Irish is the common term of reference for the country's citizens, its national culture, and its national language.
The Celts, the Vikings, the Normans, the English and the Scots have all left their mark on Irish history, geography, culture, language and people. Prehistoric Ireland The earliest settlers were hunter-gatherers who arrived around BC during the Mesolithic era.
Impressive megalithic tombs built in the fourth millennium BC are dotted around the Irish countryside, most notably that at Newgrange, whose central room is aligned with the rising sun on the day of the winter solstice.
Celtic tribes reached Ireland around the 6th century BC. Ireland in the early Christian era was an agrarian society and, in the absence of large towns or cities, large monasteries played a major role in Irish social and political life. The rise of the Irish monasteries also brought with it a golden age of Irish art and crafts, most notably in metalwork and the production of illuminated manuscripts, such as the world-renowned Book of Kells now housed in Trinity College in Dublin, and the Tara Brooch, now in the National Museum in Dublin The Vikings From AD Ireland was under regular attack by Viking raiders who targeted the rich monasteries and caused their eventual decline.
Raiding in the ninth century was followed by settlement. The Vikings founded trade outposts in Ireland which later developed into major towns and cities such as Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford.
The Norman Invasion Norman mercenaries invaded Ireland from England in at the request of an ousted Irish king hoping to regain his territory, and were followed by an invasion by King Henry II of England in to assert control over his Norman subjects, with the King declaring himself Lord of Ireland.
The Normans had a profound impact on the island, but many eventually assimilated into Irish culture, learning to speak the native language and marrying into Irish families.
By the end of the 15th century English rule in Ireland was effectively limited to a small enclave around Dublin known as the Pale. Henry VIII declared himself King of Ireland and he and his successors established English settlements and fought a series of military campaigns, as well as making strenuous efforts to impose Protestantism on Catholics.
The conquest of Ireland was effectively complete in following the Battle of Kinsale. An Irish rebellion during the English Civil War was crushed by Oliver Cromwell between and with great loss of life. Large tracts of fertile land owned by Catholics were confiscated and redistributed among Cromwell's soldiers and Scottish colonists, displacing many families, and leaving a legacy of bitterness that has endured for centuries.
Penal laws against Catholics were introduced throughout the seventeenth century, excluding them from holding public office, entering professions, teaching, owning firearms, restricting their ownership of property and inheritance of land and outlawing Catholic clergy, while at the same time forcing Catholics to pay tithes to Protestant clergy.
Modern Ireland Tension between the British rulers and the Irish population continued. Following a rebellion inthe Irish Parliament was abolished and Ireland formally became part of the United Kingdom.
A campaign for emancipation of Catholics succeeded in removing many restrictions on Catholics in The Great Famine followed potato blight which destroyed the staple food of the poor.
Exacerbated by the laissez-faire economic policies of the British government, it led to the death by starvation and disease of a million people and the emigration of a million more, out of a population of about eight million. Use of the Irish language declined catastrophically.
Ongoing discontent with British rule led to repeated rebellions and agitation for land reform and home rule in the later 19th century. The Easter Rebellion was defeated after several days of fighting.
While the rebellion was initially opposed by the mass of the population, the execution of several of its leaders, including Patrick Pearse and James Connolly, alienated Irish public opinion against British rule.
The subsequent War of Independence ended with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in Decemberwhich divided the country into the independent Irish Free State 26 counties and six counties in Ulster which remained within the United Kingdom, known as Northern Ireland.
A civil war followed between the newgovernment and those opposed to the Treaty, who felt it did not provide full independence.Samhain the Cross Quarter Day is on November 7th this year, half way between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. In ancient Ireland these solar events were observed in monuments known today as Megalithic Tombs.
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Aug 21, · Ireland in the s; Great Hunger Begins; Legacy of the Potato Famine; Irish Hunger Memorials; Sources; The Irish Potato Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, began in when a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora infestans (or P. infestans) spread rapidly throughout Ireland.
The infestation ruined up to one-half of . Ireland also lacked adequate transportation for efficient food distribution. There were only 70 miles of railroad track in the whole country and no usable commercial shipping docks in the western districts.
By September, starvation struck in the west and southwest where the people had been entirely dependent on the potato. What is known of pre-Christian Ireland comes from references in Roman writings, Irish poetry and myth, and archaeology.
While some possible Paleolithic tools have been found, none of the finds are convincing of Paleolithic settlement in Ireland. However a bear bone found in Alice and Gwendoline Cave, County Clare, in may push back dates for the earliest human settlement of Ireland to.
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