Tuesday, July 28, 2009

They Both Got Their Irish Up....And it was the SAME IRISH

"Henry Louis Gates Jr., the black professor at the center of the racial story involving his arrest outside his Harvard house, has spoken proudly of his Irish roots. Bizarrely, he and the Cambridge, MA, officer who arrested him, James Crowley, both trace their ancestry back to the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages, a famous Irish chieftain." [IrishCentral.com]

Interested in Niall?

"Ruthless" "Cunning" "Brilliant" "Prolific"....All these words are used when describing one of the first great High Kings of Ireland, Niall Noigíallach. Born around 342A.D., Niall was "the son of the Irish High King Eochaid Mugmedon and his second wife, Cairenn. Some wicked-stepmothering from Eochaid's first wife, Mongfind, led to Niall having to overcome his half-brothers - who bore the evocative names of Fergus, Ailill, Fiachrae and, er, Brian - in the battle to be their father's successor."

"The epithet "Nine Hostages" derives from Niall's habit of borrowing people from other kingdoms and refusing to give them back. Different accounts have them coming from a variety of places, but in the best-known version there is one each from the five provinces of Ireland, and one each from the Scots, Saxons, Britons and French. Legend has it that another famous hostage of Niall's was Succat - you'd know him as Saint Patrick.

"Irish sources describe Niall's successful raids on Britain and France, and he was probably involved in establishing a Gaelic kingdom in north Wales. At home, Niall consolidated power in the northern region of Ireland, creating the Uí Néill dynasty that would provide the High Kings of Ireland for centuries. As well as the O'Neills, the Scottish clans MacNeil and MacLachlan can also claim descent from Niall.

"Tradition has it that he died in 405 - though some historians argue for a later date - at sea in the Channel (or in France, or in the Alps, or possibly in Scotland). And despite his rampant and academically proven promiscuity, he was actually succeeded by one of the (presumably rare) young men in Ireland whom he hadn't sired himself - his nephew, Dathi."

You mean this guy Niall STOLE ST. PATRICK, and wouldn't give him back? Now THAT is cold.

(Nod to Kevin L, who only takes hostages when he has to. And he always gives them back)