Irish Government Demands Oxford University Return Ancient Celtic Manuscripts

The Irish government have called for the return of the "Annals of Inisfallen".  Jimmy Deenihan, the Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking Areas)  stated that the Irish Governmnet wants them back. An article in the on line "oxfordtimes" quoted Minister Deenihan; "A request will be made by the Irish Govenment to have them returned. It would be a major tourist attraction and it is fitting that they should be housed in Killarney near where they were written."  This is not the first request for the return of the manuscripts as previous attempts to recover this priceless piece of Irish and Celtic heritage have been rebuffed.

The Annals are a chronicle of the Medieval history of Ireland.  Authorship of the Chronicles are attributed to the monks of  Innisfallen Abbey located on Innisfallen island near Killarney. Entries to the Annals span a 1,000 year period from about the year 450 through the middle of the 15th century.  The Annals include entries pertaining to pre-christian Celtic Mythology connected to the "Lebor Gabala Erenn"  also known as the "Book of Invasions". 

The article concludes with the following:

The Annals of Inisfallen are contained in a single-bound volume, consisting of a year-by-year chronicle written in Irish and Latin, charting events in the history of Ireland from AD 433 to AD 1450. They were originally copied from an earlier book in about 1092 but then continued down into the 15th century, with more than 40 different authors. Thought to have been written by monks, the manuscript passed into the possession of Sir James Ware (1594-1666), an Irish historian and politician. From him, it passed through several owners’ hands to Richard Rawlinson (1690-1755), who bequeathed the annals as part of a gift to Oxford University.