Here are some videos that I’ve enjoyed. I hope you do too.
Irish (Gaeilge) has always puzzled me. To my American ears, the sounds and the spelling don’t correspond. Here’s a little five-minute lesson in Irish pronunciation. It’s very fast-paced and I had to watch it several times before it made sense, and plan to watch it a few more times to really get it.
Where did the Irish language and people come from, and how do they relate to other languages and cultures? Here’s a brief but detailed history of the Celtic languages. It will either fascinate or bore you.
Here’s an easy, quick survey of Irish history. It’s really only about 7 minutes because of promotional stuff for “Audible” at the end. It also starts with the Celts and ignores prehistory. That said, it’s a pretty good overview and worth a quick watch.
The History Channel gives an hour-long (short!) documentary on the history of Ireland.
For the moment, this is enough for me. Reading the comments, one would get the impression that Irish history is rather controversial — just like any history. The BBC has produced a large number of documentaries on Ireland and Celtic history, which you can easily find by searching YouTube.
Sites and Sights
“Visions of Ireland” has some wonderful views from the air and provides an excellent foretaste of what awaits us. The commentary is described as “cheesy,” but the film is visually splendid.
I really like this “Ireland from the Air” for the way it combines history and visual splendor. But, at about 45 minutes, it seems to be a first segment of a longer production. I’d love to find the whole thing, and who produced it, but for now, enjoy what we have.
Sumptuous pictures of Glendalough, the monastic complex that has its origins in St. Kevin.
Saints and Spirituality
The Book of Kells, which we will see at Trinity College in Duiblin, is a unique record of ninth-century culture and spirituality in Ireland. Here’s a very good documentary on it.
We’ll visit Kildare, the place of St. Brigid who is very much at the root of Celtic spirituality. Here’s an introduction.
St. Brigid’s Cross is a homey reminder of the mysteries of God’s love. How do you make it? It looks complex, but it’s easy.
And an intriguing look at folk customs about Brigid.