Letter: RUC name change
Monday 13 September 1999
Sir Edward Carson, who led the threat of armed rebellion against the Crown in the period 1912-14 if a very limited form of Irish home rule were to be granted, envisaged the subsequent partition in 1920 as creating an Ulster Orange state in the north of Ireland. But this aim had to be abandoned when the Unionists broke up the ancient nine-county province of Ulster by refusing to accept the counties of Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan, with their massive Catholic majorities, while insisting on incorporating Fermanagh and Tyrone, with their smaller Catholic majorities, into the new statelet because a grouping of only the four Protestant counties would not have been viable.
The Government of Ireland Act, 1920, created a new six-county statelet of Northern Ireland and makes no mention of Ulster. There has never been a Secretary of State for Ulster, only one for Northern Ireland.
So it was historically and legally bogus, a sop to dignify the position of the Unionists, to allow the continued use of the word "Ulster", where they themselves had made it obsolete. The police force that took over from the Royal Irish Constabulary at partition should properly have been named the "Royal Northern Ireland Constabulary".
David Trimble once berated a journalist for referring to him as the "Northern Irish" politician. He insisted that he was British and therefore a "Northern Ireland" politician, yet he blithely embraces the appellation "Ulster", which applied to an Irish province. He is also annoyed because the Irish harp and shamrock are to be removed from the RUC's cap badge.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Jeremy Clarkson to host BBC's Have I Got News For You despite Top Gear exit
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'