HBD Chick: What’s in a name? plus for St Patrick’s Day: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil tribal split traced back to 12th century

The Cliffs of Moher are consistently at the top of Ireland’s most visited places and for the most part deservedly so.

we’ve all seen headlines like this…

The 13-year-old Belgian boy fighting in Syria

…only to click through and find that this “belgian’s” name is younes abaaoud and his parents are (or at least his father is) originally from morocco. i know that most of the members of the press are hopelessly politically correct and that they must want to obscure the origins of people like abaaoud — or they really believe it when they say this kid is belgian, which is an even scarier thought — i know this, and i’ve known it for quite a while now, but it still irritates me when i read such headlines…

….since it’s st. patrick’s day (woo-hoo!), i’m going to use ireland as an example. (disclaimer: all of my recent ancestors came from ireland. i’m pretty sure that a very large part of my ancestry is “native irish,” but there’s also some amount of scots and maybe even some norman. i doubt there’s much anglo-irishness in me.)

once upon a time, we had names for the different populations in ireland, and they were actively used: the gaelic or native irish (the people(s) who were in ireland before the viking and norman invasions), the hiberno-normans, the old english, the ulster scots, the anglo-irish. there were even names for rival viking groups at one time (names that were eventually reused for some of the normans). more and more nowadays, however, i see everyone from ireland being called simply “irish.” needless to say, i think we should keep right on using the variety of more specific terms we have.

i can hear some of you objecting already: “but hbd chick! it doesn’t matter anymore! those norman and anglo settlers arrived in ireland so long ago!” oh, really? [links added by me – fine gael and fianna fáil are two of the largest political parties in the republic of ireland]:

“FF and FG tribal split traced back to 12th century”

(Note: HBD Chick always lower case for everything).

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    What does Black Irish mean?
    My great grandfather was described that way.

    • Frau Katze

      It seems rather vague, according to Wiki

      Black Irish is an ambiguous term sometimes used (mainly outside Ireland) as a reference to a dark-haired phenotype appearing in people of Irish origin.[33] However, dark hair in people of Irish descent is common, although darker skin complexions appear less frequently.[34] One popular theory suggests the Black Irish are descendents of survivors of the Spanish Armada, despite research discrediting such claims.[35] In his documentary series Atlantean, Bob Quinn explores an alternative ‘Iberian’ hypothesis, proposing the existence of an ancient sea-trading route skirting the Atlantic coast from North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula to regions such as Connemara. While preferring the term “The Atlantean Irish”, Quinn’s reference to certain phenotypical characteristics (within elements of the Irish populace and diaspora) as possible evidence of a previous Hibernian-Iberian (and possibly Berber) admixture mirrors common descriptions of the Black Irish.[36]

      The term has also come to be used to refer to the African-Irish descendants of those who live on Montserrat.[37] A number of whom have Irish surnames, still retain part of their Irish accents and sing bilingual songs.[38]


    • Frau Katze

      I could ask HBD Chick since she’s Irish (and I’m not).

    • Frau Katze

      She recommends this article which essentially says no one really knows.


  • Frau Katze
    • dance…dancetotheradio

      It’s the one question I forgot to ask my Granddad before he died.
      My wife is Metis and Icelandic.
      I’m English, Dutch and French Canadian (and).
      My kids are a combination of six European nationalities.
      Truly Canadian.
      And I can’t nail down that Irish connection.
      All I know is Great Granddad was one of those kids they sent to Canada to work on the farms before The Great War.
      He got gassed by the Germans.
      In the only picture I have ever seen of him he had a black glove on his right hand that probably concealed a prosthetic.
      And I heard that back then they had jobs shovelling six tons of coal for their daily wage.
      There’s coal chutes in all the old houses in Winnipeg.
      I just wish I knew who he was.

      • Frau Katze

        The vid at the link shows how in fact, there is quite an overlap genetically between the Celts and the people of what it is now Spain and Portugal. My father’s parents were from the extreme far north of Scotland, yet he had black hair and dark brown eyes.

        The blue eyes and light hair seem to have come from further east. Of course the population in Europe is pretty mixed as people kept moving over the centuries. It could be that your granddad simply had dark hair and eyes.

        Yes, your kid are a real mix!

        You could try tracing him back using ancestry.com.

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          You are a fantastic friend Frau Katze.
          Thank you.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            And I am proud of my kids even if they are driving me crazy these days.
            They will figure it out.

          • Frau Katze

            The teen age years can be rough. I still prefer not to think about those years. Yet now they are grown up and doing fine.