This book provides a fully documented history of Ireland and the Irish between the fourth and ninth centuries AD, from St Patrick to the Vikings - the earliest period for which historical records are available. It opens with the Irish raids and settlements in Britain, and the conversion of Ireland to Christianity. It ends as Viking attacks on Ireland accelerated in the second quarter of the ninth century. The book takes account of the Irish both at home and abroad, including the Irish in northern Britain, in England and on the continent. Two principal thematic strands are the connection between the early Irish Church and its neighbours, and the rise of Ui Neill and the kingship of Tara.

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