An extraordinary book called "A Book Around the Irish Sea History without Nations", by David Brett tells of the history of the Irish Sea over thousands of years.
The Irish Sea has been treated more like a lake, interlocking the people who used the sea for trading, to settle, create families and build alliances.
The most extraordinary claim by David Brett is that although wars were fought to control the Irish Sea, this was never seen as different nations fighting for their "national interests". It was only in the 19th century that ideas of nationalism, and of different peoples who were unique and separate took place!
Nationalism gave rise to historical myths about "invaders" in different parts of the islands. In Ireland invaders from the Fir Bolg to the Celts were said to have come in and displaced the earlier people. In England the Saxons were seen as invaders from across the North Sea who pushed out the original Britons. In fact, DNA technigques show that the genetic make-up of the vast majority of people in the British Isles is the same, and it is identical to that found in the remains of people who settled here 8,000 years ago.
Amazing book. What now for all those engaged in nationalist politics and war-fare. Its all a big mistake??