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4:10pm on Friday, 1st April, 2016:

Past Knowledge


I've seen a few posts in my social media feeds from Irish people complaining that British people know hardly anything about Irish history.

This is indeed true: British people do know hardly anything about Irish history. This shouldn't be taken as a slight, though, because British people know hardly anything about their own history, let alone anyone else's. English schoolchildren probably know something about ancient Greece and ancient Rome, and about the Tudors and World War 2, but that's about all that's guaranteed. Scottish schoolchildren will get something different and so will Welsh schoolchildren, but I doubt they're going to get anything much about each other, let alone about Ireland.

I wish I could say it was better in my day, but the rot had already started even back then. I was taught about dinosaurs, the bronze age, the iron age, the beaker people, the Romans, some of the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts and the English Civil War.

So, Irish friends, don't take modern British ignorance regarding the foundation of the Irish state as a deliberate attempt to downplay its significance. The significance of all history is downplayed here, so you're not being treated as a special case.

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