the name.. more accurately recorded as “Éire/Ireland” or, indeed, “Ireland/Éire”

    Perfectly logical following the official language designation.. although it doesn’t necessarily mean “the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings.”

  • “Surely, on a pedantic note, the signage will display both language versions of the name.”

    Isn’t that what he just said?

  • Miss Fitz

    Is Éire Ireland a little like to be sure, to be sure?

  • p.s. George, ya beat me by 3 minutes, bitch!

  • How do you feel that your EUSSR masters are renaming you?

  • “How do you feel that your EUSSR masters are renaming you?”

    They’re not. It was our choice to seek this status for the language.

  • Does this apply to Danmark/Denmark and other countries who were mature enough to have their first official language included from when they joined up?

  • Pete Baker

    To continue in the pedantic tone, maca..

    No.

    What was said was “Ireland will now go under the name “Éire Ireland”.”

    And it still doesn’t necessarily mean “the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings.

  • Miss Fitz

    Hmmm. Does this have other implications?

    Tuasiceart na hEireann/Northern Ireland anyone?

    That might be a mouthful too far for some

  • Pete
    “And it still doesn’t necessarily mean “the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings.”

    No but it does say the name change “will apply to signage and name plates”.

  • harpo

    ‘Isn’t that what he just said?’

    maca:

    No, that is not what he just said, George said that the name “Éire Ireland” would be used.

    I don’t that is the name that is recognized. It is, as Pete points out, simply the Irish language name and the English language name being displayed together. The combination is not the actual name.

    So if a debate is recorded in English and they refer to the ‘West-Brit dominated 26 county bastard child of partition’ entity it will be referred to as ‘Ireland’, and when that debate is recorded in Irish, it will be referred to as ‘Eire’.

    It seems simple to me.

    I doubt that some Irish diplomat who speaks in Irish during a debate is going to have to say ‘Eire/Ireland’ every time he/she refers to his/her home country.

    Maybe the article writer should have put a ‘/’ in between the 2 names. Pete got it right. The combo isn’t the actual name – it’s just the place name in the 2 languages of the place.

  • Miss Fitz
    “Does this have other implications?”

    Is NI represented or the UK?
    FAIK the UK does not have any official languages.

  • harpo
    “No, that is not what he just said, George said that the name “Éire Ireland” would be used”

    … and he also said “the name change will apply to signage and name plates”.

    And Pete said:
    “the signage will display both language versions of the name.”

    Isn’t that the same thing? 🙂

  • Pete Baker

    maca

    I’m perfectly happy for this to happen, seriously, but it applies to signage.. no-one is going to be made to say “Éire Ireland” when they are speaking. That was the clarification I was making. Pedantic I know.. which is why I pointed that out.

    Bairbre, as Miss Fitz has implied, may not be completely happy.. although, no doubt, she may be able to insist on the dual signage as well.. on her own personal plaque..

  • Pete
    “but it applies to signage.. no-one is going to be made to say “Éire Ireland” when they are speaking. That was the clarification I was making”

    I KNOW! But my point was, that is what George just said! 🙂

    “the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings … The Éire Ireland name change will apply to signage and name plates”

  • Pete Baker

    maca

    I’m all in favour of pedantry..

    “the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings.”

    Isolate the sentences.

    As I said, I was being pedantic.. just making sure everyone was clear on what was happening 🙂

  • harpo

    ‘Hmmm. Does this have other implications?

    Tuasiceart na hEireann/Northern Ireland anyone?’

    Miss F:

    Irish isn’t an official language of the UK, so I doubt this will be happening.

    Of course, maybe the ‘Eire Ireland’ thing is being done to clarify that the island is indeed partitioned, and that the entity being referred to is the Eire part of Ireland the island. So that if someone did refer to Northern Ireland during a debate/meeting (in whatever language) everyone would know that the person wasn’t referring to Eire Ireland.

    On that subject I wonder if the Irish participants in the European institutions ramble on about ‘the north’ in the way that many Irish people do back in the Free State/26 county entity. Maybe that’s why the Euro folks are making this name change – to clarify what is being talked about by Irish people who dare not say ‘Northern Ireland’. For all the Euro folks know the Irish person could be talking about the north of the Irish state – Donegal.

  • harpo

    ‘And it still doesn’t necessarily mean “the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings.’

    Pete:

    Quite right. If a UK representative is talking in English during a meeting, they aren’t going to say ‘Eire Ireland’ when referring to the 26 county entity. Just as an Irish representative isn’t going to say it – they will simply say Eire, which is the name of the place in Irish.

  • Pete Baker

    More than that, harpo.

    The Irish translator will use Éire and the English translator will use Ireland.. regardless of what is originally said by whatever representative.

  • harpo

    ‘FAIK the UK does not have any official languages.’

    maca:

    Every EU member country had to declare what their official language(s) for Euro purposes would be. Strangely enough the UK chose English as its official Euro language.

  • Pete
    “Isolate the sentences.”

    Taking only half the point. Pedantic in the extreme ya fecker. 🙂

    Harpo
    “to clarify what is being talked about by Irish people who dare not say ‘Northern Ireland’”

    Wouldn’t it be the “Irish” in Northern Ireland who have that particular problem?

  • Pete Baker

    “Pedantic in the extreme ya fecker. :)”

    maca

    You expected something less? 😉

  • Harpo
    “Every EU member country had to declare what their official language(s) for Euro purposes would be. Strangely enough the UK chose English as its official Euro language.”

    Doesn’t change the fact that the UK does not have an official language. I can be pedantic too.

  • harpo

    ‘Isn’t that the same thing? :)’

    maca:

    No, it isn’t the same thing.

    It may look the same on the plaque or sign, but George was very specific, as was the article writer. Both said that the name will be ‘Eire Ireland’. I don’t think that’s right. I think Pete is right, and that the plaque/sign will simply have the name in both Irish and English.

    Not to start another fuss but George’s point of view is equivalent to saying that if there was some sort of similar move in NI, and Irish was implemented as a working/official language that Belfast would have its name changed to ‘Belfast Béal Feirste’ and that this would appear on official signage. That’s wrong – the signs would simply show the name of the place in each of the 2 languages.

  • harpo

    ‘the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings’

    That’s not right maca. I think that is simply a George assumption.

  • harpo

    ‘The Irish translator will use Éire and the English translator will use Ireland.. regardless of what is originally said by whatever representative.’

    Exactly.

    I don’t see what the fuss is. Signs and plaques etc will contain both the Englash and Irish versions of the name of the place, but anyone who speaks will of course use their own language if it is an official language. The name of the place doesn’t become this ‘Eire Ireland’. The name remains the single word in each language.

  • harpo

    ‘Wouldn’t it be the “Irish” in Northern Ireland who have that particular problem?’

    If you see it as a problem then fine, but it isn’t just Irish folks in NI who use the term. Plenty of those from the ROI and other places do so to.

    So if someone from the ROI says ‘the north’ Euro folks would have no idea if they meant Donegal, or NI.

  • harpo

    ‘Doesn’t change the fact that the UK does not have an official language. I can be pedantic too.’

    maca:

    So what? The discussion was on the European institutions, not on what the UK itself says. For Euro purposes the UK does have an official language.

    How is it that you can be so precise on this issue (that you raised) but can’t see that George and the article writer are wrong?

  • Erin

    Enlighten me please,
    I believe Eire was a name made up by Dev. To represent the 26 county Republic of Ireland. As opposed to the 32 county Irish Republic, declared in 1916. Please note the difference in names, it is entirely intentional. Whilst the ROI/Eire exists, it is impossible for IR/Eirann to exist. I believe that was Dev’s point.
    I realise I may be on dodgy ground here, but can someone please confirm the exact nature of Eire?
    A small matter, but huge to some.

  • harpo
    “That’s not right maca. I think that is simply a George assumption.”

    Do I have to copy & paste the rest of that point for the 4th time???????? He said it applies to signs!!!

  • Stephen Copeland

    This discussion appears to be based upon a lot of ignorance about the Irish Constitution, the workings of the EU institutions, and use of language.

    From 1 January 2006 Irish becomes a full official language of the EU institutions. Up to now it has had only a fuzzy status.

    The state has two official names, both set down in the constitution, but up to now only the one in English has been used by the EU (when people are speaking English – of course if they are speaking French they say Irlande, and so on).

    After 1/1/2007 there will be no change whatsoever to the name of the state when one is speaking English – it is called Ireland in English and will continue to be. Only if someone is speaking Irish will they say Éire.

    The Éire/Ireland thing refers only to the little name plates that they put in front of delegates at meetings. I presume we’ve all seen them on the TV, if not in person. The current one for Finland says ‘Suomi/Finland’ and for Belgium ‘België/Belgique’, both reflecting the fact that both of those states also have two official languages. Only a complete idiot thinks that people walk around talking about ‘Suomi/Finland’ – they refer to the place by the correct name in the language they are speaking. Hence the silliness of some unionists trying to refer to the south as ‘Éire’ when they are actually speaking English. Do they talk about going on holiday to España, or the world cup in Deutschland?

  • Tochais Siorai

    Erin, Eire is Ireland in Irish. Not sure but I’d guess Ireland is some sort of derivation of Eire. Predates Dev by a long way anyway. It’s first official usage was in the 1937 constitution but it was never meant to signify the 26 county state (articles 2 & 3 and all that). However, it’s usage became somewhat bastardised by becoming a convenient term for the 26 county state used mainly in this sense by British and Unionists. I once heard a Unionist describe people from the Republic as Eireans.

  • LoyalSubject

    I don’t care what they call it. It’s a third world priest ridden kip and the name of it doesn’t matter one iota to the people of Loyal Ulster. It’s a foreign Country.

  • Mike

    Tochais Siorai

    ——————————–
    Erin, Eire is Ireland in Irish. Not sure but I’d guess Ireland is some sort of derivation of Eire. Predates Dev by a long way anyway. It’s first official usage was in the 1937 constitution but it was never meant to signify the 26 county state (articles 2 & 3 and all that). However, it’s usage became somewhat bastardised by becoming a convenient term for the 26 county state used mainly in this sense by British and Unionists.
    ———————————

    However – the term “Ireland” is used by the Irish government (and by extension the EU etc) to refer to the 26 county state. This is the official poistion of the 26 county state – it is “Ireland”. Surely you’d denounce this “bastardisation” too?

  • Stephen Copeland

    Mike,

    Ireland is both the name of the 26 county state (according to the Constitution), and the 32 county island. Sometimes unionists have gotten confused (as they know that Ireland can refer to the whole island) and tried to use the Irish word Éire for the 26 county state. The problem is that Éire is actually the name of the whole island in Irish too. In other words, the two words ‘Éire’ and ‘Ireland’ mean, and signify, exactly the same things, just in two different languages.

    It might have been easier if Dev had picked a different name for the 26 county state, but what name could he have chosen? It was an artificial state comprising only 3/4 of the country so had no ‘natural’ name. I suppose he could have gone for ‘Southern Ireland’ as a mirror of the north’s ‘Northern Ireland’.

  • Betty Boo

    From the Annals of the Four Masters
    “The Age of the World , 3500.

    M3500.1
    The fleet of the sone of Milidh came to Ireland at the end of this year, to take it from the Tuatha De Dananns; and they fought the battle of Sliabh Mis with them on the third day after landing. In this battle fell Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, wife of Milidh; and the grave of Scota is to be seen between Sliabh Mis and the sea. Therein also fell Fas, the wife of Un, son of Uige, from whom is named Gleann Faisi. After this the sons of Milidh fought a battle at Tailtinn, against the three kinge of the Tuatha De Dananns, Mac Cuill, Mac Ceacht, and Mac Greine. The battle lasted for a long time, until Mac Ceacht fell by Eiremhon, Mac Cuill by Eimhear, and Mac Greine by Amhergin.

    Their three queens were also slain; Eire by Suirghe, Fodhla by Edan, and Banba by Caicher. The battle was at length gained against the Tuatha De Dananns, and they were slaughtered wherever they were overtaken. There fell from the sons of Milidh, on the other hand, two illustrious chieftains, in following up the rout, namely Fuad at Sliabh Fuaid, and Cuailgne at Sliabh Cuailgne.”

    According to legend the name derives from this Queen.
    The reference to Ireland is misleading but the Annals were compiled much later, see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annals_of_the_Four_Masters

  • Stephen Copeland

    Betty Boo,

    The reference to Ireland is misleading …

    It sure is, especially since the Annals were written in Irish, not English. It would be interesting to know what they called the country in the original version of the translation you gave above. Most old texts give the name as some version of Éirinn (though spelt differently in old Irish), giving us the 19th century Erin, which IIRC is on the official chain of office of the Lord Mayor of Belfast.

    Dev appears to have brought the popular use of ‘Erin’ back to its original roots, the name of the goddess Éire. But was he the first to do this, or was it more widely known about at the time?

  • seabhac siulach

    Erin:

    “Enlighten me please,
    I believe Eire was a name made up by Dev. To represent the 26 county Republic of Ireland. As opposed to the 32 county Irish Republic, declared in 1916. Please note the difference in names, it is entirely intentional. Whilst the ROI/Eire exists, it is impossible for IR/Eirann to exist. I believe that was Dev’s point.
    I realise I may be on dodgy ground here, but can someone please confirm the exact nature of Eire?
    A small matter, but huge to some.”

    Eire is the gaelic name for the island of Ireland, i.e. the full 32 counties. Dev chose the name Eire for the 26 county state with the idea (the old pre-Good Friday Agreement (GFA) Articles 2&3) that he was referring to the full national territory (32 counties). Obviously now, with the ditching of those old Articles 2&3 by referendum (in the GFA vote) the people of the 26 counties have somehow decided that Eire/Ireland refers only to the 26 county rump. This is the legal position at the moment. Dev never intended that the term Eire/Ireland would refer to the 26 county state only, but that is the sorry situation now. The word Eire is the historical name for Ireland and should never have been used to refer to the Free State.
    The name Ireland is a corruption from the Norse (the Vikings!), by which the name Eire was put together with the Norse word for country, i.e., land…producing the word Eire-land or eventually Ireland…

  • seabhac siulach

    Erin:

    Further to that, in gaelic the use of word changes depending on the situation, e.g.

    Éire = the noun
    in Éirinn = in Ireland
    muinter na hÉireann = people of Ireland

    Éire go brath!

  • Stephen Copeland

    seabhac siulach,

    … the people of the 26 counties have somehow decided that Eire/Ireland refers only to the 26 county rump.

    No, you are wrong. Article 4 of the Constitution states that “The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland.

    This means that Éire/Ireland refers to the 26 county state, but does not mean that it applies only to it!

    In any case, a state can only decide on its own name, or the names of places within it. Since Ireland (agus Éire, ar ndoigh) is greater than the state, the state has absolutely no ability or authority to decide on its name, or to speak on behalf of the nation. At present we lack any authority capable of speaking on behalf of the nation – though if the North-South Ministerial Council gets up and running it will come close.

    The people of the 26 county state are not the ‘people of Ireland (the island)’, they are the people of the 26 county state also called Ireland’. A subtle difference, but an important one nonetheless.

  • Betty Boo

    Stephen,
    that will take some time.
    In the meantime, please find the shortcut to “List of Published Texts”:

    http://www.ucc.ie/celt/publishd.html#e1618c

    The Annals were written in Irish and our library has all volumes. Left side is original transcript, right side translation.

    About the name of this island; Ptolemy called it Hibernia island of Britannia

    http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Periods/Roman/_Texts/Ptolemy/2/1*.html

    Some time later Strabo called it Ierne.

    http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/4E*.html

    As far as I can recall todays Ireland was referred to as Hibernia but by others and no trace what Ptolemy gave the idea nor what or if any name was given to this islands by its inhabitants at this time.
    It would be interesting to find out what name was given before the Norman invasion and what happened since. Then we might know if Dev was the first to call it Éire.

  • pid

    Stephen,

    I agree with everything you say (on this thread!)

    There is, however, another angle for Unionists (and Tory provocateurs) who refer to Ireland as Éire when speaking English.

    We can nail them for gross illogicality as you say if they don’t likewise refer to Germany as Deutschland etc.

    But they’ve got us if they refer to it as An Ghearmáin.

    🙂

  • Stepthen
    “After 1/1/2007 there will be no change whatsoever to the name of the state when one is speaking English … The Éire/Ireland thing refers only to the little name plates”

    I don’t believe anyone sugegsted otherwise. It’s stated clearly in the original post that it “appl[ies] to signage and name plates”.

  • Btw, you’ll find “Éire” on Irish stamps dating back to the 1930’s and probably earlier so it pre-dates the 1937 constitution. Not only that but Éire is simply the Modern Irish from of the Old Irish “Ériu”, so the name has been used for the island going back a long long time.

  • Betty Boo

    “9] _Erinn._–Keating says: “We will set down here the branching off of
    the races of Magog, according to the Book of Invasions (of Ireland),
    which was called the Cin of Drom Snechta; and it was before the coming
    of Patrick to Ireland the author of that book existed.”–See Keating,
    page 109, in O’Connor’s translation. …
    He must have had a copy
    of the Cin of Drom Snechta in his possession, and he must have known who
    was the author of the original, as he states so distinctly the time of
    its compilation. Keating’s accuracy in matters of fact and
    transcription, however, is daily becoming more apparent. This statement
    might have been considered a mere conjecture of his own, had not Mr.
    O’Curry discovered the name of the author in a partially effaced
    memorandum in the Book of Leinster, which he reads thus: “[Ernin, son
    of] Duach [that is], son of the King of Connacht, an _Ollamh_, and a
    prophet, and a professor in history, and a professor in wisdom: it was
    he that collected the Genealogies and Histories of the men of Erinn in
    one book, that is, the _Cin Droma Snechta_.” Duach was the son of Brian,
    son of the monarch _Eochaidh_, who died A.D. 305.”

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14754/14754.txt

    He wasn’t the first after all.

  • Stephen Copeland

    maca,

    … I don’t believe anyone sugegsted otherwise.

    The original intro by George Burns was ambiguous on the question. He said “It will no doubt please many to hear that in official European parlance the term “Ireland” will no longer be used in meetings. He did mention signs, but did not state clearly that he was rreferring only to signs. Hence there was a risk that the less informed of us might have thought that people would actually refer, in speech, to a country called “Éire Ireland”.

    … you’ll find “Éire” on Irish stamps dating back to the 1930’s and probably earlier …

    Right back to 1922, in fact. 1922-23 First Definitive Series of Saorstat Eireann stamps.

  • Westchick

    SO how do we go about lobbying to get Irish accepted as an offical language for us north of the border? Obviously it already has status thanks to the 1998 agreement but how much more would it take to have it listed as a national language? Does anyone know how many people need to speak it etc? It may be time to start contacting all my old friends in England!!

  • Stephen
    “Hence there was a risk…”
    Well I think his third line states it clearly enough. Anyone who doesn’t understand dererves to be left in ignorance so we can take the piss out of them. 🙂

    Westchick
    “SO how do we go about lobbying to get Irish accepted as an offical language for us north of the border?”

    Good luck with that one!!

  • mark

    ‘UK’ has no ‘official’ language?.

    Well the ‘UK’, or rather England, has no insecurity that we have to actually brand our language as ‘official’, and we certainly don’t need the reincarnate of the Soviet Union, the EU, to do it for us.

    We are confident in the knowledge that our language is the worlds global language, the best in the world.

  • “I believe Eire was a name made up by Dev. To represent the 26 county Republic of Ireland. As opposed to the 32 county Irish Republic, declared in 1916. Please note the difference in names, it is entirely intentional. Whilst the ROI/Eire exists, it is impossible for IR/Eirann to exist. I believe that was Dev’s point.”

    Strangely enough I have seen this misunderstanding crop up several times both online and in real life, where people have assumed that Éire refers only to the 26 Counties and that Éireann refers to the whole island. I’m guessing this comes from the assertion in the constitution that Éire/Ireland is the Republic’s official name, and it is most unfortunate that we didn’t have the foresight to change the official name of the state to “Republic of Ireland” at the time of the Good Friday Agreement, since claim was no longer being made to the whole island.

  • Keith M

    Gabriel “I’m guessing this comes from the assertion in the constitution that Éire/Ireland is the Republic’s official name, and it is most unfortunate that we didn’t have the foresight to change the official name of the state to “Republic of Ireland” at the time of the Good Friday Agreement, since claim was no longer being made to the whole island.

    Actually the state is already called “the Republic Of Ireland”. From the 1948 act;

    “It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland.”

    I do agree that this should also be inserted into the constitution and remove any lingering ambiguity.

  • Keith M
    “Actually the state is already called “the Republic Of Ireland””

    Doesn’t matter what it’s called, it’s not the official name.
    I don’t see how it will remove any ambiguity, I think people will continue to use the terms they already do.

  • As far as I can see Eire is the most logical name for the Republic. If you’re not supposed to use it in English then why is it even included in the English translation of the constitution?

    “The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland.”

    Surely if you’re translating a whole document from the original, why leave the name in Irish if it’s not suppsoed to be used in everyday English?

    Besidse, naming the Republic simply “Ireland” lends credence to those on the unionist/loyalist side who believe Ireland stops just the other side of Newry and Londonderry.

    To be fair though, on that logic we should also probably talk about the Cote d’Ivior (sorry bout the spelling).

  • OK it’s off topic, but I just noticed in the article:

    “The move follows last year’s EU decision to designate Irish as its 21st official and working language from 2007.”

    I was under the impression only French, German and Englsh. Wikipedia has some contradictions, one source (Languages of the EU) saying all official languages are working languages, and then Working Language stating the three I mentioned.

  • harpo

    ‘I was under the impression only French, German and Englsh.’

    beano:

    Wikipedia is confusing issues. There are different Euro bodies and even they aren’t all on the same page. It’s the EC that uses only those 3 languages, and only for internal business.

    This is from the Europa web-site (http://europa.eu/languages/en/document/59):

    ‘5. Is every document generated by the EU translated into all the official languages?

    By no means. Legislation and documents of major public importance or interest are produced in all 20 official languages, but that accounts for a minority of the institutions’ work. Other documents (e.g. communications with the national authorities, Decisions addressed to particular individuals or entities and correspondence) are translated only into the languages needed. For internal purposes the EU institutions are allowed by law to choose their own language arrangements. The European Commission, for example, conducts its internal business in three languages, English, French and German, and goes fully multilingual only for public information and communication purposes. The European Parliament, on the other hand, has Members who need working documents in their own languages, so its document flow is fully multilingual from the outset.’

  • harpo

    ‘Doesn’t matter what it’s called, it’s not the official name.
    I don’t see how it will remove any ambiguity, I think people will continue to use the terms they already do.’

    maca:

    As for ambiguity, of course people will continue to use the terms they already use. That doesn’t mean they are right though. Irish Republicans will never call the ROI the ROI because that title has the word ‘republic’ in it, and they only want to recognize the 1916 Irish Republic, and not the partitionist ROI.

    It is a good point however that there should be as litle official ambiguity as possible, and the Irish Constitution didn’t/doesn’t help in that respect with all this ‘Eire, Ireland, nation, national territory’ nonsense. It’s a very confusing document.

  • harpo
    Yeah but who cares if they are right or not. I don’t see where it’s causing any problems. Any intelligent person knows the difference between the terms.

  • George

    Harpo,
    once you get your head around the fact that the Irish State doesn’t encompass the entire Irish Nation, the Irish Constitution is extremely simple to understand.

  • Erin

    I think I’m seeing a bit more clearly now.
    But I have more questions haha, I tried to make the distinction between the Irish Republic proclaimed in 1916, and the Republic of Ireland established in 1948.

    Two totally different things. One, a state of mind (still in existence in the mind of modern republicans) the other a State in fact. This is where my misunderstanding arose.

    I always thought that wily old Dev was playing word games, rather than settle for calling the 26 county State the Irish Republic, he left a bit of wriggle room for himself and called it Republic of Ireland.

    Thus leaving the IR in place (as a state of mind) to be renamed the Irish Republic if and when the country was unified, and the proclaimed republic became a fact.

    Obviously after 85 years, Northern Ireland as a state is now a fact, and in my opinion the only way unification is going to happen, is through the two states joining together, to form a completely new country rather than Dublin annexing the North as Unionists seem to think is on the agenda, a merger rather than a takeover in businessspeak.

    Perhaps some aspects of the long forgotten Eire Nua policy actually make good theoretical sense?