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By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain.
These Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC.
Today, there is more than one school of thought on how this occurred in Ireland.However, summers are cooler than those in Continental Europe. The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. The island was Christianised from the 5th century onward.Following the Norman invasion in the 12th century, England claimed sovereignty over Ireland.In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same.Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature.