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Thread: When did Catholicism and Irishness first become intimately intertwined?

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    Default When did Catholicism and Irishness first become intimately intertwined?

    There is an interesting article on Wikipedia (not always a valid historical source, admittedly, but nevertheless) concerning Ireland's history under the Tudor and Elizabethan regimes.

    The pre-Elizabethan Irish population is usually divided into the "Old (or Gaelic) Irish", and the Old English, or descendants of medieval Hiberno-Norman settlers. These groups were historically antagonistic, with English settled areas such as the Pale around Dublin, south Wexford, and other walled towns being fortified against the rural Gaelic clans. However, by the 17th century, the cultural divide between these groups, especially at elite social levels, was declining. For example most Old English lords not only spoke the Gaelic language, but extensively patronised Irish poetry and music. Intermarriage was also common. Moreover, in the wake of the Elizabethan conquest, the native population became defined by their shared religion, Roman Catholicism, in distinction to the new Protestant British settlers and the officially Protestant British government of Ireland.
    History of Ireland (1536-1691)

    It seems clear that Ireland pre-Henry VIII was a society divided on ethnic lines, with the ''Old English'', especially around the Pale, distinguishing themselves from the Gaelic Irish found elsewhere - particularly in relation to loyalty to the English monarch. With the advent of Protestant colonization, the Old English lost their privileges, but, for a time, remained loyal. However, by 1641, any hope of a reversion to the old order was gone and the Old English threw their lot in with the habitually rebellious Gaelic Irish (or converted to save their titles) and formed a new Irish identity predicated more on Catholicism than language or ethnic background as was hitherto the case. After the failure to confer the Graces in the 1620s and 30s, the Old English in the Pale decided the only recourse lay in rebellion, and the routing of the New English Protestant settlers to re-establish their old rights and influence. So, at least, it seems.

    One may agree with or dispute the above, but I'd be interested in hearing more as regards when Catholicism and the concept of being Irish first became extensively interrelated.
    Last edited by Glaucon; 14th January 2013 at 10:16 PM.

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    Politics.ie Member Schomberg's Avatar
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    Surly around the time of the famine? Things got pretty "Roman" from that point on.
    What have British in Ireland contributed to Ireland? Nothing of the scale that the Irish have contributed to Britain. - Runswithwind.

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    Politics.ie Member Morgellons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schomberg View Post
    Surly around the time of the famine? Things got pretty "Roman" from that point on.
    You seem to have conveniently forgotten about the Penal Times.

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    Politics.ie Member eoghanacht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgellons View Post
    You seem to have conveniently forgotten about the Penal Times.

    Schom has a massive blind spot when it comes 'dear old blighty' he only sees the positives.
    Britain operated death squads - ''97% of the Loyalists I interviewed were working directly for the State.'' - Nuala O'Loan. #FreeAhedTamimi

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    After Cromwell.

    Cromwell decided that religion was the only basis upon which to divide the subjects of the realm and decide how they should be treated by the state.

    Effectively he instigated sectarianism - with the sword. And it still exists in parts of Belfast.
    Coveney's ambition is the be Ireland's next EU Commissar and Ireland will pay a price as he builds his CV to position himself sufficiently loyal to the nEU empire.

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    Politics.ie Member Morgellons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eoghanacht View Post
    Schom has a massive blind spot when it comes 'dear old blighty' he only sees the positives.
    Seems that way. Sure they didn't want those good horses anyway, wasn't too bad, old bean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analyzer View Post
    After Cromwell.

    Cromwell decided that religion was the only basis upon which to divide the subjects of the realm and decide how they should be treated by the state.

    Effectively he instigated sectarianism - with the sword. And it still exists in parts of Belfast.

    It's a hard one at what stage did the resistance to British rule become sectarian.

    I'm sure those who took part in the massacres in 1640/41 did so to expel invaders as much as to kill protestants.

    I think the OP is unanswerable.
    Britain operated death squads - ''97% of the Loyalists I interviewed were working directly for the State.'' - Nuala O'Loan. #FreeAhedTamimi

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    Politics.ie Member Schomberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgellons View Post
    You seem to have conveniently forgotten about the Penal Times.
    I dunno what your point is supposed to be. The OP asks when Roman Catholicism became a strong part of the Irish identity. That was definitely post famine. Previous to that the fact that the language was still strong meant (catholic) peoples Gaelic identity was much more to the forefront of their identity. Post famine, the language is more or less whipped and the Church is stronger than any time in it's history in Ireland. The Penal Laws? Yawn.
    What have British in Ireland contributed to Ireland? Nothing of the scale that the Irish have contributed to Britain. - Runswithwind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analyzer View Post
    After Cromwell.

    Cromwell decided that religion was the only basis upon which to divide the subjects of the realm and decide how they should be treated by the state.

    Effectively he instigated sectarianism - with the sword. And it still exists in parts of Belfast.
    Cromwell did not invent sectarianism. Religious persecution by the state had a long history pre-dating Cromwell. Ever heard of the Inquisition?
    "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos."

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