Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Ireland-related articles

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

These guidelines cover the style of language and writing to be used in

talk page

Irish-language conventions

Article titles

Where a subject has both an English and an Irish version of their name, use the English version if it is more common among English speakers. Create a redirect page at the Irish version of the name as appropriate.

Conversely, when the Irish version is more common among English speakers, use the Irish version as the title of the article. Mention the English name in the first line of the article.

In-article use

An Irish version of a subject's English-language name may be given in the first sentence of the lead of an article on that subject if it is a well-known, commonly used name for that subject. It may also be used in the appropriate field of an infobox. If there is no commonly used Irish version, it is not appropriate or encyclopaedic to "invent" such names, as this constitutes

original research. The mere fact that an Irish name appears in certain sources, such as dictionaries or databases, is not sufficient evidence that it is commonly used. Articles on general topics such as Irish art, Transport in Ireland
etc. should not have an Irish translation in the first sentence or the infobox.

Irish words and phrases should be encased in {{lang}}, either:

  • {{lang-ga|Páirtí an Lucht Oibre}}

which renders like this:

  • Irish: Páirtí an Lucht Oibre


  • {{lang|ga|Páirtí an Lucht Oibre}}

which renders like this:

  • Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

This enables speech synthesizers to pronounce the text in the correct language and has other benefits. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility#Other_languages.


When transcribing from Irish texts which contain

), reflect modern usage by replacing the dot with an 'h'. Example:

  • AeḋAedh
  • AoḋAodh
  • DoṁnallDomhnall
  • Ruaiḋri → Ruaidhrí

The síneadh fada (or acute accent) should be used when Irish spelling requires it e.g. "Mary Robinson (Máire Mhic Róibín)", not "Mary Robinson (Maire Mhic Roibin)".

Place names

Common names

The guidelines for Irish language names, above, apply to place names.

In deciding article titles:

Where the English- and Irish-language names are the same or very nearly the same, but the spellings differ, use the English spelling. Example:

Where the English- and Irish-language names are different:

  • and the English name predominates in English, use the English name (Wicklow, not Cill Mhantáin);
  • and the Irish name is the official name, but has not yet gained favour in English, use the English name (Newbridge, not Droichead Nua);
  • and the Irish name is official and has gained favour in English, use the official Irish name (Dún Laoghaire, not Dunleary).


Connaught Telegraph

The remainder of the article should use only the place name as titled in the article. An exception to this is when a portion of the article is providing information specific to the naming of the place.

When mentioning other locales in the context of the article, conform to the rules for article titling above but do not include the alternative name along with it. An exception might be in the case of a name that is unlikely to have an article of its own. However, if a place name is significant enough to warrant both an English and an Irish name, it is probably significant enough for an article of its own, however brief.

Other names

For articles on places on the island of Ireland, show the modern name in English, Irish and, if appropriate, Scots in the infobox if the article has one.

For places in the Republic of Ireland, other names should be shown in parentheses immediately after the common name in the lead. For places in Northern Ireland, only show non-English-language names in parentheses after the bolded name if the name in that language demonstrates the origin of the common name. Other names and etymologies can be described in the body of the article (after the lead, if the article has one).

The meaning of non-English place names should be given if known. All such meanings should be fully cited. For names that appear in the lead, provide the meaning in parenthesis immediately after the common name. Otherwise, provide the meaning in the body of the article (after the lead, if the article has one).


  • For places in the Republic of Ireland:
Drogheda (Irish: Droichead Átha)[1] ...
Wexford (from
Old Norse Veisafjǫrðr 'inlet of the mud flat';[1] Irish
: Loch Garman, meaning 'lake of Garman')[2]...
  • For places in Northern Ireland whose names are not derived from English:
Dungannon (from Irish Dún Geanainn, meaning 'Geanann's stronghold')[1]...
Strangford (from
Old Norse Strangr-fjǫrðr 'strong fjord
  • For places in Northern Ireland whose names are derived from English, the other names should only appear in the infobox along with a source.

Generally speaking, contemporary names should reflect contemporary spelling. All place names given should be attributable to reliable sources. If different sourced modern versions exist, i.e. Tulach Lios or Tulaigh Lis, a website ( developed by the Placenames Branch of the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs in the Republic of Ireland, and used by the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland, can be used to provide a generally accepted spelling – in this case Tulaigh Lis. This site lists the official English and Irish forms of place names within the Republic of Ireland. The Irish names it lists for places within Northern Ireland do not have legal status. They are, however, used by the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland to produce authoritative Irish versions of place names in Northern Ireland.

Referring to counties

When entering counties into Wikipedia use the full term County, not Co or Co.. The use of Co. is generally localised to Ireland and not always understood by the global community. For example, write County Galway, not Co. Galway or [[County Galway|Co. Galway]].

Use the full county name (i.e. County X) when referring to counties, rather than abbreviating to short name (i.e. X). There are normally towns or cities within a county after which the county was named. Use the "short name" to refer only to that place (i.e. County Galway vs. Galway).

When referring to a city, do not follow it with a county, e.g. "Belfast", not "Belfast, County Antrim" or "Belfast, County Down". Similarly, do not follow a town with an eponymous county, e.g. "Sligo", not "Sligo, County Sligo".


To avoid constant renaming of articles (and more), keep a

Stroke City–style terms perplexing to those unfamiliar with the dispute, a compromise solution was proposed and agreed in 2004 regarding the Derry/Londonderry name dispute
, and has been generally accepted as a convention for both article titles and in-article references since then.

Use Derry for the city and County Londonderry for the county in articles. Do not deviate from this merely because the subject relates to a particular side of the political divide, but where an entity uses a particular name, regardless of whether it is Derry or Londonderry, use that name for the entity; thus High Sheriff of Londonderry City, former Derry Central Railway, Derry ~ Londonderry railway station, North West Liberties of Londonderry, and Derry GAA (which will usually be abbreviated to [[Derry GAA|Derry]]).

The naming dispute can be discussed in the articles when appropriate.

Use of Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Concerns have been expressed that using the word Ireland alone can mislead given that it refers to both the island of Ireland and the Irish state (which are not coterminous).

consensus changes

A consensus emerged with respect to referring to the island and the state in other contexts:

  • Use "Ireland" for the state except where the island of Ireland or Northern Ireland is being discussed in the same context. In such circumstances use "Republic of Ireland" (e.g. "Strabane is at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland").
  • An exception is where the state forms a major component of the topic (e.g. on articles relating to states, politics or governance) where "Ireland" should be preferred and the island should be referred to as the "island of Ireland" or similar (e.g. "Ireland is a state in Europe occupying most of the island of Ireland").
  • Regardless of the above guidelines, always use the official titles of state offices (e.g. "Douglas Hyde was the first president of Ireland").
  • Per the
    guideline of the Manual of Style, the names of major geographic features and locations should not be linked, so "Ireland" should not normally be linked. If it is thought necessary to link, in order to establish context or for any other reason, the name of the state must be pipelinked as [[Republic of Ireland|Ireland]].

Trinity College Dublin (usually not University of Dublin)

Unless the specific context requires, refer to

Dublin University. It may be relevant to mention the university in the case of the Dublin University constituency, sports clubs which use Dublin University in their name, or a position specifically related to the university, such as Chancellor of the University of Dublin

Biographical articles

Naming people

The guidelines for Irish language names, above, apply. Example:


  • In Irish orthography, there is a space between Mac and the rest of the surname, e.g. Seán Mac Eoin, Seán Mac Stíofáin; in English orthography, there is no space between the Mc or Mac and the rest of the surname.
  • The Ó in surnames always takes an accent and is followed by a space e.g. Tomás Ó Fiaich, not Tomas O'Fiaich.
  • Mac (son of) is only used for men. Ó (of the family of) is rarely used for women; in most cases use or Nic (Daughter of) or "Mhic" ([Wife] of the son of) or "Uí" (Of the family of) in Irish spellings of women's surnames. (Use O', Mc or Mac for the English forms of women's names.)
  • In alphabetised lists of names on the English-language Wikipedia follow English-language convention and group all Macs etc. together. (The Irish-language convention is to ignore the Mac, Ó etc. prefix and alphabetise by the first letter of the suffix.) Follow this practice even for names in Irish.

Place of birth, death etc.

The place of birth, residence and/or death of people who were born, lived or died before 1921 in what today is Northern Ireland should be given simply as "Ireland", and they should not be described as "Northern Irish". "Ireland" should not normally be linked, but if thought necessary should be linked as [[Ireland]], not [[Northern Ireland|Ireland]]. For people who were born, lived or died in Northern Ireland after 1922 use "Northern Ireland", which will not normally be linked and should never be pipelinked.

For people anywhere else in Ireland at any time, "Ireland" should be used. Should pipelinking be considered necessary, [[Republic of Ireland|Ireland]] can be used after 1922.

Descriptive nouns and adjectives

Do not capitalise the first letter of words such as nationalist, unionist, republican or loyalist, whether used as nouns or adjectives, when describing people. Example:


If a person was educated or taught at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin should not be referenced in that context.

Flag icons

This section deals with the use of flag icons to represent historic and contemporary states on the island of Ireland. Please see also Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Icons.

At this time, neither the island of Ireland nor Northern Ireland has a universally recognised flag. If an organisation uses a flag or banner to represent the island of Ireland or Northern Ireland, use that flag or banner to represent teams, bodies or people under its aegis. If that image is

IRFU banner
). If that is not possible, or if the organisation uses no particular flag or banner, do not use any flag.

A series of templates have been developed to represent Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in sporting and other contexts. These can be seen at: