Monday, March 17, 2014

Armenians in Ireland?

Is it true that Christian Armenian missionaries went from Armenia to Ireland very early in Irish (and Armenian) history . . . that today there are still the remnants of an ancient Armenian church in Dublin?  that the "Black" Irish are the result of the Armenians who went to Ireland and stayed and mixed with the resident population? Marash Girl has wondered about this . . . carried it in the back of her mind for years, but she has never found confirmation or denial of this "factoid".  Still wondering . . . Can you, dear reader, help solve the mystery?

All this to say . . . Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. I had always reckoned that the wreckage of the Spanish Armada in 1588, which swept thousands of Spanish sailors on to the shores of Ireland produced the 'black Irish'. It seems to be quite a stretch that a few missionaries could have changed the appearance of so many Irish. The blond Irish are derived from two ethnic groups: the Celts, and the Scandinavians (Vikings). The latter made their appearance in the early 9th century A.D. They raided, then they settled. In fact, all of the northern half of England was under the rule of the Danelaw until william's conquest in 1066 slowly replaced it with Norman law.

  2. The Armenian church sent several archbishops to Ireland several hundred years ago to spread the word, although I don't know if there is actual documentation that delves into that fact. My grandfather used to joke with his Irish customers in his grocery store that St Patrick was Armenian, but there actually might be some truth to that.