British or Anglo-Celtic Isles?


Sir, – I have never been bothered by the use of “British Isles” as a geographical term. But Donal McAuliffe’s suggestion (Letters, December 26th) of “Anglo-Celtic Isles” as an alternative has a certain charm – and should even appeal to what he calls “Mother England”, since its inhabitants would finally get a mention. The “British” in the commonly-used term derives from the ancient Britons, (Brythonic Celts like the Welsh), thus excluding the English latecomers.

I would go further, and propose “Anglo-Celtic” as a general substitute for the wildly inaccurate “Anglo-Saxon” when referring to any aspect of the English-speaking world. – Yours, etc,




Co Cork.

Sir, – As regards the suggested change of name for these islands, Northern Ireland is still in the customs union and it looks as though Scotland may negotiate her re-entry to the EU. So why not the Anglo-European Isles? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 1.