When could an independent/unified Ireland happened?

Unlike its Scottish and English Neighbors Ireland was never a united realm. When could Ireland have have unified under its own King? Or if it couldn’t do that could it have thrown off the yoke of English rule?
 
About 1016 IIRC. Brian Boru had more or less conquered and United all of Ireland, but he died not long after. Have him live 5-10 more years one could easily get a United Ireland.
 
Looking at this from the wrong angle.

A unified Ireland is very possible once Ireland had been unified under English rule, as a title for a member for the Plantagenet dynasty or one of its successors.

It'd start out as basically a vassal state, but over time, could become more and more independent from England. Now, that might cause conflict within the dynasty in question, but for some time at least, a unified and independent Ireland under the rule of a member of England's ruling dynasty could be very much possible.

Imagine if, say, Edward IV tried to placate his greedy brother George by making him King of Ireland, and the Yorkists end up winning the War of the Roses. Or if the conquest of Ireland by Cambro-Norman knights, instead of being a rather independent venture, was led by a family member of Henry II and the Kingdoms developed in parallel fashion.

Put it this way: the Irish nobility and their treatment of property and inheritance, as well as tendency towards internal divisions and the lack of a compelling reason to unify according to their own interests, failed to unify Ireland for the vast majority of its history. Boru's kingdom broke down very quickly after his death. Real feudal structures, while imperfect, certainly were an upgrade in terms of allowing for centralization.
 
Looking at this from the wrong angle.

A unified Ireland is very possible once Ireland had been unified under English rule, as a title for a member for the Plantagenet dynasty or one of its successors.

It'd start out as basically a vassal state, but over time, could become more and more independent from England. Now, that might cause conflict within the dynasty in question, but for some time at least, a unified and independent Ireland under the rule of a member of England's ruling dynasty could be very much possible.

Imagine if, say, Edward IV tried to placate his greedy brother George by making him King of Ireland, and the Yorkists end up winning the War of the Roses. Or if the conquest of Ireland by Cambro-Norman knights, instead of being a rather independent venture, was led by a family member of Henry II and the Kingdoms developed in parallel fashion.

Put it this way: the Irish nobility and their treatment of property and inheritance, as well as tendency towards internal divisions and the lack of a compelling reason to unify according to their own interests, failed to unify Ireland for the vast majority of its history. Boru's kingdom broke down very quickly after his death. Real feudal structures, while imperfect, certainly were an upgrade in terms of allowing for centralization.
This is a bit wrong. The English weren’t much different until the Normans. Brian Boru’s Kingdkm never had a chance to formulate as he died before he could finish uniting Ireland in earnest. Brian living is your best bet.
 
About 1016 IIRC. Brian Boru had more or less conquered and United all of Ireland, but he died not long after. Have him live 5-10 more years one could easily get a United Ireland.
True, but I think it would be up to his son Murchad to really solidify the O'brien dynasty. His best option would be to try create a semi feudalised Gaelic society with centralised government. Then I could see it turn into essentially slightly more powerful version of Scotland.
 
True, but I think it would be up to his son Murchad to really solidify the O'brien dynasty. His best option would be to try create a semi feudalised Gaelic society with centralised government. Then I could see it turn into essentially slightly more powerful version of Scotland.
Definitely, sooner or later they need to industrialise though I do think they can hold together under a tribal system long enough to get there.
 
About 1016 IIRC. Brian Boru had more or less conquered and United all of Ireland, but he died not long after. Have him live 5-10 more years one could easily get a United Ireland.
The infrastructure of Ireland of this time is not very amenable for a centralized Kingdom. Hard to put down rebellions when you need to march through 100 miles of bogland. Even if he had a longer realm, it is likely to break up.
 
Not t
This is a bit wrong. The English weren’t much different until the Normans. Brian Boru’s Kingdkm never had a chance to formulate as he died before he could finish uniting Ireland in earnest. Brian living is your best bet.
Not to mention he could claim I believe its called the divine rite. So that would give him alot of influence over the other Gaelic nobility.
 
This is a bit wrong. The English weren’t much different until the Normans. Brian Boru’s Kingdkm never had a chance to formulate as he died before he could finish uniting Ireland in earnest. Brian living is your best bet.
The English had unified to some degree as a reaction against the Viking threat, and later when Cnut built his empire. Not enough to stay unified or to seriously exert an attempt to take Wales and Scotland, but enough that England as a polity was a thing by the 11th century.

The Normans were effective unifiers because they took what had been a complex patchwork of nobles and landed interests unified by the effective tax system, and just plowed through them before installing a new and narrow aristocracy that were mostly the armed companions of William. Saxon nobles were mostly driven from ancestral lands or had to subject to subjugation.

The Normans in Ireland did not do this, because the conquest was on a shoestring budget and mostly involved alliances with existing Irish polities and a divergent set of land hungry adventurers only loosely controlled by the Angevin crown. A Norman conquest of Ireland led by a single Plantagenet dynasty member, with a desire to purge Ireland of its existing nobility and seize all land for himself and his companions, would have a much tougher time than Richard de Clare and his associates did, but would also have a much better chance at ruling Ireland as an independent and unified entity.

The best chance for this is a more strongly worded Papal sanction and seriously ecclesiastical differences between Ireland and Rome. Heterodox practices were not enough to get this kind of Papal Sanction, you'd need the Irish elite to be seen by Rome as a problem to expunge, not merely wayward sons to bring back into the fold. What Henry used in OTL needs to be worded more as almost as Crusade than what it actually called for
 
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The English had unified to some degree as a reaction against the Viking threat, and later when Cnut built his empire. Not enough to stay unified or to seriously exert an attempt to take Wales and Scotland, but enough that England as a polity was a thing by the 11th century.
This is why Brian Boru began his conquests, to kick out the Vikings.
 
OK so if Ireland managed to remain an independent unified Gaelic kingdom it would have look for allies in France,Scotland, Spain and possibly one of the petty Kingdoms of Wales in order to hold off an English invasion. So there is a possibility of no act of union. Obviously England will still be the most powerful of the three Kingdoms, but leaves England in a much tougher position than in the original timeline.
 
So far the consensus seems to be it either wasn’t going to form due to the issues that existed with Ireland’s infrastructure/government. Or that a longer lived Brian and his family would’ve been the best shot.

So if they couldn’t unify before the normans decided that Ireland was free realestate when could ireland have gained independence afterwards?
 
An unified Ireland was impossible for most of its history. The land is rough and boggy, making conquest difficult and rebellion easy. Dublin wouldn’t be the primate city of the country until the 1600s, meaning the country’s population was decentralized and self sufficient. Most of the population was semi-nomadic and pastoral, and thus hard to pin down. And if there is one thing the hundreds of petty clans could agree on, it’s that they would work together to prevent a different clan from gaining too much power.

Of course many of these things could change given time, but any pre-1500 unification of Ireland is going to require time, effort, and a different mindset than most native Irish lords had. Brian Boru and his surviving is a good PoD, but he and his heirs would have their work cut out for them. Without the unifying threat of the Vikings it would be near impossible for his descendants to rule with his power.

Post 1500, your best bet is the Munster Rebellions and the Nine Years’ War. The rebellions were generally popular but lacked funds compared to the English. More than once did the Irish rebels petition Phillip II of Spain for support, even going so far as to offer him kingship, but he had other concerns and never gave them much aid. When the Anglo-Spanish War kicked off he did send a small supply of troops to help, but they were buffeted by storms on the journey over and were immediately destroyed by the English. Had the Irish lords been more organized and unified in their fight and had Spainish aid been more successful they very likely could have succeeded. Spain would still be a foreign master, but most likely a better one than England.

After 1600 and the Flight of the Earls, the plantation system kicked off and economic and political power was completely in the hands of Loyalists for the next 3 centuries. This is why most revolts of this time failed. Without a complete English screw it’s hard to imagine any of these succeeding. That’s why imo the best chance they had was between 1550-1600.
 
So far the consensus seems to be it either wasn’t going to form due to the issues that existed with Ireland’s infrastructure/government. Or that a longer lived Brian and his family would’ve been the best shot.

So if they couldn’t unify before the normans decided that Ireland was free realestate when could ireland have gained independence afterwards?
Avoid the Act of Union 1800 and Ireland remains in personal union. It could then drift apart, Norway style in the early 1900s.
 
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