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The people concerned often have Irish surnames, speak a form of Caribbean English influenced by the Irish vernacular and, in some cases, sing Irish songs. One Roman historian records that the Irish people were divided into "sixteen different nations" or tribes. The 20th-century writer Seumas MacManus wrote that even if the Fianna and the Fenian Cycle were purely fictional, it would still be representative of the character of the Irish people:.

The introduction of Christianity to the Irish people during the 5th century brought a radical change to the Irish people's foreign relations. If we compare the history of Ireland in the 6th century, after Christianity was received, with that of the 4th century, before the coming of Christianity, the wonderful change and contrast is probably more striking than any other such change in any other nation known to history.

Following the conversion of the Irish to Christianity, Irish secular laws and social institutions remained in place. The archaeologist Ewan Campbell argues against this view, saying that there is no archeological or placename evidence for a migration or a takeover by a small group of elites.

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He states that "the Irish migration hypothesis seems to be a classic case of long-held historical beliefs influencing not only the interpretation of documentary sources themselves, but the subsequent invasion paradigm being accepted uncritically in the related disciplines of archaeology and linguistics. The country came to be called Scotland , after the Roman name for the Gaels: Scoti. The Isle of Man and the Manx people also came under massive Gaelic influence in their history.

The Irishmen of this time were also "aware of the cultural unity of Europe", and it was the 6th-century Irish monk Columbanus who is regarded as "one of the fathers of Europe". Common to both the monastic and the secular bardic schools were Irish and Latin. With Latin, the early Irish scholars "show almost a like familiarity that they do with their own Gaelic".

Since the time of Charlemagne , Irish scholars had a considerable presence in the Frankish court , where they were renowned for their learning. The influx of Viking raiders and traders in the 9th and 10th centuries resulted in the founding of many of Ireland's most important towns, including Cork , Dublin, Limerick , and Waterford earlier Gaelic settlements on these sites did not approach the urban nature of the subsequent Norse trading ports. The Vikings left little impact on Ireland other than towns and certain words added to the Irish language, but many Irish taken as slaves inter-married with the Scandinavians, hence forming a close link with the Icelandic people.

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Most of these were assimilated into Irish culture and polity by the 15th century, with the exception of some of the walled towns and the Pale areas. The Irish were among the first people in Europe to use surnames as we know them today. Mac is the Gaeilge for son. Mac is commonly anglicised Mc. The proper surname for a woman in Irish uses the feminine prefix nic meaning daughter in place of mac. A son has the same surname as his father.

However, if the second part of the surname begins with the letter C or G, it is not lenited after Nic. When anglicised, the name can remain O' or Mac, regardless of gender. Though these names were of Viking derivation some of the families who bear them appear to have had Gaelic origins. The Normans themselves were descendants of Vikings , who had settled in Normandy and thoroughly adopted the French language and culture. Another common Irish surname of Norman Irish origin is the 'de' habitational prefix, meaning 'of' and originally signifying prestige and land ownership.

The Irish surname "Walsh" in Irish Breathnach was routinely given to settlers of Welsh origin, who had come during and after the Norman invasion. Different branches of a family with the same surname sometimes used distinguishing epithets, which sometimes became surnames in their own right. Similar surnames are often found in Scotland for many reasons, such as the use of a common language and mass Irish migration to Scotland in the late 19th and early to midth centuries.

An English report of states that the Irish people were divided into over sixty Gaelic lordships and thirty Anglo-Irish lordships.

There is no people under the sun that doth love equal and indifferent impartial justice better than the Irish, or will rest better satisfied with the execution thereof, although it be against themselves, as they may have the protection and benefit of the law upon which just cause they do desire it. Another English commentator records that the assemblies were attended by "all the scum of the country"—the labouring population as well as the landowners.

As a clan-based society, genealogy was all important. The Plantations of Ireland , and in particular the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th century, introduced great numbers of Scottish, English as well as French Huguenots as colonists. Many Gaelic Irish were displaced during the 17th century plantations. Only in the major part of Ulster did the plantations of mostly Scottish prove long-lived; the other three provinces Connacht , Leinster , and Munster remained heavily Gaelic Irish.

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Eventually, the Anglo-Irish and Protestant populations of those three provinces decreased drastically as a result of the political developments in the early 20th century in Ireland, as well as the Catholic Church's Ne Temere decree for mixed marriages, which obliged the non-Catholic partner to have the children raised as Catholics [ citation needed ]. There have been notable Irish scientists. The Anglo-Irish scientist Robert Boyle — is considered the father of chemistry for his book The Sceptical Chymist , written in The hydrographer Rear Admiral Francis Beaufort — , an Irish naval officer of Huguenot descent, was the creator of the Beaufort scale for indicating wind force.

George Boole — , the mathematician who invented Boolean algebra , spent the latter part of his life in Cork. The 19th century physicist George Stoney introduced the idea and the name of the electron. He was the uncle of another notable physicist, George FitzGerald. The Irish bardic system, along with the Gaelic culture and learned classes, were upset by the plantations, and went into decline. The Irish poets of the late 17th and 18th centuries moved toward more modern dialects.

Classification of Texts from Project Gutenberg

Irish Catholics continued to receive an education in secret "hedgeschools", in spite of the Penal laws. For a comparatively small population of about 6 million people, Ireland made an enormous contribution to literature. Irish literature encompasses the Irish and English languages.

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The famine lasted from - , it was worst during which was known as Black ' The famine occurred due to the extremely impoverished Irish population's staple food the potato being infected with Blight , and English forces appropriating all other crops and livestock to feed her armies abroad.

Starving people who tried to eat them would only vomit it back up soon afterwards. Soup kitchens were set up but made little difference. The English government produced little aid, only sending raw corn known as ' Peel's Brimstone ' to Ireland.

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It was known by this name after the British PM at the time and the fact that native Irish weren't aware on how to cook corn. This led to little or no improvement. The British government set up workhouses which were disease ridden with cholera, TB and others but they also failed as little food was available and many died on arrival as they were overworked. Some English political figures at the time saw the famine as a purge from God to exterminate the majority of the native Irish population.

Many records show the majority of emigrants to Australia were in fact prisoners sent to assist in the construction of English colonies there. A substantial proportion of these committed crimes in hopes of being extradited to Australia, favouring it to the persecution and hardships they endured in their homeland. Emigrants travelled on ' Coffin Ships ' they were called this as there were high mortality rates on board. Many died of disease or starved. Conditions on board were abysmal - tickets were expensive so stowaways were common, little food stuff was given to passengers who were simply viewed as cargo in the eyes of the ship workers.

Famous coffin ships include the Jeanie Johnston and the Dunbrody. There are many statues and memorials in Dublin, New York and other cities in memory of the famine.

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The fields of Athenry is a famous song about the great famine and is often sung at national team sporting events in memory and homage to those affected by the famine. The Great famine is one of the biggest events in Irish history and is ingrained in the identity on the nation to this day. It was a major in factor in Irish Nationalism and Ireland's fight for Independence during subsequent rebellions. As many Irish people felt a stronger need to regain Independence from English rule.

After the Irish War of Independence — the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed which led to the formation of the semi-independent Irish Free State now the independent Republic of Ireland which consisted of 26 counties in the south and Donegal in the North-West. The remaining six counties in the northeast remained in the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland. It is predominately religion, historical, and political differences that divide the two communities of nationalism and unionism. In the Republic of Ireland, as of , 3,, people or about The 31st International Eucharistic Congress was held in Dublin in , that year being the supposed 1,th anniversary of Saint Patrick's arrival.

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Ireland was then home to 3,, Catholics, about a third of whom attended the Congress. Today the majority of Irish people in the Republic of Ireland identify as Catholic, although church attendance have significantly dropped in recent decades.

What defines an Irishman? His faith, his place of birth? What of the Irish-Americans?

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Are they Irish? Who is more Irish Lewis , an Ulster Protestant, who is walking towards it, even though he never ultimately crosses the threshold? This has been a matter of concern over the last century for the followers of nationalist ideologists such as DP Moran. Thomas Davis , a prominent Protestant Irish nationalist who founded the Young Ireland movement, identified the Irish as a Celtic nation.