Monks from Ireland dispersed across Western Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire (476 CE). Rome’s ruin devastated every aspect of European life. “The Dark Ages” descended: illiteracy was rampant, towns became villages, and cultural centers disappeared. Irish monks brought literacy to the European upper classes, established schools, and supported the growth of towns and trade around their monasteries. The monks created “beacons of light” until other aspects of civilization slowly returned and blossomed into the Renaissance.

Maya Magee Sutton graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, triggering her desire to travel and engage with other cultures. Sutton received her PhD from UNM where she taught Celtic history and mythology. She has dual citizenship with the US and the Republic of Ireland. She has explored all parts of Dublin and Ireland.