Irish History

Ireland has had a rough history. It seems that if someone could pick on Ireland they did. They were invaded by Vikings, the English, the Scots and the Celts; but the Irish never gave up and kept on fighting every step of the way. Even today the people in Northern Ireland are still fighting. The Irish apparently are fighters. They love their people and their country. They have high standards that they live by and are willing to tough it out. They have stuck to together through thick and thin, and thin is what they mostly had to deal with.

Ireland was one of the last European regions to be inhabited by people. Twenty thousand years ago, when early people were already living in caves in France and Spain, Ireland was still largely covered by sheets of ice form the Ice Age. The oldest known evidence of people in Ireland dates from about ten thousand years ago, when the Ice Age ended. Ireland’s first inhabitants are thought to have come by boat from southwestern Scotland. They settled along the coast of the Irish Seas in the northern and eastern parts of Ireland. These first Irish people lived in the Stone Age. They made their weapons out of stone, principally flint, which is found in great abundance in what is now Northern Ireland. Many of the leaf shaped stone knives of the early Irish have been found near the Bann River in Northern Ireland and are know as “Bann Flakes.”

The earliest Irish were always on the move and were fisherman and hunters. About six thousand years ago the Stone Age Irish learned to grow crops and raise livestock. Farming brought a change in their life style. It now meant that they could settle down in one place. The farmers moved inland and began to build villages throughout Ireland. Pottery, stone tools, weapons, ornaments, a few wooden houses and other remains of the Stone Age farmers have been found in County Limerick and County Mayo. One of the most interesting relics left by the Sone Age farmers are the tombs they built for their dead. Early people throughout the world often placed stones over graves to mark them. In Ireland many hundreds of Stone Age burial places have been found, including about three hundred Passage Graves. Usually located on hilltops, Passage Graves are round dirt mounds with stone covered burial chambers inside. A passage or tunnel leads from the entrance of the mound to the burial chamber.

After the Stone Age came the Bronze Age. During this era people used the hard metal alloy bronze for their tools and weapons. In Ireland the Bronze Age began about four thousand years ago. The sturdy bronze weapons and tools made by the metal working people enabled them to defend themselves better and to improve their ways of farming and styles of living. Daggers, axes, swords and other bronze implements can be seen in Irish museums today.

Around 400 B.C. the Celts, an ancient people who dominated western and central Europe from about 500 B.C. to 1 B.C., arrived in Ireland by boat form the European mainland and from the nearby island of Great Britain. The arrival of the Celts marked the beginning of the Iron Age in Ireland. With their superior weapons, the Celts conquered the original Irish people and extended their rule over the entire island. They divided Ireland into several groups of kingdoms called tuatha. Each tuath was ruled by a Celtic chieftain, or king, called a rí. Sometimes several tuatha were combined into what was called a mór-tuath, ruled by an even more important king.

Starting in the third century A.D., much of Ireland was united under a single Celtic Árd Rí, or high king. The high king built a palace at the hill of Tara overlooking the River Boyne. Tara served as the capital of Ireland. Here the high king made laws, arbitrated legal disputes, held games and oversaw contests of music and verse making. Many aspects of Celtic culture, including laws, spread throughout Ireland. The Celtic kings had legal advisers, called brehons, who helped the kings make legal decisions regarding disputes. The laws passed orally by the kings and brehons became know as the Brehon Laws. Part of the purpose of the Brehon Laws was to protect the poor from those who were rich and powerful. The Brehon Laws were in effect until the 16th century.

The Celts also brought their language, called Gaelic, to Ireland. However, except for a form of lettering called ogham that was used on tombstones, the Celts had no written language. Their history and legends were told by poets and storytellers.

Druids were Celtic priests who were believed to be able to tell the future by studying the flights of birds and the insides of a sacrificed animal. Druids were sworn to secrecy, which is one of the reasons why few details are known about their religion. One interesting relic of the Celtic religion is Halloween. It began as a festival that honored Samhain, the god of death, whom the Celts associated with the coming of the cold season. The festival was later adapted by Roman and the Christian cultures and it finally emerged as what we know it to be today.

Because the Celts lacked a system of writing, few concrete facts are known about Irish history before the fifth century. It is difficult to separate fact from legend. The fifth century brought great changes. Christianity was brought to Ireland in that century. With Christianity came a new outlook on life, as well as a written language. Saint Patrick is greatly associated with introducing Christianity to Ireland. He was born somewhere around the year 390, but the exact place and date of his birth is not known. He is said to have taught the people to read so that they could study the Bible on their own. He is thought to have founded three hundred churches in Ireland and to have baptized more than 100,000 Irish persons.

Christianity brought with it a climate of learning. Monasteries were built in many places throughout Ireland. Here religious men, called monks, lived and worked. The monks knew how to write in Latin and also developed a written language for Gaelic. Day after day the monks worked at copying manuscripts by hand. The books they created were decorated with all sorts of designs an lettering. Since they seemed to almost glow with bright colors they were called illuminated manuscripts. The monks recorded the early myths of Ireland and studied science and mathematics. During the Dark Ages of Europe, Ireland went through was is known as it’s Golden Age because the monks and scholars kept the light of knowledge alive. Ireland, in those years, is sometimes referred to as the Island of Saints and Scholars.

The Vikings came from an area that is now known as Norway, Denmark and Sweden. They were among the fiercest warriors who have ever lived. They also built some of the fastest ships at that time. Starting about the year 795 Viking raiders left their overcrowded homeland and invaded Ireland. The Vikings sailed along the coasts and up the rivers of Ireland. They killed people, stole cattle, destroyed property and plundered monasteries. At first Vikings returned home after their raids, but later some settled in Ireland. They built forts which then turned into Ireland’s first cities. Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow were all founded by the Vikings.

Viking power in Ireland reached it’s height about the year 1000 when they controlled a large portion of the island. Because the Irish had a number of different kings in various regions they lacked the unity needed to defeat the Vikings. In the year 1002 Brian Boru, a Christian, became high king of Ireland. He rebuilt the monasteries and churches that the Vikings had destroyed. He also built forts. In 1014, when Brian Boru was about seventy-four years old, he formed an army of thousands of Irishmen.

On Good Friday of 1014 Brian Boru’s army met the Viking soldiers at Clontarf on the edge of Dublin. A fierce battle was fought lasting from sunrise to sunset. Seven thousand Vikings were slain in what came to be know as the Battle of Brian or the Battle of Clontarf. Although four thousand Irish soldiers died in battle, and Brian Boru was killed in his tent, King Brian’s army was victorious. Because he ended the Viking’s hope of capturing all of Ireland he is remembered as one of Ireland’s greatest heroes. After their defeat some of the Vikings sailed home, but many stayed behind and became Christians. As the Vikings, the Celts and the original Irish intermarried, distinctions between the three groups disappeared and they were all meshed into one.

For the next 150 years Ireland was left undisturbed. In 1066 the Normans (Vikings who settled in France) conquered England. Beginning in the late 1160's Norman invaders from the island of Great Britain attacked Ireland. In 1169 the Norman Earl of Pembroke, known as Strongbow, arrived in Ireland and soon made himself king of Leinster. Other Norman noblemen also took control of Irish lands. The Irish fought, but their soldiers, wearing simple tunic and equipped with swords and spears, had little chance against the Norman soldiers who wore armor, rode swift horses and had excellent weapons such as crossbows, longbows, giant catapults and battering rams.

In 1171 Henry II, the Norman king of England, journeyed to Ireland with thousands of soldiers and knights to make sure that the Irish people and the Normans who had seized the land recognized his authority. He then declared himself king of Ireland. According to some historians, King Henry II had been encouraged by Pope Adrian IV, the only Englishman ever to be pope, to claim Ireland for England. Henry’s conquest began what was to be seven centuries of English rule.

The Normans gained more and more land until they controlled almost all of Ireland by the 14th century. At first the Norman nobles built wooden castles, but then later made them out of stone. There was then a while, during the 15th century, where the influence of the English diminished in Ireland. The English were busy fighting wars elsewhere and the English people on Ireland married with the Irish and took on their language and way of life. It was even said that the English became, ''more Irish than the Irish themselves.'' By 1534 King Henry VIII of England renewed his country’s interest in ruling Ireland. He had himself declared king of Ireland in 1541. The English then embarked on a massive program to deprive the Irish of their freedom and their very way of life.

Mary I, Henry VIII’s daughter, became queen of England in 1553. She began the colonization method known as ''plantation.'' Rebel Irish families were evicted from their lands. English settlers, or loyal Irish, were then ''planted'' on those lands. Often the native Irish had to work for the English landlords or move to less desirable places. In 1558 Mary’s sister, Elizabeth I, became queen of England. Called, ''Good Queen Bess,'' by her English subjects, she was hated by the Irish. One of the biggest conflicts was religion. The Irish were Catholics and the English turned to Protestantism during the 16th century. The English tried to force the Irish to become Protestants, but despite intense persecution of all kinds the Irish clung to their own religion. Elizabeth I ordered Irish Catholic priests and bishops killed and outlawed Catholic religious services. She also seized 100,000 acres of Catholic owned land and gave it to her fellow Englishmen. Furious at what the English were doing to them the Irish revolted. During Elizabeth’s time the only part of Ireland not under English rule was the north. The north is where the O’Neill family was most prominent. In 1593 the O’Neill’s defeated the English in battle and led other revolts after that. In 1601 Hugh O’Neill assembled an army of Irishmen and Spaniards, but were defeated by the English.

After Elizabeth I came James I. He was also cruel to the Irish. During the early 17th century James I cleared many of the Irish Catholics form the northern part of Ireland. In their place he put Scottish and English Protestants. The placing of these Protestants in northern Ireland was part of a situation resulting in conflicts that continue to this day. In the 16th and 17th centuries; when English and Scottish Protestants began to settle in Ireland, mostly in the rich farmland of Ulster pushing out the native Irish Catholic farmers onto poor and unproductive lands; a division between the Catholics and Protestants began.

Oliver Cromwell, who governed England from 1649 to 1658, continued the persecution of the Irish. An Irish revolt that had begun in 1641 was put down in 1649 when Cromwell invaded Ireland with a huge army. Among the slaughters perpetrated by the English was Cromwell’s ruthless killing of more than 3,500 men, women and children at Drogheda on the eastern coast of Ireland. After overcoming the Irish, Cromwell gave more of their lands to his soldiers. There were so many Irish that were either killed or that fled between 1641 to 1650 that Ireland’s population dropped from an estimated 1.5 million to less than 1 million. Those who remained had to live on desolate lands, most of which were on the west coast of Ireland in Connacht Province. The expression, ''Hell or Connacht,'' was often uttered in despair by the Irish during this time. Other than Connacht Province, the Irish had little choice of where to go. The English completely dominated Ireland. By the middle of the 17th century four-fifths of Ireland had been taken over by English landlords. By the late 17th century the English had seized more than 85 percent of Irish lands.

The Irish people had hope again in 1685 when James II, a Catholic, became England’s king. He temporarily ended persecution of the Irish Catholic. James II, however, had his crown taken from him and it was given to his Protestant daughter, Mary II, and her husband William III, also known as William of Orange. In an effort to regain his crown James II, with French support, went to Ireland. He formed an army of Irish Catholics and French officers. Meanwhile, Protestants from the northern part of Ireland augmented William’s army of Dutch and Englishmen. The two armies met in 1690 on the banks of the River Boyne. William won the Battle of the Boyne. After this the conditions were worse than ever for the Irish Catholics.

During the 18th century the Catholics were treated much like slaves. The English passed a series of cruel Penal Laws. These laws established severe fines and imprisonment for taking part in Catholic worship. They also forced more of the Irish to give up their lands. By the late 1770's the Irish Catholics, who then made up 75 percent of the population in Ireland, owned just 5 percent of the land. The Irish had to work for English or Anglo-Irish Protestant landlords on property that once had been their own. Also, because the English had placed a heavy tax on homes with fireplaces, many of the Irish lived in unheated shacks. In addition they had little to eat, but potatoes, and often fell ill due to chilly homes and lack of nourishing food.

According to the Penal Laws Irish Catholics were not allowed to vote, buy property, hold public office, own a gun or own a horse worth more than five pounds. Catholics were barred from becoming lawyers or teachers and Catholic worship was forbidden. This caused the Irish to hold secret services out in the fields. Catholic schools were also illegal. Some Irish children were able to attended Protestant schools, but others went to, ''hedge schools,'' which were secret schools often held outdoors in secluded places. Some didn’t go to school at all.

In the late 18th century, and the early 19th century, England was one of the most powerful nations on earth. The Irish had virtually no chance to defeat the mighty English army. Most native Irish spoke Gaelic and were Catholic and those who were Protestant spoke English and were decedents of the English and Scottish settlers from the 16th and 17th centuries. By the early 19th century the descendants of Protestant settlers made up about 10% of Ireland’s population. Ireland was a Catholic country and even though they fought back against these settlers for centuries they were repeatedly defeated by the English armies and were slowly deprived of their economic and political power. It wasn’t long until most of the land and wealth in Ireland was owned by Protestants. In 1801, by the Act of Union, the Protestants agreed to abolish Ireland’s parliament in Dublin. From 1801 to 1921 Ireland was ruled directly by the British parliament at Westminster in London. Many Irish Catholics resented the British Protestant control of Ireland.

In the early 19th century unemployment soared in Ireland. After 1815 prices for Ireland’s grain exports slumped and in an attempt to earn more money many farmers switched from growing grain to breeding beef and dairy cattle. This reduced the work available for farm laborers. Cheap yarns and cloths were being made in modern factories in Britain and flooded the Irish market causing many Irish weavers and spinners to be thrown out of work. In the spring time thousands of Irish workers went to England and Scotland in search of summer time work. Some traveled to Kent in southeast England to pick hops for beer making and others worked in the market gardens around London. Other seasonal workers went further abroad. This kept people on the move. This usually involved the whole family. Older children often looked after the younger ones while their parents would work in the fields. As people returned home they would bring news of the outside world to their family and neighbors. People who had never left their village would hear of good wages, cheap food and year round employment in Britain and North America. With the feeling of becoming outsiders in their own country, unemployment, poverty, scarcity of land and the news that families would hear from friends and neighbors about employment and good food in Britain and North America made many people decided to emigrate.

When moving to Britain many emigrants found their new lives to be very different. Most of them were farm workers and in Britain they had to adjust to a life in bustling cities. Instead of agricultural labor they were now hired to work in factories or on construction sites. Women and children often became street vendors. When the Irish left Ireland most of them had some idea of where they were going in Britain. They already had friends or relatives settled in Britain who would help them to find housing and work. The Irish in the 19th century Britain formed a reservoir of unskilled, cheap labor. They were often resented by English and Scottish workers because of their willingness to work for low wages.

Many Irish chose to go to North America, but a ticket to cross the Atlantic was not cheap. In the 1830's it cost much more to sail to North America than it did to sail to London. In the first half of the 19th century poor emigrants usually took the short, cheap journey to Scotland and England, where those who were better off went to North America. Even a prosperous farming family could usually only afford to send one person at a time. For most one ticket would cost a whole year’s worth of wages. It was a huge decision to emigrate to America and most certainly meant leaving Ireland forever. Often it was the letters that emigrants wrote back home that persuaded others to emigrate. Some letters told of hardship and homesickness, but there were many more that painted a picture of America as, ''The Land of Plenty.'' They would explain that work and land were bountiful and one letter stated, ''My family and I eat our fill of bread and meat, butter and milk any day we like throughout the year.'' Another emigrant, a weaver, who arrived in America with only a few coins. Three years later he wrote to his family with news that he had recently purchased a house and land worth $200. He promised that anyone could make a fortune if they went to America.

Most of Ireland’s native people chose to leave their country, but others were forced out. The ones forced out were convicts. They were transported to the prison colony of Australia. Between 1788 and 1868 over 50,000 Irish men, women and children were sent to Australia as prisoners. In the 18th century even minor crimes were punished harshly. Someone caught stealing a shirt could be sentenced to many years in prison. Soon the prisons were overflowing and in the 1780's the government decided to ship some of it’s prison population to the continent of Australia. The first fleet of ships arrived off the east coast of Australia in January of 1788. There a new British penal colony was established at Sydney Cove.

The Queen, one of the first ships to leave for Australia, took almost six months to reach Sydney. When the ship arrived the convicts were nearly dead from starvation. A shocked naval officer described them as, ''Skeletons, apparently with a human skin drawn over their bones.'' The captain had underfed the convicts in order to sell the uneaten food for a profit in the new colony.

On arrival in Australia everything seemed strange and unusual. The local Aborigines did not wear clothes or live in houses that looked like the European's. The climate was hot and dry, the trees were thin and the animals seemed awkward. The convicts were given so little information about their new home that some of them fled into The Bush hoping to walk into China. A few were killed by the Aborigines and the rest; exhausted, hungry and confused; eventually were forced back to the convict settlement by the harsh climate and thick, impenetrable Bush.

Life in Australia was hard. Many Irish convicts had little experience of life outside of their village and once in Australia they would stand out from the rest. Unlike the Scottish and English convicts, they were mostly peasants with little knowledge of city life. The men were made to clear land, cut stone and build roads and houses. Because of the shortage of horses the men did the work of animals and were chained together into plow or haulage gangs. Punishments were sever. Flogging, chain gangs and solitary confinement were all used to break the spirit of rebellious convicts. Women convicts were sent to work in prison factories. They would make coarse clothes and sacking. Like the men they were punished for insolence and refusal to work. Women would be fitted with a ball and chain or would have their heads shaved, which was a terrible thing for a woman in those days. One group of Irish convicts was treated differently than the rest. This is because they were exiled to Australia for leading rebellions against British rule in Ireland. They were few in number and had little in common with the ordinary convicts, but the convict guards became convinced that all the Irish convicts were political rebels and often singled them out for punishment. One thing not allowed was the speaking of Gaelic. Guards would severely punish anyone speaking Gaelic because they thought it to be a secret language that was spoken when the Irish was planning to rebel against the guards or planning to escape.

Despite the harsh conditions many Irish convicts eventually prospered in Australia. Convict sentences were reduced for good behavior and it was possible, after only four or five years in the colony, to begin working for oneself. To encourage farming, the British government gave grants of land to freed convicts and in some cases agreed to allow the wives and children of male convicts to be sent to Australia. Women convicts who married a released convict or a settler were often granted their freedom.

Between the years 1845 and 1849 great tragedy struck Ireland. In 1845 the potato harvest in Ireland was largely destroyed by a new disease, Potato Blight. It’s a type of fungus that caused the potatoes to be foul smelling and engulfed in what looked like black mildew. This lasted for four years. When the potato crop failed the British government was reluctant to implement relief measures on the massive scale needed to prevent widespread starvation. By 1850, when there was a reliable crop again, millions of people either died of starvation or emigrated and many of those who emigrated either died of disease or starvation on their way to salvation. Those who did survive the trip would have to wait sometimes up to several months before they were allowed off of the ships. This is because they were being quarantined. Often these vessels would be filled with disease stricken people.

The majority of the people who left Ireland during the Potato Famine were from the poorest provinces of Ireland, Connaught and Munster. Before the famine farmers would divide up their land among their sons, but the bitter experience of the famine caused Irish farmers to be more cautious and instead would end up giving all of the land to the eldest son. This caused the others in the family to go look for jobs. With the scarceness of jobs unemployment soared. In the 19th century farming was the main source of work in Ireland. In England and Scotland the Industrial Revolution was taking place and people from all over the countryside were moving to places like London, Manchester and Glasgow. Ireland had almost no factory work and remained dependent on agricultural exports.

There was an enormous gap between the landlords and the peasants. During the famine many people were unable to pay their rent and many starving tenant farmers and their families were evicted. People tried to keep alive be eating wild grasses, nettles and leaves from trees. Without proper nutrition they easily fell sick and by 1847 typus and cholera were raging amongst the famine victims. Many, mostly skeletons in rags, shut themselves in their huts and waited to die. It is not known exactly how many people died during the Great Famine, but historians estimate that it may have been as many as one million and another two million emigrated during this time. During these years Ireland lost between a quarter and a third of her population to starvation, disease and emigration.

Not all of the tenant farmers were kicked off of the land that they lived on and left to fend for themselves on the open road. Some landlords paid for their former tenants to emigrate. Although costly, this allowed the landlords to clear small, inefficient tenant farms off of their estates. Many others financed the voyage with money sent to them from relatives who had already emigrated. During the famine, Irish people abroad sent back many thousands of dollars a year to help their relatives leave Ireland. The government also assisted the poorest people to emigrate. The government and the Irish Poor Law Boards financed the emigration of almost 80,000 destitute people to North America and another 100,000 people received assistance from the government to emigrate to Australia, if people could prove that they had some money and that they were good workers. A trip to Australia was very expensive. Assistance to Australia was called Assisted Passage Schemes and they were set up to encourage land settlement in Australia.

In 1845 there were about 8.5 million people living in Ireland, by 1926 there were only about 4.3 million. In the 1850's steamers ships began to replace the old sailing ships cutting the voyage time from 12 to 14 weeks to only 4 to 6 weeks to America. Much of the fear and danger of the long voyage across the Atlantic disappeared. Many people flocked to America! As far as the Irish were concerned there were thousands of jobs available in America and America was in grave need of laborers. Among the many people flocking to America after the famine were young, single, unmarried women. Like the post-famine emigration of young men, most of the women emigrants were from the two poorest provinces of Ireland, Connaught and Munster, and most were Catholics. From 1881 to 1910 almost 800,000 women emigrated, actually outnumbering the male emigrants in these years. Women left Ireland because they lacked opportunities for employment and financial independence. Without an income it was difficult to marry and Irish women discovered that they were expected to stay at home living as cheaply as possible. Faced with such a bleak future thousands of spirited young women took the leap across the Atlantic in search of work and a partner.

In America women were able to find jobs as domestic servants, factory mill hands and needle workers. Women preferred domestic service if they could get it. It was less dangerous than working in the mills and the pay was better. Irish women in America often took jobs as waitresses, also. Many America women felt that it was beneath them to be a waitress or a servant. Men, on the other hand, were mostly found on the railroads and many of them took jobs as firefighters and policeman. Despite their start, Catholic immigrants, especially in America, greatly improved their income and social status. By the late 19th century nearly every fireman and policeman in New York, Boston and Chicago was an Irishman. So strong was their hold over these professions that the Irish were able to prevent locals and other immigrants from gaining jobs in them. In places like San Francisco, the Irish became well known as businessman involved in transportation, mining and real estate.

A lot of prejudice surrounded the Irish Catholics. They were often described as drunken beggars, dirty and lazy. They were accused of spreading disease and violence. Magazine cartoons showed the Irish as stupid, monkey-like laborers and the newspapers carried advertisements for servants, cooks and clerks that included statements such as, ''No Irish need apply.'' At times hostility erupted into violence. In Philadelphia in 1844 supporters of the Native American Party, which opposed the immigration of Irish Catholics to America, rampaged through the city’s Irish neighborhoods killing 30 people, destroying three Catholic churches and 200 homes. In spite of all of this hatred the Irish Catholics prospered. In all of their new countries Catholic Irish immigrants gave generously to the Catholic Church, but no where was the effect quite so dramatic as in America where the Irish transformed Catholicism from a minority religion into a wealthy and politically influential organization that boasts a nationwide network of churches, schools, colleges and hospitals. The church became a powerful symbol of Irish identity and self help in America. The education provided by it’s schools enabled many American born children of Irish immigrants to enter middle class professions like law, medicine and teaching.

Even though Irish Catholics abroad often achieved a degree of prosperity that they could never have had as laborers and poor farmers in Ireland, they still thought of themselves as victims of Ireland’s tragic history of poverty, famine and British misrule. As a result Irish Catholic immigrants and their descendants were strong supporters of the Irish struggle for independence from British rule. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Irish Catholics in America, Britain and Australia helped to fund the Home Rule Movement and The War of Independence that helped in the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921, now known as the Republic of Ireland. Irish Americans have often given money and political support to Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) for their campaign to end British rule in Northern Ireland.

Perhaps because Protestants were better able to fit in to their new countries they did not feel such a strong need to retain a separate identity as Irishmen. In Canada the Irish Protestants established many Orange Lodges, named after William of Orange. These were exclusively Protestant societies that swore to protect the 1801 Act of Union between Britain and Ireland. Today in Ireland these societies are still political organizations dedicated to preserving British rule in Northern Ireland, but in Canada they have become more like social and charitable clubs. In Newfoundland, for example, the local Orange Lodge runs a hospital open to people of all religious denominations, not just Protestants.

Today the Republic of Ireland is a prospering country. Instead of leaving Ireland many people are immigrating to Ireland. Instead of the lack of employment Ireland is full of it! Ireland is becoming an industrial country and many large companies are setting up business. The Republic of Ireland is a beautiful and friendly country. In Northern Ireland the struggle continues. They are losing many of their people due to emigration because of the violence which has driven away industry and tourism. Perhaps one day they will come to Peace.