Commonwealth

History: Early Days: The first people arrived in Ireland and came from Scandinavia to Scotland and then from Scotland to Ireland. They were a Stone Age people and lived by hunting, farming and fishing. The next groups were the Bronze Age people from southern Europe who skilled metal-workers. The Celts followed around 200 BC coming to Ireland from France and Spain. They brought their own language and iron weapons and tools. The Beginning of Christianity: Saint Patrick was born in Great Britain. In 432 he came to Ireland to teach Christianity. Monks began to build monasteries and wrote many manuscripts in Gaelic and Latin. "The island of saints and scholars". Ireland became an outpost of European civilisation. The Viking Invasion: Sea raiders from Sweden, Denmark and Norway began to establish settlements on the east coast of Ireland. After a time Viking groups settled down and married the local Irish. An Irish king defeated the Vikings militarily at the Battle of Clontarf. Norman Invaders: Anglo-Norman invaded Ireland. Their influence was strong at the beginning. Irish language, lwas ans customs continues as before. Many of the Anglo.Normans, like the Vikings before them married the local Irish and became even more Irish than the Irish themselves. Religious Problems: Henry VIII replaced the Roman Catholic Church in England with the Protestant Church of England in 1536. He attempted to introduce his religious policies into Catholic Ireland by closing down Catholic churches and monasteries. Queen Mary I tried to giving land in Ireland to English, Scottish and Welsh settlers. This was the start of the Plantation of Ireland. Queen Elizabeth I sending Protestant and managed to bring all of the country under English rule. Irish land was systematically colonised. Elizabeth was afraid that the Spanish would use Ireland as a first step for invading England. The settlers did not mix with the native Catholic population. Irish Catholic rebelled against the Protestant settlers. Oliver Cromwell arrived in Ireland to re-establish English rule. By 1651 the population had been halved as a result of conflict, hunger and disease. Cromwell introduced many anti-Irish laws. The 17th & 18th Century: James II threw out many of the anti-Irish laws. His Protestant enemies in England invited the Protestant William of Orange to become king. His smaller army was defeated by King William at the Battle of the Boyne on July 12, 1690. Laws known as the "Penal Laws" were brought in which discriminated against Catholics ans concerning the right to practise their religion, have an education, own property and vote. Wolfe Tone, an Irish Protestant wanted complete independence from Britain and an Irish Republic with equal rights for people of all religions. In 1798 a rebellion led by Wolfe Tone failed. Ireland unites with Britain: Protestant Irish Parliament was abolished by the British. Ireland was united with Great Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Daniel O´Connell succeeded in ending the Penal Laws against Catholics by peaceful means. He also called for political independence for Ireland. The Fenians: The Irish Republican Brotherhood was founded in 1858, those involved were known as "Fenians" or "Republicans". Their aim was to establish an Irish Republic through revolutionary means. It was a complete failure. Charles Stuart Parnell succeed in starting land reform giving many Irish farmers the chances to own their land. At this time a national re-awakening occured and both the Irish language and Gaelic games experienced a revival. The Easter Rising: Irish nationalism was becoming stronger and a nationalist group was founded. The IRB also continued to exist. These organisations believed that Britain would never allow Ireland freedom unless forced to do so by the use of violence. The IRB, the Irish Volunteers and the Citizen Army, a well organised workers defence force, trained along military lines organised a rising in Easter. It was once again a failure. The War of Independence and the Civil War: Sinn Fein, the political wing of the future IRA became by far the biggest party in Ireland elections. They in fact won seventy-three out of 105 seats and set up their own parliament in Dublin. The British refused to recognize this and from 1919 to 1921 a War of Independence was fought. The Ira turned the war in their favour. The IRA was formed from members