The History of Ireland

The History of Ireland

Ireland history

A range of important historical events have taken place in prehistoric Ireland over the centuries. Ireland, as an island lying out on the north western fringe of continental Europe was settled by humans civilisations relatively late in European prehistory terms with the first human settlements taking place around 6000 BC.

Since that first human settlement in 6000 BC Ireland has had many periods of invasion and change in its civilian populations. This rich history and heritage has helped to shape Ireland (both north and south) into the unique country it is today.

Here is a look at some of the major influential moments that helped shape Ireland’s heritage and culture, helpful if one wants an overview of the country before your vacation in Ireland. Click on the links below for a more in-depth history of each pivotal moment.

Irish History

Click on one of the following links below for information on the different stages of the History of Ireland.

  • Early Gaelic Ireland and Medieval Ireland

    The first major and long lasting people to leave their mark on Ireland were the Celts. The Celts or Celtic peoples from Western Europe, who came to be also known as Gaels, invaded Ireland subduing the previous inhabitants sometime between about 600 and 150 BC. more...
  • The Viking Invasions

    The Celts formed a huge part in Irelands developing society and played a major role in our culture. They remained unchallenged until the late 8th century, with the arrival of the Vikings from Scandinavia who began to raid Ireland as well as most of mainland Europe. While other parts of Europe around this time were responding to such outside foreign pressures throughout developing their own systems of feudalism, the Gaelic society in Ireland did not lend itself to such development. more...
  • The Anglo-Norman Conquest

    The unity that had been in place in Irish society under Brian Boru during the Viking invasions, had however disappeared by the time Ireland faced its next challenge that of the Normans from England in the 12th century which had long term influence on Ireland. This challenge came from the highly effective feudal monarchy the Normans, founded in England by William I (William the Conqueror) after his invasion of that country in 1066 from Normandy in France. more...
  • Modern Ireland

    The Norman Conquest brought Ireland under a new rule for several centuries with many attempts at rebellion. One of the most determined movements of resistance against Norman English rule came from the Gaelic chieftains of Ulster (the north eastern quarter of the island), led by Hugh O'Neill, the second earl of Tyrone, during the end of Elizabeth's reign. In suppressing their rebellion between 1595 and 1603, English forces devastated the Ulster countryside. more...
  • The Protestant Ascendency

    Hoping to recover their lands and political dominance in Ireland, Irelands Catholic majority took the side of the British Catholic king James II in England's Glorious Revolution of 1688.When he was defeated by William III at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, they shared in his defeat suffering under new laws, the Penal Laws, enacted by the victors the Protestant elite. more...
  • The Great Famine

    One of the most tragic and profoundly devastating events in Ireland’s history was the Great Famine in the mid 19 century. Also referred to as "The Great Hunger", the Great Famine lasted between 1845 and 1849 was arguably the single greatest disaster that affected the Irish history creating a seismic change in the population and culture. more...
  • The Home Rule Movement

    Another change for the positive in Irish history came with the movement to gain Home Rule. Under Parnell's leadership an Irish nationalist party was born demanding home rule, a separate Irish parliament within the Union- and land reform, was able to win every parliamentary seat having a Catholic majority. more...
  • The Division of Ireland

    Frustration arising from the continued postponement of home rule led to the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, a major turning point in Irish history. Although a military failure, this rebellion brought a new generation of potential leadership to public attention and sparked a new drive for Irish independence that would finally come to fruition a few years later. more...
  • 20th Century Ireland

    After finally getting its Independence in 1922, the newly independent state of Ireland composed of the southern 26 of Ireland's 32 counties in the following 26 years would had three different names each which reflect the stages by which the goals of the defeated anti-treaty side were actually attained during the generation after the civil war, with the republic of Ireland its present name being decided in 1948. more...
  • Northern Ireland

    Separate to the Republic, Northern Ireland’s recent history has been vastly different. Whereas the Republic of Ireland was born out of a nationalist demand, Northern Ireland arose out of a defensive reaction on the part of a people who never quite became nationalists of any sort. more...
History of Ireland
Historical events in Ireland
Ireland historical events
Charles Stewart Parnell, visit his residence in Wicklow, Ireland on your Ireland Travel


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