Friday, March 10, 2006

Just 'cos it's Paddy's day tommorow:

A non-biased account of Ireland and the history of America and the world

Ireland populated a large part of America: There are 34 million US residents who claim Irish ancestry. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself (3.9 million). About one in 50 New Yorkers of European origin carry the genetic signature linked with Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish high king of the fifth century AD.

An Irish saint discovered America before Columbus: The ancient annals of Ireland include a detailed account of St Brendan the Navigator, who in the 6th Century sailed across the sea to a new world with a group of acolytes in a leather boat! The new world is believed to be America. The boat was simply a frame of wood covered in animal skin and then tarred. Tim Severin, author and explorer, was inspired by the story and by the feats of Heyerdahl, and to prove the doubters he built a replica, called it The Brendan and in 1976 he sailed across the Atlantic in it with a crew of five, proving that it could be done. Severin’s boat is on display in the Craggaunowen Project, Quin, County Clare, Ireland.

The Irish saved civilisation as we know it: In a so-called hinge of history, Ireland played a crucial role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe. St. Patrick did not only help preach Christianity across Ireland, but he also he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become “the isle of saints and scholars”, thus preserving Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization – copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost – they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.

The Irish never bend the truth or exaggerate: that’s most certainly true.

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