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Ireland Religion. Emily Odom. FYE 1410. Prehistoric Religion . 3500 B.C. –The Irish made large stone tombs on mountains and hilltops 2000 BC- Stone circles were built and were temples 1159 BC -Weather was bad and the gods of the waters were made important

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Ireland religion

Ireland Religion

Emily Odom

FYE 1410

Ireland religion

Prehistoric Religion

3500 B.C. –The Irish made large stone tombs on mountains and hilltops

2000 BC- Stone circles were built and were temples

1159 BC -Weather was bad and the gods of the waters were made important

5thcentury AD- Celtic religion , with Druids and the Celtic World

Christian missionaries arrived in Ireland

Conversion to Christianity was very gradual and nonviolent

Kept some of their pagan practices, and made it easier for people to accept them

Portal Tomb


Ireland religion

Prehistoric Religion Continued


  • Christianity spread quickly during this time of plague and climate disaster

  • Christianity controlled education

    Middle of 6th century

  • Monasteries were built

    7th and 8thcenturies

    Two different types of religion:

  • The Irish monastic model

  • A Latin model

  • The Latin model ended up winning

  • This started a reform movement

  • The Latin saw the Irish as barbaric

Ireland religion

The Arrival of Christianity

431 AD- The first recorded missionary in Ireland was made by Palladius

The next and most famous missionary: St. Patrick.

At 16 kidnapped by an Irish raiding party and sold into slavery

Patrick concentrated his work in north-east Ireland

3-leaved Shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity: God as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Armaghfounded by him began to dominate the Irish church

Ireland religion

The Rise of Monasticism

Late 400 AD- hundreds of churches were set upby Patrick and other missionaries

In these, monks lived and practiced

They attracted several people including Kings and the rich

Throughout the 12th century these monasteries were built throughout Ireland by the Cistercians, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Augustinians.

In the 17th century a lot were destroyed but some of their ruins remain to this day.

Irish monasteries

Irish Monasteries

Ireland religion

More Monasteries

Another monasteryfounded in 1195, CorcomroeAbbey.

The first monastery founded in Ireland, in 1142 in MellifontAbbey.

Ireland religion

Monastery Movement

  • During the 6th Century Irish monks travelled across Europe preaching and bringing people to faith. The monks made manuscripts written in Latin , one of the more well known ones being the Book of Kells.

  • The movement founded nearly 150 monasteries outside Ireland.

  • By the 9th century, Irish scholars followed the missionaries and managed to gain important academic roles in the courts of Kings such as Charlemagne of the Franks.

Ireland religion

Reformation and Religious Oppression

Penal laws were passed by the Protestant Parliament and aimed to deprive Catholics of their faith.

By the time the Cromwelliansettlement was carried out, many Catholics were outlawed. And all other religions were ordered to leave Ireland or they were put to death.

Thousands of priests were exiled

In 1665- The Act of Explanation enacted by the Cromwellians, denied Catholics justice of a trial.

In 1678- The Proclamation by Ormond ordered that all priests should leave the country, and for all Catholic churches to close.

After a long period of a lack of control and power for the Catholics they finally started to regain control.

At first the Penal Laws stopped being enforced so rigorously.

In 1778- Gardiner's Act allowed them to take leases of land for 999 years, and allowed Catholic landlords to leave their estates to one son, instead of having to divide it among all of their children.

In 1782- another act enabled Catholics to set up schools, and own horses in the same way Protestants could. It also permitted bishops and priests to live in Ireland again.

Ireland religion

19th Century

In 1823 Daniel O'Connell established the Catholic Association. All Irish citizens were encouraged to join.

They paid a 'Catholic rent' of 1d per month, collected after Mass on Sunday, that financed the Association's activities .

Churches became propaganda for the Association and many joined the Association as a religious crusade.

Later, he was elected to the Westminster Parliament.

In the 1831 thesis of the majority of the population around 80.3%, were Catholic; 10.7% belonged to the Church of Ireland; and 8.1% were Presbyterian. Denominational membership was not evenly distributed around the island.

In the 1861 census there was a change: it recorded the population as 77.7% Catholic, 12% Anglican and 9% Presbyterian. Class and geography are important factors looking at these numbers. Catholics were largely concentrated in the west and south of the country, and made up the majority of the lower classes in society.

The population of Ireland was dramatically affected by the famine, and Catholics suffered greater losses than Protestants

Ireland religion

20th century

  • There was a weakening of the ideological power of the church in Ireland.

  • This is shown by the fact that there had been a 9% drop in Mass attendance between 1974 and 1989, attendance at confession had declined from 47% to 18% (according to a recent survey by Rev. Michael Mac Grail - Irish Times 2/3/1991).

  • Only 8 Roman Catholic clerical students are expected to be ordained in 2004 in all of Ireland, compared with 193 ordinations in 1990.

  • Ireland becoming part of the wealthy in Europe, has made interest in joining the priesthood or religious order very low.

  • In 1970-750 people were seeking to become priests, brothers and nuns. In 2004the number was 39. All but one seminary in Ireland have closed.

  • For the first time there’s not enough priests in Ireland , a country based off of Catholicism for all its churches and rituals, and it’s changing the way people worship and the way the Catholic Church operates.

  • Changing sexual mores also have had a profound effect on people today.

    ''There tends to be an assumption on the part of people that priests are lonely, and that it is impossible to live happily if you are not engaged in a sexual relationship,'' said Father Kevin Doran, Ireland's national coordinator for vocations. ''It's part of the way the culture has developed. We have become a highly sexualized culture.''

Ireland religion