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Irish History

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Irish History Sites

Irish History - National AOH website

AOH History - National AOH website

Teach Tabhairne Fogra - History Archive

 

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The Irish

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Irish Population 1845 - 1852 / The Great Hunger


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Open publication

Irish Population 1901 - 2006
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Learn more about the Irish population at
Teach Tabhairne Fogra - History Archive

There are hundreds of Irish saints. Here they are by name alphabetically, or by feast day. Many of these saints were canonized in the early middle ages, and not much is known about them except for their names and possibly a feast day. Irish Saints by Feast Day

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St. Patrick
Patron Saint of Ireland


Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland. He helped bring Christianity to Ireland. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick in Scotland in the year of 387 A.D. Between the ages of fourteen and sixteen Patrick was kidnapped from Britain and brought to Ireland were he was sold as a slave to work as a Shepard on an Irish mountain range. Ireland was full of Celts that were Druids and pagans during this era and as a slave he learned the Celtic Language which was spoken in Ireland at that time. Although he wasn’t a religious boy he did spend his time in captivity finding his faith in Christianity.

At 22 years of age, six years after being captured, he managed to escape from Ireland after having a dream from God telling him to leave. From Ireland he went into hiding in a monastery to harden his faith and it was during this time he took on the name Patricius, Pádraig in Irish (Patrick). In another dream he heard the people of Ireland calling “We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more.”

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St. Patrick's Well Stone, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

Patrick, as a Bishop, returned to Slane in County Meath, 433 A.D. recorded in the Annals of Ulster as: Bishop Patrick flourishing in the fervour of the Faith and in the doctrine of Christ in our province.
When he was in his 30′s he became one of the first Christian missionaries in Ireland. One legend says Patrick had met a Chieftain in Meath called Dichu who had tried to kill him but Patrick managed to convert Dichu to Christianity.

St Patrick introduced Christianity and converted thousands of Irish by preaching the gospel. It was Dichu (now known as Saint Dichu) that gave Patrick a gift of a large barn that was converted into his first Church, located in Sabhall, County Down in Ulster.

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St. Patrick's Cross, Rock of Cashel

Patrick with his disciples, Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, traveled all over Ireland teaching his faith, converting clan chiefs, building churches, opening schools and monasteries and convincing many Irish to become monks and nuns. Patrick preached all over Ireland for 40 years mostly in poverty and died on March 17, 461A.D in his Church in Sabhall, County Down.

Saint Patrick used Shamrocks, a three-leaved Clover, to teach the people of Ireland the concept of the Holy Trinity. The Shamrock has been associated with him and the Irish ever since.

History of St. Parrick / St. Patrick's Day

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Irish Traditions on St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated by parades across the world such as United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Russia. Although it is more common that on this day people can claim Irish heritage by ‘wearing of the green’ and celebrating their Irish culture. The United States boasts the largest parades such as the New York City St Patrick’s day parade and Chicago, where the river is dyed green.

March 17th marks the day of St Patrick, celebrated by millions of people around the world. In Ireland, St Patrick’s Day was always held as an important religious day to celebrate the teachings of Christianity by St Patrick.

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Michael Collins

THE EARLY YEARS

On 16 October 1890 Michael Collins was born near Sam's Cross, a tiny hamlet in West Cork, named after Sam Wallace, a local highwayman. Sam's Cross lies between Rosscarbery and Clonakilty. Here, in a picturesque valley between river and sea, the young Michael grew up. As a lad, he spearfished for salmon in the river and played among the cliffs above Black beach and at Cliodhna's Rock. But, as was typical of the times, Michael never learned to swim.

Michael's father, Michael John Collins was sixty years old when he married a local girl, Marianne O'Brien. Marianne was only twenty-three, but they were apparently happy and went on to have eight children. Michael, the youngest, was born when his father was seventy-five.

Michael's father was a farmer by trade, not rich, but living comfortably for the times on a holding of ninety acres. The farm was called Woodfield after a hill in the area. When Michael was six, his father died.

Michael attended national school at Lisavaird, and the schoolmaster there was to have a large influence on Michael's life. For this schoolmaster, Denis Lyons, was an active member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization dedicated to ousting the British from Ireland, by force if necessary. Lyons and the local blacksmith, James Santry, another Fenian, were Michael's first tutors in giving him a sense of pride of the Irish as a race. Throughout Michael Collins' brief life, Irish-ness was the thing that held the greatest meaning for him.

Big for his age, Michael had a keen mind as well as a fit, athletic body. He loved to read. His sister, Mary Ann, heightened his interest in the struggle for nationalism, and because of her, he devoured the writings of men such as poet and Nationalist, Thomas Davis. Worried that he might fall in with a bad sort, his mother sent him to Clonakilty to study for the Post Office examinations and to live with his sister Margaret. Here he worked briefly for his brother-in-law who owned the West Cork People, a newspaper of the area. Michael learned typesetting and wrote articles of local sporting events. After a year and a half, he went to London where he lived with his sister Hannie, in West Kensington and worked for the Postal Savings Bank in West Kensington. He was fifteen. Michael would spend the next nine years in London.

MICHAEL'S YEARS IN LONDON

He was active in the Gaelic Athletic League and in the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). Later, Michael Collins was to become first the secretary and then the president of the IRB.

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MICHAEL COLLINS
Irish Patriot. 1890-1922
Commander-in-Chief, Irish Free State Arm
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THE RISING

In 1916, Michael returned to Dublin to take part in the planned insurrection. He received a Volunteer's uniform and as Captain Michael Collins he was second in command to Joseph Mary Plunkett in the General Post Office during Easter Week. Collins made no secret that he admired the realism of men like Sean Mac Diarmada more than the aesthetic Padraig Pearse. And though he played a minor part in the Rising, his sense of duty and clear-headedness were remembered.

Following the Rising, Michael, as a prisoner of war, was sent to Richmond Barracks and later to Frongoch internment camp in Wales. He returned home to Ireland in December 1916. But it was at Frongoch where Michael Collins' ability as an organizer became recognized. And immediately following his release, he rebuilt the IRB.

ORGANISATION

In 1917, he was elected to the Sinn Fein executive. During 1917 and 1918, his activities included; creating an intelligence network, organizing a national loan to fund a rebellion, creating an assassination squad ("The Twelve Apostles") and an arms-smuggling operation. By 1920, Michael Collins was wanted by the British and had a price of #10,000 stg. on his head.

In 1919, Michael Collins personally, with the help of his friend Harry Boland, another IRB man, went to Lincoln gaol in England to help Eamon de Valera escape. And, during the time de Valera was in America trying to raise money for Sinn Fein, Michael risked his life to regularly visit de Valera's wife Sinead and their children. Michael had a life-long love for older people and for children.

RETALIATION

In January 1919, the Anglo-Irish War began with the first shots being fired at Soloheadbeg. Over the next year, the Royal Irish Constabulary became the target of a Sinn Fein terror campaign. Michael Collins orchestrated this campaign. He felt there would be much to gain by provoking England to war.

By mid-1919, the IRB had infiltrated the leadership of the Volunteers and were directing its pace on the violence. Michael Collins had been made President of the IRB Supreme Council. At the same time, he was Minister for Finance in the Dail government and the commander of the IRA. In June of that year, de Valera left for America and Michael Collins became acting President after Arthur Griffith's arrest in December 1920.

Although Collins and de Valera co-operated, there were differences between them. After the Easter Rising, de Valera had not rejoined the IRB. Cathal Brugha, de Valera's Minister for Defense in the Dail, resented Collins' popularity and his influence over the Volunteers. In an effort to assert control, Brugha had the Volunteers declared the Army of the Irish Republic (IRA).

A NEW MENACE

Britain responded with violence. Special forces were sent over to impose curfews and martial law on the Irish. These forces became known as the Black and Tans after a popular Limerick hunt group, and because of their dark green and khaki uniforms. Another force of veterans from the Great War, called the Auxiliaries, joined them. Thus began a pattern of assassination and reprisal. The IRA employed guerilla tactics, using 'flying columns' to attack British troops. Their knowledge of the countryside made up for their lack of arms. The initial distaste for the killing of RIC men by the IRA gave way to outrage at the savageness of the Crown forces. The reprisals had the effect of identifying the British as the oppressors of the Irish people.

On 21 November 1920 Michael Collins' squad assassinated 14 British officers, effectively destroying the British Secret Service in Ireland. In reprisal, the Black and Tans fired on a crowd watching a football match at Croke Park. Twelve people were killed, including one of the team players. The day became known as Bloody Sunday. News of this and other horrors became known throughout the world.

LOVE TRIANGLE

During this period, Michael, who in the 1918 general election had been elected to Parliament representing South Cork, and Harry Boland, the MP for Roscommon, each vied for the affections of a Longford girl, Catherine Brigid, or more commonly, Kitty Kiernan. From the latter half of 1921 until his death, Michael and Kitty exchanged more than 300 letters. By year's end, Michael had succeeded in winning the fair Kitty and they became engaged.

In May of 1921, the IRA set ablaze the Dublin Customhouse, but Crown forces arrived in time to capture nearly the entire Dublin IRA Brigade. After this action, the IRA were desperately short of men and weapons, but at the same time, the British were completely demoralized with public opinion increasingly against continued repression. The commander of His Majesty's Crown forces in Ireland advised David Lloyd George to 'go all out or get out.' This began the treaty talks.

THE TREATY TALKS

On 12 July 1921, the day after a truce was signed, de Valera led a delegation to London for exploratory talks with the British Prime Minister. These talks broke down after irreconcilable differences developed over the issue of an Irish Republic--a concession Lloyd George was not about to give.

In September of that year, de Valera was elected President of the Irish Republic and he offered to negotiate as representative of a sovereign state. Lloyd George refused. He would allow peace talks only with a view of how Ireland might reconcile their national aspirations within a framework of the community of nations known as the British Empire.

Knowing that neither a Republic nor a united Ireland could be won at such a conference, de Valera refused to attend. Instead, he sent Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins to head the Irish delegation. Neither Griffith nor Collins wanted to go. Michael Collins declared that he was a soldier, not a politician, but the issue went to the Cabinet and was decided by de Valera's casting vote.

De Valera was the most experienced negotiator, but he chose instead, to send others to parley against the far more experienced British team. They were no match for the cunning Lloyd George, who was called the "Welsh Wizard." One historian called it the worst single decision of de Valera's life.

Still, under tremendous pressure, the Irish delegation, with Collins and Griffith as chief negotiators, pressed for a united Ireland. Differences within the Irish delegation added to the difficulty, but Britain's refusal to consider anything less than dominion status, excluding Ulster created additional conflict. Michael Collins knew that a Republic that included Ulster was not possible under the present conditions, but he hoped for a boundary commission that would redraw the border to include much of Catholic Fermanagh and Tyrone in the newly created Free State. This left the problem of the Oath of Allegiance.

A reworded oath might pass a Dail vote, Collins concluded, and though opposed by de Valera, would pave the way for future concessions once a British troop withdrawal was effected. Reluctantly, the delegation signed. Michael Collins knew it would be received badly in Dublin, but he decided that a step toward Irish independence was preferable to an all-out war that would ensure more bloodshed. Michael Collins spoke prophetically when, after signing the treaty he said, "...I tell you, I have signed my death warrant."

The vote in favor of accepting the treaty was 64 to 57. Two days later, de Valera resigned his presidency and Arthur Griffith was elected in his place. A provisional government was formed in January 1922. Michael Collins was elected Chairman. Dublin Castle was surrendered to Michael Collins.

CIVIL WAR!

Across the country, the IRA split into pro-Treaty or anti-Treaty forces. Many followed Collins, accepting that the Treaty gave the country the freedom to win freedom. Richard Mulcahy, the Minister of Defence, transformed these loyal troops into the Free State Army, while the anti-Treaty forces became known as the Irregulars.

Collins made every effort to avoid a civil war. He drafted a new constitution, which he hoped would be acceptable to the Republicans. The rebels had been Collins' comrades-in-arms and he desperately wanted to avoid such a tragedy, but his efforts failed. In a move to dislodge Republican troops who had taken over the building, on June 28th, Collins ordered the shelling of the Four Courts.

In a controversial move, he armed both pro- and anti-Treaty IRA members in the North to defend the Catholic population, but by resorting to violence against the Treaty terms in the North, he legitimized armed resistance in the South. On 6 July 1922, the Provisional Government appointed a Council of War and Collins became Commander-in-Chief of the national Army.

Opponents of the Treaty rallied to the cause. Fighting broke out in Dublin and Cathal Brugha was killed. The ten-month civil war had begun. The first phase was bloody and brief. By August, the better-equipped government forces had driven the Irregulars out of the main cities and towns, but the Republicans controlled much of the country area to the south and west.

On 12 August 1922, Arthur Griffith died of a massive hemorrhage. He had never recovered from the strain of the Treaty negotiations.

BEAL NA MBLATH

Eight days later, though ill with the stomach trouble that had plagued him for several months and suffering from a bad cold, Michael Collins left on a mission to visit troops in his home county of Cork. Warned not to go, he told his companion, "They wouldn't shoot me in my own county." As before, the words proved prophetic. Depressed and ill, he set out, some say, to try to end the fighting. At any rate, he visited several anti-Treaty men as well as inspecting various barracks. On the last day of his life, 22 August 1922, he set out from Cork in a convoy that passed through Bandon, Clonakilty, and Rosscarbery on its way to Skibbereen. He stopped at Woodfield, and there in the Four Alls, the pub situated across the road from the house where his mother had been born, he stood his family and escort to the local brew--Clonakilty Wrastler. On the return trip they again passed through Bandon. Michael Collins had only twenty minutes more to live. Around eight o'clock, his convoy was ambushed at a place known as Beal na mBlath--the mouth of flowers. Only one man was killed--Michael Collins. It is thought that Irregulars did the shooting, but some say that it might have been his own men. To this day, there is controversy about what actually happened.

Stunned that anything could have happened to 'the Big Fellow' whose fame was, by now, legendary, Collins' men brought his body back to Cork where it was shipped to Dublin. His body lay in state for three days in the rotunda. The Belfast-born painter, Sir John Lavery, painted Collins in death, as he had in life. Tens of thousands filed past his casket to pay their respects, and even more lined the Dublin streets as the cortege made its way to Glasnevin for the burial.

There have been many famous Irish patriots before him, and a few since, but none conjures up as much emotion and mystery as the man who, in a span of six short years, brought a country from bondage to a position where she could win her freedom. There are few left alive who remember Michael Collins, but his shape looms large on the Irish horizon.

 

A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

MICHAEL COLLINS AND THE MAKING OF A NEW IRELAND, Piaras Beaslai (Phoenix 1926)

THE MAN WHO MADE IRELAND, Tim pat Coogan (Roberts Rinehart 1991)

MICHAEL COLLINS: The Lost Leader, Margery Forester (Sphere 1972)

IN GREAT HASTE, Leon O'Broin (Gill and Macmillan 1983, 1996)

THE DAY MICHAEL COLLINS WAS SHOT, Meda Ryan (Poolbeg Press, Dublin 1989)

MICHAEL COLLINS and the Women in his Life, Meda Ryan (Mercier Press 1996)

DARK SECRET OF BEAL NA MBLATH, Fr. Patrick Twohig (Tower 1991)

THE BIG FELLOW, Frank O'Connor (Clonmore & Reynolds, Ltd. 1965 ed.)

IRELAND'S CIVIL WAR, Calton Younger (F. Muller, London 1968)

MICHAEL COLLINS AND THE TREATY, T. Ryle Dwyer (Mercier Press, Cork 1990)

MICHAEL COLLINS, MURDER OR ACCIDENT, Sean Feehan (Mercier Press, Cork 1981)

GREEN TEARS FOR HECUBA: Ireland's Fight for Freedom, P. Twohig (Tower 1994)

MICHAEL COLLINS, Rex Taylor (Four Square Books, London 1961)

MICHAEL COLLINS, Leon O'Broin (Gill and Macmillan, Dublin 1980)

MICHAEL COLLINS: The Man who Won the War, T. Ryle Dwyer (Mercier Press 1990)

THE PATH TO FREEDOM, Michael Collins (Mercier Press 1995 ed.)

MICHAEL COLLINS: and the Invisible Army, Desmond Ryan (Anvil Books 1977 ed.)

THE END OF THE HUNT, Thomas Flanagan (Dutton 1994)

AN EXCESS OF LOVE, Cathy Cash Spellman (Dell 1986)

THE GRAINNE JOURNALS, Robert Coyle (Basement Press Dublin 1995)

HIGH HEROIC, Constantine Fitzgibbon

MICHAEL COLLINS, Colm Connolly (Weidenfeld & Nicholson 1996)

MICHAEL COLLINS: A Life, James Mackay (Mainstream Publishing 1996)

MICHAEL COLLINS: in His Own Words, F. Costello (Gill & Macmillan 1997)

MICHAEL COLLINS: the Final Days, by Justin Nelson (J.N. Productions '97)

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Ancient Ireland

 

Mesolithic Times 8000BC – 4500BC

The Mesolithic Period dates from 8000BC – 4500BC and was when the first people arrived in Ireland. It’s believed the first settlers may have come from Scotland, approximately 8000 BC, arriving on the North East coast of Ireland, where county Antrim is located today. Some historians believe the sea level between Ireland and Scotland may have been low enough to allow passage into Ireland by walking, others believe it was done by boat.

Recontructed Mesolithic round-house, Ireland


Times had to be very difficult for the first settlers in Ancient Ireland for a number of reasons such as the harsh weather coming off the Atlantic sea but also because of the lack of in-land food resources, which would be a reason these people first roamed the coast of Ireland.

These Mesolithic people had not yet discovered metal so they used stone for tools and weapons. They were also highly skilled in shaping flint to make arrow heads, this was known as flint knapping. The Hunter-Gatherers used tools which are called microliths, and they were typically made from stone. Not only did they have a variety of food and tools,but they also had means and ways of transport. The Hunter-Gatherers made boats from hollowed out tree trunks, which they could use to not only travel down rivers but to use for fishing as well.

 

 

Neolithic Times 4500 – 2500BC

The Neolithic or new stone age period in Ireland dates from 4500 – 2500 BC and was when many new developments had been brought to Ireland. More people came into Ireland from Britain and mainland Europe bringing with them skills, trades and new technologies. Not only was an ancient Irish culture taking shape but so was the landscape. It changed in such a way that it preserved different parts of Ireland’s history providing evidence how man once lived in Ireland.
Farming was introduced to Ireland about 3700BC by the Neolithic settlers. These skilled farmers imported cattle’s, sheep and goats because during that time these animals could not be found in Ireland. They farmed wheat and barley using Flint-bladed sickles to harvest grain that would be later be grounded into flour.

 

Burial Chambers & Ancient Tombs in Ireland

Megaliths or large burial structures were being constructed all over Ireland with over 1500 as being recorded. One such structure built was the Poulnabrone dolmen in the Burren, County Clare. One of the best Neolithic burial chambers famous in Ireland would be Newgrange in County Meath, which is astronomically aligned.

Poulnabrone Dolmen Megalithic Tomb

Poulnabrone dolmen is located in the Burren in County Clare and is one of the finest dolmens (single-chamber megalithic tomb) found in Ireland dating from the Neolithic period, approx built in 3200BC.

Poulnabrone means ‘The hole of the sorrows and consists of upright stones supporting a large capstone. How we see the Poulnabrone dolmen today would have been very different to how it looked during Neolithic times when it was covered in earth to form a barrow.

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Poulnabrone Dolmen, County Clare, Ireland

Excavations of the site during the 1980's produced amazing evidence of ancients burials with the discovery of 21 people and animals buried under the dolmen. Other items found buried alongside the people consisted of a polished stone axe, a bone pendant, quartz crystals, weapons and pottery. Considering the sheer size of the stones erected in the construction of the tomb this site held some importance to either a large family or a small community in the area. Although we have no documented records of who exactly built this site or who was buried underneath it was most likely kept for those of the highest rank in society and their families.

 

Tomb of Newgrange

Located in County Meath, Ireland, is the tomb of Newgrange dates back to 3200 BC. It is a section of a larger historic area known as Brú na Bóinne that contains three tombs Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth with Knowth being the largest of the three. It was not until the 17th Century until Newgrange was discovered and was later excavated in 1962 & 1975.

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Newgrange, County Meath, Ireland

Newgrange is known as a passage tomb and was wonderfully constructed by the Neolithic people. As you approach this magical tomb, a large rock sits at an opening to a passage. This rock is beautifully carved with Celtic designs and is known to have the only triple spiral motif Celtic design ever found. Around the circumference of the Newgrange tomb are 97 large stones, known as kerbstones, with each one also having carvings of Celtic designs.

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Entrance to Newgrange

The inner section of the large circle is a large mound of earth and leans against an angled wall composed of Quartz and Granite. The angle of the quartz wall is a remarkable piece of architecture & construction even by today’s standards and was built on top of the large ring of carved rock.

 

The Bronze Age Period 2500BC – 500BC

Metal working was late arriving in Ireland from the rest of Europe, nearly 2000 years later, this is the reason why you see Ireland’s Bronze Age dated later than the rest of Europe. Skilled bronze workers arrived from France settling in Ireland and teaching people their use of bronze for making all sorts of objects.

With large pockets of copper found in Ireland it soon became a popular destination. Copper mines were opened and the metal was extracted from the earth. One of the oldest copper mines in Europe from the Bronze Age is at Mount Gabriel in County Cork. Dated from 1500-1200 BC this mine had 25 mine shafts for extracting copper.

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Browne's Hill Dolman, 2000 BC, 100 ton capstone

Better tools and weapons were now being produced with the manufacturing of axes, spearheads, daggers and halberds. In the later years the discovery of melting copper with tin to form Bronze advanced tools and weapons such as rapiers, swords and shields. Some of the popular tools and weapons produced in the Early Bronze Age of Ireland included daggers, halberds, spearheads and flat axes.

Gold became a popular metal during the Bronze Age period in Ireland and there was no shortage of it either. Museum’s in Ireland hold some of finest Gold artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age. It is believed Ireland could not have produced so much gold which provides evidence of trading between Ireland and the rest of Europe.

 

Iron Age Period in Ancient Ireland

At around 700BC the Iron Age began when the Celts arrived bringing with them a new culture, language and of course making things with Iron. This would have a dramatic impact in Ireland and would last to the current Day. Little is known about Ireland’s Iron Age Period but we can piece together clues that have been left behind by the Celts.

The Celts came from central Europe and spread to other countries reaching Ireland approximately 500BC. This arrival of new visitors brought the Bronze Age to an end and from this point on Ireland’s culture would flourish continuing right through to the current day.

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The Celts arrived in Ireland approximately 700BC and continued their migration until about 400AD. During this time the different tribes that had arrived had established their own regions, today they are known as provinces.

When the Celts did come to Ireland they brought with them a different culture, languages, art, technology and belief’s. They had introduced using Iron for making tools and weapons. The Celts also brought the sense of kingship, kingdoms and power. They divided their lands up with each being ruled by different kings. In Ireland the Bolgic tribes had control of the northern part of the island and the Laginians controlled the southern region.

The Celts had a strong sense of honor, especially in battle. To be bold and show courage in a battle gave a Celtic man honor and a high reputation. However, unlike times to come in the future, in this Iron Age it was the aristocracy who fought in battle. Peasants and people of a lower class were not forced to fight or take part in battle, but to stay on their farming plots and act as slaves for their King.

 

The Arrival of Christianity in Ireland

Many people think that St Patrick was the one who brought Christianity to Ireland but it was actually St Palladius who first landed on Irish shores. The pope in Rome had sent St Palladius to Ireland in 430AD, two years previous than when St Patrick arrived.
 
Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland and helped bring Christianity to Ireland. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick in Scotland in the year of 387 A.D. Between the ages of fourteen and sixteen Patrick was kidnapped from Britain and brought to Ireland were he was sold as a slave to work as a Shepard on an Irish mountain range. Ireland was full of Celts that were Druids and pagans during this era and as a slave he learned the Celtic Language which was spoken in Ireland at that time. Although he wasn’t a religious boy he did spend his time in captivity finding his faith in Christianity.

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At 22 years of age, six years after being captured, he managed to escape from Ireland after having a dream from God telling him to leave. From Ireland he went into hiding in a monastery to harden his faith and it was during this time he took on the name Patricius, Pádraig in Irish (Patrick). In another dream he heard the people of Ireland calling “We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more.”
Patrick, as a Bishop, returned to Slane in County Meath, 433 A.D. recorded in the Annals of Ulster as: Bishop Patrick flourishing in the fervour of the Faith and in the doctrine of Christ in our province.
When he was in his 30′s he became one of the first Christian missionaries in Ireland. One legend says Patrick had met a Chieftain in Meath called Dichu who had tried to kill him but Patrick managed to convert Dichu to Christianity.

St Patrick introduced Christianity and converted thousands of Irish by preaching the gospel. It was Dichu (now known as Saint Dichu) that gave Patrick a gift of a large barn that was converted into his first Church, located in Sabhall, County Down in Ulster.

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Patrick with his disciples, Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, traveled all over Ireland teaching his faith, converting clan chiefs, building churches, opening schools and monasteries and convincing many Irish to become monks and nuns. Patrick preached all over Ireland for 40 years mostly in poverty and died on March 17, 461A.D in his Church in Sabhall, County Down.

Saint Patrick used Shamrocks, a three-leaved Clover, to teach the people of Ireland the concept of the Holy Trinity. The Shamrock has been associated with him and the Irish ever since.

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© AOHColorado, 2011