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A brief history of Ireland

The history first began with the settlement in Ireland around 8000 BC which is when the hunter gatherers arrived from Europe, most likely by a land bridge. There aren't very many traces that still remain from this group but their descendants and Neolithic arrivals were the ones who were responsible for major Neolithic sites, for example Newgrange. By the year 600, Christianity has consumed the indigenous Celtic religion by the arrival of Saint Patrick and other Christian missionaries. Between the years of  1534 and 1691 was when an English plantation was marked which led to the arrival of so many English and Scottish Protestant settlers.

Henry VIII had declared himself head of the church in England in the 1530's with the Act of Supremacy. It is just about the same steps in Ireland except the English king is known as the "lord" of Ireland which says that the grant of the island to Henry II by the pope makes him the vassal of Rome in some sense. The Irish parliament passed an Act of Supremacy in both 1536 and 1541 recognizing that Henry is King of Ireland. The intention of The Tudor is to transform the Irish chieftains into hereditary peers according to the English system so they have the right to sit in the parliament in Dublin. By the year 1586 all details are in place and the parcels of land are offered for rent but only to English gentlemen who are also known as 'undertakers.' The men are given exact directions on the number and the size of the farms that are to be divided for subletting. Most farms are occupied by English and Scottish settlers who accept on oath the supremacy of the English king, the other farms are offered to people of English and Scottish birth only. Some may be sublet to the Irish which is a third class of farm is for the Irish only.

In the 12th century the English invasion began which set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle that was marked by fierce rebellions and a harsh repression. In 1916 there was a failed Easter Monday Rebellion that touched off several years of guerrilla warfare which just happen to result in independence from the UK in 1921 for 24 southern counties, six northern counties had stayed a part of the UK. In 1973 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth and joined the European community. Irish government have been using the peaceful unification of Ireland and have been working with Britain against terrorist groups. The Irish and British governments have come together and begun to implement the St. Andrews Agreement which is to add on to the Good Friday Agreement that was approved in 1998.

To get some historical images of Ireland in the back of your head there are some must see historical places to visit while vacationing in Ireland such as Newgrange (Bru na Noinne), Ceide Fields, Hill of Tara, boyne Valley, Kilkenny Castle, Waterford City, and many other monuments and museums.

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Ross Castle in Ireland

Historic Ireland

Ireland of course has many historic places for tourists and visitors of any kind to visit and tour such as monuments and museums along with castles and historic towns that are a must see. Visiting Ireland is like taking a step back in time while discovering historic Ireland all at the same time. There are of course amazing buildings and monuments that are just awaiting for you to explore them and learn more about Ireland's past and how it still affects the present. The castles, historic houses, heritage attractions, and museums are the perfect places to visit while on vacation in Ireland whether its for a family day out or a weekend trip with friends. 

There are many historic houses and castles in Ireland such as Ross Castle which was built in 1590, the Derrynane House, National Historic Park which was the ancestral home of Daniel O'Connell, Pearse's Cottage which was a small resorted cottage that was used by Patrick Pearse from 1879-1916, Huntington Castle & Gardens which was a 17th century castle, Avondale House and Forest Park, Bantry House and garden, Dunguarie Castle, Belcamp Hutchinson which was built in 1786, Belvedere House Gardens & Park, and many others as well. All of these castles and houses have a significant meaning and were owned or used by important people as far back as the 1500's.

There are also many historic towns in Ireland that are a must see when visiting. These towns have so much meaning and history behind them that it is impossible not to be interested. Some of the towns are Cobh, Naas, Youghal, Wesford Town, Tipperary, Ballina, Carrick-on-Suir, Enniscorthy, Listowel, New Ross, Cashel, and many others. There are winding streets, rivers, significant heritage, 19th century buildings, steep slopes, and much more to explore while visiting these historic towns.

To learn even more about Ireland's history you can visit their Heritage Centres. Some of the Heritage Centres include Donegal Railway Heritage Centre, De Valera Museum and Bruree Heritage Centre, Bru Boru Heritage Centre, Connemara Marble Visitor Centre, Mayo North Heritage Centre & Enniscoe Gardens, Westport Heritage Centre, Holy Trinity Heritage Centre, Sligo Art Gallery, and many more. These Heritage Centres are full of history and significant buildings with very interesting historic artifacts inside for visitors to see.

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Things to do in Ireland

One of the great things about Ireland is its not all about historic buildings and monuments, there are also a lot of fun activities available for visitors to enjoy as well. Along with the Culture and Heritage there is Arts and Culture, Equestrian, Adventures, Golf, and Walking to explore and enjoy as well. Of course we can't forget Cycling, Angling, Family Fun, Cruising, Sports, Water based activities, and Shopping.

As far as the Arts and Culture goes for Ireland, there is The Abbey Theatre in Dublin that is known as Ireland's National Theatre and has won many awards for its productions and international tours. There is also the Gate Theatre, the Dublin Theatre Festival, and Galway's Druid Theatre for places to catch an amazing production. As for festivals in Ireland there is the Cork Jazz Festival, the Wexford Opera Festival and the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. Dublin also has a venue called The O2 which has no problem at all attracting global superstars for live music events. Visitors can also check out the National Concert Hall for what musical program is going on there as well. All of this doesn't even include the Art Galleries, Museums, and Literary Ireland.

If it's adventure that visitors are looking for they can also find it here in Ireland with cycling in Ballyhoura, surfing in Sligo, Kayaking in Connemara, running or hiking in West Cork & Kerry, canoeing in Westport, and whitewater rafting in Achill, there is a little bit of something for everyone to have a little taste of adventure. Some other adventure highlights of vacationing in Ireland are Urban Adventure at Galway's Rat Race, Whale and Dolphin watching, and Mountain climbing. Almost anything anyone can think of can be done here in Ireland.

Ireland also has many other activities to enjoy such as the Golf Courses. There are 343 different golf courses to choose from in Ireland that are all very beautiful. Some of the golf courses to choose from include Greenore Golf Club, County Longford Golf Club, Dunfanaghy Golf Club and many others. Ireland also has beautiful trails to go for walks on including Looped Walks, Forest and nature walks, and many others to explore the beauty of Ireland. Then of course there is the Horse land of Ireland which has Horse racing, Horse riding, Horse drawn caravans, musuems & studs, and horse shows and fairs for everyone of all ages to enjoy.