This paper explores the feasibility and plausibility of the emergence of an IrishBritish form of identification. We examine the possibility of such a hyphenated identity category in the context of those who consider themselves to be Irish whilst residing under the jurisdiction of the British state. The key developments in official recognition of new forms of identification in the Western Isles that may point to the emergence of an Irish-British identity are the inclusion of an “Irish” category in the 2001 British censuses and the recognition of a dual Irish and British identity as part of the Belfast Agreement in 1998. We examine these developments and assess the degree to which they support the notion of hyphenated identities. Our assessment draws a comparison between the meaning of identification in the European context and that of the United States of America and concludes that the continued dominance of territorially-defined national identities in Europe precludes the development of a hyphenated Irish-British identification along the lines of those prevalent in the USA.
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