‘How Young Cormac Mac Airt was Recognised as King’

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

In ancient times, the people of Ireland were internationally renowned for their love of law and their intricate justice system. Law was the articulation of fairness and the embodiment of justice, the application of the law to real scenarios was seen as a manifestation of justice in action, an affirmation of the natural harmonising order of the cosmos. It was Sir John Davies, an Englishman who was instrumental in the final abolishment of Ireland native laws, that said: ‘There is no nation under the sun that does love justice better than Irish’ and this desire for justice permeated the culture, it is sung about in our myth, and it reflects the nature and attitudes of our ancestors.

While we call them the Brehon Laws our ancestors would have been used to knowing them as the Fénechas, the Law of the Féine or ‘free land-tillers’. Unlike the complexities of today’s legal…

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