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Éire
Éire
(Irish: [ˈeːɾʲə] ( listen)) is Irish for "Ireland", the name of an island and a sovereign state. The English pronunciation is /ˈɛərə/ (AIR-ə).

Contents

1 Etymology

1.1 Difference between Éire
Éire
and Erin

2 As a state name 3 Spelling Eire rather than Éire 4 Other uses 5 Footnotes 6 Bibliography

Etymology[edit] Further information: Ériu, Erin, Hibernia, and Iverni The modern Irish Éire
Éire
evolved from the Old Irish word Ériu, which was the name of a Gaelic goddess. Ériu
Ériu
is generally believed to have been the matron goddess of Ireland, a goddess of sovereignty, or simply a goddess of the land. The origin of Ériu
Ériu
has been traced to the Proto-Celtic reconstruction *Φīwerjon- (nominative singular Φīwerjū < Pre- Proto-Celtic -jō).[1] This suggests a descent from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction *piHwerjon-, likely related to the adjectival stem *piHwer- (cf. Sanskrit
Sanskrit
pīvan, pīvarī and pīvara meaning "fat, full, abounding"). This would suggest a meaning of "abundant land". This Proto-Celtic form became Īweriū or Īveriū in Proto-Goidelic.[2] It is highly likely that explorers borrowed and modified this term. During his exploration of northwest Europe (circa 320 BC), Pytheas of Massilia
Pytheas of Massilia
called the island Ierne (written Ἰέρνη). In his book Geographia (circa 150 AD), Claudius Ptolemaeus called the island Iouernia (written Ἰουερνία). Based on these historical accounts, the Roman Empire called the island Hibernia. The evolution of the word would follow as such:

Proto-Celtic *Φīwerjon- (nominative singular *Φīwerjū)

Proto-Goidelic *Īweriū or *Īveriū

Old Irish Ériu

Modern Irish Éire

A 19th century proposal, which does not follow modern standards of etymology, derives the name from Scottish Gaelic:

ì (island) + thairr (west) + fónn (land), which together give ì-iar-fhónn, or "westland isle"[3]

This is similar in meaning to the Norse name for Irish people, "west men", which subsequently gave its name to the Icelandic island of Vestmannaeyjar. Difference between Éire
Éire
and Erin[edit] While Éire
Éire
is simply the name for the island of Ireland
Ireland
in the Irish language, and sometimes used in English, Erin
Erin
is a common poetic name for Ireland, as in Erin
Erin
go bragh. The distinction between the two is one of the difference between cases of nouns in Irish. Éire
Éire
is the nominative case, the case that (in the modern Gaelic languages) is used for nouns that are the subject of a sentence, i.e., the noun that is doing something as well as the direct object of a sentence. Erin derives from Éirinn, the Irish dative case of Éire, which has replaced the nominative case in Déise Irish and some non-standard sub-dialects elsewhere, in Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
(where the usual word for Ireland
Ireland
is Èirinn) and Manx (a form of Gaelic), where the word is spelled "Nerin," with the initial n- probably representing a fossilisation of the preposition in/an "in" (cf. Irish in Éirinn, Scottish an Èirinn/ann an Èirinn "in Ireland"). The genitive case, Éireann, is used in the Gaelic forms of the titles of companies and institutions in Ireland
Ireland
e.g. Iarnród Éireann
Iarnród Éireann
(Irish Rail), Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament), Poblacht na hÉireann (The Republic of Ireland) or Tuaisceart Éireann (Northern Ireland) As a state name[edit]

Ireland
Ireland
uses Éire
Éire
as the country name on both its postage stamps and coinage.

Main article: Names of the Irish state Article 4 of the Irish constitution adopted in 1937 by the government under Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
states that Éire
Éire
is the name of the state, or in the English language, Ireland.[4] The Constitution's English-language preamble also described the population as "We, the people of Éire". Despite the fact that Article 8 designated Irish as the "national" and "first official" language, Éire
Éire
has to some extent passed out of everyday conversation and literature, and the state is referred to as Ireland
Ireland
or its equivalent in all other languages. The name "Éire" has been used on Irish postage stamps since 1922;[5] on all Irish coinage
Irish coinage
(including Irish euro coins); and together with "Ireland" on passports and other official state documents issued since 1937. "Éire" is used on the Seal of the President of Ireland. Initially after independence the United Kingdom insisted on using only the name "Eire" and refused to accept the name "Ireland". It adopted the Eire (Confirmation of Agreements) Act 1938
Eire (Confirmation of Agreements) Act 1938
putting in law that position. At the 1948 Summer Olympics
1948 Summer Olympics
the organisers insisted that the Irish team march under the banner "Eire" notwithstanding that every other team was marching according to what their name was in English.[6] The UK Government used what some Irish politicians stated were "sneering titles such as Eirish".[7] The UK Government would refer to "Eire Ministers" and the "Eireann Army" and generally avoid all reference to "Ireland" in connection with the state. The Ireland Act 1949 changed this to "Republic of Ireland". It was not until after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement
Good Friday Agreement
that the UK government accepted the preferred name of simply "Ireland", at the same time as Ireland dropped its territorial claim over Northern Ireland. Before the 1937 Constitution, "Saorstát Éireann" (the Irish name of the Irish Free State) was generally used.[8] During the Emergency (as World War II
World War II
was known), Irish ships had "EIRE" (and the Irish tricolour) painted large on their sides and deck, to identify them as neutrals.

Irish Oak torpedoed mid-Atlantic, oil by Kenneth King, showing "EIRE" prominently. (National Maritime Museum of Ireland)

In 1922–1938 the international plate on Irish cars was "SE". From 1938 to 1962 it was marked "EIR", short for Éire. In 1961 statutory instrument no. 269 allowed "IRL",[9] and by 1962 "IRL" had been adopted. Irish politician Bernard Commons TD suggested to the Dáil
Dáil
in 1950 that the government examine "the tourist identification plate bearing the letters EIR ... with a view to the adoption of identification letters more readily associated with this country by foreigners".[10] "EIR" is also shown in other legislation such as the car insurance statutory instrument no. 383 of 1952 and no. 82 of 1958.[11][12] Under the 1947 Convention Irish-registered aircraft have carried a registration mark starting "EI" for Éire. From January 2007, the Irish government nameplates at meetings of the European Union
European Union
have borne both Éire
Éire
and Ireland, following the adoption of Irish as a working language of the European Union.

Spelling Eire rather than Éire[edit] When Irish-language texts were printed in Gaelic type, diacritics were retained on upper-case letters as for lower-case letters. From the later 1940s, in conjunction with other reforms, printing switched to the same "Roman type" used for most other Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
languages. There was some uncertainty about whether the síneadh fada (acute accent) should be written on upper-case letters. While it was preserved in all-Irish texts, it was often omitted when short fragments of Irish appeared alone or in English texts. Noel Davern asked in the Dáil
Dáil
in 1974 why Irish stamps had EIRE rather than ÉIRE. The reply from the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs was:[13]

The accent has been omitted on most Irish stamps issued over the past ten years in the interests of artistic balance and in accordance with a common practice in the printing of Irish in Roman script for display purposes. This is a prevailing typographical convention and is common to several European languages, including French.

The spelling Eire is generally deplored by Irish-speakers as worse than a misspelling, because eire is a separate word, meaning "a burden, load or encumbrance".[13][14] The minister in 1974 stated, "The word on the stamp ... does not mean 'eire' and it is not understood to mean 'eire' by anybody except Davern."[13] Stamps later reverted to a Gaelic type
Gaelic type
with the accent preserved. In 1938 the British government provided in the Eire (Confirmation of Agreements) Act 1938 that British legislation could henceforth refer to the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
as "Eire" (but not as "Ireland"). The 1938 Act was repealed in 1981, and in 1996 a British journalist described Eire as "now an oddity rarely used, an out-of-date reference".[15] Founded in 1937, the Eire Society of Boston is an influential Irish-American
Irish-American
group.[16] Other uses[edit] Éire
Éire
has also been incorporated into the names of Irish commercial and social entities, such as Eir (formerly Eircom and Telecom Éireann) and its former mobile phone network, Eircell.[17] In 2006 the Irish electricity network was devolved to EirGrid. The company "BetEire Flow" (eFlow), named as a pun on "better", is a French consortium running the electronic tolling system at the West-Link bridge west of Dublin.[18] According to the Dublin Companies Registration Office in 2008, over 500 company names incorporate the word Éire
Éire
in some form.[19] Sometimes the incorporation is used for humorous or ironic effect, such as the sub reddit for Irish software developers named "DevelEire",[20] or Cormac Ó Gráda's "Éirvana" paper in 2007 on the Celtic Tiger
Celtic Tiger
economy.[21] Footnotes[edit]

^ Proto-Celtic—English lexicon ^ Mallory, J.P. and D.Q. Adams, ed. Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Pub., 1997, p. 194 ^ Forbes, John (1848), The Principles of Gaelic Grammar (2nd ed.), Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, p. 160, The Celtic words ì, inns, an island, will forma key to the etymology of the names of many insular and peninsular places in the world; as, Ile, Islay. Jura or Iura, Jura. Uist, Uist, Inchkeith, isle of Keith. Eireinn, or Eirionn, ì-iar-fhónn, wetland isle; Ireland.  ^ "Constitution of Ireland". Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved on 14 March 2007 ^ Hamilton-Bowen, Roy (2009). Roy Hamilton-Bowen, ed. Hibernian Handbook and Catalogue of the Postage Stamps of Ireland. Rodgau, Germany: Rodgau Philatelic Service GmbH.  ^ 1948 Olympic team members honoured at Dublin ceremony ^ Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
- Volume 96 - 11 April 1945 -Ceisteanna—Questions ^ http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1922/en/act/pub/0001/sched1.html ^ SI 269 of 1961:"...the letters EIR are used to indicate the name of the State but the letters IRL may be substituted therefor." ^ " Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
– Volume 119 - 22 March, 1950 – Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. – Motor Identification Letters". Historical-debates.oireachtas.ie. 22 March 1950. Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ "SI 82 of 1958 text". Irishstatutebook.ie. 31 December 1959. Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ "SI 383 of 1952". Irishstatutebook.ie. Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ a b c "Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Irish Postage Stamps". Dáil
Dáil
debates. 271 (8): 38 cc.1140–1. 28 March 1974.  ^ McBain, A. (1982). An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language. Edinburgh: Clark Constable. ISBN 0-901771-68-6. Retrieved 20 August 2011.  ^ Wilson, John (1996). Understanding journalism: a guide to issues. Routledge. p. 269. ISBN 9780415115995. Retrieved 29 May 2013.  ^ The Eire Society of Boston's history page on-line (seen on 25 August 2011) ^ "eir homepage". Eir.ie. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ "National Roads Authority statement 2007". Nra.ie. Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ "CRO search page". Cro.ie. Retrieved 26 March 2010.  ^ [1] ^ "Some recent social changes are not easily linked with the Tiger per se" (PDF). Retrieved 26 March 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

Look up Éire
Éire
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Noel Browne, Against the Tide Constitution of Ireland
Ireland
(1937) Stephen Collins, The Cosgrave Legacy Tim Pat Coogan, De Valera (Hutchinson, 1993) Brian Farrell, De Valera's Constitution and Ours F.S.L. Lyons, Ireland
Ireland
since the Famine David Gwynn Morgan, Constitutional Law of Ireland Tim Murphy and Patrick Twomey (eds.) Ireland's Evolving Constitution: 1937–1997 Collected Essays (Hart, 1998) ISBN 1-901362-17-5 Alan J. Ward, The Irish Constitutional Tradition: Responsible Government and Modern Ireland
Ireland
1782–1992 (Irish Academic Press, 1994) ISBN&

.