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The Protestant Plantations

To shore up Protestant Ireland, 'Plantations' were established in under which Protestant Scots and English settlers were offered alienated land in Ireland, further exacerbating the local feelings of injustice and religious persecution, that as we discovered still prevail today, more than five centuries and twenty generations later.  

Across Europe seemingly endless wars of religion broke out, bringing an end to the middle ages.  In the midst of this the English Revolution took place, resulting in the Execution of Charles I in 1649.  The impact on Ireland was the so called 'Protestant Ascendancy'. This was political, economic, and social domination of Ireland by Protestant landowners and the clergy of the Church of Ireland.  Lacking the subtlety of the English Church they had become even more rigid in their piety.  Politics and high society now effectively excluded Roman Catholics but also Presbyterians and other non-conformist Protestant denominations, along with Jews and other non-Christians. The Roman Catholics who made up the majority of the working population were even excluded from the professions and the poor were often treated as peasants, a step above slaves, part of a property's livestock.  


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Londonderry one of the Plantations that lasted

This Protestant tradition was an aspect of Ireland I hadn't anticipated.  Being brought up in Australia in the 1950's 'Irish' was synonymous with 'Roman Catholic' and almost vice versa, until Italians and Maltese arrived in greater numbers. Sure, Northern Ireland was Protestant but they had not come to Australia in any great numbers. Now I was discovering that the Irish aristocracy, professional and middle classes were Protestant. It was just that they had generally avoided being jailed and transported as convicts; nor did they have the need to flee poverty in the hope of a better life elsewhere.

My paternal grandmother's family, resident in Northern England, were distant decedents of an Irish aristocratic family listed in Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland.  Read more...

Today 78% of the population of the Republic of Ireland is Roman Catholic; while 45% of the population of Northern Ireland is Protestant and 40% is Catholic.  Organised religion is on the decline in percentage terms in both countries.




# Michael 2020-08-28 06:06
This article is brilliant. I've learnt a lot from reading about these travels
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Argentina & Uruguay



In October 2011 our little group: Sonia, Craig, Wendy and Richard visited Argentina. We spent two periods of time in Buenos Aires; at the start and at the end of our trip; and we two nights at the Iguassu Falls.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

A Twisted Pigs Tale


This is a little exercise in creative writing.  The brief was to reimagine the Three Pigs from a different perspective.   The original is a parable about the virtues of forward thinking, providence and hard work, so that only the most abstemious pig survives the metaphorical wolf.  I thought it was a bit tough on the middle pig who is just trying to find a balance between work and play.   So here is my version:


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Opinions and Philosophy

Whither Peak Oil



The following paper was written back in 2007.  Since that time the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) struck and oil prices have not risen as projected.  But we are now hearing about peak oil again and there have been two programmes on radio and TV in the last fortnight floating the prospect of peak oil again. 

At the end of 2006 the documentary film A Crude Awakening warned that peak oil, ‘the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of production enters its terminal decline’, is at hand. 

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