• Early history (8000 BC – 400 AD)
• Early Christian Ireland (400–800)
• Early medieval and Viking era (800–1168)
• Norman Ireland (1168–1536)
• Early Modern Ireland (1536–1691)
• Protestant Ascendancy (1691–1801)
• Union with Great Britain (1801–1912)
• Home Rule, Easter Rising and War of
• Free State and Republic (1922–present)
It is probable that Ireland was first occupied by Neolithic people,
users of flint, and then by the small, dark, warlike people from the
Mediterranean, users of bronze, who are known in legend as the
Firbolgs. Later came the Picts, also an immigrant people of the
Bronze Age. Extensive traces of the culture of this early period
survive in the form of stone monuments (menhirs, dolmens, and
cromlechs) and stone forts, dating from 2000 to 1000 bc. During the
Iron Age, the Celtic invasion (circa 350 bc) introduced a new cultural
strain into Ireland, one that was to predominate. The oldest relics of
the Celtic (Gaelic) language can be seen in the 5th-century Ogham
stone inscriptions in county Kerry. Ireland was Christianised by St.
Patrick in the 5th century. The churches and monasteries founded
by him and his successors became the fountainhead from which
Christian art and refinement permeated the crude and warlike Celtic
way of life.
Ireland is famous for its contributions to world literature. Two great
mythological cycles in Gaelic "the Ulster (Red Branch) and the
Fenian (Ossianic)" tell the stories of such legendary heroes as C
Chulainn (Cuchulain), Maeve (Medb), Finn mac Cumhail (Finn
MacCool), and Deirdre. After a long and bitter colonisation by
England, Ireland gave the world some of the greatest writers in the
Ireland has a very regular climate with temperatures that do not
vary in excess throughout all the country. The climate is influenced
by the current of the gulf, and the predominates winds are those of
In winter it is a country very cold, but never unbearable. The coldest
months are January and February, with temperatures that make the
rounds between the 4 and the 7 degrees Celsius. Julio and August
are the warmest months, with temperatures that are between the 14
and the 16 degrees and May and June are normally sunny. Ireland,
with good weather, is a paradise.
It rains rather here, the average precipitations after a year in Ireland
are between the 800 and the 1200 liters by meter squared in the most
level areas, in mountains, the 2000 can be arrived or be surpassed.
In some parts of the east, rains can go up to around the 750 liters
and the 1500 in some parts of the west. Rains in Ireland are the
people in charge of the green color of the landscapes of this earth.
The melody of traditional music takes the form of traditional
dances, being most popular reel. Other frequent structures are giga,
hornpipe, polka, slip jig, slide and air that it is a lyrical subject that
is interpreted slowly and freely. Traditional music only was written
in Irish and some of its authors són: George Petrie, Edward Bunting,
Francis O' Neill, Canon James Goodman. The instruments used by
the Irish are the Bodhrán and the guitars.
Some of our modern musicians include (with external links)
are Official U2, Chris De Burgh, Christy Moore, WestLife, Boy
Zone, Sinead O'Connor, Enya, Cranberries, Enya Mary Black,
Van Morrison, Hot House Flowers...
- Gaelic Football, is a type of football played principally in Ireland, where it
originated and where it became popular in the 16th century. At that time a
team consisted of all the able-bodied men of a town or parish; the number
of players on each team ranged from 25 to 100. Frequently the game
started at a point midway between two towns or parishes and ended when
one team had driven the ball across a boundary line into its opponent's
town or parish. The rules of the modern game were promulgated in 1884 by
the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA); that body still controls and regulates
Hurling, traditional Irish field sport in which a ball, called a sliothar, is caught
on a hurley, or stick, and carried or hurled to the goal. Irish mythology has
tales of the warrior Cuchulainn and other legendary heroes who were
expert hurlers. The rules of play were standardized in 1884 when the Gaelic
Athletic Association was founded. Today the game is almost entirely
restricted to the Republic of Ireland, where the All-Ireland championship
competition has been held since 1887
Traditional menus feature Irish Stew, tender local lamb with
potatoes, carrots and onions and Champ, creamy mashed
potatoes flecked with green scallions. Potato Cakes are also a
popular national dish. The potato patties are made with potato,
flour and some onion, simply pan fried or on the griddle. Bacon
and cabbage is also a popular dish. Ireland is famous for its local
produce and organic fruit and vegetables, handcrafted cheese
and freshly caught seafood are part of the delights as are freshly
baked cakes and breads.
· Ireland is famed for Guinness but that’s not all it has to offer in
the beverage department. Other great stouts and beers like
Murphy’s Irish Stout, Beamish, and Kilkenny beer are also
available. Irish whiskey is distilled three times, unlike Scotch,
which is only distilled twice and a treat for whisky drinkers.
The economy of Ireland has been traditionally
agricultural. Since the mid-1950s, however, the country's
industrial base has expanded, and now mining,
manufacturing, construction, and public utilities account
for approximately 37% of the gross domestic product
and agriculture for only about 12%. Private enterprise
operates in most sectors of the economy. Annual budget
figures in the late 1980s showed approximately $14.4
billion in revenue and $14.8 billion in expenditure.
About 94% of the people of Ireland are Roman Catholics,
and less than 4% are Protestants. Protestant groups
include the Church of Ireland (Anglican) and the
Presbyterian and Methodist denominations. Freedom of
worship is guaranteed by the constitution.
Almost all the people speak English, and about one-
fourth also speak Irish, a Gaelic language that is the
traditional tongue of Ireland. Irish is spoken as the
vernacular by a relatively small number of people,
however, mostly in areas of the west. The constitution
provides for both Irish and English as official languages.
From the 5th to the 9th century the Irish monasteries produced
artworks of world renown, primarily in the form of illuminated
manuscripts. The greatest such work is the Book of Kells, which has
some of the most beautiful calligraphy of the Middle Ages (see Celts:
Art). Native art seems to have disappeared during the period of English
domination, but after the 17th century a number of Irish painters and
sculptors achieved fame. The Irish painters George Barret (1732-84),
James Barry (1741-1806), and Nathaniel Hone (1718-84) were
cofounders, with Sir Joshua Reynolds, of the Royal Academy in 1768.
James Arthur O'Connor (1791-1812) was a noted landscape artist of his
period, and Daniel Maclise (1806-70) painted the magnificent frescoes
in the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords. Notable among Irish
painters of the 19th century were Nathaniel Hone, Jr. (1831-1917), and
Walter F. Osborne (1859-1903). More recently, the expressionist painter
Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957), the cubist painter Mainie Jellett (1897-1944),
and the stained-glass artist Evie Hone (1894-1955) have achieved
widespread recognition and acclaim for their work.
Almost 81% of the total area of Ireland is devoted to
pasture and cropland. The agricultural enterprise
producing the most income is animal husbandry. In the
late 1980s livestock included some 5.6 million cattle, 4.3
million sheep, 960,000 hogs, and 55,000 horses. Poultry
production is also important. The principal field crops
are wheat, barley, oats, and potatoes. Among other
important crops are hay, turnips, and sugar beets. The
best farmlands are found in the east and southeast.
The government of Ireland is based on the constitution of
1937, as amended. This document proclaims Ireland a
sovereign, independent, democratic state. The
constitution also defines the national territory as the
whole of Ireland. The country became a republic in 1949.
See How Ireland became a republic and Irish Politics.