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.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 Fifa corruption arrests: Nike reported to be 'multinational sportswear company' at centre of bribery claims over Brazil shirt deal
- 3 Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
- 4 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: it's just gravity — not a Mexican demon being summoned
Grace of Monaco film panned: Screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman as movie gets US debut
Royal Academy of Arts' Tim Marlow: Bronze statue of lovers embracing at St Pancras station is a lesson in 'how not to do' public art
Big Brother contestant Aaron Frew removed from house for 'inappropriate behaviour' after flashing fellow contestants
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
ASAP Rocky gives nauseating response to explicit Rita Ora rap: 'I'm not saying she's a terrible person'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'