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1737 - Launch of the Belfast News Letter, now the oldest surviving newspaper in Ireland or Britain, and one of the oldest in the world
1729 - Death of dramatist, essayist and publisher Sir Richard Steele, the Dubliner who founded The Tatler and The Spectator
1789 - Marguerite Gardiner, née Power; Countess of Blessington; author, is born near Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
1814 - Birth of James O'Flanagan, author, in Fermoy, Co. Cork
1830 - Dublin Zoo opens
1830 - The Wild Colonial Boy is shot dead in a gun battle with police at Cambelltown, Sydney. Contrary to the popular song, The Wild Colonial Boy was John Donohue, transported from Ireland in 1824
1856 - Birth of Irish Nationalist Party leader John Redmond in Ballytrent, Co. Wexford
1864 - Roger Casement, British consular official and Irish nationalist, is born in Sandycove, Co. Dublin
1870 - Isaac Butt founds the Home Government Association; Home Rule is now the objective of constitutional nationalists
1913 - Protest by locked-out workers leads to serious riots in Dublin. Shops are looted and attempts made to tear up tram lines.
1972 - Tony Fleming is born in Virginia USA.
1999 - Van Morrison beomes the first inductee to The Hot Press Irish Music Hall of Fame.
1999 - Five-year-old triplets Jake, Melissa and Denis Doherty from Knockanes, Headford, Co. Kerry, arrive for their first day at school in Knockanes National School
Photo Credit: Eamonn Keogh
2000 - The number of people out of work falls to an 18-year low
2000 - The resumption of normal train services to Westport, Co. Mayo is celebrated with a platform party. Bemused but delighted passengers are greeted with delicacies and glasses of champagne laid on by the local Atlantic Coast Hotel, one of hundreds of establishments in the Mayo region hit financially by the 10 week rail stoppage
2002 - Hugh Orde, Northern Irelands new chief constable vows to crack down on paramilitary "godfathers" who have orchestrated a series of unsolved sectarian murders.
1022 - Maelsechlainn II - "The great high king of Ireland" - dies
1649 - Siege of Drogheda begins
1752 - The Gregorian calendar is adopted in Ireland and Britain, 170 years after mainland Europe: 2 September is followed by 14 September
1731 - Birth of Sir Lucius O'Brien, opposition politician, once described as 'a man who disagrees with the rest of mankind by thinking well of himself'
1784 - Sir Eyre Coote, the elder, dies of apoplexy at sea off Madras, while being pursued by French ships
1893 - Second Home Rule Bill passed by House of Commons
1933 - Cummann na nGaedheal, the Centre Party, and the National Guard, once known as the "Blueshirts", join forces to form Fine Gael
1942 - IRA Volunteer Tom Williams is hanged at Belfast's Crumlin Road Jail
1998 - Sinn Féin formally nominate Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness as its representative to work with the International Commission on Decommissioning
2002 - Ireland forms an alliance with Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Greece in a bid to limit the expansion of nuclear energy
2002 - A Commission which includes loyalist paramilitaries calls on republican terror groups to join them in achieving calm along sectarian flashpoint areas.
1654 - The first Protectorate parliament meets; Ireland is represented by 30 members
1781 - Birth of William Sharman Crawford, radical politician, in Co. Down
1821 - The last day of George IV's visit to Ireland
1842 - In Kill, Co. Kildare, birth of John Devoy, journalist and leading member of the Fenians
1850 - Charters are granted to colleges in Belfast (now Queens University), Cork (now UCC) and Galway (now UCG), under the Universities (Ireland) Act
1854 - Birth of Fanny Parnell, Land League agitator and sister of Charles Stewart Parnell
1897 - James Hanley, novelist and short story writer, is born in Liverpool of Irish parents
1905 - Birth of James Snowy Dunne, widely regarded as one of Irelands greatest centre forwards. He played for Arsenal, Southampton and the Shamrock Rovers
1913 - A meeting of 400 employers with William Martin Murphy pledges not to employ any persons who continue to be members of the Irish Transport & General Workers' Union.
1943 - Birth of Liam Maguire, trade unionist and campaigner for disabled people
1963 - Death of poet Louis MacNeice
1972 - Mary Peters wins the women's pentathlon in Munich and becomes the first Irish woman to win an Olympic Gold medal
1998 - Near the scene of the explosion, US President Bill Clinton and British Premier Tony Blair unveil a plaque in memory of the Omagh bombing victims
1998 - New Garda powers come into force which open the way for a clampdown on hardline extremists
2000 - Dom Columba Marmion, a Dublin priest who is credited with curing an American woman of cancer, is beatified by Pope John Paul II
In the liturgical calendar, it is the feast day of St. MacNis, baptised by St. Patrick, and later consecrated Bishop by the Saint.
1798 - Cornwallis moves forward from Tuam to attack Castlebar
Humbert leaves Castlebar with 800 French troops and 1000 Irish rebels and moves into Co Sligo. His plan is to march to Ulster. Humbert marches all night. Rising takes place in Longford and Westmeath
1844 - Conspiracy judgment against Daniel O'Connell is reversed by House of Lords
1851 - John Dillon, Nationalist politician, is born in Blackrock, Co. Dublin
1922 - Dónal Foley, journalist, humorist and author of 'Man Bites Dog' column in the Irish Times, is born in Ring, Co. Waterford
1976 - Women protest against men-only bathing at the Forty Foot in Sandycove.
1690 - Having failed to take Limerick, William leaves Ireland
1724 - In the guise of an Irish Patriot , M. B. Drapier, Jonathan Swift publishes "Drapier Letter III" - one of a series of letters designed to incite the people against a new coinage
1771 - Benjamin Franklin's visit to Ireland begins
1785 - Edmond Sexton Pery resigns as Speaker of the Irish parliament on grounds of ill health. John Foster is unanimously elected to replace him
1798 - Humbert defeats small government force at Collooney, but suffers serious casualties; he camps at Dromahair. Longford rebels attack Granard and are routed. Westmeath rebels occupy Wilson's Hospital
1890 - Birth of Richard Chenevix Trench, prelate, philologist and poet; the New English Dictionary, later the Oxford English Dictionary, was begun at his suggestion, in Dublin
1930 - The first edition of the Irish Press, a Dublin daily newspaper founded by De Valera as a platform for Fianna Fáil, is published
1934 - Birth of Kevin McNamara MP, former Labour spokesman on Northern Ireland
1950 - Birth of Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Fianna Fáil politician
1998 - President Clinton follows in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy and becomes a Freeman of Limerick. Today marks the end of his three-day visit to Ireland
1999 - History comes alive at Phoenix Park as the beating of the Millennium Drum signals the beginning of a week long celebration of Irish history and heritage
2000 - The Church of Ireland criticises Portadown Orange Order leader Harold Gracey for refusing to condemn the violence surrounding the Drumcree protest
2001 - The violent scenes of sectarian hatred witnessed at the Holy Cross school in Belfast make headlines in newspapers all over the world
2002 - US-owned communications equipment firm, Tellabs, announces it will close its Shannon plant in December with the loss of more than 400 jobs.
1798 - Humbert marches to Drumkeeran. Lake is still tailing Humbert
1813 - Isaac Butt, barrister, politician and founder of the Home Rule movement, is born in Glenfin, Co. Donegal
1831 - Birth in Rosscarbery, Co. Cork of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, one of the founders of the Fenian Brotherhood
1890 - Birth of Brinsley MacNamara, novelist, short story-writer and playwright
1936 - Birth of Bruce Arnold, journalist and author
1974 - 19 Prisoners escape from Porlaoise Prison
1981 - Death of Christy Brown, the handicapped Dublin author, who learned to type with his left foot
1987 - Cyclist Stephen Roche wins the World Professional Road Race Championship
1994 - Prime Minister of Dublin government meets with Sinn Fein President for the first time since the ratification of the 1922 Anglo-Irish Treaty
1999 - The £20 million Cavan town and Butlersbridge by-pass is officially opened by Environment Minister Noel Dempsey
2000 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pledges to the United Nations that Ireland will more than double its level of aid to the worlds poorest countries over the next seven years
2000 - Dublin's City Hall reopens after a two year, £4·5 million refurbishment programme
2002 - Death of Bobby Clancy of the Clancy Brothers.
1695 - Penal Laws are passed which restrict the rights of Catholics to have an education, to bear arms, or to possess a horse worth more than five pounds
1798 - Humbert crosses Shannon at Ballintra and camps at Cloone. Cornwallis crosses Shannon. Rebels at Wilson's Hospital are routed; this ends the rebellion in the midlands
1801 - Arthur Hill, 2nd Marquis of Downshire, former MP for Co. Down and one of the wealthiest landowners in Ireland, commits suicide
1823 - Kevin Izod O'Doherty, transportee, physician and politician, is born in Dublin
1892 - John L. Sullivan loses his world heavyweight boxing title to another Irish American, James Corbett
1913 - A large meeting in Sackville Street asserts the right of free speech, trade union representation and demands an enquiry into police conduct.
1921 - Frank Duff founds the Association of Our Lady of Mercy, later to be known as the Legion of Mary
1948 - Taoiseach John A.Costello declares the Irish Free State a Republic
1980 - Galway wins the All Ireland Final
2001 - It is announced that US President George Bush is sending his special envoy, Richard Haass, to Northern Ireland to sound out parties on the ailing peace process.
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
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