In the Constitution of 1937 no description was given to the independent sovereign state whose effective jurisdiction covered twenty-six of the thirty-two counties of Ireland. The omission was deliberate. Mr. de Valera explained in 1945 to the Annual Conference of the Fianna Fail party that while the state was a 'sovereign, independent republic, unfortunately it did not cover the whole of Ireland', and for that reason he had not introduced into the Constitution 'the name of Poblacht na h'fiireann because that was a name which was sacred'. The words Poblacht na h'Éireann, or Republic of Ireland, he observed in the Dáil1 the following year, were omitted from the Constitution 'simply because those words had a historical association with the country as a whole, when the Republic was declared here in 1919', and the name of the republic was sacred because the martyrs of 1916 had died for an all-Ireland republic. Fundamental to them and to their successors had been the conception of an inalienable national sovereignty over the whole island which, though in abeyance during centuries of alien rule, had remained in being independent of law, government, or administration. It represented a political reality which even by their own volition the Irish people could not destroy, for, in the language of Rousseau, even the people by the expression of its general will could not divest itself of the sovereignty which resided in it, and in the language of Mr. de Valera, even the people had no right to do wrong. It was thus a conception which was invested with an emotional and moral sanction so all-pervasive that any compromise or seeming subtraction from absolute sovereignty came to be regarded as a betrayal of the national cause.