Circa 15.000 years
ago Europe was covered by 300 m of ice. When it
started to defrost with the warmer weather with the
abrasion of the stones there were built river-beds,
lakes filled with glacial water and forming...
islands. This way the British island and the Irish
one were born.
The first men lived on the
island already 8.000 BC. Testimonials are found in
the today counties of Londonderry, Offaly, Sligo e
Antrim. In the Mesolithic the people lived along the
coast because in the mid-island they didn't find
protection and food.
In the Neolithic there was the
first agriculture maybe after influences from
abroad. Therefore also domestic animals like sheep,
goats and deer arrived on the island. The most
impressive and spectacular testimonial are the
passage tombs like for example at Newgrange and
Loughcrew, built 3.000 years BC.
In the Bronze period the first
metal was labored, between them gold. In no other
place were made so much jewelry of gold like on the
Irish island and then shipped to the whole mainland
which lets think about a real good commerce.
The first Celtic people
arrived in the Iron period coming from the Hibernian
peninsula, the nowadays Spain and brought language -
the Celtic - and culture. The Roman Empire never has
been in Ireland but it's thinkable that there was a
good commercial relationship with the Romans in
Britain and Breton and therefore weapons and some
cultural ways 'settled' on the island. Their real
relationship is still buried in the dark. Around 200
AC the period of the High Kings started who have
been surrounded by highly educated knights, maybe
taught by druids.
The first documentation about
a historical person is from 431 AC. Niall
Noigiallach was a high king at Tara, in the heart of
nowadays County Meath. The and of Ulster went under
his dominion and became part of the reign of the
high king. The following year was the official year
of Saint Patrick's arrival as an missioner. With him
Christianity spread with giant paths through the
island and the old believe of the druids slowly
slowly disappeared. In the middle of 6th century
famine gave an easy game to the monks to convince
the rest of the island to change to the new faith.
The druids time was definitely over. During this
period many historical events,, legends and
manuscripts were written and one of the most
beautiful is the 'book of Kells' which maybe was
written by Saint Columcill himself in Britain but
found in a monastery in Kells.
The first English invasion was
in 684 AD but the only one for the following 500
years with only slaves and nothing more. The next
then was for a much longer period as we know today.
Around 800 AD the Vikings
arrived from Denmark and Norway and started to
spread fear and terror along the coast, later also
in the inner island going up the rivers. The
monastic centers with their wealth were the most
attacked ones. Slowly the Vikings settled along the
coast first and then at the river-shores, first
small communities but growing time in time. Dublin
is a Viking village originally. But 980 Màell
Sechnaill mac Domnaill, high king in Tara, won an
important battle against the invaders.
Because of the complicated
system with a high king and kings and princes all
with own lands and governments the island was never
really united and so it was not really difficult for
the Normans in the 12th century to conquer the
island. The king of Leinster, Diamait MacMuchada,
had brought the Norman knights onto the island to
re-conquer his lands taken by the high king. After a
short time his land and much more was returned to
him and he gave the land of Dublin and Waterford to
the knight and his son-in-law Richard de Claire. But
that was not the intend of Henry II who then
proclaimed his son John as king of Ireland. But he
became king of England after his fathers death and
so Ireland went under the English crown.
Under the 'protection' of king
John the Normans came to the island and settled
everywhere. They built watch-towers along the coast,
castles along the rivers. There were a few counties
in the beginning but with the inheritance they went
smaller and lost their power. Fineen MacCarthy went
in battle against a few counts at Callaan and
started a revolution of the others. The land-owners
fought for their own land and started to regain
With the back death, the
plague, in 1348 the Norman period ended because of
dieing in many in towns and big communities rather
than the peasants in the country.
Only a very small amount of
Normans remain faithfully to the English when most
of the Norman-Irish counts thought themselves as
Irish and lived like the 'old English'. When Henry
VIII in 1541 proclaimed Ireland as a free country he
was chosen by the English parliament in Dublin to be
the king of the country. With this decision there
started the big and exhausting battle against the
Catholics with proclamation, laws, discrimination
In 17th century the big fights
against each others started and cost the live of
many of them on both sides. In 1649 1653 Cromwell
re-conquered Ireland to the English king which paid
two third of the Irish population with death. All
the land had gone to Protestants and the counts
where extremely oppressed.
In the famous battle at the
Boyne-river in 1690 the Protestant William the
Silent or William of Orange fought against the great
Irish hope the Catholic John II who was supported by
the Irish counts to take back the throne in England.
The defeat took all of the Irish aristocracy and the
so called 'penal laws' every right off them.
1740 41 has been the first
great famine caused by bad weather and even worst
economy by the landlords and cost the life of a big
part of the population. After that they regulated
the export to guarantee enough food in the own
country and the rest of the century was peaceful
till 1798 when another bloody revolution was crushed
The two parts try to find a
way out of the disaster which again was suppressed
by George III. Only the Irish lawyer Daniel O'
Connell can get in 1829 a few rights for the
Catholic population. He was the first Catholic in
the parliament and organized the first
demonstrations in mass. The greatest ever organized
by him was on the hills of Tara, seat of the high
kings in the past, with one million participants.
The second great famine was in
the years 1845 49 caused by the peronospora of the
potatoes who arrived from America to Ireland around
1840 and reduce the whole Irish population from 8 to
4 million people. A big part immigrates over the
ocean to America. In this time the school-system
became new and obligated to all children but forced
them also to speak only English and 'forget' Irish.
In September 1914 the 'Home
Rule' became confirmed which opens the way to an own
government within the United Kingdom of Britain.
Between 1916 and 1921 there are again battles
between nationalists and unionists and ended with
the nowadays division of the Ireland. Arthur
Griffith and Michael Collins signed in December 1921
an Angle-Irish contract of peace that should have
given peace between the northern parts of
Protestants and the free country of Ireland.
1937 officially a new
constitution as 'Republic of Ireland' or 'Eire' was
proclaimed. 1949 it leaves the British Commonwealth.
The disorders in Northern Ireland, the Protestant
part and part of Great Britain, are resolved with a
contract of peace only in the beginning of 1990.
Just in that moment Ireland takes over a great
subvention from the European Union to which it is
member since 1973 and changes from the poorest
European country to the second rich thanks to a good
economy plan. The 'Celtic Tiger' lead the country to
a fast wealth but by the end of the 'golden river'
and thanks to bank scandals and the worldwide
financial crises it falls again to one of the
Ireland and Northern Ireland
today work closely together and the fights of the
IRA organization officially have stopped since 1998.
Nevertheless at Belfast they never dropped the wall,
people are still living 'behind the curtains' and
from now to then there are some 'accidents'.