Early in the summer of the year 697, a great gathering of kings, bishops and abbots, along with their followers and servants, took place in Birr. It was a joint meeting of kings (rígdál) and of church leaders (synod).They came together to proclaim a law for the protection of women, children, clerics and other people who did not bear arms, in times of conflict. The law was called Cáin Adomnáin or the ‘Law of the Innocents’ (Lex Innocentium) and later referred to by our poet as the ‘Great Law of Birr’.
This publication by James Houlihan is designed for accessible reading and explores this topic at a time when conflict is still so dominant in society and it is hoped that this work will generate discussion on this topic.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.