Seamus Heaney describes an Ulster of:

… hill-forts, cattle-raids, and rain-sodden gallowglasses where Hugh O’Neill was born and to which, after eight years of being fostered at Penshurst Palace in the care of Sir Henry Sidney, he returned. 

Something about that ‘rain-sodden’ appealed to me.  Gallowglasses were Irish (and earlier, Scottish) ‘elite mercenary warriors’, though this didn’t apparently protect them from being doused in downpours.   See more detail here.

Source: Seamus Heaney, Finders Keepers: Selected prose 1971-2001 (London: Faber and Faber, 2003), p. 124


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