Glossaries and abbreviations



The following is a list of the most common abbreviated terms and phrases in the online edition of DIFP, covering both documents and editorial matter, based on the lists of abbreviations included in the published volumes in the DIFP series. Other abbreviations have been spelt out in the text.

AARIR American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic
ACRI American Committee for Relief in Ireland
ALUI American League for an Undivided Ireland
BTNI British Troops in Northern Ireland
CEEC Conference on European Economic Co-operation
CRO Commonwealth Relations Office (London)
DDA Dublin Diocesan Archives
DE Dáil Éíreann series files, National Archives, Dublin
D.Eir Dáil Éireann
DFA Department of Foreign Affairs collection, National Archives, Dublin
DFIN Department of Finance collection, National Archives, Dublin
DT S Department of the Taoiseach, S series files, National Archives, Dublin
ECA European Co-operation Administration
EPU European Payments Union
ERP European Recovery Program (The Marshall Plan)
ES Early Series files, Department of Foreign Affairs collection, National Archives, Dublin
EEC European Economic Community
EFTA European Free Trade Association
FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation
G2 Irish Military Intelligence
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GNR Great Northern Railway
GOC General Officer Commanding
IBRD International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organisation
ILO International Labour Organisation
IMF International Monetary Fund
IPP Irish Parliamentary Party
IRA Irish Republican Army
LOP Look-Out Post
MF Minister for Finance
MP Member of Parliament (UK)
MSA Mutual Security Act (United States)
NAI National Archives of Ireland, Dublin
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
OEEC Organisation for European Economic Co-operation
ONUC Organisation des Nations Unies au Congo
OSS Office of Strategic Services
PMUN Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York
RUC Royal Ulster Constabulary
SdeN Société des Nations
TCD Trinity College Dublin
TD Teachta Dála (Member of Dáil Éireann)
TNA The National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office), Kew, London
TSCH/3/S Department of the Taoiseach, S series files, National Archives, Dublin
UCC University College Cork
UCDA University College Dublin, Archives Department
UCG University College Galway (now National University of Ireland Galway)
UNESCO United Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Organisation
UNOGIL United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon
UNO United Nations Organisation
UNRRA United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
UNTSO United Nations Truce Supervision Organization
USFA Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs

Glossary of diplomatic terms

The highest-ranking diplomatic representative. Prior to the appointment of Ireland’s first ambassador in 1946, to the Holy See, Irish diplomats were appointed at the lower rank of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary.

Chargé d’affaires
A diplomat who will deputise for a serving ambassador in his or her absence, or who will be placed in temporary charge of an embassy while awaiting the formal appointment of an ambassador. The post has no relation to diplomatic rank, but is normally held by mid-level or higher-level diplomats.

Consulate/Consulate general
The official representation of a state, assisting and protecting the interests of that state’s citizens in another state, perhaps through offices in several locations, each of which is headed by a Consul/Consul General. A Consul General is at higher ranking than a Consul.

A high-level diplomatic rank, below the highest-level position of ambassador. Appointments at this level first began in the Irish diplomatic service in the late 1940s.

The documentation confirming the appointment of an ambassador, which is presented to the head of state of the country to which the ambassador is posted.

Dáil Éireann
Literally, ‘Assembly of Ireland’: the name of the Irish parliament, originally established in 1919 prior to independence.

Diplomatic bag
The term for packages sent between states and their diplomatic missions, which may not be interfered with or opened while in transit.

A diplomatic mission comprising the chancellery, residence and diplomatic and official staff, and headed by an ambassador.

Envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary
An older term for the head of a diplomatic mission, below the rank of ambassador; often abbreviated in the context of diplomacy to ‘minister’; this should not be confused with the religious term or the term for members of a government.

First secretary
A mid-level diplomatic ranking, below the rank of counsellor and above third secretary.

High Commissioner
During Ireland’s 1922 to 1949 membership of the Commonwealth, the most senior Irish diplomatic agents in charge of the Irish mission (High Commission) in London and, from 1939, Ottawa, held the senior diplomatic rank of High Commissioner. After the declaration of the Republic of Ireland in 1949, Ireland’s High Commissioners to London and Ottawa, and since 1946 Canberra, were redesignated ambassadors.

A diplomatic mission headed by a diplomat below ambassadorial rank.

Second secretary
A mid-level diplomatic rank, in use from the inter-war years and again in recent years.

Secretary general
The term for the highest official in an Irish government department, though the term ‘secretary’ was used more commonly for much of the twentieth century.

Literally, ‘chief’ or ‘leader’. The term for the head of the Irish government under the Irish constitution of 1937; the equivalent of ‘Prime Minister’.

Third secretary
The most junior Irish diplomatic rank.

Glossary of Irish language terms

Aire Minister
Aire Dlí agus Cirt Minister for Home Affairs
Aire Lán-chómhachtach Minister Plenipotentiary
Aire un Ghnóthaí Dúithche Minister for Home Affairs
Ard-Aturnae Attorney General
Ard-Fheis Convention
Beir beanacht Kindest regard
Ceilidh An evening of Irish music and dancing
A chara Dear Sir/Dear Madam (lit: friend)
A chara dhílis Dear Sir/Dear Madam (lit: dear friend)
A cháirde Friends (salutation)
a.s Rúnaí (ar son Rúnaí) on behalf of the Secretary (p.p. Secretary)
Comhairle Ceanntair district council
Do chara/Mise, do Chara Yours sincerely (lit: your friend)
Do chara go buan/Do buan chara Your lasting friend
Dáil the Lower House of the Irish parliament
A dhíl/A dhílis Dear (salutation)
Éire Ireland
Garda Síochana Police (lit: Guardians of the Peace)
Gníomh Rúnaí Acting Secretary
Le mór mheas/ le meas mór With much respect
Mise le meas With respect
Oireachtas Parliament
Príomh-Aturnae Attorney General
Príomh-Bhreitheamh Chief Justice
Rúniaí/Rúnaidhe Secretary
Saorstát Free State
Saorstát Eireann/An Saorstát Irish Free State
Sinn Féin Political party (lit: ourselves)
t.c. Rúnaí (thar ceann Rúnaí) On behalf of the Secretary
Teachta Dála (TD) Dail deputy
Teachtaire Éireann Representative of Ireland
Uachtarán President

Months of the year

Eanair January
Feabhra February
Márta March
Aibreán April
Bealtaine May
Meitheamh June
Iúil July
Lúnasa August
Meán Fómhair September
Deireadh Fómhair October
Samhain November
Mí na Nollag December