• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Ireland was first inhabited around 7500 BC by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who travelled across the land bridge that connected southwest Scotland with the northern part of Ireland (it was submerged around 6700 BC). The earliest settlement, at Mount Sandel near Coleraine, has been dated to 5935 BC. Farmers from the Middle-East arrived in Ireland around 3500 BC. Their elaborate graves are also a feature of Neolithic communities in Brittany and the Iberian peninsula. From the sixth century BC, the island was invaded by waves of Celtic tribes from central Europe, including the Gaels, who established pastoral communities within massive stone forts. By AD 200 the Gaels dominated the island, though there was no central control: society was based on a complex structure of hundreds of small kingdoms. The Romans, who dominated much of northern Europe, never reached Ireland. The Gaels traded with other Celtic peoples and sent raiding parties to form settlements in Scotland (Dál Riata) and west Wales.


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Further Reading

  1. Central Statistics Office. National Income and Expenditure (annual), Statistical Abstract (annual), Census of Population Reports (quinquennial), Census of Industrial Production Reports (annual), Trade and Shipping Statistics (annual and monthly), Trend of Employment and Unemployment, Reports on Vital Statistics (annual and quarterly), Statistical Bulletin (quarterly), Labour Force Surveys (annual), Trade Statistics (monthly), Economic Series (monthly).Google Scholar
  2. Ardagh, J., Ireland and the Irish: a Portrait of a Changing Society London, 1994Google Scholar
  3. Chubb, B., Government and Politics in Ireland. 3rd ed. London, 1992Google Scholar
  4. Cronin, Mike, A History of Ireland. Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2001Google Scholar
  5. Cronin, Mike, Gibbons, Luke and Kirby, Peadar, (eds.) Reinventing Ireland: Culture, Society and the Global Economy Pluto Press, London, 2002Google Scholar
  6. Delanty, G. and O’Mahony, P., Rethinking Irish History: Nationalism, Identity and Ideology. London, 1997Google Scholar
  7. Foster, R. F., The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland. OUP, 1991Google Scholar
  8. Gallagher, Michael and Marsh, Michael, (eds.) How Ireland Voted 2007: The Full Story of Ireland’s General Election. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2007Google Scholar
  9. Garvin, T., 1922 The Birth of Irish Democracy. Dublin, 1997Google Scholar
  10. Harkness, D., Ireland in the Twentieth Century: a Divided Island. London, 1995Google Scholar
  11. Institute of Public Administration, Ireland: a Directory. Dublin, annualGoogle Scholar
  12. Kostick, C., Revolution in Ireland — Popular Militancy 1917–1923. London, 1997Google Scholar
  13. Laffan, Brigid and O’Mahony, Jane, Ireland and the European Union. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lalor, Brian, (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Ireland. Yale Univ. Press, 2003Google Scholar
  15. O’Beirne Ranelagh, J., A Short History of Ireland. 2nd ed. CUP, 1999Google Scholar
  16. O’Sullivan, Michael J., Ireland and the Global Question. Syracuse University Press, 2006Google Scholar
  17. Patterson, Henry, Ireland Since 1939: The Persistence of Conflict. Penguin Ireland, Dublin, 2006Google Scholar
  18. Vaughan, W. E. (ed.) A New History of Ireland, 6 vols. Oxford, 1996Google Scholar
  19. Wyndham, Andrew Higgins, (ed.) Re-Imagining Ireland. University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, 2006Google Scholar
  20. National Statistical Office: Central Statistics Office, Skehard Road, Cork. Director-General: Gerry O’Hanlon.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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