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Northern Ireland: A Short History

Human beings are relatively new inhabitants of Ireland. The oldest evidence of them, near Coleraine, dates to around 7,200 B.C.E. Celtic-speaking Gaels, skilled with horses and iron weapons, controlled the island by the beginning of the Christian era.

Ireland escaped Roman conquest and invasion by Germanic tribes. Not until the end of the eighth century did Ireland attract the attention of aggressive outsiders, the Vikings.

A century after they overwhelmed England, the Normans came to Ireland. They quickly overran much of the south and west, yet Norman hold of Ulster's coastlands remained precarious. By the late fifteenth century, all Ulster,

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