Ireland’s colourful history is reflected in
a stunning variety of prehistoric evidence, like megalithic tombs
and dolmens,Celtic ring forts and burial sites -each of them with
its own local legend and myth. The Celtic culture and language
dominated Irish history for thousands of years,and even now, the
legacy is still with us.
Around 450AD St.
Patrick christianised Ireland; symbolised by the shamrock. He
preached against druidic practices,and banished successfully the
snakes of the island. Christianity brought the building of beautiful
churches and cloisters and the widespread development of monastic
settlements with it.
Vikings discovered these vulnerable settings and raided many of these tempting targets of their precious
ornaments and wonderfully illuminated books. In an attempt to save
their relics, the monks built the distinctive round towers, which
the Vikings couldn’t plunder.
Even though many
of these clerical sites are in ruins today, they still have the air
of a prayer in stone.
times,hermits,heroes,Normans, raiders and pilgrims travelled across
the island leaving their footprints as legends after them... We are
fortunate enough to be still able to ride some of these old routes
where Kings and soldiers passed. One of them is the historical
Like a step back in time you feel by
looking at the story telling ruins of peasant farms along our
wayside. The Penal Laws enacted to further crush Catholicism, and
later the great famine had a devastating effect on the impoverished
rural Irish population. Several million people died of starvation
and diseases,or emigrated for a better life. A large number of
landlords fled the country and all that is left of their glory are
the ruins of spooky looking castles like Leamaneh Castle.
Yet, a wind of
change blew in the 19th and 20th century,when nationalist Ireland
started to fight the British rule. The country went through
revolution and civil war until 1949 the Irish Republic was