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Northerners who call the South "The Free State"


IrishWelshCelt

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Oct 13, 2012
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Today I noticed my mate from Belfast on Facebook saying he was heading home for the weekend with a few bars of Free State Chocolate (ours is much better apparently!) and it got me thinking, do many people still call the south the free state?

The guy in question is 25 so has obviously never known it as the free state officially and I assumed with older people it was simply a case of thats what it was called when they grew up, similar to my own father still calling Czech Republic/Slovakia Czechoslovakia! I've also heard people give numerous other explanations for its use by catholics and protestants - namely catholics call it the free state as it is 'free from British rule' while protestants simply dislike the use of the term 'Ireland' (I dont buy that one).

So for anyone that knows, what is the exact reasoning behind it? Is it just something people pick up from their parents or a concious decision? Do people care if they call it the free state?
 

Ren84

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Jan 14, 2011
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It's a silly term alright. Anyone using it call it "The Republic" or "The South" and stop being silly.
 

death or glory

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Even nationalists I know say it shoudn't be called the free state as it is anything but free due to the expensive cost of living. Personally I like to think of it as the Bankrupt pathetic sectarian, mono-ethnic, mono-cultural 26 county state of Ireland.
 

Ren84

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Even nationalists I know say it shoudn't be called the free state as it is anything but free due to the expensive cost of living. Personally I like................
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Castle Ray

My grandparents called the Republic the "Free State". They were very much Irish and proudly identified as such. I've always considered that state to be called Eire. It's what they also put on their currency and stamps. Apparently that's not popular these days either. I never hear "Free State" but Ireland is what the Republic is referred to as these days. That's totally inaccurate as I live in Ireland but don't live in Ireland. That state has never managed to establish a suitable and distinctive name for itself. A bit sad and delusionery really but no odds.
 

IrishWelshCelt

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My grandparents called the Republic the "Free State". They were very much Irish and proudly identified as such. I've always considered that state to be called Eire. It's what they also put on their currency and stamps. Apparently that's not popular these days either. I never hear "Free State" but Ireland is what the Republic is referred to as these days. That's totally inaccurate as I live in Ireland but don't live in Ireland. That state has never managed to establish a suitable and distinctive name for itself. A bit sad and delusionery really but no odds.
While everyone here is aware of Éire as the Irish name for the state it isnt used in general beside on coins/government documents. I always call it Ireland when some asks me as I consider Ireland to be the 32 counties however conveniently it is also the official name of the state. I've always noticed it with people from the mainland UK that they always refer to it as the "Republic of Ireland", something FIFA is probably to blame for due to the fact they forced us to change the name from Ireland as the team representing the 6 counties both used it at the time.
 
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Castle Ray

While everyone here is aware of Éire as the Irish name for the state it isnt used in general beside on coins/government documents. I always call it Ireland when some asks me as I consider Ireland to be the 32 counties however conveniently it is also the official name of the state. I've always noticed it with people from the mainland UK that they always refer to it as the "Republic of Ireland", something FIFA is probably to blame for due to the fact they forced us to change the name from Ireland as the team representing the 6 counties both used it at the time.
I know plenty of people who call it Eire. Calling it the Free Stste seems very old fashioned even though I understand what it means. Calling that state Ireland is just exclusive, divisive, insulting and undoubtedly wrong to me as an Irishman from Ireland.
 

IrishWelshCelt

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I know plenty of people who call it Eire. Calling it the Free Stste seems very old fashioned even though I understand what it means. Calling that state Ireland is just exclusive, divisive, insulting and undoubtedly wrong to me as an Irishman from Ireland.
Is it insulting if the state is called Ireland?

Also you consider yourself Irish? I always thought you were unionist, or am I mixing you up with someone else?
 

caulfield

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My parents and family all used the term Free State. As a result I'd use it occasionally without thinking about it. No political meaning just a turn of phrase. Nowadays would normally say "the Republic"
 

Ren84

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Is it insulting if the state is called Ireland?

Also you consider yourself Irish? I always thought you were unionist, or am I mixing you up with someone else?
Castle "Eire" Ray isn't Irish, just a confused wanabee Brit.
 

runwiththewind

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Even nationalists I know say it shoudn't be called the free state as it is anything but free due to the expensive cost of living. Personally I like to think of it as the Bankrupt pathetic sectarian, mono-ethnic, mono-cultural 26 county state of Ireland.
Says the pathetic sectarian uneducated clown who though Brian and Ryan were Protestant names.
 

Mattarigna

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I know plenty of people who call it Eire. Calling it the Free Stste seems very old fashioned even though I understand what it means. Calling that state Ireland is just exclusive, divisive, insulting and undoubtedly wrong to me as an Irishman from Ireland.
Well, what can you call the Republic of Ireland, then?
Calling it "Éire" is inaccurate, as it also refers to the whole island of Ireland.
 

Mattarigna

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Even nationalists I know say it shoudn't be called the free state as it is anything but free due to the expensive cost of living. Personally I like to think of it as the Bankrupt pathetic sectarian, mono-ethnic, mono-cultural 26 county state of Ireland.
Bullshyte.
 

Dub01

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Dec 7, 2010
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I know plenty of people who call it Eire. Calling it the Free Stste seems very old fashioned even though I understand what it means. Calling that state Ireland is just exclusive, divisive, insulting and undoubtedly wrong to me as an Irishman from Ireland.
The term Eire is only used when speaking in the Irish language, as every idiot knows.

The name of this country is Ireland.
 

Ren84

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Well, what can you call the Republic of Ireland, then?
Calling it "Éire" is inaccurate, as it also refers to the whole island of Ireland.
I wonder does Eire Ray also refer to Japan as 日本 (Nihon) or Germany as Bundesrepublik Deutschland? :rolleyes:
 

Glenshane4

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Sep 5, 2012
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I've also heard people give numerous other explanations for its use by catholics and protestants - namely catholics call it the free state as it is 'free from British rule' while protestants simply dislike the use of the term 'Ireland' (I dont buy that one).

So for anyone that knows, what is the exact reasoning behind it? Is it just something people pick up from their parents or a concious decision? Do people care if they call it the free state?
Probably habit - part of the language one learns from one's parents, relations and neighbours.
 

Jaymac

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Mar 9, 2010
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I thought the term free state / free stater was used in a more disparaging sense these days towards someone viewed as partitionist?
 
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Castle Ray

Is it insulting if the state is called Ireland?

Also you consider yourself Irish? I always thought you were unionist, or am I mixing you up with someone else?
I find it inaccurate and insulting.

Yes I am Irish and yes I am pro-Union.
 
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