Ireland Ireland is a small island first settled in early 6000 BC. It's located to the west of Europe close to Great Britain. Through history Ireland has had many different influences and has been occupied by different types of people. In the early years, the Celtic people known as Gaels settled Ireland. This was sometime between 600 and 150 BC.

Gaelic people had many small kingdoms that were separated yet they all shared the common language of Gaelic. The Bretons kept order throughout Ireland, these were men that kept peace and made sure common rules and laws were followed. This system of independent ruling worked longer in Ireland than in other parts of Europe because nobody tried to conquer Ireland therefore there was no outside influence. During the Medieval time period in Ireland came the development of Celtic Christianity, they introduced St. Patrick into their religion. The Tuath (150 small kingdoms in Ireland) still remained and continued to function without European influence.

The dark ages of Europe were the golden ages of Ireland. During this time period Ireland sent St. Columba and St. Columb an into Europe, many manuscripts and books were written and religious arts and artistic achievements took place. In 1014 the Irish Tuath formed an alliance against the invading Vikings and won. Brian Boru who was a king of one of the Tuath kingdoms led the alliance.

In 1171 England began its conquest to establish a country that measured up to Roman standards. Ireland was than separated into English Ireland and Gaelic Ireland. Ireland was divided and along the western coast the people remained completely out of British rule. The British had a great influence on Ireland. They brought in new ideas, forms of religion, and a different government system. Unfortunately the British are also responsible for the separation and lack of unity in Ireland.

They were also the cause of the division in religion between Protestants and Catholics. The British occupied much of Northern Ireland and where partially responsible for the wars in that area over religion and the separation of the Gaelic people from areas of Ireland. The British introduced the parliament in Northern Ireland and brought new European influences that the country had never had. The British had both a negative and positive affect when they inhabited Ireland. Religion is a major issue in Ireland.

For years the Catholics and Protestants have been fighting. In the 1700's other religions in Ireland were Scottish Presbyterian and the Puritan's religion. Through the years the two main religions have remained Catholic and Protestant. The Protestants were originally the wealthy English who came from Britain and supported the crown. The Catholics were usually the middle and lower class peoples that really didn't support British rule. The majority of Northern Ireland were the Protestants or "Orangemen" as they were referred to by some.

Catholics were the minority of Northern Ireland but they were the majority in the South. The people of this northern region have always fought over what was the "true" religion of Ireland. Between 1969 and 1972 there was major terrorist activity over religion. Some of these incidents include Bloody Sunday (January 30, 1972) when British troops shot and killed 13 Protestants, Bloody Friday (July 21, 1972) when the IRA set off bombs throughout Belfast and killed 9 civilians, in 1996 the IRA bombed London's Docklands district. At the moment the IRA has a cease fire agreement and there is peace between the Catholics and Protestants but there is still much hostility and hatred between the two groups. Ireland has many different regions or provinces.

There are 37 different provinces. Munster is the largest province, Cork is the biggest country region, Clare is a stone country, Limerick is known as a deceptive country, Tipperary is a hunting area, Antrim was famous for gold and its Spanish influence, Belfast is famous for its pubs and religious problems, Cav on has many lakes and waterways, Derry is a historic region, Donegal is farm country, Down is where St. Patrick originated, Fermanagh is a fishing area, Tyrone is a wild area, Carlow is the second smallest province, Dublin is the most popular city in Ireland, Kildare is famous for its horses, Kilkenny is a province with medieval castles, and Galway is a province that speaks Gaelic, its inhabitants have kept up the traditions and continued the Gaelic language even with the English influence. Other province include the ancient West Meath, Wexford where the 1798 rebellion took place, Wich low the garden province, Sligo famous for poetry and art, Leitrim the tiniest of the provinces, Laois, Langford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Connacht, Mayo, Roscommon, Kerry, Armagh, Ulster, Waterford, Monaghan, and Leinster. Ireland is a country filled with history, stories, poetry, songs, and pubs. It's one of the few places that the Celtic influence can still be seen.

Not only is Ireland filled with history but its also one of the most beautiful country sides in the world. Known as the green isle or emerald isle Ireland has been influenced by so many different people and cultures which makes it unique. The Catholic and Protestant religions have had a mark on Ireland which is why it has such strong religious background.