Belfast Telegraph

The Republic is not 'Ireland', Gerry Adams tells Coveney

Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has appealed to the Irish government not to refer to the Republic of Ireland as "Ireland".

Speaking during a Dail debate on Thursday Mr Adams told Tanaiste Simon Coveney that the Republic of Ireland should not be referred to as Ireland "in the interests of geographical accuracy".

The Louth TD called on "the government and others to stop describing this state as Ireland".

"This is not Ireland. Its title is the Republic of Ireland. Ireland is the entire island as we all know," Mr Adams said.

During a debate on contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit Mr Adams also called on the Irish government to oppose the implementation of direct rule in Northern Ireland.

The former Sinn Fein leader also queried the Irish government's commitment to "no physical infrastructure or related checks or controls" at the Irish border after Brexit.

Mr Adams said he was told by Transport Minister Shane Ross that the government had asked the EU commission to "set aside" the use of the Green Cards for Northern Ireland drivers crossing the border.

He said that he understood the "EU appears to be saying no", meaning drivers from Northern Ireland would need the cards as proof of insurance.

The veteran republican also asked the government to remain mindful that Northern Ireland had voted in favour of remaining in the EU.

In their report on no-deal preparations the Irish government said there was "a risk that the UK government might initiate a move to direct rule" in Northern Ireland.

Mr Adams asked if the Irish government had made contact with their UK counterparts on the issue and asked them if they were opposed to the plan.

"And will the government move beyond the rhetoric and if the British government move in that direction will you commit to using our diplomatic services and all available international forum to prevent this," Mr Adams asked.

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