By Paul F. State
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Extra info for A Brief History of Ireland
Located usually at an ancient tribal cemetery, the oénach would be a festive event. Laws were discussed and defined, marriages celebrated, and deaths recorded. Pleasure followed business. Games would be played and horse races held, an early manifestation of a sport that the Irish would come to love. Horses were prized possessions, and they thrived in Ireland, where the moist climate ensured the growth of lush pastures and the limestone subsoil gave to the grass healthy doses of bone-building calcium.
The Irish church formulated its own law, assembled in the Collectio canonum Hibernensis (The collection of Irish canons) by Cú Chuimae of Iona and Rubin MacConnad of Dairinis and dated to the first quarter of the eighth century. Secular legal texts were recorded as well, covering many topics—brehon laws were codified as early as 438.
Drawn first to the glitter of gold, prospectors soon found other metals such as copper, which they reduced to molten form and then cast into shapes in molds. E. metalworkers reached Ireland, where they found natural gold in gravels in the Wicklow streams, including a Bronze Age mine on Mount Gabriel that survives, as well as copper, the latter in abundant amounts in County Kerry and County Cork. The Beaker folk are associated with the first use of copper. E. Metalworkers learned to mix the copper with tin, imported from Cornwall in England where plentiful supplies existed, to produce bronze—a metal that made a stronger, more versatile tool.
A Brief History of Ireland by Paul F. State