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The History of Ireland
An abbreviated version.
     
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Travels in Ireland Home
TOURING IRELAND
Dublin
Belfast
Ring of Kerry
Ring of Dingle
Heritage Parks
Kells - the high cross
Cork and Kerry
CASTLES:
Birr
Blarney
Bunratty
Carrickfergus
Donegal
Dublin
Dunluce
Johnstown
Kilkenny
Trim
IRELAND'S HOUSES:
Bantry
Muckross
Mount Stewart
GARDENS:
 
NATIONAL PARKS
 
PREHISTORIC IRELAND:
Drombeg Stone circle
Newgrange
Knowth
Clontygora Court grave
MONASTERIES / ABBEYS:
Quin Abbey
Jerpoint Abbey
Kylemore Abbey
Ireland Caves:
Dunmore Cave
FACTORY VISITS:
Waterford
Old Bushmills' Distillery
NORTHERN IRELAND
The Giant's Causeway
Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
 
ALL CITIES LINKS
Ireland Map
Bibliography for Travels in Ireland

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The human history of the island started somewhere around 7500 - 6000 BC. With retreating glaciers, hunters and gatherers made their way from Europe (maybe via Scotland) to become the first settlers of the island. By 4000 BC, farming and animal herding were in evidence; some stone walls date back to this period. With increase abundance, these early people had extra time on their hands. By 3000 -2000 BC they had enough time to start construction of some rather elaborate passage graves. (Newgrange)
Photo Above: One of the small mounds at Knowth

Much, if not most, of the worlds Neolithic art has been found in Ireland. The Knowth site alone contains 30% of total known Neolithic art in Europe.


Above: The Drombeg Stone Circle date to around 150 BC
Around 2000 BC the Bronze Age arrived in Ireland, followed by the Iron age, around 700 BC. With the Iron age came the Celtic tribes of central Europe, who settled on the island from 600-150 BC
The Celts quickly (well over a few hundred years or so) assimilated with the native residents of Ireland. Celtic language and traditions were widely adapted by the natives and soon Celtic circular forts were scattered about the island. Christian influences on the Island may have started as early as 300 AD.

Not to be left out, small groups of Vikings started showing up in Ireland around 800 AD. At first, they were more interested in raiding the local monastery than making the island their permanent home.

In response to the Viking raids, the Monasteries build tall round towers, with entrance doors high up above the ground. The Monks would use the towers to watch for the Viking raiders and should the Vikings arrive, the tower became the Monks safe refuge.

In 914 AD the Vikings decided it was time to take the island in earnest, and a true invasion conmence.


Photo above - surviving high cross with round tower (represented) in background.
Outside Links on Ireland History:
Desmond's Concise History of Ireland (has pop up adver.on site)
The Ireland Story
The Viking invasion was finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014 AD. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the United Kingdom. In 1948 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement and approved in 1998, is being implemented with some difficulties.
 
 

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Some of the information on this page was taken from the CIA faq book.