Talk:Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland

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I have temporarily removed some text refering to the citizenship amendment. This is because the text talks as if the amendment to the constitution has already been made, however, although it is only a formality, the amendment wont be made until it is signed into law by the President. It is possible this has happened already but as far as i'm aware it hasnt.

There are currently a series of Wikipedia articles on each Irish constitutional amendment. To add to this list ive created a draft on the most recent amendment which is here. However im not going to add the article to Wikipedia until i'm sure that the amendment has actually become law.

Once the article is ready to go perhaps people would consider merging detailed information on the citizenship amendment with this article rather than adding it to the "Articles 2 and 3" article which should only really contain a short summary.

Iota 15:55, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Do what you want, but some of the changes I made should go into your new article, including the fact that the "non-native" was in fact living in Wales and went to Northern Ireland on legal advice to give birth.
In this article, the DUP opposition to the new Articles 2 and 3 should go before the Twenty-seventh Amendment in the "Modern Controversy" section as it predates it. The UK & Irish Governments' joint statement also needs to go into this article. --Henrygb 00:14, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"Bunreacht na hÉireann"[edit]

The prominant use of the term "Bunreacht na hÉireann" for "Constitution of Ireland" is somewhat excessive and unrealistic. The former term, Irish, is rarely used in any part of Ireland except as in introductory texts and sentences in history lectures on the topic. Djegan 19:56, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Six Counties/Northern Ireland/Ulster[edit]

Please provide evidence to back up your assertion that the Irish government has a policy of referring to "Northern Ireland" as "the six counties". Also, the only media outlets that use the term "six counties" are minority nationalist papers such as An Phoblacht and Daily Ireland. Demiurge 14:49, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"Northern Ireland" is a dreadful abuse of geographic nomenclature. I don't believe Wikipedia should perpetuate the strictures that have been self-imposed by newspapers when referring to the six counties.

Lapsed Pacifist 14:56, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Nevertheless, it is the term used almost universally except for minorities on both sides. It's used by many nationalists and unionists alike, by the British and Irish governments alike, by the BBC and RTÉ alike, by the Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph alike, even by the United Nations [1]. It may be aesthetically offensive to you, but it's the closest to a NPOV name available. "Six Counties" is most definitely nowhere near NPOV. (plus "six counties" is geographically inaccurate as well since 1973, but I suppose "twenty-six local council areas" doesn't have quite the same ring to it :) ) Demiurge 15:13, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Irish government uses the term sporadically, and never to nationalist audiences. RTÉ avoids its use, as does the Irish News and many Irish papers, not just the two previously mentioned. I believe the term is far from NPOV, but I have not edited it in places I believed it apt. The counties have remained exactly where they were, even after 1973. I hope this has assuaged some of your concerns.

Lapsed Pacifist 15:34, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • The Irish government uses "Northern Ireland" regularly [2], the only uses of the phrase "six counties" in the domain appear to be transcripts of questions asked by SF TDs [3]. There are 20,900 Google hits for "northern ireland" on versus 2,560 hits for "six counties" on the same domain.
  • RTÉ: a search for "Northern Ireland" on the RTÉ website [4] returns 4647 hits, versus just 19 for "six counties" [5] (and some of those are spurious)
  • The Irish News: "WEATHER experts last night predicted a cooler start to the week after Northern Ireland sweltered in the blazing summer sun yesterday." [6]. Right on the front page.

How is a term used by only a minority of nationalists preferable to a term used by many nationalists, many (most?) unionists, the Irish and British governments, the vast majority of media outlets in the Republic, Britain and NI, and even the United Nations?

Demiurge 15:48, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I stated that "Northern Ireland" was not the favoured term of the Irish government and RTÉ. I did'nt say that the six counties was the preferred term. By all means use another.

Lapsed Pacifist 16:10, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So which other term do they favour?

Demiurge 16:17, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I am surprised. (By the way, one of your RTÉ links is incorrect.) The term "Northern Ireland" is still misleading, and I believe it should be avoided when possible.

Lapsed Pacifist 16:43, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

RTÉ link is fixed now. But you agree that "Northern Ireland" (even though it is arguably geographically incorrect by a few miles) is the closest thing we have to an NPOV name, being the most widely used across all sides (Irish government, British government, RoI media, British media, nationalist media in NI, unionist media in NI, United Nations)? And it's definitely more NPOV than "six counties" (which is only used by supporters of Sinn Féin and related groups, and which has its own problems with geographical accuracy)?

Demiurge 16:52, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What is geographically inaccurate about the Six Counties? That is exactly what they are.

Lapsed Pacifist 16:58, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Except the six counties were broken up and replaced by twenty-six "local council areas" in 1973. Yes, it's a small insignificant nitpick, but so is the few miles of the Republic that is north of "Northern" Ireland.

Demiurge 17:23, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Politically, the six counties ceased to be individual administrative areas as part of a British shake-up of local government. Anyone familiar with Irish articles (start with the county articles themselves) will know that this did not affect the counties themselves, nor the array of organisations that use their boundaries for internal administration, nor the tens of thousands of people who support their county teams.

Lapsed Pacifist 17:47, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You two have done a lot of talking here - but I think it goes without saying that the official term is always the preferred option to make up or agenda driven terms. The "six counties" of Northern Ireland have long ceased to have administrative effect and are only ceremonial. Djegan 18:17, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If people are not happy with the status-quo of Northern Ireland then you can raise a vote for moving on the article! Djegan 18:24, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So, LP, are we agreed that "Northern Ireland" is a less POV/more neutral name than "Six Counties"? Can I get your agreement to revert the changes you made?

Demiurge 18:29, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It is not my intention to move the article. I still contend that "Northern Ireland" is a POV and inaccurate term for the region being discussed. The issue is not whether or not each of the individual six counties are administrative divisions, which no-one has tried to argue. Nor is it my intention to change every mention of "Northern Ireland" to the Six Counties. I have often used other terms. My contention was that it should be avoided when possible. Obviously there are many cases where it would be confusing not to use the term "Northern Ireland", especially to readers not familiar with Irish politics (the best example being the name of the article). The "official name" argument carries very little water.

Lapsed Pacifist 19:10, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Northern Ireland, with a capital "N", can hardly be said to be pov. Djegan 19:20, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
And "six counties" isn't a POV term? Why should we replace one widely accepted and internationally/legally recognized term which is used widely by both sides (as I've demonstrated above) with another heavily loaded term which is used almost exclusively by republicans? Just because you say the official name argument "carries little water" doesn't make it so, you're going to have to explain why we shouldn't call the place the same thing as the Irish government, the British government, the European Union, the United Nations, and even the Northern Ireland Executive (were it around) call it.Demiurge 19:41, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

My tuppence worth is that the term "six counties" is a non NPOV as using "Ulster" to describe the same area. Northern Ireland seems to me to be the best term to use. Philip Baird Shearer 19:34, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"Most of Ulster" would have the same accuracy as the Six Counties. Feel free. The "official name" argument is weak because of the nature of the political dispute. Again, I believe Wikipedia should not be constrained by ritual.

Lapsed Pacifist 20:00, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"the nature of the political dispute" has nothing to do with it when the majorities on both sides agree that Northern Ireland is the correct name. Again, only a specific group of people (mostly associated with one particular political party) uses your preferred phrase of "six counties". Everyone else, nationalist and unionist, British, Irish and international, calls it Northern Ireland. Demiurge 21:58, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, quite frankly this need to change links is strange to say the least (i am trying to restrain my language here). With respect, LP, your arguement that the "official name" is pov or inappropriate does not hold much water either. You just need to accept that Northern Ireland is the official name, very widely recognised, and that many other terms cited are pov, by default. If you are still not convinced I suggest that in the first instance that you lobby the respective national and international bodies for a name change and in the second instance you submit a request for moving the article to the new name rather than painstaking transfers which will only in due course be reverted by people who care little of what has been discussed here. Djegan 22:13, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I will not support a name change as it will cause unnecessary confusion. I'm not disputing what the region's "official" name is, I am questioning the need to use it slavishly. I am not insisting that the six counties should be used in every instance. I'm not convinced that all of the groups you refer to "agree" that "Northern Ireland" is the "correct" name. One example is the SDLP.

Lapsed Pacifist 22:28, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If the SDLP think that "Northern Ireland" is the incorrect name, then they should tell their webmaster (headline at top of page) Demiurge 23:03, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

They certainly should. Perhaps, as I have suggested we do, they use the term online so as not to confuse visitors to their site who might not be familiar with the unique political situation. I believe they use alternate terms in speeches and interviews.

Lapsed Pacifist 23:19, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Not in any of the speeches and interviews published on their website they don't: six counties: 2 results Northern Ireland 996 results. It's clear that "Northern Ireland" is a perfectly acceptable term as far as the SDLP are concerned. In any case, nice to see you're now admitting that "six counties" is confusing compared to "northern ireland". Demiurge 08:18, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Using anything other than "Northern Ireland", whether it be the unionist term "Ulster" or the nationalist term "Six Counties" is against NPOV. If you want to use a geographic accuracy argument, then why don't you go to Talk:Virginia and propose it be moved to East Virginia? Morwen - Talk 11:07, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well Northern Ireland is a term used by both sides, internationally accepted and the official name. Should we start referring to the Republic of Ireland as the 26 Non British Counties of the British Isles? Ben W Bell 13:19, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You could describe The Republic of Ireland as 'the 26 Irish counties of the Celtic Isles' if your going to get so worked up about it.Anyway the opinion of Irish people is more important than those of American people who are 'administrators'.--Fenian Swine 01:33, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Additionally the use of Northern Ireland is used in the Good Friday Agreement, signed and endorsed by both the British and Irish governments, and most political parties including the SDLP and Sinn Fein. Ben W Bell 13:27, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I distinctly recall the anger of many unionists and unionist politicians when their Deputy First Minister Séamus Mallon refused point-blank to use the term "Northern Ireland" during his tenure. I believe his opposition was more about granting any form of legitimacy (implicit or explicit) to an entity he felt did not deserve it, rather than one based on geographical accuracy. It should be obvious that to remove all references to "Northern Ireland" in Wikipedia would be self-defeating. I have already stated this.

Lapsed Pacifist 13:59, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

That's interesting. You've already tried it in the Royal Irish Constabulary article for a start. -- Necrothesp 14:49, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
He refused to use the term Northern Ireland, yet stood for and was elected to a body called the Northern Ireland Assembly. Smacks of double standards and hypocrisy to me. Anyway the point really is moot, the official name, most common name, and the used name is Northern Ireland. Ben W Bell 14:54, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Your recollection seems to be faulty, Seamus Mallon appears to have no problems with the term "Northern Ireland" in this speech. Demiurge 14:59, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No, many unionist politicians were angered that he would not always use the term "Northern Ireland", believing his attitude showed disrespect for unionists. I don't contend he never used it (he certainly used it in speeches when members of the international community were present), but he definitely avoided it at other times. I don't understand how this makes him a hypocrite, the "official" name of the "Northern Ireland Assembly" was certainly not his doing.

Lapsed Pacifist 15:36, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Actually, that's exactly what you contended: "refused point-blank to use the term "Northern Ireland" during his tenure". In any case, he didn't prefer the term "six counties" instead, so even if Seamus Mallon had never uttered the phrase "Northern Ireland" in his life, it still wouldn't support your unilateral decision to replace "Northern Ireland" with "six counties". You might as well point to examples of Paisley calling the place "Ulster" to support your point. Demiurge 15:42, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I prefer to use the term Six Counties, but I believe Wikipedia would be the poorer if that was the only term used to describe the region. I believe the stance taken by the first Deputy First Minister of "Northern Ireland" is indicative of a problem with "official" nomenclature.

Lapsed Pacifist 15:58, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

But the term "six counties" has much greater problems with cross-community acceptance (and is not the official name, as is the Wikipedia convention, and you yourself have admitted that "six counties" is confusing), therefore it should not be used. I'm sure there are people here who would like to throw in references to "Ulster" but they're not going to get their way either. Demiurge 16:01, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There are many instances where reference is made to "Northern Ireland", when Ulster would be more appropriate. You're misrepresenting my comments. I acknowledged that there are certain places where, if the term Six Counties term was used, it would merely confuse. This is self-evident. It is certainly not always the case.

Lapsed Pacifist 16:33, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You still haven't addressed the issue that "six counties" is a much more POV term than "Northern Ireland", and it does no good whatsoever to replace one widely accepted term with one that is used by only a subset of nationalists. Your suggestion of changing other NI references to "Ulster" to somehow "balance it out" makes no difference whatsoever -- "NPOV" does not mean that Wikipedia should be be equally biased in both directions. Demiurge 18:08, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I did'nt suggest using Ulster when referring to the Six Counties, I said Ulster was more applicable in some instances, e.g. when discussing something that applies to all nine counties. This is often the case. I don't accept that using the term Six Counties is POV, but as I've said, I am also open to the use of other terms. I am still trying to get my head around the concept of being "equally biased".

Lapsed Pacifist 00:48, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

As far as I can see using the term Six Counties is never acceptable unless you are talking specifically about a particular point of view, it simply isn't a term that is acceptably used. Many people in Northern Ireland refer to the Republic of Ireland simply as Down South or sometimes The Free State but I don't believe that these terms should be used to replace Republic of Ireland in an encyclopaedic entry. Ben W Bell 06:58, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If you don't accept that "six counties" is POV then you're either being disingenuous, you don't understand what POV is, or you know very little about Northern Ireland. From seeing your other edits I don't think it's the latter. Demiurge 09:07, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Nor do I. They are highly inaccurate.

Lapsed Pacifist 07:07, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The term Six Counties is no more POV than the term "Northern Ireland". I fully realise it would not be perceived as such by most unionists there and in Britain, but that truth remains. As does the fact that it is by far the most accurate term currently in use.

Lapsed Pacifist 14:50, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

First you said using the term "six counties" isn't POV, now you're saying that it's no more POV than the other term that you object to. Make your mind up please. This is going nowhere, I'm reverting your changes to "Northern Ireland". Demiurge 15:16, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Stop trying to make out that the term "Northern Ireland" is only considered NPOV by the unionists and the British. It is perceived as such by most other people in the world excluding Irish nationalists. It is the official name and the name recognised around the world. And why is "Six Counties" far more accurate? It implies that these six counties are merely part of the island of Ireland and not an entity in their own right, which is obviously the line taken by Irish nationalists, but is for that reason pure POV. And since any six counties in any country that has counties can be called "the six counties" it hardly distinguishes anything. -- Necrothesp 15:19, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Correction: most Irish nationalists (the SDLP, the Irish News, the Irish government, all political parties in the Republic bar Sinn Féin, RTÉ) are happy to use "Northern Ireland". Many of them would be unhappy with the term "six counties" as it is a phrase strongly associated with Sinn Féin (and some other fringe republican groups). Demiurge 15:35, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I certainly don't agree that all the groups you mention are "happy" to use the term "Northern Ireland". Rather I would contend they use it, when they do use it, by default. If you don't wish to make "many of them...unhappy", feel free to use terms you believe would be more appropriate. I know the term six counties is associated with Sinn Féin and even more militant republicans; what no-one here has sought to address is why is the most accurate name for the region in question considered the sole property of this section of the Irish body politic. Again, given its history and the undeniably partial history of its parent state, "Northern Ireland" being the "official name" is a less than robust argument. I agree that there is an inherent implication in the term six counties, just as there is a similar implication in the term "Northern Ireland" which implies a far greater (and homogenous) difference from the rest of Ireland than actually exists and perpetuates a geographical absurdity. Lastly, Demiurge. Early in this discussion you requested I refrain from making any more of the changes we have been discussing until we were finished, and I agreed. I am surprised you did not consider yourself similarly bound.

Lapsed Pacifist 16:26, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Northern Ireland is no more a geographical absurdity than is Austria being distinct from Germany. Both are fact, however much you argue. You also seem to be implying that it is undeniable that the "Six Counties" (it doesn't make it any more valid, incidentally, however much you link it) is the most accurate term. Well, since it is being denied you seem to be arguing from a rather weak position. -- Necrothesp 16:53, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Austria does not claim a geographical position it does not hold. I don't know what the word Austria means, but I would hazard a guess it's not misleading in any way. "Northern Ireland" is certainly a fact, there's no arguing with that. It's right there. Whether or not the editors of an encyclopedia should slavishly follow the preferred phraseology of the entity's authors and supporters is a different kettle of fish.

Lapsed Pacifist 19:39, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Encyclopedias are there to present fact. The name "Northern Ireland" and its recognition around the world is a fact. Ergo, we should use it. When I mentioned Austria I was responding to your claim that Northern Ireland was a geographical absurdity. I fail to see why Northern Ireland is an absurdity in any way, either geographically (as you said) or semantically. Is it perhaps in the south of Ireland and we've all been confused for all this time? -- Necrothesp 12:46, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You are confusing the term's recognition factor with the factual basis of the term itself. The region is in the northeast of Ireland.

Lapsed Pacifist 18:27, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

To be very honest I think you are making a very big fuss about nothing. By instisting on "Six Counties" you might as well propose a title such as "That part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland consisting of 13,843 km², as founded by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, generally known as Northern Ireland" - it really is that bizzar. Their is simply nothing inappropriate about using "Northern Ireland" with a capital N - you can spin it how you want, Irish or otherwise, this is the accepted name of a political entity on the island of Ireland - a name is a name. Djegan 18:43, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What should be abundantly clear from my entries above is that I am insisting on no such thing. The Six Counties is my preferred term, but I have no problem with the use of others, including "Northern Ireland" when I believe it is apt.

Lapsed Pacifist 21:12, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"The region is in the northeast of Ireland". So that's not the north then? The north doesn't exist? Presumably Northern Ireland can only be an accurate term if taken as the area north of a horizontal line drawn exactly halfway down the island of Ireland? Ridiculous. -- Necrothesp 23:48, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Your contempt is misplaced. To insist that use of the term "Northern Ireland" only be applied to the north of your imaginary line would, I believe, be going too far. Likewise, to insist that it only be applied to the northeastern sixth of the island is, to my mind, verging on the "ridiculous".

Lapsed Pacifist 00:19, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Here, for the record (since nobody else seems to have stated it explicitly) is the problem with saying "the six counties": the term has no meaning outside the dispute over Irish reunification. There's no inherent prima facie reason why somebody saying "the six counties" shouldn't be referring to any group of six counties— let's say {Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Westmeath, Galway, and Fermanagh}. Historically speaking, Ireland was divided into 32 counties; nothing grouped these six counties together any more than any other six counties.

Then came partition, and nationalists began to use "the six counties" as shorthand for "the six counties which should, in my opinion, be part of the Free State / Republic but aren't right now." That is the inherent subtext of the phrase — it has no meaning otherwise — and that's why it can't be used in an encyclopedia interchangably with "Northern Ireland," which, although unlovable, uneuphonious, and somewhat ill-defined, is at least its official name. (A stronger case, by the way, could be made for "Ulster" since it's a real historical name, not an invented one; but as it's not quite accurate (a good deal of the historic Ulster is in the ROI) and is moreover used mostly by those with a unionist POV, it's unacceptable too.)

In short: while other editors above have provided good statistical evidence for why "Northern Ireland" is the most NPOV term, I just thought some background should be spelled-out explicitly. Doops 03:47, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I have already acknowledged the inherent implication in calling the region the Six Counties. My contention is that this is less POV (as well as being far more accurate) than the term "Northern Ireland", which carries its own (very strong) implication. As for using "Ulster", I've found that very often the term "Northern Ireland" is used when Ulster would be more appropriate, e.g. when discussing the Plantation of Ulster or the Orange Order. Again, using the term "Northern Ireland" just because its the "official name" should be considered against the backdrop of the political situation. Lapsed Pacifist 08:09, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yes but everyone else is contending that Northern Ireland is not POV as it is simply the name of the territory in question. POV has very little to do with using the official name of something. For instance we can happily called the Republic of Ireland 'Eire' as that is it's official name and as a result does no necessarily carry a POV, though the name is not something that is commonly used. Northern Ireland is the name, that is a fact just as much as Coca Cola is called Coca Cola and not 'vegetable extract flavoured soft drink'. Ben W Bell 09:23, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'll say once more, I have no objection to the term when I believe it's the right one to use.

Lapsed Pacifist 09:42, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Which in this case it definitely is, so why the discussion? Ben W Bell 09:48, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Which article are you referring to?

Lapsed Pacifist 10:08, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The article we are currently having a debate about. Ben W Bell 10:11, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I had almost forgotten about it. Why is it "definitely" the right choice? I'll admit it has a slightly stronger case than other articles, because of the more formal language associated with constitutional matters.

Lapsed Pacifist 10:27, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I hate to admit this (and everyone's going to hate me for saying it), but I think LP might actually have a point - a very small one at that! This is that political correctness has gone a little bit mad (my pet hate!). I don't actually hate the usage or have a big problem with "six counties", "Ulster", "the province" (actually, I don't think this one is POV at all), "the north" or any other name for Northern Ireland that much when used in a narrative piece of writing about Northern Ireland, as I think they're all used by most people in Northen Ireland (of both community backgrounds - just certain communities use some of them a lot more frequently than than others). I actually think that using different names adds a bit of flavour and variety to a long piece of writing, and that arguing over the usage of the terms is fairly petty.

However, what I don't like is people who insist on a campaign of replacing every instance of "Northern Ireland" with "six counties" etc (e.g. LP) and attempting to exclusively use that non-official name. If this was a normal encyclopaedia of a closed nature (i.e. one that couldn't be edited by anyone) then I wouldn't have a problem with the variety that these terms provide, providing that "Northern Ireland" was the primary and officially used term. The problem is that people will come on POV-pushing campaigns to replace the usage of one word with another. For this very reason, Northern Ireland should be the only term that is used, unless in exceptional circumstances. Using "Northern Ireland" also gives clarity in situations where it is not clear from the text the context in which the phrase is being applied.

There may be certain exceptional circumstances why you needed "six counties" but you could replace six counties (LP's normal way) with "the six counties of Northern Ireland" for clarity. Ulster is a bit different as is an ancient name and has a bit of a blurry 6/9 county definition, often referring to Northern Ireland in contexts after 1922 and to nine counties in historical and all-Ireland contexts - where possible here Northern Ireland should be used for the sake of clarity when referring to the six counties ( ;) )

I guess that's enough non-sensical rambling from me - in summary just use "Northern Ireland" for God's sake, and save everyone the hassle of arguing!! Jonto 22:47, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

In my experience our (Irish) ministers usually refer to NI as "The North" as do most Southerners, closely following by "Northern Ireland". - Peter

I think "The North" is only useable when someone in the Republic refers to Northern Ireland, and so should not be used here. As for the Northern Ireland vs the six counties debate, anyone anywhere in Britain or Ireland who hears "the six counties" in a discussion about NI will most likely know exactly what is meant. I think "Northern Ireland" is the correct term....................

HOWEVER I think a conscious effort to remove the term "six counties" from appearing as a casual reference (included perhaps to improve style by reducing repetition, to implicitly convey that NI does contain 6 counties, or simply to acknowledge that it is commonly called that) would be an attack on nationalist ownership of the region (I am referring to shared ownership, of course) whereas to leave the term alone does not say anything. And the arguments above with counts of mentions in the Irish government does show a substantial number of "six counties" references. Not a majority, but since when did majority rule in regard to NI solve any problems?? The figures are substantial enough for the term to be recognised as valid. Just as "America" "The States" and "The U.S" are all reasonable terms for The United States of America.

I think my arguments point to the conclusion that the only valid argument concerning the removal of "six counties" is one of standardisation, and my opinion is that the term "six counties", if used once or twice in the article, would add some flavour and reflect the reality that sometimes people call it that. A complete ban of the term would be more damaging than a few people being offended by it. Anyway, anyone who takes offence at a simple term like that isn't worth listening to in my opinion. Is this a place to vent frustrations now that the Derry/Londonderry debate is resolved?! For anyone that's interested I am from the Republic and would like a united Ireland, but only as per articles 2 and 3. Howboutpete 15:28, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


Do you maybe have your footnotes the wrong way round? [7] The note next to "Saorstat Éireann" reads "i.e. the parliament of the Irish Free State (1922–1937). The Belfast Agreement does not refer to the part of Ireland that is not Northern Ireland by name", whereas the other note says "Saorstát Éireann is the Irish language translation of the Irish Free State: the name of the independent Irish state prior to 1937." I didn't change it because I'm not sure. --kingboyk 09:48, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Well spotted, fixed. Djegan 11:30, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Citizenship after ECJ ruling[edit]

It might be that I am a non-native speaker, but I am not sure how to understand this sentence: It meant that under certain circumstances, a person born in part of the UK (i.e. Northern Ireland) could not gain citizenship of that nation state, but could gain Irish citizenship, without having ever set foot in the Republic of Ireland, or having any connection with it IS the child automatically Irish and has no choice to become a UK-residence?? Or can the mother decide? I mean, in NI there are to possible 'outcomes'. This word 'could' makes only that both exist, but not which of both will have effect. Otherwise, maybe the explanation of the circumstances might be helpful. Beside that - the ruling is not linked…this is not good..--Jorgusch (talk) 00:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

The ruling is Kunqian Catherine Zhu and Man Lavette Chen v Secretary of State for the Home Department. Its text is available on the EUR-Lex website. Here is the ruling as I understand it (IANAL):
  1. First point of fact: Mrs Chen, who is a Chinese but neither a British nor an Irish citizen, gave birth to Catherine in Northern Ireland (the father is married to the mother and is also Chinese). Catherine is conceivably entitled only to Chinese, British or Irish citizenship.
  2. Point of British law: Although born on British soil, Catherine is not a British citizen, because neither is Mrs Chen (the UK does not have jus soli as such).
  3. Point of Irish law: By virtue of being born on the island of Ireland between 2 December 1999 and 31 December 2004, Catherine is entitled to Irish citizenship (Ireland has a weak form of jus soli, which extends beyond the actual territory of the Republic).
  4. Second point of fact: Catherine obtained Irish citizenship as she was entitled to and subsequently obtained an Irish passport.
  5. Point of Chinese law: Although born of a Chinese parent, Catherine is not entitled to Chinese citizenship because she is an Irish citizen. Neither is she allowed to reside in China for more than 30 days at a time, so she cannot be raised in China.
  6. Third point of fact: Catherine's parents, who are also her primary carers, are well enough off that she will probably not become financially dependent on the government of the UK (or any other EU country).
  7. Ruling: As a citizen of Ireland and hence of the EU who is not likely to become dependent on the state for support, Catherine is entitled to live with her mother anywhere in the EU (therefore also in Wales).
According to the article Irish nationality law, there is a distinction in Irish law between automatic citizenship and entitlement to citizenship. The latter applies if someone is born on the island of Ireland; the former subsequently applies if and only if the person is not also entitled to be a citizen of some other country, for example a country where a parent has citizenship, or the place where he/she was born (in this case China and the UK respectively). So in answer to your question: no, someone born in Northern Ireland to foreign parents is not automatically an Irish citizen, but can acquire citizenship.
So Catherine is an Irish citizen despite the fact that she has no real connection to Ireland whatsoever and has never even been there (she lives in the UK); the only connection is territorial, but the relevant territory belongs to a country to whose citizenship she is not entitled. This is the constitutional anomaly. Hairy Dude (talk) 19:10, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

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