The River As A Hub For Transportation Throughout History Essay

1538 Words Dec 10th, 2016 7 Pages
The river Shannon is easily the longest river in the British Isles, running through 11 of Ireland’s 32 counties. The river also creates three lakes on it’s path to the Atlantic Ocean, Lough Allen, Lough Ree and Lough Derg. This, interestingly, has made the river a hub for transportation throughout history. In fact, one could argue that the Shannon was one of the main reasons foreigners and invaders were able to spread themselves throughout Ireland. Incredibly, the portion of Ireland around the River Shannon has several hundred years worth of history where non-Irish peoples controlled the area. Due to river access, the Vikings alone controlled western Ireland from the late 8th century to the end of the 10th century. From the most ancient of celtic tribes to conquests of the English, the Shannon has always played a major role in giving foreigners access to the Island.
One of first peoples to use the Shannon as a gateway to Ireland were the warlike Gangani tribe. A seafaring people, the Gangani were originally from the northern edge of Wales. The earliest known evidence of them in Wales dates back to around 350 B.C. However, a few hundred years later, they somehow ended up in western Ireland. As written by Hector MacLean of Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, “The Gangani, in Carnarvon in Wales, and in Clare in Ireland, from Welsh, gaing, ‘a wedge’, and ani (fhienna Veneti), ‘the wedge Veneti’; so called from the shape of the districts in Carnarvon…

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