Origins: Page 3, Norman Invasion.
The Norman invasion in 1169 began when Dermot MacMurrough recruited Cambro-Norman Knights in England and brought them to Ireland to help him to regain his Kingship, they helped him O.K. but then outstayed their welcome by about 929 years, thus began the troubles of this small Isle of Ireland. They built stone castles, grabbed large tracts of land for themselves and enslaved the people who were forced to farm the land for their landlords. The local Kings were squabbling among themselves and failed to present a united front to defeat the invader. The Normans built many castles throughout the country which enabled them to monitor the river crossings and establish strongholds in order to keep the local chieftans under their control.
 The Irish were a rebellious lot and would not let the invaders live in peace, they fought on and off for hundreds of years enlisting the French and the Spanish at various times to help them. The English retaliated in every way available to them, they outlawed education, the practice of the Catholic religion and they took all the people possessed in payment of rent. The priests said Mass where they could and the teachers held school in hedges. In 1649 Oliver Cromwell arrived in Ireland to sort out the Papists and he spent the next three years killing the Irish in one way or another, he coined the phrase " to Hell or to Connaught" , his objective was to move the Irish west of the Shannon river to the bogs of Galway and Mayo to starve. King William was enthroned as monarch of England in 1689 and in 1690 he fought The battle of the Boyne, which is still celebrated by the protestants in the North as a great victory as he defeated the mainly catholic forces of King James, who fled to France after the battle.
There were two more failed insurrections in the following Hundred and Fifty years, but the greatest blow to the Irish people came from nature itself. The potato which was the staple diet of the majority of poor people failed in 1845 and again in the following three years of a new fungal disease, the removal of that one means of sustenance meant death for those trapped in the subsistence economy of the West and South-West, and great suffering elsewhere in the country. The people had no choice but to emigrate, which they did in huge numbers . The population in 1840 was approx. 8,000,000 but by 1845 emigrants were leaving at the rate of 250,000 per year and this trend remained until the late 1950's, by which the population was just under 3,000,000. British justice helped the process along by deporting people they labelled as criminals, the colonies were populated by these deportees, who in most cases were the leaders of potential uprisings and a thorn in the side of the invaders. Irelands loss was the colonies gain and the Irish played no small part in the success of the economies of their adopted homelands.
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