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Primary culture
Irish (Celtic)

Capital province
Meath (373)

Feudal Monarchy Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Irish ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+10% Morale of armies
+10% Trade efficiency

Shock damage received.png Irish Endurance

−10% Shock damage received

Cost of advisors with ruler's culture.png The Clanns

−20% Cost of advisors with ruler's culture

National unrest.png More Than Irish

−2 National unrest

Papal influence.png Loyal Catholics

+1 Yearly papal influence
+2% Missionary strength vs heretics

Goods produced modifier.png Abundant Harvests

+10% Goods produced modifier

War exhaustion.png Unconquerable Ireland

−0.02 Monthly war exhaustion

Discipline.png Nationalized Gallowglass Septs

+5% Discipline

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+1 Yearly legitimacy
+0.3 Yearly republican tradition

Template:Idea group/Irish Ireland is a formable nation in the British Isles. It is usually created from one of the four Irish OPMs, and is a good step up for them. Unlike many other formable nations, however, it does not guarantee being anything more than a regional power. With only 5 provinces that the formation affects, Ireland can be one of the weaker nations. That said, it does have a chance to be strong, especially in the New World.


Execute decision.pngForm Irish Nation

missing versioning

For decades England has attempted to subjugate the Irish population and take control of the island. To unite the Irish lands under a sole flag may be our only chance to repel them.

Potential requirements Allow

  • Changes country to Ireland
  • Add the country modifier "Increased Centralization" for 20 years:
    • Autonomy.png-0.05 monthly autonomy change
    • National unrest.png+1 unrest
  • Gain Prestige.png10 prestige

Minor states

The island and game region of Ireland, in 1444, is occupied by four one-province minor states and a province under English control. If liberated, these five independent one-province states all share the same cultures, technologies, idea groups, flavour and graphics, and strategy choices are nearly identical for all of them.

The Irish states have the opportunity to unify the entire island under the Kingdom of Ireland.

All listed countries are Feudal Monarchies, have the Catholic religion, and have Irish (Celtic) as their primary culture.

List of minor states

State Capital Notes


Connaught (376) Connacht is a country and a western province of Ireland ruled by the O'Conor Don dynasty. 'Connaught' is the anglicised form of the Irish 'Connacht'. Connacht's king has the highest military stat out of all the Irish minors at the start of the game.


Munster (375) Template:Distinguish

Munster is an independent country the south-west of Ireland occupying the province of Munster. The capital of Munster is Cork. When controlled by AI, the other three minors are usually conquered by Munster. However, the AI Munster is easily conquered by England later.



Leinster (374) Leinster, starting in 1444, is one of the 4 Irish one-province minors which take up the majority of Ireland. Leinster starts with a small army comprised of 3 units of infantrymen. As with all other Irish minors, Leinster starts in a rather vulnerable position due to it sharing a land border with England, a country with an army nearly quadruple its size. Leinster is part of the Celtic culture group and so has better relations with the only other Celtic nation at this time, Brittany. Nowadays, Leinster comprises the in-game provinces Leinster and Meath and is the most populous province in Ireland.


Ulster (372) Tyrone (Irish: Tír Eoghain, meaning "Land of Eoghan") begins as the ruler of the Irish province of Ulster in the north of Ireland under Eoghan II O'Neill (historically known as Eoghan mac Néill Óg). The country of Tyrone takes its name and flag from County Tyrone, one of the six counties in present-day Northern Ireland, and one of the nine counties in Ulster.

The capital of the province of Ulster is Carrickfergus, located in present-day County Antrim just north of Belfast. Belfast is the modern capital.

Luck of the Irish Strategy

Opening moves for all Irish OPMs are the same - annex or vassalise your neighbours and form an alliance with Scotland. In 1.9 there is a strait connecting Ulster to Ayrshire which makes Scotland more likely to help against the other minors and means transports are no longer necessary to invade England. Of all Irish minors Connacht's king has the highest military value at 3. Most likely he will become a 2-3 shock king-general which can make a huge difference if you choose to fight the English early.

Some luck is needed at the beginning, but in general the achievement is not too hard if you have some patience. Escaping to the New World is fairly luck-independent while fighting the English requires the some preconditions that may not occur in your run.

Strongest of the Weak

Before unpausing the game declare the other Irish OPMs to be your rivals, then select a mission to wipe one of them off the map. Begin recruitment of a unit of cavalry. While waiting for its arrival reduce your army maintenance. Set your light ships to protecting trade in the North Sea. You'll probably want to turn your king into a general. Scotland will usually accept an alliance at the start. You may want to delay making one of the other OPMs a rival. This should allow you to ally with them. Doing this keeps them off your back while you capture the other two. Don't agree to a RM, as it will cost you stability when you inevitably attack them. Any spare diplomats should be sent to improve relations in France or Castile in anticipation of an alliance.

Hopefully one of your missions should be along the lines of 'Remove Munster from the map'. Accept it and use the free claim to declare war. Otherwise you will have to fabricate a claim. Remember to set your military maintenance to full a few months before you declare war and to make your king a general. If you allied with the remaining OPM then now is the time to declare them a rival and break the alliance. Once the second target falls repeat the process with the third. You will now have all of Ireland but Meath under your control. Annexing gives more ducats but vassals will provide more troops than if you owned the province directly.

Taking the fight to the English

The next step depends greatly on how England is doing. If they are still at war with France they will be suffering from severe war exhaustion and are probably plagued with serious rebellions from the War of the Roses if they don't yet have an heir. An attack of Scottish and Irish forces may be able to succeed in breaking them. England's king, Henry VI, is 0/0/0 so they will likely be behind in reaching mil 4 and the +0.25 military tactics. England will also not have any allies besides Portugal until the Hundred Years War ends. However they still have a large income and while they will almost certainly lose their troops on continental Europe they also start with a ~14 stack near London which they are reluctant to move.

You basically need to wait until the English are at their weakest, hopefully they will have Lollard or pretender rebels destroying their armies, and then you need to declare and bring your great power allies with you. It is very rare for the English to be totally and utterly defeated because they normally give up the hundred year war before they run out of manpower. France is likely to declare war on the English again after the truce for the Hundred Years' War is over. It's not unusual for no opportunity to arises, so just tech up and try to maintain good relations with England in the mean time.

Portugal is an extremely important consideration since they start with an alliance with England. If they invade they'll transport their troops directly to Ireland rather than landing in England. Intercepting their troops as they land will give them a -2 penalty which can help against numerically superior stacks. Similarly defending in Ulster as the English troops are trying to cross the strait can provide an edge.

As for your potential allies France will almost certainly be unable to land any troops in Britain because of superior English navy but will easily win on Continental Europe. Castille may fare better against the English navy and will siege Portuguese provinces for you but are harder to ally with because of the distance between you. Be aware that Scotland has a event that can fire before 1500 if it is in a defensive war against England giving them about 12 troops for free. France may give you subsidies but the AI is very fickle about this.

You can use support rebels to make rebels friendly to you, toss those heretics a measly 0.01 a month and you can hide in their shadow. Another consideration to keep in mind is that pretender rebels will enforce their demands and then *JOIN* the English which can quickly turn the tides.

Once England's army is defeated it's a simple matter of occupying provinces until you can begin the process of breaking England completely. Looting the English provinces can help keep the crumpet weak. You should try to take a few provinces or release Northumberland. You can then follow up every few years with additional attacks, trying to keep England weak and on the defensive. Releasing Wales and Cornwall is an option. This may be a waste of warscore, however, if there nationalist rebels in the Celtic provinces already. They will probably be able to win their independence themselves if England is broken. Likewise don't bother returning cores in France. The French can take them themselves. If they don't take them in this war they will in the next (and that's actually preferable from your point of view, as it puts further pressure on England).

If you have declared war against England once do not bother with trying to amend relations. They will desire Meath and any cores you have taken and will distrust you. They will often take a domineering attitude that will preclude alliance and royal marriages anyway. Repairing relations with England will be impossible as long as you have their cores - they will inevitably attack you to take them back. So you must keep on attacking them until they are no longer a threat. Improving relations can buy you some time if your invasion fails and you have to flee Europe.

Irish Exodus Strategy

One of the fairly unique advantages to playing as an Irish minor is your proximity to the virgin territory of the Americas. If attacking England is not a option you can flee to the New World. Having a capital outside Europe as a Western country provides a huge advantage: every colonized province on that continent will start at 0 autonomy and will not form colonial nations. However only single province countries are allowed to move their capitals to a different continent. You can work around this by releasing one of the other minors as a vassal and selling them any European provinces once you have a foothold on another continent. Colonial nations will form after you have 5 provinces in one colonial region so move your capital before that.

Only Connacht can get sufficient colonial range at diplomatic tech level 7 to reach Greenland without a Navigator advisor (and with a navigator their first colony can be in Newfoundland). Since Scotland will rival Norway it may be possible to take and core an Icelandic province and skip the Greenland colony. Any location in Gulf of St Lawrence makes a good capital, as trade can be transferred there from anywhere in North America. The Caribbean has the highest base tax and is guaranteed to have rich trade goods. Be wary of setting up in a location that will soon put you in proximity to Spain or Portugal as they will not be shy about attacking you when you're still small.

With this route, England might follow in your footsteps and start colonizing near you. Remember you can seize a not-fully developed colony in a war then send your settler there to automatically change religion and culture. Be wary of the English navy and the possibility of England sending transports across the Atlantic Ocean. Settling in a few locations can minimise the harm they can do.

Be patient, build up your forcelimits, manpower and income, and strike back when you are ready. The key is to be patient and to strike back only when you are stronger army and manpower wise. Remember you have till 1821 to complete the achievement and with this strategy, a normal player should be able to do it by the late 1500s or early 1600s.