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Animation explains why Ireland is separated into two countries

An animated video that explains why the island of Ireland is separated into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has proved a big hit on YouTube.

The video by WonderWhy is around 11 minutes long and does a great job of fitting in a number of vastly complex issues.

There was a huge 800 year chain of events that eventually created the circumstances that lead to Northern Ireland becoming a separate country and a part of the United Kingdom.

Great video explains the 800 year history that led to the island of Ireland being separated into the North and the Republic

Of course regular visitors to this site will have a strong knowledge of why the island is split, but this animation is an excellent beginner’s guide to understanding the reasons.

It starts all the way back in the 12th century, when the Normans invaded England, and then Ireland.

It then moves into the centuries of English, and later British, rule that included invasions, battles, religious differences, rebellions and eventually plantations, most successfully in the North.

Following the Easter Rising and the War of Independence, Britain was no longer able to retain control of Ireland.

After years of uncertainty and conflict it became clear that the Catholic Irish would not accept Home Rule and wanted Ireland to be a Free State.

Meanwhile, the Protestants, who mostly lived in the North, did not want to split from Britain and become part of a Catholic Free State.

In the circumstances, the path of least conflict was for the Republic of Ireland to be formed, without the six counties in the North, which remained a part of the UK and became Northern Ireland.

After decades of conflict over the six counties known as the Troubles, the Good Friday agreement was signed in 1998.

It stated that a united Ireland would only become a reality when it is peacefully and democratically voted for by the citizens of both the North and the Republic.

Take a look at the video below.

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  1. Kay McElvain

    I just couldn’t follow this. It was too fast and his accent too hard to understand at that speed. Would love to have a printed copy as this subject is very interesting to me.

  2. Lena Chenery

    Would have been very Interesting but I found the narrator very hard to follow and keep up, it was far to fast and sounded as though he wanted to get it over with as soon as he could! Part way through I just had to switch him off!

  3. dermot walsh

    We are the irish

  4. Finoula

    Good point..Scottish sectarianism was sinister… Orange order oppression and power over police, policy politics was undemocratic and not touched on in this video although the Scottish king plantation was the start …liked that the Scottish were mentioned rather sick of seeing English being blamed for their action when Scots were the hard core group and hidden from view now because of the word Celtic!

  5. Deborah L Conroy

    I am American-Irish( an American who is of Irish and has looked deep into their inheritance), and, as such, is required to hold dear any shred of culture safely for the purpose of maintaining it in all it’s wonderful complexities and ideologies-the soul of our people-to pass to the next generation’s eagerly open hands. Tis largely thru song and dance these tales are told.

  6. I agree, as a Scot myself I found the narrator hard so to listen to I gave up before half way, slowing down would have helped a lot.

  7. Andy Gibson

    They didn’t “become part” of NI . Pro British Unionists wanted Ulster for themselves but they would be a minority so they opt for only 6 of the 9 counties as it give them a majority. Even in areas that Irish where the majority the unionists won the seats in elections because of Gerrymandering. Look it up

  8. Pamela Close

    Very good except it was far too fast. The reader sounded like he was in a big hurry, but I guess the video would also have to be slowed down also. I would love to see it in a slower mode. I never knew the history, even though I grew up in Ireland.

  9. Shelina Concannon

    My family originated from Galway, Ireland.

  10. M curry

    Why did two catholic counties in the north become part of Northern Ireland ? My grandfather was from Fermanagh (Catholic) and after they became part of Northern Ireland he left.

  11. Anne Maxwell

    He read that just as fast as he could ……

  12. Patricia

    I come from a long line of Irish heritage on both sides of my family (Garveys and Lawlors) and very proud of it.

  13. Andrea Thomson

    Great article – a little fast but certainly able to understand. Didn’t know that the peace walls have to be down by 2023, long enough out for the goal to be achieved.
    Thank you

  14. Harvey Corman

    While my surname is not Irish I had an Irish ancestor who was dragged away from her home in Cork and sold in Virginia Colony as a indentured servent / slave. I have always wanted to visit Ireland to see my roots.

  15. Janice Smith

    I’m am of Irish heritage. Love the Irish and proud to be Irish.

  16. Will Nugent

    I agree that it was “read” to fast and thus to difficult for me to follow.

  17. James McCoey

    I believe the narrator was reading his script too fast and making his presentation very difficult to understand. This is sad since the information to be presented was very interesting and deserves a better delivery.

  18. Richard Madden

    I have Irish Ancestry and will come day visit my great-great-great grandparents Homeland.

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