Tallaght: A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped

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Plague Doctor [Image: maderjanet / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

For anyone unfamiliar with Dublin, the city has a light rail transport system called Luas –  which is Irish for ‘fast’, ‘speed’, ‘velocity’.  All the main signposts in Ireland are bilingual, usually giving the Irish name first in slightly smaller text, which is then followed by the English name. The Luas (tram) station signs are no different.

The suburb/town of Tallaght is at the end of one of the main tram lines from the city centre. It’s a pretty big place, almost a mini city in itself. Tallaght itself is very ancient. It is mentioned in the 12th century Lebor Gabála Érenn (the Book Of Invasions) which contains story’s of several successive mythical invasions of Ireland by various races and supernatural beings. It’s also the location of an important early medieval church site that was founded in and around the eight century AD (of which I will write further one of these days). Continue reading

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A Quirky Case of Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Propaganda [Part 2]

(Continued from Part 1)

My last post examined a recent reference to early medieval hagiographical material by modern ecclesiastical figures. Divorced from its original setting and ecclesiastical milieu, the episode in question ended up losing much of its intended meaning by being ‘lost in translation’ on many levels. A particular irony was that, in attempting to emphasize the historical nature of a recent ordination, the uncritical use of hagiography as ‘history’ inadvertently served to underplay the actual historical and archaeological importance of the original ecclesiastical site of Fuerty, Co. Roscommon.

So what we can say or surmise from the seventh century reference to Fuerty by Tírechán? Continue reading