Twenty-three French cars took part in the competition, which, despite a significant attendance, made a loss. This setback notwithstanding, the entire weekend was deemed a success by the ACF, and Le Mans went down in history as having hosted the first automobile Grand Prix. It has been clear for quite some time that international, European, and Irish climate change law and policy is not delivering the emissions reductions that are required.
This has received considerable media attention in recent weeks, perhaps because of the protests spearheaded by the activist Greta Thunberg and led by children worldwide. The Irish government is promising a radical new and comprehensive plan to revitalise our efforts to reduce emissions. Nonetheless, there is an urgent need for fresh ideas and meaningful innovation if we are to avoid the potentially catastrophic implications of climate change for Ireland and elsewhere. Because climate change is a global problem, it is easy to conclude that global solutions are the only way forward.
However, climate change is also a very difficult collective action problem, and working through international institutions, such as the United Nations or the European Union, often results in movement at the pace of the slowest and least interested. Sometimes even that progress is held hostage by this who would seek to block any movement on the issue, particularly the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other countries with a significant vested interest in the existing energy infrastructure.
Irish Climate Policy Institutions Are Inadequate Although Irish institutional frameworks have been moving towards a more networked architecture, they are not adequately prepared for this. We have a planning code and planning system that is manifestly not fit for purpose, with overly complex laws, a lack of capacity by both elected representatives and civil or public servants, and a poor understanding of the underlying issues by decision- and policy-makers.
The first is the fragmentation of planning by stronger central policies such as the National Planning Framework. Innovation in Climate Law and Policy is Essential We should also think about how we can encourage innovation in implementation within Ireland. Our work, on this and other projects, confirms that Ireland has many of the micro-economic requirements for a vibrant economy and a high degree of social capital; these can only combine to create overall success, where public systems of governance, resource allocation, conflict resolution and policy learning are effective. Nationally, the Climate Change Advisory Council is not an adequate vehicle to achieve the level of economic and social transformation that is necessary.
Read: What's in Ireland's landmark climate change report? It should be enhanced or replaced with a body which is sufficiently well-resourced and endowed with the statutory powers necessary to encourage and require compliance with ambitious targets. Regionally and locally, there is a need for cross-cutting networks linking public administration and civil society. Local energy agencies exist in some parts of the country and some, particularly Tipperary Energy Agency, have done very commendable work.
Every local authority should be required to create one, in collaboration with nearby third-level institutions. In addition, learning and education initiatives such as Cloughjordan ecovillage are few and far between; tax incentives, subsidies, and other government support could encourage the development of further similar projects across the country.
There are also considerable opportunities to involve the private sector and develop entrepreneurship in climate-aware products and services. Sustainable Nation Ireland manages the Irish office of Climate-KIC which is a European knowledge and innovation community, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy , although this is Dublin-based and would be more effective if it is was regional and distributed. Climate Policy Must Be Plural, Polycentric, and Hybrid The complex nature of the issue means that top-down frameworks with inflexible mechanisms and targets do not work well.
Effective climate change law and policy will have to emerge from a hybrid web of policy tools, legal instruments, and multi-layer governance arrangements. This is particularly important when thinking about adaptation rather than mitigation, which will require greater diversification and decentralisation. We need to think about climate law as plural, polycentric, and hybrid. It is not a never-ending resource, and we can damage it from afar. The s had seen increasing global awareness of environmental concerns.
The potential value of anti-cancer drugs from marine organisms may be more than a trillion US dollars so our biodiversity is worth preserving for this alone. The ocean is good for our health in other ways. Sometimes we damage the ocean unintentionally as we have done with plastic. The highly progressive ban on plastic bags in Ireland enacted in was primarily to protect against litter on land. It predated the seminal paper in the journal Science that first noted the presence of microplastics in beaches.
Yet the ban was prescient: research shows that microplastics are in deep marine sediments, in the polyps of corals, and even in the poos of whale sharks. People have responded hugely to this issue and campaigned widely and must take much credit for the European-wide ban on many single-use plastics that will come into force in NUIG PhD student Alina Wieczorek observing whale shark suction feeding on plankton at the surface at night as part of a wider project investigating how whale sharks might be exposed to microplastics. Photo: Dawid Szlaga. Can we be as influential in other areas of concern?
As scientists, the answer is surely yes — but, in fact, the answer is yes for everyone. In fisheries, scientists can generate data in the field, develop models, and improve statistical analyses, to ensure accurate estimates of maximum sustainable take are passed to the policy makers. In the last few years, due to sustained public pressure, the practice of discarding caught fish at sea, because the boat had no permission to catch that species, has been banned by the EU, as has trawling below m.
The filtered residue will be subjected to DNA sequencing which is one of the most effective ways to detect invasive species due to small larvae being in the water column before they become widespread. Invasive species can be hugely damaging to the marine environment, outcompeting and smothering other life and reducing diversity, and they are often first detected by knowledgable members of the public.
Golden kelp, an invasive species discovered off the Mayo Coast by divers. Marine scientists study climate in numerous ways. Physicists study the exchange of greenhouse gases and heat between the upper ocean and lower atmosphere — processes that govern both weather and climate, while chemists study ocean acidification under increasing CO2 levels. Marine animals, particularly those with a calcium carbonate shell or skeleton, are extremely vulnerable to ocean acidification as a lower pH hinders mineralisation.
From a better understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved in ocean climate change, scientists are able to model and predict future climate more accurately, and thus empower politicians to act in the common interest. Lowering our individual carbon footprints can impact the overall carbon load on the planet if enough of us engage, but lobbying governments for better public transport, investment in renewable energy and other wide-reaching policies that will help us reach our carbon targets under the Paris Agreement on action to combat climate change will have far greater impacts.
Our oceans need us to meet these targets. This year alone has seen a remarkable increase in environmental activism.
Fairies - Definitions
Children, led by year old Swede Greta Thunberg have come out of school to strike for climate. Extinction Rebellion have, through peaceful protest alone, caused both the Irish and British governments to declare a climate emergency. We will have dropped gravity cores in the Artic, studied the air-sea interface in the Antarctic, taught a climate change course on a German research vessel, and studied our own changing shorelines.
Affecting the whole of the island, it was, and is, described in biblical and apocalyptic terms. In attempting to convey the scale of it, scholars frequently focus on the vast numbers of those who died or who emigrated, or examine the Famine on a macro, rather than micro, level. While there is no problem in this approach, it often ignores the more personal reflections that can be found in correspondence and in journals.
One would not expect antiquarian correspondence to be a good source of this. Yet, as prolific corresponders with each other sometimes several times a day to the same person , their letters offer a fascinating, and often overlooked, insight into the social and political matters of their day. He first began writing to Windele in , when the potato harvest had failed for the second time and people were not optimistic about the outlook.
As a member of the local Relief Committee, he offers a unique insight of how local landlords attempted to deal with the growing problem and of how frustrated he felt in not being able to do more to help, especially as he often paid out his own pocket. He ends the letter "I sincerely wish you many happy returns of this season which used to be joyous. Whereas Swanton seems to be in a good personal situation, Rev. Fever is raging in all directions. Dead bodies for ten days without internment. We shall have much hunger, and I dread, much fever, yet to endure.
However we must only beast the waves again; and from its perilous summit, preach controversy by living amid pestilence and death, or by dieing [sic] for our flocks. You can form no idea of what hunger is unless you have endured and felt it yourself. The most graphic and glowing description of it would give you but a very imperfect notion of it — the sensation and the chock [shock] must be only felt, not describable. Redmond Anthony, an antiques dealer from Piltown in Co Kilkenny, complained that he had not been able to sell tickets to a lottery and that his business had been affected because of the distress.
William Hackett from Midleton and the distilling family complained about how he was making a loss grinding relief corn. He sympathised with the poor people, though. NLI MS , no. More importantly, they demonstrate how people reacted to the Famine on a personal level, witnessing death all around them. The now typical bellicose pronouncements from Trump do little to reassure allies, while adding to the general incoherence of US foreign policy under his leadership. Shanahan is reported to have said that they now want to prevent further escalation and the US is "not about going to war.
Never threaten the United States again! The three attacks in the Gulf all have a clear common denominator. Although Iran has not claimed responsibility the Houthis took responsibility for the drone strike , the widespread assumption is that the Iranians were behind them. Such attacks enable Iran to send a threatening message while also maintaining deniability. However, he seems unable to contain himself when he perceives any provocation. It is hoped to force Iran to make additional concessions on its nuclear programme and disrupt its support for militant organisations.
In early May, the US accelerated the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East and deployed B bomber aircraft to the region along with a Patriot air-defence missile battery. In conventional military terms, Iran cannot compete against the US. However, as the centre of Shia power in the region, its strength lies in the ability to mobilise proxy forces to assist in achieving its objectives. Iran is the primary supporter of Hezbollah in Lebanon and was pivotal in supporting the Assad regime in Syria. It is also the main power behind the Houthi rebels in Yemen, in addition to having significant influence in Iraq and on Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
This makes Iran a formidable regional foe and not a country to be underestimated. There are also three vital passages to trade in the area that remain especially vulnerable. The straits of Hormuz, is the best known but Bab al-Mandab and the Suez Canal are also of strategic importance, especially to Israel. The Strait of Hormuz is a vital shipping route linking Middle East oil producers to markets around the world and it has been a flashpoint in the past.
Weaponised drones, missiles and remote controlled sea borne devices can all have devastating consequences. The US has abrogated its treaty obligations under the so called Iran nuclear deal, negotiated during the Obama administration to prevent Iran from nuclear weapons production. Trump also has re-imposed punitive sanctions that have damaged severely Iran's economy, and designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organisation. READ: 40 years of politics, change and protest in Iran Sadly, one of the elements lost in the current debate about the use of force in the region is international law.
It is often conveniently ignored that the threat or use of force by states is prohibited by Article 2 4 of the UN Charter. This is a long standing fundamental principle of international law that governs relations between states. It is not for powerful states to decide what rules to apply or disregard when and if it suits their purposes. War does not have to be inevitable and, in such a scenario, there will be no winners. The main losers once again will be innocent civilians caught up in a conflict not of their making. The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, pointed to recent history and visits by American heads of state since Ronald Reagan to highlight the close and important relationship between the two countries and the approach his government would take to any stay in Ireland by Trump.
Visits and relations with different heads of states and governments since independence have illustrated not only the priorities of the then Irish government, but also how these have at times diverged from sections of the Irish public. Unsurprisingly, this gave rise to severe criticism, particularly in the US, but also provoked a strong reaction from the British prime minister, Winston Churchill.
Roosevelt, not to offer condolences like, for example, other neutrals Switzerland and Sweden would have been illogical and contrary to the dictates of neutrality. Where he could lead Ireland through challenging times perhaps better than anyone as seen by the war and in his celebrated response to Churchill , he left others to decide what neutrality and independence actually meant.
Kennedy in reflected the choices Ireland had made. Not only was it very popular and, as with the others, passed without diplomatic or security incident, the Kennedy visit pointed to how Ireland had moved away from neutrality and expressions of independence at the United Nations, views which had been at variance to those held by the United States. Bush in and Barack Obama in strengthened the existing cultural and economic ties with the US and Europe, reflecting how Ireland had moved beyond a dependence on Britain.
Visits by different heads of governments and states from the s generated a greater interest among the public in Irish foreign policy. A desire to influence the nature of the foreign policy of Ireland as well as that of other countries, most notably the US, lay behind the dissent which progressively became a greater feature of visits by foreign dignitaries.
The opposition to Reagan was particularly notable for being the first to garner such diverse groups, utilise unusual tactics and to generate considerable publicity. Higgins and the future judge, Catherine McGuinness. How representative they were of the general public is another question, with the majority of the public supportive of the visit.
Furthermore, many of the demonstrators also hoped that good relations with the US would continue to exist. Certainly, Reagan spoke of the need for tolerance and reconciliation in Northern Ireland during his visit and fulfilled the hopes the Irish government had for his stay. In that context, the anti Reagan campaign was the logical continuation of the protests against the King of Belgium and Nixon. As with past governments, he is likely to discuss trade, Northern Ireland and other issues of benefit to Ireland with the visiting president, while downplaying the differences and seeking to manage any protests that occur.
Archives of testimony, oral history, letters, diaries, official documentation, legal records and more, provide evidence of human experience under the exertion of power and control. Archives can give voice to victims of past violence or can also function to maintain an enforced silence and prolong a lack of accountability, transparency, and truth. But who is recorded within the records? What agency do such records have to inform the next generation?
And how to young people engage with violent histories? The ability of each successive generation to access records of their recent past and longer history is a key signifier of a functioning democracy. Like every scar, it will never get well if you pick it. We encounter the past in various new ways and through new media today.
In Derry Girls, the experience of a Catholic family and group of teenage girls and one wee English fella presented events of early s' Derry, from bomb scares to Presidential visits, to young audiences in an accessible means. Recent remarks were made by Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, about how British soldiers and police who were responsible for killings in Northern Ireland, in particularly those soldiers on Bloody Sunday, "were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duty in a dignified and appropriate way".
Bradley later apologised for the comments. While a young lecturer in law in Belfast in the mid s, he became aware of the agitation around civil rights and human rights issues, particularly for Catholics in Belfast and Derry. Boyle became a committee member of groups such as the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and People's Democracy, and so ensured his place as a major figure in advocating for equal rights across Northern Ireland. A key facet within the archive is the voice of young people grappling with social and economic inequalities. The late journalist Lyra McKee, recently murdered in Derry, referred to her generation as "The Ceasefire Babies", those who are today also witnessing a lack of leadership and dialogue within their communities.
Other challenges to openness towards the past in Northern Ireland is the proposed closure of the CAIN Conflict Archive on the Internet which is a vital and unique recourse which makes available thousands of documents from the Troubles period available freely online. The archive of past conflict should not be closed, symbolically or physically, as the ramifications in terms of public knowledge and legal accountability are live and urgent issues today.
Archives are spaces of memory-practice, where people can try to put their inherited history and trauma in context by transforming their experiences into meaning through empathy with the past. In Kevin Boyle's last published work from , a foreword to A Vision for Human Rights, he stated "despite the often scattershot coverage by global media of human rights issues, the wretched conditions and suffering of millions are for the most part ignored. The archival record can be a force to break this silence.
I write it so that I can, at last, feel present in my own life. I write it because it is the most powerful thing I can think of to do. Two new essay collections by Irish writers follow in this tradition. It remains always something other than property. In "Blue Hills and Chalk Bones", that body also operates in relation to the omnipresence of Irish Catholicism, namely the pilgrimage to Lourdes: "I thought about the baths, and how if I believed enough, I would be cured". Gleeson also writes of the "form of guidance: that the work of artists such as Frida Kahlo, Lucy Grealy and Jo Spence provided in their explorations of their bodies in illness.
But so is finding the kind of articulation that is specific to you. It is difficult not to read this collection while conscious of how the Irish state has regulated pregnant bodies through the recently repealed Eighth Amendment. They are also testimonies to what it is to be as an Irish woman in pre- and post-referendum Ireland Gleeson , or a person who, having left rural Ireland as many of our generation have done, still feels the pull of home Maleney. Returning to Pine, these collections demonstrate that, for some, writing can be the most powerful thing we can do.
Nevertheless, what might raise more eyebrows is the existence of a grade of lord in medieval Irish society whose legally charged task was to obtain redress for an grievance caused by one kindred upon another. Such redress could go as far as forcible seizure or vengeance. So how did the "lord of blood-vengeance" operate?
Because he is the leader of five which is excluded from committing slaughter under a cairde ["treaty"] until the end of a month, to avenge the dishonouring of a kingdom from which a person has recently been slain. Provided they do not do so before the end of the month, they go [to obtain redress] in the treaty-kingdom and their protection does not lie with him there. However, could this commando-style operation exacerbate tensions between kingdoms or fuel dynastic feuds? For it is more fitting in the sight of God to repudiate them than to protect them.
So was there a better way to handle interterritorial disputes when dynastic politics and elite members of society were directly involved? These were edicts enacted by the most powerful kings and ecclesiastics throughout Ireland, along with their subordinates, and were designed to function between kingdoms, and sometimes even between entire provinces.
It may well be that these edicts were partly intended as church-mediated legislation to deal with interterritorial issues even when contentious dynastic politics came into play. This is particularly true in the case of macroeconomics, the branch that informs the budgetary and monetary policies of a country. To start with, it should incorporate gender relations in economic analysis given gender norms form an important basis for social relations.
Not all decisions in the household are amenable to the rationalistic point of view. There is substantial international evidence that supports the observation that the burden of unpaid care falls more on women, in both developing and developed countries. In , OECD data showed that women spend on average between three to six hours on unpaid care activities, while men spend between 0.
In OECD countries, women spend about 2. Any rethinking of economics must recognise that the invisible hand of the market rests on care and that capitalism uses and reinforces patriarchy for its sustenance The unequal burden of unpaid care work on women adversely affects their ability to take part in the labour market and impacts on the type and quality of employment available to them.
Women are more likely to take up part-time work, often in vulnerable employment. The Sustainable Development Goals SDG , adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in , articulates the explicit goal of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls with a specific target to recognise and reduce the unequal burden of unpaid care work of women.
The SDGs further stress the importance of macroeconomic policies as a crucial enabler of gender equality and recommends that economic policymakers recognise and value unpaid care work of women. However, the gender-blind macroeconomic models do not have the means to identify the adverse dynamic between economic growth and gender inequality, and their policies can indeed lead to a reinforcement of gender inequalities. For macroeconomics to stay relevant, it must recognise the role of gender norms and social relations in economic decision-making at both household and community level.
Any rethinking of economics must recognise that the invisible hand of the market rests on care and that capitalism uses and reinforces patriarchy for its sustenance. Initially developed by PublicPolicy. We've used date from here to create the summary table below and the following findings. But across the 31 local authorities, there are sizeable differences in terms of how much councils spend per person. In contrast, all local authorities experienced reductions in current and even more so in capital spending between the local elections of and , coinciding with the years of austerity.
Funding sources also differ, reflecting differences in tax bases and economic activity. Take, for example, the two Galway councils and consider the shares of revenue income in rates and in grants as indicators of autonomy and dependency. This difference between rural and urban councils is countrywide, with the more urban densely populated councils able to rely more on own-source incomes such as commercial rates, retained local property tax LPT and user charges, resulting in a greater degree of fiscal autonomy for these councils, while the rural less populated county councils have to depend more on central government grants to provide local public services.
In Ireland, income from these business taxes is used as a balancing item to equalise budgeted expenditures with budgeted income from all other revenue sources, to ensure the local balanced budget rule is met. What is interesting is the cross-council variation in the ARV, as is evident in the table. For those local councils that have not revalued the commercial rates base recently, the ARV ranges from Where local councils have undertaken a recent revaluation of industrial and commercial properties liable for commercial rates, the ARV ranges from 0.
Similarly, Dublin City Council is the lead local authority in the Dublin region for homeless services operating a shared service arrangement via the Dublin Region Homeless Executive , and for the fire service. This is important when comparing expenditure data across the four Dublin councils. Given the variations in the profile, circumstances and choices of the different areas and their constituents, these cross-council differences in budget income and spending are not unexpected. In the run-up to these local elections we urge voters to use the website to get a breakdown of their local council income and spending and how it compares to other councils and the national average.
Author: Dr Liam Morrison, Earth and Ocean Sciences Analysis: large amounts of seaweed biomass produce negative consequences for both ecosystem and human activities One of the main human pressures affecting European coastal ecosystems is nutrient over-enrichment as a consequence of human activities. Reduction in nutrient loading is considered the main remediation action. Nutrient over-enrichment became an important issue in Europe after industrialisation and the increased use of commercially available artificial fertilisers following the Second World War.
Estuarine environments are particularly susceptible to nutrient over-enrichment and other pollutants as a consequence of the smaller size of these water bodies, their relatively lower flushing rates and because they are the primary receptor of land based contaminants which enter through rivers. The development of opportunistic macroalgal blooms or seaweed tides which occur in many parts of the world are a clear indicator of nutrient enrichment in estuaries. Macroalgal blooms do not pose a direct health risk, but the accumulation and subsequent degradation of large amounts of seaweed biomass over short periods of time produce negative consequences for the ecosystem and shore-based human activities.
For instance, biomass degradation as a result of bacterial breakdown and decay in estuaries dominated by large seaweed tides can consume most of the oxygen in the water. They also release toxic compounds which in turn impact on fish, shellfish and other species and organisms crucial for ecosystem functioning and services. The cost of lost ecosystem services are likely much greater and difficult to accurately determine in monetary terms.
Cork estuaries. These estuaries fail to meet the criteria for "Good Ecological Status" as part of the process for assessment and monitoring of macroalgal blooms under our obligations for the EU Water Framework Directive. The percentage of the estuary affected by macroalgal tides and the biomass abundances recorded during peak bloom conditions are considerably higher than the regulatory requirements, suggesting potentially significant harmful effects on organisms and ecosystem.
But other indicators related to the monitoring of the environmental quality in this estuary such as dissolved oxygen in the water revealed a lower incidence of lower oxygen concentrations in the seawater and hence the improvement in water quality. Gathering research data at the Tolka estuary in Dublin The addition of nutrients to Irish estuaries arises from a combination of current loadings and potential reservoirs e.
Considering this, a reduction in current nutrient loadings may not result in an instantaneous reduction in the occurrence of opportunistic macroalgal blooms. It is worth noting that recovery of natural ecosystems is often slower in terms of time period than the processes that actually lead to the degradation in the first instance. For example, a community shifts from seagrass meadows to macroalgal or microalgal tides in estuarine environments as a result of human-induced nutrient inputs has been reported to occur over relatively short periods of time, while the recovery of seagrass meadows is much slower.
This can have important negative effects in the natural goods and services that estuaries provide, such as the provision of habitat for organisms and nutrient and carbon sequestration. The release of nutrients from agricultural practices is already a significant source of surface water pollution, and is potentially predicted to increase with a greater demand for food associated with global population growth.
It is likely that these issues will result in increased nutrient over-enrichment and hence increased incidence and severity of macroalgal blooms as predicted by EPA modelling approaches and direct observations elsewhere in the world. The release of nutrients from agricultural practices is already a significant source of surface water pollution Although nutrient enrichment is a necessary prerequisite for the development of macroalgal blooms, other factors such as temperature, salinity or the pool of opportunistic species capable of blooming control seaweed tide development and severity.
This increase was not related to greater nutrient loading, but as a consequence of the arrival of an alien species from Japan Agarophycum vermiculophyllum, previously known as Gracilaria vermiculophylla as confirmed using molecular identification techniques. The Sea-MAT project also discovered that green tides affecting Irish estuaries are multispecific comprised of many species and not monospecific just one species as previously thought. This could have important consequences for bloom persistence, nutrient enrichment and storage in sediments, and ultimately effective management strategies.
In subsequent years, Gaelic games have repeatedly provided filmmakers with a resonant motif to represent perceived aspects of Irish identity, perceived as these representations have been neither straightforward nor unproblematic. In international productions in particular, Gaelic games have been employed on occasion as a short hand for regressive stereotypes associated with Irish people, including their alleged propensity for violence. From the late s onwards, a critical turn became evident in these homegrown productions, though contemporary depictions of Gaelic games still occasionally reveal the more problematic stereotypes associated with Ireland and Irish identity.
The surviving footage from these companies — of which there are fortunately a significant number of examples — provides an important record of Gaelic games in these years, and some of the finest players from both codes. However, their presentation sometimes reveals prejudiced perspectives and a limited understanding among producers of the games being filmed. Featuring leading Cork hurlers of the time and games from the hurling championship, Three Kisses is a fascinating rendering of hurling, Ireland and Irishness from a Hollywood perspective.
By the s, references to hurling and hurlers in particular featured in a range of feature films, including The Quiet Man , The Rising of the Moon and Young Cassidy , all work by the legendary and multiple Oscar-winning Irish-American director John Ford. Indeed, for those who watch these sports on TV or attend major games in Croke Park today, significant parallels exist with the history of cinematic depictions of these sports, both in the manner in which games are televised for broadcast and the in-stadium experience itself, complemented today by the relaying of action on the pitch onto the two permanent big-screens in the stadium.
While television is undoubtedly the key medium for contemporary moving image depictions of Gaelic games, these representations are nonetheless indebted to the extraordinary legacy of the cinema and cinematic depictions of these sports. This can cause exclusion and inequality in healthcare, employment and society. It promotes stereotypes that people in bigger bodies are lazy, weak-willed or lack intelligence. This is linked with physiological and psychological health risks and leads to patients not seeking help. In fact, research shows that stigmatising messages have the opposite effect to that intended, and drive unhealthy eating and activity behaviours.
People-first language should always be used, as well as non-stigmatising imagery. Many patients are involved in support groups online or at their weight management centres. They attend cookery lessons, mindfulness classes and exercise classes. They arrange family walks and healthy lunch meetings to share recipes and tips. Despite these efforts, patients need support and help from healthcare professionals, family, and everyone in society. Living with obesity, you go through every single day anticipating, fearing, expecting and preparing for the worst. Stigma needs to stop and we all need to advocate and act to end weight stigma.
This includes members of the public and patients, researchers, the media, health professionals and government. Healthcare professionals in particular need training and support around obesity stigma to ensure that patients with a higher weight are treated with respect and are not dismissed as non-compliant. The ASOI aims to develop an understanding of obesity through the pursuit of excellence in research and education, the facilitation of contact between individuals and organisations, and the promotion of action to prevent and treat obesity, across the island of Ireland.
Media representatives will also take part in a panel discussion on how obesity is discussed in print, broadcast and online media, and how to reduce obesity stigma to better support public health messaging. It will be unique in that patients were involved in planning and will participate throughout the day by introducing, concluding and chairing sessions. Patients will also hold a patient booth where they can be found by anyone attending the day who wishes to talk to them one-to-one.
Patients representatives have been a part of the ASOI Committee for some years now and are working towards creating a national patient organisation that will increase the patient voice collectively. Patients are eager to share their experiences and help decrease the regular stigmatising reactions from society. The theme of European Obesity Day is "tackling obesity together" and this event on May 18th is certainly trying to do that. It is only by recognising and respecting those rights now that the State can demonstrate remorse for, and capacity for change from, its previous pattern of abuse.
This is a principle that should have underpinned all responses since to our terrible legacy of unlawful family separation and systematic cruelty and exploitation in institutions nationwide. Survivors have been treated as though they cannot be trusted with the evidence of their own past. Public access to non-sensitive documents such as administrative files, inspection and financial registers, and burial location records, has also been prohibited.
The church authorities in turn have felt no obligation to establish public archives that are readily searchable and accessible. The ability of many to piece together their own history — including such fundamental aspects as their own identity and health conditions — has been denied. The national repository should also provide public access to testimony voluntarily deposited, archival records and other material evidence of our shared history.
These submissions to the Commission of Investigation drew on 79 witness statements drafted by the international law firm Hogan Lovells LLP. Putting survivors through the intense stress and delays of litigating for access to basic information will be yet another incalculable failure on all of our part. An independent national repository is an essential way of showing that Irish society and the State mean to treat people differently than we did before. This includes all survivor testimony and all administrative records and other evidence of the operation of Industrial and Reformatory Schools.
The Bill does not provide for survivors to be given a copy of their own testimony or asked whether they wish their testimony to form part of the national historical record during their lifetime. In one letter to a survivor seeking her own records, the Commission said that its refusal was "in order to safeguard the effective operation of the Commission and the future cooperation of witnesses".
The ability of many to piece together their own history — including such fundamental aspects as their own identity and health conditions — has been denied The non-statutory McAleese Committee returned all religious-owned records at the end of its work. Its archive contains all State records concerning the Magdalene Laundries, including administrative and financial files, and likely also contains some information relating to the as-yet unidentified burial sites of many women who died while incarcerated.
Author: Barry Houlihan, James Hardiman Library Opinion: how does contemporary theatre function when it no longer entirely "human"? As audiences of western theatre we are conditioned primarily to process plot, character, thought, diction, music, and spectacle, that are bound by unity of action, place, and time. In the era of artificial intelligence, big data, social media, bit-coin, and the dark web, we are essentially "born-digital". But if theatre is an exploration of humanity and human experience, how then does contemporary theatre function when it no longer entirely "human"?
Can we as theatre audiences be reflected within this digital maelstrom? The answer is we already have been. Web-based platforms create a space where theatre is created, edited, distributed, stored and retrieved. Performance art is mediated through technology as much as it is created through digital means.
An early example of this was Who was Fergus Kilpatrick? Devised by The Company and commissioned by Project Arts Centre, the piece utilised, theatre, video "and stories filled with white lies and conspiracies [that] clash with old footage, old documents, old heroes to uncover new answers, a new company and a new truth". And how is our contemporary understanding of the past altered or deleted for corrupt gains or political advantage? In the play, a grieving figure of Muldoon himself, played by Stanley Townsend, engages in a relationship of memory with his recently deceased lover, the artist and print-maker, Mary Farl Powers.
This also serves to portray grief in its simplest and most raw of states — the desire to make a loved one present again from what is lost and gone. The Second Violinist premiered at the Galway festival in and starred Aaron Monaghan as a lone and isolated figure, often playing video games on his phone as he commutes on the bus. Theatre company Dead Centre have created new ways in recent years of considering how we witness and contemplate contemporary life and also how we encounter the archive and production histories of major plays and canonical figures through digital production and performance.
Chekhov's First Play opens with the 'real' director, Bush Markouzal playing a character of a director, speaking to his audience and instructing them on how they can hear his running commentary on the play, through the headphones that all audiences members were given. In the theatre, as much as in a gallery, the interface exists as a space between actor and audience.
The digital interface introduces a further facet or performance space, a virtual and intangible space that is both present and live. Hope it's not too strange. It can feel a little intimate. Like even though everyone can hear this, it feels like I'm just talking. The Director comments in real-time upon the live action, revealing that "[he] had ambitions once, to create new forms of theatre. I have a feeling that we don't anymore", she directs it to the audience as much as to her on-stage cast members.
Ollie West played Hamnet, the son of William Shakespeare who died aged 11, and who remains "one letter away from being "a great man", Hamlet". The videography within the play, designed by Jose Miguel Jiminez and with sound design from Kevin Gleeson, presents a live co-existence of viewpoint that relays onto a large video wall the audience looking at themselves looking at the play. Andrew Clancy's design includes a large video wall that simultaneously projects the dead child and past with the contemporary living Hamnet. The inverse to this process applies to the digital archive of performance.
Work which was produced in traditional media but through digitisation allows us to reanimate performance, gesture, sound, music, even audience laughter and silence, in order to create a digital and virtual reality of performance. The intimate gesture of McCann's posturing and the constant movement of his hands bring an intimacy to his performance. This is in stark contrast to Ralph Fiennes' portrayal of the same role at the Gate Theatre in Fiennes cuts a cocky, brash and unrepentant Frank Hardy, a huckster selling false promises and security.
In a sense, this was Faith Healer for the Celtic Tiger-era - baseless bravado beneath a polished exterior. Theatre in such form will also leave you questioning the reality of performance, the reality of theatre, and even the validity of our contemporary society as well as of our documented history. This work tightly embraces the aid of digital technology and painstaking video and sound editing and blatantly flaunts the presence of pre-recorded scenes amid live feed. Geography helps us answer the question of "how do we wish to live?
Geography considers both human and non-human processes and how they affect each other, for example how and why floods occur and how they impact landforms, human settlements and industries. It combines scientific and social literacy; it provides a bridging space in the curriculum to bring together the creativity of the arts, the insights of social science and humanities as well as the important principles of natural science methods and practices. Understanding the earth and society should be a pre-requisite to govern.
It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together. Geography provides a tangible means for students to put theory into practice, to take learning from the classroom into the real world. It provides the lived context to connect understanding of physical properties — such as landslides - to the fundamental cycling of water to the importance of decision making about appropriate land use and settlement location.
It helps people to understand their place in the world and comprehend current and historical social, cultural, economic, environmental and political events. Geography provides the intellectual glue that can bind together insights from physics, chemistry, biology, geology, sociology, economics, political science and many other disciplines.
Geographical understanding helps us plan for uncertain futures based on our knowledge of past and current conditions. Geography helps inform human development illustrating how our very survival relies on the effective functioning of both natural and social systems. However, geographers are not created at university, the seeds are sown in primary school and cultivated at second level. Geography fosters critical thinkers who are able to navigate the complexity of our data rich world. Practical and relevant, it is a living, breathing discipline, a science of sciences; a site of synthesis and integration.
It helps create the kind of global citizens that are required to navigate the challenges that lie ahead. Founded in as a mutual defence organisation to counter Soviet expansionism in Europe, NATO today faces a multiple range of threats. Ironically, its biggest challenge is posed by its most powerful member, the United States. An attack upon one is considered an attack on them all. There were a number of remarkable aspects to this, chiefly that it led to military action outside of Europe in Afghanistan under the auspices of NATO and with the support of the UN.
NATO does not provide the best mechanism to confront contemporary challenges This was not what the founders had envisioned for NATO, but it was evidence of its ability to adapt. It may also be asked what the war in Afghanistan has achieved after 18 years. Interventions in Afghanistan and Libya have come at an enormous human cost and ending the Afghan conflict must be a priority. Not surprisingly, this has alarmed Russia as the west is perceived to be encroaching into the former Soviet sphere of influence and threatening Moscow.
For its part, there is overwhelming evidence of Russian efforts to meddle in the political affairs of Western states. This does not have to be on a scale to precipitate armed conflict, but all economies and civilian infrastructures are vulnerable. A further major threat is posed by Poland, Hungary and Turkey, all of which have moved to the right contrary to the democratic values espoused by NATO.
These developments, along with a truculent Trump, are undermining relations between member states and the cohesion of the alliance. Such a turn of events would end the Atlantic Alliance as currently constituted and present Russia with a major victory. For that reason alone, this might not be a good development right now. It is worth recalling that it is not that long since the war in the former Yugoslavia and it will take some generations to overcome the legacy of that bitter ethnic conflict.
NATO was critical in enforcing a peace agreement to end the fighting. At the very least, American pressure on its NATO allies to spend more on defence should be countered with an argument that the US should spend less. If the US keeps up its current level of military expenditure, then Russia and China will respond similarly and the arms race escalates. Contrary to what some analysts might have us believe, there is no significant military threat from conventional Russian forces massing on the European frontier.
Russia is in decline with an ageing population and shrinking economy. A more immediate threat to Europe stems from a combination of right wing populism, extremism and the risk of cyber-attack and political subversion from outside powers. The growth in Chinese technological and economic power also presents a more long term threat on the horizon. NATO does not provide the best mechanism to confront contemporary challenges.
Large military budgets do not address the causes or consequences of political upheaval and social exclusion. Military expenditure does not neutralise extremism. Although Israel continues to occupy a large portion of the Golan, both parties agreed an 80km long and narrow zone of separation which would be monitored by the UN peacekeeping force. UNDOF remains an important mission in an area of significant strategic importance.
Under the disengagement agreement between Syria and Israel, it is the only military presence allowed in the area of separation. Therein lies one of the main dilemmas as the Assad regime could not be relied upon to fulfil its part of the agreement in recent years. Fortunately, the situation has stabilised and Irish troops have been able to redeploy fully along the Syrian side of the area of separation since Although most commentators will highlight the out of date mandate as the critical weakness in the mission, the reality is that the volatile situation on the ground has been the most pressing problem.
There have also been Israeli and Syrian air strikes. UNDOF was established as a Syria-based mission and how it operates, including the use of enhanced equipment or new technologies, is subject to the disengagement agreement. Any changes must be approved by both Syria and Israel and proposals to do so have been blocked in the past. In the past, there were serious clashes between armed opposition forces and pro-government forces in the Bravo side of the ceasefire line, an area that is the responsibility of Syria.
The possibility of being caught in the crossfire between Israel and armed groups, including Syrian forces, also remains a serious risk. While its observation role was thus limited, it continued to play a key role in liaising with the parties to prevent a flareup in the area. Irish troops are well equipped and trained for the mission. They have good armoured protection and mobility capabilities.
The Irish government was correct to agree to send troops to the Golan and allow them to remain despite the deteriorating situation. The immediate challenge of deploying in the area of operations previously evacuated for security reasons has been overcome. There was no option but to redeploy at the time due to legitimate concerns about extraction and protection. Russian intervention in Syria has been pivotal and this is reflected in the changed situation on the ground. Although the overall situation is calm, it remains a volatile region.
Assad has won the war in Syria, but the regime is still struggling to consolidate its control over much of the country. In the Golan, the threat from Iranian-backed Hezbollah and other fighters remains. Israel is determined to deny Iran a foothold in Syria, but is limited in its options to prevent this happening. The possibility of military action by Israel in areas supposedly under the control of Syria on the Golan remains a serious threat.
This phenomenon is not a recent one. In the play, four youths - two Protestant and two Catholic - set off on a sponsored charity walk from Northern Ireland to Dublin. When the boys reach the Republic they encounter antagonism in the person of Vonnie, a landowner on whose land they attempt to camp. No packs of savages blowing the brains out of each other". Ultimately Vonnie regrets calling him, telling him "we still have ones over you in this country".
The trappings of an autocratic state apparatus are obvious from the start of the play; Creon and Haemon implement their rule by whatever means necessary. One step down the power structure, Chorus is obsequious towards Creon and Haemon but displays violent and sexist behaviour towards the female characters. The end of act one is signalled by an increasingly audible reading of the Criminal Justice Bill, here again the focus of protest.
A sense of great unease about potential and actual abuse of power by the state and her arms is evident in these plays and others of the period The audience are deliberately targeted throughout the performance: they witness a cover-up as a critic of the state is murdered and Antigone warns them that they are next. She is attacked by Chorus and the ensuing struggle is staged as if Antigone is choking for real. The play ends with the cast turning on the audience, telling them to disperse quietly, calling them voyeurs and peeping toms, and finally Creon orders them to go home as they can do nothing.
Mathews stages the nightmare scenario of life in a totalitarian police state as lurid reality. The mood is satirical, the onstage world a parody of a state gone rogue. A sense of great unease about potential and actual abuse of power by the state and her arms is evident in these plays and others of the period. Theatre can react with immediacy to societal issues and concerns, but the themes staged in these plays were controversial at the time. The legacy of this lack of accountability brought to bear on the forces of the state lingers on.
The playwrights, it is clear, were right to be concerned. Heavily influenced by the Bible and other key early Christian texts, he composed a lively tale, the "Life of St Patrick", which presents Patrick as a conquering Christian hero.
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Elements of history that did not fit with this image were conveniently swept aside. With God on his side, Patrick disposes of the first magician quickly and brutally, Lochru being miraculously hoisted into the air and dropped, smashing his skull against a stone. In this context, he is probably referring to the western coast of Ireland, which may not have been touched by the Palladian mission. For example, his depiction of Patrick as an Old Testament hero in the mould of Moses and of Tara as Babylon emphasise the influence of the Bible as a direct inspiration.
Patrick is rightly famous in Ireland, but arguably for the wrong reasons. While he was not the first to bring Christianity to Ireland, he did compose the earliest complete written sources that survive. Despite his fame, the exact location of the body of Patrick has been a bone of contention for over a millennium. He exhumed their bodies and translated the relics into a new tomb at Downpatrick. The houses, built of timber and wickerwork, were large and well thatched.
The fields in summer were yellow with corn. Roads ran from town to town. Rude bridges spanned the rivers; and barges laden with  merchandise floated along them. Ships clumsy indeed but larger than any that were seen on the Mediterranean, braved the storms of the Bay of Biscay and carried cargoes between the ports of Brittany and the coast of Britain. Tolls were exacted on the goods which were transported on the great waterways; and it was from the farming of these dues that the nobles derived a large part of their wealth.
The iEduans were familiar with the plating of copper and of tin.
The miners of Aquitaine, of Auvergne, and of the Berri were celebrated for their skill. Indeed, in all that belonged to outward prosperity the peoples of Gaul had made great strides since their kinsmen first came into contact with Rome. Let us consider what this was. In this spirit Socrates, when urged to evade his death sentence by taking the means of escape from prison which his 24 "Csesar's Conquest of Gaul," pp.
Let it be added that the aristocratic Celts were, like the Teutons, dolichocephalic — that is to say, they had heads long in proportion to their breadth. This is proved by remains found in the basin of the Marne, which was thickly populated by them. In one case the skeleton of the tall Gallic warrior was found with his war-car, iron helmet, and sword, now in the Music de St.
The inhabitants of the British Islands are uniformly long-headed, the round-headed "Alpine" type occurring very rarely. Those of modern France are round-headed. The shape of the head, however, is now known to be by no means a constant racial character. It alters rapidly in a new environment, as is shown by measurements of the descendants of immigrants in America. See an article on this subject by Professor Haddon in "Nature," Nov.
For a man's country, he says, is more holy and venerable than father or mother, and he must quietly obey the laws, to which he has assented by living under them all his life, or incur the just wrath of their great Brethren, the Laws of the Underworld, before whom, in the end, he must answer for his conduct on earth. In a greater or less degree this exalted conception of the State formed the practical religion of every man among the classical nations of antiquity, and gave to the State its cohesive power, its capability of endurance and of progress.
Teutonic Loyalty With the Teuton the cohesive force was supplied by another motive, one which was destined to mingle with the civic motive and to form, in union with it — and often in predominance over it — the main political factor in the development of the European nations. This was the sentiment of what the Germans called  Treue, the personal fidelity to a chief, which in very early times extended itself to a royal dynasty, a sentiment rooted profoundly in the Teutonic nature, and one which has never been surpassed by any other human impulse as the source of heroic self-sacrifice.
Celtic Religion No human influences are ever found pure and unmixed. The sentiment of personal fidelity was not unknown to the classical nations. The sentiment of civic patriotism, though of slow growth among the Teutonic races, did eventually establish itself there. Neither sentiment was unknown to the Celt, but there was another force which, in his case, overshadowed and dwarfed them, and supplied what it could of the political inspiration and unifying power which the classical nations got from patriotism and the Teutons from loyalty.
This was Religion; or perhaps it would be more accurate to say Sacerdotalism — religion codified in dogma and administered by a priestly caste. All affairs, public and private, were subject to their authority, and the penalties which they could inflict for any assertion of lay independence, though resting for their efficacy, like the mediaeval interdicts of the Catholic Church, on popular superstition alone, were enough to quell  the proudest spirit. Here lay the real weakness of the Celtic polity.
There is perhaps no law written more conspicuously in the teachings of history than that nations who are ruled by priests drawing their authority from supernatural sanctions are, just in the measure that they are so ruled, incapable of true national progress. The free, healthy current of secular life and thought is, in the very nature of things, incompatible with priestly rule.
Be the creed what it may, Druidism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, or fetichism, a priestly caste claiming authority in temporal affairs by virtue of extra-temporal sanctions is inevitably the enemy of that spirit of criticism, of that influx of new ideas, of that growth of secular thought, of human and rational authority, which are the elementary conditions of national development. The Cursing of Tara A singular and very cogent illustration of this truth can be drawn from the history of the early Celtic world. In the sixth century A. Patrick, a king named Dermot MacKerval 26 ruled in Ireland.
He was the Ard Righ, or High King, of that country, whose seat of government was at Tara, in Meath, and whose office, with its nominal and legal superiority to the five 25 In the "Tain Bo Cuailgne," for instance, the King of Ulster must not speak to a messenger until the Druid, Cathbad, has questioned him. For ever since the time When Cathbad smothered Usnach's sons in that foul sea of slime Raised by abominable spells at Creeveroe's bloody gate, Do ruin and dishonour still on priest-led kings await. The first condition of such a unity was evidently the establishment of an effective central authority.
Such an authority, as we have said, the High King, in theory, represented. Now it happened that one of his officers was murdered in the discharge of his duty by a chief  named Hugh Guairy. Guairy was the brother of a bishop who was related by fosterage to St. Ruadan of Lorrha, and when King Dermot sent to arrest the murderer these clergy found him a hiding-place. Dermot, however, caused a search to be made, haled him forth from under the roof of St.
Ruadan, and brought him to Tara for trial. Immediately the ecclesiastics of Ireland made common cause against the lay ruler who had dared to execute justice on a criminal under clerical protection. They assembled at Tara, fasted against the king, 27 and laid their solemn malediction upon him and the seat of his government. Then the chronicler tells us that Dermot's wife had a prophetic dream: "Upon Tara's green was a vast and wide-foliaged tree, and eleven slaves hewing at it; but every chip that they knocked from it would return into its place again and there adhere instantly, till at last there came one man that dealt the tree but a stroke, and with that single cut laid it low.
The plea of the king for his country, whose fate he saw to be hanging in the balance, is recorded with  moving force and insight by the Irish chronicler: 29 J It was the practice, known in India also, for a person who was wronged by a superior, or thought himself so, to sit before the doorstep of the denier of justice and fast until right was done him.
In Ireland a magical power was attributed to the ceremony, the effect of which would be averted by the other person fasting as well. O'Grady, p. The criminal was surrendered, Tara was abandoned, and, except for a brief space when a strong usurper, Brian Boru, fought his way to power, Ireland knew no effective secular government till it was imposed upon her by a conqueror.
The last words of the historical tract from which we quote are Dermot's cry of despair: "Woe to him that with the clergy of the churches battle joins. How and whence it arose we shall consider later; here it is enough to call attention to it. It is a factor which forbade the national development of the Celts, in the sense in which we can speak of that of the classical or the Teutonic peoples.
What Europe Owes to the Celt Yet to suppose that on this account the Celt was not a force of any real consequence in Europe would be altogether a mistake. His contribution to the culture of the Western world was a very notable one. For some four centuries — about A. The verse-forms of Celtic poetry have probably played the main part in determining the structure of all modern verse. The myths and legends of the vellum manuscript found in Lismore Castle in , and translated by S.
O'Grady in his "Silva Gadelica. True, the Celt did not himself create any great architectural work of literature, just as he did not create a stable or imposing national polity. His thinking and feeling were essentially lyrical and concrete. Each object or aspect of life impressed him vividly and stirred him profoundly; he was sensitive, impressionable to the last degree, but did not see things in their larger and more far-reaching relations. He had little gift for the establishment or institutions, for the service of principles; but he was, and is, an indispensable and never-failing assertor of humanity as against the tyranny of principles, the coldness and barrenness of institutions.
The institutions of royalty and of civic patriotism are both very capable of being fossilised into barren formulae, and thus of fettering instead of inspiring the soul. But the Celt has always been a rebel against anything that has not in it the breath of life, against any unspiritual and purely external form of domination. It is too true that he has been over-eager to enjoy the fine fruits of life without the long and patient preparation for the harvest, but he has done and will still do infinite service to the modern world in insisting that the true fruit of life is a spiritual reality, never without pain and loss to be obscured or forgotten amid the vast mechanism of a material civilisation.
There is, however, one thing which they did not carry across the gulf which divides us from the ancient world — and this was their religion. It was not merely that they changed it; they left it behind them so entirely that all record of it is lost. Patrick, himself a Celt, who apostolised Ireland during the fifth century, has left us an autobiographical narrative of his mission, a document of intense interest, and the earliest extant record of British Christianity; but in it he tells us nothing of the doctrines he came to supplant.
We learn far more of Celtic religious beliefs from Julius Caesar, who approached them from quite another side. The copious legendary literature which took its present form in Ireland between the seventh and the twelfth centuries, though often manifestly going back to pre-Christian sources, shows us, beyond a belief in magic and a devotion to certain ceremonial or chivalric observances, practically nothing resembling a religious or even an ethical system. We know that certain chiefs and bards offered a long resistance to the new faith, and that this resistance came to the arbitrament of battle at Moyrath in the sixth century, but no echo of any intellectual controversy, no matching of one doctrine against another, such as we find, for instance, in the records of the controversy of Celsus with Origen, has reached us from this period of change and strife.
The literature of ancient Ireland, as we shall see, embodied many ancient myths; and traces appear in  it of beings who must, at one time, have been gods or elemental powers; but all has been emptied of religious significance and turned to romance and beauty. Yet not only was there, as Caesar tells us, a very well-developed religious system among the Gauls, but we learn on the same authority that the British Islands were the authoritative centre of this system; they were, so to speak, the Rome of the Celtic religion.
The Popular Religion of the Celts But first we must point out that the Celtic religion was by no means a simple affair, and cannot be summed up as what we call "Druidism. The Megalithic People The religions of primitive peoples mostly centre on, or take their rise from, rites and practices connected with the burial of the dead.
The earliest people inhabiting Celtic territory in the West of Europe of whom we have any distinct knowledge are a race without name or known history, but by their sepulchral monuments, of which so many still exist, we can learn a great deal about them. They were the so-called Megalithic People, 30 the builders of dolmens, cromlechs, and chambered tumuli, of  which more than three thousand have been counted in France alone. Dolmens are found from Scandinavia southwards, all down the western lands of Europe to the Straits of Gibraltar, and round by the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
They occur in some of the western islands of the Mediterranean, and are found in Greece, where, in Mycense, an ancient dolmen yet stands beside the magnificent burial-chamber of the Atreidae. Roughly, if we draw a line from the mouth of the Rhone northward to Varanger Fiord, one may say that, except for a few Mediterranean examples, all the dolmens in Europe lie to the west of that line. To the east none are found till we come into Asia. But they cross the Straits of Gibraltar, and are found all along the North African littoral, and thence eastwards through Arabia, India, and as far 30 From Greek megas, great, and lithos, a stone.
Dolmens, Cromlechs, and Tumuli Dolmen at Proleek, Ireland After Borlase A dolmen, it may be here explained, is a kind of chamber composed of upright unhewn stones, and roofed generally with a single huge stone. They are usually wedge-shaped in plan, and traces of a porch or vestibule can often be noticed. The primary intention of the dolmen was to represent a house or dwelling-place for the dead.
A cromlech often confused in popular language with the dolmen is properly a circular arrangement of standing stones, often with a dolmen in their midst. It is believed that most if not all of the now exposed dolmens were originally covered  with a great mound of earth or of smaller stones. Sometimes, as in the illustration we give from Carnac, in Brittany, great avenues or alignments are formed of single upright stones, and these, no doubt, had some purpose connected with the ritual of worship carried on in the locality.
The later megalithic monuments, as at Stonehenge, may be of dressed stone, but in all cases their rudeness of construction, the absence of any sculpturing except for patterns or symbols incised on the surface , the evident aim at creating a powerful impression by the brute strength of huge monolithic masses, as well as certain subsidiary features in their design which shall be described later on, give these megalithic monuments a curious family likeness and mark them out from the chambered tombs of the early Greeks, of the Egyptians, and of other more advanced races.
The dolmens proper gave place in the end to great chambered mounds or tumuli, as at New Grange, which we also reckon as belonging to the Megalithic People. They are a natural development of the dolmen. The 40 Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race early dolmen-builders were in the neolithic stage of culture, their weapons were of polished stone. But in the tumuli not only stone, but also bronze, and even iron, instruments are found — at first evidently importations, but afterwards of local manufacture.
Welch, Belfast The language originally spoken by this people can only be conjectured by the traces of it left in that of their conquerors, the Celts. It must, however, be borne in mind that while originally, no doubt, a distinct race, the Megalithic People came in the end to represent, not a race, but a culture.
The human remains found in these sepulchres, with their wide divergence in the shape of 31 Seep. The monuments themselves, which are often of imposing size and imply much thought and organised effort in their construction, show unquestionably the existence, at this period, of a priesthood charged with the care of funeral rites and capable of controlling large bodies of men.
Their dead were, as a rule, not burned, but buried whole — the greater monuments marking, no doubt, the sepulchres of important personages, while the common people were buried in tombs of which no traces now exist. The Celts of the Plains De Jubainville, in his account of the early history of the Celts, takes account of two main groups only — the Celts and the Megalithic People.
But A. Bertrand, in his very valuable work "La Religion des Gaulois," distinguishes two elements among the Celts themselves. There are, besides the Megalithic People, the two groups of lowland Celts and mountain Celts. The lowland  Celts, according to his view, started from the Danube and entered Gaul probably about B. They were the founders of the lake-dwellings in Switzerland, in the Danube valley, and in Ireland.
They knew the use of metals, and worked in gold, in tin, in bronze, and towards the end of their period in iron. Unlike the Megalithic People, they spoke a Celtic tongue, 33 though Bertrand seems to doubt their genuine racial affinity with the true Celts. They were perhaps Celticised rather than actually Celtic. They were not warlike; a quiet folk of herdsmen, tillers, and artificers. Assoc, for has contended that the Megalithic People spoke an Aryan language; otherwise he thinks more traces of its influence must have survived in the Celtic which supplanted it.
The weight of authority, as well as such direct evidence as we possess, seems to be against his view. At a great settlement of theirs, Golasecca, in Cisalpine Gaul, interments were found. In each case the body had been burned; there was not a single burial without previous burning.
This people entered Gaul not according to Bertrand , for the most part, as conquerors, but by gradual infiltration, occupying vacant spaces wherever they found them along the valleys and plains. They came by the passes of the Alps, and their starting- point was the country of the Upper Danube, which Herodotus says "rises among the Celts. The Celts of the Mountains Finally, we have a third group, the true Celtic group, which followed closely on the track of the second.
It was at the beginning of the sixth century that it first made its appearance on the left bank of the Rhine. While Bertrand calls the second group Celtic, these he styles Galatic, and identifies them with the Galatse of the Greeks and the Galli and Belgse of the Romans. The second group, as we have said, were Celts of the plains. The third were Celts of the mountains. The earliest home in which we know them was the ranges of the Balkans and Carpathians.
Their organisation was that of a military aristocracy — they lorded it over the subject populations on whom they lived by tribute or pillage. They are the warlike Celts of ancient history — the sackers of Rome and Delphi, the mercenary warriors who fought for pay and for the love of warfare in the ranks of Carthage and afterwards of Rome. Agriculture and industry were despised by them, their women tilled the ground, and under their rule the common population became reduced almost to servitude; "plebs pcene servorum habetur loco," as Caesar tells us.
Yet, if this ruling race had some of the vices of untamed strength, they had also many noble and humane qualities. They were dauntlessly brave, fantastically chivalrous, keenly sensitive to the appeal of poetry, of music, and of speculative thought. Posidonius found the bardic institution flourishing among them about B. The culture of these mountain Celts differed markedly from that of the lowlanders. Their age was the age of iron, not of bronze; their dead were not burned which they considered a disgrace , but buried.
The territories occupied by them in force were Switzerland, Burgundy, the Palatinate, and Northern France, parts of Britain to the west, and Illyria and Galatia to the east, but smaller groups of them must have penetrated far and wide through all Celtic territory, and taken up a ruling position wherever they went. Bell There were three peoples, said Caesar, inhabiting Gaul when his conquest began; "they differ from each other in language, in customs, and in laws. He locates them roughly, the Belgae in the north and east, the Celtse in the middle, and the Aquitani in the west and south.
They had, of course, all been more or less brought under Celtic influences, and the differences of language which Caesar noticed need not have been great; still it is noteworthy, and quite in accordance with Bertrand' s views, that Strabo speaks of the Aquitani as differing markedly from  the rest of the inhabitants, and as resembling the Iberians. The language of the other Gaulish peoples, he expressly adds, were merely dialects of the same tongue. The Religion of Magic This triple division is reflected more or less in all the Celtic countries, and must always be borne in mind when we speak of Celtic ideas and Celtic religion, and try to estimate the contribution of the Celtic peoples to European culture.
But this literature of song and saga was produced by a bardic class for the pleasure and instruction of a proud, chivalrous, and warlike aristocracy, and would thus inevitably be moulded by the ideas of this aristocracy. But it would also have been coloured by the profound influence of the religious beliefs and observances entertained by the Megalithic People — beliefs which are only now fading slowly away in the spreading daylight of science. These beliefs may be summed up in the one term Magic. The nature of this religion of magic must now be briefly discussed, for it was a potent element in the formation of the body of myths and legends with which we have afterwards to deal.
And, as Professor Bury remarked in his Inaugural Lecture at Cambridge, in "For the purpose of prosecuting that most difficult of all inquiries, the ethnical problem, the part played by race in the development of peoples and the effects of race-blendings, it must be remembered that the Celtic world commands one of the chief portals of ingress into that mysterious pre- Aryan foreworld, from which it may well be that we modern Europeans have inherited far more than we dream.
The fundamental conception of magic is that of the spiritual vitality of all nature. This spiritual vitality was not, as in polytheism, conceived as separated from nature in distinct divine personalities. It was implicit and immanent in nature; obscure, undefined, invested with all the awfulness of a power whose limits and nature are enveloped in impenetrable mystery. In its remote origin it was doubtless, as many facts appear to show,  46 Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race associated with the cult of the dead, for death was looked upon as the resumption into nature, and as the investment with vague and uncontrollable powers, of a spiritual force formerly embodied in the concrete, limited, manageable, and therefore less awful form of a living human personality.
Yet these powers were not altogether uncontrollable. The desire for control, as well as the suggestion of the means for achieving it, probably arose from the first rude practices of the art of healing. Medicine of some sort was one of the earliest necessities of man. And the power of certain natural substances, mineral or vegetable, to produce bodily and mental effects often of a most startling character would naturally be taken as signal evidence of what we may call the "magical" conception of the universe.
The whole subject has been treated by Pliny in a remarkable passage which deserves quotation at length: Pliny on the Religion of Magic "Magic is one of the few things which it is important to discuss at some length, were it only because, being the most delusive of all the arts, it has everywhere and at all times been most powerfully credited.
Nor need it surprise us that it has obtained so vast an influence, for it has united in itself the three arts which have wielded the most powerful sway over the spirit of man. In the second place, bearing the most seductive and flattering promises, it has enlisted the motive of Religion, the subject on which, even at this day, mankind is most in the dark. To crown all it has had recourse to the art of Astrology; and every man is eager to know the future and convinced that this knowledge is most certainly to be obtained from the heavens.
Thus, holding the minds of men enchained in this triple bond, it has extended its sway over many nations, and the Kings of Kings obey it in the East. But has there  not been more than one Zoroaster? I have noticed that in ancient times, and indeed almost always, one finds men seeking in this science the climax of literary glory — at least Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, and Plato crossed the seas, exiles, in truth, rather than travellers, to instruct themselves in this.
Returning to their native land, they vaunted the claims of magic and maintained its secret doctrine In the Latin nations there are early traces of it, as, for instance, in our Laws of the Twelve Tables 37 and other monuments, as I have said in a former book. In fact, it was not until the year after the foundation of Rome, under the consulate of Cornelius Lentulus Crassus, that it was forbidden by a senatus consultum to sacrifice human beings; a fact which proves that up to this date these horrible sacrifices were made. The Gauls have been captivated by it, and that even down to our own times, for it was the Emperor Tiberius who 36 If Pliny meant that it was here first codified and organised he may be right, but the conceptions on which magic rest are practically universal, and of immemorial antiquity.
Livy entitles them "the fountain of all public and private right. But what is the use of launching prohibitions against an art which has thus traversed the ocean and penetrated even to the confines of Nature? Pliny adds that the first person whom he can ascertain to have written on this subject was Osthanes, who accompanied Xerxes in his war against the Greeks, and who propagated the "germs of his monstrous art" wherever he went in Europe. Magic was not — so Pliny believed — indigenous either in Greece or in Italy, but was so much at home in Britain and  conducted with such elaborate ritual that Pliny says it would almost seem as if it was they who had taught it to the Persians, not the Persians to them.
Traces of Magic in Megalithic Monuments The imposing relics of their cult which the Megalithic People have left us are full of indications of their religion. Take, for instance, the remarkable tumulus of Mane-er-H'oeck, in Brittany. This monument was explored in by M. Rene Galles, who describes it as absolutely intact — the surface of the earth unbroken, and everything as the builders left it.
Immediately on entering the chamber was found a beautiful pendant in green jasper about the size of an egg. On the floor in the centre of the chamber was a most singular arrangement, consisting of a large ring of jadite, slightly oval in shape, with a magnificent axe-head, also of jadite, its point resting on the ring. At a little distance from these there lay two large pendants of jasper, then an axe-head in white jade, 39 then another jasper pendant. In one of the corners of the chamber were found axe-heads in jade, jadite, and fibrolite.
There were no traces of bones or  cinders, no funerary urn; the structure was a cenotaph. Albert Maitre, an inspector of the Musee des Antiquites Nationales. There were found here — as commonly in other megalithic monuments in Ireland and Scotland — a number of stones sculptured with a singular and characteristic design in waving and concentric lines. Now if the curious lines traced upon the human hand at the roots and tips of the fingers be examined under a lens, it will be found that they bear an exact resemblance to these designs of megalithic sculpture.
One seems almost like a cast of the other. These lines on the human hand are so distinct and peculiar that, as is well known, they have been adopted as a method of identification of criminals. Can this resemblance be the result of chance? Nothing  like these peculiar assemblages of sculptured lines has ever been found except in connexion with these monuments.
Have we not here a reference to chiromancy — a magical art much practised in ancient and even in modern times? The hand as a symbol of power was a well-known magical emblem, and has entered largely even into Christian symbolism — note, for instance, the great hand sculptured on the under side of one of the arms of the Cross of Muiredach at Monasterboice. Sergi Holed Stones Dolmen at Trie, France After Gailhabaud Another singular and as yet unexplained feature which appears in many of these monuments, from Western Europe to India, is the presence of a small hole bored through one of the stones composing the chamber.
Was it an aperture intended for the spirit of the dead? Here we are doubtless to interpret the emblem as a symbol of sex. Dolmens in the Deccan, India After Meadows-Taylor Stone-Worship Besides the heavenly bodies, we find that rivers, trees, mountains, and stones were all objects of veneration among this primitive people. Stone-worship was particularly common, and is not so easily explained as the worship directed toward objects possessing movement and vitality.
Yet a drawing, here reproduced, which was lately made on the spot by Mr. Arthur Bell 41 shows this very act of worship still in full force in Brittany, and shows the symbols and the sacerdotal organisation of Christianity actually pressed into the service of this immemorial paganism.
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According to Mr. Bell, the clergy take part in these performances with much reluctance, but are compelled to do so by the force of local opinion. Holy wells, the water of which is supposed to cure diseases, are still very common in Ireland, and the cult of the waters of Lourdes may, in spite of its adoption by the Church, be mentioned as a notable case in point on the Continent. The celebrated Black Stone of Pergamos was the subject of an embassy from Rome to that city in the time of the Second Punic War, the Sibylline Books having predicted victory to its possessors.
It was brought to Rome with great rejoicings in the year It is stated to have been about the size of a man's fist, and was probably a meteorite. Compare the myth in Hesiod which relates how Kronos devoured a stone in the belief that it was his offspring, Zeus. It was then possible to mistake a stone for a god. Simpson Another singular emblem, upon the meaning of which no light has yet been thrown, occurs frequently in connexion with megalithic monuments.
The accompanying illustrations show examples of it. Cup-shaped hollows are made in the surface of the stone, these are often surrounded with concentric rings, and from the cup one or more radial lines are drawn to a point outside the circumference of the rings. Occasionally a system of cups are joined by these lines, but more frequently they end a little way outside the widest of the rings. These strange markings are found in Great Britain and Ireland, in Brittany, and at various places in India, where they are called mahadeos.
On the circular top of a cylindrical stone, known as the "Triumphal Stone," is carved a central cup, with nine concentric circles round it, and a duct or channel cut straight from the cup through all the circles to the rim. Except that the design here is richly decorated and accurately drawn, it closely resembles a typical European cup-and-ring marking. That these markings mean something, and that, wherever they are found, they mean the same thing, can hardly be doubted, but what that meaning is remains yet a See Sir J. Simpson's "Archaic Sculpturings" The guess may perhaps be hazarded that they are diagrams or plans of a megalithic sepulchre.
The central hollow represents the actual burial-place. The circles are the standing stones, fosses, and ramparts which often surrounded it; and the line or duct drawn from the centre outwards represents the subterranean approach to the sepulchre. The apparent "avenue" intention of the duct is clearly brought out in the varieties given below, which I take from Simpson.
As the sepulchre was also a holy place or shrine, the occurrence of a representation of it among other carvings of a sacred character is natural enough; it would seem symbolically to indicate that the place was holy ground. How far this suggestion might apply to the Mexican example I am unable to say. Varieties of Cup-and-ring Markings The Tumulus at New Grange One of the most important and richly sculptured of European megalithic monuments is the great chambered tumulus of New Grange, on the northern bank of the Boyne, in Ireland.
This tumulus, and the others which occur in its neighbourhood, appear in ancient Irish mythical literature in two different characters, the union of which is significant. They are regarded on the one hand as the dwelling-places of the Sidhe pronounced Shee , or Fairy Folk, who represent, probably, the deities of the ancient Irish, and they are also, traditionally, the burial-places of the Celtic High Kings of pagan Ireland. The story of the burial of King Cormac, who was supposed to have heard of the Christian faith long before it was actually preached in Ireland by St. Patrick and who ordered that he should not be buried at the royal cemetery by the Boyne, on account of its pagan associations, points to the view that this place was the centre of a pagan cult involving more than merely the interment of royal personages in its precincts.
The most important of them, the tumulus of New Grange, has been thoroughly explored and described by Mr. It measures  about feet across, at its greatest diameter, and is about 44 feet in height. Outside it there runs a wide circle of standing stones originally, it would seem, thirty-five in number. Inside this circle is a ditch and rampart, and on top of this rampart was laid a circular curb of great stones 8 to 10 feet long, laid on edge, and confining what has proved to be a huge mound of loose stones, now overgrown, as we have said, with grass and bushes.
It is in the interior of this mound that the interest of the monument lies. Towards the end of the seventeenth century some workmen who were getting road-material from the mound came across the entrance to a passage which led into the interior, and was marked by the fact that the boundary stone below it is richly carved with spirals and lozenges. This entrance faces exactly south-east. The passage is formed of upright slabs of unhewn stone roofed with similar slabs, and varies from nearly 5 feet to 7 feet 10 inches in height; it is about 3 feet wide, and runs for 62 feet straight into the heart of the mound.
Here it ends in a cruciform chamber, 20 feet high, the roof, a kind of dome, being formed of large flat stones, overlapping inwards till they almost meet at the top, where a large flat stone covers all. In each of the three recesses of the cruciform chamber there stands a large stone basin, or rude 43 The fact is recorded in the "Annals of the Four Masters" Under the date , and in the "Annals of Ulster" under L, , and "New Grange," by G.
Coffey, Symbolic Carvings at New Grange The stones are all raw and undressed, and were selected for their purpose from the river-bed and elsewhere close by. On their flat surfaces, obtained by splitting slabs from the original quarries, are found the carvings which form the unique interest of this strange monument.
Except for the large stone with spiral carvings and one other at the entrance to the mound, the intention  of these sculptures does not appear to have been decorative, except in a very rude and primitive sense. There is no attempt to cover a given surface with a system of ornament appropriate to its size and shape.
The designs are, as it were, scribbled upon the walls anyhow and anywhere. The resemblance of some of these carvings to the supposed finger-markings of the stones at Gavr'inis is very remarkable.
Triple and double spiral are also found, as well as lozenges and zigzags. A singular carving representing what looks like a palm-branch or fern-leaf is found in the west recess. The drawing of this object is naturalistic, and it is hard to interpret it, as Mr. Coffey is inclined to do, as merely a piece of so-called "herring-bone" pattern.
This is also the case at Gavr'inis. It has been interpreted by various critics as a mason's mark, a piece of Phoenician writing, a group of numerals, and finally and no doubt correctly by Mr. George Coffey as a rude representation of a ship with men on board and uplifted sail. It is noticeable that just above it is a small circle, forming, apparently, part of the design. Another example occurs at Dowth. Solar Ship with Sail? It has been discovered that on certain stones in the tumulus of Locmariaker, in Brittany, 47 there occur a number of very similar figures, one of them showing the circle in much the same relative position as at New Grange.
The axe, an Egyptian "Proc. Royal Irish Acad. Coffey, op. Again, in a brochure by Dr.
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Oscar Montelius on the rock-sculptures of Sweden 48 we find a reproduction also given in Du Chaillu's "Viking Age" of a rude rock-carving showing a number of ships with men on board, and the circle quartered by a cross — unmistakably a solar emblem — just above one of them. That these ships which, like the Irish example, are often so summarily represented as to be mere symbols which no one could identifiy as a ship were the clue not given by other and more elaborate representations were drawn so frequently in conjunction with the solar disk merely for amusement or for a purely decorative object seems to me most improbable.
In the days of the megalithic folk a sepulchral  monument, the very focus of religious ideas, would hardly have been covered with idle and meaningless scrawls. Simpson has well said, "has ever conjoined together things sacred and things sepulchral. But if they had a symbolic intention, what is it that they symbolise? It is connected with the worship of Ra, which came in fully years B. Its meaning as an Egyptian symbol is well known.
The ship was called the Boat of the Sun. It was the vessel in which the Sun-god performed his journeys; in particular, the journey which he made nightly to the shores of the Other-world, bearing with him in his bark the souls of the beatified dead. The Sun-god, Ra, is sometimes represented by a disk, sometimes by other emblems, hovering above the vessel or contained within it. Any one who will look over the painted or sculptured sarcophagi in the British Museum will find a host of examples. Sometimes he will find representations of the life-giving rays of Ra pouring down upon the boat and its occupants.
Now, in one of the Swedish rock-carvings of ships at Backa, Bohuslan, given by Montelius, a ship crowded with figures is shown beneath a disk with three descending rays, and again another ship with a two-rayed sun above it. The megalithic carvings also sometimes show the solar emblem and sometimes not; the boats are sometimes filled with figures and are sometimes empty. When a symbol has once been accepted and understood, any conventional or summary representation of it is sufficient. I take it that the complete form of the megalithic symbol is that of a boat with figures in it and with the solar emblem overhead.
These figures, assuming the foregoing interpretation of the design to be correct, must clearly be taken for representations of the dead on their way to the Other-world. They cannot be deities, for representations of the divine powers under human aspect were quite unknown to the Megalithic People, even after the coming of the Celts — they first occur in Gaul under Roman influence. But if these figures represent the dead, then we have clearly before us the origin of the so-called "Celtic" doctrine of immortality.
The carvings in question are pre-Celtic. They are found where no Celts ever penetrated. Yet they point to the existence of just that Other-world doctrine which, from the time of Caesar downwards,  has been associated with Celtic Druidism, and this doctrine was distinctively Egyptian. Borlase that the typical design of an Irish dolmen was intended to represent a ship.
In Minorca there are analogous structures, there popularly called navetas ships , so distinct is the resemblance. But, he adds, "long before the caves 60 Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race and navetas of Minorca were known to me I had formed the opinion that what I have so frequently spoken of as the 'wedge- shape' observable so universally in the ground-plans of dolmens was due to an original conception of a ship. From sepulchral tumuli in Scandinavia we know actual vessels have on several occasions been disinterred.
In cemeteries of the Iron Age, in the same country, as well as on the more southern Baltic coasts, the ship was a recognised form of sepulchral enclosure. Borlase's view is correct, we have here a very strong corroboration of the symbolic intention which I attribute to the solar ship-carvings of the Megalithic People. This is thought by Jastrow 50 to have originated at a time when the sacred cities of Babylonia were situated on the Persian Gulf, and  when religious processions were often carried out by water.
The Symbol of the Feet Yet there is reason to think that some of these symbols were earlier than any known mythology, and were, so to say, mythologised differently by different peoples, who got hold of them from this now unknown source. A remarkable instance is that of the symbol of the Two Feet. In Egypt the Feet of Osiris formed one of the portions into which his body was cut up, in the well-known myth. They were a symbol of possession or of visitation.
It is found in India, as the print of the foot of 49 "Dolmens of Ireland," pp. Patrick or St.
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Strangest of all, it is found unmistakably in Mexico. Thus, as Sergi points  out, many signs probably numerical found on ivory tablets in the cemetery at Naqada discovered by Flinders Petrie are to be met with on European dolmens. Several later Egyptian hieroglyphic signs, including the famous Ankh, or crux ansata, the symbol of vitality or resurrection, are also found in megalithic carvings. It is here shown that the Celtic languages preserve in their syntax the Hamitic, and especially the Egyptian type.
But when we consider all the lines of evidence that converge in this direction it seems clear that there was such a relation. Egypt was  the classic land of religious symbolism. It gave to Europe the most beautiful and most popular of all its religious symbols, that of the divine mother and child The religion of Egypt, above that of any people whose ideas we know to have been developed in times so ancient, centred on the doctrine of a future life.
The palatial and stupendous tombs, the elaborate ritual, the imposing mythology, the immense exaltation of the priestly caste, all these features of Egyptian culture were intimately connected with their doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Morris Jones. The doom of the wicked was annihilation; he fell a victim to the invisible monster called the Eater of the Dead. Now when the classical nations first began to take an interest in the ideas of the Celts the thing that principally struck them was the Celtic belief in immortality, which the Gauls said was "handed down by the Druids.
Take, as one example, the description of the spirits of the suitors slain by Odysseus as Hermes conducts them to the Underworld:  "Now were summoned the souls of the dead by Cyllenian Hermes Touched by the wand they awoke, and obeyed him and followed him, squealing, Even as bats in the dark, mysterious depths of a cavern Squeal as they flutter around, should one from the cluster be fallen Where from the rock suspended they hung, all clinging together; So did the souls flock squealing behind him, as Hermes the Helper Guided them down to the gloom through dank and mouldering pathways.
Cotterill's beautiful hexameter version. It was both loftier and more realistic; it implied a true persistence of the living man, as he was at present, in all his human relations. They noted with surprise that the Celt would lend money on a promissory note for repayment in the next world. And this very analogy occurred to Diodorus in writing of the Celtic idea of immortality — it was like nothing that he knew of out of Egypt.
Thus Caesar: "The principal point of their [the Druids'] teaching is that the soul does not perish, and that after death it passes from one body into another. Thus the Irish chieftain, Mongan, who is an historical personage, and whose death is recorded about A. He proves his case by summoning to his aid a revenant from the Other-world, Keelta, who was the actual slayer of Fothad, and who describes correctly where the tomb is to be found and what were its contents.
He begins his tale by saying to Mongan, "We were with thee," and then, turning to the assembly, he continues: "We were with Finn, coming from 60 Valerius Maximus about A. D 30 and other classical writers mention this practice. Transmigration was not, with them, part of the order of things. It might happen, but in general it did not; the new body assumed by the dead clothed them in another, not in this world, and so far as we can learn from any ancient authority, there does not appear to have been any idea of moral retribution connected with this form of the future life.
It was not so much an article of faith as an idea which haunted the imagination, and which, as Mongan's caution indicates, ought not to be brought into clear light. However it may have been conceived, it is certain that the belief in immortality was the basis of Celtic Druidism. An intense Other-world faith, such as that held by the Celts, is certainly one of the mightiest of agencies in the hands of a priesthood who hold the keys of that world.
Now Druidism existed in the British Islands, in Gaul, and, in fact, so far as we know, wherever there was a Celtic race amid a population of dolmen-builders. There were Celts in Cisalpine Gaul, but there were no dolmens there, and there were no Druids. Rhys, it may be observed, believes that Druidism was the religion of the aboriginal inhabitants of Western Europe "from the Baltic to Gibraltar" "Celtic Britain," 66 Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race to Western Europe they found there a people with a powerful priesthood, a ritual, and imposing religious monuments; a people steeped in magic and mysticism and the cult of the Underworld.
The inferences, as I read the facts, seem to be that Druidism in its essential features was imposed upon the imaginative and sensitive nature of the Celt — the Celt with his "extraordinary aptitude" for picking up ideas — by the earlier population of Western Europe, the Megalithic People, while, as held by these, it stands in some historical relation, which I am not able to pursue in further detail, with the religious culture of ancient Egypt.
Much obscurity still broods over the question, and  perhaps will always do so, but if these suggestions have anything in them, then the Megalithic People have been brought a step or two out of the atmosphere of uncanny mystery which has surrounded them, and they are shown to have played a very important part in the religious development of Western Europe, and in preparing that part of the world for the rapid extension of the special type of Christianity which took place in it.
Bertrand, in his most interesting chapter on "L'Irlande Celtique," 65 points out that very soon after the conversion of Ireland to Christianity, we find the country covered with monasteries, whose complete organisation seems to indicate that they were really Druidic colleges transformed en masse.
Caesar has told us what these colleges were like in Gaul. They were very numerous. In spite of the severe study and discipline involved, crowds flocked into them for the sake of the power wielded by the Druidic order, and the civil immunities which its members of all grades enjoyed. Arts and sciences were studied there, and thousands of verses enshrining the teachings of Druidism were committed to memory. All this is very like what we know of Irish Druidism.