St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop and the Scottish-Irish Connection

Be sure to scroll to the end of the post to learn about the Lucky Leprechaun Blog Hop and your chance to win dozens of books or book-related products! 

**Please note that I got an early start due to my schedule, and many of these blogs may not have their posts up until midnight**

The Scottish-Irish Connection

For hundreds of years, the Highlands of Scotland shared more culture with Ireland, across the water, than with England, on its southern border. For 18 months in the early 14th Century, Ireland even had Edward Bruce, brother of the Scottish king, Robert the Bruce, as its High King.

Like the best stories, it all started long ago, and far away. Of course, that’s relative. For those who lived in ancient Ireland, the story was neither long ago, nor far away. At the end of the 2nd Century, there lived an Irish prince, Cairbre Righfada, who distinguished himself in battle. In reward, he was given what is now County Antrim, Ireland, and the Argylshire area of Scotland, both of which he named Dalriada. The Picts of Scotland, however, were powerful, so Cairbre Righfada and his descendents remained in Antrim for another two hundred years. In the 500’s, his descendents, Loam and Fergus, became the first kings in the Scottish Dalriada. Fergus’s descendent, Kenneth MacAlpin, united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century to become the first king of all Scotland.

Through these years and beyond, thanks to their common history, the two countries shared a great deal. Even the name Scots derives from scoti, the Roman name for the Irish people, which Fergus and Loam brought with them. The languages of Irish and Scottish Gaelic, although distinct today, both derived from Middle Irish. The music of harp and bagpipes, the myths and legends, and forms of dress were all similar in the Highlands and Ireland. Even their saints passed freely from one country to another: Columba and Fillan, two of the great Scottish saints, were both Irish, while some say St. Patrick, the most famous saint of Ireland, was born in Scotland. Family trees stretched their branches wide across the Irish Sea.

The line of Cairbre Righfada continued more than a thousand years, to Scotland’s Alexander III. It is his death, in 1286, that precipitated the Wars of Independence, and brought Robert Bruce, King of Scots, a descendent of the great Irish king Brian Boru and the kings of Leinster, back to his Irish roots.

In 1314, Robert the Bruce led Scotland to resounding victory over England’s might, yet Edward II of England continued to hold Scottish castles and assert his right to rule. Like Scotland, Ireland had long suffered English occupation. The Ulster chiefs, encouraged by Bruce’s success at Bannockburn, and regarding him as part of their own nation, thanks to his heritage, invited Edward Bruce to lead them against the English and become king of Ireland. With such strong familial and cultural ties, it is no wonder the Bruces attempted to unite militarily against their common oppressor. Bruce wrote to the Irish kings: Whereas we...share the same national ancestry and are urged to come together more eagerly and joyfully in friendship by a common language and by common custom, we have sent you our beloved negotiate with you in our name about permanently strengthening and maintaining inviolate the special friendship between us and you, so that with God's will our nation (nostra nacio, referring to Scotland and Ireland as one nation) may be able to recover her ancient liberty.

In May 1315, Edward Bruce sailed to Ireland with 6,000 men, landing on the coast of Antrim from which his ancestors had come. After a year of successful battles, he was crowned High King in May 1316. However, the Irish chiefs beyond Ulster were not so enthusiastic about Edward Bruce. They regarded the situation not as military unity, but as a Scots invasion, not so different from English occupation. In October 1318, Edward’s brief kingship ended with his death in the Battle of Faughart. Ironically, or maybe not, considering the long history of shared culture , Ireland’s last High King was a Scot.


Now, for our Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway.  The rules are simple.  For my blog, just click follow in the right sidebar and leave a comment with your contact information and telling me who you are among the followers.  You're entered for the drawing of one signed print copy of my book!  (Or an e-copy if you prefer.) Easy!  Don't forget to leave contact information, so I can let you know if you won.

Now, click on the the blogs below.  Each one is hosting a giveaway.  Each one should have the same list of blogs at the bottom of their page, so just keep clicking through.  The more you enter, the better your chances of winning...or winning multiple items! 

Have fun! 


  1. I loved reading your blog about the Scottish- Irish connection. We're going to be moving to England soon & I can't wait. Awesome giveaway. I'm a new follower :)
    ~Stacie (

  2. Hi, Stacie, thanks for stopping by! I'm a little bit jealous! I'd love to be able to move to England or Scotland. Thanks for following.


  3. What a great article and giveaway. I enjoyed it. I am a new follower via GFC ( Barbara Hightower )


    Bhitwr at gmail dot com

  4. Thanks for the giveaway :)
    GFC Follower - Memrie

  5. Excited about the chance to win. Thank you.
    I'm a GFC follower.

  6. cool giveaway!
    I am a new GFC follower!

  7. Loved the post :). Following :).


    bkwalkerbooks at comcast dot net

  8. New follower!

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

  9. Loved reading the background. Follow in GFC.
    Thanks for a chance to win this wonderful giveaway!
    Best wishes,

  10. I'm a follower Bo0kJunki3

  11. Thank you for the giveaway, Have a Happy St Patrick's Day.



  12. Thanks for joining the giveaway!

  13. an ebook (epub please) works for me... love the green.

    I am the blonde in the blue on your GFC follower list...says my name too.

    Shellie at layersofthought(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. Thanks for the giveaway! I am a new follower- Angie Dubisher

  15. Oooooh.....I would LOVE this book...e-copy of course... I love Ireland and Scotland so anything about the land is right up my alley :0)
    Thanks for the chance to win!!!!

  16. Thanks for the chance to win...I would love a signed copy

    I follow under Michele Luker

    jmluker (at)

  17. Thanks for the chance to win.

    GFC follower

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  18. Thanks for the giveaway! I am a follower.


  19. I'm a new follower-Lisa Richards

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  20. I am a follower-GFC-judy

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  21. Great giveaway!
    GFC follower

  22. I follow with GFC.

    megankyser at gmail dot com

  23. Follower on GFC (Carole)
    Thank you!

  24. New GFC follower - Jaidis

    JaidisShaw at yahoo dot com

  25. New Follower via GFC: PiinkPoodle

    Thank you so much for the chance!

    swttie at gmail dot com

  26. new follower~polly
    thank you!

  27. Great giveaway! I'm a new GFC follower.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  28. Okay, I have to say...gorgeous blog. I was all, "Oooo" when I stopped by. Very cool.

    I am a new GFC follower


  29. Sweet! Thanks for the giveaway!

    GFC: butterflyboo123


  30. Thank you for the generous giveaway! I'd love a signed copy :)

    I'm Jules@OneBookShy on GFC (#83)

    onebookshy at yahoo dot com

  31. Thanks for this giveaway! I'm a new follower on GFC (Chrissie).

    swaggirl01 at gmail dot com

  32. I am a GFC follower - Marie Kacerosky

    Thanks for the chance!

    BellaMarie @ tampabay . rr . com

  33. I am a new GFC follower (rickimc)

  34. Fresh GFC follower alert! (samantha cheng) Thanks for the giveaway :D


  35. New GFC follower under Lucky47. I loved your post. Anything Scotts/Irish has my name on it. :)
    Carol L

  36. New GFC follower (lindadao2060).
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  37. GFC follower as Sweetshenanigans
    girl23rocks at hotmail dot com

  38. Google follower (AEKZ2)

  39. I am a new follower (Karen) thanks!

    kpuleski at gmail dot com

  40. I am a follower on GFC: Heath & Jessica
    thanks for participating in the blog hop giveaway!

  41. I'm a GFC follower (tearyeyedstars)
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    ejhtan at gmail dot com

  42. I have always been fascinated with the history of Ireland and Scotland. Many of my ancestors come from there.

    I am a new gfc follower - Bookworm Lisa

    ke7yca at gmail dot com

  43. Thank you for this! I'm a new follower (Hannah). I've been to London, but I desperately want to go to Ireland. My family has a coat of arms there.


  44. Congrats on your book :)
    GFC missmarsee

  45. GFC follower-aimee

  46. Following Thank you for the giveaway!


  47. It would be an honor to win a signed copy
    of your book...
    I follow you via Google Friend Connect
    as windycindy!
    Many thanks, Cindi

  48. I'd love to win! My favorite thing for Easter is coloring the eggs.
    I am a GFC follower- Krysta Banco and Like you on FB under the same name.



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