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It gradually gained ground and replaced the old pagan traditions.The Catholic Church in Ireland cites its origin to this period and considers Palladius as the first bishop sent to the Gaels by Pope Celestine I.For several centuries, the Irish Catholic majority were suppressed but eventually the Church and the British Empire came to a rapprochement.Funding for Maynooth College was agreed as was Catholic Emancipation to ward off revolutionary republicanism.The Roman Empire never reached Ireland; so when the Edict of Milan in 313 AD allowed tolerance for the Levantine-originated religion of Christianity and then the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD enforced it as the state religion of the Empire; covering much of Europe (including Roman Britain); the indigenous Indo-European pagan traditions of the Gaels in Ireland remained normative.
After the defeat of King James II of The Three Kingdoms in 1690, the Test Acts were introduced which began a long era of discrimination against the recusant Catholics of the Kingdoms.
The English Crown attempted to export the Protestant Reformation into Ireland.
During the 16th century, Irish national identity coalesced around the Irish Catholic concept.
A substantial majority of the population remained Catholic, despite the political and economic advantages of membership in the state church.
Despite its numerical minority, however, the Church of Ireland remained the official state church for almost three hundred years until it was disestablished on 1 January 1871 by the Irish Church Act 1869 that was passed by Gladstone's Liberal government.