Letter: Irish territorial claims

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The Independent Online
Sir: In arguing that Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution reassure nationalists in Northern Ireland that they are still part of the Irish nation, Yvonne Hart perpetuates a misconception (Letters, 15 June). If Articles 2 & 3 claimed only to represent the human and civil rights of nationalists in Northern Ireland, this interpretation might be reasonable. Indeed, this role is already enshrined in the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985. Even if the articles were a claim over territory in which nationalists form a majority, they might retain some merit.

Unfortunately, the articles assert much more. They claim the territory and allegiance of one million Unionists who repeatedly and consistently reject the claim. The term 'United Ireland', used to describe the claim, is unreasonable and certainly not a neutral use of language. In terms of people, a 'greater Ireland' policy is a more accurate description. Territorial claims are dangerous, and advocates of such a policy should not be surprised that 1 per cent of nationalist adults in Northern Ireland feel it is worth fighting for.

Yours sincerely,


Islandmagee, Larne

16 June