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Comment #1748016 by Patrick Moran

Patrick Moran Oct 28th 2013, 8:38 PM #

It’s a term that will always get Irish backs up. Look just in the interests of harmony and putting the issue to bed, lets refer to the whole lot as the Irish Isles.

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Complex politics or simple geography: Is Ireland part of the British Isles?

Complex politics or simple geography: Is Ireland part of the British Isles?

A topic where geography and politics are completely intertwined, we looked at it from the two viewpoints to see how the term is used.

REPLIES

    Favourite Mal
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    Oct 28th 2013, 9:13 PM

    after a few years living abroad, where 95% of people think Ireland is part of Great Britain, I’m quite happy when someone refers to Ireland as part of the British Isles, but understands Ireland is a republic.

    349
    Favourite Stephen Murphy
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    Oct 28th 2013, 9:43 PM

    Irish Isles are smiling, question should be as follows! Are the British Islands part of Ireland, kick out the Queen and put Enda in there!

    140
    Favourite Declan Conway
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    Oct 28th 2013, 9:56 PM

    There was actually a British proposal some 30 years ago (Conservative MP) to rename the British Isles ‘ IONA ‘ (Islands of the North Atlantic), but it gained no traction.
    Geographically acceptable to both sides, but the entire question is long-poisoned by politics.
    The reason the term ‘British Isles’ stocks is due solely to the six counties that make up Northern Ireland.
    Until – if ever – there is a united Ireland (or a massive jump in population) then you’re going to have great difficulty in getting the British Isles redrawn in any official capacity.
    In other words, carry on as we are and the British will have a bigger say as there’s much more of them and they have a bigger voice.

    And now for something completely different….

    176
    Favourite joe traynor
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    Oct 28th 2013, 10:06 PM

    Ireland is part of the British isle , it is not part of Great Britton because the Great in great Britton refers to the larger island of the British Isle, it’s not political, these islands off Europe existed long before Irish , English , Scots or Welsh existed and will be here long after were gone. It is a name to describe a pair of Islands in close proximity nothing else.

    180
    Favourite Joe Bet
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    Oct 28th 2013, 10:44 PM

    Great stuff Stephen, very funny and witty comment there

    33
    Favourite Liam Wolfe
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    Oct 28th 2013, 11:17 PM

    You have made a mistake here Joe. The Great in Great Britain refers to Britain being bigger than Brittany in France. Previously these two regions were called greater Britain (now simply Great Britain) and lesser Britain (Brittany) as they were both occupied by celts known as Bretons. Ireland is in no way a british isle. Calling the archipelago the Celtic isles would make more sense in my opinion as it includes Bretons, scotish, manx, welsh, Cornish and irish and so the entire area has a connection to the historical celts.

    410
    Favourite Dave Harris
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    Oct 28th 2013, 11:33 PM

    So what you are saying is 95% of the people are stupid are you?
    Do Americans think Canada and Mexico are different ? Do all the countries of Europe or Africa see them selves as different countries?
    Me thinks if is you that is stupid

    41
    Favourite Carthage Buckley
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    Oct 28th 2013, 11:37 PM

    We need to send Enda over to DerryLondon so that he can tell Lizzie Windsor that its the Irish Isles.

    135
    Favourite Harry Webb
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    Oct 28th 2013, 11:48 PM

    Australa and New Zealanders, especially as a united military force are called Anzacs. Both countries are proud of the name. Terms like B&I or Celtic Islands can benefit the minor island, being Ireland… I have no time for the expression British Isles… It reminds me of the old term British Lions… Ireland is respected all over the world…and yes we are equal to the “poms”!

    140
    Favourite Harry Webb
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    Oct 28th 2013, 11:52 PM

    When Australia and New Zealand combine, especially in the theatre of war they are fondly called the Anzacs. I like the term Celtic Islands or B&I. Ireland is well respected all over the world, and equal with the “Poms”. We don’t need to go backwards!

    55
    Favourite Richard Keogh
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    Oct 29th 2013, 12:38 AM

    Only certain Irish could get themselves so upset over nothing. The British Ordnance Survey view is the one most people throughout the world go by hence the Google results, they are the British Isles. It’s geographic but the usual Republican types want to make it political and a problem.

    109
    Favourite Shane McDaniel
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    Oct 29th 2013, 12:41 AM

    95% Mal how did you get that figure ? Did you do a poll of everyone you ever spoke to or are you just another one of those people that can’t distinguish between anecdotal evidence and fact.

    74
    Favourite DaVe O'm
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    Oct 29th 2013, 12:55 AM

    I think great Britain only referred to England and Wales as they hadn’t taken over the Scottish at that stage

    26
    Favourite DaVe O'm
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    Oct 29th 2013, 12:58 AM

    Most people think “America” only refers to the United States of America.
    Eg. If I said in from America you would not think I’m from brazil.
    People generalise, they may not be totally stupid.

    69
    Favourite Declan Duffy
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    Oct 29th 2013, 1:17 AM

    What we are
    And how we see it,
    Has a way of affecting
    The way we define it.
    As long as the peace
    Nips PSNI piecemeal
    Simmering Pud for the DUP
    Fading bling, the GBNI bing
    While hope in the IRA SF Fairs;
    To mould our land, the people who dare.
    So we want our own union, not to share,
    And their Union, they keep it there.
    Our tribe be united, totally at ease
    For us to divide up, as we please
    By province, by county,
    By Town, by team.
    Now where’s the auld enemy, borders unseen.
    This political divide is not for me,
    The pomp has plagued my view you see.
    While our geography is easier to map
    It’s rock and water, so who gives a crap.
    The cultures we share, our points of view
    Not a million miles, not far askew.
    Call me and Isle, call me Iona
    I don’t give a feck, you can me Fiona.
    I love this land, being part of the clan,
    But taking it seriously; there should be a ban.

    56
    Favourite Anthony Carroll
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    Oct 29th 2013, 4:10 AM

    So we’re back to trying to ruin England then?!

    21
    Favourite Des O'Leary
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    Oct 29th 2013, 7:33 AM

    And if they existed long before England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales or Britain, why call them British? Could just as easily call them the French Isles.

    51
    Favourite Mal
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    Oct 29th 2013, 8:19 AM

    @Shane, yeah, your right, I should have said “most people I speak to”.
    In any case, the point I was making is as the majority of people I’ve spoken to outside Ireland think of Ireland as part of Britain.

    18
    Favourite Stephen Murphy
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    Oct 29th 2013, 8:27 AM

    European Isles?

    24
    Favourite Barra Flynn
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    Oct 29th 2013, 9:01 AM

    Great Britain actually comes from Grande Bretagne referring to the province of Brittany in France..

    20
    Favourite Rory McCann
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    Oct 29th 2013, 9:20 AM

    I call them the Celtic Isles. 3 of the 4 countries in it consider themselves Celtic.

    72
    Favourite howzat
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    Oct 29th 2013, 9:45 AM

    You must be the brains of the group mal must be stimulating conversations with the other sharp pencils

    8
    Favourite Padriag O'Traged
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    Oct 29th 2013, 10:56 AM

    And the one that has more population than the “celts” put together isn’t. So it’s a stupid idea.

    14
    Favourite Bernard
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    Oct 29th 2013, 2:01 PM

    Here’s another nugget to confuse you all. While Ireland shared aspects of Celtic culture, there’s no evidence that the Celts ever actually came to Ireland. The research at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) into the origins of Ireland’s population found no substantial evidence of the Celts in Irish DNA, and concludes they never settled here en masse.
    http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=119605

    In fact the more you delve into it the more you learn that Ireland was/ is not a Celtic country. The term was allegedly assigned to Ireland in the eighteenth century by a Welsh linguist- and was seized by the Irish nationalist movement as evidence of an us and them heritage.
    The original inhabitants of Ireland pre-date the Celts. It seems that Ireland and Britain copied aspects of Celtic art and culture via trade links and this has later been misinterpreted. Rather like Europeans who take on aspects of American culture via TV and media.

    30
    Favourite Ed Appleby
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    Oct 29th 2013, 5:03 PM

    That mean we have to include Corsica, Sardinia, Malta, Cyprus, the Greek, Italian and Balkan islands not to mention the Scandinavian, Iberian and Portuguese. Won’t work.

    4
    Favourite Ed Appleby
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    Oct 29th 2013, 5:05 PM

    Wouldn’t us David Icke as reference for anything however check out a tv series from RTE/Cinegall in the 80′s called Atlantean and your eyes will be opened.

    8
    Favourite Bernard
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    Oct 29th 2013, 5:14 PM

    There are more references and scholarly articles that all seem to have a consensus about the Celtic heritage. I had a look at references to Atlantean – looks very interesting! Thanks for that.
    The idea of being part of a common ‘Atlantean’ culture including the western seaboard of Europe and North Africa is intriguing and attractive. What parallels to the British Empire then EU Federacy much later? Interesting….

    6
    Favourite Graeme Gregg
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    Oct 29th 2013, 5:53 PM

    That is just not true. The “great” part comes from French and is used distinguish between big bretagne and little bretagne. The Islands existed a long time before the English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish arrived, however the term British Isles was invented a long time after their arrival and can be changed as and when people want to change it.

    16
    Favourite Niall Gilmartin
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    Oct 29th 2013, 7:51 PM

    Personally I don’t really care all that much, you rarely if ever hear the term ‘British Isles’ being used these days so it’s not really a live issue. Obviously it was a very slow day at journal.ie so they decided to wind up those who are very easily wound up by making up a non story.

    9
    Favourite Nicky Ryan
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    Oct 29th 2013, 8:26 PM

    You sound a bit wound up, Niall.

    24
    Favourite Tory Ireland
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    Dec 30th 2013, 12:18 PM

    The ‘Great’ in Great Britain does not refer to the larger island of the British Isles. ‘Great’ or ‘Greater’ Britain was used to distinguish the isle from ‘Britannia minor’ or ‘Lesser Britain’, the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany.

    6
    Favourite Gavin Healy
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    Apr 28th 2014, 5:02 AM

    Incorrect. Great Britain is the island of England, Scotland and Wales. The term “great” was used to distinguish it from what is now Brittany. No connection to the island of Ireland

    12
    Favourite Gavin Healy
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    Apr 28th 2014, 6:45 AM

    No, that s not correct. Great Britain is the island of England, Scotland and Wales. The term “Great” was used to distinguish it from “lesser” Britain, what is modern Brittany. No connection to the island of Ireland.

    5