Video encyclopedia

Gaelic Ireland


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President of Ireland speaking in Gaelic (St. Patrick's Day Message)


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Obama speaks Gaelic in Ireland

Gaelic Ireland was the Gaelic political and social order, and associated culture, that existed in Ireland from the prehistoric era until the early 17th century. Before the Norman invasion of 1169, Gaelic Ireland comprised the whole island. Thereafter, it comprised that part of the country not under foreign dominion at a given time. For most of its history, Gaelic Ireland was a "patchwork" hierarchy of territories ruled by a hierarchy of kings or chiefs, who were elected through tanistry. Warfare between these territories was common. Occasionally, a powerful ruler was acknowledged as High King of Ireland. Society was made up of clans and, like the rest of Europe, was structured hierarchically according to class. Throughout this period, the economy was mainly pastoral and money generally not used. A Gaelic Irish style of dress, music, dance, sport, architecture, and art can be identified, with Irish art later merging with Anglo-Saxon styles to create Insular art.
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