Worksheet 2



5 AD

St Patrick

Brehon Laws

Read & Write

1 (Chapter 2) How many laws had Ita memorised from an early age?

2 What country, other than Ireland, used Brehon laws?

3 (Chapter 4) What was the fine for a secret killing?

4 (Chapter 8) What is the penalty for
fingal (the killing of a member of your family or clan)?

5 (Chapter 10) Why did Ita say that she could not be punished for the crime of murder?

Fact File

Brehon Laws were the ancient system of laws among the Celts. The Welsh people also used the Brehon laws but in Ireland, especially in the west of Ireland, they went on for much longer. The east of Ireland and Wales probably finished with Brehon laws in the twelfth century, but they remained in force until the 16th century in places like County Clare.
In some ways, Brehon laws seem very modern to us as they permitted divorce and did not execute murderers.


Draw a picture of a Brehon (lawyer).


Could you make up some good laws for your school? Talk to your friends about this. What would the punishments be?


Imagine a Brehon law court. They were always held in the open air - often at fairs or large gatherings of people. Write about one of the cases.

What do you think of the Brehon laws? Write down your reasons to like, or to dislike them.