• 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 (Dal 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
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  5. Cronin, Mike, A History of Ireland. Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2001Google Scholar
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  10. Hussey, G., Ireland Today: Anatomy of a Changing State. Dublin, 1993Google Scholar
  11. Institute of Public Administration, Ireland: a Directory. Dublin, annualGoogle Scholar
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  14. O’Beirne Ranelagh, J., A Short History of Ireland. 2nd ed. CUP, 1999Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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