By Kyra King-Mc Gee The Normans
The Normans were descended from Vikings and came from Normandy,northern France.
The coming of the Normans to Ireland in the 1170’s became known as the Norman invasion.The Normans originally came to England and Wales.
Many of the newly arrived Norman knights spoke English aswell as French.The Normans were Christians and they built more abbeys and monasteries in Ireland
Over time the Normans did not behave like a foreign conquering army.They learned to speak Irish.They also could read and write in Irish and they wore Irish clothes too.
In 1169,a group of Norman soldiers and knights arrived in Wexford to help the King of Leinster,Diarmuid MacMurrough.They were invited by Diarmuid to help him fight his enemies and regain his kingdom in Leinster. • Diarmuid particulary wanted to defeat Tiernan O’Rourke,the ruler of Breffini,and Rory O’Connor,the king of Connaught,because they’d joined forces and had forced Diarmuid out of his kingdom.
Diarmuid knew that there were Norman knights and soldiers in England and he could invite them to Ireland to help him.But first he had to get permission from King Henry II,who at the time was king of England and Normandy in France. • In 1170,a Norman lord called Richard De Clare a.k.a Strongbow,came to Ireland from Wales.Strongbow brought archers,knights and horsemen with him and helped Diarmuid to capture Waterford and Dublin.
Strongbow later married Diarmuids’s daughter Aoife,(after an agreement he and Diarmuid had made).In 1171,when Diarmuid died,Strongbow became the King of Leinster. • This meant that within a few years the Normans had taken over much of the east of Ireland.By the 1300’s,the Normans had castles and power in many parts of Ireland.