Ireland - Dublin: The Irish Capital Hardly Ever Irish
The Vikings from Scandinavia, were one of the early seafaring nations and came to Ireland in 900 AD and discovered an ideal place for a settlement at the mouth of the River Liffey, about half way down the east coast of Ireland. They consolidated their influence over the next 200 years, including establishing other settlements on other waterside areas of Ireland, as well as the nearby Isle of Man, where they established the oldest parliament in the world: The Tynwald.
Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, when Britain was conquered by another tribe of Vikings, the Normans, who had originally settled on the north coast of France at Normandy, it wasn't long before the Normans extended their influence to Ireland and founded the settlement that was to become Dublin.
Thus began a 800 year long link with Britain, only to be severed as recently as 1920, when southern Ireland became The Irish Free State.
Because of 800 years of British rule, all the historic buildings have a very British feel -- even to the extent of a statue of that very British icon, Britannia, atop the Custom House, a fine classical building that still dominates the Dublin waterfront.
Nowadays Dublin -- which is gaelic for black pool -- is very definitely Irish and the buildings that now arise owe nothing to their British heritage. But some advantages still flow from 800 years of British rule -- in particular the fact that English has been spoken for so long has not only given Ireland many revered wordsmiths, very adroit in English, such as Yeats and George Bernard Shaw.
In addition, Ireland's special relationship and blood ties with America, due to the mass immigration of the later 19th century is strong and Ireland is developing itself as the Celtic Tiger, with particular emphasis on high tech industry. Both Microsoft and Adobe have their European manufacturing plants in Dublin. Southern Ireland is a full member of the Eurpean Union and a member of the Euro currency zone.
So, after over a thousand years, Dublin, finally belongs to Dubliners and is marching confidently into the 21st Century, ready to celebrate its first hundred years of truly Irish rule in 2020.
Copyright 2007 Joseph Donegal and The-Best_Of_Ireland.com
Related Tags: british, vikings, ireland, george, normans, dublin, river liffey, irish, the irish free state, yeats
Joseph Donegal has a life-long interest in his Irish roots and the history of Ireland and its people.
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