I have nationalist friends who seethe at the idea that the Republic has no so easily segued to being called Ireland, and the rest of us being called Northern Ireland. Semantically it squeezes out the notion of a broader (non national) identity of Irishman or Irishwoman.
Yet, that’s one of the outworkings of the Belfast Agreement. The claim on Northern Ireland, the Republic became internationally defined as Ireland. This is one of the reasons why some people believe the same agreement legitimises northern players plumping to represent the south in soccer.
So, when Reebok decided it would be a good idea to remind people of what the new, post GFA/Soccer Ireland actually looked like on their new tee shirt, they were in for a bit of a surprise:
Pretty ugly, huh? That’s what partition looks like from below, no wonder there was outrage!
Yet good things can, sometimes, come from adversity. The teeshirt is gone [replaced by what exactly? -Ed], which is nice. And here’s John Moynes’ inspired Limerick for today…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty