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Decorated initials from a 9th century Irish manuscript

This wonderful collection of decorated initials is found on a 9th century Irish manuscript which now resides at the Abbey of Saint Gall in Switzerland.  Founded in the 7th century AD by an Irish monk (St. Gall), the abbey has an extensive library that contains a small but important corpus of Irish material. This includes a […]

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Raven Born & Wolf Singer: Some Old Irish Names from Ogham Stones

These Old Irish names are taken from the country’s corpus of ogham stones. Consisting of a series of incised linear lines, ogham represents Ireland’s very earliest form of writing. It is typically found on standing stones, especially in the the south and southwest of the country, where there is a remarkable concentration of these monuments. The […]

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Remarkable Old Photos of Ireland

This wonderful selection of photographs illustrates Ireland at the very start of the 20th century. Concentrated in Co. Galway, the images depict thatched cottages, shawl clad women, small farms and barefoot children. Indeed, the poverty shown in some of the photos is striking. All of the pictures are taken from the United States Library of Congress […]

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‘You Moulting Desert Ram’: 12 Early Irish Insults

This colourful collection of Irish insults dates from the Early Medieval era and is primarily based on the period’s satirical poetry and prose. The insults are sourced from the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language  which in this instance relies heavily on Róisín McLaughlin’s ‘Early Irish Satire‘. 1 ‘you moulting desert ram‘ (a reithi folta fasaigh ar fiadh) […]

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John Derricke’s Images of Ireland, 1581 AD

Below are a selection of images taken from John Derricke’s  The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne, which was published in 1581 AD. Dedicated to Philip Sidney, the book is largely a pro-English propaganda piece which praises the deputy-ship of Philip’s father Henry Sidney and his military campaigns in Ireland. Although it casts the Irish in a less […]

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