Confusion over what Ireland really is, and what it once was…

Gavin points to a graph that tells the awful truth about the Irish Republic’s housing market… Elsewhere the same site records An estimated 4,239,848 people live in Ireland… Yep, it seems we have quite disappeared from sight and mind… No wait, “In 1841, before the famine, the population peaked at 8 million…” Some creative accountancy there. Come on guys, make your minds up and stick with it!!

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  • Mick,

    That is, of course not an ‘official’ web site, much less the site of either the CSO or the Irish government.

    In fact, the site is based in the USA, never a hot-bed of factual accuracy! Oddly enough, the site even ‘protects’ its identity, so beyond knowing that it all of the leads end at:

    8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #110 – 732
    Westchester, CA 90045

    … we are no wiser about it.

    My own advice would be to forget it! Link us to the CSO and NISRA for real professional stats.

  • Mick Fealty

    You can get them in the blogroll if you want them Horse… the point was not made with regard to statistical accuracy but rather a cultural bent in the opposite direction…

  • Mick,

    I’m well able to find the CSO and NISRA on my own, but thanks for the thought!

    My point is that the ‘cultural bent’ is not a native cultural bent – it is a US site full of the ignorance of the world for which that country is known. The site is an irrelevancy for us.

  • Mack

    Yep, I’ve come across that mistake quiet a bit in conversation.

    Population of RoI today – 4.42 million
    http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/documents/population/current/popmig.pdf

    Population of NI today – 1.79 million
    http://www.nisra.gov.uk/archive/demography/population/midyear/mye_report_2007.pdf

    Population of Ireland – 6.21 million

    There is a good chance some of us alive today will see that peak exceeded (if only they accept the terms!).

    My favourite graph on the housing problem…

    http://daftwatch.atspace.com/

  • Mick, here’s the population figure from the Irish government website:

    According to the most recent census return some 88 per cent of Ireland’s four million population classify themselves as members of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Mack

    Nevin – constitutionally, the name of the state is Ireland. I would imagine any legal documents are obligated to descibe the state as such and that practice extends into official communications.

  • Mack, I note your use of RoI whereas CSO gives its address as “Published by the Central Statistics Office, Ireland.”

    I’m a little bit surprised that Irish nationalists here haven’t made an issue of this ‘exclusion’.

    I’ve drawn the UK government’s attention to the confusing use of ‘Britain’ for its annual digest of statistics and its USA website. Lo and behold, they’ve both been changed.

  • Nevin,

    You’re being deliberately mischievous, of course. That site is clearly titled ‘Information on the Irish State’, and goes on to talk of the republic in many places.

    The bit I really prefer, though is “In 1841 the Republic of Ireland had a recorded population of 6,528,770 … . And I thought the Republic was only declared on Easter Monday 1916!

  • Nevin bis,

    Central Statistics Office, Ireland is correct. The name of the state is Ireland, just like the name of the country, and the island. Confusing, huh?

    It won’t be, after re-unification 😉

  • Mack

    Nevin – see comment above your last one – (assume you were looking at my first comment).

    The Constitution insists the state be called Ireland. I don’t think there’s much northerners can do about it, it would be very expensive to change.

    It may not be an issue solely for nationalists, I’ve certainly heard unionists complain too – at minimum because it could be interpreted to imply irredentism. I think it’s not ideal, personally, not least because it encourages a degree of myopia in the south about what Ireland / Irishness encompasses…

  • Mike

    Horseman

    The Republic of Ireland was declared in 1948:-)

    An interesting if usually-forgotten fact is that the first declaration of “the Irish Republic” was in 1867…

  • Mike,

    The Republic of Ireland was declared in 1948:-)

    Pah! That was only the Fine Gael republic. The real one had already been declared in 1916!

    😉

  • Earnan

    I believe Emmett had also had a provisional government for his new Republic planned and declared on paper before his 4 hour riot/insurrection.

    And I thought the Fenians in America declared themselves the government of the Irish Republic in exile in 1866 or so.

  • Horseman, I’ve also pointed out to the Irish government that its use of ‘Ireland’ was misleading.

    I rang Iveagh House quite a few years ago to inquire about the name officials used for the 26-county territory and was put through to the the DFA’s Department of Protocol. I was told ‘Ireland’ and when I suggested that this was confusing for those who were trying to make sense of Agreement documents I was redirected to the Taoiseach’s Department of Protocol. I queried the receptionist’s use of ‘the Republic’; she checked and confirmed my ‘Ireland’ suggestion and then put me through to Head of Protocol. When I mentioned my exchange with his colleague in Iveagh House he said, “Those b**tards were supposed to have sorted that [confusion] out”!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Horse,

    Go watch last week’s edition of Prime Time on the unpatriotic shoppers of the Republic to see Conor Lenihan turn sharply on a sixpence. It’s simply not ‘the Republic’ in common parlance any more. And it’s been that way for some time.

    As Mack points out it is ‘An Bunreacht na hEireann’ – the hint is in the title – that consolidates it… It would be good to know just when the elision began (I have to admit only taking cognisance of it very recently)…

    For instance, I’ve a book buried somewhere round here which refers to the Republic of Ireland as the title of the team; if I could dig it out that might give us a hint. When did the FAI ‘claim ownership’ of the whole island by dropping the term ‘Republic’ from its title?

    So here’s another possibly rhetorical question: Did the dropping of articles 2 and 3 lead to a type of ‘dressed down’ Ireland that has purged the 26 of all memory and kinship with the 6?

    The nomenclature is particularly awkward when Minister of Finance in the Dail tries to make otherwise reasonable socio-economic points about real world relationships with Northern Ireland.

  • Horseman, Mary McAleese has taken to using ‘the island of Ireland’ which will be news to the diaspora who never thought it was anything else.

    I miss Bertie Ahern’s use of ‘Ireland’ because you could never be sure whether he meant the 26 or the 32 🙂

  • Mick Fealty

    Answering my own rhetorical question; if it has, then the term has already gone popular and there’s not much vexed Nordies can do about it.

  • Mick, Mary Robinson may be the one to blame with her ‘reality therapy’ from 1994, ‘island of Ireland’ and all.

  • Mick Fealty

    Maybe, but I suspect it might have had something more to do with the standing down of old style Republicanism in the Republic following 1998…

  • Hi,
    The website referenced is my site, I noticed some traffic coming from here so I came for a look. Just to clear some matters up. The sources of all the data are clearly stated and plenty of time has gone into getting the information correct. Info is mainly from the CSO site but other reputable sites are used. Statusireland.com is just presenting them in an easier to read fashion. If there are any errors in data then feel free to contact me via the site. Errors of minor details shouldn’t diminish the actual solid facts presented and if you are easily distracted by them then I am sorry for you and will try to fix them all up so that you sleep easier at night.

    Someone mentioned something about the site being American and hidden identity and a big conspiracy or something. The server may well be in America but I am Irish, the owner details are hidden by default when you buy any domain name with WHOISGAURD because of spammers abusing your contact details but also USING your email address and details to get around spam filters.

    The site is there as a reference point and a useful one at that I have to admit. There are plenty of people out there clutching onto the hope that house prices, for example, will bounce back rather than follow the obvious patterns of other property bubbles. A quick look at a chart can sometimes be enough for people to understand a situation, put it in context at least.

    I hope that at least 1 person will find the charts useful.
    thanks,
    Ste

  • Mick Fealty

    Ste,

    Indeed. Slugger is hosted in the states too… Cost being the primary consideration…

    Except the erroneous comparison between the figure for the Republic’s pop figure and the island-wide population of the 1840s, I didn’t notice any other discrepancies.

    That, it seems to me, springs out of the elision of the term for the southern state and that for the island. It’s a commonplace I doubt would raise any eyebrows south of the border.

    Up here (as you might expect) it matters…

  • Mick,
    I’ll make a note of it and update the site later. I remember thinking about it when I was doing the stats but where my justifications were I can’t recall. There was no strange intent in the wording anyways.
    cheers,
    Ste

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m sure not. Thanks for that!

  • Nomad

    Mick,

    I’m glad you’re discussing this. It’s long irked me that us ‘Nordies’ seem to have our status of being Irish, or indeed living in one of two political versions of Ireland, a little crowded out by our bigger brother in the south. My southern friends are never too receptive to me telling them Northern Ireland is the real Ireland for some reason though..

    Ste,

    I think the confusion is that your stats seem to loosely compare all Ireland population pre-partition (and pre famine) with the post partition Republic. It’s a little hard to do that I’d think. Not sure you got that above. Interesting site. I do take umbridge with The Horseman’s fleeting xenophobia either way!

  • Nomad

    Took me a while to complete that post- you can probably ignore second paragraph, given above conversation!

  • So we’re all agreed they are a shower of free state bastards then?

    Mick,

    The southern consitution envisions itself covering the whole island (still, despite the revisions to articles two and three), so the elision does not come there.

  • Mick Fealty

    it does when you give up the territorial claim. That fastened us together temporally in the minds of southern politicians; now it is an indefinitely deferred pleasure they’re plumping for what they now hold under the Constitution and calling that Ireland. No?

    It at least has the virtue of being logical. But I welcome anyone testing it for sound good sense.

  • Bruigh Sios

    But you lot are British as UMH points out continually.

  • Wilde Rover

    Speaking as a half breed Mexican who is loose and free with the term Ireland can I say I resemble many of the allegations put forth here.

  • I don’t agree with that interpretation of the new wording though Mick. It says that unity will come with the consent of the people of the north. But still envisages unity. It may give up the claim, but not the vision of being applicable across the island.

    However, in many senses the ellision can be found before the constitution anyway, especially among the politicians and civil servants of the free state. The name of the state was Ireland, and they thought in terms of the state. That hasn’t changed magically since 1998. Think of the title of Clair Wills’ book about the free state’s neutrality and WWII – that neutral island. This is drawn from a contemporary, and I think northern poet.

    I suspect the increase in popular usage partly reflects the confidence from the Tiger. Let’s see if that reverses now that has gone belly up.

  • 6countyprod

    Tidbit from wikipedia:

    In 1989 the Irish Supreme Court rejected an extradition warrant that used the name Republic of Ireland. Justice Walsh justfied the decision by saying: “if the courts of other countries seeking the assistance of this country are unwilling to give this State its constitutionally correct and internationally recognised name, then in my view, the warrants should be returned to such countries until they have been rectified.”

  • Mick Fealty

    Gari,

    I’m not offering an interpretation of the words Gari. Just a view on how socially Ireland’s post GFA reality is being lived out south and west of the border.

  • Fair enough Mick. But I think to say that the current words are not envisioning encompassing the whole island eventually is incorrect, and in that sense it is an interpretation.

    But I agree the free staters have an overwhelmingly partitionist mindset.

  • Mick Fealty

    But is precisely where the confusion arises. The withdrawal of former articles 2 and 3 risk making the constitution a nonsense.

  • That’s an interesting comment Mick. I think a certain interpretation of it can make the foundation ideology of the state a nonsense certainly. But I do think that it can be interpreted in a way that doesn’t do that. More constructive ambiguity perhaps?

  • Mick Fealty

    Here’s the paradox of that constructive ambiguity:

    – Northern Irish nationalists feel more Irish (they now have the same citizenship rights as friends and relatives on the other side of the border).

    – Southern Irish nationalist feel that Northern Ireland is less Irish, not simply because of the ongoing structural differences but because of the way Constitution encourages a national forgetfulness of the ‘wee six’.

    Does that make sense?

  • “Article 4
    The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English
    language, Ireland.

    Article 5
    Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state.”

    There’s no ambiguity there.

  • Nevin,

    I agree. There is though ambiguity in how people interpret how the constitution envisions Ireland. I’m not sure the text though is that ambiguous.

    Mick,

    I see what you are saying now, and it does make sense. The southerners definitely do have a perception that Ireland means the 26 county state as opposed to the island. I even had to pull up that southern blogger of yours over saying it regarding football results. Totally ingrained in their consciousness.

  • Mick,

    – Northern Irish nationalists feel more Irish (they now have the same citizenship rights as friends and relatives on the other side of the border).

    – Southern Irish nationalist feel that Northern Ireland is less Irish, not simply because of the ongoing structural differences but because of the way Constitution encourages a national forgetfulness of the ‘wee six’.

    Does that make sense?

    No.

    You are mixing up citizenship of the Irish state with Irishness. They are different things. Our ancestors were Irish when there was no Irish state.

    Nobody has the power, or right, to tell you that you are (or aren’t) Irish if you’re from Ireland. The southern state can give or deny citizenship of one state (covering only 3/4 of the country), but cannot take away your Irishness.

    I think one of the weaknesses of the current arrangement is that northern people see the Dublin government as the arbitror of ‘Irishness’, when it is not. It matters not a whit what ‘Southern Irish nationalist feel’ – they are just residents of a different part of our country. The state that they are in, and their government, applies to them only, not to ‘Ireland’.

    In this respect I would agree with some unionists who say that they, and their culture, are as Irish as the ‘gaelic nationalist’ version. They are as Irish as you and me, just in a different way.

  • runciter

    Thanks Mick for raising this issue. It’s surprising that southern partitionists have gotten away with this for so long.

    The 26 counties are not and never will be Ireland. As you have pointed out, calling the state Ireland only ever made sense in the context of a territorial claim to the 6 counties. At this point it is a merely ostentation.

  • Dave

    There is one island, but two nations live on it with one of those nations refusing to join the Irish nation. So, despite the propaganda that seeks to portray one ‘Ireland’ as meaning one nation, that is not the case. Hence, you have two states on one island with two separate claims to self-determination to reflect the aspirations of the two separate nations.

    In the Republic of Ireland, you have the Irish nation and their nation-state, and in Northern Ireland you have two nations who agreed to share one claim to self-determination as Northern Irishmen (their new shared nationalism) under ad hoc consociationalism and bi-nationalism arrangements that requires the constant support of stable political arrangements, i.e. the sovereign government of the Republic of Ireland and the British government (which owns the sovereignty of Northern Ireland). Good luck to them in that arrangement and, more pertinently, good luck to the hard working taxpayers in the United Kingdom who have to finance it.

    Because the Republic of Ireland renounced it claim to sovereignty over the territory of Northern Ireland at the request of northern Irish nationalists, the term ‘Ireland’ could no longer refer to the Republic of Ireland with the claim of sovereignty remaining implicit, so they clarified it to mean the ‘island of Ireland’ with the recognition that there were two separate states on one island.

    It’s sweet that the northern Irish nationalists have agreed to accept the constitution of Northern Ireland and agreed that they have no right to self-determination as a part of the Irish nation, but instead have an aspiration that is subject to the veto of those whose claim to self-determination as a part of the British nation is now validated and legitimised. Rights, unlike aspirations, are not subject to the discretion of others.

    Unfortunately for them, however, the citizens of the Republic of Ireland did not negotiate or agree to be bound by political arrangements affected their nationality that are applicable only in the British domain of Northern Ireland, and the Whitehall-devised process now requires those who have formally converted their own claim to self-determination into an aspiration to act as quislings against the Irish nation and the Irish nation-state and encourage the citizens of the Republic of Ireland to follow their dismal and pitiful example and surrender their rights to live within an Irish nation-state, accepting that a cantankerous minority of ne’er-do-well British nationalists have an equal claim to the whole island which must be reflected in similar political and constitutional arrangements as apply in Northern Ireland.

    Again, good luck with that. 😉

  • Mack

    Dave – your analysis in terms of two competing nations in Northern Ireland is spot on. The rest of your piece was confused or just plain inaccurate.

    Witness :

    “Because the Republic of Ireland renounced it claim to sovereignty over the territory of Northern Ireland at the request of northern Irish nationalists, the term ‘Ireland’ could no longer refer to the Republic of Ireland with the claim of sovereignty remaining implicit, so they clarified it to mean the ‘island of Ireland’ with the recognition that there were two separate states on one island. ”

    The bizarre definitions you profer above, do not square with Bunreacht na hÉireann, which has legal primacy.

  • Dave

    And by the way, Mack, even if the northern British nationalists did grant the request of the northern Irish nationalists (who have converted their right to self-determination into an aspiration that is subject to the discretion of the minority nation on the island of Ireland) to abandon their new shared nationalism of Northern Irishmen and unify, that unity wouldn’t result in the attainment of the right to self-determination for northern Irish nationalists since the outcome is predicated on the disbandment of the nation-state of Ireland and the agreement of the Irish nation to be bound by a similar veto over their right to self-determination as applies in Northern Ireland.

  • Dave,

    … even if the northern British nationalists did grant the request of the northern Irish nationalists (who have converted their right to self-determination into an aspiration that is subject to the discretion of the minority nation on the island of Ireland) …

    Only until such time as the ‘northern Irish nationalists’ achieve a majority in NI. Thn its Game Over.

    … to abandon their new shared nationalism of Northern Irishmen and unify, that unity wouldn’t result in the attainment of the right to self-determination for northern Irish nationalists since the outcome is predicated on the disbandment of the nation-state of Ireland and the agreement of the Irish nation to be bound by a similar veto over their right to self-determination as applies in Northern Ireland.

    What on earth does that mean? Seriously.

  • Dave

    Horseman, that isn’t the case. Because you have accepted that you do not have a right to live within an Irish nation-state, you will find that the gameplan is then to persuade others that they allow have no such right. That is why the quisling (paid, and free-wheeling) are promoting that agenda. Because you got ‘parity of esteem’ with British nationalism in NI, you will be persuaded that you must recipocate with ‘parity of esteem’ for British nationalism in the Republic of Ireland. There is no basis for this other than British intelligence don’t spend a few hundred million per year in Ireland without expecting to see some pro-British sentiment emerging from their investment. 😉

    Let’s clarify for those who find it confusing:

    Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    Three rights to self-determination on one island:

    Northern Irish: the qualified right of the citizens of that territory to determine their own future. This is two nations competing with each other for control of one state. The sovereignty of this right to self-determination is held not by citizens, however, but by the British government.

    Irish: the right of the Irish nation to freely determine their own destiny. The nation-state is the sovereign territorial entity by which a nation “freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” This requires that the state be sovereign.

    British: a nation that is comprised of a member of other nations.

    The northern Irish nationalists rejected their right to live within an Irish nation state. In return, they accepted that the right to self-determination that applies to them is Northern Irish.

  • Dave

    Typo: “…that they [b]also[/b] have no such right.”

  • Dave,

    Your posts are long and complexly argued. But wrong.

    The GFA (and subsequent legislation) guarantees two things to northern nationalists:

    (1) That they do form part of the Irish nation (NB not state), and,

    (2) That a simple 50%+1 vote can reunite the country into one state.

    Your argument appears to be a complicated smokescreen to try to obscure those two simple facts.

  • Mick Fealty

    Horse:

    “You are mixing up citizenship of the Irish state with Irishness.”

    With respect I am clearer than most about the distinction between the two; but the confusion, I think, may lie in the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1998.

    I think you need to go back and read my remarks on the paradoxical nature of this situation. Northerners now have automatic rights to citizenship, but not the right to pay taxes or be represented in the Dail.

    Few nationalists in Northern Ireland refer to the south as ‘Ireland’. To do so would be tantamount to sawing off the branch you were sitting on.

    Few nationalists in the south refer to their own territorial state as the Republic these days either. It is Ireland, as stated in the Bunreacht; regardless of how anyone feels about it.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [b]Confusion over what Ireland really is, and what it once was…[/b]

    why are we all so confused? , Ireland is an invention from the 12th century. The name Ireland never came about until after the 12th century. so being Irish is a relatively new thing.

  • Mack

    Dave – there’s no need to panic over any of this. The circle of competing nationalities and identities needs to be squared within Northern Ireland anyway. People have to live there, get on with each other and their lives. I’m confident they will find a way to respect both cultures and in time develop a common northern identity.

    If a united Ireland ever comes about, do you seriously believe, that the entire legal framework of the Irish state will be disbanded and replaced with something else? Ditto, for Northern Ireland? For both civil services? For all the trappings of state?

    In all likelihood, in the event of a transfer of sovereignty, both states would continue to exist, perhaps with gradually more powerful merged all-island bodies. Northern Ireland, at least until people feel comfortable otherwise, will continue to exist – with the same safe guards you rail against above – just under some form of Irish sovereignty rather than UK sovereignty.

  • Mick,

    Northerners now have automatic rights to citizenship, but not the right to pay taxes or be represented in the Dail.

    Again you mix state and nation. If you don’t live in a state you generally don’t pay its taxes. And even if the southern state denied you its citizenship that would not in any way dilute your Irishness. The southern state is not ‘Ireland’ in the broad sense, it is a state in Ireland that calls itself Ireland. No more, no less.

    Few nationalists in Northern Ireland refer to the south as ‘Ireland’. To do so would be tantamount to sawing off the branch you were sitting on.

    Indeed.

    Few nationalists in the south refer to their own territorial state as the Republic these days either. It is Ireland, as stated in the Bunreacht; regardless of how anyone feels about it.

    True too. Bur so what? That doesn’t mean that the southern state represents the maximum extent of ‘Ireland’. It represents (at the risk of sounding repetitive) only a state in Ireland that calls itself Ireland.

    The word Ireland means different things in different contexts. I really don’t see what is so hard about that. To many in the south it means the State for practical purposes. In other contexts it means the nation, or the island.

    When we talk of the Irish Hare, or Irish music, or Irish people, we almost always have the whole country (island/32 counties) in mind. When we talk of the Irish government we mean only Dublin, never Belfast. Issues like ‘the population of Ireland’ are bound to cause problems, as two different interpretations are equally valid.

  • runciter

    The word Ireland means different things in different contexts. I really don’t see what is so hard about that.

    One problem is that you have North/South bodies talking about “Northern Ireland and Ireland” – an absurd phrase which manages to be both confusing and offensive at the same time.

    As a northern nationalist I do not appreciate people telling me that Ireland stops at the border – in any context.

  • Horseman, NI represents the overlap of two ‘nations’.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]The word Ireland means different things in different contexts. I really don’t see what is so hard about that.”[/i]

    WHAT ABOUT TELLING US WHAT THE FUCKING WORD IRELAND ACTUALLY MEANS?…..WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

  • Dave

    “Because the Republic of Ireland renounced it claim to sovereignty over the territory of Northern Ireland at the request of northern Irish nationalists, the term ‘Ireland’ could no longer refer to the Republic of Ireland with the claim of sovereignty remaining implicit, so they clarified it to mean the ‘island of Ireland’ with the recognition that there were two separate states on one island. “ – Dave

    “The bizarre definitions you profer above, do not square with Bunreacht na hÉireann, which has legal primacy.” – Mack

    Then I suggest you actually read the Constitution. It gives the name of the State as Ireland, and makes clear in Articles 2 & 3 that the State does not include the territory of Northern Ireland. It accepts that there are two sovereign states on the ‘island of Ireland’ and it no longer makes any claim to the sovereign territory of the other state.

    The unamended Articles 2 & 3 were:

    Article 2.
    The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas.

    Article 3.
    Pending the re-integration of the national territory, and without prejudice to the right of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory, the laws enacted by that Parliament shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws of Saorstát Éireann and the like extra-territorial effect.

    Amended to remove the claim of the Republic of Ireland to sovereignty over the territory of Northern Ireland:

    Article 2
    It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.

    Article 3
    It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.

    “Dave – there’s no need to panic over any of this.” – Mack

    Who is panicking? I’m happy to point out that there is a lot of propaganda in play, and that it is in play because very organised and focused people have put it into play for ulterior purposes. I don’t believe that the Irish nation will ever be stupid enough to impose any constraints on its right to self-determination or that those who seek to proffer British nationalism as being entitled to parity with Irish nationalism will have much luck with the process. It remains the case that Irish nation is being encouraged to subjugate and censor itself and that such is de facto denial of self-determination – it might be cleverly done so that it looks like it is the choice of the Irish nation (and, ergo, a de jure expression of self-determination) but it actually being done by hidden hands. If you think that MI5’s budget of 800 million a year spend on ‘the Irish question’ was spent on office furniture and executive cars rather than on corrupting influential figures in politics and the media or other sectors through bribery then you probably think that that guitar you got as a kid really did come down your chimney courtesy of a kindly bearded gentleman.

  • Mick Fealty

    Horse,

    I’m off to London early in the morning so I don’t have time to get into long explanations. Simply this (and if you’d read my exchange with Gari earlier some of this would be clearer than it obviously is): I am speaking about differing perceptions of the same word can draw people into intellectual ‘cul de sacs’.

    Once you do away with two clear handles for two states, then in certain circumstances when the Republic is forced to confront its relations with Northern Ireland, confusion reigns. Q&A;Horse, watch last week’s Q&A;and you’ll see a Minister of State being forced to change nomenclature half way through to make crystal clear something that if you followed the argument you would know anyway.

    The only controversial idea I have advanced is a hypothesis that this PARTICULAR confusion may have arisen from the 1998 changes to the Bunreacht.

    “Issues like ‘the population of Ireland’ are bound to cause problems, as two different interpretations are equally valid.”

    But there are two different calculations that can masquerade as the same, as in this case, when in fact they are quite different. In this case our friend ‘Ste’ (who is Irish and not American as you first claimed) made precisely this mistake. It’s understandable when the nomenclature is as confused as this one.

    If you get your data from the CSO, you know what you are getting because if you are a lazy but half sentient researcher who never reads the notes on methodology you understand the provenance of the source. But in casual intercourse it is a different matter.

    I hope that clears it up. It’s not a matter of polemic; its about the utility of using straightforward language. It’s just ‘red pill’ stuff.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Shower of weirdos. We all know what Ireland is. This is actually a topic about nothing. Fair play to ye.
    An arguement for the sake of itself. Bizarre.

  • Mick Fealty

    The Devil’s always in the detail. Night all!

  • janeymac

    To avoid all this confusion, I wonder if this is why India was split into East & West Pakistan with the larger area retainining the name India.

    I wonder did the Pakistanis/Banglageshi’s feel hard done by that the larger part of the landmass was still called India?

    Why wasn’t NI renamed Dal Riada or something similar?

    Unionists missed out on putting a bit of clear space between us and them by not doing that!

  • runciter

    Shower of weirdos. We all know what Ireland is.

    How many counties are there in Ireland?

  • Ri Na Deise

    runciter

    Tough call. Id say 32 but isnt there a County Fingal these days?
    Also for administration purposes the cities are in effect seperate counties.

    Also in GAA land we have counties New York and London added to the mix.

    Your guess is as good as mine.

  • Harry Flashman

    Isn’t Tipperary uniquely regarded as two separate “counties” (North Riding and South Riding) with regard to Irish vehicle registration plates? And didn’t Dublin stop being a county a few years back after they divided it up into three new counties?

    Strange place Ireland.

  • runciter

    Tough call. Id say 32

    The Department of Foreign Affairs says 26.

    So maybe not everyone knows “what Ireland is”.

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs says 26.

    But it is, of course, only the DFA of the 26 county state called Ireland. So it is correct as far as its state (aka Ireland) is concerned.

    However, there are clearly more than 26 administrative counties even in the state (Dublin has three now, and Tipp always had two). Since the northern counties have no administrative function any more (except, argubly, Fermanagh), there are still just six of them.

    So, to sum up, I’d say that there are 32 historic counties (used by the GAA, addresses, etc), but probably 35 actual counties (29 administrative in the south, and 6 in the north).

    Ri Na Deise, you’re quite right. It’s an argument just for the sake of it. But isn’t that all Slugger really is, at the end of the day?

  • eranu

    seems obvious to me that the problem is the ROI is inaccurately named. the solution would be for them to tidy up their mistake and pick an accurate name that reflects the geographic area of their state, not the geographic area that they originally wanted their state to be. naming conventions would suggest Southern Ireland.

    any southerners up for fixing their country’s name?

  • Mack

    Eranu – I believe the Greeks and Macedonian’s have similar issue. It’s not going to change, we just have to get used to it.

  • eranu

    probably not, cant imagine anyone down south taking too kindly to northern irish people asking them to rename their state! although it would fix things like the ireland rugby team being seen more as the ROI team down south.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “why are we all so confused? , Ireland is an invention from the 12th century. The name Ireland never came about until after the 12th century. so being Irish is a relatively new thing.”

    Jaypers UMH, can you not grasp that prior to the 12th century the English language (as we know it today) was unknown as well!

    Around this time the names of most countries/territories/lands were different to what we know them as today!

    ie therefore ‘Wales’ is an invention too as it’s an Anglo Saxon word for foreigner!
    Scotland is an invention too as it describes the Irish inhabitants living in Alba (Irish gaelic) or Caledonia (Latin) , take your pick of old names…
    England is an invention too derived with the arrival of the Angles from ‘Germania’ to Britain.
    Regarding the island of Ireland, it’s incredible that you have never heard of the terms Hibernia(Latin), Ivernia, Ierne etc… where the name or word ‘Ireland’ is derived!
    It was thanks to our Norman ancestors who neatly categorised and appropriately named all the countries of the the ‘British isles’ that stand to this day as you know them! Prior to this call them what you like but the peoples of these islands were always here with their distinct cultural identities.

    A good thing for you to do would be to check out out when ‘France’, ‘Germany’, ‘Italy’ ‘Russia,’ etc…. etc…were ‘invented’ as you say!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    And of course UMH ‘Northern Ireland’ and the ‘Republic of Ireland’ were ‘invented’ only in 1922! Prior to that nothing exited here if you were to apply your logic!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    And of course UMH ‘Northern Ireland’ and the ‘Republic of Ireland’ were ‘invented’ only in 1922! Prior to that nothing existed here if you were to apply your logic!

  • Actually Greagoir, the correct history of the island of Ireland is as follows.

    When the world was created 4000 years ago, the island that is now called “Ireland” was much smaller than it is now. Back then, it consisted of the territory that is now Northern Ireland, and it was known as Ulsterbritain. It was a very mountainous, where the average elevation of the land was several thousand feet above sea level.

    Living alongside the noble inhabitants of Ulsterbritain was a tribe of red-haired savages, known as the “Irish.” These savages set about levelling the mountains and spreading out the area of the island into the sea to the south and west of Ulsterbritain. By the 12th century, they had enlarged the island to the size that it is today, which they called “Ireland” However, their long-term plan to subjugate and enslave the the good people of Ulsterbritain was thwarted by the intervention of the English.

    God’s honest truth.

  • fionn

    Point of order..

    Northernmost part of Ireland is Malin Head, in the Republic.

    Southernmost is Fastnet Rock (County Cork), also in the Republic.

    I am from Dublin and hate the term ‘southern Ireland’. Unless you are talking about County Cork, there is no such place! Unless you are talking about Corkonians, there are no such people as southerners.

    I usually encounter it when talking to English people who have no clue about Ireland, have heard the term northen Ireland, and assume there is a southern equivalent out there somewhere. (also, seemingly, part of the UK).

    To hear people of the ‘6’ refer to me as a ‘Free Stater’, and immediately afterwards refer to the the Republic as ‘southern Ireland’, and me as a ‘southerner’ really gets me going!

    When English people ask me if I am from ‘southern Ireland’ I tell them I am in fact from eastern Ireland. A response which usually provokes a nervous laugh, as they try to figure out where I’m coming from.

    And yes, I do call my country the Republic when refering to the 26, and Ireland when refering to where I come from.

  • fionn, how’s about BMW Ireland? That sounds very grand!!

    S&E;Ireland, on the other hand, sounds a bit smutty.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Horseman/Mike/Earnan,

    On the declaration of the Republic – Ireland was represented in the First Protectorate Parliament by 30MPs. A Republican parliament formed in 1654 by Cromwell – the greatest republican to ever set foot in Ireland. Though that would be hard to tell nowadays ;0)

  • Harry Flashman

    Careful Congal, don’t mention that Cromwell was a Republican who slaughtered pro-English Royalists, it doesn’t fit into the conventional history of Ireland.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Fionn

    I take no issue with the term ‘southerner’ being as it is geographically accurate in my case.:)

  • runciter

    Ri Na Deise, you’re quite right. It’s an argument just for the sake of it.

    Not really. Terminology is important. The traditional reason for calling the state Ireland was due to the territorial claim in the constitution. It was never the intention of those who originally wrote the constitution that Ireland should be reduced to meaning 26 counties in any context.

    Also, it should be obvious that it is offensive to northern nationalists to suggest that they do not live in Ireland, no matter the context.

  • eranu

    also offensive to unionists runciter. just because they have no interest in the republic doesnt mean they dont have an interest in ireland.

  • dantheman

    I find anyone who lives in Ireland and claims not to be Orosh has something missing upstairs. Just like the albeit small section of the Celtic support who claim to be Irish, and not at all Scottish.

  • runciter

    also offensive to unionists runciter.

    Fair point.

  • foreign correspondent

    Re the poster from Dublin who doesn´t like being called a Southerner, it is true in my experience (as a Northerner) that people in NI, whatever background they come from prefer to talk about the ´South´, the Free State, or simply the State rather than the Republic. I personally would prefer to use the latter term, but it´s kind of swimming against the tide…
    Then of course there are quite a few English people who refer to the mysterious land of ´Air-eh´ but that´s a whole other can of worms.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “On the declaration of the Republic – Ireland was represented in the First Protectorate Parliament by 30MPs. A Republican parliament formed in 1654 by Cromwell – the greatest republican to ever set foot in Ireland. Though that would be hard to tell nowadays ;0)”

    “Careful Congal, don’t mention that Cromwell was a Republican who slaughtered pro-English Royalists, it doesn’t fit into the conventional history of Ireland.”

    Ha Ah…Oh indeed folks, Cromwell the first notable English republican who beheaded your Protestant English King and established parliament as the basis of government.
    A headstrong dictator and hounder of English Royalists in Ireland, please note that he was no friend of Popish Paddy the Peasant either who got a raw deal too! So why should Irish folk today have any love for an arrogant religious fundaMentalist who thought he was on ‘gods’ side, even if he was a ‘republican’. He was an opportunist who firmly established English rule in Ireland too!

    BTW, the Republicanism of that other great Englishman Thomas Paine is indeed more preferable!

  • fionn

    fc

    “Re the poster from Dublin who doesn´t like being called a Southerner”

    would’ve been easier to call me fionn 🙂

    I take your point that ‘northerners’ (your term) tend to refer to us as ‘southerners’. My point is that it pisses me off a little when used (by youse)in conjunction with ‘Free Stater’.

    English people can use the term ‘southern Ireland’ to deny the existence of the Republic (sometimes sub-consciously I admit), as an Irish Republic seems to have some deleterious effect on their belief in the Empire, or perhaps on the the integrity of the Union.

    ‘Free state’ can have the same effect. It seems that nobody wants to admit the existence of our little Republic!

    “Then of course there are quite a few English people who refer to the mysterious land of ´Air-eh´”

    Yes I’ve met them, usually of the older variety and trying to be PC, bless ’em. Those moments are when I really like using the term Republic. 🙂

  • Jean-Luc