Wednesday, 30 July 2008

McElduff in good sense shocker - Republic of Ireland is not the same as Ireland

I wouldn’t normally find myself agreeing with Provisional Sinn Féin’s Barry McElduff, but a complaint he raises regarding politicians in the Republic appropriating the term ‘Ireland’ to describe their state, or “this notion that the 26 counties constitutes Ireland”, as Mr McElduff puts it, strikes something of a chord.

Of course the reasoning by which McElduff arrives at his conclusions is predictably off kilter. The Republic has every right to refer to itself as a ‘country’ or a ‘state’. However he is certainly correct to sever the notion of people in Northern Ireland asserting their ‘Irish national identity’ from the existence of the Republic of Ireland state. The idea that Northern Irish people need access to the Republic's institutions to express their Irish identity is based on similar conflation of the terms 'Republic of Ireland', 'Ireland' and 'Irish'.

Playing a full role in Northern Ireland’s institutions compromises nobody’s Irish identity. There are two states within Ireland and both recognise and respect the Irish identity. Neither should (or can) exercise a monopoly on either the Irish identity or the term ‘Ireland’. Perhaps Mr McElduff should carry this logic through to its conclusion when he considers football eligibility.

12 comments:

CW said...

I went to the same school as Barry, but have little else in common with him. I suppose he has a point, but would be better off concentrating on things that actually matter like improving hospital services and roads in West Tyrone, rather than this kind of bullshit.

Chekov said...

To be fair I think this type of conceptual stuff is beloved of a large number of politicians as a relief from the bread and butter issues!

dub said...

Chekov,

Its great to hear unionists coming out with this kind of stuff. There is only one problem with what you say. Northern Ireland is NOT a state. If it was (with a flag and anthem which could appeal to all its citizens, which is easy really, say Danny Boy and provincial flag of ulster with a crown on it), then we would have 2 states on the island, and i think you would find that northern nationalists would support your team. what unionists never seem to understand is that all the symbols of the north have historically excluded catholics and nationalists, and the connection with Britain has held you all back economically. Break that connection and forge a northern ireland for everybody amd every word of what you have said i would agree with.

Chekov said...

“There is only one problem with what you say. Northern Ireland is NOT a state.”

I didn’t claim Northern Ireland to be a state. I said that there are two states on the island of Ireland. One is the ROI and the other is part of the UK. 1-2. Count them!

Dub said...

There are two states within Ireland and both recognise and respect the Irish identity. Neither should (or can) exercise a monopoly on either the Irish identity or the term ‘Ireland’.


Crystal clear here that you are claiming state status for Northern Ireland and that you are not referring to the UK state as being one of the 2 states in Ireland. How on earth could the uk state ever be able to have a monopoly on the term "Ireland"?

beano said...

Pedantry - Ur doin it wrong!

Chekov said...

Naturally the UK state cannot claim a monopoly on the term 'Ireland' because a good proportion of Ireland seceded from the UK. Similarly a proportion did not and so neither can the ROI claim that monopoly. It's a very simple concept dub.

dub said...

chekov,

The import of YOUR WORDS was very simple, Chekov i.e. that there were 2 states within the island of Ireland. The only possible implication of your words was that northern ireland is a state.(I presume of course that your ability to count is not so compromised so as not to be able to distinguish between the number one and a fraction of that figure. The uk state is not "within ireland", a fraction of it is). This is a very common misconception (often deliberate in my view) and one that i felt should be pointed out to you, especially in light of your alleged pan-uk unionism.

Chekov said...

The import of YOUR WORDS was very simple, Chekov i.e. that there were 2 states within the island of Ireland. The only possible implication of your words was that northern ireland is a state.

There ARE two jurisdictions and two states within Ireland. One is the Republic of Ireland and one is the UK which includes Northern Ireland. Whether Northern Ireland is only a part of the UK or its entirety is self-evident and is not the issue. There are still two separate sovereignties on the island of Ireland - i.e. two states.

dub said...

ok you can't count... and your are dishonest to boot.

Chekov said...

Dub - you misinterpreted - whether deliberately or not I don't know. The truth of the matter is though that there are two states represented in Ireland. The point remains that neither should claim the word for exclusively for themselves.

dub said...

Well i agree that there are 2 states represented in Ireland and i also agree that neither should claim the brand Ireland exclusively. So we can agree on that.

Having pored over your blog last couple of days i find so much to agree with and i am a convinced 32 county Irish republican. My view is that the only satisfactory way of making the area covered by the apartheid 2 tribe statelet of nothern ireland normal is by bringing it into normal national politics via an enlarged republic of ireland. Your project is to integrate NI more fully into the Uk, as i understand it. Your underlying project of valuing all the different types of irishness and britishness in ulster is very much something i would agree with. No irish republican could have descibed the imbecility of the DUP man and the cream as well as you did in your blog. I think same end different means could sum up what i am saying.

Problems I see with your means is that British policy since 1920's has been to insulate NI from British national politics. Also that, economically, uk is inexorably run for the benefit of the south east of England. And finally that, in my view, there is considerably more understanding and sympathy with the North in ths Republic than there is in GB (not surprising from fellow irishmen and women!) In short i do not think that you are serving your professed ends well by pursuing ukishness. Irishness in an independent Ireland with close ties to Britain would, imho, normalise Ulster into a place of mutual understanding, economic prosperity and sense of ease with itself far more successfully.

I accept that of my 3 objections, no 1 may be changing with this tory/uup linkup. I wonder does Cameron know what he is doing? if he does then perhaps we are looking at joint sovereignty over the North with bi national irish and british national politics, if Fianna Fail go up north, as i believe they will. If the north is further integrated in to an all irish economy and such bi national political developments transpire then both your method and mine will have been used for our mutual ends.

will be fasincating to see how all this works out over next 20 years. i hope to god that ff are in earnest and if not, i guess, i will have to hope, against my instincts, that the tories are in earnest. otherwise i think we may see a bloody repartition.