Roma’s Excellent Adventures, Part III:The Emerald Isle
God invented whiskey so that Ireland would not rule the world -Irish Proverb
In August, 2009 I traveled with my daughter, Maya, toIreland. This tiny, lush, island is about the size of Indianahousing 5.5 million people, about a million of whom arefrom the EU, especially Poles, Lithuanians, and Czechs.In fact when I arrived in Dublin, afew days before Maya, I had troublefinding people who were Irish. It wasa bit frustrating.Ireland is an absolutely historicplace. It was first occupied byNeolithic peoples about 8000 BCfollowed by the Celts arriving about500 BC, then the Vikings (800-1100AD) held sway, replaced by the Normans, (1160- 1536). KingHenry VII came in with a strong English influence from 1530, andThe Irish took back their lands from the English formally in 1923.One question I asked resulted in an important answer. I took a tourof lovely Wicklow, the bogs, and was mesmerized by the Irish countryside (see wheatbelow). After I finished my tour, I asked how in God’s name the Irish could have starvedto death during the potato famine of 1846. The famine, caused by potato blight, lasteduntil 1852, took a million lives and lead to the mass emigration of hundreds of thousandsof Irish to the U.S.My question was “Ina land brimmingwith wheat, barley,cows, sheep, andwith farmland sogreen irrigation wasnot even need, howcould the decline of potatoes impact somany? Why couldn’tother staples have
Celtic cross; aCeltic sun marriedwith St. Patrick’scrucifix.