Top unionist’s bid to reclaim ‘Ireland’
Where is Northern Ireland? It seemed a strange question from veteran Ulster Unionist and defender of the union, John Taylor.
Now known as Lord Kilclooney, the former Stormont home affairs minister posed the question to the European Commission in September 1980.
He queried if was correct that the permanent representative of the Republic of Ireland to the Community had made representations to use in all references and correspondence to the term 'Ireland' when referring to the nation of the southern part of the island of Ireland.
"Is the Commission aware that this. . . is offensive to the community electors in Northern Ireland?" Mr Taylor asked.
"The Northern Irish electorate is over one million voters. Since Northern Ireland is not in England, Wales or Scotland and, if the term 'Ireland' is now to be restricted to the southern part of the Irish island, where, in Commission terminology, is Northern Ireland?"