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How the Irish Saved Civilization

Samson

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The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe is [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Saved-Civilization-Hinges-History/dp/0385418493"]a non-fiction historical book written by Thomas Cahill[/ame].

9780385418485img.jpg


Interesting Intro discussing the "racism" preventing mainstream examination of the historically important role of the Irish.

Basic Premise: The Irish preserved classic literature while A. The Roman Empire Imploded, and B. Barbarians destroyed the rotten infrastructure.

Discuss.
 

JenyEliza

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We Irish peeps have historically not gotten the credit we deserved.

It's only very recent history that Irish people (in America at least) were accepted into the "white race" and treated with dignity and respect, allowed to take more than menial jobs that barely provided sustenance to their families.

In the past, the Irish were ridiculed as "White *******" and compared unfavorably with blacks and monkeys. They were also kidnapped from their beds and made into slaves in the West Indies and Indentured Servants in the US.

In honor and recognition of my brave ancestors who left the shores of Northern Ireland several generations ago, in search of freedom and prosperity for thier children, their grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc, I take today, THE ONE DAY OF THE YEAR when being Irish is celebrated world-wide, to educate the uneducated about The Irish.

-------------------------------------------------

Below are links to very interesting reading (including the works of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois), with regard to the Irish and the parallel conditions in which Negroes and the Irish often found themselves.

March 1996 Michigan Today---Comparisons of African slaves and Irish peasants

mt15bm96.gif


Both groups were targets of racist stereotypes that usually drew on a debased Darwinism in which both Blacks and Irish were somehow nearer to apes than were Anglo-Saxon types. An illustration from the influential American magazine Harper's Weekly (whose subtitle "Journal of Civilization" sounds ironic a century later) shows an alleged similarity between "Irish Iberian" and "Negro" features in contrast to the higher "Anglo-Teutonic." The accompanying caption indicates that the so-called Iberians were "believed to have been" an African race that invaded first Spain and then, apparently, Ireland, where they intermarried with native savages and "thus made way...for superior races" (like the English) to rule over them.

After the Civil War, prejudice was worse against Blacks in the South and against Irish in the North. No less an authority on discrimination than W.E.B. DuBois recalled that in growing up in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in the 1870s, "the racial angle was more clearly defined against the Irish than against me."

Reactions against stereotyped constructions helped to drive first the Irish and then the Harlem Renaissances. Both the one created in the Ireland of the late 19th and early 20th century by W.B. Yeats, John Synge, Lady Gregory and others, and the slightly later one created in the Harlem of the 1920s and 1930s by Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson and their cohorts, in some ways shared similar goals.

Writers of the Harlem Renaissance invoked their Irish forerunners as models publicly and explicitly. For example, in his landmark anthology The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922), the poet and critic James Weldon Johnson interrupted a discussion of the problems of dialect literature to proclaim:

What the colored poet in the United States needs to do is something like what Synge did for the Irish; he needs to find a form that will express the racial spirit by symbols from within rather than by symbols from without, such as mere mutilation of English spelling and pronunciation.

The link between Irish and African-American liberation appeared in more purely political contexts as well. The Black nationalist Marcus Garvey regularly cited the Irish national struggle as a paradigm for liberation movements, emphasizing particularly its 700-year duration, its blood sacrifice and its devotion to freedom. He even named his headquarters in New York Liberty Hall in direct emulation of James Connolly's headquarters at Liberty Hall in Dublin, and he justified the inclusion of green along with black and red in the familiar international African flag of the Universal Negro Improvement Association because green symbolized the Irish struggle for freedom.

Interested in solving racial problems more through class than national solidarity, the poet Claude McKay told of attending a Sinn Fein demonstration in Trafalgar square during which he was greeted as "Black Murphy" and "Black Irish." "For that day at least I was filled with the spirit of Irish nationalismalthough I am Black!" he wrote. "I suffer with the Irish. I thin I understand the Irish. My belonging to a subject race entitles me to some understanding of them."

Indeed, a literal look at their ancestry might indicate another reason why Black American leaders might feel sympathy for Irish troubles. Ishmael Reed has pointed out that if Alex Haley had set off the "roots" craze by tracing his ancestry back through his father's side rather than his mother's, he would have ended up in Ireland rather than in Gambia. And the historian Clayborne Carson has discovered that one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s grandfathers was probably half-Irish.

When I lectured on this subject at Harvard some months ago, an African-American fellow came up to me afterwards and said he'd grown up in Georgia singing songs about "Kevin Barry" and "Kelley, the Boy From Killarney." It was not until he went to college that he learned to his surprise that they were not about Black civil rights martyrs, as he had assumed, but Irish nationalist martyrs. Appropriately enough, songs of the civil rights movement in America of the 1960s became anthems of the movement for Catholic Civil Rights in Northern Ireland of the 1970s onward, whose Irish adherents particularly favored "We Shall Overcome." The very terms "Black" and "White" apparently display a simplistic binary opposition badly in need of questioning.

All of this suggests that in art and society the purity and separatism of ethnic identity is a fabrication. It is easy to compile a list of great African-American writers of the past century who have movingly described cultural interactions. Paul Robeson in his autobiography identifies the key influence on his education as his father's taking him through Homer and Virgil in the original Greek and Latin. Zora Neale Hurston recounts in Dust Tracks on a Road her desire to be an English teacher to impart to others her fervor for English Romantic poets, especially Coleridge. Ralph Ellison in his essay "Hidden Name and Complex Fate" identified T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" as a poem that "seized my mind" and prompted "my conscious education in literature."

And yet to stop with such attestations might provide too easy a picture of the real stress involved in multicultural creation and response. Perhaps nearer to the mark are two avowals, each well known in its own tradition but whose congruence with the other tradition I emphasize here. The first is W.E.B. DuBois's famous passage on "double consciousness" that opens Souls of Black Folk:

One ever feels his two-ness--an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife. In this merging he wishes to be both a Negro and an American to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture.

Correspondingly, W.B. Yeats described his own double consciousness of both Irish and English elements this way in his late essay "A General Introduction for my Work":

The "Irishry" have preserved their ancient "deposit" through wars which, during the 16th and 17th centuries, became wars of extermination. No people, Lecky said at the opening of his Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, have undergone greater persecution, nor did that persecution altogether cease up to our own day. No people hate as we do in whom that past is always alive, there are moments when hatred poisons my life. Then I remind myself that though mine is the first English marriage I know of in the direct line, all my family names are English, and that I owe my soul to Shakespeare, to Spenser and to Blake, perhaps also to William Morris, and to the English language in which I think, speak and write, that everything I love has come to me through English; my hatred tortures me with love, my love with hate.

Far from unusual, such avowals of multiple allegiance seem the normal condition of writers, and of ourselves. We write as and are members of various groups--whether defined by "race," ethnicity, class, gender, family, religion, or nationality--and yet of a broader community as well. In that sense, DuBois's noble aspiration is our own: "to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture."

George Bornstein is the C.A. Patrides Professor of Literature. This article was adapted from his essay "Afro-Celtic Connections: From Frederick Douglass to The Commitments," published in Literary Influence and African-American Writers, edited by Tracy Mishkin '93 PhD, Garland Publishing, New York, 1996.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This Issue's Index | This Issue's Front Page | CURRENT Michigan Today

Much more at the link above!

The Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten “White” Slaves – Rasta Livewire

The Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten “White” Slaves
The Slaves That Time Forgot

By John Martin

They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.

Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.

We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? After all, we know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade. But, are we talking about African slavery?

King James II and Charles I led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor.

The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.

As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.

African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.

The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce. Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.

More at links above.....

THANK YOU, DEAR RELATIVES, FOR YOUR GREAT SACRIFICES FOR ME AND MINE!

Tá grá agam duit!!!!
 
&

☭proletarian☭

Guest
We Irish peeps have historically not gotten the credit we deserved.

Thanks for the railroads, now go back were ya came from.

butcher.jpg

It's only very recent history that Irish people (in America at least) were accepted into the "white race" and treated with dignity and respect, allowed to take more than menial jobs that barely provided sustenance to their families.
You pissed off the Romans. When Greek civilization spread, the animosity didn't go away.

Was it you or the Scots that the Brits enslaved?

In honor and recognition of my brave ancestors who left the shores of Northern Ireland several generations ago, in search of freedom and prosperity for thier children, their grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc, I take today, THE ONE DAY OF THE YEAR when being Irish is celebrated world-wide, to educate the uneducated about The Irish.
We're not celebrating the Irish. Hell, we're not even celebrating Saint Patrick. We're celebrating beer, public drunkenness, and sleazy celtic women. It's really not a day focused around Irish pride. :eusa_shhh:
 

Dante

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The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe is a non-fiction historical book written by Thomas Cahill.

9780385418485img.jpg


Interesting Intro discussing the "racism" preventing mainstream examination of the historically important role of the Irish.

Basic Premise: The Irish preserved classic literature while A. The Roman Empire Imploded, and B. Barbarians destroyed the rotten infrastructure.

Discuss.

It's an old story: the Irish saved Western Civilization. Nothing new here except your outing as a Western-centrist racist. :eusa_whistle:
 

SpidermanTuba

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The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe is a non-fiction historical book written by Thomas Cahill.

9780385418485img.jpg


Interesting Intro discussing the "racism" preventing mainstream examination of the historically important role of the Irish.

Basic Premise: The Irish preserved classic literature while A. The Roman Empire Imploded, and B. Barbarians destroyed the rotten infrastructure.

Discuss.

Fuck the Irish!
 

Dr.Traveler

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Yep. Though its important to realize it wasn't just the Irish. A lot of the Helenistic learning survived at the Byzantine courts and in the Islamic Houses of Wisdom.

Folks don't realize how amazingly complete the Roman collapse was. The ability to even read nearly dissapeared in Europe. The Irish, along with a lot of the other cultures, saved a lot of important scholarly works.
 
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The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe is a non-fiction historical book written by Thomas Cahill.

9780385418485img.jpg


Interesting Intro discussing the "racism" preventing mainstream examination of the historically important role of the Irish.

Basic Premise: The Irish preserved classic literature while A. The Roman Empire Imploded, and B. Barbarians destroyed the rotten infrastructure.

Discuss.

Fuck the Irish!

Amadán
 
Joined
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Messages
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Reaction score
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We Irish peeps have historically not gotten the credit we deserved.

It's only very recent history that Irish people (in America at least) were accepted into the "white race" and treated with dignity and respect, allowed to take more than menial jobs that barely provided sustenance to their families.

In the past, the Irish were ridiculed as "White *******" and compared unfavorably with blacks and monkeys. They were also kidnapped from their beds and made into slaves in the West Indies and Indentured Servants in the US.

In honor and recognition of my brave ancestors who left the shores of Northern Ireland several generations ago, in search of freedom and prosperity for thier children, their grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc, I take today, THE ONE DAY OF THE YEAR when being Irish is celebrated world-wide, to educate the uneducated about The Irish.

-------------------------------------------------

Below are links to very interesting reading (including the works of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois), with regard to the Irish and the parallel conditions in which Negroes and the Irish often found themselves.

March 1996 Michigan Today---Comparisons of African slaves and Irish peasants

mt15bm96.gif


Both groups were targets of racist stereotypes that usually drew on a debased Darwinism in which both Blacks and Irish were somehow nearer to apes than were Anglo-Saxon types. An illustration from the influential American magazine Harper's Weekly (whose subtitle "Journal of Civilization" sounds ironic a century later) shows an alleged similarity between "Irish Iberian" and "Negro" features in contrast to the higher "Anglo-Teutonic." The accompanying caption indicates that the so-called Iberians were "believed to have been" an African race that invaded first Spain and then, apparently, Ireland, where they intermarried with native savages and "thus made way...for superior races" (like the English) to rule over them.

After the Civil War, prejudice was worse against Blacks in the South and against Irish in the North. No less an authority on discrimination than W.E.B. DuBois recalled that in growing up in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in the 1870s, "the racial angle was more clearly defined against the Irish than against me."

Reactions against stereotyped constructions helped to drive first the Irish and then the Harlem Renaissances. Both the one created in the Ireland of the late 19th and early 20th century by W.B. Yeats, John Synge, Lady Gregory and others, and the slightly later one created in the Harlem of the 1920s and 1930s by Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson and their cohorts, in some ways shared similar goals.

Writers of the Harlem Renaissance invoked their Irish forerunners as models publicly and explicitly. For example, in his landmark anthology The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922), the poet and critic James Weldon Johnson interrupted a discussion of the problems of dialect literature to proclaim:

What the colored poet in the United States needs to do is something like what Synge did for the Irish; he needs to find a form that will express the racial spirit by symbols from within rather than by symbols from without, such as mere mutilation of English spelling and pronunciation.

The link between Irish and African-American liberation appeared in more purely political contexts as well. The Black nationalist Marcus Garvey regularly cited the Irish national struggle as a paradigm for liberation movements, emphasizing particularly its 700-year duration, its blood sacrifice and its devotion to freedom. He even named his headquarters in New York Liberty Hall in direct emulation of James Connolly's headquarters at Liberty Hall in Dublin, and he justified the inclusion of green along with black and red in the familiar international African flag of the Universal Negro Improvement Association because green symbolized the Irish struggle for freedom.

Interested in solving racial problems more through class than national solidarity, the poet Claude McKay told of attending a Sinn Fein demonstration in Trafalgar square during which he was greeted as "Black Murphy" and "Black Irish." "For that day at least I was filled with the spirit of Irish nationalismalthough I am Black!" he wrote. "I suffer with the Irish. I thin I understand the Irish. My belonging to a subject race entitles me to some understanding of them."

Indeed, a literal look at their ancestry might indicate another reason why Black American leaders might feel sympathy for Irish troubles. Ishmael Reed has pointed out that if Alex Haley had set off the "roots" craze by tracing his ancestry back through his father's side rather than his mother's, he would have ended up in Ireland rather than in Gambia. And the historian Clayborne Carson has discovered that one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s grandfathers was probably half-Irish.

When I lectured on this subject at Harvard some months ago, an African-American fellow came up to me afterwards and said he'd grown up in Georgia singing songs about "Kevin Barry" and "Kelley, the Boy From Killarney." It was not until he went to college that he learned to his surprise that they were not about Black civil rights martyrs, as he had assumed, but Irish nationalist martyrs. Appropriately enough, songs of the civil rights movement in America of the 1960s became anthems of the movement for Catholic Civil Rights in Northern Ireland of the 1970s onward, whose Irish adherents particularly favored "We Shall Overcome." The very terms "Black" and "White" apparently display a simplistic binary opposition badly in need of questioning.

All of this suggests that in art and society the purity and separatism of ethnic identity is a fabrication. It is easy to compile a list of great African-American writers of the past century who have movingly described cultural interactions. Paul Robeson in his autobiography identifies the key influence on his education as his father's taking him through Homer and Virgil in the original Greek and Latin. Zora Neale Hurston recounts in Dust Tracks on a Road her desire to be an English teacher to impart to others her fervor for English Romantic poets, especially Coleridge. Ralph Ellison in his essay "Hidden Name and Complex Fate" identified T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" as a poem that "seized my mind" and prompted "my conscious education in literature."

And yet to stop with such attestations might provide too easy a picture of the real stress involved in multicultural creation and response. Perhaps nearer to the mark are two avowals, each well known in its own tradition but whose congruence with the other tradition I emphasize here. The first is W.E.B. DuBois's famous passage on "double consciousness" that opens Souls of Black Folk:

One ever feels his two-ness--an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife. In this merging he wishes to be both a Negro and an American to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture.

Correspondingly, W.B. Yeats described his own double consciousness of both Irish and English elements this way in his late essay "A General Introduction for my Work":

The "Irishry" have preserved their ancient "deposit" through wars which, during the 16th and 17th centuries, became wars of extermination. No people, Lecky said at the opening of his Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, have undergone greater persecution, nor did that persecution altogether cease up to our own day. No people hate as we do in whom that past is always alive, there are moments when hatred poisons my life. Then I remind myself that though mine is the first English marriage I know of in the direct line, all my family names are English, and that I owe my soul to Shakespeare, to Spenser and to Blake, perhaps also to William Morris, and to the English language in which I think, speak and write, that everything I love has come to me through English; my hatred tortures me with love, my love with hate.

Far from unusual, such avowals of multiple allegiance seem the normal condition of writers, and of ourselves. We write as and are members of various groups--whether defined by "race," ethnicity, class, gender, family, religion, or nationality--and yet of a broader community as well. In that sense, DuBois's noble aspiration is our own: "to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture."

George Bornstein is the C.A. Patrides Professor of Literature. This article was adapted from his essay "Afro-Celtic Connections: From Frederick Douglass to The Commitments," published in Literary Influence and African-American Writers, edited by Tracy Mishkin '93 PhD, Garland Publishing, New York, 1996.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This Issue's Index | This Issue's Front Page | CURRENT Michigan Today

Much more at the link above!

The Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten “White” Slaves – Rasta Livewire

The Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten “White” Slaves
The Slaves That Time Forgot

By John Martin

They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.

Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.

We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? After all, we know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade. But, are we talking about African slavery?

King James II and Charles I led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor.

The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.

As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.

African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.

The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce. Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.

More at links above.....

THANK YOU, DEAR RELATIVES, FOR YOUR GREAT SACRIFICES FOR ME AND MINE!

Tá grá agam duit!!!!

That's first person singular, just so you know. Your gaelic is worse than mine... and that's saying something.
 

Dante

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The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe is a non-fiction historical book written by Thomas Cahill.

9780385418485img.jpg


Interesting Intro discussing the "racism" preventing mainstream examination of the historically important role of the Irish.

Basic Premise: The Irish preserved classic literature while A. The Roman Empire Imploded, and B. Barbarians destroyed the rotten infrastructure.

Discuss.

It's an old story: the Irish saved Western Civilization. Nothing new here except your outing as a Western-centrist racist. :eusa_whistle:

note: disclosure: kiss me...
 

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