History in Ireland
The history of Ireland began around 8000 BC, with arrival of man from continental Europe, probably via a land bridge. Following the arrival of Saint Patrick and other Christian missionaries in the early to mid-5th century AD, Christianity replaced the indigenous pagan religion by the year 600.
For more than a century Viking invasions brought havoc upon the monastic culture and on the island's various regional dynasties, yet both of these institutions proved strong enough to survive and assimilate the invaders. The coming of Cambro-Norman mercenaries under Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, in 1169 marked the beginning of more than 700 years of direct Norman and English involvement in Ireland.
The overthrow, in 1613, of the Catholic majority in the Irish parliament was realised principally through the creation of numerous new boroughs, all of which were Protestant-dominated. By the end of the seventeenth century all Catholics, representing some 85% of Ireland's population then, were banned from the Irish parliament. Political power rested entirely in the hands of an Anglo settler-colonial, and more specifically Irish Anglican, minority while the Catholic population suffered severe political and economic privations. In 1801, the Irish Parliament was abolished and Ireland became an integral part of a new United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Irish Parliamentary Party eventually won Home Rule int 1914, though suspended on the outbreak of World War I. In 1922, after the Irish War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the larger part of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom (UK) to become the independent Irish Free State — and after 1948 the republic, Ireland. The six north eastern counties, known as Northern Ireland, remained within the United Kingdom.
The Irish Civil War followed. The history of Northern Ireland has since been dominated by sporadic sectarian conflict between (mainly Catholic) Nationalists and (mainly Protestant) Unionists. This conflict erupted into the Troubles in the late 1960s, until an uneasy peace thirty years later.
Back to Ireland Travel Insurance page