Timeline

431 – Saint Patrick returns to Ireland, bringing widespread Christianity to the country. These beliefs overwrite the existing Celtic and Pagan religions of the native Irish people.

Late 700s to early 800s – Vikings invade the island and create settlements, attacking the native Celts.

1150-1170 – The English also begin to invade Ireland and attempt to claim rule for their own king.

1175 – The Irish and English kings sign the Treaty of Windsor, creating a territorial agreement between Irish and English claims on the island.

1366 – The Statute of Kilkenny is introduced, which is meant to keep Irish and English populations separate in order to keep English settlers from “going native.”

1551 – King Henry VIII is declared by Irish Parliament to be the king of Ireland as well as England.

1640-1650 – An uprising against the English is attempted by a group of Irish people but is quickly suppressed.

1695-1709 – A variety of anti-Catholic laws are passed, intending to limit the power of native Irish people and ensure the superiority and preferential treatment of English Protestants.

1770s-1790s – Some reforms to laws grant more rights to Catholics, but inequalities are still common between English and Irish citizens.

1801 – Ireland and Britain legally unite to become the United Kingdom.

1845 – The Great Potato Famine occurs during this interval and claims millions of lives.

1914 – The third attempt at an Irish Home Rule Bill finally passes after the first two were shut down, but it is then put on hold due to the start of World War I.

1919 – The Irish Republican Army is formed and begins fighting for independence from Britain.

1921 – The Anglo-Irish Treaty establishes Ireland as a Free State under the British Empire.

1922 – Civil War breaks out between Irish nationalists over the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

1937 – Southern Ireland declares itself an independent democratic state named “Eire” (the proper Irish word for “Ireland”). Northern Ireland does not, however, join in this attempt for independence.

1949 – Eire becomes the Republic of Ireland and finally detaches itself fully from the British Commonwealth. Northern Ireland remains under British control.

1969-1998 – Conflict in Northern Ireland known as “The Troubles.” Though localized to the North it sometimes spilled over into the Republic of Ireland as well.

2006 – A campaign is launched by the Irish government to revive the Irish language and make Ireland a bi-lingual country in Irish and English. Today, very few Irish people speak the native Gaelige fluently.

2008-2010 – Ireland is hit hard by the global recession. Debt and unemployment increase dramatically.

2011 – The current Taoiseach (head of Parliament) Enda Kenny and the current President Michael D. Higgins are elected.  The next election will be in April of 2016.

2015 – Ireland legalizes same-sex marriage just one month before the United States.

————————————————————————————————————————-

Sources: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17473476
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17480250
http://genealogypro.com/articles/Irish-history.html
http://www.irishhistorian.com/IrishHistoryTimeline.html
http://www.irishhistorian.com/Years/index.html