Talk:History of Ireland/Archive 2

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What did the Romans ever do for us?

Shouldn't there be something about the Romans? I believe there is some archeological evidence that they did make it to the island after all? User:JCWF

I have linked this to Hibernia where I wrote a fuller discussion of potential Roman influence in Ireland. --Dumbo1 16:12, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Could do better!

The account of Irish history in the 19th and 20th century on this page is fundamentally flawed, so much so if repeated in a third level exam on Irish history, it might just about get a pass grade! I don't have time to do corrections right now; I'll do a re-write when I get the chance. (Yet another Irish history page I'm having to correct for fundamental errors! I've spent much of the last three weeks correcting and writing accurate accounts in place of garbage.)

Errors in this piece include:

  • 1.5 million people did not die in the Great Famine, Approximately 0.5 million did. The re-structuring of Irish society and landholdings, not to mention the disappearance of the entire cottier class, produced mass emigration that is thought to approximate to that higher number, but that was over decades.
  • There is no such thing as the Home Rule Party - It went by two names - Irish Parliamentary Party or (earlier) the Home Rule League.
  • There was no link, implicit let alone explicit, between the above party at official level and the Fenians.
  • The Home Rule League did not seek Irish independence. It sought Home Rule, within Ireland becoming a self-governing region of the United Kingdom.
  • Public opinion did not turn towards Sinn Féin (which in 1916 anyway was a monarchist, not a republican party) after the executions. It waged an inconclusive battle with the IIP until the Conscription Crisis of 1918 when finally and decisively a switch occured.
  • Sinn Féin did not decisively win the 1918 general election. It won most seats due to the absence of contests. Recent studies based on contested electoral battles in the period 1917-1919 put SF support at between 45-50%, impressive but well below the mythical 75-90% that has often been claimed;
  • The Irish civil war was not fought on partition. In fact it was hardly mentioned in the Dáil debates on the Treaty, because both sides believed that the Boundary Commission was going to deliver Northern Ireland to the south within a few years anyhow. It was fought on the Crown and Oath of Allegiance.
  • The 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty didn't partition Ireland. The Better Government of Ireland Act, 1920 did. Northern Ireland opted out of the Free State, as the Treaty agreed it could, so triggering off the creation of the Boundary Commission to decide on boundaries between the two Irish states.
  • The Irish Free State and Éire weren't the same. The Irish Free State (in gaelic Saorstát Éireann) was created in 1922 and replaced by Éire through the 1937 constitution.
  • The Irish Free State wasn't abolished in 1949; it was abolished in 1937.
  • The Irish state regularly uses the name 'Republic of Ireland', contrary to what this article said. (I pulled this ludicrous statement out!) JTD


I've done a major re-edit on the History of Ireland page to remove much of the factual inaccuracies (and boy were there many!) and add in the facts. Hopefully it will be more factually accurate now. JTD

Well done! That's quite an impressive amount of work. We're not supposed to recommend things in the Wikipedia, though. Is there a way of describing the books without saying that they are "excellent" and so on? -- Oliver P. 01:04 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)

I've seen a lot of books on sites, and I've put references to some. Regarding the recommendations, the trouble with Irish history is that a lot of books come from specific perspectives that an ordinary reader who is approaching the subject from a beginners perspective, mightn't grasp. For example, someone who doesn't know Irish history and started with Coogan's de Valera would lead some people to think that deV was the devil incarnate, in the same way as the film 'Michael Collins' shows him in a very poor light. I don't say the book is right or wrong, just that it is a controversial interpretation. But if they start with Dorothy McCardle's book, they'd think he was the son of God. In addition, time periods of when a book is published have to be borne in mind; MacCardle's book came out in the 1960s, when deV who was president of Ireland was being celebrated as the ambodiment of Irish independence, with figures like Michael Collins and W.T. Cosgrave generally sidelined. Coogan's was written in the 1990s, when a new generation of historians revisited the status of deV, and concluded that he was anything but the hero 'propagandised' (in their view) in the past. Instead figures like Collins and Cosgrave are the ones praised, while deV is seen (rightly or wrongly) as a rather two-faced hypocrite.

I haven't expressed personal preferences, more summarised the general view on how a book is seen. 100% of historians would judge Lord Longford's book on the Treaty as the definitive text that is so competent and all enclusive that no-one has even tried to do a book covering that area since it was first published in the 1930s. Others I've mentioned are the sort of books that historians, when asked 'what is the book you think I should start off with?' would recommend. Books like FSL Lyons' Ireland Since the Famine, Joe Lee's Modernisation of Irish Society , John A. Murphy's Ireland in the Twentieth Century and Connolly's Oxford Companion of Irish History are described by historians as must read texts; they feature of every Irish history reading list in university and are described as the 'elementary starting point' if you want to get an overall 'feel' for Irish history.

Taken together, the list covers pro- and anti-treaty texts, pro- and anti-deV texts, etc and simply points out where the book is coming from and how it is perceived. The list contains only books that are universally regarded, whether one agrees with them or not, as top quality sources that anyone interested in Irish history should look at. But I think it is important to give guidance. I think it is very much NPOV guidance, in so far as it reflects not one point of view, but all points of view. Every historian I know thinks Coogan's book on deV is worth reading; equally all agree it is hostile to him. (Some think it fair, some unfair. I don't express an opinion). Similarly every historian I know says 'see Dorothy McCardle's book'. And in the next sentence they invariably say 'but remember it is written from a pro-deV anti-treaty prospective.' And while everyone I know who has read Norman Davis's The Isles is wowed by it, they are equally struck by its clangers, as it making the losers of the Irish Civil War the winners, which 100% of people describe as wrong. So all the list does is

  • give the list of books that academics generally recommend students read;
  • point out if such and such a approach history from one point of view, so the reader can remember that fact when looking at that it;
  • pointed out which books on the list are regarded by historians in general as 'must see' books;
  • which books are universally regarded by everyone as definitive accounts.

I deliberately left off controversial books about which there is no unanimity among historians (and there are plenty that would be praised by one historian and described as bullshit by another). Putting them on would have involved a definite POV. Historians I have mentioned this list to all agree it is fair, balanced and accurate. All I have done is repeat what any wiki reader would find if they walked into any Irish university and asked of the professor 'so where should I start and what should I take into account?' JTD 03:15 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)

Oh. Okay. -- Oliver P. 21:22 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)

Irish Nationalist Party

I'm astonished there is no article about the Irish Nationalist Party (under any of its names). Also these huge maps make this article unreadable. They should be turned into thumbnails. Adam 04:28, 5 May 2004 (UTC)


Definite, unabashed POV in this article. C'mon, guys...It sounds OBVIOUSLY POV. At least be subtle...:-) -Penta 05:47, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

History of the United Kingdom

I am trying to improve the History of the United Kingdom page and it would be good if someone with a good knowledge of Irish history (ie. not me!) could make some contributions to it; as the issue of Ireland is of course a very important and controversial one in the history of the formation of the UK and I think needs to take quite a prominent part in the article. It has some background to pre 1801 developments (such as the medieval conquest of Ireland) which could do with some more work but I think it needs more on events after it became part of the UK such as the 'home rule' issue and then the subsequent developments leading up to the formation of the Irish Free State. And then there is of course the issue of Northern Ireland which is not yet included and needs its own section.--Cap 12:38, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Catholic Confederation

I think the Confederates of 1641 need a mention somwhere.


Would anyone object to breaking up the timeline into a yearbook format to match ones like timeline of Canadian history and timeline of Indian history. The current pages are already in a similar format, just clumped together into decades. Breaking them up would allow subsections, such as births, deaths, arts, and sports to be added. It would also allow them to be linked from each year page. - SimonP 21:49, Oct 16, 2004 (UTC)

You might be interested in Ireland in the 20th Century - their are also a number of pages that break of from this that give specific dates after the 1930s to recent times Djegan 13:52, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)


What are the historical population figures for the island? - Jerryseinfeld 18:39, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why not neutral?

I have no bias one way or the other, but it looks as if someone has been mucking about with the section concerning Sinn Fein and De Valera. Someone who knows about these things can probably spot the edits.

Inadequacies of current article

First of all, fair play to those who put this together; fantastic! However, could someone tease out the reality behind what the article calls "First English Involvement c.1166-1536)" because this is in many ways very inaccurate. By that I mean that the leaders of the NORMAN raid (not invasion) were either Welsh (the Lord Rhys) or Norman-Welsh (Fitz Stephen, Fitz Gerald); their followers were mainly Norman, Welsh, Flemish as well as English, Breton, Scots and French. Their King at the time was Henry II, who was born in Anjou, spoke French, lived much of his life in Normandy, Anjou, Maine and other areas in the north of France. Yes, he was King of England, but England, while perhaps being the jewel in his crown, was only part of an empire that stretched between Scotland and Spain. VERY FEW of those who invaded Ireland at the behest of Mac Murrough in the late 1160's would have called themselves English.
Do you see what I am trying to get across here? "English" involvement in Ireland, as you and I would understand it, was a lot more complicated than most of us realise, and this needs to be addressed.
Also, the first two sections really could do with a lot more detail. Its there folks, we just need to find the best way to include it. I personally am frequently annoyed that so much of what we see published on Irish history only covers in-depth the era from 1798 onwards. We have SO much more before that!
Right, that's my say from the high stool! -Anonymous editor

Elizabethan Conquest

I've edited this page to put in mentions of the Elizabethan conquest, the Confederate/Cromwellian period and 1798, which I thought should be there. Someone who knows about this the medieval period and the 19th century should really put in something about the Bruce invasion, the Black Death and Daniel O'Connell, I think. jdorney (14:56, 25 Feb 2005 UTC)

I've got rid of the subsection, Colonial Ireland and integrated it into the rest of the text. While its a good paragraph, it shouldn't be be seen to overshadow the rest of the chapter. Either there's sections for everything or sections for nothing. I've also dispensed with the sentence that clamis Irish historical antagonism towards England comes from the economic situation of the 18th century. While this was an important feature of Irish politics at the time, the antagonism here comes from the exceptionally bloody military conquests of Ireland in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the subsequent disenfranchisment and discrimination against the native population on religious grounds. While economics is certainly a contributory factor, its not the origin of the problem. Jdorney

Celts did not Invade Ireland

"The Celts colonised Ireland in a series of waves between the eighth and first centuries BC."

There is absolutly no evidence whatsoever that this actually happened. And we never called ourselves Celts. Just because we now speck English, does that make us Anglo-Saxons? Fergananim. has corrected that. I'm tempted to add the theory that colonisation followed the (relatively safe) sea lanes up the atlantic coast (modern Morrocco/Portugal/Galacia/Britany) than the dangerous and difficult route through the wild forests of central Europe and England. There was a very convincing series on RTE a few years back that relied on cultural archaeology (art,music) rather than on physical artefacts. Does anyone know who proposed it (or better still, has he published?) --Red King 10:52, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You're not thinking of Bob Quin's "Atlantian" series? He brought a book out last year on the subject.

As for the Celtic connection ... I think that there may be two explanations.

  • 1-By the time our ancestors reached Ireland, we had become a 'culturually' Celtic society. Or *2-Some form of settlement/invasion event (such as happened to Britian with the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Normans) occoured that had the most profound effect on our culture and language.


So, if the celts didn't invade, then what you are saying Fergananim is that the Celts originated there. However, recent genetic evidence shows that the Neolithic peoples that inhabited the Island have no more connection to the Celts then I, an Irish American, has to those of Aztec descent. The celts have been shown to have statrted up in the Caspian Sea area, and then migrated elsewhere. In fact, genetic evidence has shown that the Celts reached as far as urumchi in the PRC. New genetic and linguistic studires have also linked the ruling caste in India to the celts. And mummies in tartan patterned wool have been found in morroco, how do you explain that. Patton 117, descendent of Niall, first High King in Ireland.

Patton, according to my family tree, I too am a descendant of Niall. But there is a huge difference between his perception of what he was, and how many people see him today. Incidently, he was not called the first High King, and its very doubtful if he was ever that powerful himself.

Please read my note "A Possible Explanation" at the bottom of this page (while you're at it, read the entire section on this discussion) and then get back to me on my talk page. We Irish are not Celts, much of Ireland's population at the time was not Celtic, and we never called ourselves Celts. We merely spoke a language that was a branch of the Celtic Language Family Tree. A good anaology would be this: You and I both speck English - does that make us Anglo-Saxon?

Drop me a line, make your points one-by-one, and we'll take it from there. Fergananim 20:30, 10 September 2005 (UTC)


Is this a mis-spelling, or has the spelling changed? (if so, a footnote to that effect would be useful.) By the way, a round of applause to the user at for an excellent set of late night edits on 3 June! I really enjoyed "not worth the vellum it was enscribed upon" :) --Red King 10:52, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Its a spelling error Jdorney

links to main articles broken?

the links to the main articles are all red/unavailable here - what happened to them? if they got renamed could someone fix them? ( 18:41, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC))

They only got added in the last couple of days and haven't actually been written yet193.203.141.1

It'd be nice to have these (the current structure, with its thrown-together template by moi, is clearly rather pro temps), but adding in the "main article" links with no articles to link to is just worsening things. I'm inclined to remove them, unless someone has writing these articles as an actual active work-in-progress. Alai 00:48, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

New Edits

Would love some feedback on the new edits for sections 2 - 7. Cheers. Fergananim

I'm doing some copyedits, but it is all good stuff. The only concern I have is that much of it is quite detailed for a summary article. So when you are doing the detailed articles, you need to consider what are the really essential points that should remain in the summary article.
I agree, which is why I've red-linked Main article ... beneath each heading, as I'd like to incorporate the run-off into more in-depth stuff. I'm also hoping that when people see the summery (too much info!) and the red links, they'll have a bash themselves. Fergananim 10 June 2005.

Early history

The current text says the following:

The language spoken by these people was later termed Goidelic, a branch of the Celtic languages. Despite this, the peoples of Ireland never referred to themselves as Celts, nor did they acknowledge any kinship with them. While it is reasonable to conclude that some Celtic peoples or dynasties made Ireland their home (especially the Roman conquest of Gaul and Britain), recent genetic research overwhelmingly demonstrates that the Irish do not have Celtic ansestry. 1.

Is this widely accepted? It seems pretty dubious to me - the article which the foot note refers to most certainly does not say that the Irish do not have Celtic ancestry. (The misspelling of "ancestry" doesn't provide much confidence, either.) john k 7 July 2005 21:28 (UTC)

Dear John, see for further information. Fergananim

As I said on your talk page, I'm still dubious. Let me note that this article also provides an alternative, and apparently more widely-accepted, argument about Celtic invasion. Norman Davies, in The Isles, also presents the idea of Celtic invasion as the standard narrative. Let me add that the "the peoples of Ireland never reffered to themselves as Celts" bit is completely misleading, in that no Celtic peoples ever called themselves Celts - it's a Greek term. To my understanding, they did call themselves Gaels, or something along those lines. john k 8 July 2005 19:01 (UTC)

I'm insterting this here after the fact (its July 16 2005) as I want to point out that I stated on John's talk page that actually yes, some Celtic peoples did call themselves Celt. To quote Ceasar's "The Gallic Wars" - "All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit; the Aquitani another; those who in their own language are called Celts, in our Gauls, the third." (my emphasis).

Thank you. Fergananim

The problem is that there is simply no good evidence of Germano-celtic migrations. The genetics don't support it and the archaeology doesn't support it. In fact the only basis for it is a romantic Victorian view that all civilisation spread from the middle east and thus we (in these islands) are really greek nobles. So, whilst it has certainly been widely accepted, it was a theory based on assertion, not on evidence. The big problem is that it was amazingly difficult to move overland. It was heavily forested, many wild animals and so on. By comparison, the migration up the sea lanes of the western Atlantic is very much easier. North Africa, Iberia, Brittany, Corwall, Ireland is a much more credible route. For hunter/gatherers, a coastal existence is easy and migrations up river valleys works well. Indeed, evidence around the world shows that the pattern of human migration has been coastal first and fastest. Admittedly, this is early Homo Sapiens rather than neolithic and bronze age, but the principles don't change. Finally, the patterns of early Irish Art are far more like North African that they are Middle European. The genetics shows a common heritage with the Basque people. I don't much go for the spontanous "sprang from the earth of Stonehenge" nonsense - I'll try to find a more credible citation. --Red King 8 July 2005 20:02 (UTC)

Red King - I'm not necessarily trying to argue the merits, which I don't really know. I'm more interested in what standard accounts say. And most of them still seem to discuss the Celtic migration idea. Let me add another question - how common is it for a complete linguistic change to occur without any change in the population? It occurs in instances where one people has long term political domination over another - like the Romans in Gaul and Spain (which also saw considerable Italian colonization, let me add). But beyond that, the idea that one language could be completely eliminated and entirely replaced with another without any significant population exchanges at all, or any evidence of political domination from outside, seems just as questionable. A certain degree of Celticizing of Britain and Ireland might be plausible. But for the entire area to become Celtic-speaking (except maybe for the Picts), without any population change at all seems questionable to me. john k 8 July 2005 20:35 (UTC)

I've seen it argued in a book on Celtic art (can't remember where it is just now) that "Celtic" denotes a cultural / language grouping of peoples who were ethnically different, and the idea of "Celtic ancestry" is meaningless. Genetic evidence showing differences is consistent with this idea of shared culture amongst physically distinct groups. The Celt article, particularly the Celts_in_Ireland_and_Britain section cited by Fergananim, puts this as an alternate theory to the older invasion idea, and if both ideas are still current then a NPOV statement would show both interpretations.--dave souza 9 July 2005 16:15 (UTC)

John - Ok, I see what you are driving at. That section begins with the assertion that "Ancient Irish" is a branch of the Celtic language. If that premise is correct, your logic leads inescapably to the conclusion that you reach. So now we need evidence to support that assertion, because I've found the genetic evidence that supports movement by sea from Iberia rather than movement by land from central Europe. See [1]. (The preponderance in the west might be explained by the Plantations of Ireland). Is there a linguist in the house? (Because apparently the Basque language is very distinct). But yes, I agree that both Ps of V should be given, with an indication that this remains a matter of debate. Please feel free! --Red King 00:56, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

The Irish language is most definitely a branch of the Celtic language, and has been for as long as there is any evidence of it. Beyond that, it seems like we really have no idea of it possible that the Celtic languages of Ireland came from Spain as well, though? There were Celts in Spain - see Celtiberians. john k 18:26, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Another thing to note - Celtiberian is Q-Celtic, like Goidelic...the Celtiberian article gives a different explanation for this, though... john k 18:28, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

The book I was thinking of is Art of the Celts, Lloyd and Jenifer Laing, Thames and Hudson, London 1992 ISBN 0-500-20256-7 which has an introduction stating that "There is not, and never has been, such a thing as a Celtic 'race', a Celtic 'nation' or a Celtic 'empire'... Following on from the classical and linguistic definition of 'Celts' archaeologists have come to use the term to describe the Iron age peoples of large areas of central and western Europe." Chapter 4 states that "The most recent research suggests that Celtic culture in later prehistoric Britain owes more to a gradual development of the language and other definitive features than to the invasions from the continent favoured by earlier archaeologists. It now seems most reasonable to accept that development from the Bronze age onwards was gradual and continuous... Ireland has so far yielded no archaeological evidence whatever for large intrusive groups of Celtic immigrants, and there is a case for believing that the native Late Bronze Age culture continued with little change in many areas, gradually absorbing and creating 'Celtic' culture. Remarkably few 'La Tène' continental-style objects have been found in Ireland, and those few objects could be imports, or the possessions of a few rich immigrants." It would seem that by 1992 the "Celtic invasion" model which T. F. O'Rahilly was promoting in 1946 had to a greater or lesser extent been displaced by the "same people, shift in culture" approach which the Early history of Ireland says is supported by more recent genetic studies. --dave souza 15:43, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Good, that's a lot more convincing. Do you feel like rewriting it to avoid copyright issues? It needs to go in Celts#Celts in Ireland and Britain as well as here, to clarify the 'emerged from the people of stonehenge' stuff. --Red King 10:12, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

I need to re-read over all the above very carefully. But may I make one point to all concerned? Please do not confuse ethnicity with language. The two are not always to be included in the same category.

One way of answering this question is to accecpt that the language and culture of the peoples of these isles is Celtic, but that their ethnic descent was not. How's that? Fergananim July 16 2005

A few further points for the same discussion ...

A genetic scientist at Trinity College Dublin discussed this very issue with me recently. He pointed out that the word Celtic is used as a cover-all term for the common heritage of people in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Brittany.

However, he went on to state that the same term cannot be used from the point of view of the genetic background of these peoples, because genetic studys does not demonstrate a relationship between the people of the isles and those of the Celtic heartland in Europe.

Thus the foundation myth of the peoples of these isles being overwhelmingly descended from a Celtic Iron Age invasion from Europe is demonstratably wrong as Y-Chromosone DNA research disproves it.

Also: we have no idea what - indeed, if any - languages were spoken in Ireland prior to Gaelic because there is just no evidence to show what they were.

This leads me, at least (and many other historians, though in private) to believe that Irish has being the spoken tounge on this island for far longer than we believe. In fact people cannot show a single word - either from Gaelic or topographic features in Ireland - that can be said to be pre-Gaelic.

People are still not sure where exactly the Pictish language fits into all of this; presently most believe that it was a branch of Brythonic, but they still are not 100% sure.

And remember; not only is Basque not related to either Q or P Celtic - it is not known to be related to any langauge in the world, dead or living.

John, you seem to think that because our genetic ancestors were closely akin to the ancestors of the Basques, we all must have spoke the same language. This could well be the case - and I don't see why not? - but the fact remains that some interaction at some point in time caused us to adopt our current tounge. For example: the British presence in India was miniscule insofar as the total native population were in the several millons, whereas the British were only ever in the low thousands. Yet English is still spoken in India, such was the effect of British rule, comparatively short as it was. See also how quickly the Pictish language faded after they were dominated by the Irish, though the former must still have had the purely numerical advantage. Plus, these (alledged) Celtic Overlords may not have being ethnic Celts themselves at all.

Again, I must state that I am not opposed to the idea that some European/Celtic/Celtic-Germanic tribes came and settled here, either direct from the Continent or via Britain. Its just that they do not seem to have made much overall impact on our genetic make-up. Fergananim July 16 2005

That is an exceptionally useful contribution and moves us forward! So coming back to the original question - is there any foundation in the present conception that the Scots, Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Bretons and Galacians are the last true Celts? or is it just a confection of Victorian bad science - at best, the Celtic Dawn romantic fantasy; at worst, the racist idea that civilisation began in Greece and, as it spread northwest, became debased and genetically inferior (see Punch magazine cartoons). I think we have demonstated that there is no evidence in the language, no evidence in the DNA, not much evidence in the art, no evidence in the architecture. So on what basis can we continue to say that these peoples are Celts? (Other than that it is a convenient label for modern times, but without foundation? I wouldn't want to be the one to turn up outside Celtic Park to tell the "bhoys" that they've got it all wrong! Or the Celtic League for that matter!)
Good stuff, I've tried improving this and the Celts articles, but as one who is neither Irish nor a historian, archaeologist or a geneticist, will welcome any corrections. By the way, Fergananim, my understanding was that the Scots/Pictish thing was a joint takeover by the mixed-race Kenneth mac Alpin, so to speak.. -- dave souza 15:43, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

"That is an exceptionally useful contribution and moves us forward! (in a girly voice) You're just saying that! Anyway ..

"So coming back to the original question - is there any foundation in the present conception that the Scots, Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Bretons and Galacians are the last true Celts?" Ethnicly, no. Culturally, only by descent. See below for more.Fergananim, July 17, 2005.

Dave; Yes, broadly specking you are correct. Kenneth succeded to the throne because of this descent via his mother (Pict) and becase he was leader of the Scots (Irish). Also, as far as I recall he massacared almost all of the leading Pict nobles so that at a stroke he had anniliated the leadership of the opposition. The Picts did not die out, but with their leadership destroyed, their culture and language did and was swiftly replaced by Gaelic culture.

As a person of Celtic Ethnicity, i am proud to state that recent genetic evidence has shown that the Irish are related genetically to the urumchi mummies, a group of celts that migrated east into China. As well as geneticlly related to those who spoke sanskrit, and invaded India.

Look, all that is wonderful, but could you please provide some links to back up what you are saying? I'm aware of the Tocharians and the physical resemlences between their ancestors (as shown by the preservd mummys) and people of central Europe. However, it is going a little bit too far to say that they were Celts.

And I challange the assumption that there is anyone alive of Celtic Ethnicity; of Celtic descent, sure, but ethnicity??? Not very likely when the Celts died out as a people so long ago.

Lastly, genetic evidence shows that gee, the Irish are related to every other human on the planet. Its the degree of relationship that is important, and you seem to be overlooking that. Looking forward to hearing from you, whoever you are. Fergananim 20:42, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

A Possible Explanation

THE PEOPLES OF THE ISLES AND THE CONTINENTAL CELTS: Connections and Differences. By Fergananim July 17 2005.

LANGUAGE: The languages of the Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Scots and British are part of the Celtic family tree. The Gaelic language of Ireland is Q-Celtic; Cornish, Welsh and British P-Celtic. Scots Gaelic was introduced to Alba by the Irish and is thus Q. We have no firm idea where Pictish fits in (indeed it may have being only the more prominent langugage of the many peoples of Alba), but it is believed by most to have being a branch of P-Celtic.

ART: I'm not really qualified to speck on this, but yes, broadly specking there are similiaritys between the art practised by the continental Celts and the Peoples of the Isles. There are caveats, but ...

CULTURE: Again, broadly similar and in many cases identical.

RELIGEON: We know very little of the religeon of the Celts. The Celts and the Peoples of the Isles did share common dietys.One Major Point: The Druids were actually a British invention, thus spreading THEIR religious beliefs onto the Continent to the ethnic Celts. So, while we think of much of the surviving myths and religious beliefs (reincarntion) as "Celtic", it may actually be the case that these were first practised by the Peoples of the Isles and then ADOPTED by the Celts. So much so that we think they were Celtic beliefs all along. Food for thought, huh?

GENETICS: Ah, this is where it truely gets interesting!

I've gone back through my notes and papers on this. Admitidly much of it was in genetic journals with text I still have a hard time understanding myself (why can't scientests explain stuff in layman's terms? We already know they're supersmart, they don't have to show off and rub our noses in it!) One of the best come from, of all places, the New York Times (April 10 2001) by Nicholas Wade. Extracts:

"Lacking ancient DNA from a pre-farming British population, Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Wilson chose to compare the common genetic signiture of the Welsh, Irish and the Scots with the next best thing, the DNA of the Basques who live in northern Spain. The Basques, because they speak an unusual, non-European language and are genetically distinct from other Europeans, have long been assumed to be descended from the continent's first modern human inhabitants."

"Dr. Goldstein said he and his colleagues found the same genetic signature in Basque men, suggesting that the Scots, Irish, Welsh and Basques all derive from the same, possibly very homogeneous, population that inbhaited Europe in Paleolitihic times. This finding implies that the Celtic language must have arrived in Britain largely by cultural diffusion, displacing the original, presumably Basque-type language spoken by the firs settlers."

"These arguments are based on the male, or Y, chromosone and apply only to men. The study of mitochrondrial DNA, a genetic element bequeathed solely in the female line, tells a different story. Women from Scotland, Wales and Ireland show no sharp genetic difference from women in the rest of northern Europe. "The implication is that somewhere along the line" Dr. Goldstein said "whether willingly or unwillingly, females from the continent joined the population in Britain and swamped out the earlier genetic complement from the maternal side."

"The women could have been captured, bought or traded. Or genetic analysis could be reflecting the ancient custom of women's moving from their own villages to join their husbands in theirs, a tradition that could have continued despite the watery barriers between Britain and the continent."


So ... what it boils down to is this: most men of Gaelic and British lineage descend from men geneticly close (very close) to the ancestors of the Basques.

However, their maternal lineage is that of women from northern Europe ... which just happens to be roughly the same place the Celts were.

In other words, we're descended from dusky Spanish (sic) studs and French-German nymphomaniacs.

Seriously though, the female lineage may help to explain the reason we began specking our branch of the Celtic language. Our mothers were Celts, and while Dad was off doing his warrior thing, the first words we would have learned would have being from our mothers. Pretty much the same thing happened centuries later in Ireland with the Vikings, Normans, and English. This could be the route that Celtic cultural diffussion entered the Isles.

But - as we have seen from the Druids - it was a two-way street. Or even a dual carriageway.

Another handy little article on the subject to look up is "Y-chromosone variation and Irish origins." Someone else can do it because my computer froze when I found it. Cheers. Fergananim, July 17 2005.

Irish Catholicism

I think I read somewhere a very long time ago and at a very young age that Irish Catholicism (or christianity at any rate) was institutionalized prior to that happening in Rome to any significant degree. I think there was a Saint Michael or someone who came from Ireland, travelled extensively throughout the world and had become hip to christianity; converted people in the Middle East to christianity and came back to Ireland to found a rather large christian monk community.

I think I either read this in Winston Churchill's "History Of The English Speaking Peoples" or a Nobel Prize speech by Abdus Salaam (or whatever the heck the guy's name was that shared the prize with Richard Feynman for QED (physics)).

A google search of "Irish Catholicism history" doesn't seem to give me any leads in this direction though. In fact I keep seeing things referring to Irish Catholics as "Roman Catholics". I could've sworn that they were an entirely different (and earlier) branch (at least in any truly organized way).

Am I on dope or something? Why have I thought this most of my life? Can anyone shed any light on why I've been under this apparently false assumption - Irish Catholicism being a distinctly separate branch from Roman Catholicism?