The Great Law of Birr
Dr James Houlihan has written a short illustrated guide to the Law. The book is illustrated by artist Caroline Conway.
This law, usually called the Law of the Innocents (Lex Innocentium) or Cáin Adomnáin dates back to 697 AD and Birr town. The law gave protection to women, children, clerics and other non-arms-bearing people in time of strife and was the first such known law in the history of Western Europe. That these innocents should have special protection in time of war has always been important but the barbarity of Putin’s war in Ukraine has given it an acute relevance for all of us today.