Traditions, folklore, history and more. If it's Irish, it's here. Or will be!
"People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors."
Library: Books, Movies, Music
Prints & Photos
Bunús na Gaeilge
Circle of Prayer
Did You Know?
Write to Us
Links/Link to Us
Advertise with us
Awards & Testimonials
1782 - The first Dungannon Convention of the Ulster Volunteers calls for an independent Irish parliament; Grattan continues to campaign for the same objective
1793 - A third convention of Dungannon - a gathering of Volunteers from Ulster is held
1794 - The United Irishmen publish a plan for parliamentary reform, advocating universal male suffrage, equal electoral districts and the secret ballot
1850 - Sophie Bryant, Irish patriot and women's rights advocate, is born
1874 - Birth in Kilkea, Co. Kildare of Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton
1901 - Viscount Brendan Bracken, politician, publisher and British Minister of Information from 1941 to 1945 is born in Templemore, Co. Tipperary
1946 - Clare Short, British Labour politician, is born in Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh
1966 - Novelist John McGahern loses his job as a teacher at Clontarf National School because of indecencies in his book "The Dark"
1971 - Ireland switches to decimal currency
1998 - Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness hints of the danger of an end to the IRA ceasefire if, as expected, his party is expelled from the Northern Peace talks in Dublin
1998 - Ireland has the second lowest number of workplace accidents in Europe, but employers face the highest rate of insurance claims, totalling £400m per year
1998 - According to the Small Firms Association, as many as 1,000 jobs could be lost in Ireland, following the takeover of the HCR group of chemist shops by British superchain, Boots
2000 - The National Bus and Rail union claim a high level of public support for its one day strike which forces 200,000 passengers to find alternative ways of getting to work
2000 - The IRA delivers a shattering blow to the Northern Ireland peace process by pulling out of talks with the arms decommissioning body
2000 - Bishop Cormac Murphy OConnor succeeds the late Cardinal Basil Hume to become Archbishop of Westminster and the the new leader of 4·1 million Catholics in England and Wales
2001 - In Belfast, more than 100 members of health service union Unison stage the first in a series of "shadow of the gun" protest rallies. The public demonstration follows threats from loyalist terror groups to staff at the Mater Hospital on the Crumlin Road
2001 - Lena Hunt, a 78-year old pensioner from Limavady, Co. Derry, turns down a £250,000 offer for part of her back garden, insisting that it means more to her than money. Without the key bit of land, developers of a multi-million pound supermarket project are unable to proceed
2001 - One week after protesters call off their blockade of the ill-fated Mullaghmore interpretative centre and car park in the Burren, machinery moves in to demolish the buildings and associated facilities
2002 - Popstars group 6 grab No 1 spot in the Irish charts with their debut single "There's A Whole Lot of Loving Going On."
2008 - The first ever students of a university course for people with intellectual disabilities graduate in a ceremony at Trinity College, Dublin. The pioneering two-year course aims to promote the inclusion of people with intellectual disability in college life. Nineteen students receive certificates in Contemporary Living.
1768 - The Octennial Act limits Irish parliaments' life to eight years
1822 - James Thomson, engineer, is born in Belfast
1886 - The Irish Catholic Hierarchy formally endorses Home Rule
1902 - Birth of singer Delia Murphy in Ardroe, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
1932 - Fianna Fáil wins the general election; de Valera succeeds Cosgrave as President of the Executive Council; Seán Lemass is Minister for Industry and Commerce
1998 - Both the British and Irish governments are united on move to expel Sinn Féin from peace talks
1998 - Michael Flatley announces that he is to make his last live appearance in Ireland this summer
2000 - Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams accuses the British Government of tearing up the Good Friday Agreement
2001 - RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan warns that the Real IRA represents a potent and a growing threat
2002 - Three republicans accused of training left-wing guerrillas in Colombia could face trial within a month. A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office in the Colombian capital Bogota confirmed prosecutors have sent their case against Niall Connolly, James Monaghan and Martin McCauley to a federal judge
2003 - Protesters make formal complaints to the gardaí alleging offences under the National Monuments Act after archeological contractors move on to the Carrickmines Castle site to start taking apart the stone structure.
1896 - In the House of Commons. Horace Plunkett and W.E.H. Lecky, Irish Unionists, support John Redmond's plea for clemency for Irish political prisoners
1945 - Birth of actress, Brenda Fricker
1978 - An IRA incendiary bomb explodes at the La Mon entertainment complex in Comber Co. Down ; it kills 12 people and injures 30 others. The blast is the second worst since the present wave of troubles began in 1969
1980 - The Derrynaflan Chalice and other ancient silver and bronze pre-Christian antiquities are discovered in Co. Tipperary
1998 - Sinn Féin announces it will mount a legal challenge to the British Government's attempt to have them expelled from the multi -party talks
1998 - According to a nation-wide survey, "Morning Ireland" is the nation's favourite radio programme
1999 - Farmers with tractors and trailers move through the centres of 28 cities and towns during a National Day of Action to protest proposed reforms in the EU Common Agricultural Policy
1999 - EU governments gear up for an epic battle with the European Commission over the Brussels verdict to end duty free sales
2000 - Minister ODonoghue unveils a raft of far reaching proposals for a new legislative initiative at a passing out ceremony at the Garda College in Templemore. He tells the 98 graduating recruits he has received Government approval to draft and bring a new Criminal Justice Bill before the Oireachtas
2001 - Two explosions near Newry force the closure of the rail line between Portadown and Dundalk
Photo Credit: Photopress, Belfast
2003 - Supermarket giant Tesco sparks a possible price war with the opening of its first petrol filling station in Killarney, Co Kerry
2003 - The famine replica ship, the Jeanie Johnston, is forced to drop anchor close to the Valentia Island, 20 hours into her 21-day voyage to Tenerife. Strong winds also lead Aer Lingus to cancel all flights to New York.
1366 - The Statutes of Kilkenny are passed in an attempt to prevent Norman settlers becoming more Irish than the Irish themselves
1478 - George, Duke of Clarence, is executed for high treason in the Tower of London; according to Shakespeare, he meets his death by being drowned in a butt of malmsey wine
1948 - A coalition government takes over under Fine Gael's John Aloysius Costello
1921 - Brian Faulkner, the last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland who serves from 1971 to 1972, is born in Helen's Bay, Co. Down
1922 - Joe Carr, amateur golfer, is born in Dublin
1948 - Actress Sinead Cusack is born
1964 - Death in Blackrock of novelist Maurice Walsh, author of the original story of The Quiet Man
1978: Police in Northern Ireland arrest at least 20 people in connection with the La Mon entertainment complex explosion
1982 - General election in the Republic leads to a Fianna Fáil minority government; Haughey succeeds FitzGerald as Taoiseach
1998 - A page in Irish history is written as Sinn Féin representatives walk into the Four Courts as plaintiffs rather than defendants. One journalist says "The last time Republicans walked in the front door of this building was during the Civil War when the Irregulars occupied the place"
2000 - One of Waterfords best loved theatrical personalities, Denny Corcoran, is announced as the 1999 winner of the Waterford Crystal WLR FM Arts and Entertainment Hall of Fame Award for his lifetime contribution to theatre and music in a career spanning over four decades
2000 - The bodies of four soldiers tragically killed in a car accident in Lebanon are brought to the Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel
2002 - Hospitals nationwide are forced to cancel admissions, postpone surgery and close outpatient clinics as the highly-contagious winter vomiting virus spreads, striking patients and staff
2003 - Singer Bono is nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. It is the second year in a row that he has been nominated
2003 - Twelve men serving sentences in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin make Irish legal history when they become the first graduates of a new course on the very reason theyre behind bars - the law.
1904 - Birth on the Great Blasket Island of writer Muiris Ó Suilleabhain who is best known for his book, "Twenty Years A-Growing"
1939 - De Valera states his intention to preserve Irish neutrality in the event of a second world war
1987 - A general election in the Republic returns a Fianna Fáil government with Haughey as Taoiseach
1992 - US government deports Joseph Doherty, volunteer Oglaigh na hÉireann
1999 - Agriculture Minister Joe Walsh launches an ambitious bid to cushion the impact on Ireland of huge cuts in EU beef subsidies as the deadline for sweeping CAP reforms nears
1999 - Families of missing IRA murder victims plead with Sinn Féin
leaders to use their influence with the IRA to find out where the dead are buried
1999 - The hearing of an application by Sinn Féin for an injunction restraining the party's expulsion from the Northern Ireland negotiations resumes at the High Court
2000 - Four peacekeepers killed in an automobile accident in Lebanon - Privates Declan Deere, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Murphy and John Lawlor - are laid to rest in their native towns
2001 - According to the latest price survey, taxes make price of Irish cars highest in the EU
2001 - A 4ft limestone rock is unveiled at the entrance to Villierstown in west Waterford which is famous for the heroic exploits and achievements of John Treacy. Weighing a massive eight and a quarter tons, the stone, which came from the nearby quarry at Cappagh, bears the surnames of all 84 families living in the village and the immediate surrounding townlands as of January 1, 2000
2003 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern says a second United Nations resolution before any military action against Iraq is a political imperative. But Mr Ahern is still refusing to state whether the Government will halt the use of Shannon Airport by the US military if the Bush administration undertakes unilateral action against Saddam Hussein without UN backing.
1742 - James Gandon, architect and builder of the Customs House, the Four Courts and other Dublin buildings, is born in London
1794 - Birth near Clogher, Co. Tyrone of William Carleton, one of the most graphic writers about the Famine. He is best known for his Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry
1874 - Gladstone resigns; a Conservative administration under Disraeli takes over
1882 - Birth of Padraic Ó Conaire, writer and poet, in Galway
1892 - First performance of Oscar Wildes Lady Windermeres Fan
1989 - IRA bombs Tern Hill barracks in Shropshire
1973 - Two members of the British Army are shot dead by IRA snipers in an attack on a British Army mobile patrol on Cupar Street, Belfast
1975 - Hugh Ferguson, 19, chairman of the Whiterock IRSP and INLA Volunteer, is shot in Ballymurphy, Belfast by the OIRA. This incident kicks off a series of attacks by OIRA on the newly-formed Irish Republican Socialist Movement
1975 - Gerald McKeown, a 20 year old civilian, is killed by a loyalist bomb attack on Railway Bar on Shore Road in Greencastle, Belfast
1979 - A group of 11 Loyalists known as the 'Shankill butchers' were sentenced to life imprisonment for 112 offences including 19 murders. The 11 men are given 42 life sentences and receive 2,000 years imprisonment in total, in the form of concurrent sentences. The Shankill Butchers had begun killing Catholics in July 1972 and were not arrested until May 1977. The sectarian Loyalist gang operated out of a number of Ulster Volunteer Force drinking dens in the Shankill Road area of Belfast. The gang was initially led by Lenny Murphy but it continued to operate following his imprisonment in 1976. The Shankill Butchers got their name because not only did they kill Catholics but they first abducted many of their victims, tortured them, mutilated them with butcher knives and axes, and then finally killed them.
1983 - An RUC man is shot and killed by the IRA outside Warrenpoint RUC base in County Down.
1985 - In a highly controversial vote, the Irish government defies the powerful Catholic Church and approves the sale of contraceptives
1989 - The PIRA explode three bombs at the British Army barracks at Tern Hill, Shropshire, England. A sentry spots two men acting suspiciously and the barracks is evacuated shortly before the bombs detonate. The Volunteers flee amid gunfire from the sentry, steal a car, and escape
1998 - The (Continuity) Irish Republican Army explode a large car bomb, estimated at 500 pounds, outside the RUC station in the centre of Moira, County Down. Eleven people, mostly RUC officers, receive slight injuries in the explosion
1998 - In a face-to-face meeting with Northern Secretary Mo Mowlam and Foreign Affairs Minister David Andrews at Stormont, Gerry Adams is told that Sinn Féin is suspended from the peace talks for just under three weeks
1998 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern agrees to a demand from Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams for a crisis meeting next week, amid mounting fears that IRA 'hawks' will attempt to scupper any chance of Sinn Féin's return to the talks
2001 - Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne confirms that eighty publicans are to be prosecuted for serving drink to underage customers
2002 - After intense speculation that the Abbey Theatre would move to the southside of the Liffey to a completely new location in the Dublin Docklands, Arts Minister Síle de Valera informs the board of the theatre that the government has decided it is to be redeveloped at its present location
2003 - New figures compiled by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) show that Ireland has the highest death rate from heart disease in Western Europe. Finland is second and Britain is third
2003 - Sinn Féin chairperson Mitchel McLoughlin claim claims that the deadlock in the Northern peace process will only be broken by St Patricks Day if the British Government delivers on the outstanding promises of the Good Friday Agreement
2003 - The European Commission is accused of abusing private citizens right by conceding to American pressure on a data protection controversy. Transatlantic airlines such as Aer Lingus will be forced to provide US authorities with the names, addresses, phone numbers, itineraries and credit card details of all passengers flying to the United States.
2007 - Market hits record 10,000. Share values in Dublin surge to a new record with investors pushing the Irish stock market index above 10,000 for the first time.
1775 - Edward Denny, MP for Tralee, commits suicide
1760 - François Thurot lands French forces at Carrickfergus in Belfast Lough, increasing English anxiety about an Irish-Catholic alliance with the French.
1822 - Birth in Dublin of Richard Southwell Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo; Viceroy and Governor-General of India
1893 - Peadar O'Donnell, revolutionary and writer, is born in Co. Donegal
1922 - The Garda Síochána na h-Eireann - Guardians of the Peace of Ireland - is founded
1999 - Seven men, including senior figures in the Real IRA. are arrested in connection with the Omagh bombing - five in the Republic and two by the RUC in the North, in a simultaneous operation
2000 - A new survey reveals that Dubliners have more disposable income than people living in other parts of Ireland
2001 - The country's multi billion pound livestock industry is on full alert for signs of foot and mouth disease after the first outbreak in Britain for twenty years is confirmed in pigs
2001 - Ronnie Drew becomes one of the first non-sportsmen to receive a Posthouse Legend in Life award
2001 - The British and Irish Governments are considering proposals for round table talks involving the Northern Ireland parties amid growing pessimism about the peace process
2001 - Desmond O'Connell becomes the first Archbishop of Dublin in over 100 years to be installed as a Cardinal. A large Irish contingent from Church and State, along with family and friends of the Cardinal attend the installation which for the first time takes place at the front of the entrance to St Peters Basilica
2003 - A rare political letter written by Michael Collins fetches a record price of €28,000 at an auction in James Adam showrooms on Dublins Stephens Green. Despite fierce bidding by the National Library, the letter is purchased by singer Enyas manager Mickey Ryan who says he wants the letter to remain in Ireland.
2009 - Up to 120,000 people march in Dublin in protest at how the Government is handling the economic crisis
2011 - Well-known artist Paul Funge dies after a short illness. A native of Gorey, Co Wexford, he taught art in many schools including Clongowes Wood College and Newbridge College. He also lectured at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), the University of California, and Kunsthistorisch Instituut in Amsterdam. As a portrait artist, among his works are paintings of U2’s Adam Clayton, Frank McGuinness and Colm Tóibín as well as many ministers and academics.
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.
Tue, Dec 2, 2014
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
The Course of Irish History
by Moody & Martin
Concise but comprehensive, highly selective but balanced and fair-minded, critical but constructive and sympathetic. A distinctive feature is its wealth of illustrations.
Click here for Irish History.
Ireland Since The Famine
A full-scale study of the political and social history of Ireland since 1850. The political evolution of the Irish Nation forms the basis of the book. "Will remain for many years an essential standby for every student of the subject" Robert Blake, The Sunday Times.
Click here for Since the Famine.
by Tim Pat Coogan
Eamon De Valera is still a major influence on Ireland - a towering presence whose shadow yet falls over Irish life. He played a major part in the 1916 Rising, the troubled Treaty negotiations and the Civil War; some of today's problems are his legacy. But De Valera, or "Dev", was a political mastermind who also achieved some incredible feats which ensured his place in history, including the Irish Constitution, formation of Ireland's largest political party - Fianna Fáil, and the formation of the Irish Press Group.
Click here for DeValera