The English Invasions
THE KEY FACT OF IRISH HISTORY IS THAT SINCE 1169 IRELAND HAS BEEN occupied partially or totally by an English army. The occupying army never subdued the Irish; neither have the Irish been able to get rid of the occupying army.
There have been five different waves of English invasions: the Normans in 1169; the Tudors in 1534; the Stuarts and the unspeakable Oliver Cromwell during most of the seventeenth century; the Protestant Union of the two parliaments in 1800; and finally, the establishment of the gerrymandered, truncated province of Ulster in 1921.
There have been ten major rebellions against English rule: that of Silken Thomas, the Earl of Cabir, in 1537; the Ulster rebellions of the various members of the O'Neill clan in 1595, 1641, and 1649; the revolt of Patrick Sarsfield in 1689. A century later Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen launched the first of a series of risings which culminated in the merging of the English and Irish Parliaments in the Act of Union in 1800 and ended with the abortive rebellion of Robert Emmet in 1803. During the Great Famine it was the Young Ireland rising of 1848, and after it, the Fenian rising of 1857. Finally, after the failure of the parliamentary approach to home rule in Ireland, there came the Easter Rising of 1916 and the independence of