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The Irish Catholics briefly ran their own state – The Confederate Catholic Association, from 1642-1649.

In our discussion of 20th century Irish nationalism, we often talk about Irish nationalism springing from the Irish Catholic identity – a sense of past wrongs that needed to be righted.

Where, moreover, did the idea of being “Irish” as something fundamentally and intrinsically hostile to something else called “British” come from?

Many would trace these ideas back to the 1600s, when war, land confiscation and religious conflict left enduring legacies in the Irish memory. The century opened with the end of the Nine Years War (1595-1603), and the crushing of Hugh O’Neill and the last challenge of traditional Gaelic chiefs to the English state in Ireland.


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