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One of those captured slaves helped to convert the Irish to Christianity - the Romano-British Saint Patrick in the mid-fifth century AD.
Thanks to that, and isolated from the chaos that swept Britain during the Anglo-Saxon invasion, Ireland was able to develop its own rich and prominent Christian culture.
Commenting on the contemporary literary scene, she finds "the idea of 'Irish Literature' restrictive, as it's a very narrow view of Irishness.
The notion of championing a 'national' literature in these post-Brexit, Trump times is jingoistic, and more than a little worrying.
Ireland / Erin The earliest settlers arrived in Ireland around 9500 BC, following the slow Ice Age thaw and a gradual process of rehabitation of the British Isles.
Remnants of their presence are still scattered across the island.
"So many wonderful writers have begun their careers there, and for those of us who love the excitement of discovering a marvellous new voice, literary journals and magazines are the gift packages in which they arrive." Every emerging writer wants their name to appear on the content page of The Stinging Fly, a pioneering print journal and forum for the very best new Irish and international writing, which has produced a new generation of Irish writers such as Paul Murray, Emma Donoghue and Kevin Barry.
The picture after that is very uncertain, but it seems most likely that several small waves of settlers arrived at various subsequent stages.
Kudos for catering to the younger age group, ensuring the continuity of future talent.
Banshee Lit burst onto the scene in 2015, publishing contemporary writing with an emphasis, though not exclusively, on strong female writers. Across the border, the editor of A New Ulster states that their magazine "is ultimately a publication aimed at reaching as many people as possible, sharing poetry, fiction and art with everyone no matter their creed or culture".
Founded in Cork by writers John Keating and Mark O'Connell, it started life as a photocopied DIY 'zine, slowly but steadily evolving into one of the most exciting literary journals in the country with its own publishing arm, The Dreadful Press, and contributors ranging from John Boyne to Paul Muldoon.
Published quarterly and founded in 2010 The Moth, a beautifully produced journal, focuses equally on literature and art, and alongside this they publish an adorable children's magazine aptly titled The Caterpillar.