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Letter From Abroad
October 2001

Ireland, the Celts, and Dermatology

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(10):1353-1354. doi:10.1001/archderm.137.10.1353

IRELAND IS A TINY ISLAND off the northwestern portion of mainland Europe. Our nearest neighbor to the east is Great Britain; to the west across the Atlantic Ocean lies Newfoundland. Knowledge of our ancient and recent history enables understanding of the current Irish health services and, in particular, the challenges posed to dermatologists in Ireland.

About 8000 years ago, the first Mesolithic settlers arrived in Ireland. They were hunters who crossed the narrow channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland near the town of Larne. The next colonists were Neolithic farmers who stamped their influence on the landscape by building megalithic tombs (still prevalent and scattered around Ireland) and huge burial mounds with a passage leading into the central stone chamber. The most famous of these tombs is Newgrange.

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