Ireland's history has been shaped by the many conquerors, kings and invaders who have stepped foot on the country's shores. For centuries conflict raged between the native Irish, Vikings, Anglo-Normans, English and Scots, and latterly competing Catholic and Protestant kings. This real-life game of thrones has shaped the social, political and military history of a nation which has often been dominated by problems caused by its proximity to more powerful neighbours.
Being a largely empty land, Ireland was an attractive proposition for landless knights, and the Norman Conquest of Ireland in 1171 saw a group of filibustering Anglo-Normans begin to carve up the country. Nevertheless, without the incursions of the Vikings and Anglo-Normans, urban development in Ireland would have been stunted and its evolution into the country it is today would have been markedly altered. Beginning with Ireland's earliest history, 'Ireland Lost and Won' spans the centuries, covering the period of Scottish raiding during the War of Scottish Independence and the Elizabethan and Stuart plantations. It concludes at the end of the seventeenth century; a century which witnessed rebellions against English rule and Oliver Cromwell’s storming of Drogheda and Wexford. Later, upon the deposition of James II and installation of William III on the English throne, Ireland became a battleground between competing European powers, the struggle culminating in decisive defeats for James at the battles of the Boyne and Aughrim, the bitter legacy of which have blighted modern times.
A fascinating saga of invasion, resistance and colonisation, discover the history behind this real-life game of thrones.
16 Apr 2017