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The GAELS (Irish pronunciation: , Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
pronunciation: ; Irish : Na Gaeil, Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
: Na Gàidheil, Manx : Ny Gaeil) are an ethnolinguistic group native to northwestern Europe . They are associated with the Gaelic languages
Gaelic languages
: a branch of the Celtic languages comprising Irish , Manx and Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
. Historically, the ethnonyms Irish and Scots referred to the Gaels
Gaels
in general, but the scope of those nationalities is today more complex.

Gaelic language
Gaelic language
and culture originated in Ireland
Ireland
, extending to Dál Riata in western Scotland
Scotland
. In antiquity the Gaels
Gaels
traded with the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and also raided Roman Britain
Roman Britain
. In the Middle Ages, Gaelic culture became dominant throughout the rest of Scotland
Scotland
and the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
. There was also some Gaelic settlement in Wales
Wales
and Cornwall. In the Viking Age
Viking Age
, small numbers of Vikings
Vikings
raided and settled in Gaelic lands, becoming the Norse-Gaels
Norse-Gaels
. In the 9th century, Dál Riata
Dál Riata
and Pictland merged to form the Gaelic Kingdom of Alba . Meanwhile, Gaelic Ireland was made up of several kingdoms, with a High King often claiming lordship over them.

In the 12th century, Normans conquered parts of Ireland
Ireland
(leading to centuries of conflict), while parts of Scotland
Scotland
became Normanized . However, Gaelic culture remained strong throughout Ireland, the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands
and Galloway
Galloway
. In the early 17th century, the last Gaelic kingdoms in Ireland
Ireland
fell under English control. James I sought to subdue the Gaels
Gaels
and wipe out their culture; in Ireland
Ireland
by colonizing Gaelic land with English-speaking British settlers, and in the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands
via repressive laws such as the Statutes of Iona
Iona
. In the following centuries most Gaels
Gaels
were gradually anglicized and Gaelic language
Gaelic language
mostly supplanted by English. However, it continues to be the main language in Ireland's Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
and Scotland's Outer Hebrides . The modern descendants of the Gaels
Gaels
have spread throughout Britain, the Americas
Americas
and Australasia
Australasia
.

Gaelic society traditionally centered around the clan , each with its own territory and chieftain, elected through tanistry . The Gaels
Gaels
were originally pagans who worshipped the Tuatha Dé Danann
Tuatha Dé Danann
, venerated the ancestors and believed in an Otherworld . Their four yearly festivals – Samhain
Samhain
, Imbolc
Imbolc
, Beltane
Beltane
and Lughnasa – continued to be celebrated into modern times. The Gaels
Gaels
have a strong oral tradition , traditionally maintained by shanachies . Inscription in the Gaelic ogham alphabet began in the 1st century. Their conversion to Christianity
Christianity
accompanied the introduction of writing, and Irish Gaelic has the oldest vernacular literature in western Europe. Irish mythology and Brehon law were preserved, albeit Christianized. Gaelic monasteries were renowned centres of learning and played a key role in developing Insular art , while Gaelic missionaries and scholars were highly influential in western Europe. In the Middle Ages, most Gaels lived in roundhouses and ringforts . The Gaels
Gaels
had their own style of dress, which (in Scotland) became the belted plaid and kilt . They also have distinctive music , dance, and sports . Gaelic culture continues to be a major component of Irish , Scottish and Manx culture .

CONTENTS

* 1 Ethnonyms

* 1.1 Gaels
Gaels
* 1.2 Irish * 1.3 Scots

* 2 Population

* 2.1 Kinship groups * 2.2 Human genetics
Human genetics
* 2.3 Demographics * 2.4 Diaspora

* 3 History

* 3.1 Origins * 3.2 Ancient * 3.3 Medieval * 3.4 Imperial * 3.5 Modern

* 4 Culture

* 4.1 Language

* 4.1.1 Emergence * 4.1.2 Contemporary

* 4.2 Religion

* 4.2.1 Pre-Christian * 4.2.2 Christianity
Christianity

* 5 Notes

* 6 References

* 6.1 Bibliography

* 7 External links

ETHNONYMS

Part of a series on

INDO-EUROPEAN TOPICS

Languages -------------------------

* List of Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages

------------------------- Historical

* Albanian * Armenian

* Balto-Slavic

* Baltic * Slavic

* Celtic * Germanic

* Hellenic

* Greek

* Indo-Iranian

* Indo-Aryan * Iranian

* Italic

* Romance

Extinct

* Anatolian * Tocharian

Paleo-Balkan Dacian Illyrian Liburnian Messapian Mysian Paeonian Phrygian Thracian ------------------------- Reconstructed

* Proto-Indo-European language
Proto-Indo-European language

* Phonology : Sound laws , Accent , Ablaut

------------------------- Hypothetical

* Daco-Thracian * Graeco-Armenian * Graeco-Aryan * Graeco-Phrygian * Indo-Hittite * Italo-Celtic * Thraco-Illyrian

------------------------- Grammar

* Vocabulary * Root * Verbs * Nouns * Pronouns * Numerals * Particles

------------------------- Other

* Proto-Anatolian * Proto-Armenian * Proto-Germanic
Proto-Germanic
( Proto-Norse ) * Proto-Celtic * Proto-Italic * Proto-Greek * Proto-Balto-Slavic ( Proto-Slavic ) * Proto-Indo-Iranian (Proto-Iranian )

Philology

* Hittite texts * Hieroglyphic Luwian
Hieroglyphic Luwian
* Linear B
Linear B
* Rigveda
Rigveda
* Avesta
Avesta
* Homer
Homer
* Behistun * Gaulish epigraphy * Latin
Latin
epigraphy * Runic epigraphy * Ogam * Gothic Bible * Armenian Bible * Slanting Brahmi * Old Irish glosses

Origins

* Homeland * Proto-Indo-Europeans
Proto-Indo-Europeans
* Society * Religion

------------------------- Mainstream

* Kurgan hypothesis * Indo-European migrations * Eurasian nomads

------------------------- Alternative and fringe

* Anatolian hypothesis * Armenian hypothesis
Armenian hypothesis
* Paleolithic Continuity Theory * Baltic homeland * Indigenous Aryans

Archaeology Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic
(Copper Age)

Pontic Steppe

* Domestication of the horse * Kurgan
Kurgan
* Kurgan
Kurgan
culture

* Steppe cultures

* Bug-Dniester * Sredny Stog * Dnieper-Donets * Samara * Khvalynsk

* Yamna

* Mikhaylovka culture

Caucasus

* Maykop

East-Asia

* Afanasevo

Eastern Europe

* Usatovo * Cernavodă * Cucuteni

Northern Europe

* Corded ware

* Baden * Middle Dnieper

------------------------- Bronze Age
Bronze Age

Pontic Steppe

* Chariot * Yamna * Catacomb * Multi-cordoned ware * Poltavka * Srubna

Northern/Eastern Steppe

* Abashevo culture * Andronovo * Sintashta

Europe

* Beaker * Globular Amphora culture * Corded ware * Tumulus * Unetice * Urnfield * Lusatian * Nordic Bronze Age
Bronze Age
* Terramare * Trzciniec

South-Asia

* BMAC * Yaz * Gandhara grave

------------------------- Iron Age
Iron Age

Steppe

* Chernoles

Europe

* Thraco-Cimmerian * Hallstatt * Jastorf

Caucasus

* Colchian

India

* Painted Grey Ware * Northern Black Polished Ware
Northern Black Polished Ware

Peoples and societies Bronze Age
Bronze Age

* Anatolians * Armenians
Armenians
* Mycenaean Greeks
Greeks
* Indo-Iranians

Iron Age
Iron Age

Indo-Aryans

* Indo-Aryans

Iranians

* Iranians

* Scythians
Scythians
* Persians * Medes

Europe

* Celts
Celts

* Gauls
Gauls
* Celtiberians
Celtiberians
* Insular Celts
Celts

* Hellenic peoples * Italic peoples
Italic peoples
* Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples

* Paleo-Balkans /Anatolia :

* Thracians * Dacians
Dacians
* Illyrians
Illyrians
* Phrygians

Middle Ages
Middle Ages

East-Asia

* Tocharians

Europe

* Balts
Balts
* Slavs * Albanians * Medieval Europe
Medieval Europe

Indo-Aryan

* Medieval India

Iranian

* Greater Persia

Religion and mythology Reconstructed

* Proto-Indo-European religion
Proto-Indo-European religion
* Proto-Indo-Iranian religion
Proto-Indo-Iranian religion

------------------------- Historical

* Hittite

Indian

* Vedic

* Hinduism
Hinduism

* Buddhism
Buddhism
* Jainism
Jainism

Iranian

* Persian

* Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism

* Kurdish

* Yazidism * Yarsanism

* Scythian
Scythian

* Ossetian

Other

* Armenian

Europe

* Paleo-Balkans * Greek * Roman

* Celtic

* Irish * Scottish * Breton * Welsh * Cornish

* Germanic

* Anglo-Saxon * Continental * Norse

* Baltic

* Latvian * Lithuanian

* Slavic * Albanian

Practices

* Fire-sacrifice * Horse sacrifice * Sati * Winter solstice
Winter solstice
/ Yule

Indo-European studies
Indo-European studies
Scholars

* Marija Gimbutas
Marija Gimbutas
* J.P. Mallory

Institutes

* Copenhagen Studies in Indo-European

Publications

* Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture * The Horse, the Wheel and Language
The Horse, the Wheel and Language
* Journal of Indo-European Studies * Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch * Indo-European Etymological Dictionary

* v * t * e

Throughout the centuries, Gaels
Gaels
and Gaelic-speakers have been known by a number of names. The most consistent of these have been Gael, Irish and Scots . The latter two have developed more ambiguous meanings, due to the early modern concept of the nation state, which encompasses non-Gaels. Other terms, such as Milesian , are not often used. An Old Norse
Old Norse
name for the Gaels
Gaels
was Vestmenn ("Westmen"). Informally, archetypal forenames such as Tadhg or Dòmhnall are sometimes used for Gaels.

GAELS

The word Gaelic is first recorded in print in the English language
English language
in the 1770s, replacing the earlier word Gathelik which is attested as far back as 1596. Gael, defined as a "member of the Gaelic race", is first attested in print in 1810. The name ultimately derives from the Old Irish word Goídel, spelled officially today as Gaedheal, Gael (Irish and Manx ) and Gàidheal ( Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
). In early modern Irish , the words Gaelic and Gael were spelled respectively Gaoidhealg and Gaoidheal. The more antiquarian term Goidels came to be used by some due to Edward Lhuyd
Edward Lhuyd
's work on the relationship between Celtic languages (with the Gaelic languages
Gaelic languages
being "Q-Celtic"). This term was further popularised in academia by John Rhys
John Rhys
; the first Professor of Celtic at Oxford University
Oxford University
; due to his work Celtic Britain (1882).

According to the scholar John T. Koch in his Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, the word in the form of Guoidel was borrowed from a Primitive Welsh form that became an Old Welsh term, roughly meaning "forest people", "wild men" or later "warriors". It is recorded as a personal name in the Book of Llandaff . This term shared a root with the Old Irish fíad "deer", and was partially cognate with Féni, from the Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
*weidh-n-jo-. This latter word is the origin of Fianna
Fianna
and Fenian
Fenian
.

IRISH

The Iverni are one of the population groups mentioned in Ptolemy 's Geographia
Geographia
.

A common name, passed down to the modern day, is Irish ; this existed in the English language
English language
during the 13th century in the form of Irisce, which derived from the stem of Old English
Old English
Iras "inhabitant of Ireland", from Old Norse
Old Norse
irar. The ultimate origin of this word is thought to be from the Old Irish Ériu , which is from Old Celtic *Iveriu, likely associated with the Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
term *pi-wer- meaning "fertile". Ériu is mentioned as a goddess in the Lebor Gabála Érenn as a daughter of Ernmas of the Tuatha Dé Danann
Tuatha Dé Danann
. Along with her sisters Banba and Fódla , she is said to have made a deal with the Milesians to name the island after her.

The ancient Greeks
Greeks
; in particular Ptolemy
Ptolemy
in his 2nd century Geographia
Geographia
, possibly based on earlier sources; located a group known as the Iverni (Greek : Ιουερνοι) in the south-west of Ireland. This group has been associated with the Érainn of Irish tradition by T. F. O\'Rahilly and others. The Érainn; claiming descent from a Milesian eponymous ancestor named Ailill Érann ; were the hegemonic power in Ireland
Ireland
prior to the rise of the descendants of Conn of the Hundred Battles and Mug Nuadat . The Érainn included peoples such as the Corcu Loígde and Dál Riata. Ancient Roman
Ancient Roman
writers, such as Caesar
Caesar
, Pliny and Tacitus
Tacitus
, derived from "Ivernia" the name Hibernia . Thus the name Hibernian also comes from this root (although the Romans tended to call the Gaels
Gaels
"Scoti").

SCOTS

The Romans began to use the term Scoti to describe the Gaels
Gaels
in the Latin
Latin
language from the 4th century onward. In the context of the times, the Gaels
Gaels
were raiding the west coast of Britain for hostages, and they took part in the Great Conspiracy ; it is thus conjectured that the term means "raider, pirate". Although the Dál Riata
Dál Riata
settled in Argyll
Argyll
in the 6th century, the term "Scots" did not just apply to them, but to Gaels
Gaels
in general. Examples can be taken from Johannes Scotus Eriugena and other figures from Hiberno- Latin
Latin
culture and the Schottenkloster founded by Irish Gaels
Gaels
in Germanic lands. It is also worth noting that eponymous characters were created in medieval Irish pseudo-histories: Scota , described as an Egyptian princess, and her husband Goídel Glas .

The Gaels
Gaels
of northern Britain referred to themselves as Albannaich in their own tongue and their realm as the Kingdom of Alba (founded as a successor state to Pictland and Dál Riata). Germanic groups tended to refer to the Gael as "Scottas" and so when Anglo-Saxon influence grew at court with Duncan II , the Latin
Latin
Rex Scottorum began to be used and the realm was known as Scotland
Scotland
; this process and cultural shift was put into full effect under David I , who let the Normans come to power and furthered the Lowland-Highland divide. Lowland Germanics in Scotland
Scotland
spoke a language called Inglis , which they started to call Scottis (Scots ) in the 16th century, while they in turn began to refer to Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
as "Erse" (from 'Irish').

POPULATION

KINSHIP GROUPS

Main articles: Irish clans and Scottish clans Clan tartan of the MacGregors . Distinctive patterns were adopted during the Victorian era.

In traditional Gaelic society, a patrilineal kinship group is referred to as a clann ; this signifies a tribal grouping descended from a common ancestor, much larger than a personal family, which may also consist of various kindreds and septs . Using the Munster-based Eóganachta
Eóganachta
as an example, members of this clann claim patrilineal descent from Éogan Mór . It is further divided into major kindreds, such as the Eóganacht Chaisil , Glendamnach , Áine , Locha Léin and Raithlind. These kindreds themselves contain septs that have passed down as Irish Gaelic surnames , for example the Eóganacht Chaisil includes O'Callaghan, MacCarthy, O'Sullivan and others.

The Irish Gaels
Gaels
can be grouped into the following major historical clans; Connachta (including Uí Néill , Clan Colla , Uí Maine , etc.), Dál gCais
Dál gCais
, Eóganachta, Érainn (including Dál Riata
Dál Riata
, Dál Fiatach , etc.), Laigin and Ulaid
Ulaid
(including Dál nAraidi ). In the Highlands, the various Gaelic-originated clans tended to claim descent from one of the Irish groups, particularly those from Ulster
Ulster
. The Dál Riata
Dál Riata
(i.e. – MacGregor, MacDuff, MacLaren, etc.) claimed descent from Síl Conairi , for instance. Some arrivals in the High Middle Ages
Middle Ages
(i.e. – MacNeill, Buchanan, Munro, etc.) claimed to be of the Uí Néill. As part of their self-justification; taking over power from the Norse-Gael MacLeod in the Hebrides; the MacDonalds claimed to be from Clan Colla.

For the Irish Gaels, the old clan system did not survive the incorporation of the Gaelic realms into the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
and the subsequent Flight of the Earls
Flight of the Earls
. As a result of the Gaelic revival , there has been renewed interest in Irish genealogy ; the Irish Government recognised Gaelic Chiefs of the Name since the 1940s. The Finte na hÉireann (Clans of Ireland) was founded in 1989 to gather together clan associations; individual clan associations operate throughout the world and produce journals for their septs. The Highland clans held out until the 18th century Jacobite risings . During the Victorian-era, symbolic tartans, crests and badges were retroactively applied to clans. Clan associations built up over time and Na Fineachan Gàidhealach (The Highland Clans) was founded in 2013.

HUMAN GENETICS

Distribution of Y-chromosomal Haplogroup R-M269 in Europe.

At the turn of the 21st century, the principles of human genetics and genetic genealogy were applied to the study of populations of Gaelic origin. It was found that the overwhelming majority belonged to haplogroup R1b in their Y-chromosome DNA
DNA
(as with much of Western Europe ). The two other peoples who recorded higher than 85% for R1b in a 2009 study published in the scientific journal, PLOS Biology
PLOS Biology
, were the Welsh and the Basques
Basques
.

The development of in-depth studies of DNA
DNA
sequences known as STRs and SNPs , have allowed geneticists to associate subclades with specific Gaelic kindred groupings (and their surnames), vindicating significant elements of Gaelic genealogy , as found in works such as the Leabhar na nGenealach . Examples can be taken from the Uí Néill (i.e. – O'Neill, O'Donnell, Gallagher, etc.), who are associated with R-M222 and the Dál gCais
Dál gCais
(i.e. – O'Brien, McMahon, Kennedy, etc.) who are associated with R-L226. With regard to Gaelic genetic genealogy studies, these developments in subclades have aided people in finding their original clan group in the case of a non-paternity event , with Family Tree DNA having the largest such database at present.

DEMOGRAPHICS

In countries where Gaels
Gaels
live, census records documenting population statistics have taken place. The following includes the number of speakers of a Gaelic language
Gaelic language
(either Gaeilge, also known as Irish, Gàidhlig, known as Scottish Gaelic, or Gaelg, known as Manx). The question of ethnic identity is slightly more complex, but included below are those who identify with Irish or Scottish ethnicity. It should be taken into account that not all will have Gaelic descent, especially in the case of Scotland
Scotland
, due to the nature of the Lowlands . It also depends on the self-reported response of the individual and so is a rough guide rather than an exact science.

The two comparatively "major" Gaelic nations in the modern era are Ireland
Ireland
(which in the 2002 census had 185,838 people who spoke Irish "daily" and 1,570,894 who were "able" to speak it) and Scotland (58,552 "Gaelic speakers" and 92,400 with "some Gaelic language ability" in the 2001 census ). Communities where the languages are still spoken natively are restricted largely to the west coast of each country and especially the Hebrides in Scotland. However, a large proportion of the Gaelic speaking population now lives in the cities of Glasgow
Glasgow
and Edinburgh
Edinburgh
in Scotland, and Donegal
Donegal
, Galway
Galway
, Cork and Dublin
Dublin
in Ireland. There are about 2,000 Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
speakers in Canada
Canada
( Canadian Gaelic
Canadian Gaelic
dialect), although many are elderly and concentrated in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
and more specifically Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island
. According to the 2000 US Census, there are over 25,000 Irish-speakers in the United States
United States
with the majority found in urban areas with large Irish-American communities such as Boston
Boston
, New York City and Chicago.

STATE GAEILGE ETHNIC IRISH GàIDHLIG ETHNIC SCOTS GAELG ETHNIC MANX

Ireland
Ireland
1,770,000 (2011) 3,969,319 (2011) not recorded not recorded not recorded not recorded

United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and dependencies

64,916 (2011) 1,101,994 (2011) 57,602 (2011) 4,446,000 (2011) 1,689 (2000) 38,108 (2011)

United States
United States
25,870 (2000) 33,348,049 (2013) 1,605 (2000) 5,310,285 (2013) not recorded 6,955

Canada
Canada
7,500 (2011) 4,354,155 (2006) 1,500 (2011) 4,719,850 (2006) not recorded 4,725

Australia
Australia
1,895 (2011) 2,087,800 (2011) 822 (2001) 1,876,560 (2011) not recorded 46,000

New Zealand
New Zealand
not recorded 14,000 (2013) 670 (2006) 12,792 (2006) not recorded not recorded

TOTAL 1,870,181 44,875,317 62,199 16,318,487 1,689 95,788

DIASPORA

Main articles: Irish diaspora and Scottish diaspora The Emigrants, painting from 1844. This depicts a Highland Scots family in Gaelic dress migrating to New Zealand
New Zealand
.

As the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
began to collapse, the Gaels
Gaels
(along with the Anglo-Saxons) were one of the peoples able to take advantage in Great Britain
Great Britain
from the 4th century onwards. The proto- Eóganachta
Eóganachta
Uí Liatháin and the Déisi Muman of Dyfed both established colonies in today's Wales
Wales
. Further to the north, the Érainn's Dál Riata colonised Argyll
Argyll
(eventually founding Alba ) and there was a significant Gaelic influence in Northumbria
Northumbria
and the MacAngus clan arose to the Pictish kingship by the 8th century. Gaelic Christian missionaries were also active across the Frankish Empire
Frankish Empire
. With the coming of the Viking Age
Viking Age
and their slave markets, Gaels
Gaels
were also dispersed in this way across the realms under Viking control; as a legacy, in genetic studies, Icelanders exhibit high levels of Gaelic-derived m DNA
DNA
.

Since the fall of Gaelic polities, the Gaels
Gaels
have made their way across parts of the world, mainly under the auspices of the British Empire , but to a lesser extent under the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
. Core destinations for "exiles" have been North America
North America
(what is today the United States
United States
and Canada
Canada
) and Oceania
Oceania
( Australia
Australia
and New Zealand
New Zealand
). There has also been a mass "internal migration" within the British Isles from the 19th century, with Gaelic Irish peasantry and Highlanders migrating to the English-speaking industrial cities of London
London
, Dublin
Dublin
, Glasgow
Glasgow
, Liverpool
Liverpool
, Manchester
Manchester
, Birmingham
Birmingham
, Cardiff
Cardiff
, Leeds
Leeds
, Edinburgh
Edinburgh
and others. Many underwent a linguistic "Anglicisation" and some eventually merged with Anglo populations.

HISTORY

ORIGINS

Scota and Goídel Glas voyaging from Egypt. From the 15th century chronicle the Scotichronicon
Scotichronicon
.

In their own national epic contained within medieval works such as the Lebor Gabála Érenn
Lebor Gabála Érenn
, the Gaels
Gaels
trace the origin of their people to an eponymous ancestor named Goídel Glas . He is described as a Scythian
Scythian
prince (the grandson of Fénius Farsaid ), who is credited with creating the Gaelic languages
Gaelic languages
. Goídel's mother is called Scota , described as an Egyptian princess (some modern writers associate her with Meritaten ). The Gaels
Gaels
are depicted as wandering from place to place for hundreds of years; they spend time in Egypt
Egypt
, Crete
Crete
, Scythia
Scythia
, the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
and Getulia , before arriving in Iberia
Iberia
, where their king, Breogán , is said to have founded Galicia .

The Gaels
Gaels
are then said to have sailed to Ireland
Ireland
via Galicia in the form of the Milesians , sons of Míl Espáine . The Gaels
Gaels
fight a battle of sorcery with the Tuatha Dé Danann
Tuatha Dé Danann
, the gods, who inhabited Ireland
Ireland
at the time. Ériu , a goddess of the land, promises the Gaels that Ireland
Ireland
shall be theirs so long as they pay tribute to her. They agree, and their bard Amergin recites an incantation known as the Song of Amergin. The two groups agree to divide Ireland
Ireland
between them: the Gaels
Gaels
take the world above, while the Tuath Dé take the world below (i.e. the Otherworld ).

Advances in DNA
DNA
studies have revealed some clues about the origin of the Gaels
Gaels
(who are associated with paternal R-L21 ). Haplogroup R originated 26,800 years ago in Central Asia
Central Asia
during the Last Ice Age . The R1b branch had broken off by the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
and its derivative R-M269 was found at the Pontic-Caspian steppe by the Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic
(the Kurgan hypothesis makes these speakers of Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
). First entering Europe proper 7,000 years ago, the Indo-Europeans developed bronze weapons and domesticated the horse, giving them the upper hand in their conquest of the Old Europe and the proliferation of their lineages. After the R-L51 subclade founded the Unetice culture , a derivative R-L21 moved West, arriving in Britain c. 2100 BCE and Ireland
Ireland
c. 2000 BCE, becoming the Gaelic people.

ANCIENT

See also: Prehistoric Ireland
Ireland
, Prehistoric Scotland
Scotland
, Protohistory of Ireland
Ireland
, and Scotland
Scotland
during the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Lia Fáil at the Hill of Tara, sacred site of inauguration for the Gaelic High Kings.

According to the Annals of the Four Masters , the early branches of the Milesian Gaels
Gaels
were the Heremonians , the Heberians and the Irians , descended from the three brothers Érimón , Éber Finn and Ír respectively. Another group were the Ithians, descended from Íth (an uncle of Milesius) who were located in South Leinster
Leinster
(associated with the Brigantes ) but they later became extinct. The Four Masters date the start of Milesian rule from 1700 BCE. Initially, the Heremonians dominated the High Kingship of Ireland
Ireland
from their stronghold of Mide , the Heberians were given Munster and the Irians were given Ulster
Ulster
. At this early point of the Milesian-era, the non-Gaelic Fir Domnann held Leinster
Leinster
and the Fir Ol nEchmacht held what was later known as Connacht (possibly remnants of the Fir Bolg
Fir Bolg
).

During the Iron Age
Iron Age
there was heightened activity at a number of important royal ceremonial sites, including Tara , Dún Ailinne , Rathcroghan and Emain Macha
Emain Macha
. Each was associated with a Gaelic tribe. The most important was Tara, where the High King (also known as the King of Tara ) was inaugurated on the Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny), which stands to this day. According to the Annals, this era also saw, during the 7th century BCE, a branch of the Heremonians known as the Laigin , descending from Úgaine Mór 's son Lóegaire Lorc , displacing the Fir Bolg
Fir Bolg
remnants in Leinster. This was also a critical period for the Ulaid
Ulaid
(earlier known as the Irians) as their kinsman Rudraige Mór took over the High Kingship in the 3rd century BCE; his offspring would be the subject of the Ulster
Ulster
Cycle of heroic tradition, including the epic Táin Bó Cúailnge
Táin Bó Cúailnge
. This includes the struggle between Conchobar mac Nessa and Fergus mac Róich .

After regaining power, the Heremonians, in the form of Fíachu Finnolach were overthrown in a 1st-century AD provincial coup. His son, Túathal Techtmar was exiled to Roman Britain
Roman Britain
before returning to claim Tara. Based on the accounts of Tacitus
Tacitus
, some modern historians associate him with an "Irish prince" said to have been entertained by Agricola , Governor of Britain and speculate at Roman sponsorship. His grandson, Conn Cétchathach , is the ancestor of the Connachta who would dominate the Irish Middle Ages. They gained control of what would now be named Connacht. Their close relatives the Érainn (both groups descend from Óengus Tuirmech Temrach ) and the Ulaid
Ulaid
would later lose out to them in Ulster, as the descendants of the Three Collas in Airgíalla and Niall Noígíallach in Ailech extended their hegemony. The Isles in the 5th century. Mainly Goidelic areas. Mainly Pictish areas. Mainly Brythonic areas.

The Gaels
Gaels
emerged into the clear historical record during the classical-era, with ogham inscriptions and quite detailed references in Greco-Roman ethnography (most notably by Ptolemy
Ptolemy
). The Roman Empire conquered most of Britain in the 1st century, but did not conquer Ireland
Ireland
or the far north of Britain. The Gaels
Gaels
had relations with the Roman world , mostly through trade. Roman jewelry and coins have been found at several Irish royal sites, for example. The Gaels, known to the Romans as Scoti , also carried out raids on Roman Britain , together with the Picts
Picts
. These raids increased in the 4th century, as Roman rule in Britain began to collapse . This era was also marked by a Gaelic presence in Britain; in what is today Wales, the Déisi founded the Kingdom of Dyfed and the Uí Liatháin founded Brycheiniog . There was also some Irish settlement in Cornwall
Cornwall
. To the north, the Dál Riata
Dál Riata
are held to have established a territory in Argyll
Argyll
and the Hebrides .

MEDIEVAL

Main articles: Medieval Ireland
Ireland
and Scotland in the Middle Ages

Christianity
Christianity
reached Ireland
Ireland
during the 5th century, most famously through a Romano-British slave Patrick , but also through Gaels
Gaels
such as Declán , Finnian and the Twelve Apostles of Ireland
Ireland
. The abbot and the monk eventually took over certain cultural roles of the aos dána (not least the roles of druí and seanchaí ) as the oral culture of the Gaels
Gaels
was transmitted to script by the arrival of literacy. Thus Christianity
Christianity
in Ireland
Ireland
during this early time retained elements of Gaelic culture .

In the Middle Ages, Gaelic Ireland was divided into a hierarchy of territories ruled by a hierarchy of kings or chiefs. The smallest territory was the túath (plural: túatha), which was typically the territory of a single kin-group. Several túatha formed a mór túath (overkingdom), which was ruled by an overking. Several overkingdoms formed a cóiced (province), which was ruled by a provincial king. In the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
the túath was the main political unit, but during the following centuries the overkings and provincial kings became ever more powerful. By the 6th century, the division of Ireland
Ireland
into two spheres of influence ( Leath Cuinn and Leath Moga ) was largely a reality. In the south, the influence of the Eóganachta based at Cashel grew further, to the detriment of Érainn clans such as the Corcu Loígde and Clann
Clann
Conla . Through their vassals the Déisi (descended from Fiacha Suidhe and later known as the Dál gCais ), Munster was extended north of the River Shannon
River Shannon
, laying the foundations for Thomond
Thomond
. Aside from their gains in Ulster
Ulster
(excluding the Érainn's Ulaid
Ulaid
), the Uí Néill 's southern branch had also pushed down into Mide and Brega . By the 9th century, some of the most powerful kings were being acknowledged as High King of Ireland
High King of Ireland
.

Some, particularly champions of Christianity, hold the 6th to 9th centuries to be a Golden Age for the Gaels. This is due to the influence which the Gaels
Gaels
had across Western Europe
Western Europe
as part of their Christian missionary activities. Similar to the Desert Fathers
Desert Fathers
, Gaelic monastics were known for their asceticism . Some of the most celebrated figures of this time were Columba , Aidan , Columbanus
Columbanus
and others. Learned in Greek and Latin
Latin
during an age of cultural collapse, the Gaelic scholars were able to gain a presence at the court of the Carolingian
Carolingian
Frankish Empire
Frankish Empire
; perhaps the best known example is Johannes Scotus Eriugena . Aside from their activities abroad, insular art flourished domestically, with artifacts such as the Book of Kells
Book of Kells
and Tara Brooch
Tara Brooch
surviving. Clonmacnoise
Clonmacnoise
, Glendalough
Glendalough
, Clonard , Durrow and Inis Cathaigh are some of the more prominent Ireland-based monasteries founded during this time.

There is some evidence that the Gaels
Gaels
may have visited the Faroe Islands and Iceland
Iceland
before the Norse , and that Gaelic monks known as papar lived there before being driven out by the incoming Norsemen. High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill was one of the leaders in the struggle with the Norsemen.

The late 8th century heralded outside involvement in Gaelic affairs, as Norsemen from Scandinavia
Scandinavia
, known as the Vikings
Vikings
, began to raid and pillage settlements looking for booty. The earliest recorded raids were on Rathlin and Iona
Iona
in 795; these hit and run attacks continued for some time until the Norsemen began to settle in the 840s at Dublin (setting up a large slave market), Limerick
Limerick
, Waterford
Waterford
and elsewhere. The Norsemen also took most of the Hebrides and the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
from the Dál Riata
Dál Riata
clans and established the Kingdom of the Isles .

At the same time, the Picts
Picts
were becoming Gaelicised, and the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata
Dál Riata
merged with Pictland to form the Kingdom of Alba . Kenneth MacAlpin
Kenneth MacAlpin
and the House of Alpin are most associated with this process.

After a spell when the Norsemen were driven from Dublin
Dublin
by Leinsterman Cerball mac Muirecáin , they returned in the reign of Niall Glúndub , heralding a second Viking period. The Dublin Norse—some of them, such as Uí Ímair king Ragnall ua Ímair
Ragnall ua Ímair
now partly Gaelicised as the Norse-Gaels
Norse-Gaels
—were a serious regional power, with territories across Northumbria
Northumbria
and York . At the same time, the Uí Néill branches were involved in an internal power struggle for hegemony between the northern or southern branches. Donnchad Donn raided Munster and took Cellachán Caisil of the Eóganachta
Eóganachta
hostage. The destabilisation led to the rise of the Dál gCais
Dál gCais
and Brian Bóruma . Through military might, Brian went about building a Gaelic Imperium under his High Kingship, even gaining the submission of Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill . They were involved in a series of battles against the Vikings: Tara , Glenmama and Clontarf . The last of these saw Brian's death in 1014. Brian's campaign is glorified in the Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib ("The War of the Gaels
Gaels
with the Foreigners").

The Irish Church became closer to Continental models with the Synod of Ráth Breasail and the arrival of the Cistercians
Cistercians
. There was also more trade and communication with Normanised Britain and France. Between themselves, the Ó Briain and the Ó Conchobhair attempted to build a national monarchy.

The remainder of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
was marked by conflict between Gaels and Normans . The Norman invasion of Ireland took place in stages during the late 12th century. Norman mercenaries landed in Leinster
Leinster
in 1169 at the request of Diarmait Mac Murchada
Diarmait Mac Murchada
, who sought their help in regaining his throne. By 1171 the Normans had gained control of Leinster, and King Henry II of England
Henry II of England
, with the backing of the Papacy, established the Lordship of Ireland
Ireland
. The Norman monarchy in England claimed sovereignty over this territory, leading to centuries of conflict between the Normans and the native Irish. The origins of a literary anti-Gaelic sentiment was born at this time, and developed by the likes of Gerald of Wales
Wales
, as part of a propaganda campaign (with a Gregorian "reform" gloss) to justify taking Gaelic lands. Scotland also came under Norman influence in the 12th century. The Davidian Revolution saw the Normanisation of Scotland's monarchy, government and church; the founding of burghs , which became mainly English-speaking; and the royally-sponsored immigration of Norman aristocrats. This Normanisation was mainly limited to the Scottish Lowlands . In Ireland, the Normans carved out their own semi-independent lordships, but many Gaelic Irish kingdoms remained outside Norman control and gallowglass warriors were brought in from the Highlands to fight for various Irish kings.

In 1315, a Scottish army landed in Ireland
Ireland
as part of Scotland's war against England . It was led by Edward Bruce , brother of Scottish king Robert the Bruce
Robert the Bruce
. Despite his own Norman ancestry, Edward urged the Irish to ally with the Scots by invoking a shared Gaelic ancestry and culture, and most of the northern kings acknowledged him as High King of Ireland. However, the campaign ended three years later with Edward's defeat and death in the Battle of Faughart .

A Gaelic Irish resurgence began in the mid-14th century: English royal control shrank to an area known as the Pale and, outside this, many Norman lords adopted Gaelic culture, becoming culturally Gaelicised. The English government tried to prevent this through the Statutes of Kilkenny (1366), which forbade English settlers from adopting Gaelic culture, but the results were mixed and particularly in the West, some Normans became Gaelicised.

IMPERIAL

Gaelic Irish men and noblewomen, c.1575 See also: History of Ireland
Ireland
(1536–1691) and Scotland
Scotland
in the early modern period

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Gaels
Gaels
were affected by the policies of the Tudors
Tudors
and the Stewarts who sought to anglicise the population and bring both Ireland
Ireland
and the Highlands under stronger centralised control, as part of what would become the British Empire . In 1542, Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
declared the Lordship of Ireland
Ireland
a Kingdom and himself King of Ireland. The new English, whose power lay in the Pale of Dublin, then began to conquer the island . Gaelic kings were encouraged to apply for a surrender and regrant : to surrender their lands to the king, and then have them regranted as freeholds . Those who surrendered were also expected to follow English law and customs, speak English, and convert to the Protestant Anglican Church . Decades of conflict followed in the reign of Elizabeth I , culminating in the Nine Years\' War (1594–1603). The war ended in defeat for the Irish Gaelic alliance, and brought an end to the independence of the last Irish Gaelic kingdoms.

In 1603, with the Union of the Crowns
Union of the Crowns
, King James of Scotland
Scotland
also became king of England and Ireland. James saw the Gaels
Gaels
as a barbarous and rebellious people in need of civilising, and believed that Gaelic culture should be wiped out. Also, while most of Britain had converted to Protestantism, most Gaels
Gaels
had held on to Catholicism. When the leaders of the Irish Gaelic alliance fled Ireland
Ireland
in 1607, their lands were confiscated. James set about colonising this land with English-speaking Protestant settlers from Britain, in what became known as the Plantation of Ulster
Ulster
. It was meant to establish a loyal British Protestant colony in Ireland's most rebellious region and to sever Gaelic Ulster's links with Gaelic Scotland. In Scotland, James attempted to subdue the Gaelic clans and suppress their culture through laws such as the Statutes of Iona . He also attempted to colonise the Isle of Lewis with settlers from the Lowlands .

Since then, the Gaelic language
Gaelic language
has gradually diminished in most of Ireland
Ireland
and Scotland. The 19th century was the turning point as The Great Hunger in Ireland, and across the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
the Highland Clearances , caused mass emigration (leading to Anglicisation, but also a large diaspora ). The language was rolled back to the Gaelic strongholds of the north west of Scotland, the west of Ireland
Ireland
and Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island
in Nova Scotia.

MODERN

The Gaelic revival also occurred in the 19th century, with organisations such as Conradh na Gaeilge and An Comunn Gàidhealach attempting to restore the prestige of Gaelic culture and the socio-communal hegemony of the Gaelic languages. Many of the participants in the Irish Revolution of 1912–1923 were inspired by these ideals and so when a sovereign state was formed (the Irish Free State ), post-colonial enthusiasm for the re- Gaelicisation of Ireland was high and promoted through public education. Results were very mixed however and the Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
where native speakers lived continued to retract. In the 1960s and 70s, pressure from groups such as Misneach (supported by Máirtín Ó Cadhain ), the Gluaiseacht Chearta Siabhialta na Gaeltachta and others; particularly in Connemara ; paved the way for the creation of development agencies such as Údarás na Gaeltachta and state media (television and radio) in Irish.

The last native speaker of Manx died in the 1970s, though use of the Manx language never fully ceased. There is now a resurgent language movement and Manx is once again taught in all schools as a second language and in some as a first language.

CULTURE

Main articles: Gaelic Ireland and Culture of Scotland in the High Middle Ages
Middle Ages

Gaelic society was traditionally made up of kin groups known as clans, each with its own territory and headed by a male chieftain. Succession to the chieftainship or kingship was through tanistry . When a man became chieftain or king, a relative was elected to be his deputy or 'tanist' (tánaiste). When the chieftain or king died, his tanist would automatically succeed him. The tanist had to share the same great-grandfather as his predecessor (i.e. was of the same derbfhine ) and he was elected by freemen who also shared the same great-grandfather. Gaelic law is known as the Fénechas or Brehon law . The Gaels
Gaels
have always had a strong oral tradition , maintained by shanachies . In the ancient and medieval era, most Gaels
Gaels
lived in roundhouses and ringforts . The Gaels
Gaels
had their own style of dress, which became the modern belted plaid and kilt in Scotland. They also have their own style of music and dance, and their own sports (see Gaelic games
Gaelic games
and Highland games
Highland games
).

LANGUAGE

Main article: History of the Irish language
Irish language

Emergence

Auraicept na n-Éces
Auraicept na n-Éces
, 7th century, explaining ogham .

The Gaelic languages
Gaelic languages
are part of the Celtic languages
Celtic languages
and fall under the wider Indo-European language
Indo-European language
family. There are two main historical theories concerning the origin and development of the Gaelic languages from a Proto-Celtic root: the North Atlantic-based Insular Celtic hypothesis posits that Goidelic and Brythonic languages have a more recent common ancestor than Continental Celtic languages
Celtic languages
, while the Q-Celtic and P-Celtic hypothesis posits that Goidelic is more closely related to the Celtiberian language
Celtiberian language
, while Brythonic is closer to the Gaulish language .

Estimates of the emergence of proto-Gaelic in Ireland
Ireland
vary widely from the introduction of agriculture c. 7000–6000 BC to around the first few centuries BC. Little can be said with certainty, as the language now known as Old Irish —ancestral to modern Irish , Scots Gaelic and Manx —only began to be properly recorded with the Christianisation of Ireland
Ireland
in the 4th century, after the introduction of the Roman script . Primitive Irish
Primitive Irish
does appear in a specialised written form, using a unique script known as Ogham
Ogham
. The oldest examples of Ogham
Ogham
have survived in the form of memorial inscriptions or short epitaphs on pillar-like stone monuments (see Mac Cairthinn mac Coelboth ). Ogham
Ogham
stones are found throughout Ireland
Ireland
and neighbouring parts of Britain. This form of written Primitive Irish
Primitive Irish
is thought to have been in use as early as 1000 BC. The script frequently encodes a name or description of the owner and surrounding region, and it is possible that the inscribed stones may have represented territorial claims.

Contemporary

Respondents who stated they could speak Irish and Gaelic in the 2011 censuses.

The Gaelic languages
Gaelic languages
have been in steep decline since the beginning of the 19th century, when they were majority languages of Ireland
Ireland
and the Scottish Highlands; today they are endangered languages . The spread of the English language
English language
has resulted in a vast majority of people of Gaelic ancestry being unable to speak a Goidelic language. As far back as the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1366, the British government had dissuaded use of Gaelic for political reasons. The Statutes of Iona in 1609 and the SSPCK in the Highlands (for most of its history) are also notable examples. As the old Gaelic aristocracy were displaced or assimilated, the language lost its prestige and became primarily a peasant language, rather than one of education and government.

During the 19th century, a number of Gaeilgeoir organisations were founded to promote a broad cultural and linguistic revival. Conradh na Gaeilge (English: the Gaelic League) was set up in 1893 and had its origins in Charles Owen O\'Conor 's Gaelic Union, itself a derivative of the Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language . Similar Highland Gaelic groups existed, such as An Comunn Gàidhealach . At this time, Irish Gaelic was widely spoken along the Western seaboard (and a few other enclaves) and the Gaelic League began defining it as the " Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
", idealised as the core of true Irish-Ireland, rather than the Anglo-dominated Dublin. Although the Gaelic League itself aimed to be apolitical, this ideal was attractive to militant republicans such as the Irish Republican Brotherhood , who formulated and led the Irish Revolution at the turn of the 20th century; a key leader, Pádraig Pearse , imagined an Ireland
Ireland
"Not merely Free but Gaelic as well – Not merely Gaelic but Free as well." Scottish Gaelic did not undergo as extensive of a politicalisation at this juncture, as nationalists there tended to focus on the Lowland mythos of William Wallace rather than the Gàidhealtachd .

During the 1950s, the independent Irish state developed An Caighdeán Oifigiúil as a national standard for the Irish language
Irish language
(using elements from local dialects but leaning towards Connacht Irish ), with a simplified spelling. Until 1973, school children had to pass Modern Irish to achieve a Leaving Cert and studying the subject remains obligatory. There are also Gaelscoileanna
Gaelscoileanna
where children are taught exclusively through the medium of Irish. In the Gaeltacht itself, the language has continued to be in crisis under the pressure of globalism, but there are institutions such as Údarás na Gaeltachta and a Minister for the Gaeltacht
Gaeltacht
, as well as media outlets such as TG4 and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta to support it. The last native Manx Gaelic speaker died in 1974, although there are ongoing attempts at revival. While the Gàidhealtachd has retracted in the Highlands, Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
has enjoyed renewed support with the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 , establishing the Bòrd na Gàidhlig under the devolved Scottish Government
Scottish Government
. This has seen the growth of Gaelic medium education . There are also media outlets such as BBC Alba
BBC Alba
and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal , although these have been criticized for excessive use of English and pandering to an English-speaking audience.

RELIGION

Pre-Christian

An artistic rendering of the hero Fionn mac Cumhaill
Fionn mac Cumhaill
and the Fianna
Fianna
warrior band.

The traditional, or "pagan ", worldview of the pre-Christian Gaels
Gaels
of Ireland
Ireland
is typically described as animistic , polytheistic , ancestor venerating and focused on the hero cult of archetypal Gaelic warriors such as Cú Chulainn and Fionn mac Cumhaill
Fionn mac Cumhaill
. The four seasonal festivals celebrated in the Gaelic calendar , still observed to this day, are Imbolc
Imbolc
, Beltane
Beltane
, Lughnasadh
Lughnasadh
and Samhain
Samhain
. While the general worldview of the Gaelic tradition has been recovered, a major issue for academic scholars is that Gaelic culture was oral prior to the coming of Christianity
Christianity
and monks were the first to record the beliefs of this rival worldview as a "mythology" . Unlike other religions, there is no overall "holy book " systematically setting out exact rules to follow, but various works, such as the Lebor Gabála Érenn , Dindsenchas , Táin Bó Cúailnge
Táin Bó Cúailnge
and Acallam na Senórach , represent the metaphysical orientation of Gaelachas.

The main gods held in high regard were the Tuatha Dé Danann
Tuatha Dé Danann
, the superhuman beings said to have ruled Ireland
Ireland
before the coming of the Milesians, known in later times as the aes sídhe . Among the gods were male and female deities such as The Dagda , Lugh
Lugh
, Nuada , The Morrígan , Aengus
Aengus
, Brigid and Áine , as well as many others. Some of them were associated with specific social functions, seasonal events and personal archetypal qualities. Some physical locations of importance in Ireland
Ireland
related to these stories include the Brú na Bóinne , Hill of Tara
Hill of Tara
and Hill of Uisneach . Although the sídhe were held to intervene in worldly affairs sometimes, particularly battles and issues of sovereignty, the gods were held to reside in the Otherworld , also known as Mag Mell
Mag Mell
(Plain of Joy) or Tír na nÓg (Land of the Young). This realm was variously held to be located on a set of islands or underground. The Gaels
Gaels
believed that certain heroic persons could gain access to this spiritual realm, as recounted in the various echtra (adventure) and immram (voyage) tales.

Christianity

High cross
High cross
on Iona
Iona
, where Columba founded a monastery. Main article: Gaelic Christianity
Christianity

The Gaels
Gaels
underwent Christianisation during the 5th century and that religion, de facto, remains the predominant one to this day, although irreligion is fast rising. At first the Christian Church had difficulty infiltrating Gaelic life: Ireland
Ireland
had never been part of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and was a decentralised tribal society, making patron-based mass conversion problematic. It gradually penetrated through the remnants of Roman Britain
Roman Britain
and is especially associated with the activities of Patrick , a Briton who had been a slave in Ireland. He tried to explain its doctrines by using elements of native folk tradition, so Gaelic culture itself was not completely cast aside and to some extent local Christianity
Christianity
was Gaelicised. The last High King inaugurated in the pagan style was Diarmait mac Cerbaill . The 6th-9th centuries are generally held to be the height of Gaelic Christianity
Christianity
, with numerous saints, scholars and works of devotional art.

This balance began to unravel during the 12th century with the polemics of Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard of Clairvaux
, who attacked various Gaelic customs (including polygamy and hereditary clergy) as "pagan". The Catholic Church of the time, fresh from its split with the Orthodox Church , was becoming more centralised and uniform throughout Europe with the Gregorian Reform and military reliance on Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
at the fringes of Latin
Latin
Christendom , particularly the warlike Normans. As part of this, the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
actively participated in the Norman conquest of Gaelic Ireland, with the issuing of Laudabiliter (claiming to gift the King of England the title "Lord of Ireland
Ireland
") and in Scotland
Scotland
strongly encouraged king David who Normanised that country . Even within orders such as the Franciscans
Franciscans
, ethnic tensions between Norman and Gael continued throughout the later Middle Ages, as well as competition for ecclesiastic posts.

During the 16th century, with the emergence of Protestantism and Tridentine Catholicism, a distinct Christian sectarianism made its way into Gaelic life, with societal effects carrying on down to this day. The Tudor state used the Anglican Church to bolster their power and enticed native elites into the project, without making much initial effort to convert the Irish Gaelic masses; meanwhile, the mass of Gaeldom (as well as the " Old English
Old English
") became staunchly Catholic . Due to the geopolitical rivalry between Protestant Britain and Catholic France and Spain, the Catholic religion and its mostly Gaelic followers in Ireland
Ireland
were persecuted for a long time. In the Scottish Highlands too, the Gaels
Gaels
were generally slow to accept the Scottish Reformation. Efforts at persuading Highlanders in general of the value of this primarily Lowland movement were hampered by the complicated politics of the Highlands, with religious rivalries and clan antagonism becoming entwined (a prominent example was the intense rivalry, even hatred, between the generally Presbyterian Campbells and the generally Catholic MacDonalds ), but most Highlanders later converted to Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism
in the 19th century during the breakdown of the clan system. In a few remote areas, however, Catholicism was kept alive and even rejuvenated to some extent by Irish Franciscan missionaries, but in most of the Highlands it was replaced by Presbyterianism.

The adoption of the Free Church of Scotland
Scotland
(1843–1900) in the Highlands following the Disruption of 1843
Disruption of 1843
was a reassertion of Gaelic identity in opposition to forces of improvement and clearance.

NOTES

* ^ Gaels
Gaels
have not yet received official recognition of being an indigenous people or the victims of colonization , however this argument has been advanced in regards by Scotland
Scotland
by notable historians such as Michael Newton , Alastair MacIntosh and Iain Mackinnon. * ^ The census returns for the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
are broken down on a constituency country basis. White Irish was an option in the ethnicity section of the 2011 Census of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
; this did not distinguish between those of Gaelic Irish descent and those of Anglo-Irish descent. The results for this were; 531,087 in England and Wales
Wales
, 517,907 in Northern Ireland
Ireland
and 53,000 in Scotland
Scotland
. According to the census, 83% (or 4,399,000) of the population in Scotland identified as "Scottish" and this did not distinguish between Gaelic Highlander and Anglo Lowlander ethnicities. In the rest of the United Kingdom, the Scots were included under White British . * ^ A minority of historical revisionists have come to challenge the traditional account of the origins of Gaelic Scotland
Scotland
as being derived directly from Gaelic Ireland via population movement as laid out in works such as the Senchus fer n-Alban and the Annals of Tigernach . The pioneering figure in this direction is Dr. Ewan Campbell of the University of Glasgow
Glasgow
with his 2001 paper Were the Scots Irish?; an archaeologist, he argues that there is no evidence of mass population movement across the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
for this time period at Dunadd .

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