Before the final takeover of the ancient Gaelic lands by English in the 17th century, there was law and order. Named the Brehon laws after wandering lawyers, these laws presided over the land and people. Though some of them were quite strange. For example, the only musician with substantial status was the harpist. Other musicians such as trumpet players and timpanists had no status in their communities. Another interesting law protected pregnant woman. It read that if a pregnant wife wanted a certain food and her husband refused it to her through neglect, he must pay a fine. Today is the a day to thank your local Irish scholars. Without Eugene O’Curry and John O’Donovan, we would have never known of the Brehon laws-and their true oddity.
Musings, ramblings and thought provoking articles from our team of talented writers - all views expressed are their own!