Leabhar na hUidhre……an ancient Irish manuscript.

Leabhar na hUidhre……an ancient Irish manuscript.

Leabhar na hUidhre is the oldest surviving manuscript written entirely in Irish. An interesting thing to see on any Ireland tours. It si a bit of a hidden gem.

 It gets its name “The Book of the Dun Cow” because , in the late Middle Ages , its vellum was thought to have come from a grayish-brown cow owned by St. Ciaran , the sixth-century founder of the monastery at Clonmacnoise , County Offlay. 

Most of the manuscript was written there by two monks , one of whom was killed in 1106. 

It contains the oldest copy of the famous epic Tan Bo Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) , and other stories from the Ulster Cycle of  tales , as well as historical and religious tracts. 

 It was used as a ransom payment for a prince in 1359 , it is now in the library of the Royal Irish Academy.

The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) is the premier learned institution in Ireland.  It was founded in Dublin in 1785, the RIA houses an important collection of Irish manuscripts.  If you want to get a taste of Irish history on tours of Ireland the visit the RIA.

Dublin is also easily accessible from Belfast……… on our extended Belfast tours.