1. The Island of Ireland is situated in the extreme north-east of the Continent of Europe.
2. The climate in Ireland is temperate and equable.
3. Ireland has a total population of more than five million people.
4. The Constitution of 1948 and the Republic of Ireland Act 1937severed Ireland’s last formal links with Britain.
5. Ireland remained neutral during the Second World War.
6. Regulations of the European Communities don’t have the force of law in Ireland.
Ex. 6. Give the English equivalents for the following words and expressions:
pасполагаться, умеренный, средняя температура воздуха, голод, достичь независимости, политическая стабильность, оставаться нейтральным, принадлежать к военному альянсу, иметь много общего, основные права граждан.
Ex. 7. Compare Ireland with its nearest neighbour Great Britain according to the following plan:
1. Total area.
4. Political order.
Ex. 1. Tell you group-mates what facts about Irish history you know.
Ex. 2. Read the text and name the main periods of Irish history.
HISTORY OF IRELAND
Ireland’s location as an island to the west of continental Europe and close to Britain has, in large measure, shaped her history.
Ireland has been inhabited for about 7,000 years. The first settlers, mostly hunters from Britain, brought with them a Mesolithic culture. They were followed around 3000 B.C. by farmers who raised animals and cultivated the soil and traders. After these Neolithic settlers, around 2000 B.C. came prospectors and metalworkers. So, Bronze Age settlers brought craft of metalworking.
By the sixth century B.C. waves of Celtic invaders from central Europe began to reach the country. While it was never unified politically by the Celts, Celtic Ireland developed a strong culture and language over the next nine centuries.
The introduction of Christianity in the fifth century A.D. is traditionally credited to St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, though there is evidence that there were Christians on the island before his arrival in 456 A.D.
Unlike most of Western Europe, Ireland never experienced the barbarian invasions of the early medieval period and, partly as a result, the sixth and seventh centuries saw a flowering of Irish art, learning and culture centering on the monasteries.
During the ninth and tenth centuries, Ireland was regularly raided by the Vikings. In 841 A.D. They established a settlement on the River Liffey, which later became Dublin. Vikings were also traders and did much to develop life in Dublin, Cork and Waterford. In 999 A.D. Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, defeated the Vikings, and three years later he was crowned King of All Ireland.
In the twelfth century, the arrival of the Normans shattered such progress as had been made towards the creation of a centralized State under a single High King. First major landing of Normans took place in 1169. The following year, they capture Dublin. In the thirteenth century they establish many towns and introduce Ireland’s first system of centralized government. By the end of the fifteenth century Norman rule has shrunk to a small region around Dublin. They quickly gained control over large parts of Ireland, which then came under the political authority of the King of England. For the next 400 years the Normans and their descendants were an influential presence in Ireland.
In 1541 Henry VIII becomes the first English monarch to declare himself King of Ireland, in a bid to restore the Norman hegemony. In 1601 Irish forces, aided by Spanish, were defeated by the army of Elizabeth I at the battle of Kinsale. It marked the end of the old political order.
In 1609 plantation of Ulster began; English and Scottish settlers encouraged to come to the North of Ireland, were ousting the native Irish. The largest single plantation took place in Londonderry. In 1641 there was the rebellion by Gaelic Irish in Ulster. This rebellion was aided by remnants of the Anglo-Norman colony. The following year the rebel assembly, the Confederation of Kilkenny, was set up.
Irish political history in the seventeenth century was intimately linked to events in England and Scotland. In 1649 Cromwell, the English Puritan dictator, landed in Ireland, first storming the town of Drogheda. By 1652 Galway, the last major royalist stronghold, had been taken. In 1689 James II arrived with his army from France, whence he had fled, and besieges the city of Londonderry, which held out for nearly four months.
In the eighteenth century, there was much economic development. The linen industry flourished, particularly in Ulster, and Irish wool, beef, butter and pork were important exports.
In 1829, thanks to Daniel O’Connell, Catholic Emancipation removed most disabilities against Catholics in Ireland. Catholics, led by Daniel O’Connell, won the right to sit in parliament.
In 1846 the first potato crop failure took place. In the late 1840s, as a result of the wholesale failure of the potato crop in successive years, a terrible famine occurred: one million people died and a further million fled Ireland.
In 1867 Fenian rising took place. The question of self-government, or ‘Home Rule’ had not, however been settled. The campaign for it lost its main impetus with the death of its inspirer, Parnell, in 1891. A Home Rule Bill was finally enacted in 1914.
In 1916 a republic was declared in Dublin and an armed insurrection took place. This Easter Rising, which initially enjoyed little public support, was suppressed.
It was Sinn Fein that had an overwhelming victory in Ireland in British general election. Sinn Fein (‘Ourselves’), the election victors, set up the first Parliament led by Eamon de Valera in 1919. In 1920 six out of nine Ulster counties were granted their own Parliament in Belfast.
In 1921 an Anglo-Irish Treaty gave twenty-six counties of Ireland Dominion status within the Commonwealth. Setting up of the Irish Free State in 1922 was followed by a short but savage civil war which was finished in 1923. In 1937 Eamon de Valera introduces new constitution.
During World War II (1939-1945) Ireland remained neutral. But Northern Ireland joined the British war effort.
In 1949 Ireland’s last constitutional links with Britain were severed; the twenty-six counties became a Republic. And in 1955 Ireland was admitted to the United Nations (UN). Both parts of Ireland joined the European Economic Community what is now the European Union (EU) in 1973.
Ex. 3. Answer the following questions:
1. What shaped Irish history?
2. How long has Ireland been inhabited?
3. Characterize the Irish settles of the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age.
4. When did Celtic invaders begin to reach Ireland?
5. Who is the introduction of Christianity traditionally credited to?
6. When was Ireland raided by the Vikings?
7. What was the Normans’ progress in the twelfth century A.D.?
8. What marked the end of the old political order in 1601?
9. Where did the largest single plantation take place?
10. How do the Irish name Oliver Cromwell?
11. When did the Catholics win the right to sit in parliament?
12. When did a terrible famine occur?
13. What took place in 1867?
14. What was Home Rule?
15. When was a republic declared?
16. What was Ireland’s position during World War II?
17. When was Ireland admitted to the United Nations?