The early Irish chronicles are among the most fascinating of all the ancient records that have come down to us. They trace in detail the coming to Ireland of various early peoples over many centuries, beginning with the first colony, that of Partholan, who landed with his people in the year 1484 BC. (Interestingly, the pagan Irish historians dated every important event from the year of the Creation – Anno Mundi = the year of the world, and their date for Creation was not far removed from Ussher’s of 4004 BC. Moreover, the chronicles tell us that Ireland had lain uninhabited for some 864 years after the Flood-waters had receded – the Flood also being a very real event in the memory of pagan Irish). Partholan was to die in the year 1454 BC, and some two hundred and seventy years after his death his colony was wiped out by a plague. Around nine thousand people perished in one week and it is interesting to consider that the place where they died is still littered with ancient burial-mounds. It is called ‘Tallaght’, a name denoting a place where plague victims lie buried.
Later settlements of Ireland are recorded, notably those of the children of Nemedh – the Nemedian invasion of 1145 BC; and the Scythian invasion that occurred some time after the year 764 BC. (Again, all dates were calculated from the year of Creation). A mysterious people called the Tuatha de Danann then appeared on Ireland’s shores in 701 BC, and lastly there was the Milesian invasion led by Eber and Eremon in the year 504 BC. This last invasion gives us a firm point of reference in other histories from which we can check these various dates, and it shows them to have possessed a fair degree of accuracy.
We know from the histories of other nations that at around the time of the Milesian invasion of Ireland as recorded in the Irish chronicles, the city of Miletus on the Turkish mainland was under severe threat from the Persian army. It was at this juncture that the colony of Milesian refugees left in search of a safe land. Ireland was already very well known to the Phoenician traders of the time, so it is fairly certain that the refugees knew exactly where they wanted to go. The city of Miletus was finally destroyed by the Persians in the year 494 BC, so this leaves us with a discrepancy (if it is a discrepancy) of only ten years in the early Irish chronology. Many an Egyptologist wishes that he could get that close!