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18 September 2014
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Wars and Conflict - The Plantation of Ulster

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Ireland before the Plantation
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Ireland before the Plantation

In this section you can learn about the legal and religious systems that regulated political and social life in Gaelic Ireland and the indispensable role played by the bardic poets who charted the rise and fall of Gaelic Ireland.

Image of an Irish Chieftain The political structure
Medieval Gaelic Ireland was ruled by up to 60 chieftains whose power was dependent on their political status. Find out how lines of succession, authority and land ownership were determined.
Image of the Brehon law trect The legal system
Medieval Gaelic Ireland had a sophisticated legal system known as the Brehon law. Discover what inheritance rights women and illegitimate children enjoyed under the system.
Image of a Celtic Cross The religious system
Ireland’s diocesan system was established at the Synod of Kells in the 12th century. Find out more about the parish system and how the church in Gaelic Ireland financed itself.
Image of a Bardic poet The bardic poets
The hereditary bardic poets played an essential role in the social, political and religious life of Gaelic Ireland. Discover why they were persecuted by English administrators in the 16th century.
Image of a Gaelic harpist Gaelic social life
Gaelic Ulster was the most rural part of Ireland where the people concentrated on pastoral farming. Read about the colourful events that took place at the traditional May Day fairs.
Image of Hugh O'Neill Demise of Gaelic life
In the decades leading up to the Plantation of Ulster the Gaelic chiefs began to benefit from the market economy. Discover how Gaelic Ulster’s bartering economy became a money-based one.

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