This well written book that answered 101 questions I might have had, or didn't know I could have answered. The book is searchable but also flows wonderfully if you just want to move thru Irish history. You could call it Ireland light, but very worthwhile. A series of mini-essays in chronological order that give you a great flavor and allow you to target those areas you want to target for more depth.
This is a great book for a quick overview of Irish History. It is very accurate and unbiased. I did, however, find one glaring error. Henry VIII's argument with the pope was not due to Henry's wish to divorce Anne Boleyn (who was his second wife and had her beheaded) as Ryan Hackney says, but Henry's wish to have his marriage with his first (Spanish) wife Catherine of Aragon annulled.