Ireland may have been one of the last parts of Europe to be
occupied by man. Man has probably inhabited Ireland for less than
10,000 years, very low compared to the millions of years of
inhabitation in other parts of Europe. It is thought the glaciers of
the northern part of Europe had something to do with this lack of
These glaciers changed the nature of the landscapes that they covered.
In Ireland, for example, they removed most of a several hundred feet
thick layer of chalk that had covered much of the island. During the
last cold stage that began at least 70,000 years ago, animals such as
mammoth, hyena and reindeer roamed the cold tundra steppes in Ireland
before ice sheets eventually accumulated over most of the island.
The following ancient territories, were in existence from prehistoric
times to the break-up the Gaelic order in the sixteenth century:
" Breffny (Breifne): Cavan and west Leitrim.
" Corca Laoidhe: Southwest Cork.
" Dalriada: North Antrim.
" Decies (Déise): West Waterford.
" Desmond (Deasmhumhan): Kerry and much of Co. Cork.
" Iar Connacht: West Connacht, mainly Connemara.
" Muskerry (Muscraidhe) Northwest and central Cork.
" Oriel (Orghialla): Cos. Armagh and Monaghan and parts of south Down,
Louth and Fermanagh.
" Ormond (Urmhumhan): Much of Co. Kilkenny and north Tipperary.
" Ossory: The extent of the ancient kingdom of Osraighe was
approximately the same as that of the diocese of Ossory, ie. Co.
Kilkenny and some adjacent areas.
" Thomond (Tuathmhumhan): Most of Co. Clare with adjacent parts of
Cos. Limerick and Tipperary.
" Tirconnell (Tir Chonaill): Co. Donegal.
" Tirowen (Tir Eoghain): Co. Tyrone with adjacent part of Co. Derry.
| Gaelic is the Celtic branch of the Indo-European
family of languages. About one person in five in Ireland can speak
Irish today, but only one in 20 use it daily. In Scotland
approximately 80,000 people speak Gaelic. |
Saint Patrick (about 389-461) is the patron saint of
Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain.|
Ireland, together with Britain, joined
the European Economic Community in 1973.|
Celts and Ancient History, Bronze and Iron Age - The
ancient culture of the Celts had settled in many
European countries including Austria, Britain, Ireland,
France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Western Germany,
Northern Spain, Turkey and Hungary. |
Irish Government is expected to call a General Election
in Ireland for 2007. |