Ireland comprises of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. There are 32 counties, 26 of these counties are part of the Republic. The island partition dates back to 1920-22. Before this time the whole island was under British ruling.
6000 BC saw the first settlement of Ireland. This was done by both hunters and fishers. The Gaels inhabited the island between 600 and 150 BC and overtook the previous residents.
During the 9th and 10th century Ireland were subject to attacks form the Vikings. There was great destruction on the Monasteries following the attacks. During 853 the Danes took over the island along with Danish settlers. The Danish settlers quickly formed themselves in to the population and adopted the Christian faith. When the ecclesiastical provinces were formed in 1152 the Gaelic and Danish helped form a united Church, despite it being frowned upon by some, including Pope Adrian IV. Keen to cure these ecclesiastical ills he had discussions with Henry II. Reforms were invoked following the island being invaded by the English in 1168.
1798 saw Irish abandon their parliament. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland came into existence in 1801 and was proving to be unpopular. Relations quickly broke down between the Catholic and Protestant populations. The 1830 saw union repelled which found little favour in Protestant Ulster, although the prosperity that was growing kept many committed to the union.
The Catholic area of Ireland didnít hold up as well following the failed potato crops in 1840. This resulted in a terrible famine which saw the Irish population fall. This was through starvation and emigration to places such as the United States.
It was in 1937 that Ireland saw the birth of a new constitution, which in turn created the state of Eire. In 1972 the Republic Of Ireland had joined the European Economic Community, Following this, the six counties were under direct rule from London.
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