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1710 - Charles O'Conor, writer, historian and editor, is born in Kilmactranny, Co. Sligo
1767 - Maria Edgeworth, author of Castle Rackrent and one of the few women literary figures of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, is born
1790 - James Wills, clergyman and writer, is born in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon
1801 - The Act of Union between Ireland and Great Britain goes into effect
1801 - George Benn, historian, is born in Tandragee, Co. Armagh
1862 - Edward Harland's Belfast shipyard assumes the name 'Harland & Wolff'
1871 - Gladstone's Irish Church Act which disestablishes the Church of Ireland takes effect
1880 - Gretta Bowen, artist, is born in Dublin
1889 - Patrick McGill, navvy, novelist and poet, is born in Maas, Co. Donegal
1892 - Ellis Island becomes reception center for new immigrants. The first immigrant through the gates is Annie Moore, 15, of Co. Cork
1941 - On this date and through January 3, German bombs fall on counties Carlow, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wexford and Wicklow
1990 - Northern Ireland Fair Employment Act becomes law
1998 - Foreign Affairs Minister David Andrews urges all sides to show the "greatest possible restraint" in the wake of a sectarian bar-room gun attack which plunges Northern Ireland into an uncertain New Year
1999 - The world's oldest priest, the Venerable Archdeacon Patrick Lyons, passes away at Limerick Regional hospital, just two months before his 106th birthday
2001 - Retired garda sergeant John Fahy from Kinlough, Co Leitrim catches the first salmon of the season. The accomplished angler is also the first salmon fisherman to insert a blue bar coded tag into the gills and mouth of a freshly caught fish. For the first time, every salmon caught by commercial fishermen or leisure anglers will have to be tagged, as part of a new controls on salmon fishing which are in effect as of this date
2002 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern helps write history by spending euros in his local news-agent.
2004 - Ireland takes over as President of the European Commission
2005 - Cork officially becomes the European Capital of Culture
2005 - Littlepace housing estate in Clonee struck by a small tornado
2005 - Death of Patrick Denis O'Donnell, military historian, writer and former Commandant of the Irish Defence Forces (b.1922)
2005 - Death of showjumper Paul Darragh (b.1953)
2006 - Philip Hogarty (aged 19) becomes the first road death on Irish roads in 2008 after being struck by a Garda patrol car in Tallaght. Philip was chairman of the Irish Chess Union
2005 - Death of Peter Caffrey, actor (b.1949)
2008 - Phase-out of incandescent light bulbs commences
2009 - Death if John Morrow, Presbyterian minister and peace activist
2010 - Death of Denis Keeley, 79, long-term partner of writer Philomena Lynott
2010 - Death of Michael Dwyer, 58, film Correspondent with The Irish Times
2011 - The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect allowing civil partnerships where hetero- and homosexual cohabiting couples have the same rights
2012 - Dr. Rhona Mahony becomes the first woman head of a maternity hospital in Ireland, taking up her post as master of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin. She replaces Dr Michael Robson, whose term expired on December 31st. She was elected to the position by the hospital’s governors during 2011. From Dublin, the 41-year-old, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and a specialist in foetal and maternal medicine, is married and has four children.
Photo Credit: Irish Times/Cyril Byrne
1602 - The Spanish force under Aguila surrenders Kinsale to Mountjoy
1793 - A Catholic Committee petition is presented to the king
1880 - Parnell begins his tour of the United States on this date
1910 - James Joyce and Eileen Joyce leave Dublin for Trieste, Italy
1920 - Recruitment begins for the 'Black and Tans', Britain's unofficial auxiliary army
1962 - Margaret Emmeline Conway Dobbs, Irish historian, language activist, and defender of Roger Casement, dies
1998 - Troops are ordered back on to the streets of Belfast and police patrols are intensified in a bid to foil loyalist attacks on Catholics in Northern Ireland
2000 - Patrick O'Brian, born Richard Patrick Russ, 85-year-old author of maritime novels dies in a Dublin hotel
2000 - A bronze life size statue of Fungi, the Dingle dolphin is unveiled in a special millennium ceremony
2001 - Ireland's third largest greyhound coursing meeting, Corn na Féile, is abandoned after saboteurs steal up to 30 hares.
2007 - Irish Becomes The 23rd Official Language Of the EU. It is accorded the status of a treaty language, which means it is regarded as an authentic text for treaties. As from 1 January, however, all key EU legislation are translated into Irish, with provisions put in place so that Irish can be spoken at council meetings. The move means the creation of 29 new posts in translation, revision and publication.
2008 - After 36 years in business, The Burlington Hotel in Dublin closes, with the loss of 400 jobs
2009 - Death of Tony Gregory, 61, Independent TD sitting in Dáil Éireann
2010 - Death of Eoin Neeson, 83: historian, author, journalist, former director of the Government Information Bureau
1663 - Thomas Crompton of Arklow, a clergyman, petitions the House of Lords that 'Constantine Neal of Wexford, merchant, refuseth to restore the bell belonging to the steepl (sic) of Arklow, which he saw in his possession'. An order is made for its restoration
1905 - Pádraic Fallon, poet and playwright, is born in Athenry, Co. Galway
1925 - Acclaimed singer, actor, comedian and performer Maureen Potter is born in Dublin
1940 - Emergency anti-IRA legislation is introduced in the Free State
1999 - Economic history is created with the much-heralded arrival of the euro on the international currency markets. Its first day of trading gets off to a smooth start in Australia, at 6.00pm Irish time.
2007 - Michael Yeats, the only son of the poet W. B. Yeats dies at age 86. A former Fianna Fáil Senator, he served both as a Senator and as Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, and was also one of Ireland's first members of the European Parliament.
1581 - James Ussher, scholar and Archbishop of Armagh and Dublin is born
1792 - The Northern Star, newspaper of the Belfast United Irishmen, first appears on this date
1921 - Martial law is extended to counties Clare, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford from this date
1937 - Mick O'Connell, Kerry Gaelic footballer, is born on Beginish Island, Co. Kerry
1969 - On a march from Belfast to Derry, the civil rights group People's Democracy is attacked at Burntollet Bridge
1975 - Eleanor Krott, Irish language scholar and lexicographer, dies
1998 - The LVF appoints a new commanding officer to take over from murdered godfather Billy Wright and in a chilling warning vows it will do all in its power to wreck the teetering peace process
1998 - The governments of Austria and Finland offer their countries as potential neutral grounds for the next wave of Northern Ireland peace talks
1999 - Venerable Archdeacon Patrick Lyons, who, aged 105 years was the world's oldest priest and who died on New Year's Day, is laid to rest in the grounds of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Ballingarry, Co. Limerick
2000 - Hundreds are evacuated as west and midland farmlands are flooded
Photo Credit: Kevin Clancy/Viewpoint
2000 - Top RTÉ broadcaster Maxi is set to win a host of new listeners in her new role as presenter/producer of Radio Ones Risin Time
2002 - According to a new survey, two out of every three people in Northern Ireland aged between 18-25 say they have no meaningful contact with opposing communities while, generally, people feel more segregated than they did before the North's first ceasefire in 1994
2002 - Irishmen under 25 are the worst-hit by rising unemployment, according to the latest European Union figures
2003 - A group of women begin an anti-war protest at a roundabout close to Shannon Airport against US Air Force landings there.
1787 - John Burke, genealogist and compiler of Burke's Peerage, is born in Elm Hall, Co. Tipperary 1881 - The trial of the Land Leaguers begins
1826 - Separate Irish currency is abolished and replaced by sterling
1871 - 33 Fenian prisoners, including Devoy, Rossa, O'Leary and Luby, are released by the British in a general amnesty
1885 - Hugh O'Brien is sworn in as Boston's first Irish mayor
1922 - Death of Kildareman Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer
1941 - Jennie Wyse Power, Irish patriot and women's rights activist dies
1944 - Louis Stewart, jazz guitarist, is born in Waterford
1976 - The Republican Action Force, a cover name for the IRA, admits to the brutal murder of ten Protestant workmen in what becomes known as the Kingsmill Massacre
2003 - A group of women maintains a vigil at Shannon Airport in protest at US Air Force landings there.
1562 - Shane O'Neill submits to Queen Elizabeth at Whitehall, but rebels again within months
1654 - Commissioners are appointed to allot the land of Oliver Cromwell's Connacht plantation to transplanted Irish
1794 - Frances Ball who, as Mother Mary Teresa founded the Sisters of Loretto, is born in Dublin
1800 - Author Anna Maria Hall, née Fielding, is born in Dublin
1839 - On this date, the Night Of The Big Wind or Oiche na Gaoithe Moire takes place; the most damaging storm in Irish history, some winds are estimated in excess of 130 m.p.h
1898 - Colonel James Fitzmaurice, Ireland's greatest aviator, is born in Dublin
1931 - Birth of novelist P.J. Kavanagh
1939 - First publication of the newspaper Irish Freedom
1940 - Johnny Giles, footballer and Republic of Ireland manager, is born in Dublin
1941 - Birth of Noel Pearson, theatre impresario and film producer
1998 - Embattled Northern Ireland Secretary of State Mo Mowlam receives the full backing of SDLP leader John Hume in her efforts to maintain the faltering peace process
2000 - Residents in counties in the west and midlands, coping with the effects of the most devastating floods to have hit the region in fifty years, brace themselves for another rainstorm
2000 - Families from all over Ireland join President Mary McAleese and her family in A´ras an Uachtaráin in Dublin to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. Bay laurels from Bethlehem are planted to mark the 2000th anniversary since the birth of Christ
2003 - According to a study published today, the Irish language is on the brink of extinction unless radical measures are taken to arrest its decline
2003 - Farmers put 1,000 tractors on the countrys roads and head for Dublin at the start of the IFAs five-day family farm survival campaign.
2003 - The campaign against the construction of a motorway near the ruins of Carrickmines Castle in South Dublin is stepped up as protesters re-erect a blockade to prevent large diggers moving onto the site.
In the liturgical calendar, today is Epiphany and the Feast of the Holy Family.
1878 - General John O'Neill, Fenian leader, dies
1899 - Elizabeth Bowen, novelist and short story writer, is born
1922 - Dáil Éireann votes 64 to 57 to accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty, creating the Irish Free State
2000 - Experts underline the important heritage value of a 19th Century relic that stands on the site of a disused copper mine. A conservation appeal is to be launched to safeguard a unique engine house at a mountain mine in the Beara peninsula. A rare surviving symbol of Cornish type mining technology, the structure is the primary surviving embodiment of a once thriving coppermining industry in Allihies, Co. Cork
2001 - Irish soil is sprinkled over the casket of Sister Theresa Egan as more than 2,000 mourners attend her funeral in St Lucia. The nun was brutally murdered while attending Mass last week
2003 - Gardaí adopt a zero tolerance-type approach to speeding after it emerges almost half of motorists in Dublin are still breaking the law in built-up areas.
The Celtic League
This organization publishes the annual Celtic Calendar. To order your own copy, visit: The Celtic League.
Somewhat sporadic, but they often highlight an important date in Irish history. To visit, please click: Irish Abroad.
The Wild geese
They update Irish history weekly. To visit their keydates page, please click: The Wild Geese.
We also refer to an assortment of references. Among them are the Books of Days - see right margin on this page.
Thu, Dec 7, 2017
Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*
Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.
Click for More Culture Corner.
How The Irish Saved Civilization
by Thomas cahill
Cahill's lovely prose breathes life into a 1,600-year old history. The L.A. Times
This is our most popular book. We understand why; the truth is fascinating.
Click here for Saved Civilization.
Irish Book of Days
Not tied to a particular year, this colorful and entertaining journal can be used year after year and features a significant Irish fact for every day of the year. 32 full-color photos.
Click here for Irish Book of Days.
Illuminated Celtic Book of Days
by Louis De Paor
It helped me a great deal in finding out about Celtic traditions, folklore, and many other things! Amazon Reviewer.
Click here for Celtic Book of Days
An Irish Woman's Book of Days
While it's out of print, new and used copies of the 112-page hardcover edition are readily available.
Click here for Irish Woman's Book of days