This work is the fruit of the Author's spare moments. Owing to more important duties, there were necessarily frequent interruptions, and weeks often lapsed without making any progress. I have examined the subjects treated to the best of my ability, and have studied carefully the most approved authorities, both ancient and modern. I have tried in forming my opinions not to be swayed by bias or prejudice. In the past we have had two classes of Irish historians holding different views, and these were mere partisans, each party treating the subject from his own standpoint. I have selected, as I think, the most interesting questions, and passed over minor matters, and, I have no doubt, it will be admitted, on all hands, that the subjects discussed are of the highest interest to the lover of Irish History. The chapters on Irish antiquities will be found useful. The West of Ireland abounds in old pagan monuments, West Cork furnishing many valuable specimens. These monuments are most valuable in many respects, and particularly, inasmuch as they give an outline of the history of the remote past. They convey some idea of the civilisation, the religion, the customs, and manners of the people who lived long ago. Many of these were of a sepulchral character, and have resisted the inroads of time and weather, being more lasting than brass, and in this respect, at least, surpass modern memorials. It may be asked why are there so many of these on the West Coast and so few throughout the rest of the country. From this it may be inferred that the West was the cradle of the first inhabitants, and that they did not come across from Great Britain, and that the monuments must have been raised at an early date. In course of time, as succeeding generations moved inland, new ideas arose, and old customs were abandoned.

The Battle of Kinsale was one of the decisive battles of the world's history. If the Irish won that battle—and they could have won it—Ireland probably would be an independent nation ever since, because England's power was shattered, and she depended mainly on the support of Irish soldiers, who formed the bulk of her army, and who would certainly desert in the event of an Irish victory. The chapter on this subject, as that on the Siege of Dunboy, should be treated as belonging to the general history of the country, but I have brought them under the heading of local history as being in accordance with the scope of the work.

W. O'H.

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Early Irish History and Antiquities, and the History of West Cork

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