Why honour our ancestors?
- I was raised on stories of our ancestors. It was always told to me with reverence and I was expected to continue the tradition. I was mesmerised by tales of Brian Boru, the Eoghanachta tribes, the kingdoms of Ireland and of course our great ancestor the Great Donal Cam O Sullivan beare. He was the last Gaelic prince of Ireland, prince of Beare and went on to become a knight of the holy order of Santiago bestowed upon him by the Spanish King Philip. This was the start of my look into Spanish Irish relations. More on this maybe in a future post.
- To respect our ancestors through memory and deed, enobles us, but more importantly it honours our ancestors and their lives. It makes us worthy inheritors of their gallant story and traditions. In Ireland at this time of year (Samhain is near), many of us believe in the old tale that the veil between this world and the next is very thin, so we live in the knowledge that we are being watched closely by our ancestors, so it is wise to make them proud. In Ireland, our relationship with the land is very close still, we (most of us anyway) hold the land as sacred and in our landscape there are many physical reminders of our past. So, though we live very modern lives, we do so beneath the shade and hand in hand at times with our ancient memory.
- Our past, our ancestors give us a great sense of identity and from this comes a great sense of belonging. The opposite of belonging is to be lost, to be forever adrift, forever un-rooted and always looking for a place to settle. Imagine a tree without roots? So it is not all about the past, the need to belong is a very 21st century need and subject.
Not to have a sense of belonging is truly a haunted existence. In a time where sameness is being encouraged and history is being weaponised and rewritten, we believe it is important to know who you are and where you came from, in order to know where you can be and go. Our identity as a people is so important to our sense of worth but also to our anchored sense of belonging, we all long to be. Far too many don’t have this or have been torn from the arms of their ancestors by propaganda (e.g. black legend), modern attempts to force a no difference in culture agenda, to history is a source of conflict etc…. and people can feel lost with a collective amnesia and rootlessness as a result.
History can show us so much, ultimately how alike we all are as human beings. History helps us understand ourselves to a deeper level and we can understand others better also, without understanding there can be no comradeship. History can be a force for good, I am convinced of this. Without a sense of who we are, we can become simple beings of labels others place on us and empty echoes of a pulse. Ultimately history is the story of us, it is our roots which feed the many branches of the future. The ultimate lesson of history is oneness, history is ‘our-story’. We can be different leaves and branches and yet all belong to the one tree. Remember we are the ancestors of the future.
- Tercio Irlanda.
We are an Irish group that remembers and honours the lives of our ancestors who served in the armies of Spain. We were the first group here to do this and we remain as focused and determined to keep this story alive and well as we were on our very first day. We now see others follow this lead and this we encourage as best we can. We are basically storytellers and guardians of memory. We do our storytelling in keeping with our ancestors’ method of oral storytelling but with a modern twist. We tell a very old story in a very new way. With props such as uniforms and weapons, living history educational displays and re-enactments, we add more sense to the story. People not only listen now, they can see and touch the history. So, we take history and give it a pulse. We are storytellers and story keepers of a new age, but the focus remains the same, the story.
- Why the Irish – Spanish story?
From an early age I was raised on stories of the Great O’ Sullivan beare and his ties with Spain. In later years I looked deeper, I saw he became a knight of Santiago, so I looked even deeper and I realised the story was much older, even going back to the times of Myth and Legend. The sites I visited here told me more of this story. I realised that no one was telling this story in a way I could, so Tercio Irlanda was born. It was time to tell this story in a new way yet in keeping with our ancient traditions. It all clicked into place and it became an honourable duty. The friends i have made on this journey are a true blessing. When we now as a group meet people and see their eyes light up with this story, it makes it all worthwhile.I could go on (and maybe someday I will be invited to write to you again), but I will finish with this:
“All glory belongs
to those we honour,
all honour to those
we remember.Respect, Honour, Educate. “With warmest regards from Ireland to you all,
Capt. Conchobhar Ó Súilleabháin.