In Australia the outlaw NED KELLY became a folk hero against the British Colonial administration. The standard bog-Irish prejudice transferred to the Colonies. Sometimes you don’t even realise you are prejudiced until something switches the neuron lights on.
For Fifty Years my husband had linked his paternal lineage to the Hero ROB ROY. Quite logical for a young boy called ROY, with a surname McNEILL…..Our grandson runs around with his superhero cape on, his grandfather Roy, when a Yorkshire lad in the 1950’s collected comics and patiently waited for the T.V. series.
Roy’s parents would have been encouraged he spent his pocket-money at Leeds markets, investing in the second-hand colour magazines, KNOWLEDGE of 1962 which grows into an encyclopaedia(and he hasn’t thrown them out yet)…
Being a MOD at 14years, Roy fancied himself as a lover of THE ENLIGHTENMENT which he learned from the Time-Life Books of 1966. The “Great Ages of Man” accompanied the Collier’s Encyclopaedia’s sold by a door-to-door salesman in his new landscape of Highett in suburban Melbourne.
When I met Roy and became a McNeill one habit I learned to love was listening to the ABCScience show at midday every Saturday(and for the next 32 years!)
With the advent of the DNA science it was a chance to confirm what he had always imagined. When he got the results from a sample of his Y-DNA it was not the Scottish hero ROB ROY MacGREGOR who was his direct ancestor but the Irish War-Lord Niall of the Nine Hostages!
Link to UI NIALL The legendary Great Grand Daddy of Celtic lore.Spreading the seed story!
If it wasn’t enough to know you received a Y chromosome from the pagan High King Niall who kidnapped St. Patrick as a boy thus triggering the motivation to convert the Irish to Christianity, the story has leaped into my imagination with a Spanish migratory path.
“Galicia, northern Spain, ‘the land of a thousand rivers’, is famous for the ‘city of glass’, La Coruna, the treacherous shipwrecked coast Costa de la Muerte (the Coast of Death) and its unmistakably Celtic roots.
Due to centuries of shared fishing traditions and cross-emigration, Galicia has developed a unique culture, but one that is profoundly influenced and inspired by Ireland.
The region boasts a folk music tradition with tin whistles, fiddles and bagpipes, a form of traditional dancing and a similarly rich literary and folkloric history. In return Galicia has provided Ireland with one of its most potent symbols.
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ the Galician King of Spain Milesius sent his three sons, Ir, Heber and Heremon, to invade and conquer Ireland – promising the island to the first of the siblings to touch its soil.
As the legend goes, each of the parties raced towards the shore and one of the sons cut off his own hand with a sword and throwing it onto dry land so that he could lay claim to the country. The soil was Ulster, and the Red Hand has persisted ever since.
Due to the Irish oral tradition of storytelling, there are many variations of this tale. In some accounts the invaders are Vikings, returning Irish mercenaries or Scottish clansmen. One even attributes the symbol to battle-wounds received when two giants brutally fought each other across the mountains and valleys of the North.
Debate around its precise origins must be tempered by the recognition that the tale is likely apocryphal and of little factual historical basis. The Red Hand symbol is older than, and as universal as, civilisation itself, continually recurring in aboriginal art, Native American engravings right back to the cave paintings of Cro-Magnon humans”.