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History >> Geography >> Europe >> Ireland

Ireland

Timeline and History Overview

Ireland Timeline

BCE CE Brief Overview of the History of Ireland

The Irish people are mainly of Celtic origin. The Celts arrived in the 5th century BC. They invaded Ireland along with Great Britain and other areas of Europe. In 432 AD St. Patrick arrived on the island and began to work to convert the locals to Christianity. Monasteries formed where Irish scholars studied Latin and Greek as well as developed the arts of manuscript, metalworking, and sculpture. The isolation of the monasteries helped keep this knowledge alive during the Dark Ages.


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Starting in the 9th century, the Vikings regularly invaded and pillaged Ireland. They would do this for nearly 200 years. In the 12th century the Normans invaded and conquered the land.

Ireland became part of the United Kingdom in 1800 with the signing of the Act of Union. In 1845 Ireland was hit with a great famine. The potato crop failed and millions died of starvation. Millions more left the country and many Irish emigrated to the United States.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s the Irish began to want their independence from the United Kingdom. The Sinn Fein, which means "Ourselves Alone" became a political movement for freedom. From 1919-1921 Ireland and England went to war. At the end of the war the Irish Free State was formed. Ireland was divided into the Republic of Ireland, which is an independent country, and Northern Ireland, which is still a part of the United Kingdom.

Today in Ireland, English is the common language, but Irish (Gaelic) is also an official language and is taught in schools.

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History >> Geography >> Europe >> Ireland

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