The Story of Ireland: A History of the Irish People [NOOK Book]


In this groundbreaking history of Ireland, Neil Hegarty presents a fresh perspective on Ireland’s past. Comprehensive and engaging, The Story of Ireland is an eye-opening account of a nation that has long been shaped by forces beyond its coasts.  


The Story of Ireland re-examines Irish history, challenging the accepted stories and long-held myths associated with Ireland. Transporting readers to the Ireland of the past, beginning with the first settlement in ...

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The Story of Ireland: A History of the Irish People

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In this groundbreaking history of Ireland, Neil Hegarty presents a fresh perspective on Ireland’s past. Comprehensive and engaging, The Story of Ireland is an eye-opening account of a nation that has long been shaped by forces beyond its coasts.  


The Story of Ireland re-examines Irish history, challenging the accepted stories and long-held myths associated with Ireland. Transporting readers to the Ireland of the past, beginning with the first settlement in A.D. 433, this is a sweeping and compelling history of one of the world’s most dynamic nations. Hegarty examines how world events, including Europe's 16th century religious wars, the French and American revolutions, and Ireland's policy of neutrality during World War II, have shaped the country over the course of its long and fascinating history. With an up-to-date afterword that details the present state of affairs in Ireland, this is an essential text for readers who are fascinated by current events, politics, and history.


Spanning Irish history from its earliest inhabitants to the country’s current financial crisis, The Story of Ireland is an epic and brilliant re-telling of Ireland’s history from a new point of view.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
There’s much more to Ireland than shamrocks, the potato famine, orJames Joyce, as Irish writer Hegarty notes in this fresh recasting of Irish history. Irish fiction writer Hegarty emphasizes the external political and cultural forces shaping the destiny of the Emerald Isle and chips away at the usual myths by presenting a sweeping panorama that includes the first Christian communities, Columbanus’s powerful sermons, the Viking settlements, the early great documents of the new land, and the long reach of the Roman Catholic Church into Irish affairs. Significant global political and religious events influenced thecountry’s governance and cultural tensions, such as the Anglo-Norman conflict, theEnglish civil war,the American and French uprisings,the two world wars,and the recent international bailoutof the Irish economy. Without succumbing to a dry academic tone, Hegarty offers a finely researched and timely celebration of Ireland’s turbulent history and conservative people. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for The Story of Ireland


“A prime starter kit. Author Neil Hegarty artfully encapsulates this land of saints and scholars from 433 BC to 2010.”

Boston Globe

"A fresh recasting of Irish history...A finely researched and timely celebration of Ireland's turbulent history and conservative people." 

Publishers Weekly


"A balanced overview of the history of Ireland...Hegarty highlights the complexities underlying Ireland's ongoing conflicts...Recommended for general readers seeking a thourough, nonpartisan guide to...the history of"



“A most impressive sweep through the preceding centuries …An engrossing and highly readable account of the sweep of Irish history.”

The Irish Sunday Independent  

 “A new view of history...Everyone should read this.”

Evening Herald (UK)

“An engaging, entertaining, and accessible history...Captures the complex state of a nation.”

RTEGuide (UK)

“Hegarty’s book is an admirably even-handed one, and though … it may be generations before a ‘new national memory’ replaces the ingrained chronicle of repression and reprisal, we should be grateful for such an intelligent attempt to hasten it.”

Tablet (UK)

Kirkus Reviews
A balanced overview of the history of Ireland, written to accompany a BBC television series. This island nation's history teems with explosive, emotional issues that partisans tend to view in simplistic, black-and-white terms; such readers will find no encouragement here. "Nothing reduces me to despair more than a vision of Irish history that reduces the debate about the past to a simple paradigm of the Irish versus the English, who was right and who was wrong, as if history could be reduced to a crude morality play," writes Irish author Hegarty (Dublin: A View from the Ground, 2008, etc.) at the outset of this ambitious survey of nearly 1,600 years of Irish history. His primary theme is that Ireland is a land repeatedly invaded and settled by foreigners, from the Vikings who founded Dublin to the Scottish Presbyterians invited into Ulster by the government of James I, and that each of these groups has contributed to the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity and conflicts on this divided island. Ireland has also been deeply affected by such outside influences as the Counter-Reformation and the French Revolution, and has in turn affected Europe and North America by the almost constant emigration of its people. Hegarty highlights the complexities underlying Ireland's ongoing conflicts and sails through them without passing judgments, calmly observing as one communal massacre inspires another, or as British government policies fail to relieve the devastation of the Famine, or the Irish Free State descends into civil war. The broad scope of the work requires that the author move along briskly. There is no dreary catalogue of early Irish kings; even such giants as Oliver Cromwell and Charles Parnell receive only about a dozen each, and cultural history is given short shrift. The resulting focus on political events and social movements at the expense of colorful personalities and illuminating anecdotes, combined with Hegarty's consistently objective tone, render the narrative sometimes disappointingly bland but never dry. Recommended general readers seeking a thorough, nonpartisan guide to the tragic history of this most distressful country.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429941297
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 256,777
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

NEIL HEGARTY was born in Derry. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin. After leaving Trinity, Neil travelled and worked for a travel website before becoming a professional writer. He acted as consultant editor and contributor to several editions of the Time Out Guide to Dublin. His short fiction and essays have been published widely and his journalism has appeared in The Irish Times and Daily Telegraph.

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Table of Contents

List of maps iv

Introduction v

Prologue 1

Part 1 Gods and Warriors 9

Part 2 The Long Conquest 51

Part 3 Faith and Fatherland 115

Part 4 The Great Change 173

Part 5 Two Irelands 247

Afterword 337

Timeline of events 343

Notes 353

Further reading 365

Index 368

Picture Credits 379

Acknowledgements 380

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2012

    A Must Read for Irish History

    Irish history is one full of turmoil, battle and even unsettled government and land ownership today. The Story of Ireland does a supreme job covering these topics, the times, the turmoil of a people and nation divided trying to find their place in an ever changing world.

    The author is more than a little light on history of the Druids, mentioning them on only two pages and mentioned in reference only. Yet, Druids seem to have played a major role in Ireland history including some druidic customs still found in Irish customs today.

    So sit back, enjoy the journey as you experience the continuous changes in the history of Ireland... You will reveal Ireland was and still is fought over.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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