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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.How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.Today, there is more than one school of thought on how this occurred.For other uses, see Ireland (disambiguation).) is an island in the North Atlantic.It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.and winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in Continental Europe. The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BCE (12,500 years ago). The island was Christianised from the 5th century onward.Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty.In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same.Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature.