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Text #1474

Baillie. "Relentless rain could become the norm". Irish Examiner


Professor Mike Baillie from Queen’s University Belfast made the discovery through examining rings in Irish trees which amazingly give a yearly record of the weather stretching back 7,000 years.

And he managed to show that Ireland’s 20-year flood coincided with the traditional date for Noah’s biblical deluge, which is 2349BC, as well as ancient tales of massive monsoons in China and Central America.

“According to the ancient Annals of the Four Masters1, the whole of Ireland had to be evacuated at this time,” says Prof Baillie in The Secrets of the Irish Landscape documentary. […]

“For this 20-year period it looked like the cereal crops the farmers were growing disappeared and the forests began to come back which meant farmers stopped farming.

“The next piece of evidence in the Irish annals says Ireland was abandoned in the same 20 years because the weather was so bad,” said Mr. Crowley.

The documentary reveals another 20-year deluge of rain in the country starting in 1159 BC which led to the failure of cereal crops and the beginning of Ireland’s love affair with cows as grass was the only crop suited to the rain.

“The last major weather event happens around 530AD where it appears to rain for about 10 years,” said Mr. Crowley. 2

  1. The annals are mainly a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636 at a Franciscan friary near the Drowes river, now in County Leitrim, and on the border with County Donegal and County Sligo. The patron of the project was Fearghal Ó Gadhra, M.P., a Gaelic lord in Coolavin, County Sligo. The chief compiler of the annals was Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh from Ballyshannon, who was assisted by, among others, Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire and Peregrine Ó Duibhgeannain. Although only one of the authors, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, was a Franciscan friar, they became known as ‘The Four Friars’ or in the original Irish, Na Ceithre Máistrí. The Anglicized version of this was “The Four Masters”, the name that became associated with the annals themselves. The annals are written in Irish. The several manuscript copies are held at Trinity College Dublin, the Royal Irish Academy, University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. The Annals are one of the principal Irish-language sources for Irish history up to 1616. While many of the early chapters are essentially a list of names and dates, the later chapters, dealing with events of which the authors had first-hand accounts, are much more detailed.

  2. The last paragraph in the quoted text said originally “The last major weather event happens around 430AD where it appears to rain for about 10 years” Although after checking with several other articles and Baillie’s articles, it appears an editorial mistake was made and the year referenced should read 530AD. Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, Volume 1 (2952 BC – AD 902) found at [nE]

Text #8971

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Despite the fact that the Annals of the Four Masters is a highly questionable source, this entry will be allowed to stand simply for the dendrochronological input from Professor Baillie.

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