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Today is St Patrick’s Day, so what other way to celebrate than writing about Ireland! My family is wearing green today so that no one will pinch them, (except me, since I can’t find anything green but my scout pants). My Grandfather, however, never wore green on this day. Instead, he wore orange due to his dislike of the Irish. His sentiment is not shared by my family (although I happen to be wearing orange today).

Here is a brief history of Ireland:

  • Patrick arrived in the 400’s and would die in 460
  • In 684, England invaded Ireland, but soon left. The next conflict with the English would be in 1169
  • Starting in 795, Vikings started raiding Ireland
  • By 1014, the Vikings were finally defeated and left Ireland, which broke into many different kingdoms following the death of the High King, Brian Boru
    Title: Brian Boru. Monarch of Ireland / H. MacManus, A.R.H.A. ; J. Rogers.  [published 1867] Library of Congress

    Title: Brian Boru. Monarch of Ireland / H. MacManus, A.R.H.A. ; J. Rogers. [published 1867] Library of Congress

  • In 1169, the English invaded the divided Ireland in order to reduce the Norman influence. England conquered most of Ireland and soon united it with the Crown.
  • By 1500, English influence had largely disappeared due to the decline after the Black Plague in 1368
  • In 1541, Henry VIII crowned himself King of Ireland and reestablished English influence.
  • By 1603, all of Ireland once again belonged to the English
  • Ireland was divided by supporters of the Commonwealth and the King of England in the English civil War and later by supporters of James II and William III
  • In the 1700’s, Ireland became Protestant, but many revolts occurred against the English
  • In 1801, Ireland became a part of Great Britain with its freedom and parliament abolished
  • In 1845, Ireland was hit by the Potato Famine
  • By 1912, Ireland began governing itself again
  • In 1922, the majority of Ireland became the independent Irish Free State, while the northeast remains British to this date

Whatever color you are wearing today, I hope that you are not as unlucky as the Irish. YOU wouldn’t want your country raided by Vikings, conquered by the English, and endure years of revolution!