I'm probably opening a can of worms with this one, but I've seen the old "800 years of English oppression" line being trotted out in politics forum on the subject of the poppy a lot at the minute. Is this still a strongly held belief, that the English actually ruled over this country for 800 years with some sort of pre-Stalin Iron fist, only to be saved by the brave boys of 1916??
I don't mean to suggest that Ireland was always in a good position because of British rule, but certainly we can agree that 800 years is inaccurate at best and wrong at worst, and that the oppression part, well I think that's a matter of interpretation so perhaps we should leave that to one side for the moment.
Am I wrong? Is "800 years" what comes to mind when you think of Ireland's history from the Normans on?