History of Ireland
It begins in 7,500 B.C. with the first settlement of humans. For many years
following the first settlement, Ireland’s population continues to grow with
the arrival of farmers, Celts, Christians, Vikings, Gaels, and the English
With every group of settlers came new ideas, religions and products. The
earliest settlers brought skills and tools for hunting, gathering, fishing, and
farming carrying with them items like axe heads. Prospectors and metal
workers brought their tools and skills and discovered gold and bronze.
(Rootsweb). The Celts contributed iron tools and weapons (Lambert).
Unfortunately, like so many other nations of the world, great diversity causes
Lambert, Tim. (n.d.). A Timeline of Irish History. In . Retrieved November 1, 2010, fromhttp://www.localhistories.org./Unknown
Author. (n.d.). A Timeline of Irish History. In Ancestry.com. Retrieved November 1, 2010, from
367 A.D.- The Irish join others
in Raiding parts of Britain
795-The Vikings Raid Ireland
1014-The battle of Clontarf
1155-”Pope Adrian IV grants
the English King the right to
invade Ireland to sort out the
Irish Church (Lambert).”
1169-English invade Ireland
and take Wexford
1170-1603 Conflict is near never
ending between the English
and Irish. During this time
‘Intermarriage” occurs between
the English and Irish. Attempts
at preventing intermarriage are
1607-1798 These years bring
many battles between
Protestants and Catholics.
Eventually, Catholics are
granted the right to vote and
1916- The Easter Rising
1919-1921 War of
1969-1998 The Troubles
* A timeline of Irish History by Lambert, Tim. (n.d.). A Timeline of Irish History. In . Retrieved
November 1, 2010, fromhttp://www.localhistories.org./
-Capital City is Dublin
-Total Area is 70,280 Square Miles
-As of 2005 Population was 4,015,676
-Ireland has too official languages, English and Irish
Gaelic is spoken mostly on the western side of
-98% of the population can read and write
-Average life expectancy is 77.56 years
-Religious include Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland,
and other forms of Christianity
-Ireland has a Republic type of government
-The currency is the Euro
-Natural resources include; natural gas, peat, copper,
lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, and
-Dublin only gets 800mm or less of rain per year
making it the driest place in Ireland
Unknown Author. (n.d.). A Timeline of Irish History. In Ancestry.com. Retrieved November 1, 2010,
According to the BBC
Country Profile,” “The
Irish economy under
went one of the
deepest recessions in
the Euro zone, with
it’s economy shrinking
by ten percent in
2009.” Currently, the
Irish are trying to
“shore up” the banks
and weather yet
another storm, the
economic crisis, like
the rest of the world.
During the 1990’s
Ireland again became a
hub of immigration.
Investors from all over
the world flooded
Ireland creating an
high tech economy
(BBC). Like the rest of
the world, Ireland felt
the devastating effects of
the bursting housing
Unknown Author. (October 9, 2010). Ireland country profile. In BBC News.
Retrieved November 1, 2010, from
Irish is a Goidelic Language of the Indo
European language family, originating in
Ireland and historically spoken by the
Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first
language only by a small minority of the
Irish population, and as a second
language by a larger minority. However,
it is widely considered to be an
important part of the island's culture
Ireland Language Today
“The 1996 Census reported that just over 1.43 million people have the
ability to speak Irish (43% of the relevant population). The Irish-
speaking heartland is called the Gaeltacht and the percentage of the
population purporting to speak Irish in this area is very high at 76.3%
however the area is not densely populated.”
About 353,000 people speak English regularly and 76% of those
people speak Irish
Music in Ireland
Top 5 biggest Selling Irish
acts of all time
1. U2 170 Million + Rock
19-76–Present (33 Years) 
80 million + Celtic/New age
1986-present (22 Years) 
3. Van Morrison 55 Million +
Soul 1967-present (40 Years)
4. The Cranberries 50 million +
5. The Corrs 43 Million+ pop
1995 - 2006 (on hiatus) (11 Years)
Irish is the generic term for music that has been created in
various genres on the island of Ireland. The indigenous
music of island is termed Irish traditional music. It has
remained vibrant through the 20th, and 21st century despite
globalizing cultural forces. In spite of emigration and well
developed connection to music influences from Britain and
the United States, Irish music has kept many of its traditional
aspect and has itself influenced many forms of music, such
as country roots music in the USA, which in turn had some
influence on modern rock music.
Instruments in Ireland
Without the traditional Irish music dancing
in Ireland would not exist. What are dancers
without “foot stomping music of he fiddle,
bottom box, concertina, bodhran
(pronounced bow-rawn), uilleann
(pronounced ILL-uhn) pipes, tin whistle,
flute, celtic harp, guitar.
“The bodhrán is an Irish drum and is considered the
heartbeat of Irish music. It is traditionally made with a
wooden frame in which a dried goatskin is stretched.”
“A concertina is another instrument used in
traditional Irish music. Often times gypsies
are pictured with them!”
According to Beebe, Beebe, and Ivy, “by paying attention
to what a cultural values, we can get important clues about
how to communicate a message, establish relationships,
and avoid errors when interacting with people from a given
country.” Ireland’s cultural traditions are preserved as a
wide range of culturally significant ideas, specific
practices, and various methods. Irish people love
traditions. So much so, in fact, that the country is full of
them. Irish people values how they celebrated their
holidays, and wedding ceremony in their own traditional
way. Most of the holidays are celebrated the same way
around the world. Irish people try to keep their cultural
tradition, so that they can be passed down from generation
to generation. The following slides are different types of
Irish traditional holidays, and traditional wedding
Irish Traditional Holidays
St. Valentine - "Patron Saint of Lovers.” Red heart is the traditional symbol of Valentine's Day.
In 1836, Pope Gregory XVI sent a gift to the Carmelite Church on White friar Street, Dublin.
The gift was a relic of a Christian martyr: a small gold-bound casket containing the earthly remains of St. Valentine.
Every year, on February 14th, the casket containing the Saint's mortal remains will be carried in procession to the high
altar of the Carmelite Church for a special Mass dedicated to young people and those in love.
For the most part Valentine's Day is celebrated with candy hearts, chocolates, flowers and cards.
Saint Patrick’s Day
• Come about every 17th March.
• Named after Saint Patrick (AD 387 – 461) - The Patron Saint of Ireland.
• He helped bring Christianity to Ireland.
• The man who banished snakes from the Emerald Isle.
• Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon.
• Celebrated by parades across the world such as United States, Canada, Australia, Japan,
Singapore, and Russia.
• Traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
• Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn
• Shamrock - a three-leaved plant, symbolized the Holy Trinity
to the pagan.
Easter is named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring (Eostre), and is originally a pagan (non-Christian) festival.
Eggs were used as symbols of fertility. The Easter bunny (baby rabbit) is also another symbol of spring and fertility.
The streets are full of bright greens to symbolize the shamrock and yellows to convey the new lease of life that begins in Easter.
Images: http://www.yourirish.com/st-patrickSource by: http://www.celticspiritband.com/holidays.htm
The Celts believed that on October 31 Samhain (who was the lord of the dead) would call together all of the dead and these souls
would take on the shape of an animal. They believed that all creatures wandered the Earth on that night. This was called the Vigil of
The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the
dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.
Today in Ireland children dress up in costume and trick or treat and Jack-O'Lanterns are seen lighting the way for the witches and
Traditionally the Christmas season begins on 8 December in Ireland and lasts until 6 January.
In Ireland, Santa works a little differently than in the United States. Instead of leaving everything under the tree he leaves each
child's gifts in their room, often in a pillowcase at the end of the bed, though sometimes a large gift may be left unwrapped under the
tree. Christmas stockings are a tradition with some families and are hung Christmas Eve for Santa to fill.
The Candle in the Window - The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is a symbol of welcome to
Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter. A further element of the tradition is that the candle should be lit by the
youngest member of the household and only be extinguished by a girl bearing the name 'Mary'.
The Laden Table - After evening meal on Christmas Eve the kitchen table was again set and on it were placed a loaf of bread filled
with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a large lit candle. The door to the house was left unlatched so that Mary and
Joseph, or any wandering traveler, could avail of the welcome.
Decorations - The placing of a ring of Holly on doors originated in Ireland as Holly was one of the main plants that flourished at
Christmas time and which gave the poor ample means with which to decorate their dwellings. All decorations are traditionally taken
down on Little Christmas (January 6th.) and it is considered to be bad luck to take them down beforehand.
St. Stephen's Day (Boxing Day)
On St. Stephens Day (the day after Christmas) a procession, known as The Wren Boy Procession takes place. A pole with a holly bush
would be carried from house to house and families dressed up in old clothes and with blackened faces. In olden times an actual wren
would be killed and placed on top of the pole. There is a famous song called “The Wren Boys” that was known to be sung as part of
This custom has to a large degree disappeared but the tradition of visiting from house to house on St. Stephens Day has survived and
is very much part of Christmas.
St. Stephen's Day is a national holiday in Ireland and most businesses remain closed until 27 December.
Traditional Irish Wedding
The groom’s proposal may not be “Will you marry me?”, but something more like
• “Would you like to be buried with my people?” or
• “Would you like to hang your washing next to mine?”
Handfasting is an old Irish ceremony of commitment.
• Formalized a relationship, whether an engagement, a permanent marriage, or a marriage over several
lifetimes, "trial marriage”.
• One of many forms of marriages permitted under the ancient Irish Brehon law.
• The man and woman agreed to stay together for a year-and-a-day.
• At the end of the year the couple faced a choice. They could enter into a
longer-term "permanent" marriage contract, renew their agreement for another
year, or go their separate ways.
• The wrists of the couple are bound together with a ribbon or cord.
• The ribbon is wound around the wrists, over the top of one and
under and around the other, creating the infinity symbol.
* ‘The origin of the term ‘tying the knot ’.
The Irish Claddagh Ring
• Primarily worn by those of Irish heritage, as both a cultural symbol and as
engagement and wedding rings.
• It is a heart held by two hands with the heart topped by a crown. The hands
represent faith, the crown symbolizes honor, and the heart signifies love.
• The ring’s motto is: “Let love and friendship reign.”
• If a woman wears a Claddagh Ring on her right hand with the heart facing outward
toward the end of her finger, she is signifying that she is a single woman. If the
ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing inward, toward the woman’s
knuckle, then she is signifying that she is engaged. And finally, if a Claddagh Ring
is worn on the left hand, it means that the woman is married.
Traditional Irish Wedding Ceremony
• There are Irish wedding traditions that state, "Marry in May and Rue The Day" and "Marry in April if you can, joy
for maiden and for man”
• The wedding couple walk to the church together before exchanging their wedding vows.
• The traditional Irish bride often wears a blue wedding dress, rather than a white dress.
• English lavender, is often mixed with the bride’s wedding flowers that represents happy and
• Bride braids her hair for her wedding day. Braided hair is an ancient symbol of feminine power and luck.
• Another symbol of luck is to be married on St. Patrick's Day, considered the luckiest wedding
anniversary date in Ireland.
• Bunratty Meade is a honey wine, promotes virility. (If a baby was born nine months after the wedding, it was
attributed to the mead!)
• Lucky horseshoe. Irish brides used to carry a real horseshoe for good luck. (Turned up so the luck won't run out).
• Magic Hanky. This charming custom involves having the bride carry a special hanky that with a few stitches can be
• turned into a christening bonnet for the first baby. With a couple of snips it can be turned back into a hanky that your
child can carry on his/her wedding day.
• The traditional Irish wedding cake - Rich fruitcake, and iced in white. The top tier of the wedding cake
should be an Irish whiskey cake, which is saved for the christening of the first baby. A slice of the cake is saved to be
eaten on the first anniversary.
• A man should always be the first to wish joy to the bride,never a woman.
• The wedding party should always take the longest road home from the church
• When leaving the church, someone must throw an old shoe over the bride's head so she will have good luck
What is Folklore?
Folk: The common people of a society or region consideredas the representativesof a traditional
way of life
Generation to generation
“A large influence on the culture of Ireland, was transmittedorally from generationto
generation” (Culture of Ireland)
Creates a worldview
What does folklore represent in terms of communication?
Irish folklore is a verbal communication, understanding and interpreting folklore was a key need for
the Irish descendants.
“Our culture and life experiences determine our worldview-the general cultural perspective that
shapes how we perceive and respond to what happens to us.” Folklore is what was used to shape the
minds from one generation to the next (Communication p. 151)
History, or myth?
Present day, folklore has been translated and archived to provide essential information about Irelands
history, and traditions. (O p. 179)
Folklore was the “principal source from which Gaelic writers interested in history drew the material
with which they flushed out of the traditional outline of the nations past. ‘” folklore us, not
only about the bare events of history, but about the mind and heart and thoughts of all who came
before us” (O’connor)
Folklorecreatesa identitythrough verbal communicationof storytellingof the Irish
Through lore, similarities of goals, feelings of genuine liking, similarity
of backgrounds and culture are common variables that influence group
“Communication is how we make sense out of the world and share that
sense with others, our worldview is one of the primary filters that
influence ho we make sense out of the world.” (Communication p. 151)
To instill a connection to each other the Irish used storytelling,it became a part of the cultureas a
means for passing down who they were ; language,traditions, history and ethicswere all included.
The most important ingredients are history, tradition,
languageand value. (Kerry Gems)
Today the language is still alive and with it the old sayings, songs, stories and customs. Even Gaelic place names
that we take for granted can be very significant in terms of folklore (Kerry Gems)
Celts arrived in Ireland 600 B.C. what they found created corner stone of Irish folklore.
A land of magnificent forests.
Streams with abundance of salmon and many fine
Archaeological remains from earlier invaders
The Main objectives are presented by:
History of Ireland (Aliesha Stephens)
Language, Music (Vanessa Ramm)
Traditional Holiday and Wedding Ceremony (Angel Shipley)
Storytelling Folklore (Ashley Stanton)
1. There have been many battles between Catholics and
Protestants over time. Catholics are granted the right to
vote after some of these conflicts. What is the time
frame and another right given to the Catholics during
2. What is a formalized ceremony that represents a
relationship, whether an engagement, a permanent
marriage, or a marriage over several lifetimes, "trial
3. What piece of irish culture involves history, tradition,
language and values?
Beebe, Steven A., Beebe, Susan J., and Ivy, Diana K. (2010). Communication:
Principles for a Lifetime, Fourth Edition. Boston, Ma. Allyn and Bacon.
Culture ireland facts. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.realirishfood-
Kerry gems. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.kerrygems.com/folklore.html
Lambert, Tim. (n.d.). A Timeline of Irish History. In . Retrieved November 1, 2010,
O'Connor, Anne. (2010). Irish folklore: myth and reality . Retrieved from
Ó, D. (2000). Locating irish folklore: tradition, modernity, identity. Cork Univ Pr.
Unknown Author. (n.d.). A Timeline of Irish History. In Ancestry.com. Retrieved
November 1, 2010, from
Unknown Author. (October 9, 2010). Ireland country profile. In BBC News.
Retrieved November 1, 2010, from
Unknown Author. (n.d.). Holidays in Ireland. In Celtic Lore. Retrieved October
28, 2010, http://www.celticspiritband.com/holidays.htm
Unknown Author, (2006 – 2010). Ancient Irish Wedding Customs. In
Littleshamrocks.com. Retrieved October 28, 2010,
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