Medieval Irish feast in Richmond

Claudia Villemaire
Staff Writer

The folks who dared to dream about presenting a medieval style Irish banquet could never have imagined how well the evening would turn out, from the moment the basket of homemade breads was placed on every table, to the arrival of dessert. There were speakers such as Patricia Keenan-Adank with her description of life and times from 500 A.D. to well past 1200 A.D. "Life was totally different then, but even at this early stage of development, trade and commerce was beginning," she remarked, explaining how the island was divided into what we would call provinces with a king in each one. Ireland was an important shipping country with one of the best natural sequences of harbors and trade with the Orient began early here, which gave them the advantage of imported spices among other goods. Leo Gaudet, President of the Richmond Region Historical Society also emphasized the importance of trade in Ireland at a time when other countries were just beginning to deal with Asian and Oriental traders. He noted how the population grew, especially after the potato was introduced around 1200 and spoke of the terrible cost of lives during the bubonic plague and the potato famine, which wiped out nearly fifty percent of the population. "Getting away from the terrible diseases brought many, many immigrants to North America and tonight, we celebrate our Irish heritage. Actually, everybody is at least a little bit Irish this evening," he concluded, laughing. See full story in the Tuesday, March 13th edition of The Record.