period after the Viking invasion was a time of recovery for religion
and culture, in spite of the disturbed political life of the country.
The Irish Church was reformed and reorganized into dioceses. At
the Synod of Kells in 1152, the country was divided into 36 dioceses,
and grouped into 4 provinces under the archbishops of Armagh, Dublin,
Cashel, and Tuam. St. Malachy of Armagh was the greatest of the
religious reformers and introduced the Cistercian Order into Ireland.
In 1142, the first Irish Cistercian monastery Mellifont
Abbey was founded in County Louth.
Many of Bishops Seats where hereditary between
1000 and 1100's, the economy of the country was mainly pastoral.
A person's wealth was reckoned by the number of cattle he or she
owned. The social unit was still the Tuath, which was based on family
groups. The ruler of a Tuath lived in a fortified house called a
rath, or dun, together with a brehon (lawyer), minstrel, physician,
and several craft-workers. The ruler's subjects lived in huts of
wattle and clay. The people were poorly armed and no match for the
warlike Normans who invaded Ireland in the mid 1100's.
Between November 1155
and 1156, John of Salisbury a friend of Theobald of Canterbury,
Thomas Beckett, and Bernard of Clairvaux, spent three months with
Pope Adrain IV (Nicholas Breakspear, the only English Pope) and
persuade the Pope to issue the 'Bull Laudabiliter' which gave full
Papal approval for the Anglo Norman invasion of Ireland.
Nicholas Breakspear at Answers.com
In 1153 Dermot
MacMurrough, king of Leinster attacked the lands of Tiernan
O'Rourke, king of Breifne (Leitrim Cavan area) he carried off large
numbers of livestock, as well as O'Rourke's wife Dervorgilla,
opinions differ as to whether or not she went willingly, however
she was eventually returned.
In 1156 Turlough O'Connor king of Connacht
died, Murtagh MacLoughlin, king of Ulster, with the help of Dermot
MacMurrough, king of Leinster, made himself king of Ireland.
Ten years later, he was overthrown, and Turlough's son, Rory
O'Connor, became the one who was to be the last native king of Ireland.