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f¸fÙfãfäfßfâfé. In the 12th century, the King of Englands Anglo-Norman knights wrested Dublin from it\'s Viking Rulers. They laid the foundations for a thriving medieval city, a city with thick walls, many towers and gates, part of which can still be seen. These rulers built two great cathedrals, Christchurch and St.Patricks, one of whose deans was the famous Jonathon Swift, author of \'Gulliver\'s Travels\'. Dublin Castle, also dating from this time has been rebuilt as a Georgian Palace. These buildings still play their part in the life of the city. The Castle is an elegant venue for many international meetings.

Over the following centuries, Dublin evolved into an important city welcoming Dutch, Hugenot, English and Jewish immigrants, all of whom contributed greatly to it\'s growth.

Towards the end of the 17th century, thanks to the vision of a viceroy, a new and beautiful city started to rise near the sea and away from the old town. This time saw the building of the Royal Hospital, the enclosing of the Phoenix Park (the largest urban park

in Europe), the wide streets, impressive public buildings such as the present Bank of Ireland (originally the Parliament building), the Customs House, the Four Courts, City Hall, Leinster House (built as
a private residence, now seat of our parliament) and Trinity College.

After the Act of Union 1801, when Ireland\'s parliament was transferred to Westminster, London, the character of the city changed. Ireland was going through many upheavals like the Great Famine and Dublin had its share of these too, but beautiful buildings continued to rise, including the National Museum, National Art Gallery, Natural History Museum, the National Library and the General Post Office in O\'Connell Street.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Dublin became the centre of two great cultural movements - the Gaelic League, aimed at restoring the Irish Language, and the Irish Literary Renaissance.
Dublin is now the thriving capital of an independent Ireland and is the centre of the political, diplomatic, administrative and commercial life of the country. It is home to a population of approximately one million people.

Things to see:

O¡¦Connell Street: it¡¦s a 50 metre wide boulevard, which is lined with trees and monuments.
Dame Street: nowadays a street of commerce, of banks and insurance companies. Also noted for its many Chinese Restaurants
The Abbey Theatre: Ireland¡¦s national playhouse. The theatre soon earned a world-wide reputation through the great works of Sygne and O¡¦Casey.
St. Patrick¡¦s Cathedral: the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland dates back to the 12th century
St. Stephen¡¦s Green: one of the biggest city squares in the world. It was Sir Arthur Guinness who arranged for the green to be landscaped. It¡¦s a delightful park, where one can relax among the lawns, trees, fountains and duck ponds.

Dublin can claim to be one of the most beautifully situated of the world\'s capitals, located in the wide plain overlooked by the legendary Wicklow Mountains and facing a broad sweeping bay that leads into the Irish Sea. The city has a population of a million people which is about a third of the total population of the country. Dublin is the centre of government, commerce and industry and it is also to seaport at the moment of the River Liffey.
The original small settlement was named Ath Cliath, which means a \"ford of hurdles\" or the \"Hurdle ford\" and was located near the mouth of the River Poddle on piles of stones
8. St. Patricks Cathedral: the Cathedral occupies the site of a Celtic church of the Saint. It derived it\'s international fame from association with the 18th century writer and author of \"Gulliver\'s Travels\", Jonathan Swift, who was Dean of St. Patrick from 1713 tp 1745.
Dublin was founded by the Vikings over a thousand years ago, when their longships sailed up the River Liffey. They called their settlement Dyflin, (their pronunciation of \'Dubh Linn\', the old Gaelic name for an earlier settlement, as the area we now call Dublin was, from the time of St.Patrick, dotted with little Christian Curches.)

In 1688 war broke out in Europe. On one side was France and on the other the Grand Alliance (made up of countries such as Spain, Holland, Germany and Prussia). The Grand Alliance\'s commander was William of Orange, a Protestant from Holland. The King of England at the time was a Catholic, James II. Jame\'s daughter Mary married William of Orange. William was now heir to the English throne.
In November 1688 William became King of England after the English Parliament invited him to do so, James 2nd fled to France. In 1689 James II landed in Ireland to begin his fight for the English throne. James had a strong army and drove the Protestant supporters of William out of many areas. In 1690 Grand Alliance troops arrived in Belfast to help William . Louis 16th of France sent troops to aid James. William and James led their armies to the River Boyne in Co Meath. They fought at what became known as the Battle of the Boyne. William won the battle and James fled to France.

After this a series of Penal laws were passed by the Irish Parliament to try and rid Ireland of Catholicism. In 1728 another law was passed which banned Catholics from voting. Presbyterians also suffered as laws were passed banning them from town councils. After a mass rebellion in 1798 against the English by the United Irishmen (led by a Protestant, Wolfe Tone) action was taken against Irish Republicanism. In 1800 the Act of Union was passed. A new country was formed, The United Kingdom of Great Britian and Ireland. A new flag, the Union Jack, was created. The Irish parliament was abolished and Ireland was ruled directly from the London parliament.
In 1840 there were over 8 million people in Ireland. The main crop at the time was the potato. Under law Catholics could not own land. Due to this the potato was very popular as it was an intensive crop. In 1845 a potato blight wiped out a great deal of the crop. The next year the crop was wiped out. Thousands of people starved to death. Many more emigrated to America. Tenants who could not pay the rent (as they had no potatoes to sell) were evicted by landlords. By 1900 the population had fallen by over 40%.
In the 1870s evictions continued to rise. The Home Rule party was formed by Isaac Butt. The party wanted a new Irish Parliament that could pass laws in it\'s own right, but did not want independence from Britian. In 1879 the leader of the Home Rule party, Charles Stewart Parnell, became President of the newly formed Land League. The Land Leauge wanted to increase tenants rights and reduce evictions. Boycotts of lanlords started and violence flared.

In 1886 the British Prime Minister, Gladstone, introduced the First Home Rule Bill in order to try and end the problems in Ireland. It was defeated in the London Parliament. Many Protestants in Ireland did not want Home Rule. They became known as Irish Unionists. In 1893 Gladstone introduced the Second Home Rule bill. Although it was passed in the House of Commons it was defeated by the House of Lords.
In 1905 Arthur Griffith set up a new party, Sinn Fein. The aim of this party was for Ireland to become an independent republic. They did not support Home Rule. The Third Home Rule bill was introduced in 1912. The British Conservative party supported the Irish Unionists and opposed the bill. They felt that the north east of Ireland should be treated separatley from the rest of Ireland as there were so many Protestants in this area. The Unionists set up their own military force in Ulster in 1913. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was established to make sure that Home Rule did not come to Ulster. In the same year Irish Nationalists set up the Irish Volunteer Force (IVF). They did not want Ireland to be split over Home Rule.
In 1914 the First World War started. The Third Home Rule was to be put off until after the war. In 1916 a group from the IVF and the Irish Republican Brotherhood planned a rebellion against the British in Ireland. It was led by Padraig Pearse. On Easter Monday the rebels took over key buildings in Dublin. A battle raged between the British and rebels. After five days the fighting was over and the rebels surrendered. Many Irish did not support the rebellion, however they were shocked when over 100 rebels were executed after trials. Eamonn de Valera became President of Sinn Fein in 1917. He had taken part in the Easter Rising but had not be executed.

The following year Sinn Fein won 73 seat\'s in the London Parliament. The Home Rule party won only 6. The Sinn Fein MPs refused to take up their seats in Westminister and instead set up their own Parliament, Dail Eireann, in Dublin. In 1919 the IVF renamed themselves the Irish Republican Army (IRA) with a view to forcing independence for all Ireland. Soon the War of Independence began. Britian sent groups of ex-First World War solders to fight the IRA. However the \'Black and Tans\'(as they were known) started to shoot innocent civilians in reprisal for attacks on them. Due to this support grew for the IRA.
In 1920 the British Government passed the Government of Ireland Act. Ireland now had two Parliaments, one for the Nationalists and one for Unionists. The six counties of Northern Ireland were under the control of the Unioist Parliaments. The Nortern Ireland Prime Minister was Ulster Unionist leader Sir James Craig. Sinn Fein refused to recognise the Nationalist Parliament and continued to meet in Dail Eireann. The IRA led by Michael Collins continued to fight for more independence.

In 1921 the IRA and British signed a truce. Collins negotiated with the British government and signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty which created the Irish Free State and replaced the Nationalist Parliament. Eamonn de Valera became the first Prime Minister of the Irish Free State. The United Kingdom was renamed \'The United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland\'. However a split developed between those Irish Nationalists who wanted a 32 county independent Ireland and those who supported the treaty. Sinn Fein voted in the Dail on the treaty. 64 voted for the treaty and 57 against. Eamonn de Valera and his supporters walked out of the Dail in protest.
In 1922 the Irish Civil War broke out between the two groups. Michael Collins, the head of the Irish Army, was killed by the IRA during the war. By 1923 the IRA, who were fighting against the treaty, called off it\'s campaign. In Northern Ireland there was a huge rise in sectarian violence during this time. The Tyrone and Fermanagh councils were dissolved when they declared that they would be answerable to the Dublin Parliament. The Northern Ireland government increased Unionist control of councils by strategically redrawing constituency boundaries. Richer people were given more votes depending on how much land they owned.
In 1927 a new party, formed by Eammon de Valera, Fianna Fail stood at elections in the Irish Free State. This party wanted full independence from Britian. Five years later Fianna Fail swept to power and de Valera set about reducing British control. In 1937 de Valera introduced a new constitution. The Irish Free State was renamed as Eire. An elected President was head of state, not the King. Also Eire\'s boundary consisted of the whole island of Ireland. The constitution was narrowly accepted by the people.On Easter Monday 1949 the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) John Costello brought Eire out of the British Commonwealth and declared that it was a fully independent republic. Eire was renamed the Republic of Ireland.
In 1963 the Ulster Unionist Terence O\'Neill became Prime Minister of Northren Ireland. He wanted to bridge the gaps between the two communities in the province. O\'Neill improved relations with the Republic of Ireland. However many Unionists did not like this. Ian Paisley set up the Protestant Unionist Party and began to oppose O\'Neill strongly. During the late 1960s many Civil rights marches took place. The marchers were mainly Nationalist Catholics who wanted an end to gerrymandering and religious discrimination. Many of these marches were attacked by loyalists and off-duty policemen.
1969 saw some of the worst rioting in Northern Ireland\'s history, mainly in response to the heavy crackdown on the Civil Rights movement. The Irish Taoiseach Jack Lynch threatened to invade Northern Ireland to protect the Catholic population. The British government realised that Nortern Ireland was about to collapse and ordered the British Army into Belfast and Derry. In 1970 the Provisional IRA split from the IRA and began a bombing campaign in Northern Ireland to force the British to withdraw. In 1971 internment-without-trial was introduced in Northern Ireland in the hope of preventing terrorists from carrying out further murders. However many innocent people were detained.
In 1972 a huge anti-internment rally took place in Derry. Although there was no trouble at the march rioting broke out as it ended. The Army, believing themselves to be under armed attack by the IRA opened fire. 14 people were killed, none of whom were subsequently found to be armed. The event became known as \'Bloody Sunday\'. None of the soldiers involved were charged. This outraged the nationalist community and the IRA stepped up its campaign. The Northern Ireland Prime Minister, Brian Faulkner, facing a near civil war demanded the British government allow them to arm the Northern Ireland Police Force, the RUC. However the British Prime Minister ,Edward Heath, suspended the Northern Ireland government and placed the province under direct control from London. The Northern Ireland Office was established to govern the province.

In 1973 the British set up an assembly for Northern Ireland where Unionists and Nationalists would share power. After elections a governing Executive of Northern Ireland was set up. Before the Executive could take over running the Northern Ireland the role that Republic of Ireland was to play had to be defined. Representatives from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and London met at Sunningdale in England to discuss this. A Council of Ireland was formed which would work to improve relations between the two states. The Sunningdale Agreement let the Executive take control of Northern Ireland. Anti-power sharing people were outraged that the Republic was to have a say in Northern Ireland and wanted the agreement scrapped.
In 1974 loyalist paramilitary groups and anti-Sunningdale politicians joined the Ulster Worker\'s Council. The Council began to organise action against the government. They warned the assembly that if they refused to abolish the Sunningdale agreement that they would strike. The Assembly voted to ignore the UWC\'s demand and a strike was called. After two weeks almost every business in Northern Ireland was closed. Food was becoming scarce. The Executive collapsed and Northern Ireland was ruled directly again by London. During the rest of the 1970\'s the IRA campaign of terrorisim and, loyalist responses, continued.
From 1976 terrorist prisoners were classed as common criminals. Before this they were classed as Prisoners of War. In 1980 a number of Republican prisoners went on hunger strike to re-instate the POW status. One of the main hunger strikers was Bobby Sands. Despite being a convict he stood in the 1981 UK General election and won a spectacular victory. The hunger strikers had massive support amoung Nationalists. However British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did not make any concessions and Bobby Sands and nine others died of starvation. The IRA increased its violence again. Sinn Fein re-launched itself to the public and Gerry Adams was elected an MP in 1983.

In 1984 the IRA tried to kill the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when they bombed the a hotel in Brighton that she was staying at. Mrs Thatcher escaped but five others were killed. Britian realised that the problem in Northern Ireland would not stop until a settlement was reached. The British and Irish governments began secret negotiations to try and find some common ground to work on. In 1985 the two governments made public what they had agreed on. This was the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Both governments voted for it although all the Ulster Unionist MP\'s were against the agreement.
Unionists began a campaign to have the agreement abolished. Mass demonstrations were held, led by Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party and James Molyneaux of the Ulster Unionist Party. The UUP and DUP began to boycott all British government officials. Despite the demonstrations their campaign had failed to make any progress by 1988. All during this period violence continued.
From the start of the 1990\'s there were attempts to create conditions for all party talks in Northern Ireland. The British government hinted that they would talk to Sinn Fein if the IRA halted it\'s campaign of violence. The leader of the moderate nationalist party, the SDLP, John Hume began to have negotiations with Gerry Adams, the now President of Sinn Fein. The aim was to bring about an IRA ceasefire that would allow Sinn Fein to join the talks process. Loyalist terrorists also now had a voice through new parties such as the Progressive Unionist Party.

During 1993 the British and Irish governments met in London. They set about laying out the basis for future negotiations. This became the Downing Street Declaration which committed both governments to developing new political frameworks and allowed any party that gave up violence to join talks. By 1994 the IRA called a complete cessation of military operations. The loyalist terrorist groups soon called their own cessation.
In 1995 peace talks began but neither Sinn Fein or the loyalist groups were premitted to enter. The British Prime Minister John Major said that terrorists had to decommission their weapons before they could enter the talks. The IRA was furious, saying that decommissioning could not begin until the peace process was complete. In 1996 the IRA announced that their ceasefire was over and exploded a massive bomb in Canary Wharf in London killing two people.
By the summer of 1996 civil unrest in Northern Ireland was high. The Drumcree Orange Parade (a Protestant parade by the Orange Order) in Portadown were blocked by police from marching down the Nationalist Garvaghy Road. Loyalist rioting broke out all over Northern Ireland. The police relented and let the march go ahead. This resulted in several days of Republican rioting. The Loyalist ceasefires also ended.

In 1997 the new British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that all-party talks were to start again. The IRA called a new ceasefire. In September of that year the political parties of Northern Ireland sat down for peace talks. On the 10th April 1998 the talks chairman George Mitchell announced that the parties had reached an agreement. A referendum took place in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the agreement was passed. Elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly took place in June.
However the Unionists refused to join government with Sinn Fein until the IRA decommissioned its weapons. The IRA stated that it would start to decommission once the executive of the Assembly was setup. The deadlock was broken when the Ulster Unionist party voted to join the Assembly. Each of the main political parties gained Ministers in the new Assembly with David Trimble of the Ulster Unionist party becoming First Minister. On December 2nd 1999 direct rule from London ended when the Devolution Order was passed.
The Assembly was suspended in February 2000 and direct rule re-imposed in Northern Ireland after problems arouse over the decommissioning of weapons.

The IVF, which was renamed and called Irish Republican Army (IRA), attacked British army installations and government buildings. The British responded with the tough police called Black and Tans, because they wore black-and-tan uniforms. They were extremely cruel in dealing with the rebels and they were bitterly hated by the Irish people.
Finally, in 1921, Great Britainand the rebels agreed to a treaty that allowed southern Ireland to become a dominion of the British Commonwealth called the Irish Free State. Adominion is a self-governing country. Now, Ireland has two Parliaments, one for the Nationalists and another for the Unionists.
The Irish people were sharply divided over the treaty that created the Irish free state. One group wanted completely independence from Great Britain and union with Northern Ireland. The other group supported the treaty. In 1922, civilwar broke out But the fighting stopped after one year, and the two groups formed political parties



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