President, partition and Armagh event


Sir, – I was beyond disheartened to read letters from two correspondents (Letters, September 23rd) calling into question the entitlement of our President to call himself the President of Ireland. In one case a call was made to change the name of the office to reflect democratic realities.

The democratic reality is as follows. The island we live on comprises two jurisdictional entities. One is called “Ireland” and is an independent, sovereign State. The other is called “Northern Ireland” and currently forms part of the UK.

The Constitution states that the name of the State is Ireland. It provides that there shall be a President of Ireland. References to Éire, the Republic of Ireland and the Irish Free State are incorrect titles and references to our President being anything other than the President of Ireland are also incorrect.

That is the democratic and legal reality. – Yours, etc,


Churchtown, Dublin 14.

A chara, – My late parents were the children of partition, born in 1919 and 1927 they grew up as second-class citizens in a vicious, sectarian state, famously described by its leader as “a Protestant parliament for a Protestant people”.

Of course there are those who would prefer if we forgot these inconvenient realities. I too know very well what it was like to grow up a second-class citizen in “the Orange state”. I need no lectures from hurlers on the ditch, many of whom have never even been to the six counties, about what should and should not be celebrated.

I agree 100 per cent with the President in his considered response to the invitation to celebrate partition. He speaks for the overwhelming majority of the Irish people in refusing to do so. Participation in the event in Armagh dictates a willingness to whitewash the reality of sectarianism, and attempts to negate the lived experience of my parents’ generation and indeed of my own.

Celebrating Stormont is like celebrating apartheid. Not in my name. – Is mise,


Dublin 12 .