Did you know, over 80 million people worldwide claim to be of Irish descent somewhere along their family tree. I guess that is what centuries of immigration will do. But the reign of the Irish may have started much earlier than the 1700s.
If author Thomas Cahill is to be believed, the Irish saved classical civilization after the fall of the Roman Empire. You can read all about it in his book “The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe“.
Mr Cahill credits St Patrick with initiating this heroic deed when he was brought to Ireland as a slave from Roman-era Britain and later converted the heathen Irish to Christianity. Once converted from their pagan ways, the Irish then set about to establish the monastic movement, copying the books being destroyed elsewhere in Europe. It is through this reproduction of books and preservation of literature, that the Irish are credited with saving civilization as we know it today.
The book didn’t go down too well with critics in the mid 1990s when the book was published. Nor indeed with the academics well versed in such topics, but I for one enjoyed the zealous nature with which the author truly believed in the influence with which the Irish had on the world as we know it today.
So if you are one of the 80 million of Irish descent around the world, you can Stand Proud and Be Irish for this claim and so much more, on this most Irish of days – St Patrick’s Day.
Beannachtai na Feile Padraig to you all. I hope it is a day filled with a good deal of “caint, craic agus ceol“, and some Tall Stories for good measure, beginning with this one.
Traffic Lights in Ireland look like this. They really do!!