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The first humans arrived in Ireland between 7,000 and 6,000 BC after the end of the last ice age. The first Irish people lived by farming, fishing and gathering food such as plants and shellfish. The stone age farmers were the first people to significantly affect the environment of Ireland as they cleared areas of forest for farming.

Then about 750 BC the Celts arrived in Ireland. They brought iron tools and weapons with them. The Celts were a warlike people and they built stone forts across Ireland. Ireland was divided into many small kingdoms and warfare between them was frequent. Fighting often took place in chariots.


In 432 a man named Patrick arrived in Ireland. Patrick was probably born about 390 or 400. He lived in Western England until he was captured by Irish raiders at the age of 16 and was taken to Ireland as a slave. After 6 years as a slave Patrick managed to escape back to England. After that he returned again to Ireland and became a missionary to Ireland until his death in 461.

The Vikings first attacked Ireland in 795. They looted monasteries. They also took women and children as slaves. However the Vikings were not only raiders. They were also traders and craftsmen. In the 9th century they founded Ireland's first towns, Dublin, Wexford, Cork and Limerick. They also gave Ireland its name, a combination of the Gaelic word Eire and the Viking word land. In time the Vikings settled down. They intermarried with the Irish and accepted Christianity.

Henry VII of the Tudor dynasty (1485-1509) tried to bring Ireland to heel. In 1494 he made Sir Edward Poynings Lord-Deputy of Ireland. In 1495 Poyning persuaded the Irish parliament to pass 'Poyning's Law' which stated that the Irish parliament could only meet with the permission of the English king and could only pass laws previously approved by the king and his ministers.

Then after the year of terror in 1592, Elizabeth (Henry VII was her grandfather, Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII) founded the first university in Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin

The Tudor dynasty brought the protestantism to Ireland. Total victory of protestantism came in 1727 when the  Catholics lost the right to vote.

(to be honest, this is where my interest about history ends, so I'll just say that now Ireland is Catholic again. The country gained absolute independance on the UK in 1948)