There are many oblique references to the presence of Black people in ancient Ireland. Ancient Irish mythology refers to the original inhabitants of the island as being a giant, sea-faring people called the Fomorians (Fomors), which means “dark of the sea”. According to the ancient lore, they were a cushitic people from the African continent. Often depicted as demons, they defeated the first few incoming waves of invaders, but could not defeat the Firbolgs, who settled the land and lived side-by-side with the native Fomors.
Those myths may have a factual historical basis. It is proposed that the Formorians were a real people who were in all likelihood sailors from the African continent.
Two more invasions, the first led by the godly Tuatha de Danaan, and the second by the Celtic Milesians, took control of Ireland, mixing together with the Fomorians until they were no more.
There are credible sources for the African association with Ireland. The most likely of these is that they were Phoenicians and/or Egyptians. The Phoenicians were Canaanites, which came from the line of Ham. Ham is the mythological ancestor of the Black nation.
The Phoenicians were also well-known for their sailing skills, and are said to have traveled to the British Isles, which they called the “Tin Islands”. Perhaps, before Ireland was a Celtic domain, which it wasn’t until a few centuries BCE, the Phoenicians colonized it. It is noteworthy that the name Fomorians sounds a bit like Phoenicians.
There is also a legend that an Egyptian princess, Scota, left Egypt with some followers and journeyed to Ireland. Legend has it that Egyptians left many ancient tin mines all over Britain but especially Ireland which was their major source of the valuable metal.
Another idea is that they were Taureg Berbers. The Berber language is Hamitic, and the Berber people live in an area from which travel to Ireland would be easily accessible. The Berbers perhaps set sail from western Morocco, and settled on Ireland before the Celts, making it their new home.
Moorish Science Temple founder Drew Ali teaches that Ireland was once part of a Moorish empire, and that the Irish are a Moorish people. Perhaps there is a common root between the “moor” sound in Fomor and the word Moor?
Selkies and Half-Breeds
Another Irish legend tells of the Selkies, a sort-of “wereseal” that is a seal during day, but a human by nightfall. Sometimes, in an Irish family of fair-skinned, light-haired people, a child is born with dark hair eyes, and skin, and is called a Selkie.
The concept of the Selkies appears to make subliminal reference to the half-breed children that resulted from the extensive miscegenation that occurred between the Celts and the dark skinned original inhabitants that they had met upon their arrival in Ireland.
Many people of Irish descent have distant and recent African roots, and these features can still be seen in the people and in the culture. There are some Irish people with Afros (just like Andre the Giant a late continental EuropeanÂ wrestler with afro-hair). In Southern Ireland, some people, referred to as “Black Irish”, are noted for their strikingly dark features, as opposed to the fair-skinned, light-haired north.
Although many Irish descendants are particularly pale, they do have pronounced Africoid facial features, as well as dark brown eyes, and dark brown hair that is sort-of kinky, especially in moist conditions. A sub race of the Irish called the Bronn are noticeably Mediterranean (read: African) in features especially their hair.
In addition to all of this, Celtic music is distinctly different from the rest of Europe, and easily comparable to African music.
Black, Viking and Irish
Unlike Scotland and England, Ireland was never colonized by the Romans. As a result, Ireland remained relatively isolated.
The Vikings established port cities like Dublin. The Viking texts left stories and descriptions of African soldiers captured in Ireland whom they called blaumen[blue-men].
Most Viking references to ”black” in Norse would have signified having black hair as opposed to skin color but blaumen meant black skinned. Most of these blaumen were captured soliders from Moorish Spain. It was observed that:
“A prominent Viking of the eleventh century was Thorhall, who was aboard the ship that carried the early Vikings to the shores of North America. Thorhall was “the huntsman in summer, and in winter the steward of Eric the Red. He was, it is said, a large man, and strong, black, and like a giant, silent, and foul-mouthed in his speech, and always egged on Eric to the worst; he was a bad Christian.””
“Another Viking, more notable than Thorhall, was Earl Thorfinn, “the most distinguished of all the earls in the Islands.” Thorfinn ruled over nine earldoms in Scotland and Ireland, and died at the age of seventy-five. His widow married the king of Scotland. Thorfinn was described as “one of the largest men in point of stature, and ugly, sharp featured, and somewhat tawny, and the most martial looking man… It has been related that he was the foremost of all his men.””
What about Scotland and Wales?
“Any comprehensive account of the African presence in early Europe should include England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Scandinavia. The history and legends of Scotland confirm the existence of “purely Black people.” We see one of them in the person of Kenneth the Niger. During the tenth century Kenneth the Niger ruled over three provinces in the Scottish Highlands.
The historical and literary traditions of Wales reflect similar beliefs. According to Gwyn Jones (perhaps the world’s leading authority on the subject), to the Welsh chroniclers, “The Danes coming in by way of England and the Norwegians by way of Ireland were pretty well all black: Black Gentiles, Black Norsemen, Black Host.””
Ogu Eji Ofo Annu
Ancient And Modern Britons, by David Mac Ritchie
Nature Knows No Color-Line, by J.A. Rogers