Power

Power deals with the nobility, both Irish and Anglo-Irish, who ruled medieval society in Ireland. Kingship and lordship in Irish and English cultures are examined, and the roles of music, poetry, games, hunting and hospitality in courtly life are highlighted. Jewellery and other items of personal adornment used by noble and affluent men and women are displayed, as are treasures associated with important aristocratic families. This includes the 11th-Century Breac Maodhóg shrine associated with the O’Reilly lords of East Bréifne; the Kavanagh Charter Horn, a symbol of the Gaelic kingship of Leinster; and a 16th-Century book cover from Donabate, Co. Dublin, made from whalebone and bearing the coat of arms of the Fitzgerald Earls of Desmond. There is also a fine display of late medieval swords and axes that highlights the unique characteristics of medieval Irish warfare.

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