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Random Thoughts

Whither My Celtic Heritage?

Cú ChulainnI’m fully aware that Ireland’s Celtic heritage is largely the invention of WB Yeats and his buddies; that the concept of a coherent and consistent Irish cultural identity was not a part of the Irish public consciousness before the advent of the 20th Century. But I’ve always been perfectly happy to buy into the idea, even though I’m not particularly nationalistic in my outlook. I’m a European and a citizen of the world.

Anyway, it came to my notice recently that the Irish apparently have a lot in common, genetically speaking, with the Portuguese. I find this very interesting and intriguing. However, the very latest info now suggests that 85% of our genetic makeup was contributed by Turkish farmers who migrated to Ireland somewhere in the distant past. Apparently, the womenfolk took a real shine to these new guys on the block (there was little or no raping and pillaging involved during this particular invasion, thank God).

It just goes to show that we all really are mongrels and that the doctrines put forth by neo-Nazis and white supremacists and the like are such a load of hogwash. Anyone thinking about racial ‘purity’, whatever that is, and however desirable it is, should have a read of HG WellsA Short History of the World. It’s description of the myriad migrations of peoples over the millennia and all the associated canoodling (to use a euphemistic term) puts paid to any notion that we are anything but a mixed bag of genetic material. Anyway, I’m still Irish and I like being Irish (in a non-patriotic way). I’m just going to have to get used to not having much Celtic blood in my veins.


About John Kenny

I have had fiction published in Fear the Reaper, Emerald Eye: The Best of Irish Imaginative Fiction, Transtories, The World SF Blog, Revival Literary Journal, First Contact, FTL, Woman’s Way, Jupiter Magazine and several other venues. Currently looking for a publisher for my novel Down and Out. I was co-editor of Albedo One from 1993 to 2013 and co-administrator of its International Aeon Award for Short Fiction from 2005 to 2013. Previous to that I edited several issues of FTL (1990 – 1992). I’ve also edited Writing4all: The Best of 2009 and Box of Delights, an original horror anthology from Aeon Press Books.


2 thoughts on “Whither My Celtic Heritage?

  1. I’ve always felt Irishness is, and has for a long time been aspirational – think of the many invaders who became “more Irish than the Irish themselves”.

    Posted by Anne Hogan-White | December 20, 2011, 10:25 am

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