What’s in a name #3…

I was delighted to read, from afar, that the DUP MP for East Londonderry Gregory Campbell deigns that the border in Ireland is not “a threat to anyone who feels Irish on this part of the island.”.

I’m sorry, but “feels Irish”? Am I naïve in thinking we had moved on in “Our Wee Country” since 1998? Or does this typify a mindset that refuses to accept geographical reality? There is a Big Island called Britain, and there is a smaller island called Ireland. Once upon a time they were united in a Kingdom, but 1801 – 1921, Covenants, partition, and all that…

One of my passports (I have three!) says “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.”

In full disclosure, I am an O’Neill (unrelated to Brian) and my 23&Me DNA test says I go way back to the last ice-age on this wind-swept Atlantic rock. I couldn’t be more Ulster or Irish if I tried. And as I’m sure the right honourable member for East Londonderry has already been informed, Campbell literally means crooked mouth in Gaelic, or alternatively Cathmhaoil, so perchance a wee bit of awkward heritage there…

It’s 2021 for goodness’ sake and I believe that whatever your ethnic or national identity is, be it Polish, Nigerian, British, Indian or Irish is your inherent identity to own.

Just don’t tell me that I am permitted to “feel” Irish in Ireland.


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