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Irish Travellers .
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Re: Irish Travellers .
Mar 16, 2017, 15:52
Never heard this origin myth for Irish travellers before. It's a good story but like most origin myths it's probably not quite right.

The Gaelic aristocrats who surrendered to Elizabeth 1 did so after a rebellion, or war, that started in the early/mid-1590s. They lost a battle at Kinsale in 1601 and they surrendered in 1603 on surprisingly good terms. But they surrendered without realising that the Queen was dead: this may explain the good terms that were used to obtain the surrender. Their leader, Hugh O'Neill, is described as having been in a rage after he found out.

Prior to their surrender, they seemed to get some level of support in men and munitions through Scotland. They may have thought that they would have got a good deal from James 1, or that they may have been protected by him, when he became king of England.

In any event, the suspicion was that they continued to plot with Spain and when matters came to a head they feared arrest and with that the probability of a show trial. They took as much of their families as they could and fled to the continent, seeking the protection of Spain in 1607.

They and their families spent the rest of their lives plotting a return to Ireland but this was not achieved until 1641. It's fair to say that when that occurred this was not a happy time in Irish history.

In the interim, the plantation of Ulster was initiated following an unsuccessful rebellion by the O'Dohertys after the flight of the earls. The much disputed events of 1641 onwards indicate that despite plantain and private colonisation a large amount of the native population was still in Ulster. While that population may have been displaced to poorer land; it had not at that become a traveller population.
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