What Is "Irish"?

Our family history includes "Black Irish" ancestors.  Having researched Irish history, I know that the first inhabitants of the island were the Fomorians, described as a brown-skinned, black-haired people of unknown origin.  Other anthropological studies link these indigenous Irish people to the Marsh Arabs of what is now Iraq.  No one knows for sure, I guess; and other ideas include genealogical connections to north African people ("Moors") and  Roma ("Gypsies").  Probably all of these groups have contributed to what is now termed "Black Irish" experience.  I proudly claim them all! 

jmuhjacat jmuhjacat
13-15
4 Responses Feb 10, 2009

Ancient Origins<br />
The history of Ireland has been one of continual invasion and the displacement of one people by another.<br />
The first recorded inhabitants of the British Isles (Britain, Ireland and the Isle of Man) are referred to in 325 BC by the Greek historian/explorer Ptolemy as the Pretani. The south of Ireland was inhabited by the Firbog and the north by the Cruithin (Picts). The proximity of the north of Ireland to Scotland meant Pictish kingdoms often encompassed parts of Scotland and the north of Ireland (Ulster).<br />
By 300 BC the Celts arrived in Britain pushing as far north as Strathclyde in Scotland and from there, into Ireland. These Britonic Celts were the ancesters of the modern day Welsh. The Celtic tribe of the Ulaid (for whom Ulster is named) became the elite class in the north of Ireland living along side and sometimes ruling over the Cruithin. Around 200 BC the Gaels arrived in Ireland from the Iberian region of Spain and gradually pushed north. The Ulaid and Cruithin united in the face of a common enemy and built the defensive structure called Black Pigs Dyke (the remains of which still stands today) along the southern border of Ulster to halt the advance of the Gaels.<br />
By 450 AD the more numerous Gaels had managed to gain control of most of the north of Ireland, with Ulster shrunken to encompass only the present day counties of Antrim and Down (the enlarged modern day Ulster boundaries were put in place by the government of the Tudor Elizabeth 1st for administrative purposes). The loss of territory led to the Ulaid/Cruithin looking for land elsewhere.<br />
By 490 AD the Ulaid/Cruithin (named Scotti by the Romans) had established the kingdom of Dalriada in the Ayrshire and Galloway regions of Scotland. By this time the Gaels domination of Ireland had led to the Gaelic language becoming the spoken tongue of the now united Cruithin Picts and Ulaid Celts.<br />
In 500 AD the Scotti king of Dalriada, Fergus Mac Ere ruled a kingdom that encompassed areas in both Scotland and Ulster. It is from Mac Ere that Scottish Royalty and therefore the British Monarchy are descended.<br />
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The Red Hand of Ulster<br />
The ancient symbol of Ulster is the red hand. There are several versions as to the true origins of this symbol.<br />
The first version involves a race between two ships carrying one of the many peoples to invade Ireland. The captains of two ships had a wager that the first to set his hand on the land would own it. One of the captains, seeing he was going to lose cut off his right hand and threw it to the shore winning the wager.<br />
The second version has a biblical reference (Genesis 38 v 28-30) to back the story up and involves Zareh and Pharez, the sons of Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. During their birthing, Zareh's hand protruded first and the midwife tied a scarlet cord around the hand to identify the firstborn. But Zareh drew back his hand and his brother Pharez came out first. Zareh's descendents were therefore disinherited and left the other tribes ending up eventually Ireland and legend tells they developed the first kingdom of Ulster in 1480 BC. The two heraldic symbols were the red hand with scarlet cord (Zareh) and the red lion rampant (Judah), one used by Ulster today, the other by Scotland. <br />
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Cuchulainn - the Hound of Ulster<br />
The oldest story in western European history is that of Cuchulainn, the hound of Ulster. Legend has it that the young Cruithin warrior, Setanta killed the hound of the Ulaid lord Chulainn. Setanta took the name Cuchulainn and became his 'hound'. Cuchulainn became the war leader of the Knights of the Red Branch, centered at Navan fort and was repeatedly successful in repealing attacks on Ulster by the Gaels of queen Maeve.

THE MAIN THEORY IS THE SPANISH A NUMBER OF SHIPS WENT DOWN OFF THE WEST COAST IN THE SEVENTEEN HUNDREDS AND THE SURVIRORS LIVED AND MARRIED MAINLY IN GALWAY.......GOING BACK TO THE MIDDLE AGES THE IRISH WERE KNOW IN EUROPE AS THE EGYPTIANS AND THERE IS LINKS BETWEEN BEDOWINE ARABS IN EGYPT AND LIBYA IN LANGUAGE MUSIC AND ART TO IRISH COUNTERPARTS.ALL THE MAJOR SYMBOLS OF THE BRITISH ISLES THE FLAGS OF ENGLAND(CROSS OF ST.GEORGE) SCOTLAND(CROSS OF ST.ANDREW) IRELAND (CROSS OF ST.PATRICK) AS WELL AS THE ENSIGNS OF SCANDANAVIA WERE ALL STANDARDS OF VICTORY CARRIED BY THE PHOENICIANS WHO WERE FROM THE EGYPT AREA.EVEN THE WORD SHAMROCK COMES FROM THE EGYPTIAN WORD FOR ANY THREE LEAFED PLANT SHAMRUKH.THERE IS EVEN AN ARGUMENT THAT THE TOMB OF MENES IS IN CO.TYRONE. ALSO NEWGRANGE HAS CUP MARKED INSRIPTIONS WHICH ARE VIRTUAL REPLICAS OF THOSE FOUND IN EARLY SUMERIAN AND HITTITE SEALS.

Born in L.A., but prefer "world citizen". ;)

I'm guessing you're American then? :D *cheeky grin*