What's the adjective for the country of Ireland (Eire in Irish) that specifically excludes Northern Ireland? For example when referring to the accent of people from the the Republic of Ireland but not to Ulster.
Ireland is geographically the whole island and politically consists of two countries:
- in the north is Northern Ireland, or Ulster
- in the south is Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland, and Eire in Irish
Language Log lists only "Irish" as the adjective to refer to the Republic of Ireland. For Ulster, "Northern Irish" is sometimes used as the adjective but "Northern Ireland" is 10 times more common (plus "British" is sometimes used).
You could write "Southern Irish" but I think this is wrong because it suggests the name of the Republic is "Southern Ireland", which it is not.
I think "southern Irish" is better as it doesn't make this suggestion, although it leaves some ambiguity: it could instead refer to the south of the geographical island of Ireland (just the southern parts of the Republic of Ireland).
Is capitalised "Southern Irish" in any way offensive to Irish people? Is "southern Irish" any better? Or is this just a matter of style?
Of course, there may be no simple, unabiguously clear adjective; the whole subject of the overlapping political and geographical names of Ireland and Britain is complicated as is clear from Language Log and Wikipedia, as are distinctions between British and Irish/Scottish/Welsh/English.