Category: Irish History

A Time of Religious Upheaval


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Medieval Ireland was also marked by an English policy of plantation which led to the arrival of thousands of English and Scottish Protestant settlers. As the military and political defeat of Gaelic Ireland became more clear in the early seventeenth century, the role of religion as a new division in Ireland became more pronounced. From…read more »

The Church of Ireland


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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…read more »

Monastic Ireland


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From around AD 800, more than a century of 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…read more »

The Book of Kells


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The place of origin of the Book of Kells is generally attributed to the scriptorium of the monastery founded around 561 by St Colum Cille on Iona, an island off the west coast of Scotland. In 806, following a Viking raid on the island which left 68 of the community dead, the Columban monks took…read more »

Apr 11, 1814: Napoleon exiled to Elba


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On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history, abdicates the throne, and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, is banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

Ireland in its Earliest Form


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The first known settlement in Ireland began around 8000 BC, when hunter-gatherers arrived from continental Europe, probably via a land bridge. Few archaeological traces remain of this group, but their descendants and later Neolithic arrivals, particularly from the Iberian Peninsula, were responsible for major Neolithic sites such as Newgrange. On the arrival of Saint Patrick…read more »

Why is There Little Archaeology from Ancient Ireland?


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Little remains of Irish dwellings that predate the sixth century a.d. The abundance of wood and the difficulty of working stone with primitive tools undoubtedly accounts in part for this. In addition, the primitive farming practice of depleting the fields and then moving on to new ones made the laborious erection of a permanent stone…read more »

A History of St. Patrick’s Day


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Irish holiday is always celebrated on March 17th, which is the day that Saint Patrick died. He was a missionary way back in the 4th century who converted the Irish to Christianity. Saint Patrick was born around 385 AD in the United Kingdom. He went to Ireland to spread the Christian word and used the…read more »