Ireland is also a geographical term

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Mary Russell (‘It is Ireland, not the Republic of Ireland’, Nov 16) is quite right to say that the proper name of the southern Irish state is Ireland, not Republic of Ireland.

I myself sometimes use the term Republic of Ireland, not to make a political point but simply for clarity.

I imagine a lot of other people do the same thing since Ireland is also, to use Metternich’s famous phrase, a geographical expression, which encompasses the whole island. Whereas Northern Ireland refers only to a jurisdiction and not a geographical area.

Nevertheless, I take the point and will in future be mindful of the fact that some people are offended by use of the term Republic of Ireland.

It is a shame, however, that avoidance of the term Republic of Ireland by unionists would not be reciprocated by those irredentist nationalists who cannot bring themselves even to utter the words Northern Ireland.

Adam Moore, Conservative, Belfast BT9