The constitution states that the name of the state is Éire, or in English Ireland. The constitution establishes a polity that can safely be called republican, just as France or the United States are republics.
n In 1948, when the Republic of Ireland Act was passed, the state was referred to as a republic, explaining the description of the state as the Republic of Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland is not the name of the state; Ireland is her name. So why the need to make this distinction, to describe the state as a name that is not theirs? In a modern Ireland it empowers two Irelands, one they and one us, while Ireland is inclusive because we are all Irish.
Ireland is the land of green and orange, it is our common home. These new generations of Irish people coming here from all over the world are not coming to the Republic of Ireland, they are coming to Ireland to live and to make their home.
By 1948 a rift had already formed on the island, and the outbreak of violence solidified and defined the rift. The division pursued the country.
In the 1980’s a young boxer from Clones, Co. Monaghan gave us a glimpse of what normalized life might be like as people from the streets of Shankill and Falls came together to support Barry McGuigan. They parked their often deadly political differences to cheer and support one of their own.
Recently, Kildare’s Eric Donovan won a European boxing title in Belfast. Donovan was introduced to the crowd as a boxer representing the Republic of Ireland. Imagine if he had been announced as Ireland’s representative (which he constitutionally was). Attendees, and thousands more watching live TV across the island, would have felt a closer connection to the occasion and hopefully to each other.
For those wishing to bring a deeper unity to our island, use of the term Republic of Ireland should be discontinued.
Some might say that this is just playing with words. That’s not the case. Symbols and gestures are important and can bring people closer together – just as they can drive people apart. Queen Elizabeth’s visit demonstrated the transformative power of a gesture for the cause of reconciliation.
Human life does not stand still; People either come together or they are driven apart. The unity that lies ahead is unknown and may not be the one expected. Those who think that unity will be a win for one side are false prophets – their way is the way of division. Ireland, and not the Republic of Ireland, is the road to unity
It is easy to ask others to give up their symbols. What we need are symbols that represent us all, that are inclusive, that point to the future and not the past.
Never underestimate the power of a symbol as a healing and reconciling force. Croke Park is both a place and a symbol – for some a sacred place and a symbol of the Irish. In 2007, the British national anthem was played there while thousands in attendance listened in respectful silence.
It was a moment of catharsis, a new and confident dawn had dawned. It was a moment of inclusion and respect that took place on sacred ground – brought together by the sporting ability of young men from all parts of the island of Ireland. These men represented Ireland and not the Republic of Ireland.
When a one-off border poll is conducted, the challenge is to win the hearts and minds of the majority of people. Meanwhile, inclusive and innovative action is required from the outset to demonstrate the intent of the desired course of action.
Vincent Peter Martin is a member of the Green Party and has been a Senator since June 2020
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/ireland-has-no-more-need-of-republic-tag-as-we-bid-for-meaningful-unity-42069517.html Ireland no longer needs the label ‘Republic’ as we are committed to meaningful unity