The civilization of Ireland (or the Celtic people) is very old. That country has a rich heritage and very old traditions and symbols. The SHAMROCK is a CLOVER that grows abundantly in Ireland. Some people say that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, used the shamrock to spread Christianity in Ireland (the three leaves of the plant represent the Holy Trinity). Other people say that the shamrock and the number three were considered magical in Celtic tradition, so this plant was believed to bring good luck. THE HARP The Irish loved to entertain guests with the use of a harp during the Gaelic times. Since then, it has always been a wellloved symbol or Ireland. The harp became part of the national flag of Ireland from the 18th to the 19th centuries. BREAF HISTORY St. Patrick (432 A.C.): St. Patrick arrives in Ireland, bringing Christianity. (The Protestant faith did not yet exist). Protestant in Ireland (1608): Britain's King James I sends thousands of Protestant English farmers to Ireland to take over land owned by Catholic farmers, mostly in the north. Law against Catholics (1692): new laws forbid Catholics to vote, own land or practice their religion. Such laws remain in effect until 1829. Act of Union (1801): Great Britain and Ireland became the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.” Great Potatoe famine (1846–1848): a million people died. The Easter Rebellion (1916): armed Irish patriots rebelled against British troops in Dublin on the Monday after Easter. The British executed rebel leaders. The Anglo-Irish War between the British and the Irish Republican Army (1919-1921): in a treaty, Britain finally gives up control of most of Ireland but not on the six counties of Ulster (Northern Ireland)-. Irish Republic (1949): Britain declares Ulster a permanent part of the British Empire. The lower 26 counties of Ireland declare themselves the Irish Republic, totally free of British control. FIELDS OF ATHENRY The Fields of Athenry is probably the best-known song about the Great Famine, you can hear the song in many rugby and football grounds of Ireland. It was published in 1979 by Pete St. John. It’s a dialogue between a man, Michael of Athenry, and his wife. He stole wheat and he was arrested and deported in Australia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLZRWNdGCUc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbf-7Ku4Kj4 FIELDS OF ATHENRY CAMPI DI ATHENRY By the lonely prison wall. I heard a young girl calling: -Michael they are taking you away, For you stole Trevelyan's corn. So the young might see the morn. Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay. Accanto al desolato muro di cinta della prigione, sentii una giovinetta chiamare: -Michael ti stanno portando via, per aver rubato il mais di Trevelyan, così che i piccoli potessero vedere la luce del nuovo giorno. Ora una nave prigione giace in attesa nella baia. Low, lie the fields of Athenry, Where once we watched the small free birds fly. Our love was on the wing, We had dreams and songs to sing. It's so lonely round the fields of Athenry. Laggiù, si estendono pianeggianti i campi di Athenry, dove un tempo guardavamo i liberi uccelletti volare. Il nostro amore era in pieno volo, avevamo sogni e canzoni da cantare. Son così desolati i campi di Athenry.