Top Ten Worst Times To Have Lived in Ireland

If you ever heard the phrase ‘the luck of the Irish’, you’d think that Ireland has had prosperity and good fortune. However, this small island hasn’t had much luck over the years. Below is the top ten worst times you could have lived through in Ireland (in chronological order).

1. 795 – The Arrival Period of Vikings

The viking period was a bad time for Ireland

Historians said that the Vikings entered Ireland in June 795 AD. These people were from Denmark or Norway, and upon their entry to the country, they went and attacked the earliest Irish monastery located close to Co. Antrim in Rathlin Island. After decades, they pursued and continuously attacked different monasteries and killed anyone who came along their way.

2. 1348 to 1349 – Black Death

Black Death was a terrible period in Irish History
The so called “Black Death” initially came in Ireland via ships that landed on the eastern cost sometime in July 1348. These days, people know that it was a bubonic plague that was spread by fleas affecting the rats. During that time, the epidemic raged in Drogheda, Dundalk and Dublin. The plague became epidemic in Co. Meath on fall and in Waterford, a Franciscan friar named John Clyn saved a record of deaths caused by Black Death. The record revealed that 14,000 people in Dublin died because of it during Christmas.

3. 1581 to 1582 – Scorched-earth Warfare


For centuries, Munster was ruled by the Fitzgeralds of Desmond and Butlers of Ormonde. These clans were consistently at fight, and throughout the peak of their dispute, their technique of blackened earth warfare was believed to kill as much as 30,000 individuals within the area.

4. 1649 to 1670 – Plague

Irish Plague was a terrible time

After the warfare between the mentioned two families, the impact of blackened earth warfare continued. The combined effects of the war and the plague triggered a huge decrease in the population from 2.1 down to 1.7 million.

5. 1740 – Serious Winter

FT5S Ireland from Space Snow

A serious winter affected Ireland which was recorded as among the coldest winter seasons in the country happened in 1740. This major frost put into death as much as 400,000 people as the temperature plummeted and the chill intensified. This cold weather resulted to famine, food riots, epidemic and eventually, death.

NEXT PAGE: Periods 5-1


  • Scott Wallace

    On the other hand: James Joyce.

  • Matt McLaughlin

    not when Cromwell drove us west of the Shannon, 1660? Not when HenryVIII desecrated our churches, or when Mountjoy overturned our inaugural stones?