Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Ireland-related articles/Ireland disambiguation task force

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The Ireland disambiguation task force is a workgroup of Manual of Style (Ireland-related articles), initiated for the purpose of centralising discussion on issues surrounding the use of the name "Ireland" in article names and within articles. A positive effect of this taskforce will be to free Ireland-related talk pages of much of the discussion and polling on 'Ireland naming issues' that has taken place on them over a long period, which can prevent discussion of other main-page issues. Problems have arisen because:

  • Many editors object to Republic of Ireland as a name for the article on the Irish state,
  • The alternative name Ireland is also used for a larger geographical entity (often called "the island of Ireland" or "the whole island of Ireland"),
  • Many editors oppose names based on disambiguators, such as "Ireland (state)" and "Ireland (island)",
  • The use of pipes, especially "[[Republic of Ireland|Ireland]]", which can sometimes circumvent the problem, is open to abuse, or allegations of abuse.
  • The problem is compounded by the fact that the Ireland article contains much material that belongs only in the article about the state, and that information in other articles that should link to the article on the Irish state link to the article on the island of Ireland instead.

Statement of the facts by Matt Lewis[edit]

(re-named as a specific 'statement of the facts' by User:Scolaire, but edited by others beforehand, with some possible compromised content)

The word "Ireland" can commonly mean either;

1) Ireland the sovereign state, also known as Republic of Ireland.

2) Ireland the island, which contains the following two political entities;

3) Ireland the country which encompassed the entire island before 1801.

The use of the word "currently" below is not intended to signify that change is likely to occur, but is used in areas where change has been suggested.

Current approach on Wikipedia[edit]

The current approach on Wikipedia is to have an article for the modern state called 'Republic of Ireland', and have a separate article called 'Ireland', that covers all the entire island's geographical and historical/cultural/political information from pre-history to the present day.

The Republic of Ireland article has been consistently pipe-linked as the word "Ireland" over the last 6 months, although it unfortunately must be noted that many of these changes (though not all of them, by any means) were performed by one person acting under several 'sock puppet' accounts. The pipe-link change has been accepted in places, although in others it hasn't.

Republic of Ireland (the modern state)[edit]

Republic of Ireland is currently the article name for the Irish state, and has been for five years. Although a change from this 'status quo' has been proposed at varying intervals in this period since the article's creation, no consensus has been found to move away from the existing approach.

Both 'Ireland' and 'Republic of Ireland' appear to fulfill the requirements for common names of the Irish state per Wikipedia's guideline on WP:COMMONNAMES. On the whole, more people globally use "Ireland" to refer to the state (which has been its official name since the new constitution in 1937), while “Republic of Ireland” is often used in the United Kingdom to disambiguate either from the island or from Northern Ireland, and is still the official legal name in UK domestic law.

In the Belfast Agreement of 1998, each government agreed to call the other by the name it calls itself, so the two states are given as "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" and "Ireland". It must also be noted that "Republic of Ireland" is recognised and sometimes used within the republic of Ireland too, even though "Ireland" is the more official name within the Irish government. The national Irish football (soccer) team is known as Republic of Ireland as per a FIFA ruling on the name.

The Republic of Ireland article currently includes a "Culture" section that includes people who precede 1921, the date the state was formed.

Ireland (the geography and history of the island)[edit]

Ireland is currently the name of the article for the island, as both a geographical entity, and a political entity: ie it covers the geography, politics and culture throughout the islands history. The name and purpose of this article is also often challenged.

There are currently many anomalies within the island of Ireland article and its sub-articles. While many of the "Main article:" links point to their respective ROI and NI sub-articles, some of the sub-articles clearly cover the island as a whole, while some are clearly ROI articles entitled "Ireland" - which may or may not have NI's information included. Some NI-only links lead to 'redirect pages' that seamlessly lead onto the equivalent ROI articles.

The meaning of "Ireland" often changes from state to island - often within a single article, and within templates too.

This Ireland disambiguation task force/cross-usage tables highlights the various naming anomalies that currently exist throughout the ROI, NI and island related articles.

Current articles in use[edit]

  • Ireland - currently used for the island as a geographical entity and its entire political and cultural history
  • Republic of Ireland - currently used for the Irish state's article, which includes its post 1921 political history, and some of its pre-1921 cultural history
  • Northern Ireland - the UK country in the northeast of the island of Ireland

Current disambiguators in use[edit]

Various phrases have been used to help disambiguate the term Ireland, both as an island and a state. As many people on Wikipedia are unhappy with the name "Republic of Ireland" for the state article, various options have been used to 'hide' it within an article's prose or text.

Pipe links hide the destination in the text (ie the word "Ireland" can be made to point to the "Republic of Ireland" article).

Note on Ireland-ROI pipelinking: Many editors have asserted the right to use the name "Ireland", as this is the name of country according to its constitution and is in common use there. Opinion is divided amongst editors on whether "Ireland" pipe-linking to ROI is acceptible: in some articles the change has been accepted, in others it hasn't. Many editors are happy the name "Ireland" being presented on the article page, including those who prefer the title "Republic of Ireland" for the state article (they are happy with the pipe-link).

Redirect links point to an actual page that immediately redirects to another article (ie the "island of Ireland" page currently redirects to the "Ireland" article).

For the Irish state:[edit]
For the island:[edit]
For the pre-1801 country:[edit]

Other recognised approaches[edit]

Other encyclopedias, like Encyclopaedia Britannica, choose to use ”Ireland” for the name of their state article. This includes all stages of the country's history, and its geographical information too. Britannia use the phrase "republic of Ireland" (small 'r') for the modern Irish state. Its Northern Ireland article is fully self contained too, which includes having its own geographical information.

"Non-forking" proposal[edit]

This opening proposal and its immediate discussion has been halted pending further taskforce-related discussion. Existing votes can be altered, but no new ones please. It is halted as an act of good faith to people who felt it was "forum shopping" (which is strongly denied by the proposer). It is possible that this proposal could become redundant, be re-started, or simply be re-opened from where it left off (with all contributors contacted). For the moment it is on pause, and is archived here.

Statement by Scolaire[edit]


The "Ireland" article is and should be an article about the whole country of Ireland, not just about the 26-county state. A country is not the same thing as a state (the wikipedia Country article notwithstanding). To me, Ireland is a country, and the country goes from Fair Head in Country Antrim to Mizen Head in County Cork i.e. the whole island. I mean this only in the sense that if I take the train from Dublin to Belfast, I don't feel as though I'm leaving the country, whereas if I take the boat to Holyhead – which is closer – I do. The geography of Ireland is the geography of the whole country – there is no great river or mountain range separating north from south. The history of Ireland is the history of the whole country, which was one country before the Norman invasion, and still one country after the Act of Union; the current two states are less than ninety years old, and even the famous "two nations" are barely 150 years old. The economy of the country is more or less the same north and south, albeit economic policy is directed by different governments. The same languages are spoken on both sides of the border, including Ulster Scots. In other words, an article about Ireland should be an article on the country of Ireland, not the state named "Ireland". To name the article "Ireland (island)" or similar, or to make it, as some have put it, a sub-article or "fork", is to make the whole less than the parts, and that, for an encyclopædia, makes no sense whatever.

Republic of Ireland[edit]

On 17 September 2008, asked about plans for Fianna Fáil to organise in Northern Ireland, An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen said, "I am concentrating...on the strategic review of our own organisation within the Republic."[1] This was reported on the inside pages of the Irish Times. There was no comment made on his use of the term, nor was there any report of raised eyebrows at the Fianna Fáil party meeting, nor were there any letters to the paper to protest. This is ample evidence that the term "Republic of Ireland" is still common currency among Government ministers, politicians and people generally to distinguish the state of which Cowen is head of government from Northern Ireland. In all the discussions and debates I have not yet seen any reliable source showing where an Irish politician, or even a respected journalist, said straightforwardly that its use is unacceptable, objectionable or even debatable.

In a discussion on WT:IMOS there was a quote from Lord Dubs referring to "the welcome disappearance of one small but significant difference in practice between the British and Irish Governments" whereby the British Government had called the Irish Government “Government of the Republic of Ireland". I was (not unreasonably) accused of hair-splitting when I said that the quote applied only to the name by which the government was referred to, not the name by which the state was referred to, but in fact the distinction is important. Ever since the start of the Troubles the Irish Government had been trying to establish that it had a legitimate interest in determining the conduct of affairs in Northern Ireland. The use of "Government of the Republic of Ireland" by the British underlined their position that it was a "foreign" government, rather than an equal partner in the Peace Process. That attitude, and not the perpetuation of some "derogatory" name, is what changed after Good Friday. Here again I have yet to see a source that says that the British Government used, or was accused of using, "Republic of Ireland" to further a political agenda that was against Ireland's interests.

So, while I am on this task force because I know a significant number of Wikipedians object to this term, I still find the argument that it causes strife in the real world unconvincing. If we are going to change the name of the article, we need to be clear that we are doing it for a valid reason.

Note also: it is already accepted by everybody here that "Ireland" is used by most people most of the time when disambiguation is not involved, I'm pretty sure. Evidence of its use does not advance the argument against "Republic of Ireland", in my opinion.

The Constitution and the Acts of 1948 and 1949[edit]

Article 4 of the Constitution of Ireland says that the name of the state is "Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland." Unambiguous, you would say. But it has to be read in the context of the original Article 2, which said, "The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas." De Valera, in framing the constitution, was saying that the state was the whole country, and that its name was Ireland. The Republic of Ireland Act 1948 was an attempt to resolve the ambiguity created by the Constitution and the External Relations Act 1936 – de Valera had consistently said that the state was a republic but had declined to introduce legislation to give effect to that statement. Fianna Fáil opposed the 1948 Bill because "its enactment at this time would seriously impair the prospects of uniting the six counties of Northern Ireland with the rest of Ireland."[2] They believed that the Republic must be achieved by re-unification before it could be declared. They never objected to the term "Republic of Ireland" per se. Why did the Bill call it a description and not a name? Because it couldn't be called a name without a constitutional amendment i.e. a referendum, and the Taoiseach, John A. Costello knew well he couldn't carry a referendum; he could barely hold on to a majority in the Dáil! Costello explained the difference by saying, "If I say that my name is Costello and that my description is that of senior counsel, I think that will be clear to anybody who wants to know." But of course if you apply that reasoning to the wording in the Bill you will come up with the statements: "Mr. Costello is a senior counsel. Ireland is a The Republic of Ireland." The second statement is meaningless! So it wasn't that kind of a description that was intended at all – it was a name, by another name. The Constitution Review Group, established by the Irish government in 1995, "considered whether the Article should be amended to include ‘Republic of’ in the name of the State." It did not recommend it because it was "satisfied that the legislative provision (section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948), which declared the description of the State to be ‘the Republic of Ireland’, is sufficient."[3] There it is in black and white: the effect of that section is to add "Republic of" to the name of the State.

The Ireland Act 1949 was intended to deal with the consequences of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. By it the British Government agreed that the term "Republic of Ireland" could be substituted for "Eire"(sic) in the UK. So the term was not foisted on the unhappy Irish by the British in pursuit of a political agenda, it crossed the water in the opposite direction. The 1949 Act caused a storm in Ireland because of its provisions regarding the status of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom (thus fulfilling de Valera's prophesy). It's provisions relating to the term "Republic of Ireland" were wholly uncontroversial.

One of the most frequent arguments against "Republic of Ireland" in these discussions is that "it's not a name, it's a description." While I accept the sincerity and respect the obviously strong feelings of those who make the argument, in the end it's only an opinion, and it's not backed up by the sources.


In my view, in any restructuring of Ireland articles the country of Ireland (i.e. the whole island of Ireland) must remain the primary article. In any re-writing of that article, only that information that manifestly belongs in the state article alone should be removed. And the name of that article should be "Ireland". A disambiguation page should be named "Ireland (disambiguation)", and such a page would also include, for instance, the surname "Ireland". In naming the article on the Irish state, account must be taken of the objection of many Wikipedians to the term "Republic of Ireland", but at the same time, any assertions concerning objections to the term in the real world, or the lack of legal justification for its use, need to be backed up by reliable sources.

Comments on Scolaire's statement by Redking7 and others[edit]

Comment re Constitution Review group: Interesting way of putting things above but the Constitution Review Group were indicating that they were satisfied that there was no doubt that Ireland was a Republic....they were not suggesting that the name of the State was the "Republic of Ireland". The Constitution Review Group are, unsurprisingly, familiar with the Irish Constitution. Here is what the Supreme Court of Ireland said on the name of the state (See: Names of the Irish State:[1][2] Redking7 (talk) 02:18, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

'In the English language the name of this State is "Ireland" and is so prescribed by Article 4 of the Constitution. Of course if the courts of the United Kingdom or of other States choose to issue warrants in the Irish language then they are at liberty to use the Irish language name of the State ... However, they are not at liberty to attribute to this State a name which is not its correct name ... If there is any confusion in the United Kingdom courts possibly it is due to the terms of the United Kingdom statute named the Ireland Act, 1949 ... That enactment purported to provide that this State should be "referred to ... by the name attributed to it by the law thereof, that is to say, as the Republic of Ireland" (emphasis supplied). That of course is an erroneous statement of the law of Ireland. Historically it is even more difficult to explain. There is only one State in the world named Ireland since it was so provided by Article 4 of the Constitution in 1937 and that name was recognised by a communiqué from No. 10 Downing Street, London in 1937.'

Comment re "provisions [of the Ireland Act 1949] relating to the term "Republic of Ireland" were wholly uncontroversial": See above quote from the Supreme Court of Ireland and then reconsider whether the UK's insistence on use of the term "Republic of Ireland" was wholly uncontroversial. Some one might leave me a note to let me know how I might join this Task Force - I think some of its current members appear not to understand basic facts concerning the name of the Irish state. Regards. Redking7 (talk) 02:18, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment There's a whole lot of bogus points being raised above by Scolaire. For example, when Cowen uses the word "Republic" above, first of he doesn't use "Republic of Ireland" as a name, and second of all, looks to me like he's using it as a description, not a name. Editors like Scolaire seem unclear on this argument. Nobody objects to the term "Republic of Ireland, or "Republic" so long as they're used correctly - that is, not as a substitute for the name. Another one of those arguments that people put forward that, quite frankly, are red herrings is this one: Scolaire above states in relation to Costello explaining what a desciption was: But of course if you apply that reasoning to the wording in the Bill you will come up with the statements: "Mr. Costello is a senior counsel. Ireland is a The Republic of Ireland." The second statement is meaningless! Well then lets say that Mr. Costello used a different phrase. Let's say he said that "If I say that my name is Costello and that my description is that of The Taoiseach of Ireland" then Scolaire's argument is shown to be nonsense and appears to hang on a grammer rule or the word "The" at the start of the description. Otherwise, I believe Scolaire has articulated the history of the name very well in terms of the politics of the day. But I find it amusing that while he imparts wonderful motives to the Irish politics at the time, he skips (very quickly) past the motivation of the British choice of the term, and especially how the context of all that history fits with British modern usage against Irish and international usage.... --HighKing (talk) 16:47, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Irish nationalist objections to the use of "Ireland" for the 26 counties[edit]

The objections to "Republic of Ireland" by Irish-nationalist editors on WP seem to be visceral (perhaps even irrational). Here, however, is an alternative nationalist view from the real world:

Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff: "I suppose I am doing it to challenge partitionism – this notion that the 26 counties [Republic of Ireland] constitutes Ireland. I find it very offensive. Even in the EU I hear people talk about Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sometimes they talk about the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. I’d call it geopolitical speak." (
Mooretwin (talk) 09:23, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Brief comment It's a cheap trick to label everyone who objects to calling the country and the WP article RoI as an Irish-nationalist. I'm not Irish, and I'm not an Irish nationalist. Nor am I anti-British, although I'm pretty appalled at the amount of anti-Irish sentiments and general lack of respect here. Still, if a small mind can only latch on to an argument by labelling editors in trashy ways, it speaks more about the name caller than anyone else. (talk) 22:22, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Interesting that you consider "Irish nationalist" to be a trashy label. Anyway, my comment stands. Not all the objectors may be Irish nationalists, but the vast majority are. Mooretwin (talk) 10:16, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for this. My instinct was that Republicans would object to this usage of "Ireland" to mean the 26 counties and it is nice to see this confirmed. It is hard to conceive that unionists would be happy with the usage either. With SF as the largest Nationalist Party in NI, I think that it is inappropriate for the main usage of Ireland on Wikipedia to be that for the 26 county state against the view of the representatives of the six counties. I would be happy either with the status quo or with Ireland being a redirect page. I would be object to a rename of the Republic article to "Ireland" --Peter cohen (talk) 11:39, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Any other states you think should have their names changed? RashersTierney (talk) 14:30, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
"The Republic of China". I also call Derry "Derry".--Peter cohen (talk) 19:06, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Interesting! Do you think the Wikipedia article name for The Republic of China should reflect its present name or the name you think that state should have? RashersTierney (talk) 19:20, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

(Short) Statement by Sarah777[edit]

The claim that the "country of Ireland" is the whole island is not accurate, and that claim was abandoned by Irish nationalists as part of the Good Friday Agreement 10 years ago. Wiki claims that Northern Ireland is a "country"! If so, how much greater the claim of the South? The need to occasionally disambiguate the whole island from five sixths of it does not justify relegating the name of the Wiki article to a description used solely for disambiguation purposes. Ireland is a Republic, and the common, legal and internationally recognised name of the Irish Republic is Ireland. Calling the Wiki article 'RoI' is akin to calling the six-county article "The North"; a dab that Brian Cowen would also use in everyday speech without any fuss being raised. If Ireland the country were to expand to encompass the full extent of Ireland the Nation, it would add only half of the North; nobody seriously denies that the Protestant Unionist community in the North are not part of a different nation - least of all themselves! Sarah777 (talk) 00:30, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Brief comment: "Republic of Ireland" and "The North" are not equivalents. "Republic of Ireland" is a statutory name. "The North" is a mere colloquialism. Mooretwin (talk) 09:37, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
No. RoI is not a statutory name. Sarah777 (talk) 14:58, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Er, yes it is! Mooretwin (talk) 15:02, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Er, no its not. (talk) 15:10, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Simply denying something that is verifiably true is pointless, surely. Mooretwin (talk) 15:58, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Good luck with verifying it then! (talk) 16:00, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Its not a name - its a description. ClemMcGann (talk) 20:57, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
You're resorting to semantics. The "description" is an alternative "name" - note the capital letters, for example. Mooretwin (talk) 10:09, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Not 'semantics' but accuracy. The description is 'republic' rather than 'monarchy' ClemMcGann (talk) 00:07, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
As I said: take note of the capital letter. Also read Scolaire's comments. (I note you argue only in respect of semantics, and not on the substantial point that Republic of Ireland is statutory.) Mooretwin (talk) 11:56, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
MT, you have refered many times to RoI as a Statutory Name (your terms). This is not correct. The term "Republic of Ireland" has no statutory significance as a name whatsoever. It is however the official description of the state. The only statutory significant name is Ireland (in english) --HighKing (talk) 19:18, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, at least you concede that it is statutory: that's progress. Your only argument is a semantic one about the meaning of "description". As I said, if you note the full phrase capital letters ("Republic of Ireland") it is clear that the "description" is provided for as an alternative name. If it were merely a description in the sense that you mean, it would simply be a single-word "republic". Finally, you should read Scolaire's contribution above on this point. Mooretwin (talk) 20:28, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Several small points to clarify. You state I concede that it is statutory - please reread what I actually stated. I'll restate - it is the official description and has no statutory significance as a name. None. You state that it is clear that the "description" is provided for as an alternative name - this is very very untrue - please read the explanation given by the Taoiseach, John A. Costello who introduced the Republic of Ireland Bill in the Oireachtas - can't get a clearer explanation than that. He makes it clear that it is most definitely not a name. Finally, I've read Scolaire's contributions and as it happens I agree with and understand the underlying sentiments behind much of what he says. But his reasoning for choosing the term "Republic of Ireland" is his opinion, and is not supported by references or facts, and therefore this argument has no foundation beyond opinion. In addition, Scolaire is incorrect in his sentence "Mr. Costello is a senior counsel. Ireland is a The Republic of Ireland.", partly because he incorrectly capitalizes the word "The" and includes it as part of the description, but mostly because the 1948 Act is defining the full and official description as being "Republic of Ireland", naturally including the name within the description (cos it's got to be a description of something, right?). Also, Scolaire's argument that the Constitution Review Group's rejection of amending the official name is now being given as a reason to use the official description as a name only proves that the two are different and separate. The key takeaway from the review group is the rejection, not the consideration. Scolaire's point that One of the most frequent arguments against "Republic of Ireland" in these discussions is that "it's not a name, it's a description." While I accept the sincerity and respect the obviously strong feelings of those who make the argument, in the end it's only an opinion, and it's not backed up by the sources has been consistently backed up by references (not opinions) and official interpretations, so I guess you and he are entitled to not accept any of that, but from an encyclopedic POV, the official stance and policy simply carries more weight. --HighKing (talk) 22:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
If it were merely a description in the normal meaning of that word it wouldn't be provided as "Republic of Ireland": it would simply be "republic". Mr Costello's analogy doesn't work. What is more the "description" has been used, and continues to be used as a name - that says much more than any abstract semantic arguments on here. And what is the purpose of providing an "official description" if not to provide an alternative name? What purpose does the "description" serve other than as a name? Mooretwin (talk) 00:06, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Great questions, but to answer them merely offers (yet another) opinion. Trying to read opinion into facts just doesn't work to establish anything worthwhile. I disagree that it wouldn't be provided as "Republic of Ireland" - rereading the Act substituting "Republic of Ireland" with "republic" doesn't make any sense and isn't at all clear - which is maybe why the Act is phrased as it is. Sure, we can all think of alternative phrasing if we tried hard enough, but that's not the purpose of WP. I and most other editors prefer to deal with referencable sources. I respect your opinion and agree with you on practically all of your editing - let's just agree to disagree on this one. --HighKing (talk) 01:08, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
We have an "official name" and "official description". We can argue about whether the latter is, in effect, an alternative name or not. But in this encyclopaedia, as in other contexts, the former has potential for confusion: the latter less so. Let's make use of the latter where necessary. Mooretwin (talk) 01:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
And it is the job of an encyclopedia to provide facts in a clear and unconfusing way. Unfortunately, in my opinion, I believe that continued use of "Republic of Ireland" propogates the belief that is is an alternative name. In addition, while it has official status under UK legislation as a name within the UK, using RoI also has considerable potential for confusion of a different kind. Neither the official name, not the official description/official UK name are therefore usable where confusion might occur. For this reason, a compromise is required. --HighKing (talk) 01:38, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. But, even if true, those are the consequences of De Valera's adoption and promotion of an ambiguous and, dare I say it, provocative name which was, incidentally, deliberately chosen to assert the republican claim that the 26-county state was, in fact, legitimately an all-Ireland state-in-waiting. The reason he shied away from using "republic" was because he wished to reserve that title until the day when the mythical 1916 "republic" became a reality. Mooretwin (talk) 09:48, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you believe any of that is relevant - if you wish, write another article on the consequences - personally I'm not interested in opinion. Or add a section to the article detailing the (referencable) facts as to the reasons why De Valera chose that name - probably would make an interesting section. The simple unadorned fact is, that today, the name is Ireland (everywhere except in the UK). I've given reasons above and I understand (but disagree with) your reasoning. It's OK to disagree. --HighKing (talk) 11:23, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Hear, hear. But Mooretwin and Scolaire (I think chiefly) do not seem to be interested in compromise. They've offered no way forward. And this goes on, and on, and on, and on. -- Evertype· 01:52, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Not true. Read my contributions on the discussion page. Mooretwin (talk) 09:48, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
If by that you mean that we are not proposing anything new, then I can only say that neither is anybody else here. No compromise has been offered, only the tired old "Ireland (island)" and "Ireland (state)". Also, it is Mooretwin and Scolaire "chiefly" because we are the only two who have bothered to engage here - the others are quite content to let us talk ourselves out here and then vote down the next RM. I have consistently offered a way forward: a moratorium on polls, and everybody to make a complete and clear statement of their position - as HighKing has done above - followerd by an attempt to find some new terminology that has a chance of being acceptable to both sides. Scolaire (talk) 10:39, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Let's move on to the RM then. I've seen no proposal from you. Got one? Give it. Clearly, without saying "read my contributions". The compromise being polled however, is, in fact, not perfectly acceptable to everybody. Not even me; I have a different preference. I however am willing to compromise. You and Mooretwin? Not a bit as far as I can see, though Mooretwin has tried to barter Londonderry for it. -- Evertype· 11:05, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
What's the RM? Mooretwin (talk) 11:16, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
How is it intended that a task force comes to a conclusion? Is it by voting, or is it by third-party intervention? Mooretwin (talk) 11:16, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
The compromise being polled is not a compromise, it's simply a proposal to get rid of "Republic of Ireland". As I have said repeatedly, a compromise can only be achieved through a package - e.g. change the title of the article to "Ireland (state)" (or whatever) and allow use of "Republic of Ireland" for disambiguation where necessary in the text of articles where confusion might arise (e.g. NI articles). Mooretwin (talk) 11:16, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Anyway, to get back to the point. The arguments about the meaning of "name" and "description", are semantic. If my point above is rephrased to say that "Republic of Ireland" is not a statutory term, then perhaps it is clearer. Sarah777 claimed that "calling the Wiki article 'RoI' is akin to calling the six-county article "The North". My simple response was that "Republic of Ireland" and "The North" are not equivalents. "Republic of Ireland" is a statutory name/description/term. "The North" is a mere colloquialism. Mooretwin (talk) 09:48, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I reiterate that it is not a semantic point - although I can understand why attempting to blur the lines between name/description/term suits your argument. A name is a name - a title. A description is not a name or a title, and I cannot think if any circumstance where a description can be used instead of a name. Except in the UK, where it *is* the official name, hence why British people tend to be confused as to why nobody else accepts RoI as an OK term. This is the root of the confusion in my opinion. But to be crystal clear, the term "Republic of Ireland" has absolutely no statutory weight whatsoever. It cannot be used as an official alternative to the official name (everywhere on the planet except the UK). --HighKing (talk) 11:23, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
So a "term" provided in statute has "no statutory weight whatsoever". Right. Mooretwin (talk) 11:56, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
It certainly does not trump the formally specified name of the State in the Constitution. You're not convincing us that the designation is a better Wikipedia name for the State than its formally specified name. -- Evertype· 12:38, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that the "formally specified name of the State in the Constitution" is a misnomer and requires disambiguation. The "formally specified description of the State in statute" therefore becomes the obvious alternative. Mooretwin (talk) 12:45, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with you. A misnomer is "a wrong or inaccurate name or designation", and the Constitution of Ireland trumps your dislike of the use of "Ireland" as the name of the State. Sorry. -- Evertype· 13:42, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The "Constitution of Ireland" uses a misnomer! It uses "Ireland" for the name of a state which occupies only part of Ireland. Mooretwin (talk) 13:55, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

(Short) Statement by Waggers[edit]

This is drawn from my personal experience, not from references etc., but in my experience if someone from England is visiting Northern Ireland, they will say "I'm going to Northern Ireland"; if they're visiting the Republic, they will say "I'm going to Ireland". It's certainly true that "Ireland" could, and sometimes does, refer to the whole island as opposed to the state, but in my experience the word "Ireland" is used more for the country than the island. "Ireland" is the most common name for both, which would imply disambiguation is the best course of action, with the articles being "Ireland (island)" and "Ireland (state)" or similar. If that's not to be the case, then Sarah's [now withdrawn] proposal to have "Ireland" being the state and "Ireland (island)" for the island makes much more sense to me than the current arrangement (provided of course there's a suitable dab link at the top of the Ireland article).

That's my view on the article naming. The usage of the term Ireland within articles is far more complex - for example the sentence "X is an organisation covering the whole of Ireland" isn't clear enough, and the "Ireland" there would have to be clearly qualified (and not just by a wikilink to the relevant article - the qualification should be in the text itself): "X covers the whole state of Ireland" / "X covers the whole island of Ireland" or similar. But we probably need to agree on the naming before we get into that kind of detail. Waggers (talk) 09:29, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Note - as User:Nuclare has pointed out on the talk page, if someone is visiting both parts of the island they're also likely to say "I'm going to Ireland", so what I've said above doesn't help that much! Waggers (talk) 13:21, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

commentMy experience is of English people refering to the whole population of the island as Irish whether they be Adams, Reynolds or Paisley, they're Irish.--Peter cohen (talk)

"Irish" is a different thing to "Ireland" - "Irish" is about culture and heritage, which for the most part is shared across the whole island. That doesn't equate to what people mean when they say "Ireland". Waggers (talk) 13:12, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Statement and (semi-)formal proposal by DDstretch[edit]

Having had my attention drawn to this anew after the withdrawn proposal to move Republic of Ireland to Ireland, I feel tis short statement and (semi-)formal proposal is in order here:

  1. There is disagreement about which article (the one about the country called Ireland, and the one about the island called Ireland) should have the article name "Ireland".
  2. It seems that this argument can be resolved completely by abiding by the guidelines as laid out in WP:DISAM.
  3. Reading the guidelines, and applying them to this problem, it appears that we have two possible entities which have the same name, and from reading the dispute, it seems neither can claim complete primacy over the other.
  4. Consequently, under section 3 of the guidelines we see that: "if there are two topics for a term but neither is considered the primary topic, then a disambiguation page is used."
  5. Therefore, I suggest that Ireland be made a disambiguation page, containing links to the article about the country and the article about the island.
  6. Details of what the titles of the specific country and island articles should be can and must be discussed later and separately. The main point now is to realise that wikipedia gives explicit guidance on what to do in these circumstances, and we should simply follow those guidelines without descending into the unhelpful kind of arguments involving accusations about each others motives, country of origin, or anything else, here or on any related article.
  7. So, the issue as I see it here, is whether or not to follow the guidelines in implementing Ireland as a disambiguation page. No other issue is relevant at this moment. If not, then editors may be asking "why not?" So, good justifications as to why not may well be expected.

Thank you.  DDStretch  (talk) 12:17, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Comment Thank you DDStretch, seems eminently sensible. RashersTierney (talk) 13:05, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Agree. Waggers (talk) 13:18, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
The problem is, of course, we can't make Ireland a disambiguation page until we've decided where to put the existing content. Waggers (talk) 13:22, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. That is why it is only a semi-formal proposal. Once basic agreement that Ireland should be a disambiguation page is obtained, then there is an obligation to change the name of the current occupant, and I would say that the later decisions should not be able to reverse the decision to make Ireland a disambiguation page. When to implement or deploy any decisions is a bit flexible. The obvious solution may be to move it to a temporary home, accepting that its final place may be altered after further discussion. I think this solution will have the effect of concentrating the minds of people a little, and divert them away from the unsatisfactory interchanges that have plagued this entire area for far too long, or we can take this as being an entirely "in principle" type of discussion. For now, I think it is better to have this semi- formal proposal as being a statement of the basic principles that should apply here. The specifics of the implementation can come later.  DDStretch  (talk) 13:39, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree by far and away the most sensible way forward.--Snowded TALK 13:54, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Agree. There already are Ireland (state) and Ireland (island) pages, even if they are (currently) redirections. So Ireland as a disambiguation page seems correct. Bazza (talk) 14:06, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I've already agreed with this elsewhere.--Peter cohen (talk) 14:35, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree - It would be a travesty is the Ireland page were to be relegated to being a disambiguation page. For the vast majority of people around the world - and within Ireland itself - Ireland is an island comprising all 32 counties.[citation needed][original research?] To give equal prominence to an alternative use of the word Ireland that refers to an entity covering only a part of Ireland, and which has been in existence only for 87 years compared to several millennia for the other usage, would, in my view, be wrong. The Ireland page should remain as it is. The current Republic of Ireland page should remain, in my view, as the objection to that name appears to be a visceral one rather than a rational one. If, however a decision is made to rename the Republic of Ireland article to, say "Ireland (state)", then that page should co-exist with the current "Ireland" article. If such a solution were arrived it, there must then be a pay-off whereby "Republic of Ireland" is able to be used in the texts of other articles where appropriate, without attacks by Irish-nationalist editors. It would be ludicrous, for example, for a reference to an article about Northern Ireland not to be able to refer to the Republic of Ireland: use of the term "Ireland (state)" within prose is ugly and unsatisfactory. Mooretwin (talk) 14:53, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
RoI is used (even by nationalist editors) in certain appropriate circumstances; as are the terms "the North" and "the South" in the text of articles when a dab is required. For example, there are numerous "road" articles that I'm heavily involved in where nobody has piped the term because a dab is required for clarity. See Roads in Ireland as an example; there has never been an edit war here. Sarah777 (talk) 15:13, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Just because there have been no edit wars in low-profile "road" articles doesn't mean that there haven't, and aren't edit wars on other articles. Mooretwin (talk) 16:00, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Here's an example of the nonsense we end up with as a result of the stubborn refusal of Southern-statist Irish-nationalist editors' refusal to countenance any reference to "Republic of Ireland" whatsoever. At Common Travel Area we now have the following crazy, contrived sentence: The Common Travel Area is a passport-free zone that comprises the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland), Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, instead of the simple, sensible and reasonable construction: The Common Travel Area is a passport-free zone that comprises the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. This is a clear example of an article in which "Republic of Ireland" is necessary as a disambiguator in the text, regardless of what the main article is called. Mooretwin (talk) 10:33, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, a stubborn refusal to accept an inaccurate name. Although, you have a point, the definition in Common Travel Area is somewhat contrived and unwieldy. Why the mention of Northern Ireland? The definition in "Citizens Information" is better A common travel area is in existence between Ireland and the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) - taken from Citizens Information - Common Travel Area between Ireland and the United Kingdom ClemMcGann (talk) 23:12, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
It's not an inaccurate name. On the contrary, "Ireland" is an inaccurate name for the state, since the state does not comprise all of Ireland. Mooretwin (talk) 13:09, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Agreed!! - at least with your second sentence!! <"Ireland" is an accurate name for the state> ClemMcGann (talk) 13:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
The post above was in reply to this version of this page [4]. Regrettably Mooretwin altered his text ClemMcGann (talk) 15:28, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
"use of the term "Ireland (state)" within prose is ugly and unsatisfactory. " Then don't use it. Instead, learn more about pipelinks as used on wikipedia in order to avoid the same kind of ugliness you are objecting to, and as actually used in my comment, as well as your own signature.  DDStretch  (talk) 16:17, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Pipelinking would still mean using the word "Ireland" when you actually want to say "Republic of Ireland" or "Ireland (state)". Mooretwin (talk) 10:27, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Travesty? Here's my proposal: Ireland directs to an article about the State, and Ireland (island) directs to an article about the island. That would be my preferred solution. Now, I gather that this would not satisfy you. (If it would, please say so.) You want Ireland to direct to an article about the island, and Ireland (state) to direct to an article about the State. Well, what if that doesn't satisfy me? Then a solution is to make us both unhappy, by having Ireland be a disambiguation page, Ireland (state) direct to an article about the State, and Ireland (island) direct to an article about the island. -- Evertype· 15:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I want the status quo: "Ireland" and "Republic of Ireland". But if that is not to happen due to the irrational objections of Southern-centric Irish-nationalist editors, then, yes, it would be a travesty if the "Ireland" page became a disambiguation page for the reasons stated above.
You propose the disambiguation page on the grounds that your proposal is as valid as mine. But my proposal is rational, whereas yours appears to me to have been arrived at as a result of a visceral campaign against the perfectly valid term "Republic of Ireland". It is illogical and counter-intuitive from an Irish nationalist perspective to wish to relegate the Ireland to a 26-county entity, yet that is where Irish nationalist editors find themselves. Mooretwin (talk) 16:08, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Can I just state that Sarah777, much as she might think or claim otherwise, speaks for nobody but herself. This Irish nationalist (and many others judging by previous polls) is perfectly happy with the status quo - Ireland for the island, RoI for the state. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 17:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't claim to "speak for nobody but myself", Bastun. What is clear from the wide dissatisfaction with the status quo is that there are many people who share my objection to using a British name for my country. The polls usually produce a clear majority of Irish editors finding the current title unacceptable. Sarah777 (talk) 21:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Except it's an Irish name, which exposes further the irrational position in which you find yourself. Mooretwin (talk) 10:11, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean about "finding myself in an irrational position". Of course it is an Irish name; it is the name the Irish people call the country they live in! That is a simple fact surely? Nothing to do with "rationality". Sarah777 (talk) 11:05, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Your position is irrational because you - presumably an Irish nationalist - find yourself arguing for partitionist language (and find yourself in the company of extreme Ulster loyalists). If you accept that it is an Irish name, why refer to an objection to "a British name"?? Mooretwin (talk) 11:40, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm a nationalist in a lot of senses but, since the GFA as far as I can see the Republicans in NI and nationalists generally have accepted that there are two nations (or parts of two different nations) in NI - and that NI can only become part of Ireland (the country/state) when a majority in the Six Counties vote for it. Only then will "Ireland" apply to the whole island other than in the geographical sense. If this view is shared by "extreme Loyalists" them so be it. There is nothing irrational about this, regardless of how many people support it:) Sarah777 (talk) 11:53, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, technically and theoretically you might be right about "republicans in NI and nationalists generally", but, in practice, you'd be hard-pressed to find an Irish nationalist who would concur with what you say. Mooretwin (talk) 11:59, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree - this is better than my withdrawn proposal. America is a good precedent in this regard. Sarah777 (talk) 15:03, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree - I'll accept anything, that'll end the schism. GoodDay (talk) 15:43, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I Agree (just in case there's any 'ambiguity'). RashersTierney (talk) 15:46, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree. (based on point three in list). "Ireland" is the name for both the state and the island Ireland, but unlike the situation in, say, Georgia, where the two possible primary candidates for that location are unrelated, and a disambig page is needed, this case is very different, as they are closely related. As the state forms a subset of the island, I think it makes sense to have the island as the primary topic as, bar some corner cases, if an item is in Ireland (meaning the state) it is also in Ireland (meaning the island). However the reverse is not true, so having the state as the primary topic would not work. Thus, as the state forms a natural subset of the island, I think it more logical to keep the status quo of the island at the primary topic. It would also be easier for readers, as if you take as given that people searching for/linking to "Ireland" can mean either the state or the island, requiring both sets of users to click through another page is a less optimal solution to at least getting one set to the correct place straight away without affecting the distance people in the other set need to travel. Disambig where necessary, yes, but only where necessary, and here I don't believe it is. Regards, MartinRe (talk) 18:35, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Martin, the state is not a subset of the island - one is a political entity the other a geographical one. Ireland (state) might be a subset of states of the EU or UN, and Ireland (island) might be a subset of land masses of the northern hemisphere, but with all respect, you're conflating your apples with your oranges.RashersTierney (talk) 19:17, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
If you want to be precise, the geographical area of the state political entity is a subset of the island geographical entity, but I think most people will understand what I mean in short form :) For examples, towns located in the state, are also located in the island. The geography of the state is included in the geography of the island, likewise history, and so on. If items in one entity are also contained in another and that other entity contains addition items, then that is what most people would call a subset. After all, there's nothing stopping a crate of oranges containing a bag of apples. Regards, MartinRe (talk) 19:57, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
No it isn't. Just on the question of jurisdiction, there's the question of territorial seas and islands, not to mention embassies which form the territorial component of the state (which do not form part of Ireland (island). Diagrammatically, what you in fact have is this rather than this. And btw the crate would then be a crate of apples and oranges. Sorry for being pedantic. RashersTierney (talk) 20:42, 31 October 2008 (UTC)RashersTierney (talk) 21:03, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree to Ireland(state) and Ireland(island) ClemMcGann (talk) 20:59, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree Ireland is the name of the country. Why do we need to disambiguate between Northern Ireland and Ireland. Cork is in Ireland, Derry is in Northern Ireland. Why make a mountain out of a mole hill. --Domer48'fenian' 21:40, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
No one is disputing the name of the country Domer. Have you read the synopsis above by DDstretch, or part of the six years of in-depth discussion at the Republic of Ireland Talk page on this vexatious point? RashersTierney (talk) 22:11, 31 October 2008 (UTC) RashersTierney (talk) 22:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree This isn't about right and wrong at this point. This is now about a compromise. I think this compromise is the best one I've seen. (talk) 22:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree, for the admittedly partisan reason that it would compromise the position of the current "Ireland" article. There are three candidates for the title - land, state and dab. This is not the time to bind ourselves irrevocably to any one of those, however reasonable the argument. Scolaire (talk) 09:45, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Nothing is 'irrevocable' on Wikipedia and opposing change 'however reasonable the argument', is just unreasonable. RashersTierney (talk) 10:40, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
The proposer apparently does not agree with you; he says: "Once basic agreement that Ireland should be a disambiguation page is obtained, then there is an obligation to change the name of the current occupant, and I would say that the later decisions should not be able to reverse the decision to make 'Ireland' a disambiguation page." On that basis I disagree with the proposal. Whether you think I am "just unreasonable" is a matter of no concern to me, but an argument can be reasonable and still not be right. Scolaire (talk) 15:17, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
It may be his opinion, but it forms no part of his proposal. RashersTierney (talk) 15:28, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
To clarify: I see it as not being part of the specific proposal I made. However, I did suggest that the restriction was to be applied to the then problem of how to deal with the current occupant of the "Ireland" title for the purpose of the wider matter of reaching a compromise in this current dispute: i.e., if a decision was reached to make "Ireland" a dab page, then it would not then be sensible in this current overall attempt at reaching a compromise solution to decide that the article dealing with the island of Ireland should remain at Ireland. In other words, the proposal is that Ireland ahould be a dab. page, with two key entries: one pointing to the Ireland-as-state/country article, which should be something other than just Ireland, and one pointing to the Ireland-as-island artcle, which should be something other than just Ireland. Other than the restriction that these last two articles for this compromise solution should not be Ireland, then that is it. After this compromise, it may be that some future issues decide to change matters, but that is later. The "route map" that I envisaged might happen, of which the proposal I made above is the first step is this:
  1. Decide on whether Ireland should be a dab page, but no implementation just yet if so.
  2. Decide what the article name should be for the island of Ireland, with the proviso that if Ireland is to be a dab page, then it can't be "Ireland". No implementation just yet.
  3. Decide what the article name should be for what is currently Republic of Ireland, with the proviso that if Ireland is to be a dab page, it can't be "Ireland". No implementation just yet.
  4. Decide to implement all the arrived-at compromise solutions, and do the implementation.
  5. Allow further revisions after a reasonable length of time if sufficient editors in good standing argue for it and a consensus for the changes is reached.
I think this mirrors the process that is often done in many cases of disputes IRL when compromise solutions are sought, modified as required by the particular case here. Is that more clear?  DDStretch  (talk) 16:29, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Thanks, for clarification. RashersTierney (talk) 16:42, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
In which case I still disagree. See my comments below. Scolaire (talk) 18:14, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree Give the WP:DISAM guidelines, and given that two entities are vieing for the same article space, it is a sensible solution, and a very clean compromise. I agree as per DDStretch's reasoning. --HighKing (talk) 16:48, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree. Same reason as HighKing. --Red King (talk) 00:06, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Comments on proposal[edit]

I just wish IP accounts wouldn't get involved in these discussions. GoodDay (talk) 15:43, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

So far GoodDay they haven't but I am sure they will--Snowded TALK 15:50, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Unregistered editors should not be permitted to contribute, in my view. Mooretwin (talk) 16:08, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
And in mine. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 17:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
And mine. :) --Jza84 |  Talk  17:32, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
And mine as well.  DDStretch  (talk) 17:52, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
And mine - Amazing - we all agree on something!Sarah777 (talk) 21:17, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Not mine. I don't agree. MidnightBlue (Talk) 22:27, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Tough shit. My opinion is as valid as anyone that registered. Get over it. (talk) 22:29, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it is. If you are unwilling to have the courtesy to register, you make yourself the subject of suspicion that you might be a sock. Mooretwin (talk) 10:19, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm over it already. Sarah777 (talk) 22:30, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Speaking as an Englishman, I don't really mind how a foreign country describes itself. "Ireland" is fine by me. In fact, the CIA Factbook describes it as such, and so does Britannica (my version does, anyway). To claim that some other name is being foisted on the country by "the British" is the height of lunacy; "the British" counldn't care less. Anyway, spaeking impartially, why don't you have "Ireland" as the article about the country (i.e. that country which has 26 counties), but in the article have a "For other uses of Ireland" statement at the start of the article, then have a disambiguation page to include Ireland (island), Northern Ireland, etc, etc.. Apologies if this has already been suggested. I can't be bothered to wade through the tedious debate. MidnightBlue (Talk) 22:44, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
To claim that some other name is being foisted on the country by "the British" is the height of lunacy; "the British" counldn't care less. Ah!! If only! Alas, large number of British editors seem to care rather a lot about this. If you "can't be bothered to wade through the tedious debate" then I'd make a pithy suggestion - except some passing British Admin would probably snag me for breaching WP:CIVIL. Sarah777 (talk) 23:28, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
In fact, if "the British" counldn't care less, there would be no "Troubles" trouble on Wiki, would there? Sarah777 (talk) 23:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Sarah "the British" don't think enmass no more that the Irish . Using generalisations is not a good idea. British people opinions are as varied as anyone else. In fact you are 'tearing everyone with one brush Gnevin (talk) 23:58, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Midnight, I'd support Ireland going to the state and Ireland (island). Though the notion of "the British trying to sort this out like they tried to sort out the Troubles" is exactly what I'm concerned about. It isn't good to have the referee also captain of one of the teams. And Gnevin clearly I was referring to British "editors" (I even said that). I am as aware as anyone that there are many people in both countries who have no interest in politics whatsoever. Generally not to be found editing Troubles-related articles on Wiki I'd suspect. Sarah777 (talk) 11:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Er, I think there might be. "The British" are merely trying to moderate this tedious, banal, debate, in the same way they were trying to sort out The Troubles. Anyway, instead of griping at the British at every opportunity perhaps you would honour me with your opinion about the suggestion I made. MidnightBlue (Talk) 00:05, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
You'll find that not only are "The British" trying to moderate, but "The British" are also involved directly in the debate and the editing. As for your suggestion, perhaps we should just have "America" as the article about the country (ie. that country which has 50 states) but in the article have a "For other uses of America" statement at the start of the article, then have a disambiguation page to include America (continent), Canada, etc, etc.. --Setanta747 (talk) 22:49, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Your suggestion is the same as mine and Sarah777's, if I understand it correctly. Ireland goes to the state, with Ireland (island) and Northern Ireland being separate pages. -- Evertype· 09:43, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I endorse your proposal in that case. Thta's exactly what I'm saying as well. It really is no big deal, but I doubt agreement will ever be reached - prove me wrong? MidnightBlue (Talk) 09:57, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Comment on the proposal itself: as you can see above, this task-force began with a proposal, the "non-forking" proposal, which almost caused the task force to be deleted. While DDStretch makes a good point here, which is worthy of discussion, in my view it is still far too early for proposals and votes. Once again we see that the proposal, while it has some merit, has generated more heat than light. I would prefer to see a format in which participants discuss the core issues - including whether "Ireland" should be a dab page - in a more formal and less adversarial manner. Scolaire (talk) 09:45, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

If anything its far too late. The issue and options have been debating endlessly and to the great disruption of many other pages. Its never going to be in a position where there will not be adversarial comments. --Snowded TALK 10:02, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Comment, Why not Ireland, island stay at Ireland, status quo. And ROI move to Ireland (Country). It's a much simpler fix, and it upholds the "compromise" concept, as both uses of Ireland are primary. Purple Arrow (talk) 12:06, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, sounds good, but how about rename Ireland to Ireland (island) as well, just to try and keep as many editors as possible happy. I guess there would still be a need for some sort of disambig' page to wrap up all uses of the term, but the problem will be where should Ireland direct to, assuming many editors don't want as a stright disambig. Is this the makings of a compromise? MidnightBlue (Talk) 12:31, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Comment: The objections I have read so far really do not address the issue of why the guidelines as given in WP:DISAM should not be simply followed here in order to remove the ongoing unhelpfully heated disagreements that have gone on for far too long. nIntead, they merely restate either of the two rival positions that further illustrate that no one term for "Ireland" is the primary term, which, in turn, leads us to the almost inevitable conclusion that Ireland should be a disambiguation page. I find it interesting that so far no one has been able to directly address the argument that it should be, instead choosing to mostly restate the rival positions that merely confirm that the proposal I made has a great deal going for it.  DDStretch  (talk) 16:36, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Since you have basically made the same point in three places I will reply here and possibly draw a line under the other forks in the discussion. Your perception of the discussion is based on your (quite reasonable) belief that your proposal is new, and that therefore it is the obvious answer to the old argument. In fact, the opposite is the case. The proposal to move "Republic of Ireland" to "Ireland" is the new one, first put forward by Matt Lewis about six weeks ago. Prior to that, and at frequent intervals over six years, the argument was between those who favoured the status quo and those who wanted to make "Ireland" a dab page. Matt Lewis's proposal simply meant that those who want rid of "Republic of Ireland" changed tack and argued that "Ireland" should be the 'state' article. So the split is exactly the same: status quo v change, and your proposal, far from being a novel and obvious compromise, is only coming down on one side of the argument. It was Matt Lewis who set up this task force to try to tackle the question in a methodical manner, and I still believe it has the potential to do that, but I repeat: I do not think that it serves any purpose to have another vote on a proposal that has failed to get a consensus time and time again. You also talk below about mediation and an enforced decision. Why? Why not give the task force time and space to have an informed debate - not a divisive vote - and see where there actually might be room for compromise. Scolaire (talk) 18:12, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for keeping a handle on this debate. Mooretwin (talk) 10:30, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Not an accurate summary Scolaire. The suggestion that the state have primacy in relation to "Ireland" has been around at least as long as I've been involved in this debate - admittedly only two of the six years. Sarah777 (talk) 12:11, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
@Scolaire - "Since you have basically made the same point in three places I will reply here..." - unfortunately you didn't actually address that same, very valid, point that DDStretch has made - why should the existing disambiguation guidelines be ignored? Why waste time debating something when we already have guidelines to show us what to do? Waggers (talk) 13:27, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I could just be 'clever' and say ignore all rules. But that's not quite the point. The fact is that each and every POV here follows some guidelines, and each one technically breaches some guidelines. For instance, as I said in my statement, "Ireland" is also a surname e.g. Stephen Ireland, so shouldn't the disambig page be at Ireland (disambiguation)? Oh, guess what - it already is! Scolaire (talk) 07:28, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
With all due respects, Mick, WP:BOLD doesn't apply to a situation where there is an ongoing dispute lasting literally years :-) Scolaire (talk) 08:13, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose For three reasons.
    • (1 - Ireland is already a kind of DAB page) I'm still not swayed by the part of the argument that suggests that Ireland should become a DAB page. While I obviously understand that the term's use to describe the state conflicts with its use to describe the island, I still largely believe that the word is in common use throughout the world and in Ireland (north and south) to describe the island (a geographical, cultural and historical entity which encompasses all 32 counties). And, given it's span of use and length of use exceeds the modern state, it's use possibly does also. Short of engaging a polling organisation I can't back that up, but I just think that Ireland has been around as an island (under that label) a hell of a lot longer than the state. And therefore shouldn't be relegated to second place. If there is confusion, it it easily addressed with a DAB hatnote and in the first 2 lines of the article (as it is today). A DAB page is also redundant to the intro/header/etc of the current article - which gives more context to the term. I also expect that the DAB page would quickly become a full narrative "article" which attempts to explain the concept - as the current article already does today.
    • (2 - The "Ireland (country)" labels are contrived) I'm also not swayed by the argument that the Republic of Ireland article name should be changed to one which employs a parens DAB suffix. As a loyal citizen I totally appreciate that ROI is not the state's name. However, as a page label on this project, it is preferable to the alternative proposals. The parens suffix forms are artificial constructs and don't really help with DAB (as its still unclear what's under discussion). The current label however meets WP:COMMONNAME, has official sanction as the description of the state and is WAY clearer in DAB terms.
    • (3 - We're still not solving the key DAB issue) Finally, all we are talking about here is "file names". Simple semantics that don't solve the key problem. The key problem - that if I say "the population of Ireland is X million people" the reader doesn't know what I'm talking about - remains unsolved. Is it the state, the island, something else? Changing the Ireland article to a DAB page (and moving the ROI page) doesn't address these issues. And this problem - frankly - is what this "taskforce" should be about. IE: Defining a set of guidelines around when and how to use different terms to describe the two concepts. Changing the "file names" without addressing this fundamental issue is all but useless.
Guliolopez (talk) 14:10, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Gnevin[edit]

I would like too make the following statements

  • Ireland is the common,legal and correct name of the state
  • The Republic of Ireland is only a description of type of state

I believe this issue is an aside from the article location and the need to disambiguate or not. Would their be a consensus on this or has consensus ever been tested for this ? Gnevin (talk) 18:39, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I don't think there's been much (if any) disagreement that Ireland is the name of the state, nor that roi is a description (of the state, not only type). The problem is that you can equally say that "Ireland is the common, legal and correct name of the island" and that's when the confusion starts. Some sort of disambiguation is required, the difference of opinion is which is best (or least bad, given the intertwined issues and passion on some sides concerning it) Regards, MartinRe (talk) 18:46, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the island has a "legal" name. And it is agreed that Ireland is the name of the country whose capital is Dublin. It is a simple fact. Some people don't like that fact; but that is a very different matter. Sarah777 (talk) 21:24, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Ireland is the name of the country. Why do we need to disambiguate between Northern Ireland and Ireland. Cork is in Ireland, Derry is in Northern Ireland. Why make a mountain out of a mole hill. --Domer48'fenian' 21:27, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't imagine many Derry people would agree with you! Mooretwin (talk) 10:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Domer, you know I'd be perfectly content with much prefer Ireland and NI; but half a loaf is better than no bread. So I'm going with the current proposal. Sarah777 (talk) 22:09, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
So, Domer and Sarah, you're saying that Derry is not in Ireland? I find it hard to believe that any Irish person would think that! Scolaire (talk) 08:30, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Do you know Scolaire your right, sorry about that. Would you like to add Derry here, because it dose not appear here, and can only be found here. I would suggest we include the six counties, and place (NI) after each one. What do yoy think? --Domer48'fenian' 09:41, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I think we should leave Ireland as the place that includes both Derry and Dublin, and name the 26-county state whatever way people fancy. Scolaire (talk) 09:54, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
The use of the word Ireland above by some editors, implying the page on 'Ireland' as Ireland (state) or Ireland (country), when in fact what is directed to is Ireland (island), perfectly illustrates the unsatisfactory and ambiguous nature of the current situation and highlights the cases for 'Ireland' being a Dab. RashersTierney (talk) 10:14, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
It highlights the need for disambiguation, and the need for an agreed settlement, but whether making "Ireland" a dab does either of those things is still a matter of debate, as this predictably circular debate perfectly illustrates. Scolaire (talk) 15:27, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
If I may gently suggest that the debate is only inevitably circular if one ignore the advice that is clearly designed for this situation, and is supplied in WP:DISAM. It is the following of those guidelines in the way I have suggested that cuts through any perceived cicularity of arguments that, if they really are circular in the manner you suggest, will never be resolved. This is because no one term is the primary term for "Ireland", or, in more formal logical terms: no term dominates the other, because they are qualitatively different, even though they share a common name. I strongly suggest and suspect that it was exactly for this reason that WP:DISAM was devised, and I am puzzled why there seems so much resistance to merely implementing it. Perhaps the whole matter needs to go to formal mediation if no solution seems reasonable, as an imposed solution may be the only way forward if that is the case. I do, however, hope that is not necessary.  DDStretch  (talk) 16:42, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the word Ireland refers primarily to the island. Mooretwin (talk) 10:28, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
See my comments above. Scolaire (talk) 18:15, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
And see mine. I think common usage makes the country/state the primary meaning. Sarah777 (talk) 12:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Can we discuss the primary usage and DISAM some where else. The intention of this section is to find out if anyone disagrees with my statement above about the country's name and is not concerned with the need to DISAM as i said in my opening statment Gnevin (talk) 12:44, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry G! Yes, your statements are correct. 100%. Sarah777 (talk) 12:52, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Disagree, per my statement above. "Republic of Ireland" is not "only" a description - it is a name in all but name. The word "description" was used in the 1948 Act to avoid a constitutional referendum. A legally constituted review group stated that the effect of the 1948 Act was to add the words "Republic of" to the name of the State. Scolaire (talk) 07:55, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Can you provide a link to this groups statement? Gnevin (talk) 10:22, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
'A name in all but name'..really Scolaire, sometimes your linguistic gymnastics can be wonderfully entertaining. :) RashersTierney (talk) 11:58, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Quite clearly it is a name: "Republic of Ireland" is a name. It is used as a name. Mooretwin (talk) 12:00, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Seriously Scolaire as Mooretwin said you linguistic gymnastics is impressive .The recommendation was article 4 should be changed to The name of the state is Ireland.
My reading of that is the Republic of it is not need in the official name of the state to describe the state as the 1948 act which declared the description of the State to be ‘the Republic of Ireland’, is sufficient.Gnevin (talk) 13:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Nah. I disagree. There is nothing impressive about their linguistic contortions. Officially; the Republic of Ireland is a description. That is beyond debate. If could arguably be a "name" because it is used as such sometimes; but we could apply similar reasoning to "The North" or even "The Failed Entity". Clearly, for example, the most common name for NI in Ireland is "The North". So what?! Sarah777 (talk) 20:48, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, Gnevin, it was Rashers Tierney who talked of my "linguistic gymnastics" - Mooretwin agreed with me. Secondly, he meant semantics, not linguistics. Thirdly, "it's only a decription" or, Sarah, "Officially; the Republic of Ireland is a description" is semantics, and bad semantics at that. "The Republic of Ireland" is not a description in any commonly understood sense of the word. "Green", "small", "beautiful" - they are all descriptions that could be applied to Ireland, or for that matter to an animal or a person. "The Republic of Ireland" doesn't describe the state in any way, and certainly couldn't be used to describe anything else. Now, the review group said it was "satisfied that the legislative provision (section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948), which declared the description of the State to be ‘the Republic of Ireland’, is sufficient." Sufficient for what? To keep Wikipedians bickering over semantics for the next twelve years? No, it can only mean "sufficient to include ‘Republic of’ in the name of the State." That is the question they were addressing. They were never asked if "Republic of was needed in the official name of the state to describe the state", and why should they be? It's a nonsense question! And finally, Sarah, there is no reason why "The North" could not be used in any and every context where its meaning would be clearer or less ambiguous than "Northern Ireland". Neither is there any reason that I can see why "Republic of Ireland" can't be similarly used. Scolaire (talk) 23:06, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Abstain - since WP:COMMONNAME takes precedence over official "names" and "descriptions", I don't see the relevance of this line of discussion. Waggers (talk) 13:32, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
The relevance of this is to find out if their is a consensus for my statements above. We can't go anywhere till we establish a baseline for what the majority believe the state is called, also this isn't a WP:Vote it's a discussion Gnevin (talk) 17:56, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say it was a vote - the word "abstain" isn't limited to voting. And I thought the name for the state had already been established: just like the island, it's name is "Ireland". The question here is how we disambiguate the two. That's why this is called the "Ireland disambiguation task force". This thread seems to be moving the discussion backwards rather than forwards. Waggers (talk) 12:40, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
What Waggers is saying, if we strip away the obfuscation, is that he agrees with you statements. Why he won't simply state that I don't know. Sarah777 (talk) 20:51, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Because they're not relevant - the Irish legal difference between a "name" and a "description" has no bearing on Wikipedia guidelines.waggers (talk) 09:02, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about that ,when is see words like support,oppose or abstain bold and at the start of a paragraph I assume its a vote,my mistake. I also believe the name of the state has been established but I couldn't recall if or when the consensus for this had been tested and I felt it was import to establish a a baseline here Gnevin (talk) 17:38, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
It is only the 'common name' in the United Kingdom (except when they inadvertently agree with Sinn Féin and call it Irish Republic). The 'common name' in the rest of the world is just 'Ireland'. --Red King (talk) 00:10, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Pardon?? Sinn Féin don't call the 26-county state the "Irish Republic" - they don't even recognise the state! Even if they do sit in the Dáil it's still the assembly of the "Twenty-six Counties" to them. But see my statement above where the current Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, neither British nor a Sinn Féiner, blithely refers to it as "The Republic". Scolaire (talk) 08:13, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Mick's bluesky proposal: rewrite Ireland totally[edit]

In all the history of this, has anyone ever proposed to settle this by mentioning all uses on the one Ireland article? Someone somwhere once mentioned the example of ambiguous or generalised articles such as China or Korea (and there must be others).

It strikes me that the great tapestry of information that is "Ireland" can be described in summary all on one article as:

  • an island
  • a state, ROI
  • a country, NI
  • a shared culture/identity
  • a shared sporting relation
  • a shared transport/economic area
  • a great place to visit
  • a place with a much convoluted but shared history
  • anything else I missed

All of this info in my view could be covered in summary style on an "Ireland" article, with the appropriate {Main} tags directing users to more appropriately titled pages elsewhere.

Any disputes about the content/scope/wording of the article should then be resolveable by a good faith acceptance and support by the majority of what the article "Ireland" is for, as described above. As ever, there would be die-hard opposers who make a fuss, but with majority support from a cross section of editors, and liberal amounts of DNFTT, I think it could work.

Ready, set, go! MickMacNee (talk) 16:06, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

  • P.S. The references to 'shared' above imply no unification type agenda here, of course all actual current or historical differences would also be clearly explained, such as law/politics/religion/citizenship/road signs, both on border lines and cultural lines etc. MickMacNee (talk) 16:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good Mick, and I'd support it. But I fear it wouldn't go down too well with our Unionist editors! Sarah777 (talk) 16:17, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
You'll have to get the article Ireland moved to Ireland (island), first. GoodDay (talk) 17:30, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
That is implicit in the proposal. Are you suggesting that would be a problem? (And it is not as clear cut as saying it would be moved, a summary of it would be remaining here as part of the rewritten Ireland article). MickMacNee (talk) 18:01, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Whatever rows your boat; go for it. GoodDay (talk) 18:50, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
It looks like what you have proposed here is actually the status quo - the article Ireland already includes all the points you have listed, as it should. Ireland has a history which is far older than the modern state, the Republic of Ireland. At the same time, that country shares much of the history of the whole of the island and with the British Isles, and Europe (and so on, to decreasing degrees). There is therefore no need to create yet another article called Ireland (island), as it already exists as Ireland. The states which exist therein are entitled (and disambiguated as) Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. With your proposal, you would still require articles about Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. --Setanta747 (talk) 23:09, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree 95% with Setanta - although I favour the status quo I am open to the possibility of change, at least on Republic of Ireland. Both the Ireland and Republic of Ireland articles, howsoever named, need to be rewritten so that one is about the land of Ireland only (with reference to the state, by name, where necessary) and the other is about the state named "Ireland" only. There is no need for a third article to give the information that the current Ireland article is or should be giving. A good copy-edit, on the other hand, would make this whole discussion a whole lot easier and clearer. Scolaire (talk) 08:05, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
The proposal is suggested as a replacement for both "Ireland" articles. It would imply that separate articles about NI and the State would then become outlawed as "forks". That's why I said it won't go down too well with Unionist editors. Sarah777 (talk) 08:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Not realy, I had intended that the Ireland article be made into a concise summary of ireland with sections as listed above, and the state and island articles to be full detail. i.e. the current Ireland article would be radically shorter, with merely summary sections. i.e there would only be a section on Geograpy, not flora, fauna etc. Cut down stuff like transport and energy into a single infrastructure section. The history section is about right length wise, but the recent partition/NI sections are way too long, and could be merged into a single contemporary Politics section. Things like economy could be radically trimmed, as much of it is state specific. Music and sport, while shared, seem massively overlong and recentist. MickMacNee (talk) 13:13, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Again, I find myself pretty much agreeing with you Mick. I'm pretty convinced Scolaire would also agree. Both articles on the island and the state could probably do with copyediting so that, for example, information about the creation of the two states is reduced somewhat in the Ireland article (and possibly in the article about the Republic too). Information about the pre-1921 history, and especially the pre-1900 and pre-1801 or so periods should be a major part of the Ireland article.
Where I differ from you is in the idea of making the Ireland article merely a skeleton. I would also consider that an article on Ireland as a part of the Union (1801-1922) should be created (although it probably already exists).. the information summarised at Ireland. I think an article on the Kingdom of Ireland probably already exists also, so the information there should be summarised as with the other article and the {{main}} used. That's assuming this isn't the case currently - I've not actually looked at Ireland article, as a whole, for a while.
Sarah, there are at least three main "Ireland" articles: Northern Ireland, Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
I agree with Scolaire completely, so far as I can determine. I am also open to the possibility of change for the name of the Republic of Ireland article if a suitable alternative can be found. Currently though, there don't seem to be any alternatives that don't create ambiguity and Ireland (state) would seem contrived to me. Considering the 'official', and widely-used alternative "Republic of Ireland" already exists, as provided, nobody has convinced me that there is any need to change the name of that article, as yet.
I think disambiguation is important both in article titles and within articles themselves. I would support the same idea when it comes to other similar issues, such as the common name for the USA, "America" and with other articles such as North Korea and South Korea, for example. In fact, a similar solution has apparently taken place with those related articles by the looks of it, and with the article Korea. "Korea" is often the name used for South Korea, though neither article uses the countries' official names. I feel sure that, when necessary, "South Korea" is used to disambiguate from historical Korea and the more modern and similarly-aged (to the Republic and Northern Ireland) state, the Republic of Korea (South Korea). --Setanta747 (talk) 20:07, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid, no, I don't agree. This whole idea that Ireland is a political entity and anything else can be dealt with in a "concise summary" is what I am most in disagreement with. The great majority of Wikipedia readers, in my opinion at least, are interested in the geography, the towns, the people, the culture etc. of Ireland - the island of Ireland. They don't give a flying f**k about the politics or administration of the state that calls itself "Ireland". It's the state article that should be concise. It should contain basically just the stuff that doesn't belong in the "Ireland" article - which is basically national and local government and administration, with a little bit of history that's not relevant to the main Ireland article. Again, a copy-edit is what both articles need, far more than this endless discussion of names. That might very usefully begin with editing down, yes, but let's forget about reducing the whole land of Ireland to a "concise summary". Scolaire (talk) 23:34, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Just to pick up on the point of alternative names for this article, has Ireland (Republic of Ireland) been considered? It would at least uniquely identify this one, of the several Irish States that have historically existed without ambiguity. RashersTierney (talk) 20:31, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Or "Ireland (republic)" ? --HighKing (talk) 01:00, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The advantage with Ireland (Republic of Ireland), is that the part in parenthesis is a widely recognised construction whether considered a 'name' or 'description', and is more differentiated from Irish Republic than Ireland (republic). It would, I think, still need to be directed from a Dab 'Ireland'. RashersTierney (talk) 01:39, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Wouldn't a much simpler solution be to retain Republic of Ireland? Mooretwin (talk) 08:55, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Doing nothing generally is. RashersTierney (talk) 12:04, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I am leaning towards the view that the country/state is the PRIMARY use of the term and thus must take precedence. Sarah777 (talk) 20:54, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Are you sure that hasn't been your view all along? Anyway, how can the name of the state be the primary name, when it derives from the name of the island? Mooretwin (talk) 13:06, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
The long list of citations previously produced support Sarah777's position. (and 'Ireland (republic of Ireland)' is just horrible). --Red King (talk) 00:15, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
And Wiki naming convention isn't based on semantics, history, derivation or any such considerations. It is based on common usage. The "British" Isles article takes this to an extreme but illustrates the point. And the substantial weight of evidence indicates that the most common understanding of the meaning of Ireland as revealed through verifiable current usage is; Ireland = the country whose capital is Dublin. Scolaire's comment above flies in the face of weight of the evidence. Sarah777 (talk) 13:37, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Where is this "evidence", with a "substantial weight" indicating that most people think Ireland refers to the state, rather than the island? I'd have thought it was the other way round. Mooretwin (talk) 20:58, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Where is 'this' evidence? RashersTierney (talk) 21:03, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Where "is" this evidence? Sarah777 (talk) 21:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
"Where" is this evidence? Scolaire (talk) 07:40, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Coming back to Mick's bluesky proposal, I think it could fly but either it would be a very long article or would need sub articles - and what would they be called? Don't they bring us back to square one? --Red King (talk) 00:18, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Yep, and it flies in the face of the guidelines and conventions for the way this is done elsewhere on Wikipedia. I think cross-project consistency is important. There also seems to be some confusion over whether Mick is proposing a disambiguation page with extended descriptions, or merging the current Ireland and Republic of Ireland articles (which I would oppose - they are not the same thing), or something in between. My preference is simple, and accords with the existing guidelines:
  1. Move Ireland to Ireland (island)
  2. Move Republic of Ireland to Ireland (state) (or another name to be agreed if that one isn't acceptable)
  3. Move Ireland (disambiguation) to Ireland.
In other words, essentially what DDstretch proposed. None of the other alternatives seems to come anywhere near according with the guidelines. waggers (talk) 09:11, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Just to be clear, that's my first choice. My second choice is:
  1. Move Ireland to Ireland (island)
  2. Move Republic of Ireland to Ireland.
waggers (talk) 09:14, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
As an addition, just to counter any quibbles raised about the first alternative Waggers gives: There are quite a few cases which have an article named [[X (disambiguation)]], in which the contents of that article is merely a redirection to [[X]] where the main disambiguation material resides. So, the presence of [[X (disambiguation)]] does not preclude having [[X]] as the main repository for the disambiguation material: America (disambiguation) with America; and Macedonia (disambiguation) with Macedonia are just two examples of this. I chose these because they each share some features which have been raised by one or other of the proponents of Ireland containing the article currently at Republic of Ireland on the one hand, and those who say that Ireland should contain the article about the island (as is currently the case) on the other hand, both of which go against established guidelines as can be read in WP:DISAM.  DDStretch  (talk) 16:27, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Good to see you're sticking to your guns, DDStretch, but, really and truly, this "goes against established guidelines..." argument is not helpful at all, and itself goes against the whole spirit of Wikipedia. In the first place, Wikipedia is not governed by statute. DISAM is a guideline like any other; we should follow it only when doing so would produce a better result for the encyclopedia, never simply because it's a "rule". Secondly, "Ignore all rules" means that we "don't follow written instructions mindlessly, but rather, consider how the encyclopedia is improved or damaged by each edit." Thirdly, and most importantly, consensus is the one and only way that a question such as this one can ever be successfully and permanently resolved, and the invocation of policies or guidelines in UPPERCASE BLUE LINKS would have my vote as the approach least likely to lead to a consensus. Rather, as I have been trying to say, let us listen to the advocates of each position and see if we can find a formula that will satisfy all of the POVs - because that is the very formula that will make Wikipedia most informative and most NPOV. Fourthly, WP:DISAM, contrary to what you say, supports the use of Ireland (disambiguation) - whichever article in the end is agreed to be the primary topic, Place names, People named Ireland and Other names are most definitely secondary topics, and naming the dab page "Ireland" is not appropriate in this case. Finally - and this applies more to Waggers - discussion of MickMacNee's proposal is not the appropriate place to restate DDStretch's proposal, which has been adequately discussed above. Scolaire (talk) 17:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd prefer Wagger's second choice but I'd go with his first choice in a spirit of compromise. Obviously there will be no consensus around any attempt to demean the common, legal and constitutional, internationally recognised fact that Ireland (the state) is called Ireland and that the most common meaning of the term Ireland in modern usage is the state. Even making highly personal unverifiable (and erroneous) statements like "The great majority of Wikipedia readers, in my opinion at least, are interested in the geography, the towns, the people, the culture etc. of Ireland - the island of Ireland. They don't give a flying f**k about the politics or administration of the state that calls itself "Ireland"." is unlikely to appeal to any consensus. To put it mildly. Sarah777 (talk) 13:41, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I also prefer Wagger's second choice, but I would also go with his first choice in a spirit of compromise. Anything that stops the ceaseless bickering. -- Evertype· 09:33, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Is any progress being made? -- Evertype· 15:57, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Scope of taskforce : Comments from jnestorius[edit]

(I've moved this comment from the Talk: page.) jnestorius(talk) 12:44, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

The original principal motivation for setting up this "taskforce" seems to have been the manner of referring to the state and island within articles. However, the discussion seems to have drifted inexorably back to the names of the two main articles.

I would like to broaden the discussion again. As I see it, there are a number of issues:

  1. Names of the 2 Ireland articles
  2. Names of other articles and categories which incorporate the names of one of the 2 Irelands
  3. How to refer to the 2 Irelands within other articles

Names of the 2 Ireland articles[edit]

To me this is the least important element, despite all the talk. We have a Names of the Irish state article which is quite good. It can always be improved and should form a major source of the factual data on which the debates here will rely, rather than different editors here making sometimes contradictory assertions.

It is always better to say things explicitly in the content rather than to imply them from the structure or layout. I don't care what the article about the state is called as long as it makes clear to the uninformed reader what the state is called.

I don't want to dispute or rehash the same points others have made. A few points I have not seen made:

  • Ambiguity in practice:
    • Lots of people outside the island of Ireland who use the word "Ireland" may not be aware of whether they are referring to the island or the state; they may not appreciate that the two are not synonymous in the way that Iceland or Cuba can refer both to an island and a state.
    • When a citizen of the Republic of Ireland is abroad and people ask where they are from, they will normally say "Ireland" (rather than "Republic of Ireland" or the like). Sometimes the foreigner will ask something like "North or South?" For the citizen, this is annoying; but why? Imagine, for the sake of contrast, asking an American who says they're from Virginia "West or East?" Clearly that question would be an ignorant blunder; the "North or South" question is not so. To my mind, the original answer "Ireland" is ambiguous not only to the listener but also to the speaker.
    • At the 2008 Ryder Cup, Nick Faldo asked Graeme McDowell "Are you from Ireland or Northern Ireland?" This attracted a variety of comments in the media which may be useful datapoints for our discussions.
  • Practical matters of plumbing:
    • Moving the state from Republic of Ireland will not create problems since that will still redirect to the new name
    • Moving the island from Ireland will create problems:
      • Making Ireland the state page will instantly make lots of links point to the incorrect page. This would need a huge amount of repair work to be done quickly.
      • Making Ireland a disambiguation page will make lots of links point to the disambiguation page. This would equally need to be fixed, but would not be as urgent since the link would be inconvenient rather than incorrect.
        • One advantage of having the default name as a disambiguation is that it eliminates the possibilities of mistaken wikilinking. Has anyone done any survey of Special:WhatLinksHere/Ireland to estimate what proportion ought to be linking to Republic of Ireland?

Names of other articles and categories which incorporate the names of one of the 2 Irelands[edit]

As Wikipedia:Ireland disambiguation task force/cross-usage table shows, this is currently a mess of inconsistencies and anomalies.

If it is decided the article Republic of Ireland is renamed Ireland or Ireland (state), it does not follow that Demographics of the Republic of Ireland or Category:Politics of the Republic of Ireland should move in parallel. Do those who dislike the use of "Republic of Ireland" in the main-article title also dislike it in the other article and category titles where it occurs? If so, do they propose such articles and categories undergoing a similar change of name, or a different change or name, to resolve this?

There are a fair number of articles with titles "Foo of Ireland" which are disambiguations linking to "Foo of the Republic of Ireland" and "Foo of Northern Ireland". This is appropriate in some cases (including some where it's not currently done) and not in others (including some where it is currently done).

There are a fair number of categories "Category:Foo of Ireland" with subcategories "Category:Foo of the Republic of Ireland" and "Category:Foo of Northern Ireland". Some of these have a lot of articles in the parent Category that should be moved to the subcategory. Of course, many articles will rightly belong in the parent category. Other overlapping-jurisdiction articles might better be put in both subcategories.

How to refer to the 2 Irelands within other articles[edit]

It's obvious that a wikilink should be to the island article when the island is being referred to and to the state when the state is being referred to.

In historical contexts, Kingdom of Ireland or Lordship of Ireland are, in theory, possible alternatives (e.g. "In the 1570s Edmund Spenser went to Ireland"), but in practice this is not done, and I think rightly so: those articles are specifically political-history rather than more general history.

There are three issues here:

Which article to link to

Should towns, or rivers, be described as being in the state or the island? Should people born prior to independence but achieving prominence after it be described as from the state or from the island? Should people born in Northern Ireland but moving south at an early age and achieving prominence there be described as from the state or from the island?

How to disambiguate

When explicit text is required, what wordings should be used?

  • For the island "island of Ireland" is pretty uncontentious in geographical contexts.
  • "Republic of Ireland" is contentious for some, and terms like "the state of Ireland" or "the state named Ireland" are inelegant to others.
    • What about adjectives: when "Irish X" is ambiguous, do we say "Republic of Ireland X", "X of the Republic of Ireland", etc?
    • Is "Republic of Ireland" acceptable for references which include time prior to Republic of Ireland Act in force in 1949?
    • Is "Ireland"/"Republic of Ireland" acceptable for references which include the time of the Irish Free State
When to disambiguate
  • When is acceptable to allow "Easter egg" disambiguations [[Republic of Ireland|Ireland]] / [[Ireland (island)|Ireland]] / [[Republic of Ireland|Irish]] / etc, with no text on the source article to make state-not-island/island-not-state explicit?
    • For example, in a list of states, or template-box, where "Ireland" is one of the items listed, it should be obvious that this means the state, not the island.
  • If something relates to the state, and hence also to the island, when is it acceptable or even preferable not to bother resolving the irrelevant ambiguity?
    • Current trends in WP:OVERLINK are to reduce the number links, so in many articles where the word "Ireland" occurs, it may not need to be wikilinked at all anywhere in the article.

jnestorius(talk) 02:42, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Request for sources[edit]

In the following, 'secondary source' means a published work that is not the text of the Constitution, a statute, an international or internal agreement, a court judgement or parliamentary proceedings (with the exception of a deliberate and unambiguous statement of government policy by a responsible government minister); 'reliable source' means a published work that is not a blog, the opinion of an individual journalist or a letter to the editor.

A number of assertions have been consistently made on this and related pages for which I have been unable to find any reliable secondary sources. It is my opinion that all of the following statements are incorrect. In order that I may see the light, can editors please provide reliable secondary sources to substantiate them:

  1. That article 4 of the Constitution of Ireland forbids the use of any name other than "Ireland" (in English) or "Éire" (in any other language) for the state created by that constitution in ordinary conversation, in newspaper, magazine or web articles, in article titles etc.
  2. That section 1 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 forbids the use of the term "Republic of Ireland" to refer to that state in ordinary conversation, in articles, in article titles etc. on the grounds that it is a description and not a name.
  3. That the opinion of Mr. Justice Walsh in Ellis v O'Dea means that it is illegal or unconstitutional to refer to that state as anything other than "Ireland" (in English) or "Éire" (in any other language) in ordinary conversation, in articles, in article titles etc. on the grounds that it is a description and not a name.
  4. That by the Ireland Act 1949 the British Government imposed the name "Republic of Ireland" on that state against the constitution of the state and the wishes of its people.
  5. That any public figure or any significant section of public opinion in Ireland objected to the use of the name "Republic of Ireland" in that Act.
  6. That at any time between 1949 and 1998 the Irish Government or any public figure asked the British Government not to use the name "Republic of Ireland" in statements or otherwise to refer to the state.
  7. That at any time after 1998 the British Government agreed not to use the name "Republic of Ireland" in statements or otherwise to refer to the state.
  8. That at any time after 1998 the British Government stated as policy that the name of the state is "Ireland" and only that.
  9. That at any time at all any significant section of public opinion in Ireland expressed any view whatever on the use of "Republic of Ireland" as a name for the state.

Scolaire (talk) 12:04, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Don't know if you have read this paper before, but I found it interesting. [[5]]

"By the mid 1960s, Britain was the only country not to refer to the state as Ireland. In his memoirs, Sir John Peck, British ambassador to Ireland 1970–74, who presented letters of credence addressed to President de Valera, noted that “even the title was significant, for if we called him the President of Ireland we recognized the Irish claim to the Six Counties whereas if we called him the President of the Irish Republic it was unacceptable to him as he would thereby be admitting our claim to the Six Counties. ‘President de Valera’ left the issue wide open.” British command papers described the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement— commonly known as the Hillsborough Agreement—as an “agreement between the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the government of the Republic of Ireland,” whereas Irish official papers described it as an “agreement between the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the government of Ireland.” This position did not change until the signing of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which included a commitment by the Irish government to amend the constitution by deleting Articles 2 and 3, which they would replace with clauses affirming the entitlement of everyone on the island of Ireland to be part of the Irish nation. This recognized that a united Ireland would only be achieved by majority consent in both jurisdictions. Up to and including the year 1999, the Diplomatic List issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office referred to the Republic of Ireland. Since 2000 it has referred to Ireland, and the credentials presented by the British ambassador, Stewart Eldon, in 2003, were addressed to the President of Ireland. The Irish Diplomatic List continued to refer to Great Britain until 2001; since then it has referred to the United Kingdom."--T*85 (talk) 03:21, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps too much emphasis is placed upon not using Republic of Ireland as an unambiguous term. Indeed the Irish State seems to have zero worries about doing this in the most prominent link on the government website! Sillyfolkboy (talk) 18:16, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps we are just really keen on stopping "Ireland" becoming a disambiguation problem. Wikipedia is meant to reflect real world usage: Here's some convincing sources to suggest RoI should, at the very least, be moved to Ireland (state)/(country).[6][7][8] Sillyfolkboy (talk) 00:23, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Regrouping and restating the proposal[edit]

OK I first arrived at the Ireland pages a few days ago and have spent many hours trawling through all of these discussions. I'm not Irish, have never been to Ireland and I am blissfully immune to the nationalist heat that surrounds the issue.

Before continuing let me say that the terms "country" and "nation" are highly variable in meaning across the English speaking world. For this discussion I will use the terms "nation" and/or "country" to mean an "independent sovereign state, as recognised by the UN". (This is purely for clarity, I am well aware that many people would use these terms quite differently.)

I favour Ireland referring to the sovereign nation, and Ireland (island) referring to the land mass. Nothing I have read gives me any reason to change my perspective.

1 - This reflects current official usage by the UN and by the UK Government. The Government of the nation refers to itself as "Ireland", and not the "R/r epublic of Ireland".

2 - Numerous evidence cited above indicates that the most common usage of the term "Ireland" is in reference to the nation, and not the island land mass.

3 - Whatever various parties think *should* be the case is worthwhile discussing in the article, but not in the naming of the articles. Certainly there are people who believe that "The Country of Ireland" should include Northern Ireland, but for the moment that is NOT the case officially. The citizens of Northern Ireland are citizens of the United Kingdom, not Ireland.

4 - "Ireland (state)" only adds to the confusion IMHO. On first view I interpreted this to mean "Northern Ireland". This is because my usual (Australian) interpretation of the word "state" is a subordinate territory within a larger nation, such as California or New South Wales. Hence I thought it meant Northern Ireland, which is a subordinate territory of the United Kingdom. I am obviously aware that "state" can also be used in the sense of an "sovereign nation", such as in the phrase "head of state", but I am merely pointing out the usage pitfalls of the term "state' in an article title for a sovereign nation.

So the proposal: Ireland - article about the sovereign nation. Ireland (island) - article about the land mass.

Sorry to sound thickheaded, but I really can't see any problem with this. If anyone has a simple explanation of why this change is such a problem, I'd be glad to hear it.

For the record - if this change involved a substantial amount of link fixing, so be it. We've collectively undertaken much larger fixes in the past, and actually doing the work would take considerably less effort than the time we've spent arguing about it.

Manning (talk) 09:38, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi Manning. You may not know, but this matter is now under arbitration. See this. My own view is that while your proposal is reasonable, it creates "winners" and "losers". Accordingly, I favour Ireland (island), Ireland (state), and Ireland (the disambiguation page) for the article titles. -- Evertype· 10:56, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

People from Northern Ireland are entitled to be citizens of Ireland. And it strikes me that any Australian type confusion about the meaning of Ireland (state) can be accommodated by making it Ireland (sovereign state). Other than that, all your other points have been done to death on here, so I won't re-hash them. MickMacNee (talk) 14:12, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

"Done to death"? That's a nice way to discourage a neutral observer from participating in this discussion.... -- Evertype· 14:23, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

How does one join Task Force[edit]

Re the Manual of Style (Ireland-related articles)/Ireland disambiguation task force - How does one join (in simple terms please!)...What page does one click on to etc. Many thanks. Regards. Redking7 (talk) 02:25, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

OK. First you must ask me on my page. I'll check your record on Ireland-related controversies. If you are made of the Right Stuff and are Our Kind of Guy I'll approve you. After that its just the rubber-stamping formalities. Sarah777 (talk) 21:24, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
In case it's not clear, I feel a duty to point out that Sarah was joking :) There's no formal membership, you just join in. waggers (talk) 15:29, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
She fooled me! Thanks. Regards. Redking7 (talk) 19:44, 5 February 2009 (UTC)