I constantly read and hear the term ‘The British Isles’ employed to describe the islands of both Ireland and Britain. This is a colonial misnomer. Ireland is not, never was and never will be British regardless of the wizened wishes of a discontented minority upon the island of Ireland.
Of the six nations within these islands, five – Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Man – have their own distinctive Celtic language. The sixth, known now as England, was once a Celtic-speaking area. There is no British language.
I propose that all conscientious readers of this blog, who are self-respecting Irish people or who respect the Irish people, adopt the term ‘The Celtic Isles’ to replace the offensive term currently being used as just one more attempt at colonial suppression of our independent Irish identity.
Via widespread email, social media and conversational usage, culturally aware readers of the Irish News can force the Oxford English Dictionary, among others, to include ‘The Celtic Isles’ within their tomes. It is an unoffensive description, and yet more accurate. It is also one more method of righting yet another wrong perpetrated upon a long-suffering people. Every battle counts.