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Ireland Vacations - Trips to Ireland - Irish Tour Company

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Special Interest

Celtic and Gaelic Ireland

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Irelands Celtic and Gaelic heritage is world renowned and can be traced historically for over 2000 years beginning with the Iron Age in about 500 BC and leading right up to the Tudor conquests of the 16th century.

Pagan Celtic Ireland was a sacred land populated by powerful kings, heroic warriors and priestly druids while its people were pre-occupied with the supernatural and dominated by their spiritual beliefs.

With the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century Ireland would emerge into a golden age as the island of saints and scholars while its monasteries became the great educational centres of Europe.

During the medieval period that followed the royal courts and noble Gaelic dynasties would become havens of patronage for the historians, medical men, brehons (judges) and astronomers of the hereditary intellectual classes.

 

Heritage and Ancient Monuments

Irelands rich Heritage is world famous and consists of a variety of magnificent natural wonders along with a multitude of ancient monuments ranging from the pre-historic to the medieval era. Visit the Giants Causeway in the north with its strange and wonderful geological formations or experience the monastic solitude of Skellig Michael, an ancient Christian site off the rugged south coast. Travel west and peer over the towering cliffs of Moher or explore the mysterious vaulted chamber of Newgrange (3200 B.C.) in the Boyne Valley to the east.

 

Genealogy and Ancestral Heritage

Genealogy was cultivated in Ireland since ancient times and Gaelic historians were dedicated to preserving the identities and relationships of their historic families. Kings ruled on the strength of genealogies and upon inauguration the royal bard recited the ancestry of the king to emphasise his hereditary right to rule. A person’s position in society depended upon their genealogies which were recited at festivals and feasts with the express purpose of enhancing reputations through the tracing of ancestry right back to the coming of the Milesians. With the transmission to written culture ancient oral history was preserved in the monastic settlements and over time genealogy was pursued for its own merits by the Gaelic learned classes. The transmission of this body of lore has resulted in detailed knowledge of the origins and history of many Irish families and historians consider the Irish genealogical tradition to have the largest national corpus in Europe.