Talk:History of Ireland (400–800)

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Section on Irish Genealogical DNA Research Should Be Added[edit]

A lot of interesting work has been done in this area and would be a nice additional section to the article. Especially some of the unique (or semi-unique) Irish Haplotypes; what they suggest about ancient peoples and migrations and how these legacies present themselves in modern Irish Populations. (talk) 21:16, 8 January 2010 (UTC) Bun — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:02, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Relying on old theories[edit]

Won't go into the O'Rahilly discussion, which is certainly a valid one, but P-Celtic & Q-Celtic? This view of Celtic liguistics has been almost utterly supplanted at this point! See Insular Celtic.

Too Much O'Rahilly Influence?[edit]

I think there is something of the same problem with this article as there is with Ivernic language in that there is far too much reliance placed on the theorys - and that is all they are - of T.F. O'Rahilly. Besides, I'm sure you are all aware by now that over 95% of Irish people have little or no Celtic ancestry. Fergananim

I've rewritten a paragraph and changed a few heading levels to make it clear where these theories come from and that they're not universally accepted. I'm reading O'Rahilly at the moment and, while he seems to have thought things through, he doesn't show his working, as it were. Characters are dismissed as ancestor deities or relexes of "the hero" very casually. It seems to me at least as likely that Cormac mac Airt, for example, was a fondly remembered historical king that legends have gathered around as a god. But his theories are influential and widely disseminated, so I think it would be more useful to include them and make it clear where they come from than to delete them. --Nicknack009 19:31, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm not saying you should delete them, merely pointing out that they are simply theorys, and ones that are not now widely accecpted. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of time for O Rahilly, but as I said on another talk page, he presents his theorys as if they were authoritative fact. They're not. Fergananim

I believe the theories should have their own article and be summarised on this one. As it stands, they make up almost half the article. Also, it's not clear whether or not the "Gaelic conquest" section is part of O'Rahilly's theory or accepted fact.

Lapsed Pacifist 30 June 2005 05:34 (UTC)

If no-one objects, I'll summarise the theories in the article and then move them to a new page.

Lapsed Pacifist 09:15, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

Further Points[edit]

I do accecpt that peoples such as the Cruithne, Fir Bolg/Builg/Érainn did come to Ireland but I would still be slow to accecpt the term invasion. Think of them more like the Vikings and Normans who did arrive and conquor areas of Ireland but who within a number of generations became utterly assimiliated into Irish society.

Nor do I accecpt that the Gaels were one of these peoples, as the word is derived from the Welsh language which simply means raiders and denoted people who came from Ireland, whatever their ethnic origins within Ireland. A good example would be the way we still think of those who came to Ireland in 1169 and after as English (though they were mainly of Flemish, Welsh, Norman and Anglo-Saxon origins) simply because they came from England. Fergananim, 12th July 2005.

I have a question.[edit]

What was Ireland like in the year 10 A.D.? -- 21:05, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

There is little solid historical information about Ireland at that time other than the fact that it was Iron Age and Celtic. According to mythology, that would have been around the time of Cuchulainn, Conchobar, and the Tain. Celsiana 16:08, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

yes it would be very interesting to read more about ireland during the time, when the romans were ruling england and wales. was there any roman influence on ireland. did some romans to try to conquer ireland and so on? -- (talk) 06:48, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Celtic arrival[edit]

Celsiana, I reverted your last edit because it's introducing material that, without references, is merely POV:

"It has traditionally been thought it was Celtic invaders that brought Celtic language into Ireland, but recent genetic and archeological studies have lead to the formation of the newer, more controversial theory that the adoption of Celtic culture and language was a far more gradual transformation, brought on by cultural exchange with Celtic groups in mainland Europe. Many linguists would, however, argue that usually a culture would only abandon it's native language in favor of another under the pressure of political dominiation."

Controversial according to whom? Which linguists? It sounds good, but you need to cite sources to avoid running afoul of WP:WEASEL. Dppowell 16:25, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Unresolved: The disposition of duplicate ancient Ireland content is not yet settled.

History prior to writing is oxymoronic, the prewriting periods are best placed in Prehistoric Ireland.

Valid point, I support it. Dppowell 03:41, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
This could be moved to Iron Age Ireland, since that's the only bit not already duplicated on Prehistoric Ireland. --dab (𒁳) 10:32, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
As good a name as any I suppose. Early history/early historic would be Early Christian Ireland, if there had been an article written on that. Angus McLellan (Talk) 10:49, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Merge tags have been on both this article and Prehistoric Ireland for a very long time. This mess needs to be cleaned up either one way or the other. Given the stubby nature of Prehistoric Ireland I don't see a compelling reason not to merge it into this one. Iron Age Ireland no longer exists, but has been merged into Prehistoric Ireland. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:17, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Prehistoric Ireland, Early history of Ireland would be two different articles, as would Iron Age Ireland. Can't see need for change, as all can be expanded. Purple 17:48, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
All the info within Prehistoric Ireland and Early history of Ireland need to be merged under one article. Since written history (in Ireland) didn't begin properly until the 400s, the title prehistoric is more accurate. ~Asarlaí 21:16, 21 May 2009 (UTC)


I've added a cleanup tag to the article. Much of it needs to be looked over, but I was specifically referring to the quotes from the book with the page numbers; they need to be done according to the MoS, and probably trimmed down so they don't overwhelm the article.--Cúchullain t/c 01:54, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Gaelic conquest of Ulster[edit]

I'd just like to voice my concerns about the theory that the Gaels, whoever that refers to, invaded Ulster and drove out the indigenous population, the Uladh, who escaped to Scotland. This is a growing myth invented by certain sections of the Ulster Loyalist community who then claim to be descendants of the Uladh, and that the plantation of Ulster was not colonisation but a joyous return of the true people of Ulster. The Irish then are the real invaders and must be ethnically cleansed is the usual conclusion of this arguement. While certainly the article does not go this far it can be used by certain groups to reaffirm their justification for hatred of Republicans in Northern Ireland, which is indeed what is intended for. For more information on the origin of this nonsense visit the Protestant Unionist Loyalist Social Education website at It's a website designed to forment extremist views amongst gullible young men in the Unionist community and there views certainly do not reflect the majority of Unionists. Certain numbers of these people may check with Wikipedia to see if what the extremists are saying is actually true and seeing the Gaelic conquest theory put forward (without any evidence) may misguide them into believing that it as fact.

I would also like to criticise the theory of T.O.Rahilly. His theories are based on linguistic influences, which mean nothing in terms of political history and only reflect cultural growth and exhange of knowledge and ideas between the Celts, and his own analysis of Irish mythology which was written down by christian monks, which aren't the most reliable sources considering they at the time sought to stigmatize and dismiss the indigenous belief systems in Ireland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

"Gaelic Conquest of Ulster" is a misnomer, considering all Ireland was Gaelic-speaking at the time of the conquest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Whatever about anything else, the section had POV/OR/undue weight problems. Removed. Tameamseo (talk) 21:20, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
What's funny is that the Ulaid and Dál Riata can be more convincingly associated with Goidelic than O'Rahilly's so-called Gaels, the Connachta and Eóganachta, can. Those most closely associated with Gaelic by archaeology are the Érainn. It's all about the oghams, lol. DinDraithou (talk) 17:10, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Serious reorganisation[edit]

I've been boldand done some major reorganisation the the early Irish history articles. We previously had an article on Prehistoric Ireland, one on the Early History of Ireland (here), which was actually almost entirely about prehistoric Ireland, and one on Early Christian Ireland. This is one more article than is actually needed. I have consolidated all the prehistory stuff at Prehistoric Ireland, and all the proto-historic and early Christian stuff here, adding a few sections to be expanded. Early Christian Ireland is now a redirect to this article. How this article and Early Medieval Ireland 800–1166 relate to Gaelic Ireland should probably be considered. --Nicknack009 (talk) 12:22, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Name of this article[edit]

This article is not about the "Early history of Ireland", it should be renamed to either "Early historical Ireland" or "Early Christian Ireland" - the latter would be my preference. Finn Rindahl (talk) 17:32, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

RFC: Irish history series[edit]

I have opened a discussion on a reorganisation of the series of articles dealing with Irish history at Talk:History of Ireland#RFC: Irish history series. --RA (talk) 23:07, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

"Early history of Ireland"[edit]

This was the title of this article until last year, when it was correctly pointed out that "This article is not about the "Early history of Ireland"" and it was moved (see two sections above). The redirect still pointed here, and my attempts to redirect it instead to the more appropriate Prehistoric Ireland have twice been reverted by an editor who claims in his edit summary that "History is the period for which there are written records. The early history of Ireland starts in the 5th century". This goes against normal usage and academic treatment in my view, reflected for example in the template "History of Ireland" at the head of the article, which of course begins with "Prehistoric Ireland".

Comments are welcome. Johnbod (talk) 21:37, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

I was the editor who made those reverts, and I stand by my reasoning. Early Irish history refers in all the literature to the period beginning in the 5th century. Prehistory is a different category. --Nicknack009 (talk) 22:53, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

So you keep saying, but that is not confirmed as the general view by this gbooks search, nor the template referred to, nor other articles with comparable titles like Early history of Pomerania (begins at end of the last Ice age) and Early history of Tunisia. "Early medieval Ireland" is the usual term for this period without dates, and as you are I'm sure aware, the documentary evidence for the first half of the period is extremely minimal, and the history draws at least as much from archaeology. I see that this article also originally covered all the prehistoric periods as well. Johnbod (talk) 23:35, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
The Google books search you offer backs up my position - in modern academic literature, "early history" means early written history, and the study of early Irish history means disentangling what's reliable and what's not from the annals, genealogies and so on. All you're left with is arguing from other Wikipedia articles, which isn't really going to fly. Wikipedia by its nature is prone to over-applying misunderstood or mistaken definitions. The Pomerania and Tunisia articles are incorrectly titled in the same way this one was before someone realised and changed it. --Nicknack009 (talk) 08:42, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
The "incorrectness" of the titling of this article was precisely that it no longer covered periods before Early Christian Ireland. Johnbod (talk) 14:02, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

When was "Early Medieval Ireland"?[edit]

Early Irish law contains a link to Early Medieval Ireland, which redirects to History of Ireland (800–1169). However, the lede of History of Ireland (400–800) describes that period as "early medieval". Which period is the Law article refering to, and which should be the redirect for "Early Medieval Ireland"? (Posted in all three talk pages) Iapetus (talk) 12:48, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Personally I'd say from Patrick to 1169 (Normans), & I think this is a conventional view. So essentially both. See the Euro-wide Early Medieval also; in Irreland it went on rather longer than in other places. Johnbod (talk) 12:55, 28 April 2015 (UTC)