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AN OUTLINE OF IRISH HISTORY

Milestones Celtic Ireland (4th c. BC 12th c. AD) Viking invasion (9th -10th c.) Norman invasion (1169 -) Protestant colonization (1550s) Union with Britain (1800) Independence, Partition (1921-) Self-government in NI (1999-) Small kindgoms/tribes, no unity, St. Patrick converts the Irish 1st towns are founded, International trade Walled towns, Normans assimilate, Gaelic Revival No to Protestantism, Penal Laws, Uprisings/Rebellions, Test Act Emancipation, Famine, Emigration, Land Reform, No Home Rule Civil War, Republic, Civil Rights Protests, 'The Troubles', IRA, Direct Rule Ceasefire, 1st Protestant-Catholic Coalition Government

Prehistoric times Megalithic tombs (Newgrange, Meath) ...built by Neolithic farming communities about 5000 years ago, the passage tombs have clear astronomical alignments such as the Winter Solstice Sunrise.

Celtic Ireland 4th c. BC Celtic tribes begin to invade: came from Central Europe, many were tall, red haired 5 kingdoms: Ulster, Meath, Leinster, Munster, Connaught + Tara (Tara: the seat of the highking) Each kingdom was further subdivided into mini-kingdoms (tuath) ~ 150 Class society: king, druids, bards, poets, soldiers, craftsmen, farmers, herdsmen, slaves No towns! but farms with large families Religion: Druidism
an Ogham stone

"Writing": inscriptions or runes (Ogham stones) - Ogham was an alphabet used primarily to represent Gaelic languages.

Christian era (St Patrick brings Christianity to Ireland - 432) Writing was introduced ~800 monasteries were built: Centres of education and religion (eg. Glendalough, Cashel - see below) Produced invaluable manuscripts: Book of Kells (4 Gospels) From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagne - the dark ages - learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of Western civilization from Greek and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian works - would have been utterly lost were it not for the

holy men and women of the unconquered Ireland. Here, far from the Barbarian destruction of the continent, that had viped off most libraries and collections, monks and scribes preserved the written treasury of the West. (Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization) Sent out missionaries to all over Europe who were instrumental in spreading the Christian faith and classical learning: St.Columba established the monasteries of Derry + Iona (Sc), Coloman came to Hungary (12th c) Architecturally unique: Round tower, Celtic Cross

St Patrick

Viking invasion 9-10th c. Their main target: monasteries (great treasures) decline of the great monasteries Main merit: established the 1st towns in Ireland!! E.g. Dublin (in 841), Cork, Limerick, Wexford, Waterford (all on the south-eastern coast) extensive international trade (slave, silver,etc) with far away lands (Mediterranean, Baltic, etc.) Brian Boru: defeated the Vikings Vikings started to assimilate United the country: 1st king of all Ireland (1002) (after him Ireland is divided again by powerful warlords)

Brian Boru

Norman invasion 12th c. Internal power-struggle An Anglo-Norman army (1169 led by Strongbow of Wales) was invited by the king of Leinster to help him become the king of all 5 kingdoms. They were paid with land. Henry II of England (1171) becomes the overlord of Ireland on paper (the pope, who was English, gave Ireland to Henry) a century later of Ireland (The Pale) belong to the Normans Irish Revival: 14th-15th c Anglo-Norman influence shrinks to Dublin (the English are busy fighting in France the Hundred Year Wars and then the Wars of the Roses) intermarrying among Normans and Irish (inspite of laws forbidding it) Renaissance of Gaelic language and culture

Protestant colonitzation Henry VIII 1st English king to control all Ireland and call himself king of Ireland

TO CONVERT IRELAND TO PROTESTANTISM Convents + monasteries were closed (1539) Catholic churches and cathedrals are turned into Anglican Churches (Christ Church Cathedral and St. PatrickCathedral to this day are s Anglican churches in a country that is 95% Catholic!?) WAR for land turns into war for 'religion' (religion defined alliances and enemies!) 1550s: 1st English settlers (Protestants) 1st Penal Laws force the Irish to convert to the Anglican Faith
Henry VIII

Elizabeth 1560s Irish rebellions Spanish come to help: but the Spanish Armada is destroyed 1590s O NeillRebellion in the North (Ulster): Irish victories s 1601 Elizabetharmy defeats the Irish (Battle of Kinsale) (thousands flee to Spain) Rebels' s lands (mainly in Ulster) given to English and Scottish Protestants (the Plantation) 40.000 Scots by 1618 !
Elizabeth

1st time: All Ireland is centrally run by an English Central Government Had they not been divided by religion, the Scots, the English and the Irish probably would have intermarried and assimilated to the Irish as it had happened in the 14-15th c with the Anglo-Normans and the native Irish.

Why does Northern Ireland (Ulster) have a Protestant majority today?? O Neilllands were in Ulster (Rebellions s lands confiscated) Land is the most fertile in Ulster That is where Protestants were settled 1st and in the largest numbers even today Ulster is divided by 'religion'

O'Neill

Charles I (Instead of calling Parliament together in England to vote for new taxes in England) he imposed new taxes on the Irish 1641 Protestant settlers were massacred in Ireland (many churches were destroyed) Catholics temporarily regained their lost lands Charles needs money to raise an army against Ireland (fed up with the English Parliament that wouldngive him control) Civil War in England (1642-5) t Cromwellpay off (1649-52): invaded Ireland (massacred the population of Drogheda + Wexford) s Catholic landowners are forced to move west of the River Shannon most Irish land was in Protestant (English, Scottish) hands from the 1650s until the 1920s! 60.000 Irish Catholics are sold as slaves to the Caribbean's Population of Ireland is reduced from 1.5 million to half a million.

Oliver Cromwell

Charles II More Irish boys and women are sold to work in slavery James II flees to Ireland when his daughter and son-in-law (William of Orange) are invited by Parliament to take his place on the throne (Glorious Revolution 1688) William defeats the Irish fighting against his father-in-law in the biggest battle ever fought on Irish ground: 1690 James II vs William (of Orange) III: Battle of the Boyne Flight of the Wild GeeseIrish soldiers flee to France :

James II

William III Penal Laws: all power given to the Protestants (10% of population) To force conversion to Protestantism (1690 1790s) Catholics could NOT: Inherit or buy land Practice their religions Live in larger towns Attend Catholic schools (these were closed or turned into Protestant schools) Go to University Take office (teacher, lawyer, Member of Parliament, army) Vote Defend themselves (carry weapons) Marry a Protestant All Catholic priests had to leave the country death sentence for those who refused and to those giving them shelter! (~1000 priests were exiled) French priests poured in as missionaries risking their life Celebrating mass was illegal (including Christenings, Weddings, Funerals in old abbeys or monasteries) Attending the Anglican church service was compulsory (missing it cost 12 pence each Sunday) Taking the Oath of Supremacy was mandatory: Anyone reporting a priest or any offence against the Penal laws was rewarded To evade the evils of the Penal Laws all that was required was to renounce the Catholic faith and become an Anglican (Church of Ireland)! False converts were sifted out and punished Despite the unbearable hardships the Irish Catholics did not give up their religion. They became a landless, helpless, hopeless, uneducated and disenfranchised people in their own country, too poor and weak to pose any threat to the oppressor Protestant foreign elite. And while their hard work contributed to the prosperity of the English and Scottish rulers, the Irish had the lowest living standards in all of Europe! Jonathan Swift born of English parents in Dublin; Dean of St. PatrickCathedral Sharply s criticizes the Penal Laws in his writings (eg.: Modest Proposal, 1724) Huge famine in 1740s (300.000 dead) 1759 Arthur Guinness starts producing stout (black beer); Today Guinness is one of the biggest beer companies in Europe. Concessions lead to the Revolution of 1798 Britain needed Irish soldiers to fight against America Reforms: Catholics can inherit land (1778 no danger: nothing to inherit!), Catholic priests can return to Ireland (1782), open Catholic schools, practice law. The American War of Independence convinced the British of the importance to give limited self-government to its colonies 1782 the Irish Parliament is granted legislative independence! 1793 (Catholic Relief Act): Catholics can vote (but they could not vote FOR a CATHOLIC person Catholics cannot be MPs, plus voting was open always in line with the English landlordwishes) s Could become sheriffs, jurors, officers (but could not obtain the necessary education) Penal Laws Keeping the faith against all odds!

Own weapons (under specific conditions) Protestants become alarmed 1795 Protestants establish the Orange Order: named after their hero, William of Orange, to defend and preserve Protestants and their rule in Ireland. (Still active in Northern Ireland in the 21st century! They organize big processions throughout N.I. on 12 July every year to commemorate the victory of William of Orange over the Irish a source of conflict between Catholic and Protestant sections of towns.) Society of United Irishmen (formed by Protestants and Catholics in Belfast, 1791) aimed at making Ireland a republic (following suit with France) through an uprising with French help turns into civil war (1798 Catholics against Protestants) 30.000 casualties

Act of Union with Britain and Emigration The Irish Parliament was suspended (MPs from Dublin went to sit in Westminster) 1800 Act of Union with Britain the United Kingdom is born

No Catholic MPs in Westminster Daniel O Connell Liberator(a Catholic lawyer The educated in France oldest Dublin bridge and avenue are named after him + countless number of streets) founds the Catholic Association became a mass-based organization aim: peacefully achieve the right for Catholics to be MPs + repeal the Union Success in achieving Catholic Emancipation (1829): Catholics can become MPs in (Westminster)
Daniel O Connell

However, no home rule granted to Ireland (only in 1914, taking effect in 1921) Irish Catholics no longer have to pay taxes (tithes) to the Anglican Church (1838) 1845-48 Famine: 1 million people starved to death Potato crop was attacked by a fungus People couldnpay rent to the landlords had to leave the land + their home t 1 million emigrated to the USA (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada) on coffin ships(20% of the people died before landing) Others earned their miserable living digging ditches and building roads paid by the British Government to relieve the desperate situation = resentment and anger towards the English for standing by idly (England was doing very well economically) 1848 a failed uprising IRB: Irish Republican Brotherhood: organization set up in Dublin 1858 sister organization established in America (1859) seeking to establish Ireland as a republic through organizing an uprising opposed by the Catholic Cardinal could not become a mass based organization!!! 1867 many Irish return from America to fight for independence put down Ulster is industrialized at a rapid pace (leaving the south behind): shipbuilding, linen-making The Irish Party became the of the scale British politics in the 1860s and onwards both Tip in the Liberals and the Tories tried to gain their favour. No party could gain enough seats to win the elections and form a government on their own.

Campaign for Home Rule 1870s campaign for Home Rule (Irish self-government: Parliament in Dublin for internal affairs ~1782 - 1800) soon led by the charismatic leader Charles Parnell Irish question The takes central role in British politics: William Gladstone PM: mission is to My pacify Ireland and to settle the Irish question. (land reform) 1st Irish Land Act (well-meaning but ineffective, 1870) Disestablished the Anglican Church in Ireland Removed religious (entrance) tests at universities Catholics can get scholarships, become professors!!
Charles Parnell

Secret Voting introduced at elections!!! (1872) Irish men can finally vote for Catholic radical MPs without risking the fury of their Prot. landlord (and losing their tenure) Threat of famine many landlords evict tenants Land War (Boycott) to force new reforms (1879-82) Fair rent or boycott! Peasants burnt the harvest, maimed the cattle, dug symbolic graves for the landlords in front of their homes, etc to demand fair treatment from them (landlords had been raising the price of the rent for the allotted land at their whim, evicting tenants and giving the land to other peasants, etc.) Revival of Irish Gaelic culture! (language, sports, history, legends) Gaelic Athletic Association: immensely successful at reviving Gaelic football and hurling. Any GAA member who went to even just watch a foreign sport (cricket, football) was disqualified Gaelic League: to revive the Irish language in the entire nation Parnell leads the Irish Party (85 MPs in 1885) in Westminster: they become the of the scale tip at elections both the Tories and the Liberals want to please the Irish (the party that the Irish join in a coalition will form government!!) PM Gladstone2nd Land Act 1881 (more effective than the previous one) s (The Irish tenants were promised fair rent, fixed tenure, and the freedom to sell their right to rent the land brleti jogot tovbb lehet adni a fldesr beleegyezse nlkl.) 1st Home Rule Bill for Ireland! (1886) splits the Liberal Party PM Gladstone resigns! 2nd H.R.Bill rejected by House of Lords Gladstone resigns (1893) IRB explodes a bomb in the House of Commons - London 1885 Sinn Fein (We Ourselves) founded by Arthur Griffith: Irish MPs should stay in Dublin and set up an Irish Parliament (without waiting for permission - HR.Bill - from London) (they will only dare to do so in 1918) 3rd H.R.Bill rejected by the Lords it automatically became law but was suspended due to World War I Ulster Protestant population afraid of independence from Britain (= losing power and having to pay centuries of oppression) Large scale illegal armament: preparing to fight for their for right to remain within the UK

William Gladstone

Arthur Griffith

Partition of Ireland

1916 Easter Rising: World War - the British are distracted perfect timing? Fenians occupy the Post (Office (on O Connell Street) and declare Irelandindependence and hoist the Irish s tricolour flag. 5 days later a British gunboat sailed up the Irish Sea and the River Liffey and bombarded Dublin (while Irish soldiers were fighting together with the English in the same trenches in France, the English bombarded their capital) 16 leaders executed (some could escape: Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, Eamon De Valera,) nationalist sentiments stronger than ever 1918 elections: Sinn Fein won all the seats outside of Ulster decide to set up their own parliament in Dublin (the Dail)!! + bloody clashes in Belfast WAR! 1919-21 Anglo-Irish War (War of Independence): guerrilla war Nationalists Fighting for an independent Irish Republic; Led by Michael Collins vs Unionists Protestants fighting to remain within the Union
Michael Collins

watch: Michael Collins (the movie) 1920 1st Bloody Sunday (Gaelic Match) 1921 (Dec.) Anglo-Irish Treaty: Partition (political division) of Ireland Signed by Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith and Lloyd George (British PM) Ireland is divided: 6 counties in Ulster remain within the UK Ulster gets Home Rule (self-government) 26 counties become independent from Britain but remain a dominion have to remain within the Commonwealth and loyal to the English monarch Irish Free State (= dominion status, instead of a republic! war) civil 1921-22 Civil War: initiated by Aemon De Valeraparty (Sinn Fein) which would not sign or s accept the terms of the Treaty demanding a republic Michael Collins is the Commander of the Irish forces and the President of the Irish Free State (for 10 days before he is killed) W.B. Yeats is the 1st Irish to receive the Noble Prize (1923) in literature G.B. Shaw gets the Nobel Prize in literature De Valera dissolves Sinn Fein establishes the Fianna Fail Party wins the elections De Valera is PM for 16 years then President for 14 (1959-73) Opposition: Fine Gael Party (United Ireland) New Constitution (1937) (mainly the work of De Valera) Irelandnew official name: EIRE (pronounced as air in English) s The territory of the state was declared to be whole island of Ireland the But Irish laws applied only to the 26 counties

Aemon De Valera

The head of the state is the President (~republic!) Conservatively Catholic: The integrity of the family was to be protected Divorce was made illegal Freedom of speech, assembly was granted but subject to public order and morality The place of women was to be within the home. Mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties within the home. Freedom of religion granted to a list of religious groups World War II: Ireland remained neutral (did not support Britain!) 1949 Ireland is a Republic! Withdraws from the British Commonwealth.

Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland System of Apartheid: separate schools, neighbourhoods, sports teams for the Catholic and Protestant communities 1968 Catholic Civil Rights Movement peaceful marches demanding equal treatment in: Employment Housing Reorganisation of the Police force: 95% of policemen were Protestants! Clashes between Catholics and Protestants on the streets British soldiers are sent to Northern Ireland (Belfast and Derry especially) The IRA begins its killing and bombing campaign to force the British government to pull back its soldiers 1971-75 the policy of internment (IRA) terrorist suspects can be arrested without any proof or process many peaceful civil rights activists arrested (The movie: In the Name of the Father true story) 1972 30th January Bloody Sunday mass demonstration in Derry against internment; British troops shoot into the crowd teach a lesson to the young Derry hooligans. To watch: Bloody Sunday true story 3 days later: IRA burns down the British Embassy in Dublin March: riots British PM transfers complete control from Belfast to London 21st July: Bloody Friday 20 bombs explode all over Belfast within 1 hour (130 injured + 9 killed) 19 bombs in other N.Irish towns 1973 Ireland + the UK join the European Economic Community (Today: European Union) 1984 bomb aimed at Margaret Thatcher (she is saved, but 5 die and many more wounded) 1993 Downing street declaration: Ulster will join the Republic of Ireland only if and when the majority of the voters would decide for reunification on a referendum (principle of selfdetermination) Signed by the British and Irish PM IRA announces a cease-fire!! (1994) Talks begin between IRA + politicians Rapid economic growth in the Republic Celtic Tiger

Self-government in Northern Ireland Oct. 1997 First (official) meeting between an IRA leader and British PM since 1921

April 1998: Good Friday Agreement: signed by (left to right) Tony Blair (Br PM), Bertie Ahern (Ir PM), Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein), David Trimble (UUP)among others. The main provisions: 1. New Northern Irish Assembly in Belfast 2. Coalition government (Catholics and Protestants together in gov.) key decisions will be All taken only with cross-community support. 3. Several North/South Ministerial Councils will be set up (cross-border bodies) 4. Decommissioning of paramilitary weapons (terrorist groups hand in weapons) 5. Changing the composition of the NI police (also its ethos, symbols, etc) 6. Modify (amend) the Irish Constitution (1937): The territory of the state should not be declared to be whole island of Ireland the 7. Release political prisoners... (Yes, that means releasing terrorists as well) Referendums on approving or rejecting the Good Friday Agreement NI: 71% approved the Agreement Republic of Ireland: 95% endorsed it Elections for the NI Assembly (25 June 1998) First Minister: David Trimble (Ulster Unionist Party) Deputy First Minister: Seamus Mallon (Social Democratic and Labour Party) Oct. 1998 David Trimble and John Hume receive the Noble Prize in Peace for their role in bringing the two sides together to negotiate Dec. 1999 NI Assembly receives devolved power from Westminster Feb. 2000 NI Assembly government is suspended: IRAfailure to decommission its guns s May 2000 powers devolved again July 2001 David Trimble resigns... NI government is dissolved yet again...

learn more: History of Ireland Ireland's history in maps

sources: Foster, R. F. The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland. Oxford University Press. 1989 The History Book of Ireland by Richard Tames (Gill&Macmillan) 1995 How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill (New York, 1995) Facts About Ireland by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland Guide to British and American Culture. Oxford University Press 1999 http://www.umn.edu/irishlaw/intro.html (2001.11.26) On the topic of Penal Laws http://www.rootsweb.com/~fianna/history/index.html Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin: The Making of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998