History of Ireland

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The history of Ireland can be placed with the arrival of modern man in the time of the Creswellian ( English Creswellian ), an end Paleolithic cultural stage that occurred as a result of the decline of the Vistula glaciation in the British Isles between 12,500 and 8,000 BC. In southern England and Wales . Settlements in Ireland are only from 8000 BC. Occupied. In the first millennium BC , Celtic- speaking immigrants shaped history. After Christianization in the 5th century, the island came under the influence of various peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons in England and in the 12th century the Normans . The military intervention of England ultimately led to the abolition of the Irish Parliament in 1801 and its incorporation into the United Kingdom .

Ice Age Ireland

As a result of the Irish War of Independence , Ireland succeeded in installing an independent Dominion within the British monarchy in 1922 . Ireland left the Commonwealth in 1949 and has been called the Republic of Ireland ever since .

Prehistory and early history

Cultures of hunters, gatherers and fishermen

At the end of the last Ice Age, Northern Ireland was connected to Scotland and, since the British Isles were still connected to mainland Europe, also to the continent over the land bridge from the Kintyre peninsula, with sea ​​level about 100 m lower . With global warming , oak, elm and ash began to displace the pine forests and the previously arctic flora and fauna . The giant deer ( Megaloceros giganteus ) with an antlered layer of 3.6 m could not survive in Ireland, where its last refuge was. The prehistory of Ireland begins in the Mesolithic with the settlement by continental European hunters and gatherers and fishermen .

The early Mesolithic shows geometric microliths ( flint blades ) from around 7000 BC. Found at Mount Sandel in Northern Ireland . The oldest residential area in Ireland was discovered in 1972 on the river Bann . Charred hazelnut shells made dating possible. The oval huts were probably covered with bark. The residents caught salmon and eels, collected nuts and hunted, among other things. a. Wild boars. In the late Mesolithic there is an industry without microliths consisting of large foreclosures ( Larnian ), which was particularly widespread in the northeast. Core and disc axes were probably used for woodworking, and the first cut axes made of rock appeared ( Ferriter's Grove ).

Early farming cultures

Between 4000 and 2500 BC There are traces of a Neolithic culture with rectangular houses and cut stone tools. This culture has recently been genetically traced back to immigrants whose genetic material comes from the Middle East and who are associated with the extensive migrations in the Mediterranean region . It is very close to the Spanish genome of the Neolithic . However, gene flow from Mesolithic groups in Western Europe has also been established.

The Malone Hoard of Belfast barg 19 dark blue porcellanite - hatchets . These stone axes come from Tievebulliagh in County Antrim or Brockley on Rathlin Island and are found in small numbers almost everywhere in the British Isles . In the further course, megalithic systems such as court tombs , passage tombs , portal tombs and wedge tombs emerged , which were used until the Bronze Age. The arable farmers built u. a. Knowth and around 3200 BC Chr. Newgrange . Mullaghfarna village is considered the oldest village .

Metal age

The Bronze Age (end Neolithic according to Central European chronology) in Ireland is associated with settlements of the bell-cup culture and the search for mineral resources ( tin , copper ). It began in the southwest around 2500 BC. BC (mines at Mount Gabriel, in County Cork ), Ross Island and on the Beara Peninsula . Typical legacies of the Bronze Age are stone boxes and fulachtí fia (hotplates lined with bricks).

Some researchers believe that the first Celts were around 600 BC. Came to Ireland from northern France. Other researchers no longer associate the adoption of the La Tène culture in Ireland with a conquest.

Around 300 BC The transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age occurred . The adoption of a Celtic language (later Irish ) is usually put into the Iron Age, but there is no archaeological evidence of this. The Celtic inhabitants belonged to different tribes (including the Gael ).

In the myths appear gods that are only known in Ireland. They probably have their origins in the cults of the Irish indigenous people and were later adopted by the Celts. The Duns , Raths , Crannógs and Bullauns are legacies of the Iron Age culture . Iron Age monument types that are characteristic of Great Britain and the continent (small enclosures, mounds, shallow burial grounds, hill forts and temples) are rare in Ireland. It seems that from the Late Bronze Age onwards Ireland was far less culturally influenced by influences from the continent than Britain.

More than 150 small kingdoms ( tuaithe , sing. Tuath ) were merged into five large ones (see historical provinces of Ireland ): Munster , Connaught ( Connacht ), Ulster , Leinster and Meath . The minor king ( / Ré cf. lat .: rex) was the king of a province ( Rí Ruireg ) over which the high king ( Ard-Rí ) stood. An all-Irish kingdom could not really grow. Tribal princes as well as priests ( druids ) and bards had great influence. Although all clans were independent, Tara (in what is now County Meath) was recognized as the capital.

Ireland, called " Hibernia " in Roman literature (also called Ivernia ), was not conquered by the Romans. But sporadic trade and cultural exchanges took place (see the article Roman-Irish relations ). Towards the end of the Roman occupation in England and Wales, Irish clan chiefs also invaded Britain. The Celtic culture of Ireland ends at the earliest with the completion of Christianization in the 12th century, but in some areas it continued for a long time (see Caherconnell ). Early church enclosures and hermitages on tiny islands are formative for the first time.

Ireland in the Middle Ages

Vikings and the proselytizing of Ireland

Page from the Book of Kells

The beginning of Christianization in the 4th and 5th centuries was followed by the Irish monastic culture and the beginnings of the Irish high kingship . The following three centuries are considered to be the heyday of early Christian Ireland, during which Irish education and culture became known in Europe. An independent church was established in Ireland , the spiritual center of the country was Armagh in the province of Ulster . The ecclesiastical role passed to the country's numerous monasteries , where dozens of kings ruled, who paid attention to autonomy .

Political disagreement, internal wars and raids by the Vikings in 795 on Inishmurray and Inishbofin (in Dublin since 832) heralded the end of this period. The Vikings came from Norway, had already settled the Orkney and Shetland Islands and now reached Ireland. After 50 years of raids, the Vikings began to establish permanent settlements on the coasts. They were the first actual cities in Ireland, from which today's places Dublin (Duibh-linn 'black pond'), Wexford (Veigsfjörðr), Wicklow (Víkingaló), Limerick (Hlymrekr) and Waterford (Veðrafjörðr) emerged.

The Vikings, however, did not strive for conquest and did not go beyond raids and settlements near the coast as merchants and traders. Ireland offered little unified resistance. The dominant Irish rulers at this time were the southern Ui Néill of Tara in the (northeast) and the Eoganachta of Cashel in Munster (southeast). They fought with the northern Ui Néill of Armagh and some other royal houses such as the Uladh for supremacy. All sides temporarily allied themselves with the Vikings.

An interim result of the wars was a renewed strengthening and intellectual dominance of Tara (whose special position could hypothetically go back to an important role in prehistoric times) over the rest of Ireland, in which Viking settlements temporarily lost their independence. At the end of the 10th century there was a one-time united Ireland for nine years under the High King Brian Boru , who in 1005 became the sole but controversial ruler of Ireland and in 1014 defeated the Vikings of Dublin at the Battle of Clontarf .

In the early Middle Ages , Irish missionaries were active across Western Europe. Ireland was called “Scotia Maior” in Latin at that time , which is why these monks were also called Scots or Iro Scots . One of the founding monasteries of the Scots is u. a. the Schottenstift in Vienna .

The threat posed by the Vikings, as well as the adoption of superior weapons and the development of cities and maritime trade, made a difference in Ireland. The Vikings could not hold their own as a power factor, but their culture and language left their mark.

Ireland experienced a period of relative peace in the following 150 years and made advances in art and culture (literature, manuscripts, buildings in Romanesque and Gothic styles). This time ended with the invasion of the Anglo-Normans under Henry II in 1169, which was triggered by conflicts within Ireland.

The Anglo or Cambro Normans

Normannenburg in the Midlands
Clonmacnoise monastery complex

The Anglo -Norman conquest , also known as the cambro-Norman invasion, was the result of a dispute between two Irish kings, Diarmuid Mac Murchadha (Dermot MacMurrough) and Tigernán Ua Ruairc (Tiernan O'Rourke), over Ua Ruairc's wife, Derbforgaill . The defeated Mac Murchadha fled to England and on to France to persuade King Henry II, the ruler of England and parts of France, to conquer Ireland.

With a letter of support from Henry II, Mac Murchadha was able to persuade Cambro-Normans and Flemings to campaign in Wales . The leader of the Normans, Richard Fitz Gilbert (1130–1176), called Strongbow , won a relatively easy first victory thanks to superior military technology (Welsh longbows , cavalry , chain armor ) and Irish disagreement, which lured more Normans to Ireland. After victories in 1169, Henry II declared himself King of Ireland in 1171 and distributed lands to Norman barons as fiefs . These were mostly in the east of the island, as the west had not yet been conquered. The barons secured their property with tower houses that are still visible from afar and began to take possession of other parts of Ireland.

The small number of conquerors, also due to Norman interests in Scotland and France, made Norman-Irish cooperation necessary. The Normans therefore limited themselves to the deposition of the Irish princes and tried to achieve acceptance by the Irish people . The following decades saw the consolidation of Norman supremacy, with the first central administration of Ireland (especially under King John Ohneland ( John Lackland ), 1199-1216) and the establishment of many cities . Many of Ireland's major cathedrals date from this period.

Tomb of the dead of the Battle of Callan

Only in the west did Irish rulers retain control. At the end of the 13th century, they were able to take advantage of the Cambro-Norman weakness due to a lack of support from England. For the first time a unified Irish movement emerged, which was also able to record military successes (1261 with Callan , 1270 with Carrick-on-Shannon ).

The approaches of English parliamentarism also had an impact on Ireland. The first Irish parliament was established there in 1297 . In the course of the 14th century there were several uprisings in Ireland against English sovereignty, which flared up especially in Connacht . During the Hundred Years War , the Kingdom of England focused on the French theater of war and neglected to enforce its rule in Ireland. The ensuing Wars of the Roses further weakened the importance of the Irish island in English politics. Only when the dynastic conflicts were settled by the House of Tudor did the English crown devote itself increasingly to the Irish part of its sphere of power. The Poynings' Law , created under the English King Henry VII in 1494, made the decisions of the Irish Parliament dependent on the approval of the English King. At that time England exercised direct rule only over the Pale , a strip of land in the east of Ireland.

Ireland in the early modern period

Plantations and riots

In 1541, under Henry VIII , Ireland was directly subordinated to the English crown, and the English king thus ruled over the newly created Kingdom of Ireland in personal union . In addition, all church property on the Irish island was confiscated, which had also happened in England since the break with the Roman Church and the establishment of the Anglican State Church . Both the Irish and most of the settlers from the Anglo-Norman era stayed with the Catholic faith. Henry VIII feared that foreign powers like Spain could play predominantly Catholic Ireland off against England. Heinrich's successor Edward VI. began with a massive, targeted settlement of English in the area outside the Pale. These settlements are called plantations , which can literally be translated as plantings.

Since the late 1560s, British settlement in Ireland increased rapidly and was accompanied by military measures against the burgeoning Irish resistance. At that time Ireland lacked modern military equipment and a unified organization, as the Irish felt more attached to their respective clan than Ireland as a nation. Nevertheless, the Irish resistance against the Plantations became more and more effective, as the Irish waged a kind of guerrilla war , which the British forces of the time were not prepared for. The mountainous and wooded character of the island was a great advantage for the Irish. Under James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald , an Irish rebellion broke out in 1568, but the British were able to suppress it by 1573. The Earl of Desmond organized another rebellion in 1579, which was brutally smothered by English troops until 1583. Both rebellions are known as the Desmond Rebellions .

The Irish resistance under Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone , became a serious threat to the English . O'Neill succeeded in setting up an army consisting of about 10,000 Irish by first keeping various clans quiet and then uniting them in a strike against the English. This force was well armed with numerous muskets which the Irish had bought in Scotland with Spanish gold. The Irish were supported by Spain not only through financial means, but also through the sending of fortress engineers . O'Neill not only relied on the Irish of Gaelic descent, but also tried to win over the Old English (English settlers from Anglo-Norman times who had remained Catholic) for his cause. Due to the prevailing poverty in Ireland, many Irish served as mercenaries in the Spanish army, where they gained important military experience. Under O'Neill, a great uprising of the Catholic Irish broke out in Ulster in 1595 and quickly spread to all of Ireland. An English army sent to combat O'Neill's troops was surprisingly attacked and defeated by them at the Battle of Clontibret . Three years later, on August 14, 1598, another battle broke out at the Yellow Ford , which also ended with a severe English defeat.

Queen Elizabeth I installed Lord Mountjoy as the new Lord Deputy in Ireland in 1600 . In the north of Ireland, he was responsible for the destruction of the harvest and had the herds of cattle confiscated there in order to deprive the Irish army of their basic food. Mountjoy's further advance into Ulster, however, was stopped by O'Neill and his troops from October 2-3, 1600 at Moyry Pass. O'Neill received support on September 21, 1601 in the form of 3,500 Spanish soldiers who went ashore in Kinsale . English troops under Mountjoy began the siege of the city a little later. At the end of December, O'Neill and his army arrived at Kinsale to end the siege by force. The attempt failed and the Spanish garrison capitulated. After a few more fighting, O'Neill negotiated an armistice with the English in 1603. Since Ireland was now completely under English control again, numerous members of the Irish nobility - including O'Neill - left their home country in 1607, where one spoke of the " Flight of the Earls ". In retaliation for the uprising, numerous Irish landowners were expropriated.

To up to the present time momentous development, it came under Elizabeth's successor James I . Under his reign, the Ulster Plantation was carried out from 1609 . Numerous Anglican English and Presbyterian Scots ( Ulster Scots ) were settled in Ulster. Ulster thereby developed into the core of English rule in Ireland. At the beginning of the 17th century, Ireland experienced an economic boom, which resulted in a strong population growth. To secure their rule over Ireland, the English under James I built forts and citadels in cities like Cork and Kinsale. The Northern Irish city of Derry was transferred directly to the English capital London in 1613 , fortified and settled with English. Its name was changed by the new settlers in Londonderry , while the long-time residents - and most of the Catholic Irish - refer to it as Derry to this day.

From the Civil War to the UK

Despite the improvement in economic conditions, many Irish Catholics were concerned about the political developments in England under King Charles I. Charles I professed the Anglican faith, but sought rapprochement with the Catholic Church. Thomas Wentworth , who was appointed Lord Deputy in Ireland in 1632 , also met the Catholics. However, the English king got into conflict with parliament, which was heavily influenced by the Puritan MPs. Puritanism was a belief movement that called for a religion free of any Catholic elements. When Charles I had Wentworth executed in 1641 under pressure from Parliament, the Catholic Irish feared that the Puritan parliamentarians would enforce reprisals against them. The Irish of Gaelic origin rose up in a revolt in Ulster in November 1641 and caused a bloodbath among the English settlers, which killed several thousand people. The uprising soon spread across large parts of the Irish island. When King Charles I ordered the arrest of several parliamentarians opposing him in January 1642, the English Civil War broke out, which also spread to Ireland. While the Irish uprising was initially directed against all the Protestant English and Scots, the Irish soon sided with the royalists.

Gaelic Irish, Old English and royalist English settlers founded the Confederation of Kilkenny in 1642 , which aimed to establish a Catholic, loyal Ireland. Their troops succeeded in conquering a large part of the Irish island, but Ulster and Dublin were held by British loyal to parliament. Resettled in Ireland, Presbyterian Scots joined the Confederation of Kilkenny in 1648. In England itself the military decision had been made in favor of Parliament that year. Charles I was executed in January 1649 and the English Republic was founded. In the course of the war, the Puritan MP Oliver Cromwell had gained a strong position of power. He sat in August 1649 at the head of a penal procession against the insurgent Ireland ( recapture of Ireland ). This penal train was led by Cromwell with great severity, which was first felt by the city of Drogheda , which was defended by insurgents . On September 11, 1649, it was stormed by Cromwell's troops, with the entire population killed or deported. The city itself was destroyed. Cromwell dealt with towns like Wexford in a similar way, but had to leave Ireland in 1650 because of its location in Scotland. The troops he left behind ended the Irish uprising by 1652.

Cromwell's devastating strategy had devastated large parts of Ireland, with many captured insurgents being shipped to the Caribbean as slaves , while a significant portion of the Gaelic landowners were expropriated. Since the English Republic had problems with the salaries of its troops, it offered its soldiers land in Ireland as compensation. In this way, tens of thousands of veterans loyal to Parliament settled in Ireland, mostly in Ulster. These were members of the New Model Army , the majority of whom were staunch Puritans. Many of the expropriated Irish found themselves forced to live their lives as outlaws . Cromwell ordered that the Gaelic Irish are only allowed to settle west of the River Shannon , in Connacht - “To Hell or to Connacht” became the motto of this policy.

The English Republic and the Puritan military dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell were followed in 1660 by the restoration of the monarchy under the House of Stuart . King Charles II sympathized with the Catholic faith, but ordered economic measures directed against Ireland. Ireland was only allowed to export its wool to England, which hit the Irish economy hard. In addition, Ireland was prohibited from trading with the English colonies . Charles II was followed by his brother Jakob II in 1685 , who openly professed Catholicism. This created severe tensions with the English Parliament, which erupted in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Jacob II was by his Protestant son-in-law Wilhelm III. (Orange) and fled to France . From there he crossed over to Ireland in order to regain the English throne with the support of the local Catholics. William III. However, decided to campaign against the Irish Jacobites . In 1690 there was a decisive battle on the Boyne River , which ended in the defeat of James II. Jakob returned to France, where he died a few years later. To punish the Jacobites, Wilhelm III. 1695 several laws that led to the disenfranchisement of the Catholic Irish. During this period, over three-quarters of Irish property was in the hands of Protestant English, Scots and Catholic Old-British.

In 1798 there were major uprisings in Ireland and organizations such as the Society of United Irishmen , led by Lord Eduard Fitzgerald and Wolfe Tone, were formed .

While the peasants went on the attack, Wolfe Tone persuaded Napoleon I to fight the British in Ireland, and Napoleon sent a fleet to the south coast of Ireland. However, this 2,000-strong force was crushed just as quickly and bloodily as the peasant revolts in the rest of the country. Their leaders were caught and sentenced to death. The rest were arrested.

So Ireland in 1801 by the Act of Union the Kingdom connected, from now on, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was called.

Ireland since the 19th century

Great Famine and "Home Rule League"

Limerick , ca.1900

Potato crop failures triggered the Great Famine (eng. Great Famine ) of, called for the numerous 1846-1849 lives and attracted a large emigration to himself. Overall, the population decreased from 8.5 million to just six million. The British government was of little help. As a result, the Irish independence movement began to gain strength in the second half of the nineteenth century. Some of the first more serious protests were organized by Daniel O'Connell , who was elected to the UK Parliament in 1828 as the first Catholic since the beginning of Catholic emancipation. The British government even needed troops and artillery in 1843 to crush the uprisings that broke out at Clontarf . Another important independence movement were the Fenians . They published their calls for political independence in The Irish People newspaper . The Home Government Association or Home Rule League is also very well known . The organization founded in 1870 by the lawyer Isaac Butt had the same goal as the Fenian movement and, at times, with up to 60 members in parliament, also had political influence.

In May 1914 the British House of Commons passed the Home Rule Bill . Ireland should have its own constitution and self-government. Previous attempts at a settlement had been rejected by the House of Lords in 1913 due to protests from the Northern Irish region of Ulster . However, because of the outbreak of World War I , the law was not fully implemented.

Irish independence

The failed uprising at Easter 1916 sparked guerrilla warfare in Ireland for several years . Leading it were Patrick Pearse (1879-1916), Michael Collins (1890-1922), Roger Casement (executed 1916) and Éamon de Valera (1882-1975). The Sinn Féin , although only marginally involved in the uprising, became the center of the independence movement. In the general election of 1918, Sinn Féin won 80% of the Irish seats and formed the First Dáil , the first Irish parliament since 1801. Éamon de Valera was elected President of the Republic of Ireland and the establishment of a parallel government and administrative structure began. The British government immediately declared the Dáil illegal. The following Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) led to the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921 , which guaranteed independence from Great Britain for 26 of the 32 Irish counties . From the provinces of Munster , Leinster and Connaught , and three of the nine counties of Ulster who was Irish Free State (Engl. Free State Irish ) formed. The six northern counties of Ulster make up Northern Ireland and remained part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland .

Civil war

The u. a. Anglo-Irish treaty signed by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith , which accepted the division of the island by the Government of Ireland Act , was not recognized by the minority in the Dáil and by the President of the Republic of Éamon de Valera. The split ran right through the Dáil, the Sinn Féin and the Army ( IRA ). With a narrow majority (64 to 57 votes), the Dáil accepted the treaty and elected Arthur Griffith as president. In the Irish Civil War that began, De Valera led the Republican rebels (the part of the IRA that rejected the treaty) against the government's new, regular Irish Army , which was initially led by Griffith and Collins. Griffith died of heart failure in August 1922, and Collins was shot dead in an ambush 10 days later. The death of the two main proponents of the treaty also turned the civil war. William Thomas Cosgrave took over the government on December 6, 1922. In May 1923 the Republican forces surrendered. Chief of Staff Frank Aiken ordered the weapons to be buried; the civil war ended. In 1926 Éamon de Valera and his followers left the Sinn Féin and founded the Fianna Fáil party ("Soldiers of Fate"), of which de Valera became chairman. In the parliamentary election in February 1932, his party received 44.5% of the vote; de Valera was elected Prime Minister of Ireland on March 9, 1932, successor to Cosgrave.

Republic of Ireland

Since 1922, as you can see on this 1934 stamp, the claim of the Irish state to the whole island, i.e. H. including Northern Ireland clearly.
Memorial to Merchant Navy Seafarers killed during World War II, Dublin, 1991

A referendum was held in Ireland on July 1, 1937. The de Valera government let the people vote on the draft of a new Irish constitution ('Bunreacht na hÉireann'). 56.25 percent of those who voted supported this. The constitution came into effect on December 29, 1937, creating the state of Ireland .

In the Second World War, Ireland was neutral. "Emergency" ( The Emergency , Irish Ré na Práinne ) was the official expression were possible for a policy of the government since 2 September 1939 by the internments, Press and Post-censorship and various controls of economic relations and the national economy. Germany and Japan had an ambassador in the country until 1945 ( Eduard Hempel ). There was de facto intelligence and military cooperation between Ireland and the United Kingdom and the USA. Viscount Cranborne , Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs , wrote a summary of Irish-British cooperation in the war for the British War Cabinet . An estimated 70,000 Irish served as soldiers with the Western Allies (details here : 4983 Irish soldiers deserted from their neutral army in World War II to join British troops against Hitler Germany. In Ireland these - now largely deceased - men are up to today (2011) is not as heroes. the survivors were released after their return without hearing dishonorably from the army, relieved of all military pension claims and ruled for seven years from any employment with the state. Some had to before a military tribunal responsible).

In the summer of 1940 the Wehrmacht considered an invasion of Ireland after the quick victory over France ( Operation Grün ); these plans have been postponed in connection with the Seelöwe company . On the night of April 15, 1941, around 1,000 people died in the Belfast Blitz in practically undefended Belfast. On the night of May 30, 1941, the Air Force mistakenly bombed Dublin. Many Irish merchant seamen died from submarine attacks by 1945 . Ireland closed itself off against Jewish refugees from the Nazi sphere of influence.

After the Second World War, Ireland remained neutral. Ireland had been a founding member of the Organization for European Cooperation (OEEC) since April 16, 1948 , which was converted into the OECD in 1961.

In 1949 the republic withdrew from the Commonwealth . Ireland was economically backward at this time. It received some economic aid from the Marshall Plan . In 1973 Ireland joined the EC as part of the north expansion (= first EC expansion) (together with Great Britain and Denmark). After difficult years (among other things as a result of two oil price crises and stagflation in many countries), there was a strong economic upswing from 1995 to 2007, supported by structural funds from the European Union . Ireland was nicknamed the " Celtic Tiger ".

In 1985, Great Britain and Ireland signed a treaty on the Northern Ireland Conflict , which gave Ireland some say in Northern Ireland. In 1994, the IRA-affiliated Sinn Féin party announced a unilateral ceasefire that made the first peace talks possible. Mary Robinson , President of Ireland, became the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights in 1997 .

On April 10, 1998, the governments of Ireland and Great Britain and the Northern Irish parties signed the Good Friday Agreement . Ireland gave up the claim to Northern Ireland then formulated in its constitution. Referendums were held on May 22, 1998; u. a. 94.4 percent of voters voted for the constitutional amendment.

In 2002 Ireland (like 11 other countries in the euro zone ) introduced the euro as a means of payment. On January 1, 2004, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months . During this time the negotiations on the new European Constitution were successfully concluded. In the first half of 2004, the EU's eastward expansion also came into force: the EU-15 became the EU-25 .

The financial crisis from 2007 hit Ireland particularly hard, among other things because the growth of the previous years was based on speculative bubbles (especially a property bubble ). The very lax regulation of the financial sector attracted a particularly large number of foreign banks (including the German Depfa Bank ); Ireland is now very heavily indebted abroad. In 2009, Irish banks' total outstanding loans , derivatives and mortgage lending exceeded GDP nearly four times.

In 2009, the discovery rocked several abuse scandals by the Ryan report and the Murphy Report , the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland .

In 2018, in two referendums, the abortion ban was first lifted and then the blasphemy article was abolished. Even the Bishops' Conference had found the blasphemy paragraph "largely superfluous" and pointed out that such bans were used elsewhere to justify the oppression of minorities. The Islamic community, on the other hand, wanted to keep the article because it would have promoted "mutual respect".

List of Irish heads of state

Overview of the states on the Irish island

Until 1921 the English kings were in personal union kings of Ireland and from 1801 kings of Great Britain and Ireland .


Governors of the Free State

Uachtaráin na hÉireann (Head of State of the Republic of Ireland)

List of Irish Heads of Government (Taoiseach)


Web links

Commons : History of Ireland  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Lara M. Cassidy, Rui Martiniano, Eileen M. Murphy, Matthew D. Teasdale, James Mallory, Barrie Hartwell, Daniel G. Bradley: Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome , in: PNAS 113, 2 (2016) 368–373, here: p. 369.
  2. The Ulster Museum - Neo Crafts And Skills ( Memento of May 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  3. 685.105 of 1,346,207: cf. Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Ed.): Referendum Results 1937–2015. (PDF; 2.08 MB). 23 August 2016, p. 18 (English).
  4. ^ R. Fanning (1983): Independent Ireland. Helicon, Ltd., Dublin. Pp. 124-125; engl. See engl. Wikipedia .
  5. Manfred Knapp : Germany and the Marshall Plan . In: Hans-Jürgen Schröder (Ed.): Marshall Plan and West German Resurgence . Stuttgart 1990, p. 35 ff., Here p. 75. 1.05% of the money went to Ireland.
  6. John F. Jungclaussen: Unemployed and burned down in Dublin. In: zeit.de , February 26, 2009.
  7. Clerical Sexual Abuse - Irish Bishops Submit Resignation ( Memento December 27, 2009 on Internet Archive ). In: tagesschau.de , December 25, 2009.
  8. Ireland abolishes blasphemy paragraphs , Frankfurter Rundschau, October 28, 2018.
  9. Ireland wants to abolish punishment for blasphemy , NZZ, October 25, 2018.