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By the close of the medieval period many of the Anglo-Norman invaders had been absorbed into the Gaelic population.

English kings traveled to Ireland on several occasions to effect order and increase allegiance to the Crown.

An important legacy of the Viking invasion was the establishment of such cities as Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, and Wexford.

By the sixteenth century English control over Ireland was limited to a small area of land surrounding Dublin.

Consequently, Henry VIII and his successors endeavored to force the Irish to submit through military incursions and by "planting" large areas of Ireland with settlers loyal to England.

A forceful resistance to the English reconquest of Ireland was led by the Northern chieftain Hugh O'Neill at the end of the sixteenth century.

Thus began a great religious and cultural period for the country.

While the rest of Europe was swiftly declining into the Dark Ages, Irish monasteries—preserving the Greek and Latin of the ancient world—not only became great centers of learning, but also sent many famous missionaries to the Continent.

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