Ah hiv decided til conduct an experiment the nicht by writin’ this whilst relatively sober, fur this jet set lifestyle is takin’ its tole. Remembrin' the funding criteria o' oor backers, Ah feel it is importan' fur me tae return tae the bloags histerical roots, necessisitatin’ a mair academic approach than yis micht hiv become usetae of late. Thus taenicht we examine yin o’ the maist importan’ an controvershal times in oor histry – the Irn Ages.
The Irn Ages wis a period o’ grate change across Ulster an’ the Free State. As the name o’ the age suggests, folk started tae use Irn insteid o’ Branze fur makin’ a lock o’ thar tools an’ the like. Irn is a better metal than branze, an’ ye can make better things oot of it, sae this was a big stap forwards. Sae far sae guid, nathin’ controvershul in thy’on, ah hear ye say, better tools an’ the like are grand fur a hauny folk wi’ a protestant work ethnic, like, say, the Ulster Scot.
Howiver the question arises as tae whar the folk o’ the Irn Ages larned how tae dae the new metal wurkin’, did they make it up fur themselfs, or did some foreign types come in and bate it intae them. Supporters o’ the latter thery claim that Irn ages tecknology was brung by folk frae central Europe, wurkin’ in a style noo referred tae as the Hallstatt Culture. These foreign folk were the Ulster Scot’s arch enemy – the Celtics.
Pats an’ Romans
Alsae wurryin’ fur the Ulster Scot historian is the fak that bits o’ irn arnae the oany things the archaeologits hiv hoked oot. Thiv alsae foun’ a type o’ pattery called La Tene, differn’ frae that made by the Branze Ages boys, gi’en fairther credence tae a thery o’ invasion an’ conquest. Futhermair, these boys wud say, the Celtic culture survived in Ireland untouched til the middle ages, even the Ancient Romans cudnae invade.
Fur years folk in the Free State hiv made a big play oot o’ this – Celtic this an’ Celtic that. “Luk at oor twisty knots yis Ulster Scots boys yis” they like tae say, “we invaded here an’ brung Irn wi’ us, sae we’re here langer than yousuns.”. (Oany they say it differn’)
This is, of coorse, ballicks, as we will gae oantae prove.
Perplexed by the saiminly incontrovertable evidince, ah’ turned tae Professor Wullie McIlveen fur ansers. How, says I, can the Ulster Scot claim histerical lineage tae the Stain Age folk if he gat a doin’ frae the Celtics an’ wis kicked oot. Wullie near as hid a fit when ah said this but agraid tae summarise fur us the key arguments o’ his new buk – “Celtics my Arse – an examination of Early-Mid Iron Age Culture in Ireland” (BAR 2009). As usual Wullie has hit the nail oan the heid an’ highlichted the inconsistencies o’ the Celtics.
Yin – The busness wi’ the swords
The Ulster Scots hid bin makin’ swords fur ages, albeit oot o’ branze, an’ in fak, hid even made branze swords in the same style as the Hallstat folk. If Celtics hid invaded then thar hardly likely tae stap makin’ Irn yins an’ make branze yins that luk a bit the same. Bein’ smart an’ resourceful, the Ulster Scots wur perfeckly capable o’ copyin’ the yins o’ the Celtics.
Twa – The busness wi the Pats.
The Archaeologits micht hiv foun’ bits o’ La Tene pats, but they hivnae foun’ that much o’ it. Even if they did that’s nat tae say that Celtics folk were cukkin’ in the pats. I micht hiv somethin’ made in Red China but that disnae main ma names Ying Po McWilliams. The Ulster Scots micht hiv traded wi the Celtics, or maybes rabbed stuff aff them.
Wullie alsae points oot that jist because the Archaeologits foun’ the skull of an ape at Navan it disnae main monkeys invaded County Armagh. Ah’m nat sae sure o’ the veracity o’ this argument, fur ah’ve bin tae Markethill.
Thrie – The Romans nat getting here.
“Sae whit?” says Wullie. Put simply, if ye want tae stap Romanists then thars nae better boys than Ulster Scots.
Clearly thar is mair tae this Celtics/Irn Ages thing than swords an’ a few broken bits o’ pats, but that wid be tae much tae dail with oan yin evenin’. It will hiv tae wait fur Bit Ten point Twa, mainly because ah’m watchin’ the thing aboot the Normans on Channel Fower.
Iris an’ Peter
Oor yinst cupple foun’ themselfs in a spat o’ baither last week o’er the heid o’ thar expenses. The media made in partikular a big play aboot the fak that they hid spent a few extra poun’ oan food. This saims unreasonable tae me, Iris is a grawn big girl wi’ healthy appetites, an’ Peter naids tae ate plenty tae keep his strength up fur tae fulfil his duties. He knaws that manies a mawn, maself included, wud happily step intae his shoes shud his powers weaken.
Wi’ a guid protestant name like that yid think that Microsoft Word wid hiv an Ulster Scots spell checker. Ah hiv hid terrble buther wurkin' oafline the nicht.
The visiter nummer thing is gettin' excitin'.