For those of you coming to the Gathering from foreign shores (and even for those of you who just have to get off your sofa and walk the 5 minutes to the Scouts' Hall), here is a fabulous video that summarises the history of Ireland in a mere 6 minutes.
John D Ruddy, a schoolteacher from Donegal, is the creative force behind the video, one of a series of educational films on history. Ruddy has also created videos teaching about the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, the Cuban Missile Crisis and World War One.
Ireland has a complicated and deep history that even the most knowledgeable historians can struggle to explain in simple terms but John Ruddy does a great job summarising a lot of information in his short videos.
His History of Ireland begins with the construction of the ancient monuments like Newgrange. It then covers St Patrick and the arrival of Christianity, the Viking invasion, the Norman invasion, Oliver Cromwell, the Famine, the Easter Rising, Michael Collins, the independent Republic and Ireland in the 20th Century – all in six minutes!