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True OriginsContentsPrefaceIntroductionChapter OneChapter Two

Chapter ThreeChapter FourChapter FiveChapter SixChapter SevenChapter Eight

Chapter NineChapter TenChapter elevenChapter TwelveChapter ThirteenChapter Fourteen

Chapter FifteenChapter SixteenChapter SeventeenBibliography

[The True Origins of Irish Society Copyright © 2003 by Desmond Keenan
Hard copy of book available from and]


Like most children educated in Ireland I has indoctrinated in the Nationalist version of Irish history. We were assured that the Irish were a separate race and that Ireland was their country. It was however unjustly occupied by an alien race, alien in race and religion. All virtues were attributed to the Irish race and all vices and disasters to the Anglo-Saxon race. Then the Irish warriors fought a war against the invaders and achieved their independence. It was a long time before I realised that there was very little truth in this version of Irish history.

Two things in particular led me to ask myself how true the national version of Irish history was. The struggles of the ‘Land League’ against the alleged oppressions of the landlords had been held up to us as a great model to be imitated, and of which to be proud. Then I realised that the leaders of the Land League were often the blood brothers of the Tammany Hall politicians in the United States, renowned throughout the world for their corruption and violence.

The other thing that happened to me was the purchase of a cheap second-hand copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf from a stall in a London street. I thought I might just glance through it to see what it was about, but I ended up reading it carefully from cover to cover. You see, Hitler’s national socialist account of German history was almost identical with the nationalist Catholic account of Irish history. The conclusion had to be that if the one account was pernicious nonsense then the other had also to be pernicious nonsense.

The question then posed itself, how could one write a history of Ireland which was not pernicious nonsense.

Histories of Germany based on National Socialist ideology have long since disappeared from Germany. In Russia and countries in Eastern Europe the equally ideological Marxist version of their history has been equally rejected. In Ireland, many scholars today do not accept the Nationalist version of Irish history. Alleged facts on which it was supposed to be based have been probed and proved false or inaccurate. But as one of them remarked, it is still regarded as almost heresy to suggest that that there was never a Celtic invasion of Ireland (Raftery). The existence of a Celtic Race and their successful occupation of Ireland form the very basis of Irish nationalist mythology and the justification for murder campaigns to secure the ‘freedom of Ireland’.

            There is still however an enormous market, especially in Ireland and the United States, for books based on nationalist mythology even though they are fanciful pieces of propaganda. But every wise man knows that in real life all the good people are not on one side and all the bad people on the other. Such books read like novels and are in fact largely fiction. One problem in writing a book based on ascertained fact is that it is much more difficult to read, more difficult to get an over-all picture from it, and is more demanding on the reader. But the price of getting the truth is worth the effort.



Copyright Desmond J. Keenan, B.S.Sc.; Ph.D. ;.London, U.K.