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For the sovereign state of the same name, see Republic of Ireland.

For the part of the United Kingdom, see Northern Ireland.

This contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture.

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However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain.

In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, and was extended during the 18th century.

During the last glacial period, and up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice.

Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.

Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s.

This subsided following a political agreement in 1998.It was covered by thick woodlands until the Middle Ages.As of 2013, the amount of land that is wooded in Ireland is about 11% of the total, compared with a European average of 35%.is that the Celtic language, Ogham script and culture were brought to Ireland by waves of invading or migrating Celts from mainland Europe.This theory draws on the Lebor Gabála Érenn, a medieval Christian pseudo-history of Ireland along with the presence of Celtic culture, language and artefacts found in Ireland such as Celtic bronze spears, shields, torcs and other finely crafted Celtic associated possessions.Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language.