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Missions to the Gaels
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John Donald
Publication Date
01 May 2006
Birlinn Limited
Age Range
16th Century, 17th Century

Missions to the Gaels

Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Ulster and the Highlands and Islands of S
by Fiona A.MacDonald - Find out more about the author

Beginning half a century before the plantation of Ulster, Missions to the Gaels throws fascinating historical perspectives on the origins of the sectarian divisions in northern Ireland. The research is unique in dealing with both Protestants and Catholics, rather than treating only one denomination in isolation. The book explores the intriguing situation that while Scottish Gaelic-speaking ministers laid the foundations of the embryonic Protestant Church in Ireland, at the same time Irish-speaking priests were almost exclusively responsible for the reintroduction of Catholicism to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

But the focus of this book extends beyond narrow ecclesiastical issues, revealing the broader political and cultural factors which motivated the Gaels’ choice of religious alignment and tracing these over two centuries of turbulent change in Gaelic society. The narrative reverberates not only to the resolute determination of small bands of dedicated missionaries, but also with tales of the few who fell by the wayside, thus adding the dimension of anecdotal colour.