ireland

Ireland's history

Ireland's history is a romantic blend of legend and fact that has left its mark on the character of the Irish people and the lands across the shores where they've settled. Celtic warriors claimed Ireland around 300BC and divided the country into fiefdoms. St Patrick led Christian monks in converting Ireland to Catholicism and banished snakes from the island? Vikings found rich pickings in the monasteries which they routinely plundered for several centuries until the arrival of Anglo-Norman invaders in 1169. Elizabeth I pacified Ireland by encouraging Protestant settlement which cemented Ireland to Britain. Between 1845-51 potato crops spectacularly failed causing famine and the mass migration of Irish to America and throughout the British Empire. Calls for Home Rule turned to shouts and in 1916 the Easter Uprising in Dublin marked the beginning of the end of British rule in Ireland which came in 1921 with the partition of the island.

Our Pick

Ireland

The soul of Ireland has been captured in the spectacular 9th Century Book of Kells, the star attraction at Dublin’s Trinity College library and truly astounding gem from a lost world worth the visit. European Country more info

Right Now

Ireland remained neutral in WWII and during the following years the economy stagnated. In 1973 Ireland became an enthusiastic member of the European Community and adopted the Euro in 2002. For several years Ireland enjoyed enviable growth however like the rest of Europe it went into reverse in 2008. Although a small country Ireland is and always has been a cultural giant. In terms of literature, performing arts, theatre, cinema and music Ireland makes a contribution way beyond its size. Ireland is an adorable tourist beacon especially for Americans and others with Irish ancestry. Their economy is stuck in the toilet following the banker led meltdown with tape recordings of Anglo Irish Bank executives laughing about their crimes causing outrage (but no action).

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