The Irish Times, traditionally the paper of the southern Protestant business class, but now simply the leading liberal Dublin paper, correctly referred to the cross-border shoppers as "Cross-Border shoppers" or "Shoppers from the Republic":
The BBC, although referring to "Southern shoppers" in the title of their story, and further referring to "Shoppers from the Irish Republic" slip into a rather lazy negation of both fact and law by then calling these shoppers "one-in-six Irish households" – apparently forgetting that almost a third of 'Irish households' may be living north of the border.
Worst, though, is RTÉ – the state broadcaster of the southern state – which ought to know better. It refers to the shoppers simply as "Irish shoppers", as if nobody north of the border is Irish.
It might be instructive for RTÉ to reflect on the Good Friday Agreement, which states that:
"The participants [ … ] will recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose"The GFA, if anyone in RTÉ wishes to check, forms part of the Constitution – the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1998 "allowed the State to consent to be bound by the British-Irish Agreement done at Belfast on 10 April 1998", and introduced this change into Article 2:
"It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation."
As the state broadcaster RTÉ has an obligation to recognise that the term 'Irish shopper' does not apply uniquely to those who live in the state.
It is unacceptable that the state broadcaster should respect the constitution under which it operates less than either a commercial newspaper, or the state broadcaster of the UK.
Update (4 December, evening):
Congratulations to reader Nordie Northsider (who contacted RTÉ), and fair play (belatedly) to RTÉ - the text of their article has now been changed to "Shoppers from Republic" and "Consumers from the Republic of Ireland".