Saturday, 9 February 2013
Phil Flanagan and An Taoiseach
I don't tweet or follow people on Twitter but Newton Emerson has picked up on a tweet from Phil Flanagan on Tuesday. Phil, a Sinn Fein MLA from Fermanagh, tweeted: 'Note to all BBC journalists. The 'Irish Prime Minister' is called An Taoiseach. '
Well Phil if you are going to use the Irish Gaelic term for the prime minister of the Irish Republic, then perhaps you will also accept the Irish Gaelic version of Ireland. The country south of the border is then Eire and of course that was how it was named in many Northern Ireland newspapers through to the 1970s.
According to John Thomas Koch, in his book Celtic Culture: a historical encyclopedia, it is an early word meaning 'leader' and appears in a 5th or 6th century ogham inscription in both the Gaelic and Brythonic languages.
The term An Taoiseach was introduced by Eamon de Valera in the 1937 constitution and replaced the earlier term President of the Executive Council.
Posted by Nelson McCausland MLA at 12:37