Thursday, March 18, 1999 Published at 17:10 GMT
1170-1691: From Strongbow to the establishment of Protestant ascendancy
The Siege of Londonderry: a watershed in the province's history
Strongbow The lasting involvement of mainland Britain in Ireland begins in 1170 when the forces of the Anglo-Norman Earl of Pembroke, known as Strongbow, land in County Wexford to help the Irish king of Leinster against a rival king.
The following year, Strongbow becomes King of Leinster. King Henry II arrives with a large force to control his vassal and Norman colonisation increases.
Ulster conquered Ulster is taken by a small force of Anglo-Normans under John de Courcy in 1177.
Expansion halted Scots invade under Edward Bruce, brother of Robert, in 1315. Anglo-Norman expansion gradually halted and over a long time is reversed.
Beyond the Pale By the late 15th century, the English monarchs' domains are restricted to a small area around Dublin. A line of fortifications, the Pale, is built - the Irish outside are regarded as savages 'beyond the pale'.
Protestant ascendancy In 1541, Henry VIII changes his title from Lord of Ireland to King of Ireland - the first English monarch to claim the whole island.
English colonisation and reassertion of rights increases, sparking a number of rebellions throughout Elizabeth's reign.
Revolt The greatest of the rebellions, led by Ulsterman Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, reaches its high point with victory over the English at the Yellow Ford in 1598.
Three years later, Spanish troops land at Kinsale in the south. O'Neill marches to support them but is decisively defeated by the English forces under Mountjoy. In 1601, O'Neill surrenders after Elizabeth offers a pardon. She dies, but her successor, James I, fulfils the offer.
Flight of the Earls Faced with growing English influence, O'Neill and another great Ulster lord, Rory O'Donnell, the Earl of Tyrconnell, leave their native land in 1607 aboard a French ship.
Plantation of Ulster Start of the the systematic colonisation in 1609 of Donegal, Tyrone, Derry, Armagh, Cavan and Fermanagh by settlers from England and Scotland.
English civil war Rebellion of native Irish in Ulster in 1641-2, in which 12,000 settlers are killed amid reports of atrocities. Reprisals carried out by Scots army under General Robert Monro.
Owen Roe O'Neill, nephew of Hugh, defeats Monro at the Battle of Benburb in 1646 but fails to exploit his victory.
Thousands of Catholics are resettled or transported abroad. Catholic land seized - 41% of Antrim, 26% of Down, 34% of Armagh, 38% of Monaghan.
Restoration Charles II restored to English throne in 1660, but land seizures left largely untouched.
In Derry, 13 apprentice boys close the gates of the city on December 7 in the face of Catholic soldiers.
The following year, James lands in Ireland with French troops and marches on Derry to be met on April 18 with cries of "No surrender!" He lays siege to the city but fails to take it.
The supremacy of the Protestants in Ulster is assured by victory at the Battle of Aughrim in 1691.
The Treaty of Limerick in the same year allows 15,000 Irish soldiers to leave to serve France's Louis XIV and promises Catholic toleration.