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History of Ireland/Timelines

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A timeline (or several) relating to History of Ireland.

Early history

The English in Ireland

  • 1155/6: Pope Adrian IV grants Henry II of England authority over Ireland
  • 1169: first English forces arrive at the request of Dermot Mac Murrough to help against his enemies
  • 1171: Henry II invades in person
  • 1175: High King Rory O'Connor recognizes Henry as overlord; however, varying amounts of Ireland remain effectively independent of English rule for centuries
  • 1177: Henry makes his son John Lord of Ireland
  • 1199: John becomes king; the title of Lord of Ireland is henceforth fused with the English crown
  • early 14th century: Irish Parliament established, representing English occupied areas
  • 1366: Irish Parliament's Statute of Kilkenny bans English settlers "going native"
  • 1494/5: Poynings' Law: Irish Parliament agrees to pass laws only with prior permission from England
  • 1541: Henry VIII of England adopts title King of Ireland
  • 1557: first of a new wave of English settlers; Irish frequently dispossessed and evicted

The British in Ireland

  • 1603: James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England; although the two kingdoms remain officially separate for some time there is close collaboration
  • 1609: beginning of mass Scottish settlement in Ulster
  • 1691: English Parliament bars Catholics (most of the Irish population) from Irish Parliament
  • 1707: Kingdoms of England and Scotland formally combined to form United Kingdom of Great Britain; Ireland remains a separate kingdom, now officially under British rather than English rule
  • 1782: Poynings' Law repealed
  • 1783: British Parliament formally renounces right to legislate for Ireland
  • 1793: Catholics allowed to vote
  • 1800: Irish Parliament agrees to full union with Great Britain after receiving promise from Prime Minister Pitt of end to laws discriminating against Catholics
  • 1801: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland comes into existence; Pitt resigns after George III refuses to fulfil his promise
  • 1828: Daniel O'Connell elected to Parliament for county Clare, but, as a Catholic, barred from taking his seat
  • 1829: act passed allowing Catholics to take seats; O'Connell does so
  • 1874: first general election under secret ballot; landlords no longer able to evict tenants voting against their wishes; Home Rule party takes about half the Irish seats
  • 1886: Gladstone government introduces Home Rule legislation; defeated by Liberal Unionist rebellion led by Joseph Chamberlain
  • 1893: second Home Rule bill passes Commons but rejected by House of Lords
  • 1914: Parliament passes Home Rule legislation, but postpones its implementation because of the war; in the end it is never implemented


  • 1916: Easter Rising; after executions and reprisals, British government opens negotiations with Irish parties
  • 1919: conflict reaches point of counting as war
  • 1920: failing agreement among Irish parties, government attempts to impose unilateral solution; devolved Parliaments for Southern (26 overwhelmingly Nationalist counties) and Northern (4 clearly Unionist and 2 borderline counties) Ireland to be given power over almost everything except defence, foreign affairs (including foreign trade), currency, copyright and broadcasting
  • 1921: election for Southern Ireland results in a House of Commons comprising entirely Sinn Fein members except for 4 Unionists representing Trinity College, Dublin; all elected unopposed (no actual voting); treaty negotiated agreeing Southern Ireland to become an independent Crown Dominion called Irish Free State, Northern Ireland to have the right to remain in the United Kingdom, commission to be set up to determine local opinion and recommend adjustment of (provisional) border
  • 1922: Free State officially comes into existence; pro-Treaty victory in its elections; anti-Treaty rebellion
  • 1923: rebellion defeated after 4 rebel leaders executed without trial on orders of Free State government
  • 1925: border commission delivers its report; governments agree to "bury" it; according to leaks, it recommmended transferring much of Northern Ireland to the Free State and small amounts of county Donegal to the North but the Free State refused to hand over any territory