Tuesday, 25 May 2010

'Devolved administrations'

In the wake of the recent announcement from Westminster about budgetary cuts, there was a meeting in Belfast of the first ministers of the administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  This was reported accurately on BBC but on the UTV news it was described as a meeting of the 'Celtic countries'.

I referred to the use of this term on a recent post and it is an inaccurate term.  Northern Ireland is not a 'Celtic country', either lingustically or ethnically.  There are some people who speak Gaelic but it is a minority language and so we are not a Celtic country in a linguistic sense.  Neither are we a Celtic country in an ethnic sense as many peoples have arrived and settled in Ulster down through the years - Pre-Celts, Cruithin, Celts, Vikings, Anglo-Normans, English, Scots and Welsh.  My mother's family were originally of Dutch origin, although she was born in Scotland.

The use of the term 'Celtic countries' is therefore erroneous.


  1. That does not surprise me at all about Ulster Television. I gave up on them years ago! What a contrast with Brum Henderson's day, when English folk songs were played during interludes.

  2. Mr McCausland, can you give us more information on the "alternative views on the origin of the universe" which the BBC reports you have asked National Museums NI to address in their exhibits?

  3. If you are going to be that pedantic, then you should also be complaining about UTV being erroneously named, seeing as it only covers 6 of the 9 counties of Ulster. You seem to be very insecure about the identity of NI-folk. I guess you have a problem with this organisation as well then?


    Do you refute Scotland's identity as a Celtic nation? Surely a cultural identity linking Ireland (north and south) and Scotland should be a positive thing in your eyes?

    Ulster's rugby team play in what was called the Celtic league before the Magners sponsorship deal brought about its renaming...

    Surely we've all got better things to do with our time than get wound up about complete non-events like this?

  4. McCausland is a Celtic name - the "Mc" gives it away - linguistically and ethnically. That old poppy cock you go on about NI not being Celtic has no basis in fact and your logic is flawed. Your aversion to the term 'Celtic' is so obviously sectarian that it belongs in the terraces of Ibrox or Parkhead.

  5. You sound so so bitter!! the two of you! Typical DUP!

  6. John - you state that Northern Ireland 'covers 6 of the 9 counties of Ulster'. In fact Ulster has varied in its extent throughout history and the 9 county Ulster was created at the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Back at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ulster, the Earldom of Ulster, a title that now resides in the Royal Family, referred to an Ulster that was equivalent to the modern counties of Antrim and Down ie a 2 county Ulster!

  7. Nelson I am fully aware of that as you have mentioned it before on this blog. However, modern-day Ulster consists of 9 counties.

    Furthermore, your argument is pretty flawed.

    Are we a British country ethnically? Can't imagine there are too many Britons who took part in the plantations, nor do we speak a "British" language - we speak an Anglo-Saxon/French hybrid.

    As someone on another blog said, if Ian Smith had come out and said that Rhodesia was not an African country ethnically as it was run by whites, or linguistically as they spoke English, he would have been lambasted as even more of a bigot.

  8. John - Perhaps it would be helpful if you could explain to me why and in what sense it would be right to describe Northern Ireland as a 'Celtic country'?

    As regards the use of the word Ulster, I was simply reflecting the fact that the arrival of Scottish and English settlers preceded the formation of Northern Ireland. However I regularly refer to Northern Ireland as Ulster. I suppose it is similar to the use of the word Ireland, which sometimes refers to 26 counties and sometimes to 32 counties.

    In my post I did not use the word British but you say you 'can't imagine there are too many Britons who took part in the plantations.' In fact the Scottish and English settlers in Ulster were ddescribed as the time as 'British'. For conformation of that you might refer to the book 'The Scottish Migration to Ulster in the Reign of James I' by M Perceval-Maxwell, which is published by the Ulster Historical Foundation.