This text offers an introduction, comprehensive yet accessible, to all aspects of the history of this fascinating and complex land. Written by a team of more than 80 historians, its 1800 entries explore every aspect of Irish society from earliest times to the late 20th century. Key figures and events are re-evaluated in the light of recent research, while emerging areas of scholarship, such as women's history and public health, are discussed in depth. Many entries focus on enduring themes of Irish history, including nationalism, unionism, and Catholicism, breaking away from a purely chronological approach to examine the contexts and traditions that underpin Irish identity. Entries therefore vary in length from short definitions or explanations to substantial analytical essays. In a field bedevilled by controversy, "The Oxford Companion to Irish History" illustrates the ways in which interpretations of issues and events have changed over time, and aims to serve as a reliable, balanced point of reference.