irish literature, the oral and written literature of the people of ireland, an island that today comprises the independent ireland and northern ireland, which is politically part of the united kingdom. in recent years the definition of irish literature has been broadened to encompass literature produced by irish writers living outside ireland and writers of irish descent whose work reflects the irish or irish emigrant experience.
irish literature is composed in the irish and the english languages.
irish, also known as gaelic, is the traditional tongue of ireland. the oldest irish literature consists of stories and poems about ancient kings and heroes, which were transmitted orally in irish. written literature in ireland begins after christian missionaries arrived in the 5th century ad and introduced the roman alphabet, which was then adapted to the irish language. christianity coexisted with traditional irish ways, rather than supplanting them, and ha...
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