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What can anyone tell me about the current culture and situation in Ireland as a whole?

Dia duit! What can anyone tell me about Ireland in general?

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Ireland in general...wow thats a mouthful. Ireland saved civilization from total collapse in the Dark Ages. Even after being under the British boot for 300 years, Ireland has become the leader again. When it came to "go forth and multiply" just look in any library in the world. Irish books, plays, music, medical knowledge, legal system, human rights...
There is no General when it comes to describing Ireland.
The animal that best represents Ireland... good argument for the Salmon of Knowledge. How about the eagle. It travels all over the world and is held in "high regard" Pun intended.
Agree with the design...very imaginative peoples.
From my personal experience, the country is populated with the most hospitable folks I have ever met, even more so that many parts of of my home Canada. Except for the parts of Canada populated with Celtic peoples of course!!!
Gregory, I remember reading that it took 700 years if one includes the conquests shortly after the Norman invasions (whom the Irish assimilated and who later severed ties with England due to their preference of Irish to English tee hee). Is this correct? I would agree with the Salmon of Knowledge idea, both for the knowledge saved by the Irish and for their seagoing history. I can tell that you have read How the Irish Saved Civilization. I would also recommend Story of the Irish Race by Seamus MacManus.

Alex, I think you should remember that the Irish are defensive by necessity. Remember that at one time British citizens were allowed to kill Irish civilians with little cause and get away with it. Thus the Irish developed their own ways of defending themselves. The shillelagh is one example of this. It started out as a walking stick, but when the Irish lost their swords, spears, etc., they learned to fight with it just as well. It is actually quite devastating as a weapon in the hands of a well-trained user. I have one and am working on the techniques.
actually the shillelagh would be more like a cane than the Japanese staff. Like a war club/tomahawk with a handle long enough to use as a cane. If you happen to rent the movie "Gangs of New York" you can see one used quite well.
Well actually if you go back to the defeat of the Tuath, then you could say that Ireland has constantly been developing over thousands of years. The fact that the stories are still alive after all this time, says it all.
I will take a look for that book, thanks
Okay, in the movie Gangs of New York, the shillelagh seen is a full club moreso than the cudgel that weapons-grade shillelaghs are classified as. It's also longer than the usual 3 feet. The smaller ones lack the characteristic knob. See the picture below. This shillelagh (mine) is straight from Ireland. Made from blackthorn wood, they're the toughest natural walking sticks available. A bit pricey, but dependable.

Gregory, you are correct in saying that the Irish have been developing for thousands of years. However, if you trace the British-Irish conflict, it starts in roughly the late 1100's, which would put the conflict as having lasted roughly 700 years, rather than the 300, since the Irish gained their independence in 1921. Is this intel correct?
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Not ALL the Irish gained independence in 1921.
The North is still a part of the UK and although things have calmed down recently- there will never be a true peace in Ireland until the nation is united as one again-(IMHO of course.)
You are right Bill, Alex is learning more everyday about Irish history. Me too.

There is more down below
Your shillelagh looks just like my Grampa's walking stick. Yes you are right about the description of a cudgel. I was trying to steer Alex away from a staff...your photo should clear it up.
The Battle of the Boyne is the time period that I meant. I had Cromwell on my mind so my dating was a little wonky. As not all the Irish are independent, 1921 is still unfinished business... more of that Irish developing...one island one people stuff.
Yes the north is still under British rule. The issue has not been resolved,,,because the north is still under British rule. Over time the Irish will rule their own Island. Remember that the north is populated by the Irish. Some have ancestry going back a few 100 years and others even longer. Those protestant as you say may have a history with Britain but so do the catholic. The people living there are Irish as much as an anglophone born in Quebec is as much a Quebecor as a francaphone born in Quebec. As well someone born in Quebec is a Canadian.
Should an anglaphone living in Quebec move to an english province just because the ruling government rules in french? Should the white people move out of Canada because the Native nations were here first?
Remember that the Irish protestants living in the north are still Irish..Who cares if they are protestant, catholic or believers in the Old Ways. Should not anyone wanting to live there be able to live in peace?
Living together in peace, regardless of the political or religious beliefs is a high goal to attain, but is it not worth reaching for?
Yes it is so easy for us who live so far away (physically, emotionally, etc.) from what is happening over there, to say what should be. I'm sure that it is nothing new for the people right in the middle of it. What it is like to live in a country where the people with the most guns rule the rest?...hmm like what happened here. First the Natives were shot, then the French were shot, then the British took control. Does that mean that they are still in charge here? No Canadians run our own country. Do the Natives and the french still get mistreated? Sure do! Do the english in Quebec get mistreated. Sure do! Is it right? Not at all.
The Irish flag represents the coming together of people from from different places (physically & religiously) to live together. That is part of the Irish heritage...welcoming and sharing.
O.k., I can sure go on...as one who lived in Quebec and left because of language harassment, I am the first to admit, my views are jaded. As a Canadian with Irish roots , both catholic & protestant, I find I can get a little wrapped up (OK more than a little) in the whole thing. My native roots are Celtic and predate the Canadian, catholic and protestant ones. Arrgggh, I did say I could go on a bit...but be the Irish in me. hahahahaha
Hmmm how religious the Irish are...there is this little known Irish religious leader who's birthday is celebrated in March... I don't what kind of party that is held in Montreal but here in Ottawa we have a parade. hahahaha. The Celtic Catholic Church was centered out of Ireland and quite different from the Roman Catholic. Thats a whole other direction to go....
I know of many people living in Quebec who cannot work/live as they please because they are anglaphone. There are quite a few francaphones in the rest of Canada with similar problems. In Ottawa, you just need to look at the construction industry. If you live in Ontario, you cannot work in Quebec. If you live in Quebec, you can work over here, but not for an Ontario company.
There is still a North and South, if even in the minds of the people living there. It is good to here that the border is just a line on the map. When I was there in 2000, I was warned not to drive my car from the south to the north.
When the political, military, legal control for all of Ireland is held in one Parliment (Irish) then will it be united?? Will there still be problems?
My Old Ways are a little unusual due to the Native influences in my life. Depending on what your background is the old ways, can mean different things. There are a couple groups that I am sure have members in Montreal. Google for the "Order of Obates, Bards and Druids" and the "ADF". They can put you in touch with other ones as well.
Just to correct something that someone said earlier...the national sport of Ireland isn't rugby, it's a game called hurling (wiki it) which is considered to be the most skillful and quickest team sport in the world.

The game itself dates back to at least 100 BC, the time of Cuchulainn, and probably long before that. If you've never seen it, you can probably find clips on Youtube.
It's a little known fact among Irish people today, that for all our talk of Catholicism, the Pope is actually the one responsible for British Rule in Ireland.

When England was first going to invade, the Pope at the time gave his permission. England was Catholic at the time, but Ireland wasn't. We were Christian, but not under the authority of the Catholic Church and the Pope wanted to bring Ireland into line with Catholicism so he gave the OK for the invasion.

It was only when Henry VIII left the Catholic Church that Rome's permission to have control over Ireland was revoked, by which time it was too late.

People talk about a united Ireland, but Ireland hasn't actually been united since Brian Boru conquered his enemies and united the old clans under his rule. That was a thousand years ago.

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