Ah "The Luck of the Irish." Has a crueler phrase ever been coined? The sad truth is, the Irish are about as unlucky as a race can be while, you know, still being white.
While we may all be a little Irish on Saint Patrick's day, after this little history lesson you'll be grateful you no longer have to be Irish once your liver has filtered the green food dye out of your system (and if you actually are Irish, well, we're sorry).
6The Damned Vikings
Historically the best protection a civilization can have against invasion is to be located on an island. Just look at Japan. Until being occupied by America following World War II (USA! USA!) it had never been successfully invaded (although you could argue the high density of ninjas in the country had something to do with it).
At any rate Ireland is an island, they should have had it made, right?
But what if around the 8th century a civilization living not far from Ireland were to develop a culture based on seafaring warfare, piracy and sporty horned helmets? Oh shit ...
... here come the Vikings.
The Vikings' modus operandi was to attack exclusively from the sea, pillage, rape and burn then sail off while trading hearty high fives and congratulatory butt slaps. In other words Ireland being an island nation, something traditionally of great advantage, ended up being a first-night-sober-after-an-alcoholic-binge sized nightmare.
Today we have a fairly harmless image of Vikings (due to the poor research that goes into Hagar the Horrible) but trust us when we tell you that the real Vikings were grade-A dicks. They were basically the bullies of the middle ages, and like that poor red-headed kid that spent most of middle school stuffed in his locker, the Irish were the Vikings' favorite targets and spent over 200 years being metaphorically swirlied.