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24-Jan-2018 00:50

Some of the Firbolgs, it is said, crossed the seas to the Isles of Arran, where they built the fort of Dun Engus, which still stands and which tradition still associates with their name.Heber and Heremon soon quarrelled, and, Heber falling in battle, Heremon became sole ruler, the first in a long line of kings.They were Celts, and probably came from Gaul to Britain, and from Britain to Ireland, rather than direct from Spain.

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And the Milesians certainly belong to history, though the date of their arrival in Ireland is unknown.

Nor have many of these early kinds been remarkable, if we except Conn of the Hundred Battles, who lived in the first century after Christ; Cormac, who lived a century later; Tuathal, who established the Feis of Tara; Niall, who invaded Britain; and Dathi, who in the fifth century lost his life at the foot of the Alps. Their roads were indeed ill-constructed, their wooden dwellings rude, the dress of their lower orders scanty, their implements of agriculture and war primitive, and so were their land vehicles, and the boats in which they traversed the sea.

On the other hand, some of their swords and shields showed some skill in metal-working, and their war-like and commercial voyages to Britain and Gaul argue some proficiency in shipbuilding and navigation.

Situated in the far west, out of the beaten paths of commercial activity, it was little known to the ancients.

Festus Avienus wrote that it was two days' sail from Britain.Henceforth Ireland was often called Scotia Major and sometimes Ireland, until, after the eleventh century, the name Scotia was dropped and Ireland alone remained.