- For the area, see Ireland (area).
Ireland is a formable nation in the British Isles. It is usually created from one of the eight 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 five 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.
Form Irish Nation
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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.
Nation specific achievements
Irish exodus strategy
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One of the fairly unique advantages to playing as an Irish minor is proximity to the virgin territory of the Americas. If attacking England is not an option the Irish 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 with no autonomy and will not form colonial nations. However, only single province countries are allowed to move their capitals to a different continent. This can be worked around by releasing one of the other minors as a vassal and selling them any European provinces once there is a foothold on another continent. Colonial nations will form after coring five provinces in one colonial region so move the 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 Ireland in proximity to Spain or Portugal as they will not be shy about attacking when Ireland is still small.
With this route, England might follow in Irish footsteps and start colonizing near. Remember to seize a not-fully developed colony in a war then send a colonist 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 minimize the harm they can do.
Be patient, build up to force limits, manpower and income, and strike back when ready. The key is to be patient and to strike back only when stronger army and manpower wise.
Forming Ireland as Desmond
As of version 1.16, Ireland has been divided into many more provinces. Thus, Ireland is divided into more nation-states, making it arguably much easier to form. Desmond starts off with a unique set of ideas, a semi decent ruler and a more defensible location.
The player should begin by immediately building a spy network in either Thomond or Leinster and fabricating a claim once you have a large enough spy network. Whichever the player fabricates said claim on should be the one with the least alliances. Once the player has annexed either, the player should begin to slowly expand up to the northernmost part of Ireland. It is recommended that the player take espionage ideas to weaken neighboring nations and to more easily fabricate claims. The player should also focus on making sure that England or Scotland don't take over by way of vassalization, because it may become very difficult to expel them later in the game.