Penal Cross near Slieve Beagh on the Ireland / Northern Ireland border

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Mike from Wrexham on August 24, 2011

Commemorates the killing of a priest celebrating mass on Christmas Day over 250 years ago. In 1695 harsh penal laws were enforced, known as the 'popery code': Catholics were prohibited from buying land, bringing their children up as Catholics, and from entering the forces or the law. Catholics could no longer run for elected office, purchase land, or own property (such as horses) valued at more than 5 pounds. In the early years of the 18th century the ruling Protestants in Ireland passed these laws designed to strip the "backwards" Catholic population of remaining land, positions of influence and civil rights.

By 1778 Irish Catholics would own a meager 5% of Irish land. Furthermore, the Catholic educational system was outlawed and priests who did not conform to the laws could be branded on the face or castrated. As a result, much of Catholic church services and education and record keeping was forced underground, to operate only under extreme secrecy. The religion and culture were kept alive by secret open-air masses and illegal outdoor schools, known as 'hedge' schools. All Irish culture, music and education was banned. By the time of the census of 1841 the Irish were impoverished, landless and leaderless by the eve of the famine.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 24, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Mike from Wrexham
    • Camera: EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY KODAK EASYSHARE C183 Digital Camera
    • Taken on 2011/04/09 11:54:52
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/320)
    • Focal Length: 5.70mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO64
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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