It has been remarked by an historian working on Ireland that the Irish have a more developed sense of history than any other people he knew (Richter, 1986: 41). But if the Irish are keenly aware of history, that history is often manipulated to suit those telling it. Thus the interpretations of history have changed significantly over time. Schoolchildren in Ireland were until quite recently taught a version of history that suited the political leaders of the state, but one that is highly contested by professional historians. A good example of this disjoint between popularly accepted historical interpretation and interpretations established and backed up by evidence relates to Ireland’s early settlers.
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