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Thread: The last High King?

  1. #1
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    Default The last High King?

    According to this article by Adrian Martyn, the last credible claimant to the title of High King of Ireland was a character named Fedlimid Ó Conchobair who took advantage of the Bruce invasion to overthrow the De Burgh (Burke) hegemony in Connacht and aspired to be king of all Ireland.

    Unfortunately for him and his followers he was crushed at the battle of Athenry in 1316 by the Burkes, The English and their allies.

    What would have happened if medieval Ireland had developed into a Gaelic monarchy? Even more intriguing what if, after a successful Bruce invasion it had been part of a confederated joint Irish Scottish-Gaelic monarchy? (The Bruces were not Gaels by origin but did speak Gaelic and would have been comfortable with the notion).

    I speculate not for nationalist reasons (as I'm no fan of monarchies) but just intrigued by how subsequent history could have been so different.

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    If there had been a Gaelic monarchy things probably wouldn't have been all that different for the common people.
    The Gaelic monarchy and the nobility would have probably adopted the feudal system that was adopted across the rest of Europe and there would have been inter-marriage with the monarchs of Spain, France, Germany, England, Scotland and Scandinavia.
    Later during the Reformation there might have been religious wars between rival Irish Catholics and Protestant members of a Hibernian Church. Perhaps the Irish monarch and nobles would have become Protestants and the peasants would have remained Catholics and subject to persecution and penal laws?
    There might have been a civil war or revolutions like those in other European nations creating a constitutional monarch or eliminating the monarchy.
    Ireland might have industrialized sooner and colonized part of Africa or Asia but there might still have been a potato famine and mass emigration to the New World.
    During the 20th century we might have participated in WW1 and WW2 and later joined NATO.
    Even if we had remained independent we would probably still have had a close relationship with Britain.
    European integration post World War 2 would have lead to us joining the European Union or some equivalent.
    In this alternate universe we might have a lower house perhaps called Dáil Éireann made up of commoners and an upper house of Gaelic Chieftains while the High King of Ireland living in a royal palace at Tara.
    Last edited by Hitch 22; 10th March 2013 at 05:18 PM.

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    Politics.ie Member james5001's Avatar
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    Hitch, what you're doing is guessing. Not even informed guessing.
    The world is a very puzzling place. If you're not willing to be puzzled, you just become a replica of someone else's mind.

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    Politics.ie Member Nemesiscorporation's Avatar
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    A better question might be this.

    What would have happened if Brian Boru had not been killed at Clontarf and lived another 10 to 15 years?

    He could have solidified his role as High King, then invaded Wales and England. That could really have changed things.

    Tara could be the biggest city in the British Isles instead of London today.

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    Politics.ie Royalty toxic avenger's Avatar
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    Rory O'Connor/Ruaidrí Ua Conchobhair was the last undisputed High King.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitch 22 View Post
    If there had been a Gaelic monarchy things probably wouldn't have been all that different for the common people.
    The Gaelic monarchy and the nobility would have probably adopted the feudal system that was adopted across the rest of Europe and there would have been inter-marriage with the monarchs of Spain, France, Germany, England, Scotland and Scandinavia.
    Later during the Reformation there might have been religious wars between rival Irish Catholics and Protestant members of a Hibernian Church. Perhaps the Irish monarch and nobles would have become Protestants and the peasants would have remained Catholics and subject to persecution and penal laws?
    There might have been a civil war or revolutions like those in other European nations creating a constitutional monarch or eliminating the monarchy.
    Ireland might have industrialized sooner and colonized part of Africa or Asia but there might still have been a potato famine and mass emigration to the New World.
    During the 20th century we might have participated in WW1 and WW2 and later joined NATO.
    Even if we had remained independent we would probably still have had a close relationship with Britain.
    European integration post World War 2 would have lead to us joining the European Union or some equivalent.
    In this alternate universe we might have a lower house perhaps called Dáil Éireann made up of commoners and an upper house of Gaelic Chieftains while the High King of Ireland living in a royal palace at Tara.
    It's sad how this site is used by thousands as a site to educate themselves, share ideas etc.

    Instead of people who know what they are talking about really engage with each other about different topics, clowns like you who have absolutely no clue on this matter feel that they are God's gift and should comment, often first, thereby spiralling the thread downwards and mis-informing people at athe same time.

    Stop commenting on everything Hitch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Protestant/Catholic=Irish View Post
    It's sad how this site is used by thousands as a site to educate themselves, share ideas etc.

    Instead of people who know what they are talking about really engage with each other about different topics, clowns like you who have absolutely no clue on this matter feel that they are God's gift and should comment, often first, thereby spiralling the thread downwards and mis-informing people at athe same time.

    Stop commenting on everything Hitch.
    The OP is speculating about what might have happened if Irish history had been different.

    I am speculating too.

    Come up with your own speculations.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitch 22 View Post
    Perhaps the Irish monarch and nobles would have become Protestants and the peasants would have remained Catholics and subject to persecution and penal laws?
    That would have been doubtful, not the possibility of switching to a form of Protestantism but a difference of religion between ruler and ruled. If you look at the reformation across most of Europe (including Scotland) the process tended to be bottom up with the peasants converting and the nobles then taking on the new religion in order to preserve their loyalty once it reached a critical mass.
    "If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tea Party Patriot View Post
    That would have been doubtful, not the possibility of switching to a form of Protestantism but a difference of religion between ruler and ruled. If you look at the reformation across most of Europe (including Scotland) the process tended to be bottom up with the peasants converting and the nobles then taking on the new religion in order to preserve their loyalty once it reached a critical mass.
    Fine. Let's imagine that happened then.
    Protestants and Catholic would have probably fought for control mirroring what happened in the rest of Europe.

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    Politics.ie Member Franzoni's Avatar
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    Maybe we might of ended up a republic a lot sooner with the whole country intact.....after all the Brits and the French,two of our nearest neighbours chopped the heads off their Kings and Queens and abolished their monarchies in the 17th and 18th centuries,also the English have a few peasant revolts during the middle ages that tried similar...albiet the English were too superstitious to really reign in the power of Kings until a bit later on when they adopted a constitutional arrangement.........Personally i don't think a Gaelic monarchy would of lasted and eventually some sort of revolution or revolts would of still happened and would of dragged it down........
    What the imagination can't conjure, reality delivers with a shrug

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