THE BATTLE OF MOIRA. 1980
This is a painting of mine from 1980 titled ‘The Battle of Moira’ and was commissioned by my friend Ian Adamson for the cover of his book of the same name.
Every picture tells a story but this one tells many.
The original Battle of Moira was the subject of an epic poem called ‘Congal’ by the great Ulster poet and patriot Sir Samuel Ferguson.
Ferguson’s account of the battle has long been regarded as one of the greatest epic poems of all. Titled ‘Congal’ from the name of the principal participants of the great battle, Congal Clean, King of Ulster. Congal fought to maintain the sovereignty of Ulster against the powerful Uí Neill dynasty. His huge army of Ulstermen, Cruitin, Scots, Angles, Saxon, Vikings, Franks and Britons were defeated decisively by the Gaelic armies of Leinster, Connaught and Leath Mogha (Southern Ireland).
Congal was slain in the battle and with him died all hope of Ulster’s independence from Gaelic Ireland.
After the Battle of Moira Ulster was subjugated by the powerful Uí Neill (O’Neill) dynasty, the old Bardic order was overthrown and the migration of the Cruitin, Old Scots and Ulaid -all pre-Celtic tribes of Ancient Ireland -to the kingdom of Dal-Riada Alba (modern Scotland) was accelerated and continued up to the time of the Elizabethan plantations.
The rest is history and today we still have to learn to live together as the consequences of the Plantations and the slaughter of the native Gaelic people continue to reverberate up to this day in Northern Ireland after a vicious 35 year civil war.
All prints, with the exception of the A1: 33”x23”, are printed by me in my studio. The A1:33”x23” prints are printed professionally by a top quality Irish printing company. All prints are reproductions made directly from the original painting/drawing and are as close to the original as is possible.
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