The Ireland is made up of Limerick, Galway, Cork and Dublin. It has a long history as a major player in
international affairs. The island of Ireland is divided into two parts: The Republic of Eire and Northern Ireland.
As the name suggests Eire is an independent republic. Northern Ireland, however, is a British province governed
from Britain. The population of Eire is approx. 3 mill, 95% of which are Catholics.
The Population of Northern
Ireland is 1.5 mill. 60% of which are Protestants and 40% Catholics. Ireland was divided politically into a
shifting hierarchy of petty kingdoms and over-kingdoms. Power was exercised by the heads of a few regional
dynasties against each other for supremacy over the whole island. One of these men, King Diarmait Mac
Murchada of Leinster was forcibly exiled by the new High King, Ruaidri mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair of
the Western kingdom of Connacht. Fleeing to Aquitaine, Diarmait obtained permission from Henry II to
recruit Norman knights to regain his kingdom.
The first Norman knight landed in Ireland in 1167, followed by
the main forces of Normans, Welsh and Flemings. Several counties were restored to the control of Diarmait,
who named his son-in- law, the Norman Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow, heir to his kingdom. This
troubled King Henry, who feared the establishment of a rival Norman state in Ireland. Accordingly, he resolved
to establish his authority.
With the authority of the papal bull Laudabiliter from Adrian IV, Henry landed with a
large fleet at Waterford in 1171, becoming the first King of England to set foot on Irish soil. Henry awarded his
Irish territories to his younger son John with the title Dominus Hiberniae ("Lord of Ireland"). When John
unexpectedly succeeded his brother as King John of England, the "Lordship of Ireland" fell directly under the