The Timeline: A History of Ireland from the
Arrival of the First Settlers
8000 BC: Arrival of first men in Ireland across land-bridge from
3000 BC: Arrival of new Stone Age men who built Newgrange.
100 BC: Arrival of Gaels.
AD 432: St. Patrick arrives to help convert pagan Gaaelic Kings to Christianity.
7th and 8th centuries AD: Gaelic-Christian golden age Book of Durrow, Ardagh
Chalice, Book of Kells.
795 Arrival of first norsemen or Vikings (sometimes called 'Danes') on Lambay
island off Dublin coast.
1014 High King Brian Boru killed after victory over Norsemen and their Irish
allies at battle o of Clonarf.
1170: Arrivals of Normans at Baginbun, County Wexford, vanguard of Earl of
Pembroke (Srongbow' ) invited over by Dermot Macmurrough.
1170: Arrival of 'Strongbow' in person.
1171: 'Strongbow' becomes king of Leinster.
1366: Statues of Kilkenny to try and prevent Norman and later settlers from
becomming 'more Irish than the Irish'.
1496: Line of 'the Pale'at Clongowes.
1507: Accession of Henry VIII.
1515: Anarchy in Ireland.
1534: Kildare rebellion.
1558: Accession of Elizabeth I. State thereafter permanently identified with
Reformation which fails to take root in Ireland.
1562: (Onwards) Elizabethan wars in Ireland.
1595: Rebellion of Hugh O' Neill, Earl of Tyrone.
1598: O' Neill's great victory at Yellow Ford in Ulster.
1601: Defeat of O'Neill, O'Donnell, and Spaniards by Mountjoy, at battle of
Kinsale. 1603: Accession of James I. Surrender of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.
Enforcement of English law throughout Ireland and particularly in Ulster.
1606: Settlement of Scots by private treaty in Ards peninsula.
1607: Flight of O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone and O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell ('The
Flight of the Earls').
1608 (onward): Plantation of Derry (City of London) and other confiscated
counties planned and partly carried out.
1641: Great Catholic-Gaelic rebellion for return of lands, later joined by Old
English Catholics in Ireland. 59% of land of Ireland held by Catholics.
1649: Cromwell arrives in Ireland and captures Drogheda, Wexford etc...
1650: Catholic landowners exiled to Connaught
1660: Accession of Charles II
1685: Accession of James II
1688: James II deposed in England Gates of Derry shut in face of James's troops.
22% of land of Ireland held by Catholics
1689: Siege and relief of Derry
1690: William of Orange (William III) lands at Carrickfergus and defeats James
II at Battle of the Boyne
1691: Catholic defeat at Aughrim and surrender at Limerick
1695: 14% of land of Ireland held by Catholics. First penal laws enacted against
1698: William Molyneux pamphlet against England making laws for Ireland
1714: 7% of land of Ireland held by Catholics
1720: Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin writes pamphlet 'utterly
rejecting... everything wearable that comes from England.'
1775: Henry Grattan, leader of 'Patroit' party.
1782: Legislative Independence won from Britain by Irish Parliament.
1796: French fleet with Wolfe Tone on board arrived in Bantry Bay.
1796-98: United Irishmen plotting rebellion.
1798: March Arrest of Leinster Directory of United Irishmen. May Arrest and
death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Piecemeal rebellion in Midlands. June Wexford
rebellion, Battle of Vinegar Hill. November Death of Wolfe Tone.
1800: Act of Union passed (with effect from January 1, 1801)
1803: Robert Emmet's rising, trial and execution.
1823: Daniel O' Connell's Catholic Association founded.
1828: O' Connell elected for Clare.
1829: Catholic Emancipation passed.
1837: Accession of Queen Victoria
1840: O' Connell's Repeal Association founded.
1842: The Nation newspaper founded by Thomas Davis etc.
1843: O'Connell's 'Monster Meetings' for Repeal of the Union. August Tara
'Monster Meetings'. October Clontarf meeting banned.
1845: Blight in the potato harvest. Beginning of Famine (1845- 1849). Charles
Trevelyan, permanent Head of Treasury. Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister, imports
Indian corn. 1846: April Trevelyan opens depots for sales of Indian corn for
first time but closes them later in summer because 'whole country' on them.
Repeal of Corn Laws. Attacks on food carts etc. July Lord John Russell replaces
Peel as Prime Minister. August public works started but soon afterwards stopped
in expectation of new harvest. Total failure of potato harvest. Public works
re-started. October first deaths from starvation reported.
1847: Free nations first distributed from Government soup kitchens. Fever
spreading throughout Ireland. Blight-free but small potato harvest. Trevelyan
winds up Soup Kitchen. Act of retires to knighthood and writing of Famine
History. Responsibilities for distress thrown on local rates. Ireland left to
'operation of natural causes'.
1848-49: Worst years of the famine.
1848: Battle of the Widow MacCormack's Cabbage Garden at Ballingarry (county
Tipperary). Smith O'Brien ( Young Ireland leader) arrested. James Stephan's
flees to France.
1856: James Stephans returns from France. His walk through Ireland.
1858: Stephans founds organization to become Irish Republican Brotherhood.
Fenian Brotherhood founded in America.
1861: Funeral of Terence Bellew MacManus.
1861-65: Stephens, John Devoy and others swearing in members of 'Organization'.
1863: Newspaper Irish People founded.
1865: Arrest of Editorial Board of Irish People.
1866: Stephans first urges then calls off Rising, deposed by American Fenians US
Civil war veteran Kelly becomes 'Chief Organizer of Irish Republic' and sails
with others to Ireland, from New York.
1867: February Abortive raid on Chester Castle. March Fenian Rising in Ireland.
September Rescue of Kelly from police van in Manchester. November Execution of
Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien. December Clerkenwell explosion.
1869: Gladstone, Prime Minister, disestablishes Protestant Churches in Ireland.
1870: Gladstone's first Land Act.
1875: Charles Stewart Parnell elected MP for County Meath.
1879: Threat of Famine in Ireland Evictions. Irish National Land League founded
after initiative by Michael Davitt.
1879-82: Land War
1880: Parnell starts love affair with Mrs. O'Shea.
1881: Gladstone's second Land Act. Parnell imprisoned in Kilmainham.
1882: Death of Parnell's and Mrs. O' Shea's first child. Kilmainham 'Treaty'-
Parnell's release Phoenix Park murder.
1886: First Home Rule Bill.
1887: The Times publishes forged Parnell letters.
1889: Forgeries (by journalist Pigott) exposed.
1890: November Parnell Divorce Case heard. December Meeting in Committee Room 15
which deposes Parnell from Irish party leadership.
1891: Parnell loses three bye-elections in Ireland. October Parnell dies.
1893: Second Home Rule Bill. Gaelic League founded.
1899: Arthur Griffith founds first newspaper United Irishmen.
1903: Land Purchases Act ( Wyndham Act)
1906: Liberals win General Election with too big majority to need to offer Home
Rule to Irish Party.
1909: Land Purchase Act.
1910: Two General Elections in which Conservatives and Liberals almost equal-
Irish Party holding balance.
1911: Parliament Act deprives House of Lords of ultimate veto.
1912: Third Home Rule Bill. Solemn League and Covenant in Ulster.
1913: January Ulster Volunteer Force founded. November Irish Citizen Army and
Irish National Volunteers founded.
1914: March Curragh 'mutiny'. April Larne gun- running. July Howth gun- running
Bachelor's Walk. August Outbreak of First World War. September Home Rule Act on
Statue Book. IRB decides on Rising.
1916: Easter Dublin Rising. 3-12 May Executions. Christmas First rebel prisoners
released, including Michael Collins.
1917: July All rebel prisoners released De Valera wins East Clare.
1918: November End of First World War. December British General Election. Sinn
Fein victory over Parliamentary Party in Ireland.
1919: January Dail Eireann meets in Dublin- not banned. Catholic constables of
Royal Irish Constabulary killed by Dan Breen at Soloheadbeg. Killing of police
organized by Collins.
1920: March First Black and Tan members of RIC arrive from England. July First
RIC Auxiliaries arrive. November Kevin Barry hanged 'Bloody Sunday'. Kilmichael
Ambush. December Burning of Cork by Auxiliaries.
1921: May IRA setback at burning Dublin Custom House. July King opens Northern
Ireland Parliament in Belfast ; Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern
Ireland. Truce. December Anglo Irish Treaty.
1922: April Four Courts occupied by anti-Treaty IRA. June General Election in
Ireland gives pro-Treaty majority. Four Courts attacked by Free State troops.
Civil War starts. August Deaths of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins. William
Cosgrave, President of Executive Council. November First executions of
anti-Treaty IRA by Free State in Dublin, followed by executions of Erkine
Childers, O'Conner, Mellowes etc.- total executions by Free State to May 1923:
1923: End of Civil War. IRA 'dump arms'.
1926: De Valera founds Fianna Fail.
1927: General Election in Ireland. Killing of Kevin O'Higgins. De Valera and
Fianna Fail take oath without taking oath and enter Dail.
1932: General Election in Ireland: Fianna Fail victory. IRA prisoners released.
'Economic War' with Britain over Land Annuties.
1937: Constitution of 'Eire'.
1938: Agreement with Britain : economic war ended; Britain gives up military and
naval rights in 'Treaty' ports.
1939: IRA bombing campaign in Britain. September Outbreak of Second World War.
Eire neutral. December IRA raid on Magazine Fort, Phoenix Park, Dublin.
1945: May End of Second World War. Chuchill's and de Valera's radio speeches.
July Labour Government in power in Britain until 1951.
1948: General Election in Ireland: defeat of Fianna fail: de Valera out of the
office for the first time in 16 years.
1949: Republic of Ireland declared. Accepted by Britain with guarantee of
support to Northern Ireland.
1956-62: IRA campaign in North.
1965: O'Neill-Lemass Talks.
1967: Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association founded.
1968: August First Civil Rights March. October Derry Civil rights March banned
by William Craig, Minister of Home Affairs, but held and broken up with
brutality by police. November O' Neill reforms announced.
1969: January People's Democracy Belfast to Derry Civil Rights March. January
4th Marchers attacked at Burntollet bridge. April O'Neill resigns: Chichester
Clark Prime Minister. August B Specials out of hand in Derry and Belfast. August
14th British troops sent to Derry. October Protestant riot in Belfast protesting
against Hunt Commission's report on RUC.
1970: Dublin Arms Trial ( Haughey, Blaney, Boland acquitted).
1971: February First British solider killed by IRA in Belfast. Chichester Clark
resigns; Faulkner Prime Minister. August Faulknergets British Government's
agreement to internment: 342 arrested. December Total interned: 1576
1972: January 30th Bloody Sunday in Derry. March Direct Rule; Stormont
1973: December Sunningdale Agreement; Assembly established with Power sharing.
1974: May Ulster Workers' Strike brings down Faulkner and Assembly. Direct rule