Fighting in Ireland has been going on for as long as history allows us to remember. A reason for fighting was brought by an English Christian named St. Patrick in 432 A.D. He brought Christianity to Ireland resulting in the founding of many churches and monasteries. About 400 years later, Vikings from Norway came to Ireland to kill monks and steal from the churches and monasteries. Some of the Vikings left and some stayed founding towns such as Dublin and Waterford. Eventually, the Vikings began living in harmony with the Irish.
1000 years ago, Ireland had many kings fighting for power. One of them asked the current English king, Henry II, for help against another Irish king. The English did come to help, but they never left Ireland. As a result of the fact that the English were Protestant and the Irish Catholic, fighting arose. In 1690, the English king, William of Orange, won the Battle of Boyne gaining greater control over the Irish. Protestants became rich and Catholics poor. Catholics had their land taken away from them by the Protestants and had no chance at getting it back. Even nowadays, Protestants celebrate William of Orange by marching through Belfast on July 12th to great distaste of the Catholics. The Catholics are also called Nationalists and Protestants are Unionists.
In 1801, the “Act of Union” conjoined Ireland and England. For 100 years, the Irish suffered under the hand of the English. Many of them decided to immigrate. A large wave of immigration and death was in 1840, the year of the failed potato crop and Great Famine. In 1900 the Catholics gained more rights but immigration still continued. They wanted their own government and thus fighting arose. In 1914, Ireland gained its own parliament, much to the anger of the Unionists. A much more serious and organized conflict arose. The Irish formed and army called the Irish Republican Army, the leader of which was Michael Collins. The IRA caused much damage and fought for the independence of the Irish. In 1921, Britain acknowledged an Irish president in Dublin. The Republic of Ireland was formed. Northern Ireland stayed British although fighting between Protestants and Catholics still continues today.