Ireland. History, Facts and Figures

Referat / Aufsatz (Schule), 2001

6 Seiten, Note: 14 Punkte

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1. History

- ca. 8000 BC: according to local legends Ireland was inhabited first by various tribes

- these tribes came from Scotland

- before the 4th century AD little is known with certainty of Ireland’s inhabitants

- although Ireland is mentioned under the name of Ierne in a Greek poem of the 5th

century BC and by the names of Hibernia and Juverna by different classical writers

- one reason, that there is almost nothing, which tells us sth. about the early Irish

history, could be that the Ireland was not economical for the Roman

- in 500 BC the Celts subjugated the island

- they brought with them a higher developed culture

- King MacNeill reigned 428-63

- during this reign St. Patrick landed in Ireland

- he attempted to convert the natives

- although Christianity had been previously introduced in some parts of Ireland, Patrick

encountered great obstacles

- home of St. Patrick: map

- founded cathedral in Armagh: card

- and the new faith was not fully established in the island until a century after his death

(circa 461)

- in the 6th century extensive monasteries were founded in Ireland

- these foundations brought with them many missionaries

- many students of distinction from England and the Continent visited Ireland to further

their education

- in the end of 8th century there were many invasions of the Normans

- they destroyed monasteries e.g and so they ended the first climax of the Irish culture

- these Vikings established many settlements on the east coast of Ireland

- e.g. Dublin in 841

- and they conducted raids in the interior until they were defeated at the Battle of

Clontarf, near Dublin, in 1014, by the Irish King Brian Boru

- 1171/72 Henry intervened in Ireland with a his army - he should prevent a growing

Anglo-Norman State

- in 1300 ca. two third of Ireland was in the hand of England now

- in 1314 Edward Bruce, the younger brother of Robert Bruce, the King of Scotland,

invaded in Ireland to defeat the English à without success

- though the invasion failed, it came to a general decrease of the English power in


- the descendants of the most powerful Anglo-Norman settlers in Ireland take over the

Irish language, habits and laws

- therefore the Anglo-Irish Parliament passed, in 1366, the Statute of Kilkenny to

counteract this development

- 1494 “Poyning Law” was passed (a bill has to be signed by the King) by Lord Edward

Poyning, King

- 1536 Henry VII. became King of England

- he wanted to introduce a reformation into Ireland in 1537

- the dissolution of the monasteries was begun, later relics and images were destroyed

and the dissolution was completed

- 1541 Henry became King of Ireland he began his direct reign over whole Ireland with

the “Poyning Law”

- in the beginning of the 17th century there were many battles: the Irish soldier Hugh

O'Neill defeated an English army on the Blackwater

- in 1603 O’Neill was defeated by the English finally

- During the war the greatest cruelty and treachery were practiced on both sides

- in order to destroy Irish resistance, the English devastated villages, crops, and cattle ,

putting many people to death

- the greater part of Munster and Ulster was destroyed, and in this time more

inhabitants died from hunger than from war

- 1641 there were rebellions against the English, therefore it came to bloody massacres

in 1649

- 1690 Battle of the Boyne à catholic James II.(King of Eng) was defeated

- Penal Laws were passed, which directed mainly against the Roman Catholics

- in the 18th century “Poyning Law“ was retracted and other laws that disadvantage the


- 1782 the British acknowledge the Irish parliament, but it consists only of Protestants

- these Protestants did not want to give the Catholics the permission to vote

- it again came to rebellions that were smashed by the English

- January 1st 1801 declaration of the “United Kingdom of England and Ireland” also

called: “Act of Union”

- 1823 foundation of the “Catholic Association” by Daniel O’Connell

- he forced the equal rights for the Catholics

- 1832 reform of the British Parliament, that increased the number of Irish members

from 100 to 105, it gave the middle class more power

- 1845-1850 disastrous famine in Ireland, with the result: 1 Mio. people died and 3

Mio. people were forced to emigrate

- the population of Ireland sank from 8 Mio. to 4 Mio. in this time

- in the last 35 years of the 19th century many ecclesiastical and agrarian reforms

were effected in the country

- in 1886 a Home Rule Bill by Prime Minister William Gladstone should resolve the Irish

question à the bill would have given the Irish Parliament the right to appoint the

executive of Ireland à many criticisms from England and Ireland à but it did not

passed the House of Commons, and another Home Rule Bill in 1893 failed to pass the House of Lords

- 1902 Arthur Griffith, the Irish political leader and journalist, founded the Sinn Fein,

which became a political party in 1905, later in 1919: they set up the IRA

- 1916: Easter Rebellion: supporter of the Sinn Fein call for Ireland to become a

republic independent of Great Britain

- 1919: Sinn Fein members proclaim Ireland’s Independence, but was not accepted by

the British government

- 1919-1921 War of Ireland’s Independence against the English

- result of Indep. War: foundation of the free state Ireland, but 6 counties in the

Protestant North (Northern Ireland) belonged to Great Britain, and the other 26

counties would become the Irish free state

- 1937: new constitution: abolished the Irish free state and they used the Gaelic name

Eire from that moment on

- 1939: WWII: Ireland declared itself an independent and neutral state

- 1949: official declaration of the Republic of Ireland, Ireland left the Commonwealth

- 1955:Ireland became member of the UN; begin of a terror campaign of the IRA, with

the aim: union of Ireland and Northern Ireland

- 1968: begin of the troubles in Northern Ireland: until the year 2000 this trouble will

cost the life of 3500 people

- in NI: the Catholics were the minority, they started a Civil Rights Movement

- these protests led to military operations in NI (IRA, British Army involved, and the

Loyalists from NI)

- 1972: the Parliament in NI was abolished and so NI was directly reigned by Great


- but in the following years there had been more and more attacks by the IRA

- in 1973 Ireland became member of the EC

- in 1994 the IRA declared that they will stop their terror actions in favor of peace talks

- in the same year the talks between members of the British government and members

-f the Sinn Fein started

- 1996: IRA again started to commit attacks and they stopped it in 1997

- 1998: there was the Good Friday Agreement, it is a NI-peace agreement

- in the same year the Irish politicians David Trimble and John Hume got the Peace- Nobel-prize

- 1999: with the NI Assembly: NI got autonomy

- but in 2000: it was abolished, because the peace process got into stop

- Ireland takes part in the introduction of the EURO

2. General Facts and Figures: show the flag (green-white-orange)

- area of the island Ireland: 84.431 sq km

- Republic of Ireland: 70.283 sq km

- republic comprise about five-sixths of the island of Ireland

- the country consists of the provinces of Leinster, Munster, and Connaught (Connacht) and part of the province of Ulster

- the rest of Ulster, which occupies the northeastern part of the island, constitutes Northern Ireland, a constituent part of Great Britain

- Northern Ireland: 14.148 sq km

- integral part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, situated in the northeastern portion of the island of Ireland

- Northern Ireland is bounded on the north and northeast by the North Channel, on the southeast by the Irish Sea, and on the south and west by the Republic of Ireland

- it includes Rathlin Island in the North Channel and several smaller offshore islands

- Northern Ireland is also known as Ulster, because it comprises six of the nine counties that constituted the former province of Ulster

- land

- NI:important sight:North Coast: Giant’s Causeway(map+Damm der Riesen) o rivers: Upper Bann, Lower Bann, Foyle, lake: Lough Neagh(map) o RI: lake: Lough Corrib, Lough Ree, Lough Derg, river: Shannon(map) o Ireland: has also name: Green Island, because 90 per cent of the country is covered by grass

- Wicklow Mountains (RI)

- population of the island: about 5.1 Mio. people AND language

- Republic of Ireland: about 3.5 Mio. people

- the population of Ireland is predominantly of Celtic origin o no significant ethnic minorities exist

- 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

- Northern Ireland: about 1.6 Mio. people

- the majority of the people are of Scottish or English ancestry and are known commonly as the Scotch-Irish

- the remainder of the population is Irish, principally native to Ulster o English is the sole official language

- unlike the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland does not encourage the use of the Gaelic language

- Religion:

- Republic of Ireland: About 94% of the people of Ireland are Roman Catholics, and less than 4% are Protestants

- freedom of worship is guaranteed by the constitution

- Northern Ireland: The population of Northern Ireland is predominantly Protestant

- the largest single denomination, however, is the Roman Catholic (about 28% of the country's total population)

- much conflict between Roman Catholics and Protestants occurred in the 1970s and '80s

- Principal Cities:

- Republic of Ireland: The capital and largest city is Dublin, with a population (1986, greater city) of 920,956. Cork is the second largest city and a major port, with a population of 173,694 (map+sights)

- Dublin Castle:

- located in Dublin’s old section

- was first built in the early 1200s

- and then rebuilt later that century and in succeeding centuries · the castle housed the offices of the British viceroy of Ireland until 1922, when it was handed over to the newly formed Irish Free State

- today Dublin Castle is used for ceremonial functions, including the inauguration of the country’s president

- other cities and towns, important primarily as trading centers for produce, with their population figures in the 1986 census, include Limerick (76,557), and Waterford (41,054)

- Northern Ireland: The capital and largest city of Northern Ireland is Belfast (population, 1991 preliminary, 279,237), which is surrounded by such substantial industries as shipbuilding and textiles

- sights: Ulster Museum, City Hall (map+sights)

- the other major city in Northern Ireland is Londonderry (72,334) (map)

- Politics

- since 1937 Ireland is an independent, democratic state and since 1949 it became a republic

- Executive power is vested in a cabinet of 15 members

§ there is a Prime Minister (head of government, appointed by the

president), prime min. selects members of government, appointed by the president

§ President of Ireland is the head of state and is elected by direct popular vote for a 7-year term

- Legislature: consists of a Lower House (directly elected and now has 166

members) and of the Upper House (60 members - 11 appointed by the Prime Minister, 6 elected by university graduates, 43 chosen by an electoral collage of 900 representatives from local governments and the national legislature) o Judicial authority in Ireland is vested in a supreme court, a high court, a court of criminal appeal, central criminal court, circuit courts and district courts o supreme court is the court of final appeal, plays a key role in constitutionality determinations, Judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the government

- the most powerful parties in recent years have been Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Progressive Democratic party, and Labour

- NI: NI is an integral part of Great Britain

- today there are 17 members in the British House of Commons from NI

- Judicial authority in Ireland is Supreme Court of Judicature of NI

- parties: Ulster Unionist Party (governed NI from 1921-1972), but this party has split into two groups: Official Unionists and Democratic Unionists · other important parties: Social Democratic, Labour Party, Alliance Party, Sinn Fein

- today: David Trimble - UUP head of government, Protestant Interesting things:

- Music and Dancing:

- the Irish traditionally dance mainly with their feet without much significant movement of the arms or hands

- The Chieftains is a well-known Irish folk group

- they became famous by playing traditional Irish songs and melodies using traditional instruments

- the Irish have also become famous for modern music

- tock rock group U2 and the singer Bob Geldof are well known around the world

- Horses:

- Irish race horses are famous around the world

- Ireland is well known for breeding and training excellent racehorses o most Irish horses are ponies

- they are noted for their strength and temperament

- donkeys are also associated with Ireland because of their strength and their ability to survive on very little food

- Sport:

- Ireland is a wet country

- Irish rivers are full of fish, trout and salmon in particular

- traditional Irish sports are hurling and Gaelic football

- Golf is a game which originated in Scotland but it has been played in Ireland for many years

St. Patrick’s Day

- national holiday in Ireland

- is celebrated each year on March, the 17th · celebrated with services and parades

- it is also celebrated e.g. in the USA, there, where are Irish settlements · it is a holiday of Saint Patrick, he is the patron saint of Ireland · this man had great influence on the inhabitants of Ireland · Irish version of his name is Padraic: most frequent male name · many towns or villages have their name from him

- penance-places of Patrick Pettigo and Holy Mountain Croagh are destinations for many pilgrim journeys

- cloverleaf is one of the attributes of Patrick, today it is national symbol of Ireland and called shamrock

Other important personalities of Ireland

1. Michael Collins

- legendary leader of the rebellion 1919-1921

- in 1919 he became one of the most wanted men

- if you had killed him in that time you would have got L 10.000 · he was leader of the intelligence service of the IRA · he financial expert and a brilliant organizer and negotiator

- he signed the treaty in 1921, that made Ireland an independent country · he was killed in 1922

2. Eamon de Valera

- Irish politician, for 21 years Prime Minister of Ireland and for 14 years President · he pursued the final Independence for Ireland in the 1930s

- he was Prime Min. until 1948, but he was deposed after his economical policy was not successful

- but at the age of 78 he became President of Ireland in 1959 and retired in 1973 at the age of 90, he died two years later

3. Oscar Wilde

- born in Ireland

- but he had only success outside the country

- he was an author, wrote many novels (“Lady Windermere’s Fan“ (1892) and “The Importance of Being Earnest”)

-other Irish personalities:

- Collins, Michael

- de Valera, Eamon · Joyce, James · O'Connell, Daniel · Parnell, Charles · Swift, Jonathan · Shaw, G.B. · St. Patrick · Wilde, Oscar

James Joyce:

Daniel O’Connell: politician

Charles Parnell: radical politician

Jonathan Swift: author, wrote Gulliver’s Journeys

GB Shaw: Nobel prize for literature

William B. Yeats (1923), Samuel Beckett (1969) und Seamus Heany (1995) also NP for literature

6 von 6 Seiten


Ireland. History, Facts and Figures
Aalborg Universitet  (Gymnasium)
14 Punkte
ISBN (eBook)
379 KB
enlischer Vortrag über Irland, besonders wurde auf die Geschichte Wert gelegt.
Vortrag, Referat, Ireland, Irland, IRA
Arbeit zitieren
Andreas Ringel (Autor:in), 2001, Ireland. History, Facts and Figures, München, GRIN Verlag,


  • Gast am 23.5.2007


    Mir hat dieses referat sehr geholfen. Ich musste ein Referat auf Englisch über die Geschichte Irlands halten. Ich fand es surely hilfreich!!! Nochmals DANKE! =)

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