Thursday, October 28, 2010

Finding Irish records and hope

Locating Irish Records

One of the great gaps in recovering Irish history , geneology or economys are the number of missing records kept by the local provincial leaders and chieftains and monastarys established from 432 AD under St Patrick and later replaced by Cathederal diocese from the continental orders.
Most of these records were kept by the Ollam [professors] and the Bardic Order.
In the era of the Ard Ri and the yearly pre Halloween Assembly at Tara Hill to transact Irelands business ,legislative, legal and judicial, which was offically shut down in 550 or so AD when Tara was cursed by the cleric Rodan.

All Souls Day is the last quarter day of the year depicting that the winter solstice will occur some 50 days later.
It is the offical Irish beginning of winter.
Time to get the cattle down from the mountain pastures, kindle the hearth fire,stock in turf supplies from the bogs, and see to it that all inthe community are safe and secure in comfortable thatched cabin with enough food, meat and milk, and butter to see the family[fine] through the period of darkness and ice.

As Ireland is 15 degrees north from the US generally, it gets dark earlier in the day 4PM and does not get lite again till late in the morning in winter.

The Tara palace was filed with stone and rubble after the church cursing and was set afire.
When it was burning it was covered with dirt and rock building a mound which is still there with a mote around it.

The Cronicles of the Kingdom of Ireland disapeared.
The Ptsalter of Cashel of the kings disapeared.
The lebair of MoinsterBoice Abby of Louth disapeared.

The old Brehon Law was codified by St Patrick and a panal of ollams judges and legal experts and consepts foreign to Christain catholizism of that era 450 AD were purged.

HOwever Scoil, school, usually training the Irish noblise to prepare for the clerical positions
[Abbyships were inherited by clann but bishoprics and priestshoods were open to those qualified].

Patrick established the old school at Armagh in 450 or 457 AD
which taught secular subjects and having several foreign students such as the trian saxon or saxon third- many geramn students came there to study as well as saxons from England.
Later St Brigit establihsed a school at Kildare a center of religion and learning.

The school of Clonad was established by St Finnian,[the famous ruler of Columb cilles copyied book,

['To every cow belongs her calf.'] in 520 AD where studied the 12 Apostles of Erinn.
3000 pupils passed through Clonard school.

A school was founded at Moville and a school at Bangor founded by St Comgall.

St Bernard of Clairvaux in France in his time of 1150 or so observed these schools and was in that century a good friend of Irish monks and abbotts and many records were brought to that Abbey in the 10 and 11 Century the peroid fo the viking raids.

Bangor was the scholastic home of Columbanus, St Gall and Dungal the Astronomer, as well as St Malachy II who helped bring the Cathederal Contintal Churchs to Erinn in the 1150s AD.

Claun Maic Nois school was founded by ST Ciaran in 544 AD and was ranked as one of the greatest centers of Learning in Europe.
The oldest Irish church Annal was written at Cluan meic Nois by Tigernach and Suibne.

He was a great master of the sea and assisted king Alfred found the University of Oxford.

St Brendan founded the school of Clonfert in 556 and was Abbot there 20 years training 3000 monks before his famous voyage.

In 635 the School of Lismore was founded and hosted students from Gaul [France] England and Germany.

Schools were also founded at
Inis fallen
Inis Caltra on loch Derg W

15 plus the above named.

All great schools and many of the lower British nobility flocked over to Ireland to attend these institutions of learning.

The Irish recieved them and took care to suppy them all with daily food without cost and to furnish them with books and teaching free of charge.

[ie not the payback of the hospitality in 1845 by the British and Anglos when the Great Famine occured and 1 million and 1/2 died of starvation, fever and workhouse conditions].

The Irish again continue to feed laid off contintal workers and emigrees by the failure of the European Union at Brussels to modify the exising legislation and leave the small helpless nations unable to return theese persons to their own countries. Out of work , non citizens who are a charge on the Irish government and not self sustaining.
Once again the large continent countries overpower the small principalities and nations of Europe.

Continental students came from the continet to study in the Irish schools from such places as England ,from Germany and Italy*

The Irish schools were both lay and ecclesiastic-the monastary schools- were intended for ecclesiastic studys normaly.

Studies of Scripture and preparation for a cleric life, theology and the clasics.

The Lay scho0ls taught language, literature ,law, and Irish Antiquities.

Although these schools had different missions they also worked together to achieve a rounded education for their students.

Most of the poet, bards, lawyers artists physicians and hisotrians had lay educations which had absorbed the old druid teaching before christainity and these Ollams and professors were the sucessors of the ancient celtic lore of pagan Ireland.

There were 7 stages of education in the Lay Schools.
The 7 degrees of wisdom which correspond withthe term periods of modern Universitys.

In the Bardic schools the course expanded to 12 years and poets must make the 7 kinds of verse and be able to compose in each, extemporaniously,and know by heart 350 legendary poems for Public resitation.
[no wonder the students downsized 6 of these]

Bardic Ollams were left wondering the roads as beggars by 1800.

In 500 at least 1/3 of the men of Irelland were members of the poetic and Bardic order.
An Ollave Brehon or Judge of the High Court
had been educated in a long study course and needed to be conversant in the rule of the Brehon code of Law which regulated almost every human relation and social order in Ireland and extended to subjects modern systems of law do not consern themselves with.

The Brehon Law Code was outlawed by James Stuart I or IV King of England and Scotland by will of Elizabeth I.

He broke the Irish system of law and order, economic control and ownership of the land with the introduction by force of the plantation system and the expultion of Irelands military personell,
leaving the country completely devoid of any control of their own social, political, defence and livelehood which the British government and crown forces are still trying to control particulary in Ulster North Ireland areas.

This colonization again an example of the great and powerful over the small and weak.

Ireland like many small nations states had not enough people or rulers to hold thier good order against an overwehelming flood of outsiders.

There were and still are not enough as them even with the production of 10 or 12 children and the country is also suffering identity nervousness by the absorbtion of Hibernic/Norse from the vickings, Norman/Irish from the Anglo invasion of 1169, English/Irish from the colonazation of 1603 and today, immigration collections from the policy of the EU to allow a nomadic work force to remain in country with out citizenship or status.

This is a poor social policy as well as economic and is causing ethnic problems in Europe as well as America with its undocumented non american workers .

The Irish Americans also suffer an identity crisis as do all the ethnic emigrant group in the new world having been assimlated and dispersed since the end of WW2.

No longer can one stroll into St Pats little church and be instantly in touch withthe ethnic Irish or St Stanisalus Orthodox and be instantly in the sphere of Poland and the east.

In North American the family is also distroyed and over powered by American culture and a loss of a sence of duty within the familys strucure of siblings, parents, nuclear care let alone to extended family gahering.
They know not one another.

In Ireland under the king feis were held for and on behalf of the ollams and allthe lawyers, teachers ,brehons, and poets and bards were invited.

The chief Ollam and poet of Ireland had the seat next the king at table and these men were privilged to wear the colors of the king.

In the school plan by use customary some studnets resided in the school dorms but a majority were housed in the community bullding a small house for themselves and a few comrades.

The poor student often lived with people in the community and were maintained and educated without charge.
A schlarship arrangment as it were.

Some were also housed in a sorority style of wealthier classmates and were allowed housing there in exchange for services and waiting on these students reciving their recompence of shelter, food and chothing.

In some cases the master, the Ollam himself bound a studnt to him and the ownership of sorts made the ollam responsible to feed and clothe him as well as housing and give him instruction without reservation as well as disapline and correction.

The student as bound in return was obligated to helping his master against poverty and provide support in his old age.

Shortly before Finnaghta the Festive came to kingship, he one day was riding in the area of Clonard School with his attendants and a small boy on the road [bothar} was overtaken and the lad stumbled and his jar of milk was broken.
Finnoagta rode on but the boy ran after his horse and got the princes attention who was amused by his troubles face .
But he questioned him in a kindly way for the cause the troubled look. The lad did not know of the high status noble he was speaking to and said,
'Indeed good man' [fir maith]
'I have great cause to be troubled living nearby are 3 noble students and 3 others wait on them of which I am one, and we 3 have in our turn to collect provisions in the neighborhood for all 6 of us.
And all that I obtained today have been lost and I not the means to pay for it.'

Finnagta consoled the young man and assured him his loss would be made good and that he himself would attend to this lads welfare in future.
When Finnagta became king he kept this promice and the young lad was Adamnan who later became Abbot of Iona and wrote the history [Acta Santa] of the great Columb cille, decendant of the Hui Domnaill[O Donnell] of Tir Conail of the north west region of Ireland now known as Donegal.

By the 8-10 century [700-900] much of teh irish knowledge had ben depositteed int monastaorys ont eh continnet due to viking raides.
teh Vikings wer not reespecors of nbooks and tended to throu manuscripts and collections in various Irish lakes wher even if teh paper velum of sheep skin wer recoverd teh ink had been washed away. [ni]

The Ambrosian library at Milan Italy held a collection of
Irish manuscripts in 1918 and also some at Turin and Naples which had been brought there from Bobbio in Lombardy territory north Italy.

Dungal the Astronomer donated collections of books to Bobbio monastary.
St Gall bequethed his collection of Irish books and manuscripts to the Monastary in 841 AD.

Schaffhaven has a manuscript in perfect preservation of Adamnans Life of St Columba which they aquired form the Irish foundation at Reichenau.

Bavaria had a collection of Irish Works
Vienna had Ratisbons MS.
The Royal Library of Brussels contains a large collection of Irish
MS from Louvain France and he list goes on.

Since 1918, when the collections of the continent were listed by JM
Flood in his publication
Ireland ,Its Saints and Scholars, the continent of Europe has experienced 2 great devestating and distructive wars when the Devil possessed their minds and it is not known if any or all these collections have survived or been brought home to Erinn for further study as they should be.

Ireland itself has experienced internal upheavels from 1916 as well as still 80 years after the Easter Rising a divided and volitile country stuggling to enter the modern technological world with limited resourses and much economic stuggle.

As the nation itself is a natural pasture and farm island ,it stuggles to get away from its agriculture past when this is its greatest opportunity as the developed industrial world, as usual, is beset by lack of good food and clean water.
All of which Ireland has in plenty.

If it desired to pursue the sheep and the cows the goats and pigs in the stone fenced pastures of the west and the eternal chickens let out in Ireland by law.
In its rivers and streams and waterfalls and lakes and its croplands of oats, beans, barley for beer and bright yellow fields of grain it well could feed not only its own people wut havea export percentage for European use.

It also regains its natural fishing rights of rivers full of salmon trout and other species unnamable.
Although the major rivers need to be cleaned up if it expects the fish to live amongst them.

The economic value of its nuts, natural to the island ,and its black berrys and other berrys that grow wild along the roadways and stone fences and in the hedgerows of the north; and apples and pears suitable to its climate pose a prospect of cultivaing these crops and orchards for export as well as domestic consumption and Ireland still hysterical over the nice little pocket size lumper potato which makes such tasty potato wedges that could easily be frozen for export and popped in the microwave.
I found this potato a perfect lunch cold or warm with a bit of salt and a sausage and of course the ever present tea.
But to get a person to microwave it OYE VEY! The famine returns.
Ireland also has production of a goodly suppy of cream and butter oportunities as well as other products developed from the milk of cows sheep and goats such as cheeses,ice creams and chocolates.
All of these now being put on export-the old nemesis of Ireland- and processed in other nations thn returned to Irleand at a higher price for its own citizens.

Ireland is tired of cattle droving and farm dirt and it must not be.
Its land and its people must be in control of the natural shaping factor of its island status.

It is hopeful it will be calm enough to host a few fall pre Christmas working dinner of the various MLAs of the north and the TDs of the south to have informal discussions on the pros and cons of unity of the island.
Not by force, but by reason and justice and the old Reacht.
And without the observation and advise of the every lurcking US and Great Britain trying to help themselves.

The good ladys of Drogeda could amply host a few such dinners at nice sites like Clones of the lace and Creggan in the foothills of the Sperrin Mts.
It would also be progressive if the Garda and the Nips would stop chasing IRA suspects about the countyside and instead invite this malitia reminant of the once Army, both north and south to form an IRA brigade under the command of the National Defence forces with their own colors, history, parade and giving them a chance to participate in the defence of the nation.

The collections monastarys having MS in 800-900 AD are listend below and some or most of them may have been trasfered to Rome and the Vatican in the middle ages and some at Trinity College Library in Dublin which is not being explored by the Archeologists and Manuscript departments in place 'just down the road'.

There are also collections in the US, mostly of books compied from these old manusripts at various American universitys ,secular and church both..

Ambrosia Library, Milan
Vienna Marianus Scotus
Treves 2 MS
Cambrian Codex AD 684 Council St Autbert at Cambrai
Life of Brigit Longford
Leyden Dubtach 838AD
University Utrecht
Royal Library Brussel brought from collecton of Louvain

Judi Donnelly
copyright 24 October 2010

Sourse: Ireland Its Saints and Scholars
JM Flood, Kennikat Press, Port Washington /London, 1918/ 1970

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