How was Ireland created

History at a glance

Our overview of almost ten thousand years of Irish history can of course only take up the "highlights" - and ends with the historic Good Friday Agreement.

This section was chosen because the events since 1998 have been documented in detail on the Internet - including in the numerous newspaper archives that are freely accessible.

About 7500 BC. First human settlement in Ireland by hunters and gatherers, probably mainly from Scotland. At that time Ireland and Great Britain were still connected by three large land bridges (one very wide in the area of ​​today's Antrim and two in today's Dublin and Wicklow area).

Around 6000 BC. The hut settlement near Mount Sandel (Co. Derry) is built, the oldest known settlement in Europe. Ireland itself is almost completely covered by dense forests, food is still acquired through the tried and tested hunting and gathering.

Around 3500 BC. The first Stone Age farmers settled in Ireland and began clearing the forests to plant crops.

Around 2500 BC. Construction of the passage grave of Newgrange.

Around 2050 BC. The first “beaker people” appear in Ireland, with them the Bronze Age begins. This cultural group is identified only by their characteristic pottery.

Around 1500 BC. Irish metalworking, especially goldsmithing, is rapidly developing to a high level.

Around 600 BC. First settlements of the Celts who came from (or via) Great Britain.

Around 500 BC. Fighting for the title of Ard Rí, the High King, began between the Irish-based tribes. A social order is developing that goes beyond the local (and still to be called “family”) area.

Around 250 BC. A second wave of Celtic immigrants arrives in Ireland. They are close to the La Téne culture, which in turn is identified by their typical pottery.

Around 80 AD The Roman general Agricola considers an invasion of Ireland from Britain, the plan is rejected. However, there are certainly contacts between Ireland and the Roman world and possibly some tiny settlements.

At 150 The Greek philosopher Ptolomew draws a map of Ireland and adds a description of the island.

367 Irish begin with raids on the territory of the Roman Empire.

Video: The Green Island A journey through time to Ireland

430/431 Palladius is sent to Ireland as the envoy of Pope Celestin I. Its exact mission and its success are in the dark (at least Patrick's followers later claim it was a failure). Palladius is by title bishop of all Christians in Ireland.

About 432 The Briton Patrick begins his missionary work with the Irish. He (and later his following) stylized himself as the sole missionary to Ireland, although Christian congregations existed before his time. Patrick himself only leaves behind a justification for his missionary work (the “Confessio”) and a letter as documents, and there are no illuminating contemporary writings about him.

433/434 Prosper of Aquitaine awards Pope Celestine I the merit of Christianizing Ireland.

455 Patrick founded the Church of Armagh.

550 Typical Irish monasteries are establishing themselves as leading ecclesiastical institutions. It is not only her tonsure that distinguishes her from the Roman Church, there are also important differences in questions of faith. The heyday of Irish monasteries slowly came to an end from 650 onwards.

563 Colmcille (Columba), the first Irish missionary, begins founding monasteries in the Scottish Isles. Iona becomes a center of his activity on the Lord's behalf.

615 Colmán (Columbanus) dies in Italy; before that he had been able to found numerous monasteries in Europe since around 590.

664 The Whitby Synod brings the Church of Ireland into conformity with the Church of Rome, starting with the “correct” date of the Easter celebrations. The religious independence of the Irish is noticeably dwindling.

Around 685 The clerics Tírechán and Muirchú publish Patrick's life descriptions and cement many legends about the national saint. The majority of the “facts” known about Patrick today come from these works written long after his death.

Around 690 The “Book of Durrow” (now in Trinity College, Dublin) is being completed. Irish illumination is one of the leading art forms in Europe.

795 First Viking raids on monasteries and villages in coastal areas. Ireland becomes interesting as a country for business travel and (later) settlement for the Northmen.

807 The building permit has been granted for the monastery of Kells and work can be started immediately ...

836 Vikings make their first raids deep into the Irish hinterland.

837 Viking fleets operate on the Boyne and the Liffey.

840/841 A Viking fleet winters on Lough Neagh.

841/842 A large fleet of Viking ships use Dublin as winter quarters.

842 First alliances between Irish kings and the Vikings. An Irish Viking rule is gradually being built up by the invaders. Ireland and especially Dublin are populated by Viking colonies.

866 Destruction of the Viking bases on the north coast by Irish warriors.

914 The second phase of colonization by the Vikings begins with the landing of a massive fleet in Waterford.

Around 950 The Viking situation is stagnating, there is an uncertain peace between the Northmen and the Irish.

967 Irish warriors plunder Limerick and begin a campaign against the Vikings.

975 Brian Boru becomes King of Munster.

999 Brian Boru defeats an army of allied Vikings and Irish. Sitric Silk Beard, King of Dublin, surrenders to Brian Boru.

1002 Brian Boru rules as the High King until his death. After donating twenty ounces of gold to the church, the church lists him as the sole ruler of the country (“imperator”) in its annals.

1014 Brian Boru destroys a combined army of the King of Leinster and the Vikings at Clontarf, but dies himself in the process.

1134 Establishment of Cormac's chapel in Cashel.

1142 Foundation of the first Irish Cistercian monastery in Mellifont. The Roman monastic orders began to replace the now rather dilapidated Irish monastic life.

1166 Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster, flees abroad from his adversaries.

1169 An Anglo-Norman army lands in Ireland as a mercenary in the service of Dermot McMurroughs and under the command of Richard “Strongbow” de Clare.

1170 Strongbow marries Dermot's daughter Aoife and becomes the de facto heir to the throne.

1171 Dermot dies and Strongbow becomes King of Leinster. His liege lord Henry II of England comes to Ireland and, skillfully exploiting the situation, promptly appoints himself as liege lord of Ireland. All the bishops and most of the Irish kings support the new ruler's opinion.

1172 The Pope confirms Henry's claimed feudal rule over the Irish, whereupon the English king leaves the country again.

1175 The High King of Ireland, Rory O'Connor, recognizes in the Treaty of Windsor that he ruled the territories not occupied by the Anglo-Normans as a vassal of the English king.

1177 Under John de Courcy, the Anglo-Normans begin to conquer Ulster. Johann Ohneland (the Prince John from all Robin Hood films) is appointed Regent of Ireland.

1185 John visits Ireland and the conquest of lands in Limerick begins.

Around 1200 First “classical” flowering of Irish literature (up to around 1600).

1210 John, now “King John to you, peasant!” Visits Ireland once more, simply confiscating Ulster and Limerick in the name of the Crown and at the same time reaping the renewed submission of the Irish kings.

1224 The Dominican Order established the first monasteries in Ireland.

1235 With the submission of Connacht by Richard de Burgh, the (not always) systematic conquest of territorial icing on the cake by the Anglo-Norman knighthood begins.

1297 The first Irish Parliament meets in Dublin.

1315 A Scottish army invades Ireland and Edward Bruce is crowned king.

1318 Edward Bruce is killed in the Battle of Faughart, which largely ends the Irish adventure of the Scots.

Around 1330 Fights between all factions, assassinations and an absolute lack of central power are slowly but surely breaking up English control of Ireland.

1348 The "Black Death" rages in Ireland, within just three years around a third of the population dies of the epidemic. There is anarchy in large parts of the country.

1361 An English army under Prince Lionel, Duke of Ulster, crosses over to Ireland and begins to re-consolidate the crumbling structures of rule.

1366 “Statutes of Kilkenny”, these laws prohibit inter alia the marriage between Anglo-Normans / English and Irish (... the irony is that without such a marriage Anglo-Norman rule was made possible!) And the use of the Irish language by the colonists . A kind of apartheid system is intended to consciously prevent the English ruling class from feeling too Irish.

1394 Richard II of England lands in Ireland with an army to strengthen his authority, but he does not fully succeed. Nevertheless, the Irish rulers, as well as the rebellious English rulers, submit to his command. For now.

1399 Richard II lands back in Ireland and subjugates the local rulers again (for the first time).

1414-1447 Continuing and sometimes bloody quarrels between the Dukes of Ormond (Butler) and Shrewsbury (Talbot) over control of the British royal reign in Ireland.

1481 Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th Duke of Kildare, is appointed Lord Deputy for Ireland.

1487 Kildare crowns the pretender Lambert Simnel as “Edward VI. of England ”in Dublin, Simnel attacks England with a multinational mercenary army and is defeated. However, he will not be executed and will be held in custody as a "curiosity".

1491 Kildare supports another pretender to the throne, this time Perkin Warbeck, who poses as "Richard Duke of York".

1492 Kildare is finally released (... while a certain Columbus finds a sea route west to India, at least he thinks).

1494 Lord Deputy Edward Poynings, replacing Kildare, forbids the Irish Parliament to meet or even pass laws without the approval of the King and at the same time transfers all existing English laws into Irish law.

1496 Kildare becomes Lord Deputy again despite his various high treason.

1504 Following uprisings in Connacht, Kildare becomes the undisputed ruler of Ireland (by the grace of England) by winning the Battle of Knocktoe.

1534 Thomas Fitzgerald, 10th Duke of Kildare, rebels against the English King Henry VIII, with some drama calls a crusade and besieges Dublin. Since he was denied the hoped-for material help from the Catholic powers (especially the Pope, the German Emperor Charles V and James V of Scotland), “Silken Thomas” surrenders in 1535 and is beheaded in 1537 as a traitor.

1536-1537 The “Irish Reformation Parliament” meets at the behest of Henry VIII.

1539 Dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.

1541 The Irish Parliament declares the hitherto pure liege lord Henry VIII to be King of Ireland. At the same time, all property is returned to Heinrich, to be received again from the hand of the “Irish King” (“surrender and re-grant”). With this formal legal act, the landowners recognize the new ruling structure.

1557 First forced settlements by the English crown ... in Offaly and Laois by the Catholic Mary I (“Bloody Mary”). In Ulster, the policy of “surrender and re-grant” is enforced at gunpoint.

1560 The second “Irish Reformation Parliament” is convened by Elizabeth I and decides to transfer the religious reforms of England to Ireland.

1570 Elisabeth I is excommunicated.

1579 A Catholic force under FitzGerald and the English Jesuit Sanders lands at Dingle, and the Desmonds openly rebel against Elisabeth.

1583 Desmond's rebellion in Munster ends with the Duke's death.

1585 - Ireland is mapped and administratively divided into 32 counties. Parliament redistributes the rebels' land holdings. Hugh O'Neill, Baron de Dungannon, profited heavily and became Duke of Tyrone. Beginning of the forced settlement in Munster.

1588 - Remnants of the Spanish Armada crash on the Irish west coast while trying to get back to their home ports.

1592 - Trinity College in Dublin is founded, all a stronghold of Protestant scholarship.

Around 1593 - Various rebellions in Ulster with the Duke of Tyrone remaining loyal to the Crown.

1595 - After the Duke of Tyrone also becomes clan chief of the O'Neills, he spontaneously decides to rebel, allies himself with Hugh O’Donnell and solicits Spanish (= Catholic) support.

1598 - At the “Yellow Ford” in Ulster, the troops loyal to the king are defeated by the rebels, and Munster also rebels.

1600 - Charles Blount, Baron Mountjoy, is appointed Governor of Ireland and sets out to suppress the rebellion in Ulster.

1601 - Spanish troops land in Kinsale, which, however, together with the rebels, are defeated by government troops in Kinsale.

1603 - The Treaty of Mellifont ends the Earl of Tyrone's war with the Crown. Former rebel leaders are barely restricted in their domain, while their dismantling is (as expected) planned behind closed doors.

1607 - The leaders of the Irish opposition (especially Tyrone and Tyrconnell) flee to Europe (“The Flight of Earls”), clearing the way for the forced settlement of Ulster (formally decided in 1608 after another rebellion under Cahir O’Doherty). The reason for the flight was a formal legal breakdown of their base of power and rule as well as the fear of imminent imprisonment.

1613 - The Irish Parliament meets and approves the forced settlement of Ulster. At the same time, there is a call for greater representation of the new settlers in future parliaments.

1625 - Charles I grants “graces” in exchange for direct payments to the crown; One of the “graces” is tolerance of a limited practice of Catholic rites in Ireland. Formally, these “graces”, which Protestants disliked, came into force in 1628.

1629 - Viscount Loftus and the Duke of Cork briefly seize power in Ireland and suppress all Catholic activity in Dublin.

1632-1636 - An Irish historical work, the Annals of the Four Masters, is written by four Franciscans from Donegal.

1634-1635 - The Irish Parliament meets and is informed by Governor Thomas Wentworth that there will be forced settlements in Connacht and that the graces are not recognized by him. As a result, Wentworth fell out with everyone, although he was raised to Earl of Stafford in 1640, but his career soon ended.

1641 - Wentworth is executed in England as a traitor and Ireland falls into chaotic anarchy. Irish insurgents wreak havoc among Protestant settlers.

1642 - The English Parliament passes the “Adventurers Act” to get the Irish rebellion under control. Armies of Scottish Protestants (“covenanters”) land in Ireland - as well as O'Neill with soldiers from the Spanish Netherlands and the agenda to set up a Catholic army in Ulster. In England, the civil war between Charles I and his parliament dwarfed the critical situation in Ireland.

1644 - Archbishop Rinuccini is sent to Ireland by the Pope with the declared aim of promoting the Catholic rebellion in word and deed.The religious dimension of the disputes is thus cemented.

1646 - O'Neill defeats the Covenanters at Benburb, but fails to make political capital out of the military situation; Rinuccini prevents any trace of unity between Catholics and Protestants.

1647 - Parliament emerges victorious from the English Civil War; parliamentary troops march into Dublin.

1649 - The execution of Charles I clears the air in England and Oliver Cromwell lands in Dublin with an army, besieging and then destroying Drogheda and Wexford. His professionally trained, experienced army, led by competent officers, sweeps the Irish insurgents from the field, as usual, at least divided and in some cases violently divided. The forced relocation of Catholic landowners to the West begins (“To Hell or to Connacht!”), Among other things as a direct reaction to Rinuccini's mission.

1660 - After the restoration of the English monarchy, Charles II announces that he will stick to Cromwell's policy in Ireland, but that he wants to give back their land to “innocent papists”. The court specially created for this purpose in 1661 ended its activities in 1663 without any great result.

1665 - Cromwell-era settlers are forced to surrender a third of their lands to compensate “innocent people”.

1681 - During a period of Catholic coup attempts in England, the Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Oliver Plunkett, is imprisoned and executed as a traitor.

1688 - King James II, deposed from Parliament in Westminster, flees to Ireland and recruits an army (“Jacobites”) to recapture the English throne. His Catholic sympathies assure him the support of the mostly Catholic Irish and the fight for the English crown takes on a definitely religious dimension.

1689 - Siege of Derry by Catholic troops, during the siege, which lasted a total of 105 days, thousands of citizens died of starvation until the city was liberated by an English fleet. The gates of the city are slammed in front of the Catholic troops by the legendary “Apprentice Boys”.

1690 - In the battle for the English crown, William of Orange's army defeats James II's troops on the Boyne - the famous “Battle of the Boyne”. James is de facto defeated, but parts of his supporters continue the fight.

1691 - The troops still loyal to James II surrender in Limerick.

1695 - The so-called “Penal Code” severely cuts down the rights of Catholics and is a direct reaction to the religious dimension of the Jacobite War. The law goes into details like owning horses. At the same time, the Catholic clergy is banished from Ireland. Later Relief Acts dismantled the Penal Code bit by bit.

1713 - Jonathan Swift becomes Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. In addition to his duties as a church man, he still finds time to work as a man of letters.

1719 - Protestant “dissenters”, congregations or individuals who are not members of the Church of Ireland, are “tolerated” by law.

1724 - Swift attacks the effects of the Penal Code with his satirical Modest Proposal, advocating cannibalism.

1731 - The Belfast Newsletter, the world's oldest continuously published newspaper, is published for the first time. In the same year, the “Royal Dublin Society” was founded in Dublin to promote agriculture, arts and crafts.

1738 - Death of the most famous Irish harpist, Turlough O'Carolan.

1742 - Handel performs his “Messiah” in public for the first time in Dublin. Hallelujah!

1751 - The Rotunda Lying-In Hospital opens the first specialized maternity hospital in Great Britain and Ireland.

1758 - The Wide Streets Commission is set up to develop the modern city of Dublin, its name says it all.

1759 - A certain Arthur Guinness acquires the St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin.

1772 - Relief Act; Catholics can lease bog areas in the future.

1778 - Relief Act; the property and inheritance rights of Catholics are established.

1780 - Irish goods are allowed to be exported to the British colonies.

1782 - The Irish Parliament is granted more rights and can make its decisions more independently of Westminster. At the same time, other Relief Acts are being enacted that allow Catholics to own land and provide education (in English - which was mainly directed against Latin).

1791 - Theobald Wolfe Tone (a Protestant) campaigns for more Catholic rights; in Belfast (and later Dublin) the United Irishmen is founded under the influence of the French Revolution. The “Custom House” in Dublin is built.

1792 - Relief Act; Catholics are admitted as lawyers and defense lawyers.

1793 Relief Act, giving Catholics the right to vote; Prohibition of volunteers (nationalist militia), streamlining of gun laws and establishment of the Irish Militia (state-controlled militia).

1794 - United Irishmen banned in Dublin.

1795 - Establishment of the “Orange Order” in Northern Ireland, the ultimate goal is to maintain the status quo for Protestants. In the same year the Catholic seminary opens in Maynooth.

1796 - Unsuccessful French-Irish invasion of Bantry under Wolfe Tone. However, the landing falls victim to the Irish weather. In Ireland, under the influence of the activities of the United Irishmen and the French revolutionary armies, a partial curtailment of civil rights is imposed again.

1798 - Bloody rebellion of the United Irishmen, after the first surprise successes by rebels (and a French invasion army) the uprising is put down. Mainly the poor coordination of the rebels and their sometimes archaic armament actually condemn the action to failure from the outset. The arrested leader Wolfe Tone attempts suicide and later dies of injuries sustained in the process. After all, this is how he escapes execution.

1800 - With the “Act of Union” Ireland becomes part of the United Kingdom, gives up its previously at least theoretical independence and abolishes its parliament to facilitate the common future. The Irish Parliament has since become the only parliament in history to have democratically abolished itself.

1803 - The "uprising" of Robert Emmet, which was hopeless due to the number of people involved, was put down within a very short time and Emmet was executed.

1815 - The first carriage service begins regular service in Ireland.

1817 - The Royal Canal is completed.

1822 - The Irish Constabulary Act creates a nationally organized police force.

1824 - Duty-free trade in processed end products is introduced between Great Britain and Ireland.

1828 - The Catholic Emancipation Act is passed, crowning five years of work by Daniel O'Connell; The right to stand for election is granted to a limited number of Catholics (there is no general right to vote anyway).

1831 - Introduction of the system of National Schools, which are supposed to guarantee basic education for the population.

1838 - Father Matthew's “Temperance Crusade” begins, five million Irish swear by alcohol and whiskey production drops in half!

1845 - Beginning of the famine caused by potato rot across Europe (“Great Famine”), which lasts four years in Ireland and leads to mass death and emigration.

1848 - Young Ireland uprising in Ballingarry; The organization, which cannot be compared with the other European movements of the same name, spontaneously joined the European revolutions and achieved nothing.

1853 - The “Dublin Exhibition” is opened by Queen Victoria.

1856 - Establishment of the nationalist “Phoenix Society”, a forerunner of the Fenians.

1858 - Founding of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in Dublin.

1859 - Foundation of the “Fenian Brotherhood”, the American sister organization of the IRB, in the USA. The term “Fenian” becomes synonymous with “Irish nationalist”.

1861-1865 - Irish emigrants fight on both sides in the war between the United States and the Confederate States. The Irish Brigade achieved legendary status in the Northern Army.

1866 - An “Irish Republican Army” formed from former Union soldiers marches into Canada, but is repulsed after minor surprise successes. In the same year, Archbishop Paul Cullen became the first Irishman to be promoted to cardinal.

1867 - War veterans returning from the USA and members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood attempt two armed insurrections, which fail miserably.

1869 - The Church of Ireland is curtailed many rights by Gladstone and has to prove itself in future in “competition” with the other churches.

1870 - Isaac Butt founds the Home Government Association.

1873 - Founding of the “Home Rule League”.

1877 - Charles Stuart Parnell becomes leader of the Home Rule Confederation, which works for Irish self-determination.

1879-1882 - “Land War”, a protest movement for a fairer settlement of land ownership.

1880 - Parnell becomes chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

1881 - Parnell is imprisoned at Kilmainham Gaol.

1882 - Leading politicians are assassinated in Phoenix Park by the “Invincibles”, a nationalist faction.

1884 - Establishment of the Gaelic Athletic Association, the first association to preserve the (partly fictitious) “Irish traditions”.

1886 - British Prime Minister Gladstone introduces the first Home Rule bill, but Parliament rejects it.

1889 - Parnell is embroiled in a divorce scandal.

1890 - Under pressure from Gladstone, Parnell, surrounded by “scandals”, is dropped by his party like a hot potato.

1891 - In the year of Parnell's death, the Congested Districts Board is founded to take care of the development of the long-neglected rural area.

1892 - The second Home Rule law is also rejected.

Around 1900 - A wide variety of interest groups, secret societies and aid associations are formed on both the nationalist and unionist sides.

1904 - The Abbey Theater in Dublin opens. It developed into the national theater of Ireland, not without various scandals and "artistic differences".

1905 - Arthur Griffith founded Sinn Féin (“We ourselves”).

1912 - Asquith introduces the third Home Rule bill to Parliament. Meanwhile, under Edward Carson, massive resistance to Home Rule is forming in Ulster, with 471,414 people signing the “solemn covenant” (“solemn contract”) proposed by him against independence. In the same year, the Belfast-built “Titanic” ran out of Queenstown (now Cobh), only to sink a few days later after colliding with an iceberg.

1913 - Founding of various political militias, the Ulster Volunteer Force (unionist), the Irish Citizens ’Army (unionist) and the Irish Volunteers (nationalist) emerge. Dublin general strike under James Larkin, who is countered by employers with a lockout and degenerates into bloody unrest. In the absence of the help from the British unions that had actually been expected, the Irish unions had to call off the strike in 1914.

1914 - Both the UVF and the Irish Volunteers smuggle weapons into Ireland from Germany. Home Rule is decided, but put on hold for the time being due to the outbreak of the First World War. Sections of the unionist and nationalist militias that had formed in the course of the conflict over Home Rule are being transferred to the British Army.

1915 - The IRB reorganizes and forms its own military council that undermines the leadership of the Irish Volunteers.

1916 - Easter Rising, Pearse's mystical “blood sacrifice” only leads to a change of opinion in the general population through the subsequent execution of the chief conspirators by British courts. At the same time, the former British diplomat Roger Casement is arrested in Western Ireland; he was brought to the island by a German submarine; Casement is sentenced to death in London for high treason and executed. Meanwhile, the Ulster Division is bleeding to death in the Battle of the Somme. In a kind of panic reaction, Lloyd George tries to enforce Home Rule in Ireland (except for the six counties), but the plan is halted.

1918 - Sinn Féin wins 73 seats in Westminster in general elections, Constance Markievicz is the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament; the MPs, however, refuse to take the oath on the British crown and so do not enter parliament.

1919 - Irish MPs meet as an independent Irish Parliament (“Dáil Éireann”).

1920 - In the British “Government of Ireland Act”, analogous to Lloyd George's plans, the separation of the island is proposed. Riots in Belfast and Derry, suspension of civil rights, imposition of partial martial law follow. Nationalist actions are countered by British troops with the first “Bloody Sunday” in Croke Park and the pillage of Cork.

1921 - An Irish delegation, led by Michael Collins, signs the Anglo-Irish Treaty, cementing the island's separation. With this the establishment of the Irish Free State is achieved; de Valera resigns and fights the Free Statesmen with political means and with the weapons of the IRA. Collins says he signed his own death warrant. The Irish Civil War begins.

1922 - Michael Collins, now commander in chief of the Free State Forces, is shot dead in an ambush by the IRA. In a grotesque echo of the events of 1916, 77 Republicans are shot dead by Free State troops.

1923 - end of the Irish Civil War. The Irish Free State joins the League of Nations and begins radical (and not always meaningful) land reform. The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to W.B.Yeats.

1925 - The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to George Bernard Shaw.

1926 - De Valera leaves Sinn Féin and founds Fianna Fáil (“Warrior of Fate”).

1929 - The hydropower plant on the Shannon is built in cooperation between the Free State and the German company Siemens; it is a symbol of a new, independent Ireland.

1932 - Fianna Fáil sweeps the opposition down and de Valera begins a sixteen-year term as Taoiseach.

1933 - Various smaller groups form Fine Gael (“United Ireland”) as a counterpoint to Fianna Fáil. Your leader, O’Duffy, is also the head of the “National Guard”, known as the Blue Shirts, a Catholic-Fascist fighting organization.

1935 - The import or sale of condoms and other contraceptives is banned in the Irish Free State.

1936 - De Valera bans the IRA.

1937 - A new constitution proclaims total independence from Great Britain, including a claim to Northern Ireland, the Free State becomes the Éire.

1939 - The IRA steals weapons from the Magazine Fort in Dublin and begins a bombing campaign in the UK. When the Second World War broke out, Ireland declared its neutrality.

1940 IRA men imprisoned in Ireland die on hunger strike.

1941 - German air raids devastate Belfast; Dublin is also accidentally hit by some aerial bombs.

1944 - Ireland defies US demands to close the Axis embassies in Dublin.

1947 - The statue of Queen Victoria is removed from the courtyard of the Irish Parliament.

1949 - Ireland leaves the British Commonwealth under the reign of John Costello. In the same year the Ireland Act of the British Parliament confirmed the status quo for the six northeastern counties.

1954 - IRA minor operations in Armagh.

1955 - Ireland becomes a member of the United Nations.

1956-1962 - “Border Campaign” of the IRA.

1959 - De Valera, once again Taoiseach, resigns from office in his 16th year and becomes president for 14 years.

1961 - Ireland tries to join the EEC ... and is turned down.

1963 - US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy visits Ireland.

1966 - Ireland-Great Britain Free Trade Agreement.

1967 - Following the example of similar civil rights movements, especially in the USA, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (CRA) is founded in Northern Ireland, which aims to end the discrimination that still exists against Catholics. Ireland tries again this year to join the EEC ... and is rejected again.

1968 - Clashes between the CRA and the police in Derry. O'Neill promises a reform in Northern Ireland that should make the Catholic population equal.

1969 - beginning of the “Troubles”. Violent clashes between police and civil rights demonstrators in Derry and Belfast, as well as brutal clashes between nationalist and unionist groups, force the London government to send the British army. The soldiers are initially accepted and welcomed as a peacekeeping force. Samuel Beckett is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature that same year.

1970 - In a by-election in Bannside, Presbyterian pastor Ian Paisley, a radical unionist, is elected to the British Parliament. The radical “Provisional IRA” (Provos) splits off from the official IRA. Moderate nationalists found the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP).

1971 - “internment” is reintroduced in Northern Ireland. Rev. Ian Paisley founds the Democratic Unionist Party.

1972 - On “Bloody Sunday” thirteen nationalist demonstrators are shot dead by British paratroopers in Derry under circumstances that have not yet been clarified. Northern Ireland's self-government will be suspended and government will be conducted directly from London. In Ireland, the Constitutional “special position” of the Catholic Church is being abolished.

1973 - Ireland becomes a member of the European Economic Community; Since the United Kingdom is also becoming a member, all of Ireland is part of the future EU.

1974 - The attempt at an independent Northern Ireland government with equal representation (“power sharing”) must be broken off after a crippling strike by unionist workers. Northern Ireland is once again governed directly from London. Devastating bomb attacks on both sides hit Dublin, Guildford and Birmingham.

1975 - “Internment” is temporarily suspended and in 1980 completely abolished.

1976 - British Ambassador assassinated in Dublin. The “peace women” Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams from the Ulster Peace Movement received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work across political and denominational boundaries.

1978 - De Lorean starts producing pioneering luxury sports cars in Belfast with massive British subsidies. Twelve people died in an arson attack on a restaurant in Down.

1979 - Earl Mountbatten and family members are killed by PIRA in Sligo, while eight British soldiers die in an ambush in Down. Visit of Pope John Paul II in Ireland, in Phoenix Park he celebrates a mass in front of more than a million people. However, the Irish state allows (limited) sales of contraceptives in the same year.

1981 - PIRA and INLA Republican detainees go on indefinite hunger strike for more rights; the relentless (and predictable) demeanor of the Thatcher administration resulted in the deaths of ten prisoners before the hunger strike was broken off. The most prominent victim is Bobby Sands, who died as an elected British MP (the election took place during the hunger strike) and also as the first prisoner to die.

1982 - De Lorean stops production ... the “Back to the Future” films give the vehicles cult status outside the pure sports car community.

1985 - In the “Anglo-Irish Agreement” the governments in Dublin and London move towards each other, a solution to the Northern Ireland conflict becomes conceivable. Bob Geldof organizes “Live Aid”. Barry McGuigan becomes world featherweight boxing champion.

1987 - On “Remembrance Day”, a PIRA bomb detonated in Enniskillen, killing 11 civilians. Dublin's Steven Roche surprisingly wins the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia as well as the cycling world championship.

1988 - Millennial celebrations of the city of Dublin, which presents itself as an up-and-coming European metropolis.

1991 - British Government-initiated peace talks begin involving the London and Dublin Governments and all major parties; only Sinn Féin is excluded because of its connections to the PIRA. Mary Robinson becomes Ireland's first female president.

1992 - With 62% of the vote, a referendum found that abortion by Irish women outside Ireland is no longer a criminal offense.

1994 - Both PIRA and unionist paramilitaries announce a ceasefire. For the first time, Gerry Adams (Sinn Féin) is allowed to speak with his own voice on British radio and television programs. In the USA, Ireland made it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, which helped the sport to regain popularity in the country.

1995 - After 25 years, inspection trips by the British Army in Northern Ireland are discontinued (but only during the day). In a referendum, an extremely narrow majority opts for general legalization of divorce in Ireland.

1998 - The Good Friday Agreement paves the way for a democratic self-government in Northern Ireland and an anti-discriminatory re-regulation of many areas of public and private life.