Tuesday 25 April 2017

New TV show reveals our hidden history

Fergal Keane, who will present the new series
Fergal Keane, who will present the new series
The cover of the accompanying book 'Story of Ireland'

John Spain Books Editor

St Patrick is credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland but a new TV documentary series reveals he wasn't the first Catholic missionary to arrive on Irish shores.

Earlier missionaries -- such as Palladius, who was sent by Rome to minister to the faithful in Ireland -- were written out of Irish history.

The new 'Story of Ireland' history series, jointly produced by RTE and the BBC, also shows that the Vikings who invaded here were not as ferocious as we have been taught.

The series is presented by award-winning BBC reporter Fergal Keane.

Up to now, Irish history has been told as an epic story of a Celtic Utopia, a succession of invaders and the 800-year struggle for freedom. But the real story of Ireland has played out on the larger international stage, according to this series and an accompanying book, subtitled 'In Search of a New National Memory'.

The book is written by the Trinity College academic Neil Hegarty, who wanted to highlight the way in which Irish history has been marked and influenced by other cultures and societies.

The 370-page book is launched tomorrow and the TV series begins on RTE 1 next Tuesday at 10.15pm, a week before it begins on BBC.

Irish Independent

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