On the Ancient Races of Ireland: Celts - Sir William Wilde

To the restless Celt the breadth of this new possession was but a slight impediment to his western progress, and once more he looked upon the blue waters of the salt sea, and beyond them, to the green hills of Erin. A plank—a single-piece canoe—-formed out of an oak-tree by fire and a sharp stone, or a wicker curragh covered with hides, would soon waft him from Portpatrick to Donaghadee, or even from Anglesea to Howth.

Here, then, the story of our race begins, and the immediate object of this inquiry commences. That man, as he first stood on this island, was in a rude, uncultivated state, without a knowledge of letters or manufactures—skilled in those arts only by which, as a nomad hunter and fisher, he supported life and ministered to his simple wants—there can be no manner of doubt. Clad in the skins of animals he slew, which were sewn together with their sinews or intestines—his weapons and tools formed of flint, stone, bone, wood or horn — his personal decoration, shells, amber, attractive pebbles collected on the beach, or the teeth of animals strung together in a rude necklace, or bound round the wrists and arms; and his religion, if any, Pagan, Sun-worship, or Druidism, man first stood, in all probability, on the north-eastern shores of Erin. It may be unpalatable to our national vanity to learn that the early colonists of Ireland did not come here clad in purple and gold direct from Phoenicia, in brazen-prowed triremes, with the mariner's compass and the quadrant; or stood for the first time upon the shores of Hibernia armed cap-à-pied in glittering armour, as Minerva sprang from the front of Jove; but it is, nevertheless, indisputably true, that the first people were such as I have described them.