RELIGIOUS And POLITICAL CONFLICT the story of northern ireland

Gerry McKenna

Abstract


Ireland has had a long history of bloody conflicts as a
result of invasions and internal divisions. The first major Irish
inhabitants were Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who came after
8,000 BC following the end of the ‘ice age’. At around 6,000
BC they began to develop agriculture including pottery, stone
tools and wooden houses. They also developed megalithic
communal tombs many of them astronomically aligned and
which remain today, most notably the tombs at Newgrange in
Co Meath which were build around 3,200 BC, making them
older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and Stonehenge
in England. There followed the Bronze Age from around 2,000
BC and the Iron Age from 600 BC. Over the next five hundred
years a gradual infiltration of Celtic speaking people occurred,
resulting in the establishment of Gaelic culture and Christianity
by the fifth century AD


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