Osraige or Osraighe, Osraí, anglicized as Ossory, was a medieval Irish kingdom comprising what is now County Kilkenny and western County Laois, corresponding to the Diocese of Ossory. The home of the Osraige people, it existed from around the first century until the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century, it was ruled by the Dál Birn dynasty, whose medieval descendants assumed the surname Mac Giolla Phádraig. According to tradition, Osraige was founded by Óengus Osrithe in the 1st century and was within the province of Leinster. In the 5th century, the Corcu Loígde of Munster displaced the Dál Birn and brought Osraige under Munster's direct control; the Dál Birn returned to power in the 7th century, though Osraige remained nominally part of Munster until 859, when it achieved formal independence under the powerful king Cerball mac Dúnlainge. Osraige's rulers remained major players in Irish politics for the next three centuries, though they never vied for the High Kingship. In the early 12th century, dynastic infighting fragmented the kingdom, it was re-adjoined to Leinster.
The Normans under Strongbow invaded Ireland beginning in 1169, most of Osraige collapsed under pressure from Norman leader William Marshal. The northern part of the kingdom known as Upper Ossory, survived intact under the hereditary lordship until the reign of King Henry VIII of England, when it was formally incorporated as a barony of the same name; the ancient Osraige inhabited the fertile land around the River Nore valley, occupying nearly all of what is modern County Kilkenny and the western half of neighbouring County Laois. To the west and south, Osraige was bounded by the River Suir and what is now Waterford Harbour; these three principal rivers- the Nore, the Barrow, the Suir, which unite just north of Waterford City, were collectively known as the "Three Sisters". Like many other Irish kingdoms, the tribal name of Osraighe came to be applied to the territory they occupied; the kingdom's most significant neighbours were the Loígsi, Uí Ceinnselaig and Uí Bairrche of Leinster to the north and east and the Déisi, Eóganacht Chaisil and Éile of Munster to the south and west.
Some of the highest points of land are Brandon Arderin. The ancient Slige Dala road ran southwest through northern Osraige from the Hill of Tara towards Munster. Another ancient road, the Slighe Cualann cut into southeast Osraige west of present-day Ross, before turning south to present-day Waterford city; the tribal name Osraige means "people of the deer", is traditionally claimed to be taken from the name of the ruling dynasty's semi-legendary pre-Christian founder, Óengus Osrithe. The Osraige were either a southern branch of the Ulaid or Dál Fiatach of Ulster, or close kin to their former Corcu Loígde allies. In either case it would appear; some scholars believe that the Ō pedigree of the Osraige is a fabrication, invented to help them achieve their goals in Leinster. Francis John Byrne suggests; the Osraighe themselves claimed to be descended from the Érainn people, although scholars propose that the Ivernic groups included the Osraige. Prior to the coming of Christianity to Ireland, the Osraige and their relatives the Corcu Loígde appear to have been the dominant political groups in Munster, before the rise of the Eóganachta marginalized them both.
Ptolemy's 2nd-century map of Ireland places a tribe he called the "Usdaie" in the same area that the Osraige occupied. The territory indicated by Ptolemy included the major late Iron Age hill-fort at Freestone Hill and a 1st-century Roman burial site at Stonyford, both in County Kilkenny. Due to inland water access via the Nore and Suir rivers, the Osraige may have experienced greater intercourse with Britain and the continent, there appears to have been some heightened Roman trading activity in and around the region; such contact with the Roman world may have precipitated wider exposure and conversion to Early Christianity. From the fifth century, the name Dál Birn appears to have emerged as the name for the ruling lineage of Osraige, this name remained in use through to the twelfth century. From this period, Osraige was within the sphere of the province of Leinster. Several sources indicate that towards the end of the fifth century the Osraige ceded a swath of southern territory to the displaced and incoming Déisi sometime before 489.
The traditional accounts states that the landless, wandering Déisi tribe were seeking a home in Munster, through the marriage of their princess Ethne the Dread to Óengus mac Nad Froích, king of Munster. As part of her dowry, Ethne asked for the Osraige to be cleared off their land, but were repulsed several times by the Osraige in open battle before overcoming them through magic and guile; the account mentions that at this defeat, the Ossorians fled like wild deer, a pun on their tribal name. It appears that soon thereafter following this defeat, the hereditary Dál Birn kings were displaced for a period by the Corcu Loígde of south Munster; the Dál Birn remained in control of their northern territory while Corcu Loígde kings ruled the greater portion of southern Osraige around the fertile Nore valley until the latter part of the sixth century and t
Republic of Ireland
Ireland known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located on the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with a part of the United Kingdom, it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic; the legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, an elected President who serves as the ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.
It was declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955, it joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to "the Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement. Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth.
The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index, it performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD; the Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since prior to World War II and the country is not a member of NATO, although it is a member of Partnership for Peace. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was "styled and known as the Irish Free State".
The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland". Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name "Eire" and, from 1949, "Republic of Ireland", for the state; as well as "Ireland", "Éire" or "the Republic of Ireland", the state is referred to as "the Republic", "Southern Ireland" or "the South". In an Irish republican context it is referred to as "the Free State" or "the 26 Counties". From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States.
This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in constant population decline up to the 1960s. From 1874, under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence; this was firstly through widespread agrarian agitation via the Irish Land League, that won land reforms for tenants in the form of the Irish Land Acts, secondly through its attempts to achieve Home Rule, via two unsuccessful bills which would have granted Ireland limited national autonomy. These led to "grass-roots" control of national affairs, under the Local Government Act 1898, in the hands of landlord-dominated grand juries of the Protestant Ascendancy. Home Rule seemed certain when the Parliament Act 1911 abolished the veto of the House of Lords, John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act in 1914. However, the Unionist movement had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants after the introduction of the first home rule bill, fearing discrimination and loss of economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics achieved real political power
County Wicklow is a county in Ireland. The last of the traditional 32 counties to be formed, as late as 1606, it is part of the Mid-East Region and is located in the province of Leinster, it is named after the town of Wicklow, which derives from the Old Norse name Víkingaló, which means "Vikings' Meadow". Wicklow County Council is the local authority for the county; the population of the county was 142,425 at the 2016 census. Wicklow is colloquially known as "the Garden of Ireland", it is the 17th-largest of Ireland's 32 counties by area, being thirty-three miles in length by twenty miles in breadth, 16th-largest by population. It is the fourth-largest of Leinster's twelve counties by size and the fifth-largest in terms of population; the adjoining counties are Wexford to the south, Carlow to the south-west, Kildare to the west and Dublin to the north. Total list of Settlements: The Wicklow Mountains form the largest continuous upland region in Ireland; the highest mountain in the range, rises to 925 metres, giving Wicklow the second-highest county peak after Kerry.
The River Liffey, chief river of Dublin, rises in the county, is a major source of water for Greater Dublin. The Liffey's leading tributary, the River Dodder, rises just across the border in southern County Dublin, receives some minor flows from extreme northern Wicklow; the River Dargle runs to the Irish Sea at Bray. The River Avoca forms from the confluence of the Avonmore and Avonbeg at the Meeting of the Waters, before discharging into the Irish Sea at Arklow; the River Aughrim is a tributary of the Avoca. The River Slaney is in the western part of the county. One of the smaller rivers of the county, the River Vartry is important to Dublin's water supply. Lakes are small but numerous, located in mountain valleys or glacial corries, they include Lough Dan, Lough Tay, Lough Brae, the lakes of Glendalough, the Poulaphouca reservoir. Wicklow is home to hydroelectric facilities; the Turlough Hill pumped-storage scheme, a significant civil engineering project, was carried out in the mountains in the 1960s and 1970s.
Wicklow called "The Garden of Ireland", has been a popular tourist destination for many years, due to its scenery, walking and climbing options, attractions including the ruins of the monastic city of Glendalough, Wicklow Gaol and water-based activities on reservoirs and the coast. The Wicklow Way is the oldest waymarked long-distance walking trail in Ireland; the popular annual mass participation bike ride Wicklow 200 has taken place in the county every year since 1982. County Wicklow was the last of the traditional counties of Ireland to be shired in 1606 from land part of counties Dublin and Carlow. Established as a distinct county, it was aimed at controlling local groups such as the O'Byrnes; the Military Road, stretching from Rathfarnham to Aghavannagh crosses the mountains, north to south, was built by the British Army to assist them in defeating the rebels still active in the Wicklow Mountains following the failed 1798 rebellion. It provided them with access to an area, a hotbed of Irish rebellion for centuries.
Several barracks to house the soldiers were built along the route and the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation was built alongside the remains of barracks there. Battalions of the Irish Army use firing ranges in County Wicklow for tactical exercises the largest one in the Glen of Imaal, used by the British Army prior to independence; the ancient monastery of Glendalough is located in County Wicklow. During the Cromwellian invasion of Ireland, local authorities surrendered without a fight. During the 1798 rebellion, some of the insurgents took refuge in the Wicklow Mountains, resulting in clashes between British troops and the troops commanded by General Joseph Holt near Aughrim and at Arklow; the boundaries of the county were extended in 1957 by the Local Government Act which "detached lands from the County of Dublin and from the jurisdiction and powers of the Council of the County of Dublin" near Bray and added them to the County of Wicklow. The local government authority is Wicklow County Council which returns 32 councillors from five municipal districts.
All of the previous Town Councils were abolished under a new Local Government Act at the 2014 Local Elections. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the entire county in included in the Wicklow constituency along with some eastern parts of County Carlow; the constituency returns five TDs to the Dáil. Mermaid, County Wicklow Arts Centre is based in Bray. Mermaid is the county's hub of artistic activity and creation, offering a programme in many art forms: visual arts, theatre productions, dance performances, arthouse cinema, comedy and a music programme. Two of the county's festivals take place in Arklow, the Arklow music Festival and the Arklow Seabreeze Festival; the county is a popular film-making location in Ireland. Bray is home to Ardmore Studios, where many of Ireland's best known feature films, including Rawhead Rex John Boorman's Excalibur and Zardoz, Jim Sheridan's Oscar-winning In the Name of the Father, several Neil Jordan films, have been shot; the BBC series Ballykissangel was filmed in County Wicklow.
Scenes from the movie P. S. I Love You were shot in the Wicklow Mountains National Park while several scenes from other movies, from Barry Lyndon to Haywire, have been filmed in the county. WicklowNews.net is a popular news website in the county and was established in 2010. The local radio station in Wicklow is East Coast F
County Longford is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Leinster, it is named after the town of Longford. Longford County Council is the local authority for the county; the population of the county was 40,873 at the 2016 census. The county is based on the historic Gaelic territory of Annaly known as Teffia. With an area of 1,091 km2 and a population of 40,873, Longford is the fourth smallest of the 32 counties in area and second smallest in terms of population, it is the fourth smallest of Leinster's 12 counties by size and smallest by population. It borders counties Cavan to the northeast, Westmeath to the southeast, Roscommon to the southwest and Leitrim to the northwest. Most of Longford lies in the basin of the River Shannon with Lough Ree forming much of the county's western boundary; the north-eastern part of the county, drains towards the River Erne and Lough Gowna. Lakeland, bogland and wetland typify Longford's low-lying landscapes: the highest point of the county is in the north-west - Carn Clonhugh near Drumlish at 279 m.
Cairn Hill is the site of a television transmitter broadcasting to much of the Irish midlands. In the list of Irish counties by highest point, Longford ranks third lowest. Only Meath and Westmeath have lower maxima. In general, the northern third of the county is hilly, forming part of the drumlin belt and Esker Riada stretching across the northern midlands of Ireland; the southern parts of the county are low-lying, with extensive areas of raised bogland and the land being of better quality for grazing and tillage. The River Shannon marks the county's border with Roscommon while the Rivers Inny and Tang form much of the boundary with Westmeath; the Royal Canal flows through the south of the county terminating at Cloondara at the Shannon. The canal was refurbished and reopened in 2010. Notable lakes include Kinale Lough and Lough Gowna on the Cavan border, Lough Forbes on the Roscommon border and of course Lough Ree in the south where Longford and Roscommon meet. With a population of 10,310, Longford Town is the largest town in the county followed by Ballymahon, Edgeworthstown and Granard.
The county is one half of the Dáil constituency of Longford–Westmeath. The territory corresponding to County Longford was a frontier colony of the Kingdom of Meath in the first millennium. Between the fifth and twelfth centuries the territory was called the kingdom of Tethbae ruled by various tuath such as the Cairpre Gabra in the north. Tethbae referred to an area north of the River Inny approximating to present day County Longford. In the year AD 1070, Tethbae was conquered by the Ó Cuinns, Ó Fearghails, other Conmhaícne tribes, henceforth being known as Muintir Annaly, so named after "Anghaile" the great-grandfather of Fearghail O'Farrell. Furthermore County Longford was called Upper Conmaicne, to distinguish it from south Leitrim called Lower Conmaicne, because both districts were ruled by the descendants of Conmac, son of Fergus and Queen Meadbh of Connacht. Following the Norman invasion of the 12th century, Annaly was granted to Hugh de Lacy as part of the Liberty of Meath. An English settlement was established at Granard, with Norman Cistercian monasteries being established at Abbeylara and Abbeyshrule, Augustinian monasteries being established at Abbeyderg and at Saints' Island on the shore of Lough Ree.
Monastic remains at Ardagh, Abbeyderg, Inchcleraun Island in Lough Ree, Inchmore Island in Lough Gowna are reminders of the county's long Christian history. However, by the 14th century, English influence in Ireland was on the wane; the town of Granard was sacked by Edward Bruce's army in 1315, the O'Farrells soon recovered complete control over the territory. Annaly became Longphoirt, now Longford, after O'Farrell's fortress of this name; the county was shired in 1586 in the reign of Elizabeth I from the northern portion of Westmeath, but English control was not established until the aftermath of the Nine Years' War. County Longford was added to Leinster by James I in 1608, with the county being divided into six baronies and its boundaries being defined; the county was planted by English and Scottish landowners in 1620, with much of the O'Farrell lands being confiscated and granted to new owners. The change in control was completed during the Cromwellian plantations of the 1650s. On these lands in County Longford, are the historic ruins of the Coolamber Hall House, besieged by one of the Cromwells.
The county was a centre of the 1798 rebellion, when the French expeditionary force led by Humbert which had landed at Killala were defeated outside the village of Ballinamuck on 8 September by a British army led by Cornwallis. Considerable reprisals were inflicted by the British on the civilian inhabitants of the county in the aftermath of the battle. A revolutionary spirit was again woken in the county during the Irish War of Independence when the North Longford flying column, led by Seán Mac Eoin, became one of the most active units on the Irish side during that war. There are many national and secondary schools located in the county such as Moyne Community School, St. Mels and the Convent. Longford’s population growth during the period 2002-2006 has been stronger than the National average. Agriculture is an important facet for the economy in County Longford. There are 73,764 hectares of area farmed in the county. There are ap
County Offaly is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is located in the province of Leinster, it is named after the ancient Kingdom of Uí Failghe and was known as King's County. Offaly County Council is the local authority for the county; the county population was 77,961 at the 2016 census. Offaly is the 18th largest of Ireland's 32 counties by area and the 24th largest in terms of population, it is the fifth largest of the 10th largest by population. Tullamore is the 30th largest in Ireland. Offaly borders seven counties: Galway, Tipperary, Westmeath and Meath; the Slieve Bloom Mountains are in the southern part of the county on the border with County Laois. Offaly has the 24th highest county peak in Ireland; the highest point is Arderin in the Slieve Blooms at 527 metres. The Slieve Bloom Mountains contain the county's highest points including Stillbrook Hill and Wolftrap Mountain which are the county's second and third highest peaks. Croghan Hill is located in northern Offaly.
Although only 234 metres high, it is known for its view over the surrounding area and it stands out by itself. The floodplain of the River Shannon is in the north-western part of the county; the River Camcor is a Wild Trout Conservation Area. The River Brosna runs across the county from Lough Owel in Westmeath to Shannon Harbour. Silver River runs through several towns in the south of the county before joining Brosna near the town of Ferbane; the Grand Canal runs across the county from Edenderry on the north-east to Shannon Harbour before joining the Shannon. The county contains many small lakes from Lough Boora to Pallas Lake and it contains 42 hectares of swamp land. There are a number Eskers in the counties landscape including Esker Riada. Offaly comprises a flat landscape and is known for its extensive bog and peatlands. There are many large bogs in Offaly including the Bog of Allen, Clara bog, Boora bog and Raheenmore Bog which are spread out across the county with the Bog of Allen extending into four other counties.
The county consists of 42,000 hectares of peatlands, 21% of Offaly's total land area. Offaly contains 9,000 hectares of forest and woodland area, which only amounts to 4.5% of the county's land area. This includes woodlands within the Lough Boora Parklands. 75% of Offaly's forested area is Conifer High Forest. The following are the historical baronies located in County Offaly: Ballyboy Ballybrit Ballycowen Clonlisk Coolestown Eglish Garrycastle Geashill Kilcoursey Lower Philipstown Upper Philipstown Warrenstown One of the earliest known settlements in County Offaly is at Boora bog which dates back to the Mesolithic era. Excavations here provide evidence of a temporary settlement. Stone axes, arrow heads and blades were discovered which date to between 6,800 – 6,000 BCE; the Dowris Hoard dating from the Late Bronze Age was found in a bog at Dowris, Whigsborough near Birr. It is the largest collection of Bronze Age objects found in Ireland, it includes more than 200 items of which 190 are extant, 111 in the National Museum of Ireland and 79 in the British Museum.
Forty four spearheads were found, forty-three axes, twenty-four trumpets, forty-four crotals. A bronze bucket was found, it was constructed of sheets of bronze riveted together, this item is considered to be an imported item, two other buckets were found and these are presumed to be native copies. After Christianisation, the monastic complex of Clonmacnoise was erected at the River Shannon near Shannonbridge, it is today a significant tourist destination. The county itself was formed following the Tudor plantations of Laois and Offaly in an attempt by the English Crown to expand its sphere of influence in Ireland which had declined following the Norman Conquest of Ireland. Both Laois and Offaly were petty kingdoms in Gaelic Ireland located just outside the Pale; the older kingdoms of Leix and Uí Failghe are not coterminous with the present day counties that were formed. The Kingdom of Uí Failghe from which the name Offaly is derived, was ruled by the Ó Conchobhair Failghe whose territory extended from the east of the county into north Kildare.
The Kingdom of Firceall ruled by the O'Molloy clan constituted much of the centre of the county. The Kingdom of Firceall was part of the Kingdom of Meath while Uí Failghe was part of the Kingdom of Leinster. Much of the south of the present day county was ruled by Ó Cearbhaill of Éile. Ely formed part of the Kingdom of Munster; these petty kingdoms were swept aside by the Tudor plantations. In 1556, an Act of the Parliament of Ireland created "King's County", named after Philip, the King of Ireland; this replaced the old Kingdoms with the present day County System. Despite the county's name being upheld as Offaly through the 2001 Local Government Act, no legislation was enacted after independence explicitly changing the name from King's County, the name formally established under the 1898 Local Government Act which continued to have legal effect. Legal transfers and assignments of land in the county still refer to it as "King's County". Offaly County Council is the local authority for the county.
The council is responsible for local services such a
County Meath is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region, it is named after the historic Kingdom of Meath. Meath County Council is the local authority for the county. At the 2016 census, the population of the county was 195,044; the county town of Meath is Navan. Other towns in the county include Trim, Laytown, Ashbourne and Slane, it is one of only two counties outside the west of Ireland to have an official Gaeltacht and the only county in Leinster to have an official Gaeltacht. Meath is drained by the River Boyne; the county is the 14th-largest of Ireland's 32 counties in area, the ninth-largest in terms of population. It is the second-largest of Leinster's 12 counties in size, the third-largest in terms of population; the county town is Navan, where the county hall and government are located, although Trim, the former county town, has historical significance and remains a sitting place of the circuit court. County Meath has the only two Gaeltacht areas in the province of Leinster, at Ráth Chairn and Baile Ghib.
Meath has seven land borders and a small stretch of coastline stretching from Mornington to Gormanston beach. The counties bordering Meath are: Dublin, Louth, Kildare and Monaghan. There are eighteen historic baronies in the county, they include the baronies of Ratoath. While baronies continue to be defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes, their official status is illustrated by Placenames Orders made since 2003, where official Irish names of baronies are listed under "Administrative units". There are 40 elected members of Meath County Council. Fine Gael holds 13 seats, Fianna Fáil holds 10, Sinn Féin holds 8, there are 9 independents. There are two Dáil constituencies, Meath West and Meath East, which together return 6 deputies to Dáil Éireann. Fianna Fáil holds 1 seat in each constituency, Fine Gael holds 2 in Meath East and 1 in Meath West, Sinn Féin holds 1 in Meath West. There was only one Meath constituency. Fianna Fáil held three seats out of five in the Meath constituency between 1987 and its abolition in 2007.
Meath East lies within the borders of the county. Part of the county along the Irish Sea coast, known as East Meath, which includes Julianstown and Laytown-Bettystown-Mornington, is included in the Louth constituency; the county is colloquially known by the nickname "The Royal County", owing to its history as the seat of the High King of Ireland. It formed from the eastern part of the former Kingdom of Mide but now forms part of the province of Leinster; the kingdom and its successor territory the Lordship of Meath, included all of counties Meath and Westmeath as well as parts of counties Cavan, Louth and Kildare. The seat of the High King of Ireland was at Tara; the archaeological complex of Brú na Bóinne is 5,000 years old, includes the burial sites of Newgrange and Dowth, in the north-east of the county. It is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site; the Hill of Tara, an ancient historical site - Ard Rí or high king of Ireland. Castles at Trim, Slane and Killeen. Religious ruins at Trim, Slane, Skryne.
2500-year-old mound structures of disputed origin at Teltown. Teltown is home to Ireland's pre-Olympic Games The Tailteann Games, which some records date back to 1869 BCE. Brú na Bóinne Unesco World Heritage Site includes an ancient historical site. Dangan Castle, the family home of Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS. Tayto Park, Ireland's only theme park, is located close to Ashbourne. Trim Castle is Ireland's largest Norman castle, was the setting for many Norman-Irish parliaments. Meath is home to Kells, with its round tower and monastic past, Ireland's only inland lighthouse, the 18th century Spire of Lloyd, it is the town in which the famous Book of Kells was purportedly finished and remained for a number of years. The Battle of the Boyne took place in Meath in 1690, close to the modern-day village of Donore. During World War One a British army unit ran a detention camp for prisoners of war outside the town of Oldcastle. In Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone With The Wind, it is mentioned that Gerald O'Hara, Scarlett O'Hara's father, was born in County Meath.
Tara is the name of the Georgia plantation. Famous Anglo-Irish MP Charles Stewart Parnell was elected member of parliament for Meath in Westminster in 1875 until 1880. Today he is locally commemorated by a small courtyard in Kells town centre; the population of Co. Meath suffered significant decline between 1861 and 1901 halving; this increase was due to a baby boom locally. The population continued to increase at a constant rate, before increasing at an explosive rate between 1996 and 2002, from 109,732 to 134,005; this is due to economic factors, with the return of residents to live in the county, an echo effect of the 1970s baby boom. The census of 2011 gives a figure of 184,135, including a dramatic increase i
The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard. Harps have been known since antiquity in Asia and Europe, dating back at least as early as 3500 BC; the instrument had great popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where it evolved into a wide range of variants with new technologies, was disseminated to Europe's colonies, finding particular popularity in Latin America. Although some ancient members of the harp family died out in the Near East and South Asia, descendants of early harps are still played in Myanmar and parts of Africa, other defunct variants in Europe and Asia have been utilized by musicians in the modern era. Harps vary globally in many ways. In terms of size, many smaller harps can be played on the lap, whereas larger harps are quite heavy and rest on the floor. Different harps may use strings of catgut, metal, or some combination. While all harps have a neck and strings, frame harps have a pillar at their long end to support the strings, while open harps, such as arch harps and bow harps, do not.
Modern harps vary in techniques used to extend the range and chromaticism of the strings, such as adjusting a string's note mid-performance with levers or pedals which modify the pitch. The pedal harp is a standard instrument in the orchestra of the Romantic music era and the contemporary music era; the earliest harps and lyres were found in Sumer, 3500 BC, several harps were found in burial pits and royal tombs in Ur. The oldest depictions of harps without a forepillar can be seen adjacent to the Near East, in the wall paintings of ancient Egyptian tombs in the Nile Valley, which date from as early as 3000 BC; these murals show an instrument that resembles the hunter's bow, without the pillar that we find in modern harps. The chang flourished in Persia in many forms from its introduction, about 4000 BC, until the 17th century. Around 1900 BC arched harps in the Iraq–Iran region were replaced by angular harps with vertical or horizontal sound boxes. By the start of the Common Era, "robust, angular harps", which had become predominant in the Hellenistic world, were cherished in the Sasanian court.
In the last century of the Sasanian period, angular harps were redesigned to make them as light as possible. At the height of the Persian tradition of illustrated book production, such light harps were still depicted, although their use as musical instruments was reaching its end; the works of the Tamil Sangam literature describe the harp and its variants, as early as 200 BC. Variants were described ranging from 14 to 17 strings, the instrument used by wandering minstrels for accompaniment. Iconographic evidence in of the yaal appears in temple statues dated as early as 500 BC One of the Sangam works, the Kallaadam recounts how the first yaaḻ harp was inspired by an archer's bow, when he heard the musical sound of its twang. Another early South Asian harp was the ancient veena; some Samudragupta gold coins show of the mid-4th century AD show the king Samudragupta himself playing the instrument. The ancient veena survives today in the form of the saung harp still played there; the harp was popular in ancient China and neighboring regions, though harps are extinct in East Asia in the modern day.
The Chinese konghou harp is documented as early as the Spring and Autumn period, became extinct during the Ming Dynasty. A similar harp, the gonghu was played in ancient Korea, documented as early as the Goguryeo period. Harps are triangular and made of wood. Strings are made of gut or wire replaced in the modern day by nylon, or metal; the top end of each string is secured on the crossbar or neck, where each will have a tuning peg or similar device to adjust the pitch. From the crossbar, the string runs down to the sounding board on the resonating body, where it is secured with a knot, it is the distance between the tuning peg and the soundboard, as well as tension and weight of the string, which decide the pitch of the string. The body is hollow, when a taut string is plucked, the body resonates, projecting sound; the longest side of the harp is called the column or pillar, though some earlier harps, such as a "bow harp", lack a pillar. On most harps the sole purpose of the pillar is to hold up the neck against the great strain of the strings.
On harps which have pedals, the pillar is a hollow column and encloses the rods which adjust the pitches, which are levered by pressing pedals at the base of the instrument. On harps of earlier design, a given string can play only a single note without retuning. In many cases this means such a harp can only play in one key at a time and must be manually retuned to play in another key. Various remedies to this limitation evolved: the addition of extra strings to cover chromatic notes, addition of small levers on the crossbar which when actuated raise the pitch of a string by a set interval, or use of pedals at the base of the instrument which change the pitch of a string when pressed with the foot; these solutions increase the versatility of a harp at the cost of adding complexity and expense. While the angle and bow harps held popularity