Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Ireland: a brief history

Passage tomb at Newgrange

Ireland over the last 11,000 years:

  • -9000: Ice Age: covered in ice, part of mainland Europe
  • -8000:
  • -7000:
  • -6000: Stone Age: people arrive
  • -5000:
  • -4000: Neolithic: farming (-3500) arrives from Spain, forests cleared with stone axes; wheat, barley, sheep, goats, cows; walls, forts; passage tombs (-3200, pictured above)
  • -3000:
  • -2000: Bronze Age (-1800): bronze made with tin from Spain; gold jewellery, the wheel, oxen, weaving, alcohol
  • -1000: Iron Age: Celts arrive (-700), the first Indo-Europeans, probably from Spain; bog men, kings
  • +1: Christianity (432), flowering of Irish culture (500s), sends missionaries to Britain, Book of Kells (800), Vikings found Dublin (841).
  • +1000: Off-and-on British rule, starting in 1171, the Great Potato Famine (1845-1849), millions flee famine and poverty, going to the Americas and Australia.

Ireland over the last 1,000 years, century by century:

  • 1000s: Vikings overthrown at the Battle of Clontarf (1014)
  • 1100s: British rule (1171)
  • 1200s: parliament
  • 1300s: Scotland tries to take over (1315), fails but seriously weakens British rule, now limited to Dublin and the Pale, the region nearby
  • 1400s:
  • 1500s: British reconquest, particularly under Elizabeth I
  • 1600s: plantations: land taken from Irish Catholics and given to Protestant Ulster Scots, who become overlords; Catholics lose rights; Cromwell puts down uprising, hundreds of thousands die (1650); Battle of the Boyne (1690);
  • 1700s: Ireland screwed by British trade policy; many Ulster Scots move to North America where they become the Scotch Irish, settling especially in Appalachia.
  • 1800s: Catholic Emancipation: Catholics regain many rights (1829), the Great Potato Famine (1845-1849) kills a million while a million and more flee, mainly to America where they become Irish Americans.
  • 1900s: after hundreds of years of uprisings  the Sinn Fein overthrows British rule in the south (1922); Northern Ireland remains under British rule.

More on British rule:

In the 1600s the British government took land from Irish Catholics, made it into plantations and gave it to the Ulster Scots – English-speaking Protestants from Britain, mainly Scottish Presbyterians. In America they are called the Scotch Irish. They are not Irish by blood – just Scottish people who lived in Ireland for a time before coming to America. Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett and John McCain are Scotch Irish.

Meanwhile the Irish Catholics lost not just their land but their rights too: the right to practise their religion (Catholicism), speak their language (Irish Gaelic), to buy property, stand for parliament, teach school, serve in the army, etc.

On paper Ireland became part of the United Kingdom, but in practice it was a British colony serving British interests, complete with dispossessed natives. A model for America?

Ireland as an island full of unhappy Catholics made it a threat to Britain (Protestant) since a Catholic enemy state – read France – could stage an uprising, free Ireland and then use it as a base to strike at Britain. It came close to that in 1690, but the British were able to defeat the French and Irish led by James II, the overthrown Catholic king of Britain, at the Battle of the Boyne.

Despite Catholic Emancipation in 1829 Protestants remained firmly on top, possessing most of the wealth. The Irish had lost their language, now speaking mainly English, but not their religion.

– Abagond, 2010, 2015.

See also:

547

Read Full Post »

Remarks:

This is one of my wife’s favourite songs these days – she plays it to death.

Lyrics:

Looking back on the years you see
It was you and me but I gave too much you see
And now it seems you’ve grown tired
And wanna walk away, but you feel obliged to stay
We break up and make up
And everything would be brand new
We gotta face up there ain’t no make up
I said there’s nothing left to do, and

Don’t stay, if you don’t wanna stay
Baby I’ll be okay, believe me when I say
I’ma be alright
Don’t stay, if you don’t wanna stay
Baby I’ll be okay, believe me when I say
I’ma be alright

I’d rather be without you
Livin’ with you is too hard to take
And I know you don’t feel the same
Cos it’s written, it’s written, it’s written all over your face
Remember when we break up and make up
And everything would be brand new
We got to face up there ain’t no make up
I said there’s nothing left to do, and

Don’t stay, if you don’t wanna stay
Baby I’ll be okay, believe me when I say
I’ma be alright
Don’t stay, if you don’t wanna stay
Baby I’ll be okay, believe me when I say
I’ma be alright

It’s so hard what I got to do, oh
I gotta make you leave, for both me and you
And it’s so crazy how things have changed
Cos we ain’t the same, and

Don’t stay, if you don’t wanna stay
Baby I’ll be okay, believe me when I say
I’ma be alright
Don’t stay, if you don’t wanna stay
Baby I’ll be okay, believe me when I say
I’ma be alright

I’ma be alright

Read Full Post »

Each of these
My three babies
I will carry with me
For myself
I ask no one else will be
Mother to these three
And of course
I’m like a wild horse
But there’s no other way I could be
Water and feed
Are not tools that I need
For the thing that I’ve chosen to be
In my soul
My blood and my bones
I have wrapped your cold bodies around me
The face on you
The smell of you
Will always be with me
Each of these
My three babies
I was not willing to leave
Though I tried
I blasphemed and denied
I know they will be returned to me
Each of these
My babies
Have brought you closer to me
No longer mad like a horse
I’m still wild but not lost
From the thing that I’ve chosen to be
And it’s `cause you’ve thrilled me
Silenced me
Stilled me
Proved things I never believed
The face on you
The smell of you
Will always be with me
Each of these
My three babies
I will carry with me
For myself
I ask no one else will be
Mother to these three

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: