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The Celts of Northern Ireland

The rugged N. Ireland coast.

The rugged N. Ireland coast.

N. Ireland in the green and the Republic of Ireland in the yellow.

N. Ireland in the green and the Republic of Ireland in the yellow.

N. Ireland

As we now know, the Celts of Ireland during the Iron Age and beyond encompassed the entire island of Ireland. There was no division in the country. That would not happen until the 20th century. But, Celtic history in what we know today as N. Ireland had its own individual history different from the rest of the island of Ireland, or what we know today as the Republic of Ireland.

I, therefore, would be remiss if I did not look closely at the Celtic history and language of N. Ireland as well. The British Isles are the countries of England, Wales, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and N. Ireland. The UK consists of England, Wales, Scotland, and N. Ireland. And, despite when N. Ireland became part of the UK, it remains to have its own Celtic history and ancestry.

Archaeologist, Dr. Simon James of the University of Leicester (an Englishman), has done many Irish diggings, especially in N. Ireland, and believes that the Celtic history of Ireland is real. He believes and confirms in his writings and speeches that Celticness is valid on the British Isles and definitely recognizes the Celtic presence of a common language in the British Isles. He also recognizes other experts and researchers in his field as Brian Sykes and Stephen Oppenheimer and their extensive DNA research. He agrees that the Irish originated from peoples of the Iberian Peninsula originally migrating to the Irish island.

What draws all the Celtic peoples of the British Isles together, in James' opinion, is the Celtic languages and the architecture in the round houses they built to live in and the hill-forts they built for defense. He has unearthed enough of the houses, hill-forts and burial grounds to know the British Isles are tied together in this Celtic heritage.

So, off we go taking a closer look at the history, language, and modern lives of the Celts of N. Ireland.

Beaghmor Circle in N. Ireland.  Celtic ruins.

Beaghmor Circle in N. Ireland. Celtic ruins.

Celtic Ireland pre-history.

Celtic Ireland pre-history.

Devenish Island, N. Ireland.  Notice the round tower built by the Celts and very typical of their architecture.   Also, notice the Celtic cross.  N. Ireland was Christianized by St. Columba.

Devenish Island, N. Ireland. Notice the round tower built by the Celts and very typical of their architecture. Also, notice the Celtic cross. N. Ireland was Christianized by St. Columba.

Ruins of Celtic castle and abbey.  Londonderry, N. Ireland.

Ruins of Celtic castle and abbey. Londonderry, N. Ireland.

Queen Maeve

The Celts of N. Ireland

The Celts that settled in what we know as N. Ireland today, were the Ulaid (Old Irish) or the Ulaidh (Modern Irish). They were a people of early Ireland who gave their name to the modern province of Ulster, which means "land" or "territory."

Ulaid is a plural noun indicating an ethononym, a name applied to an ethnic group, rather than a geographic assignation. The Ulaid were first mentioned in Ptolemy's Geographica written in the second century and the name he gave them were the Volunti.

Whether you call them Ulaid or Volunti, they are one of the earliest Celtic tribes in what is now N. Ireland. Their capital city was probably in Navan Fort (Eamhain Mhacha) County Armagh. To their greatest extent, the Ulaid ruled all the way south to the River Boyne and west as far as Leitrim.

Eamhain Mhacha, the capital city was destroyed in the fourth century AD and the Ulaid kingdom came to an end.

Other Irish Celtic kingdoms in N. Ireland were the Erdini in County Fermanagh and the Robogdii in County Antrim and Londonderry, but they were not as strong as Celtic tribes as the Ulaid.

The best known kingdom was Dal riada which originated in Antrim and was at its greatest in the sixth and seventh centuries AD. It covered a large part of southwest Scotland and what is today County Antrim in N. Ireland. However, the kingdom disappeared by the time of the Viking invasion.

Dal riada's most famous inhabitant was St. Columba who was instrumental in spreading Christianity to northern Britain and northern Ireland. And, the Book of Kells may have been produced by Dal riadan monks.

All of these peoples followed the typical Celtic lifestyle:

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  • they were organized tribally or by clans
  • the head of the tribe or clan was a king or chieftain
  • they had a warrior aristocracy
  • their intellectuals were druids, poets and bards

Women were known for their beauty and were able to acquire substantial authority within the tribes. Both literary and archaeological findings confirm that some women were warriors.

Trading was common between the different Celtic tribes and so was warfare. There was an ancient system of roads transversing the N. Ireland area. The Celts from this region wore long-sleeved shirts and trousers which the Romans called braccae. The Romans traveled to Ireland and traded with the Celtic tribes there so would have been familiar with Irish Celtic tribes.

The Romans, however, were never able to conquer any part of Ireland and this is why the Celtic heritage remained the longest in Ireland.

But, it is the Ulaid Celtic tribe that had the most influence on what we know today as N. Ireland. Most of the artifacts dug up such as weapons and harness pieces found in N. Ireland suggest that "small bands of settlers,(warriors and metalworkers)" arrived "from Britain" in the third century BC and may have been absorbed into the Ulaid Celtic population."

During the primitive days of Ireland's history a pentarchy existed whose five members are believed to have been population groups each with their own over-king in Ireland:

  • Ulaid
  • Connacht
  • Leinster
  • Munster
  • Meath

By the fifth century AD that pentarchy ceased to exist and the documentary history of Ireland began.

The boundaries were fluid, but the Ulaid still held significant territory primarily in County Antrim. Down, and Louth. The primary ruling dynasty was Dal Fiatach who was based in Downpatrick, County Down. By this time, the king of the Ulaid referred to King Dal Fiatach as the overking of the northeast area of N. Ireland.

The rest of the ancient pentarchy fell under the control of the Airgialla and the northern dynasties of Ul Neill. (O'Neill)

The Ulaid Celts remained a distinct people represented by King Dal Fiatach and survived until their conquest in 1177 by the Anglo-Norman knight, John de Courly.

The Ulaid Celts feature prominently in the Irish legends and of prehistoric times. They remain most notably in the group of sagas known as the Ulster Cycle in Irish literature. These stories are set during the reign of the Ulaid King Conchobar mac Nessa at Emain Mhacha and tell of his conflicts with the Connacht lead by Queen Medb (Maeve) and her husband Ailill mac Mata.

Conchobar's nephew, teenage Cu Chulainn defeated Queen Medb and King Ailill in one of the largest and most bloody of battles told in the epic prose story Tain Bo Cuailnge (The Battle Raid of Cooley).

Irish scholar, Kenneth Jackson, believes that through verbal tradition the Ulster Cycle in Irish literature originated in the fourth century AD. By the end of the fourth to fifth century, the Ulaid had lost much of their territory and their capital city to the new kingdoms of the Airgialia.

Fergus Foga is said to be the last king of the Ulaid to reign in his capital city and the Three Collas are said to have defeated him at Achad Lethdery in County Monaghan. The Three Collas seized all of the Ulaid territory west of the Newry River and burned Emain Mhacha around 325 AD.

The Airgialia Celts had been the rulers of the center of N. Ireland had been vassals of the Ulaid, but they rose up and conquered the High King Fergus Foga. From then on, the Ulaid were reduced to being mere kings of their homelands, not over-kings.

With the Norman invasion of Ireland, the Earldom of Ulster was established in 1205. By the 13th century the Ulaid (Ulster) fell and the Gaelic kings of Ulster came exclusively from the O'Neill dynasty in N. Ireland.

Dunluce Castle (Celtic)  in N. Ireland

Dunluce Castle (Celtic) in N. Ireland

Ulster region of Ireland, later to become N. Ireland.

Ulster region of Ireland, later to become N. Ireland.

Plantation of Ulster.  Red - English plantations.  Orange - Scottish plantations.

Plantation of Ulster. Red - English plantations. Orange - Scottish plantations.

Scottish Plantations in N. Ireland.

Scottish Plantations in N. Ireland.

The Irish (Gaelic) language in N. Ireland

The Goidelic (Gaelic) language historically formed a dialect continuum stretching from Ireland through the Isle of Man and to Scotland. Gaelic , Irish or Erse is an ancient language of the Indo-European family. Gaelic is NOT closely related to English but is one of the languages forming the small sub-family of modern Celtic, a relic of the ancient Celtic that reached in pre-Roman times from Britain and Iberia to as far as Asia Minor.

The three modern Goidelic languages are:

  • Irish (Gaeilge)
  • Scottish Gaelic (Gaidhig)
  • Manx (Gaelg)

These Celtic languages all have a similar grammatical structure, but have little vocabulary in common. All Celtic languages have certain non-Indo-European features such as placing the verb at the beginning of the sentence. Interestingly, Berber and Ancient Egyptian are languages that do the same and may have influenced Gaelic.

Ulster-Irish of N. Ireland is one of the three main dialects of Irish or Gaelic spoken in Ireland today. Gaelige is a minority language in N. Ireland today. Gaelic Irish (Ulster-Irish) was and is the main language in the region of present-day N. Ireland for its recorded history.

The Gaelic language (Gaelige) is a primary cultural marker of the Gaels living on the Atlantic fringe of Ireland. It distinguishes them from the English-speaking Irish of Ulster. The Gaelic enclaves in Ireland represent the western most culture of the Old World.

These enclaves are found along the south and west coasts of what we know today as the Republic of Ireland and these pockets are called "Gaeltachts" and have special protected language status since 1956:

  • western Donegal
  • western Mayo
  • western Galway
  • western Kerry
  • western Cork
  • southwestern Waterford
  • the Aran Islands

Only in these completely rural areas is Gaelic still widely spoken today and English is learned in school. The largest pocket of Gaelic speakers today is in County Dublin.

Only approximately 20,000 people of N. Ireland speak Ulster-Irish which istheir dialect of Gaelic today. As in other parts of Celtic Europe, Irish was the main language in the region of present-day N. Ireland for most of its divided history. The historic influence of the Irish language in N. Ireland can be seen in many place names.

The name Belfast first appears in 668 AD even though the city was originally founded by the Vikings. Creag or Carriag is Gaelic for 'rock', so Carrickfergus means the 'rock of Fergus.' Dun means 'fort' or 'stronghold' so Dundrum means the 'fort of the ridge.'

The Plantation of Ulster lead to the decline in Gaelic language and culture in N. Ireland and the English language was made widespread by the plantation. It was the plantation that brought the most change to N. Ireland and the most change to the language spoken. Now, the plantations insisted on English being spoken.

The plantation was the organization or colonization (plantation) of Ulster, a province of Ireland by the people from Britain during the reign of King James I. Most of these colonists were English and Scottish and the small private plantation by wealthy landowners began in 1606. The English and Scottish were the aristocratic land owners and the Irish became the commoners.

An estimate half million of acres spanning Counties, Tyrconnel, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Cavan, Coleraine, and Armagh was confiscated from the Gaelic chieftains who owned them. Most of these chieftains fled Ireland in 1607, called the Flight of the Earls, but would return to fight another day. (They lost)

King James I thought that colonizing Ulster with loyal British settlers would prevent further rebellion as Ulster had been the Irish region most resistant to English control during the preceding century. King James wanted a 'civilized enterprise' that would settle Protestants in Ulster, a land mainly Gaelic speaking and of the Catholic faith. It was James' scheme to Anglicize the Irish.

The Scottish colonists were mostly Presbyterian and the English were mostly Anglicans (Church of England.) Prior to its conquest in the Nine Years War in the 1590's, Ulster had been the most Gaelic part of all Ireland. During this time, many of the Gaelic Irish lived by 'creaghting', the seasonal migration with their cattle and because of this permanent habitations were not always possible.

Therefore, 16th century Ulster was viewed by England as being underpopulated and underdeveloped and free for the taking.

The 16th century English conquest of Ireland was made piece by piece starting with Henry VIII and completed by his daughter, Elizabeth I. During these wars the semi-independence of these Celtic Irish chieftains and kings was broken.

High Kings Hugh O'Neill and Hugh O'Donnell surrendered to the English at the Treaty of Mellsfont in1603 and the plantation era began in N. Ireland.

As mentioned before the English and Scottish were the colonists in Ulster and the Scots language came to N. Ireland with the Scottish settlers of the Plantation of Ulster.

The Ulster-Scot language (Ullan's or Braid Scotch) is a variant of Scots language used by Robert Burns in many of his poems. This variant language also came to N. Ireland. Scottish place names are found throughout N. Ireland and Scottish surnames are found in N. Ireland like, Milkyknowes, Mistyburn, Clatteryknowes, Hurtlefoot, and Whistlebare.

The Ulster-Scot language brought words introduced like -thon which means 'that'; donner, which means 'walk''; wee which means 'small'; and cannae which means 'can't' to the English language preferred by the plantation owners.

The Scots also give the Ulsters the word knowe which means 'small hill or knoll'; clattery which means 'muddy, dungy'; whin which means a 'yellow flowering hedge.'

So Ulster-English came to have borrowed words along the way especially from the Scots. Although, English was to be spoken, the Ulster men and women kept Uster-Irish alive and it remained as one of the three Irish dialects spoken in Ireland even to today.

This Celtic Knot of N. Ireland represents two centuries of culture and history exchanged between Sumner County, Tennessee and County Tyrone in N. Ireland

This Celtic Knot of N. Ireland represents two centuries of culture and history exchanged between Sumner County, Tennessee and County Tyrone in N. Ireland

Union Jack, and the official flag of N. Ireland since 1972.

Union Jack, and the official flag of N. Ireland since 1972.

Ulster banner, the official flag of N. Ireland from 1921-1972.

Ulster banner, the official flag of N. Ireland from 1921-1972.

Royal Standard

Royal Standard

N. Ireland today

As a result of the plantation era in N. Ireland, between the 17th and 20th centuries the Irish language declined and English dominated this region of Ireland. English became the official language of N. Ireland and Gaelic Ulster-Irish took a back seat.

Recently there has been a revival of the Irish language as well as N. Ireland's Celtic heritage. W. Belfast has an area called, Belfasts' Gaeltaqcht Quarter where Irish speakers preserve and promote the language today through Irish music, dance and song. They sponsor Irish festivals like Feile An Phobali.

Dedicated venues such as Culturlann McAdam O'Fiaich and An Droichead in Belfast and the Culturlann Ui Chanain in Derry-Londonderry celebrate the Irish language and culture.

The Plantation of Ulster was probably the single most influential denominator in shaping N. Ireland today. It made N. Ireland mostly Protestant and English speaking in conflict with the minority Catholics who are Irish speaking. The Catholics want to see Ireland become whole again, and the Protestants want to remain loyal to England and remain N. Ireland and part of the UK.

From the late 1960s to 1990s N. Ireland experienced 'the Troubles' and great battles and conflicts between the Protestants and the Catholics. But, in the 90's both sides agreed to a truce and although the passions and differences still remain, the fighting has stopped.

It was The Governor of Ireland Act of 1920, which came into effect in 1921, that divided Ireland into two autonomous regions. Southern Ireland eventually became its own nation, the Republic of Ireland and N. Ireland became part of the UK.

As a result of the English take-over of N. Ireland, the country does not have its own unique flag sanctioned by the government. In official functions, the Union Jack is used, the official flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). Between the years 1921-1972 N. Ireland did have an official flag, the Ulster Flag or Ulster Banner.

N. Ireland came under more direct British rule in 1972 as a response to the conflict (theTroubles) that had recently erupted in N. Ireland. The Flag Regulations (N. Ireland) of 2000 states the only flags permitted to be flown in N. Ireland are:

  • the Union Jack
  • the European Union flag
  • the flags of visiting heads of state
  • the Royal Standard

It is historical and political irony that the strongest Gaelic area of all Ireland, Ulster, would end up becoming so English, with the English language taking the place of Irish and becoming the officlal language in N. Ireland. But, the country in recent years has been claiming back its Celtic heritage and especially its Gaelic Irish language.


Rick Steves visits N. Ireland


Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on September 27, 2014:

tirelesstraveler: Yes, you are of Celtic heritage. All the Irish are Celts and proud of it. Thanks so much for your visit.

Judy Specht from California on September 23, 2014:

Though my husband's grandparents came from Ireland and spoke Gaelic, I really had no knowledge of the Celts.

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on July 31, 2014:

Homeplace: I think there are many people, especially those with ancestors from western Europe, who have Celt in them. They were so prevalent throughout Europe and the British Isles. I find them so interesting for their culture and customs but also because they were such a thorn in the Romans's side. LOL! Thanks so much for reading and I am glad you enjoyed it.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on July 31, 2014:

My nephew, Grant, would really enjoy this. He has two Celtic lines, and enjoys reading anything he can of this part of his heritage. We share a Butler line from near Dublin...

Thank you for sharing!! ;-)

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on July 18, 2014:

Suzanne: I am so glad you enjoyed reading this as I too have always enjoyed the Celtic history and people. I love their art and their castles too. Thanks so much for your input.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on July 17, 2014:

The mystery and magic of the Celts has always been close to my heart, ever since my Grandmother told me about her childhood in Ireland and what she knew of them. I particularly like Celtic related art and the ruins from their cities and buildings is fascinating. Voted awesome and pinned!

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on July 12, 2014:

Hi Tracy: Thanks so much for your interest and comments. I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this and enjoyed the images. I hope to see N. Ireland one day also.

Tracy Halman from Ravenna, Ohio on July 11, 2014:

I would love to travel this beautiful country, it is so full of things to enjoy. I especially love the pictures you shared, interesting history also. Thanks again Suzette.

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on July 09, 2014:

So glad they were rescued, Meg, and ok. That looks like rough riding for kayaking there - lots of rapids. So glad to hear the rope bridge did not break. LOL! That is why I fear those types of bridges. And , I have a fear of heights. Agoraphobia I think it is called. Anyway, thanks for the info and all's well that end's well!

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on July 09, 2014:

Meg: Thanks so much for the link. I will surely read it. I have had a cousin and son from Italy here visiting the past week or so and have not been on HP. Sorry for my tardiness. Thanks so much for the link and I will enjoy it.

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on July 09, 2014:

Examiner: I know, it is confusing when it comes to the names UK, Britain, Great Britain. I had learned them one time in school, but after all these years, I needed a review myself. I have had a cousin and his son here from Italy for a visit and have not been on hp, so please excuse the tardiness of my answer to your comments. Thanks so much for your input.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on July 06, 2014:

Latest news on Carrick a rede ropebridge Sunday 6 July 2014

The Examiner-1 on July 01, 2014:


Yes, I have heard of the different dialects in various countries, but I always thought that Ireland was Irish - period. I did not even know that the U.K. was down there. I only thought that Eng., Lon., etc., were parts of U.K.


Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on July 01, 2014:

Examiner: I am sorry you got confused, but yes, Irish has several major dialects that they speak. It is not the same Irish all over Ireland and that is true of most European countries. I have relatives in Italy, and they have many dialects throughout the country. The major dialect in N. Ireland is Ulster Irish and it is different from the dialects in the Republic of Ireland. Then even neighborhoods can have dialects of their own. For example. Spain has five different major dialects. I speak and taught Castillian Spanish which is the true Spanish spoken by all the Spanish. But, then each region has its own dialect and in some cases, a completely different language as the Basques do. Then there are all the dialects of Latin America. Each Latin country has its own dialect and then multiple dialects within each Latin country. So learning a foreign language is always fun! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

The Examiner-1 on July 01, 2014:

This one was confusing Suzette. Not at the beginning, I was reading along with it simple enough. It was when Ireland began speaking in all those different dialects. I knew that England, Britain, London, Wales, etc. all spoke in different tongues, but I thought Irish was Irish! I sure learned quite a bit that I did not know before. Thank you. Thumbs up and shared.


Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on June 26, 2014:

Genna: THanks so much for your interest and enthusiasm for this series. I am pleased you enjoyed reading this and I want to visit N. Ireland too. It looks beautiful.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on June 25, 2014:

Very well written, Suzette. I especially liked the intro, which had me from the “so, off we go…” This article has been meticulously researched and beautifully presented. I now want to visit N. Ireland more than ever. Nice work! I enjoyed the read. :-)

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on June 24, 2014:

I love it Meg! I get nervous just looking at it! LOL!

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on June 24, 2014:

Jackie: your comments are so kind. I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this. I have found the Celts to be so interesting as a people and because they covered continental Europe and the British Isles, I think all of us of western Europe heritage have a bit of Celt in us. That is what I have found so interesting about researching this. In western Europe who wasn't a Celt? The Celts and their culture stretched from Turkey to Ireland and everything in between. And to think the Celts of the British Isles originated from the Iberian Peninsula. That's what I also find amazing. I am so glad you visited and thank you for your comments.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on June 24, 2014:

I have now changed my profile pic to show me on the bridge, many years ago.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on June 24, 2014:

Carrickfergus is a place - a town - on the eastern sea coast of Northern Ireland, with an old castle, that you can visit. I remember an old story that I heard about how it got its name, in that two sons of a Scottish king were racing by boats across the sea to Ulster. The first one whose hand touched land would claim the land as his own. Fergus was so desperate to get the land that he cut off his hand with his sword and threw it onto the land. He won because his hand was the first to touch land! Thus the flag - the red hand of Ulster that you mention above (or maybe it was in the video?) Dundrum is also a very nice town, down near the Mountains of Mourne. Dundrum bay is very large and the tide comes in very quickly there, so you have to be careful not to get caught. If I find the old photo and work out how to post it, I will put it up.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 23, 2014:

So thorough and so interesting! More like literature than history; which I always loved. ^+

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on June 23, 2014:

DreamerMeg: Have you been on that bridge? Wow! That looks a bit scary to me. LOL! I would love to visit N. Ireland one day. It is so beautiful and I enjoyed seeing Belfast on the video. The countryside is gorgeous. Lucky you that you live there. Thanks so much for reading and I am glad you have seen the Carrickfergus. I have heard about it and it is on my list to see when I get to N. Ireland.

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on June 23, 2014:

Stephanie: you and me both - I'd love to see Ireland some day. There is so much history and culture there and I think the country is beautiful from the photos. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and I am pleased you enjoyed it.

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on June 23, 2014:

Hi Nell: This was a little difficult to write because I didn't want to blame the English for the initial invasion and I didn't want to blame the IRA the Catholics. I was sorta walking on eggshells. The Rick Steves video actually goes into more detail about the N. Ireland "Troubles." I know Nell, the IRA was a terrorist group; I do realize that and I know that both sides where hurling bombs and basically it was a guerrilla war in N. Ireland during the 60's through 90's and both Irish and English were injured and killed in the process. I remember the news back in the day. I am glad they are finally at peace and I hope it holds for the rest of time. Really, people need to learn to get along and have a sense of community not war zones. I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this and thanks for your support of this series I have done. I wanted to do the whole British Isles so no one felt left out LOL! It has been really interesting for me and I have learned so much. I finally understand all the languages and how they are intertwined, especially in Ireland with the Irish and Scots. The Celts were quite a family of tribes and their languages so interesting.

Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on June 23, 2014:

Well, there you go Bill. You are Irish by default! LOL! So glad you have enjoyed this. You are welcome! and thanks for visiting and commenting..

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on June 23, 2014:

I live near Carrickfergus and not far from Belfast. And have been over the Carrick-a rede rope bridge featured at the start of the video. Very interesting hub.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on June 23, 2014:

I've always wanted to visit Ireland. Thanks for all of the useful history and information. I really enjoyed the beautiful photographs you used to illustrate your article, too. Voted up!

Nell Rose from England on June 23, 2014:

Hi suzette, another great look at the celts. Northern Ireland is an interesting place, its funny because if you go to Spain in the Summer you will see hundreds of irish on the beaches! lol! Seems that they like to go back to their roots so to speak! We English get a bit annoyed with the old 'blame the English for the invasions etc' purely because James 1 or England and six of Scotland did in fact take the Scots over there, but they always blame the English!

And of course the so called 'troubles'. This was a good 'opt out' word for it, when really it was terrorism on a massive scale. Bombing in Northern Ireland, and lots of Bombing in England with many loss of lives. The irony is that if they the Catholics and Protestants hadn't been constantly fighting over there, we would never have gone to help them. Thankfully the terrorists seem to have stopped now. But never ever believe it was just a 'cause' it was terrorism pure and simple. Great hub, and voted up!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2014:

My mother's family...from Cork...the O'Dowds are everywhere there. Interesting on a personal level, Suzette. Thank you.

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