mainoff.gif
lastdyoff.gif
lastwkoff.gif
treeoff.gif
searchoff.gif
helpoff.gif
contactoff.gif
creditsoff.gif
homeoff.gif


The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2002 (January-June) » The dark Irish « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Connie Dean (spider-wd023.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.193.158)
Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 09:22 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Can someone tell me why the Irish from the north of Ireland are called the dark Irish? I had heard at one time that there were a lot of spanish in Ireland could this be the reason?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh (1cust55.tnt48.nyc3.da.uu.net - 67.193.92.55)
Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 11:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

'Black Irish' is the term I've usually heard for anyone from Ireland with black or very dark hair (and sometimes more than the usual body hair, as well.) I always associated it more with Conamara, for some reason, so I was interested when a genetic study showed a particularly ancient gene pool there.

The story of the Spanish is an old one, usually involving sailors shipwrecked there from the Armada in the late l500s. The oldest human stock of Ireland and Britain is pre-Celtic. I would bet that those are the people of darker hair and sometimes cast. A reasonable case has been made that the Basques are the descendants of the original inhabitants of Western European and there have also been suggestions that the dark Irish and Brits are of similar origins.

That's speculative, of course. There's lots more genetic and linguistic data today. Some people are alarmed that other people are jumping to conclusions -- I've seen a warning or two lately in forums like this that we can't accept any new interpretations. But that way of thinking always turns out to be wrong.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Connie Dean (spider-tn044.proxy.aol.com - 152.163.207.64)
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2002 - 07:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Seosamh, thank you so very much for your quick reply.It sounds like you have been doing quite a bit of research. Please forgive my ignorance but who,or what is Conamara? Can you suggest any good books on the history of the Irish people? Thank you

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Seosamh (dialup-64.158.186.86.dial1.newyork1.level3.net - 64.158.186.86)
Posted on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 03:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Tá fáilte romhat. You're welcome.

Conamara (or Connemara, but I prefer the Irish spellings of placenames when they place no burden on English-speakers) -- It's a region of western County Galway, Galway being the southern part of the bulge halfway up the west coast of Ireland. It's very scenic, often barren, but rich in traditional culture. It has the largest community of Irish-speaking people in the country.

Maybe someone else here can suggest a specific, general introduction to Ireland. Offhand, I can't think of a specific title that stands from the pack. Most of the general books about Ireland that you see in the history section of a bookstore or library will do the job. Pick one (or more) that seem substantial and relatively serious -- The idea is to avoid shamrockery.

Irish politics can be contentious, so keep an open mind. Having eliminated sentamentalism by avoiding shamrockery, you are left with serious writers. These may have revisionist (read 'reactionary'), leftist and/or nationalistic sensibilities that can run from very subtle to overbearing and can influence the overall picture you get. So read several.

Don't forget fiction. _The Bodhrán Makers_ by J.B. Keane is a must read. But there are many others from Joyce to Higgins to Flann O'Brian. More contemporary writers include Roddy Doyle, Colm Tóibín, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne. Literature in Irish is important but it will be hard to locate the few translations. Names to look for are Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Pádraig Ó Conaire and Breandán Ó hÉithir (_Lead Us Into Temptation_). An Irish-American, Thomas Flanagan, has written several long historical novels set in Ireland (_The Year of the French_).

(Several bilingual poetry anthologies also exist, either general ones or devoted to individual poets like Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Cathal Ó Searcaigh.)

Ádh mór. Good look.

Seosamh

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Kaitlin (spider-wi074.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.197.54)
Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 11:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

My moms family is black Irish...what I have known for my whole life is that the Black Irish live in and around Galway (my family originally came from Roscommon). My family's hair is as black as black can be, and they have more color than the average Irish person (I got my dads Irish/Scottish skin and am very pale)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Kaitlin (spider-wi074.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.197.54)
Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - 11:42 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

oh and one thing I thought Id mention (im very proud of this!) I am actually a descendant of Pádraig Ó Conaire...its tradition in our family to get our picture taken at midnight sitting next to his statue in Galway. Just thought that someone might be interested to know!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

M.S. Maguire (1cust251.tnt2.andover.ma.da.uu.net - 63.23.216.251)
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 01:43 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Seosamh is right. Genetic testing has revealed a large percentage of Irish, Scottish, and Welsh males have a Y chromosome very similar to the Basques. This proves that within the population of the British Isles many genetic traits from the pre-Celtic and pre-Indo-European population still exist. I would venture to say that the black Irish have more of the features of the pre-Celtic population of Ireland. The Celts, as described by the ancient Greeks and Romans, were tall and fair.

*http://www.angelfire.com/nt/dragon9/BASQUES2.html

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.


©Daltaí na Gaeilge