Landmarks in Irish history, from St Patrick to the Credit Crunch
See also Great Britain
Bloody Sunday (1972)
IRA bombing locations
Eamon de Valera
Black and Tans
21/3/2017, Martin McGuinness, former IRA leader and latterly politician in the peace process, died aged 66.
12/9/2014, The Reverend Ian Paisley died, aged 88. A devout Protestant, he founded the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, and he was MP for Antrim for 40 years, before becoming Lord Bannside. He also founded the Free Presbyterian Church.
12/2/2014, Explosive packages, linked to Ireland, were sent to UK Army recruitment offices across southern England, and a further package was discovered in a shopping centre in Slough. None exploded and all were defused.
29/11/2010, The EU agreed to a Euro 85 billion bail out for Ireland.
12/6/2008, Irish voters rejected the new European Constitution in a referendum.
26/3/2007, Northern Ireland’s two opposing political parties, Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists signed a power-sharing agreement after talks at Stormont involving Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley.
13/6/2006, Charles Haughey, Prime Minister of Ireland, died.
28/7/2005, The Provisional IRA issued a statement formally ending the armed campaign it had been waging since 1969 and ordering all its units to dump their weapons. The 36-year terror campaign of the IRA had caused 1,730 deaths; 1,100 British security forces and 630 civilians. Some 300 of the IRA’s 10,000 members resigned. A ceasefire had been in place since 1998, when the British Government demanded the disarmament of the IRA in return for Sinn Feinn taking part in multi-party talks on the future of Northern Ireland.
29/3/2004, The Republic of Ireland banned smoking in all enclosed workplaces, including restaurants, pubs, and bars.
21/1/2002. Two former IRA leaders, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, enter the Houses of Parliament as Sinn Fein MPs.
4/3/2001, A Real IRA bomb hit the BBC TV studios in London.
28/5/2000. Hardline Ulster Unionists hoped to frustrate the working of the new Stormont Parliament with a motion to exclude Sinn Fein from the new power sharing government.
2/12/1999, The UK government devolved power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive. Dublin withdrew its territorial claim to Northern Ireland.
29/11/1999, The Northern Ireland power-sharing executive was set up.
26/11/1998, Tony Blair became the first UK Prime Minister to address the Irish Parliament.
15/8/1998, The Real IRA detonated a car bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone, killing 29 and injuring over 200.
22/5/1998, Voters approved the Good Friday Agreement of 10/4/1998 by a majority of 71.12%, in Northern Ireland and by 94.39% in the Republic of Ireland.
10/5/1998, Members of Sinn Fein, political wing of the IRA, voted to accept the Good Friday peace agreement.
10/4/1998. The Good Friday Agreement was signed. Two years of negotiation produced an agreement on plans for a Northern Ireland Assembly and cross-border co-operation with the Irish Republic. A referendum for the proposals was scheduled for May 1998.
29/1/1998, Tony Blair announced an inquiry into the ‘Bloody Sunday’ events in Londonderry on 30/1/1972.
13/10/1997, Tony Blair shook hands with Gerry Adams at Stormont Castle, the first meeting between a British Prime Minister and a Sinn Fein leader since the signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty in 1921.
19/7/1997, The IRA announced a new ceasefire, the second in three years. It said this was the ‘unequivocal restoration of the August 1994 ceasefire’, broken in February 1996.
2/6/1997, Alban Maginness of the SDLP became the first Catholic to be elected Mayor of Belfast.
26/3/1997. Two IRA bombs exploded near Wilmslow railway station, injuring no-one.
15/6/1996, A large IRA bomb destroyed Manchester city centre.
10/6/1996, Talks on the future of Northern Ireland opened at Stormont Castle; the Sinn Fein was excluded until the IRA renewed its ceasefire.
9/2/1996. The IRA ended its ceasefire with a bomb in London’s Docklands. The bomb contained about half a ton of explosive and was planted under the Docklands Light railway at South Quays, exploding at 7.01 p.m. 2 people were killed and at least 100 injured. The widespread damage to houses, shops, and offices amounted to over £100 million. UK Prime Minister John Major said ‘there is now a dark shadow of doubt where optimism had been’.
24/1/1996, The report of the international decommissioning agency for Northern Ireland under US Senator George Mitchell dismissed British demands that the IRA hand over its weapons before joining talks.
15/12/1994, In Northern Ireland, the Arms Decommissioning Panel, headed by former US Senator George Mitchell, began work.
27/11/1995, In Ireland, voters narrowly approved a limited no-fault provision for divorce, for couples who had lived apart for four of the previous five years, by a majority of 9,114 out of 1.63 million votes. There had been a constitutional ban on divorce since 1937.
12/11/1995, The Northern Ireland Peace Process was faltering, with disagreement over whether to begin all-party talks before the IRA had decommissioned its weapons. All sides were keen to make progress before US President Bill Clinton visited on 30/11/1995.
10/5/1995, The British Government held the first Ministerial talks with Sinn Fein since 1972.
14/4/1995. British troops prepared to leave Northern Ireland.
8/3/1995. UK Government agreed to direct meetings between ministers and Sinn Fein before an IRA arms surrender.
22/2/1995, British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Prime Minister John Bruton agreed a framework for all-party talks on a political settlement for Northern Ireland. A ‘North-South body’ would be set up to harmonise agreed areas, Northern Ireland would have an elected devolved Parliament, and the South would amend its constitution to drop territorial claims to the North. Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, was happy that the ‘ethos of the agreement was for one Ireland’. The Unionists were less pleased, saying ‘Northern Ireland has been given an eviction notice from the UK’.
15/1/1995. The British Army ended daylight patrols in Belfast, after 25 years.
9/12/1994, The first official talks between the British Government and Sinn Fein for 22 years began.
13/10/1994, Ulster’s three main Loyalist terrorist groups announced a ceasefire.
31/8/1994. The IRA announced a ceasefire in Northern Ireland. The British were concerned about the omission of the word ‘permanent’ from the ceasefire declaration.
9/3/1994, The IRA launched a mortar attack at London Heathrow Airport.
11/1/1994, The Irish Government ended a 15-year old broadcasting ban on the IRA and its political arm, Sinn Fein.
19/12/1993. Several people were inured in an IRA bomb blast in Londonderry.
15/12/1993. The Downing Street Declaration; the UK committed itself to finding a solution to the problem of Northern Ireland. Prime Ministers John Major of the UK and John Reynolds of Ireland discussed the possibility of a future united Ireland.
28/11/1993, The Observer revealed that the UK Government had a secret channel of communication with the IRA despite UK denials.
23/10/1993, An IRA bomb in Belfast killed 9.
13/8/1993. Firebombs planted by the IRA in Bournemouth caused damage but no injuries.
24/4/1993. An IRA bomb exploded at Bishopsgate in the City of London. The bomb was hidden in a truck close to the Nat West Tower and left a crater of 14 square yards. One person was killed and 44 injured, and one million square feet of office space made un-useable. Insurance claims were estimated at £1 billion.
20/3/1993. An IRA bomb exploded in Warrington, killing a child. A second child died of his injuries later. On 28/3/1993 thousands joined a peace rally in Dublin.
28/1/1993. The IRA bombed Harrods for the third time in 20 years. Four people were injured. The bomb, one pound of Semtex, was in a litter bin, one of several removed on the advice of the police but reinstated by Kensington and Chelsea Council because of the litter problem left by shoppers at a Harrods sale. The last IRA attack on Harrods had been in 1984, killing six people.
16/12/1992. The IRA disrupted Christmas shopping with two bombs in Oxford Street. Four people were injured.
3/12/1992. The IRA set off two bombs in Manchester.
9/10/1992. Two IRA bombs exploded in London, to coincide with the Conservative Party Conference.
10/4/1992. A massive IRA bomb exploded at 9.25 p.m. in the City of London. The 100 lb device killed 3 and injured 91. It blew out every window in the Commercial Union Tower, and many more windows in other office blocks. Another IRA bomb went off at Staples Corner on the North Circular, causing no injuries, but closing the flyover for some months.
26/2/1992, The Supreme Court of Ireland ruled that a 14-year-old rape victim could visit the UK to get an abortion.
18/1/1992. Faced with a new outbreak of terrorism, the UK government decided to send more troops to Northern Ireland.
16/12/1991. An IRA bomb exploded near Clapham Junction station, SW London.
3/7/1991, Talks at Stormont on the future of Northern Ireland collapsed.
27/6/1991, An IRA bomb was found in a bag outside the Beck Theatre in Hayes, Middlesex, where a military band had staged a concert the day before. The bomb was safely defused.
26/6/1991. The Maguire Seven were cleared of running an IRA bomb factory in England.
19/6/1991, Colonel Gaddafi of Libya declared his support for the IRA as a just cause.
1/6/1991, An IRA attack killed three soldiers and injured 18 from the Ulster Defence Regiment in Glennan, County Armagh.
5/4/1991. The IRA planted a large bomb in the main shopping area of Manchester.
14/3/1991. The Birmingham Six were released. They had been convicted in 1975 of the worst mass-murder in British history, the IRA pub bombings in which 21 died. They were found guilty on scientific evidence but also on confessions which they claimed the police had beaten out of them. West Midlands Police were found to have falsified notes and scientific test results.
18/2/1991. The IRA set off a bomb in a litter bin at London’s Victoria Station, killing one commuter and injuring 43 others. Another IRA bomb went off at Paddington Station.
7/2/1991. The IRA launched a mortar bomb attack on 10 Downing Street from a van in Whitehall. PM John Major’s cabinet was in session. Nobody was hurt. The mortars were hidden in a commercial van parked nearby and fired through its roof by remote control. One bomb landed in the garden of No. 10 and a second shattered the windows of the room where John Major was discussing the Gulf Crisis.
11/11/1990. London police seized an IRA arms cache at Kilburn, London; 2 were arrested.
9/11/1990, Mary Robinson, a 46 year old lawyer, became the first woman President of the Irish Republic. She stood as an Independent, beating both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Irish voters were protesting against the corruption rife in politics.
30/7/1990. Ian Gow, Conservative MP for Eastbourne, was murdered by an IRA bomb at his home in the Sussex village of Hankham.
20/7/1990. The IRA bombed the London Stock Exchange. There was little damage and no casualties.
26/6/1990, The IRA bombed the Carlton Club, London, a venue much used by Conservative MPs.
16/6/1990, Belgian police arrested IRA members suspected of killing the Australian tourists on 28/5/1990.
28/5/1990, The IRA shot dead two Australian tourists in Roermond, The Netherlands, who were driving a British-registered car,, mistaking them for British soldiers.
26/12/1989, Nobel Prize winning Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett died in Paris, aged 83.
19/10/1989. The Guildford Four had their convictions quashed after serving 15 years for the IRA Guildford and Woolwich pub bombings.
22/9/1989. The IRA bombed the Royal Marines School in Deal. 10 bandsmen were killed and 22 injured.
22/6/1989, Ireland’s first universities established since independence in 1922 were set up: Dublin City University and University of Limerick.
18/10/1988. The Home Secretary Douglas Hurd banned all broadcasts involving terrorist spokesmen.
16/10/1988, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and SDLP leader John Hume shared the Nobel Peace Prize, for their part in forging the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement.
15/8/1988, IRA bomb in Omagh killed 29.
19/3/1988, In Belfast, 2 British soldiers were lynched at IRA funerals.
6/3/1988. Three IRA terrorists shot dead by SAS men in Gibraltar; they were allegedly planning a bomb attack.
8/11/1987. An IRA bomb exploded at a Remembrance Day service at Eniskillen, N Ireland, killing 11 people.
8/5/1987, Nine IRA gunmen were killed in a battle with police and soldiers in County Armagh, in an attack on a RUC post at Loughgall.
10/3/1987. The Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey was re-elected for a third term.
12/7/1986, In Northern Ireland, over 100 were injured in Orange Day clashes between Catholics and Protestants.
26/6/1986, In Dublin, a referendum to amend the Irish Constitution and allow divorce in limited circumstances was overwhelmingly defeated. Some women had voted against, as the benefits a divorcee would be entitled to were uncertain.
23/4/1986. The UK Government dissolved the Northern Ireland Assembly. After four years of operation, it had become a platform for Unionist attacks on the Anglo-Irish Agreement, signed in 1985.
15/11/1985, The Anglo-Irish agreement was signed in Belfast by Mrs Thatcher and Dr Fitzgerald.
7/8/1985, BBC journalists went on strike after the UK Government intervened to cancel on episode of Real Lives which featured an interview with Martin McGuiness of Sinn Fein.
28/2/1985, 9 RUC men were killed by an IRA attack on Newry police station.
20/2/1985, The Irish Dail passed a Bill to allow shops to sell contraceptives.
12/10/1984. Five people died and more than 30 were injured when the IRA planted as bomb at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, where the Conservatives were holding their annual Party Conference. Mrs Thatcher herself had just left a bathroom that was destroyed, but escaped injury as she sat in the lounge of her suite writing a speech. She still gave the speech the following day. However 5 were killed and over 30 others injured, including Margaret Tebbit, wife of the Trade and Industry Secretary, who was paralysed from the neck down.
14/3/1984, Gerry Adams was shot and injured in an attempt to assassinate him.
26/1/1984, The Governor of the Maze Prison resigned after a critical report on IRA prisoner escapes.
25/12/1983, An IRA bomb exploded in London’s Oxford Street.
17/12/1983. 6 died and 91 were injured when an IRA bomb exploded outside Harrods in London. 5 died and 91 were injured.
10/12/1983, An IRA bomb exploded at London’s Woolwich Barracks.
12/11/1983, Gerry Adams was elected leader of Sinn Fein.
25/9/1983, 38 IRA prisoners escaped from the Maze prison; a prison guard was stabbed to death during the escape.
24/5/1983, A large IRA bomb damaged the Andersonstown police station in Belfast.
17/3/1983, Mrs Thatcher was the target of an IRA letter bomb campaign.
8/2/1983, Shergar, the 1981 Derby Winner, owned by the Aga Khan, was stolen from his stable in County Kildare and a £2 million (US$ 3.7 million) ransom demanded. The horse was never seen again; it probably became catfood.
13/12/1982, The Greater London Council invited members of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, causing outrage.
6/12/1982, An IRA bomb in the Droppin Well pub in BallyKelly killed 19 people and injured 66.
19/10/1982, The Northern Ireland Office announced that support for the loss-making De Lorean car plant in Belfast would end, causing its closure. Around UK£ 70 million of Government money had gone into the factory, sited in an area of 21% unemployment. The gull-winged car design failed to attract buyers during a recession in America, and high executive salaries and the costs of New York offices did not help. The closure would cost some 1500 jobs in Belfast.
20/7/1982. IRA bombs killed many in London’s Hyde and Regent Parks. The first bomb exploded at 10.43.a.m. as members of the Queen’s cavalry were passing. Four soldiers were killed and many civilians wounded by the bomb which was packed with 4 and 6 inch nails, also killing many horses. The second bomb went off under the bandstand at Regents Park at 12.55.p.m. where members of the Royal Green Jackets were giving a concert. 7 soldiers were killed and 28 injured.
13/5/1982, The EEC banned the rubber bullets being used by police in Northern Ireland.
20/2/1982. Charles Haughey won the Irish elections.
19/2/1982, In Belfast, the De Lorean car company went into liquidation.
14/11/1981, IRA gunmen killed Robert Bradford, Unionist MP for Belfast South.
3/10/1981. The seven-month hunger strike at The Maze Prison, Belfast, ended. 10 Republican prisoners at The Maze Prison, Belfast, had died, including the MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Bobby Sands. The inmates wanted the status of political prisoners.
8/8/1981, Rioting in Northern Ireland following the death of the 9th hunger striker and ten years of internment.
19/7/1981, Efforts by the Red Cross to end the hunger strikes at the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, failed.
12/5/1981, Rioting in Belfast after hunger strikers Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes have died.
7/5/1981, Bobby Sands was buried in a Republican section of Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery.
5/5/1981. The IRA prisoner Bobby Sands died on the 66th day of his hunger strike in the Maze prison, Belfast. Riots broke out in Belfast. He was serving a 14-year sentence for firearms offences.
11/4/1981. Bobby Sands won the by-election, see 15/3/1981.
15/3/1981, Bobby Sands, IRA hunger striker, stood as Republican candidate for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by election. See 11/4/1981.
1/3/1981, Bobby Sands, a member of the IRA, began a hunger strike for political status at Long Kesh Prison. He died on 5/5/1981, the first of 10 such deaths.
16/1/1981, In Northern Ireland Bernadette McAliskey, nee Devlin, former |MP, was shot dead by 3 Loyalist gunmen.
8/12/1980. Mrs Thatcher held a summit meeting in Dublin with Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey about closer co-operation between the UK and Eire.
8/6/1980, The IRA set off several bombs in Ulster.
7/12/1979. Charles Haughey of Fianna Fail became the new Irish Prime Minister. This followed the resignation of Jack Lynch.
23/11/1979, In Dublin, IRA member Thomas MacMahon was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Lord Mountbatten.
27/8/1979, Earl Mountbatten, British Admiral of the Fleet, his 14 year old grandson Nicolas, and 15 year old boatman Paul Maxwell, were killed when an IRA bomb exploded in their boat near Mullaghmore, Sligo Bay, Ireland. Three others were seriously injured whilst 82-year old Lady Brabourne died the following day. In Ireland, on 30/8/1979, Francis McGirl and Thomas McMahon were charged with his murder in Dublin.
17/4/1979, In Northern Ireland 4 policemen were killed by a 1,000 lb. bomb, the IRA’s most powerful so far.
30/3/1979. The MP and opposition spokesman on Northern Ireland, Airey Neave, was killed by an IRA car bomb, in the car park at the House of Commons.
17/12/1978, IRA bombs exploded in Southampton, Bristol, Manchester, and Coventry.
6/9/1978, Gerry Adams was released from jail after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove IRA membership.
25/2/1978, Gerry Adams was charged with being a member of the IRA.
10/10/1977, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, co-founders of the Ulster Peace Movement, received the Nobel peace Prize in Oslo.
23/6/1977, Liam Cosgrave retired as President of Ireland.
4/2/1977, Police in Liverpool discovered an IRA bomb factory.
29/1/1977. The IRA set off 7 bombs in London’s West End. No-one was killed.
27/11/1976, Over 30,000 people joined the Ulster Women’s Peace March.
4/9/1976. In Northern Ireland, 25,000 Protestants and Catholics went on a peace march.
2/9/1976, The European Court of Human Rights said Britain was torturing Ulster detainees.
10/8/1976, A stolen vehicle driven by IRA gunmen hit and killed a family of pedestrians in south west Belfast, whilst being pursued by British soldiers. A girl aged 8, a boy aged 2, and a 6 week old baby were killed. This tragedy, after many other deaths in Northern Ireland, started the Ulster Peace Movement. Two of its leaders, Mariead Corrigan and Betty Williams, were subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1976.
21/7/1976, In Eire, the British Ambassador to Dublin was killed by an IRA car bomb.
25/1/1976, 12 IRA bombs exploded in London’s East End.
7/1/1976, In Armagh, the SAS were deployed to combat rising violence; 15 died in sectarian violence the previous week.
6/12/1975, The Balcombe Street siege began; IRA terrorists held Mr and Mrs Andrews hostage in their London flat. The siege ended on 11/12/1975.
27/11/1975. Provisional IRA gunmen killed Ross McWhirter, co-editor of the Guinness Book of Records. He had launched a ‘Beat the Bombers’ campaign three weeks earlier, offering rewards to informers on the IRA.
12/11/1975, An IRA bomb exploded at Scott’s Restaurant in London, killing one man. Two more people were killed by another IRA bomb on 18/11/1975 at Walton’s Restaurant, London.
31/10/1975, The Provisional Sinn Fein leader Seamus McCusker was shot dead by the official IRA.
23/10/1975, Professor Farley, a leading cancer expert, was killed by a n IRA car bomb intended for Hugh Fraser MP.
9/10/1975, An IRA bomb exploded at Green Park tube station, London, killing 1 and injuring 20.
3/10/1975, The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was banned.
2/10/1975, Protestant revenge killings left 11 dead.
29/8/1975, Eamon De Valera, leader of the Irish rising 1916, three times Prime Minister of Ireland and President of Ireland 1959 – 1973, died aged 92. His place of birth, New York, to a Spanish father and Irish mother, saved him from execution in 1916.
15/8/1975. The Birmingham Six were sentenced to life imprisonment for planting bombs that killed 21 people in Birmingham. Their convictions were later overturned.
30/3/1975. The Provisional IRA council planned to meet to discuss the future of a ceasefire declared on 10/2/1975.
27/1/1975, Five IRA bombs exploded in London.
16/1/1975, The IRA ended its 25-day truce.
29/11/1974. The IRA was outlawed in Britain.
21/11/1974. IRA bombs exploded in two Birmingham pubs, killing 21 and injuring a further 182. On 14/11/1974 an IRA bomber, James McDade, was blown up by his own bomb which he had intended to plant at Coventry telephone exchange. The UK Government banned demonstrations in his memory, and the IRA bombed Birmingham in retaliation. The Birmingham bombings triggered the Prevention of Terrorism Act, giving the UK police extensive powers to investigate suspects; unfortunately they misused this to ensure charges were pinned on someone, innocent or guilty.
7/11/1974. An IRA nail bomb exploded at the Kings Arms pub in Woolwich, London. The pub was opposite the Woolwich Barracks. Two died and 34 were injured.
5/10/1974. 5 died and 65 were injured when the IRA bombed two pubs in
26/7/1974, An IRA bomb exploded in a Heathrow car park.
17/7/1974, An IRA bomb exploded at the Tower of London, killing one person and injuring 41.
17/6/1974. Two large IRA bombs exploded in London. The first went off at the Houses of Parliament just before 8.30a.m. and caused fire damage to the 800 year-old Westminster Hall. The second, larger, bomb, went off at The Tower of London later in the day when there were many tourists there, and there were serious casualties.
29/5/1974, Northern Irish intransigence caused the Northern Ireland Assembly to collapse, see 28/6/1973.
19/5/1974, A state of emergency was declared in Northern Ireland. An IRA bomb exploded at a Heathrow car park.
17/5/1974, Car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan killed 28 people and injured over 100.
20/4/1974, A Catholic became the thousandth person to die in ‘The Troubles’.
4/2/1974, 12 men were killed as an IRA bomb went off on their army coach whilst on the M.62 near Bradford, Yorkshire; 11 died.
1/1/1974, Direct Rule in Northern Ireland ended as a new Ulster Executive took control; however Direct Rule was reinstated later in 1974.
9/12/1973, A 4-day conference ended at Sunningdale with an historic Anglo-Irish agreement to set up a Council of Ireland, There would be cooperation between Dublin and Belfast in areas such as trade and tourism. The Irish Republic agreed there could be no change in the status of Northern Ireland without majority consent. Northern Ireland Loyalists remained opposed to any power sharing with Dublin.
25/11/1973, The 200th British soldier died in Northern Ireland.
31/10/1973, Three provisional IRA leaders were sprung from Mountjoy Prison with a hi-jacked helicopter.
20/9/1973, An IRA bomb exploded at Chelsea Barracks, London.
10/9/1973, IRA bombs exploded at several London railway stations, injuring 13 people.
4/9/1973. IRA Bombs exploded in London, Birmingham, and Manchester.
31/8/1973. The IRA exploded a large bomb in London’s West End after a security drive by Scotland Yard. There were no casualties but thousands of guests were evacuated from nearby hotels and a large number of cars were wrecked.
21/8/1973, The coroner in the Bloody Sunday inquest accused the British army of "sheer unadulterated murder" after the jury returned an open verdict.
20/8/1973, IRA bombs exploded in London.
31/7/1973, The first, tumultuous, meeting of the new Northern Ireland Assembly took place in Belfast.
5//7/1973, Rioting at Long Kesh prison, Northern Ireland.
28/6/1973, A Northern Ireland Assembly was elected, but collapsed, see 29/5/1974.
24/6/1973. Irish President De Valera resigned at the age of 90; he had been President since 1959. Erskine Childers succeeded him. De Valera died on 29/8/1975.
20/3/1973, Trial without jury was introduced for terrorist offences on Northern Ireland.
9/3/1973, A referendum in Northern Ireland showed 592,000 in favour of retaining links with the UK; 6,000 voted for union with Ireland. Most Catholics boycotted the vote.
8/3/1973. The IRA set off two bombs in London, outside the Old Bailey and in Whitehall. One person was killed and 244 injured.
1/3/1973, An IRA bomb exploded in London, killing one and injuring 238.
7/2/1973, Unionists in Northern Ireland called a 1-day strike.
28/1/1973, Police in Londonderry fired rubber bullets on a crowd marking the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
1/1/1973. Ireland joined the EEC.
31/12/1972, Casualties in the Northern Ireland conflict over 1972 amounted to 467, including 103 British soldiers.
1/12/1972, Two IRA bombs exploded in Belfast, killing two people and injuring 127.
21/7/1972. The IRA set off 19 bombs in Belfast city centre, killing 9 and injuring 130. This day became known as Bloody Friday, and lost the Provisionals much support amongst Roman Catholics. On 31/7/1972 the British army was able to sweep aside the barricades and enter the ‘no-go’ zones with little resistance. British troops were permanently stationed at strongpoints inside Catholic districts. The loss of these safe havens was a major blow to the IRA and their military capability was severely reduced.
14/7/1972, 4 died in Belfast as the IRA ended its 2-week ceasefire.
9/7/1972, Martin McGuiness from the IRA met William Whitelaw from the British Government in secret talks in London.
22/6/1972, The IRA agreed to a ceasefire.
11/6/1972. Gaddafi said Libya was aiding the IRA.
19/4/1972, An inquiry into ‘Bloody Sunday’ found troops were provoked, but then fired recklessly.
13/4/1972, 23 IRA bombs went off in Ulster in the worst day of violence since Direct Rule was imposed.
25/3/1972. Edward Heath announced Direct Rule for Northern Ireland from 30/3/1972.
20/3/1972, An IRA bomb exploded in Belfast, killing 6 and injuring 47.
22/2/1972. Seven, including a gardener, five cleaning women and a Catholic chaplain, were killed when an IRA bomb went off at the Paratroopers HQ at Aldershot. This was in response to the Bloody Sunday incident of 30/1/1972.
2/2/1972, Demonstrators protesting over the Bloody Sunday killings of 30/1/1972 burnt down the British Embassy in Dublin. Angry protestors prevented firemen from reaching the building until the roof had fallen in.
30/1/1972. Bloody Sunday incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. 13 people were killed and 29 wounded on an illegal 15,000-strong civil rights march, shot by British soldiers. The marchers, Catholics, were protesting against the British policy of internment without trial, introduced in 1971. When the march was diverted from its planned route by the British Army some of the marchers began throwing stones. British troops pursued the stone throwers and opened fire near the Rossville Flats.
22/1/1972. Britain, Denmark, Norway, and Ireland signed the EEC Treaty – to join January 1973.
30/12/1971. A bomb exploded in Belfast, injuring over 60 in a narrow street.
20/12/1971. The IRA began a Christmas bombing campaign in Northern Ireland.
31/10/1971. An IRA bomb exploded at the top of the Post Office Tower, London.
7/10/1971, A further 1,000 British troops were sent to Northern Ireland.
7/9/1971, The Troubles in Northern Ireland claimed their 100th civilian victim when a teenage girl was shot during a gun battle.
11/8/1971, Violence erupted in Belfast after internment was reintroduced.
9/8/1971, Internment without trial began in Northern Ireland.
18/3/1971 More troops were sent to Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 9,700.
26/2/1971. Two policemen were shot dead and four other seriously injured during riots in Belfast.
6/2/1971, British soldier Gunner Curtis became the first British fatality in the Northern Ireland conflict, when he was shot dead by an IRA sniper.
2/8/1970 The British Army in Belfast used rubber bullets for the first time, to quell a disturbance.
31/7/1970, In Northern Ireland, a house-to-house search by 3,000 British troops discovered 107 firearms, 110 kg of explosives, 100 home-made bombs and 21,000 rounds of ammunition. However this search further antagonised the Catholic population.
2/7/1970. The UK Government , fearing a
descent into full scale civil war in Northern Ireland, moved in large numbers
of troops, including 7,000 soldiers into
1/7/1970. A curfew was imposed in Belfast but did not stop the growing violence. Troops there were ordered to shoot to kill after a grenade was use against them.
27/6/1970, Violent disturbances occurred in Londonderry and Belfast.
16/4/1970. Ian Paisley won the Bannside by-election in
10/10/1969, The Hunt Commission on Northern Ireland recommended disarming the police and disbanding the ‘B Specials’.
28/9/1969, Police in Belfast erected a ‘peace wall’ between Protestant and Catholic communities.
19/8/1969, The British Army took over security and policing in Northern Ireland.
14/8/1969, British troops moved into Londonderry to stop rioting between Catholics and Protestants. This was known as ‘The Troubles’, and the police were initially welcomed by Catholics, hoping for protection from extremist Protestants. However the Catholics were to come to see the police themselves as oppressors.
9/8/1969. The Royal Ulster Constabulary used tear gas for the first time in its history. Thus followed nine hours of rioting by the Roman Catholics in Bogside, Londonderry. Eighty police were injured in these riots.
17/5/1969. Dubliner Tom McLean completed the first solo transatlantic crossing by rowing boat, from Newfoundland to Ireland.
22/4/1969. IRA bombs hit the main post office and bus station in Belfast.
18/4/1969, Bernadette Devlin became
27/1/1969. In Northern Ireland, the protestant leader, Ian Paisley was jailed.
2/1/1969, A civil rights march from
5/10/1968, Police in Londonderry broke up a Protestant civil rights march using water cannon and batons.
1/10/1968, The University of Ulster, at Coleraine, opened.
10/9/1966, Ireland said it would introduce free post-primary education from 1967.
20/7/1966. Reverend Ian Paisley was jailed for breaching the peace at a church assembly in June.
6/6/1966, Britain outlawed the Ulster Volunteer Force.
2/6/1966. Eamon de Valera was re-elected president of Eire, now aged 83.
5/3/1966. The IRA destroyed the Nelson Column in Dublin by a bomb.
28/10/1964, Rioting in Catholic areas of Belfast after a Republican flag was removed by the police.
20/3/1964, Irish playwright Brendan Behan died.
10/7/1962. The first motorway in Ireland opened, running from Belfast to Lisburn.
26/2/1962, The IRA announced a ceasefire after a 5-year campaign of violence.
8/12/1961, Seamus Robinson, Irish republican leader, died aged 71.
8/11/1960, Ten Irish soldiers in the UN peacekeeping force in The Congo were killed in an ambush at Niemba. Irish sadness at the event was also coloured by the recognition that this marked Ireland’s emergence from the isolation it had been in since its neutrality in World War Two.
25/6/1959, Eamon de Valera took up office as President of Ireland.
17/6/1959. Eamon De Valera became Prime Minister of Eire.
9/10/1958, Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) died at Castel
Gandolfo, the Papal summer residence, 27 kilometres south-east of
29/3/1957, Irish-born writer Joyce Carey died.
6/3/1957. Eamon De Valera, aged 75, was elected President of Ireland by a 120,000 majority. He was a veteran of the 1916 Easter Rising against the British and strongly supported a united Ireland, including the North.
12/12/1956, Twelve attacks by the IRA in Northern Ireland signalled the start of a new terror campaign.
14/12/1955. Ireland joined the United Nations.
13/8/1955, The IRA raided a training centre in Berkshire.
19/7/1954, The rabbit disease myxomatosis was confirmed in Ireland.
2/4/1953, Jim Allister, Northern Irish politician, was born.
3/7/1952, Ireland established the Bord Failte, to promote tourism.
9/7/1950, Britain and Ireland agreed controls on fishing in Loch Foyle; a rare instance of UK-Irish governmental cooperation.
19/1/1950, The world’s first peat-fired power station opened at Portarlington, County Laois, Ireland.
12/7/1949, Douglas Hyde, President of Ireland, died.
8/2/1949, The Irish Government refused to join NATO whilst Ireland remained divided between South and North.
17/11/1948, In Dublin, a ‘Republic of Ireland’ Bill was introduced to the Parliament, severing all links with Britain; Ireland left the Commonwealth. See 18/4/1949.
6/10/1948, Gerry Adams, Irish Republican politician, was born.
18/2/1948. In Ireland, John Costello became Head of a new Coalition Government, see 4/2/1948. Fianna Fail, which had held power since 1932, lost votes to Clann na Poblachta, a party headed by Sean McBride, former Chief of Staff of the IRA, and offering a brand of radical republicanism similar to that of Fianna Fail in 1932. Fianna Fail remained the largest party, and Clann na Poblachta with 10 seats was now the junior partner in a coalition with Fine Gael and Labour.
4/2/1948. De Valera lost his overall majority at the Irish elections.
13/8/1946. The United Nations refused to admit Ireland because of opposition from the Soviet Union. The War years, known in Ireland as ‘The Emergency’, resulted in agricultural and economic crisis, strikes, unemployment and rising emigration. Ireland now had a small and ageing population, and widespread dissatisfaction with the ruling Fianna Fail Party. Small parties such as Clann na Talmhan, the Farmers Party, proliferated.
16/6/1945, Sean Kelly was elected President of Ireland.
11/3/1944, The Irish Prime Minister, Eamon de Valera, refused to comply with a US request to close the German and Japanese Embassies in Dublin, to prevent possible transmission of military intelligence.
6/9/1942, The IRA shot two policemen in
5/2/1942, The US established a military base at Londonderry.
30/1/1942, The Irish government claimed that its neutrality was being violated by the American troop presence in Northern Ireland. An official statement declared that the United States had recognized a "Quisling government" in Northern Ireland by sending troops there and that the British were making a new attempt to force Ireland into the war on the side of the Allies.
31/12/1941, De Valera declined to join the War despite Ireland’s main ally, the USA, now being involved.
27/5/1941. British plans to extend conscription to Northern Ireland were cancelled after Dublin protested,
13/1/1941. James Joyce, Irish author of Ulysses, died after surgery in Zurich.
2/1/1941, Germany bombed Southern Ireland, despite its neutrality in the War.
23/3/1940. IRA prisoners rioted at Dartmoor Prison.
7/2/1940, Britain hanged two IRA men. They had been convicted of planting the bomb in Coventry on 25/8/1939.
25/8/1939, An IRA bomb exploded without warning in the centre of Coventry, killing 5 and injuring 25.
29/7/1939. Britain began a big round-up of IRA suspects as new anti-terrorist laws came into force.
3/2/1939, The UK police hunted IRA extremists after bombs exploded at London tube stations.
11//7/1938. The last British troops left Spike Island, Ireland, and handed the base over to the Dublin Government, in a friendly ceremony. See 25/4/1938.
25/4/1938, De Valera persuaded Britain to return the naval bases they had retained under the 1921 Treaty, at Berehaven, Cobh, Lough Swilly, Haulbowline and Rathmullen (see 6/12/1921). Neville Chamberlain saw this as an act of reconciliation, believing the bases could be used by Britain again if war broke out (see 11/7/1938). De Valera saw the move as reinforcing Irish neutrality. Winston Churchill was furious, Other matters were settled; the land annuities were consolidated into a single lump sum ;payment, and import duties against each other were reduced. This was important for Ireland, given that 96% of its exports went to Britain. De Valera’s reputation soared.
21/7/1937. Eamon De Valera was re-elected President of Eire.
14/6/1937, The Irish Free State changed its name to Eire, with a directly-elected President.
27/7/1935. Anti-Catholic riots in Belfast.
28/1/1935. In Ireland the import or sale of contraceptives became illegal.
10/3/1934, Belfast Zoo (Bellevue) opened.
22/8/1933, In Ireland, Eamon de Valera banned the Blue Shirts, a quasi-Fascist movement.
15/7/1932, The Dublin Government halted land annuity payments, £5 million a year, to Britain, on moral, economic and legal grounds. Britain, already irked by the dropping of the oath of allegiance to the British Crown by the Dail, retaliated by imposing a 20% duty on Irish agricultural imports. Ireland in turn put import duties on British coal.
30/4/1932, The Irish Dail voted to abolish the oath of allegiance to the British King.
29/3/1932. Eamon de Valera, the hard-line republican leader of the Fianna Fail Party, elected to head the new Irish government.
9/3/1932. Eamon de Valera became President of the Irish Free State.
16/2/1932, Irish elections gave a majority to the Fianna Fail Republicans under Eamon de Valera.
21/10/1929, Irish rural electrification received a boost when the Shannon hydroelectric scheme began operating this day. Until now only about a third of Dublin and a quarter of Cork had electricity; the new scheme, at a cost of £5 million, would greatly increase the electricity supply.
16/7/1929, In Dublin, the Censorship of Publications Act came into force, to control obscenity.
5/2/1929, Éamon de Valera was arrested for entering Northern Ireland.
12/8/1927, Eamon de Valera took his seat in the Irish Dail.
16/5/1927, Eamon de Valera, former President of Sinn Fein, inaugurated the new political party of Fianna Fail (‘Soldier of Destiny’) at the La Scala theatre in Dublin. His main aim was the reunification of Ireland.
6/4/1926, The Northern Ireland politician, MP for Antrim, Ian Paisley was born.
9/2/1926, Dr Garret Fitzgerald, Irish Prime Minister,
was born in
3/12/1925. Stanley Baldwin signed an agreement fixing the
Northern Irish frontier with the
15/11/1925, In Ireland the Legion of Mary was founded by Frank Duff, civil servant and former active member of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, to combat drunkenness, prostitution, crime and disease. Members went to the poorest parts of Dublin to advise women living in poverty and degradation.
10/11/1925, In Dublin, Eoin McNeill resigned from the boundary commission set up under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 to determine the Northern Irish border, see 10/5/1924. A leaked report and map in the Morning Post of 7/11/1925 indicated that, contrary to the expectations of the Dublin Government, the commission had recommended only very minor changes to the border. Northern Ireland would lose parts of south Armagh, south-west Fermanagh and west Tyrone, and gain small parts of Donegal and Monahan. Overall, Northern Ireland would lose just 1.8% of its population and 3.7% of its territory. Fearing defeat in the Dail, Irish Government leaders sought agreement with the London Government to suppress the commission’s report. Dublin had hoped for a major diminution of Northern Ireland, making it economically unviable so the remainder of it would have to join the South. See 3/12/1925.
16/9/1925, Charles Haughey, Irish Fianna Fail politician and Prime Minister, was born.
8/11/1924, The Irish Government offered an amnesty to those involved in the civil conflict between IRA and Government. See 12/1/1922.
1/11/1924, Eamon de Valera was jailed for one month for entering Northern Ireland illegally. He was a devout Roman Catholic and Britain did not want him proselytising in Protestant Northern Ireland. See 16/7/1924.
15/9/1924, The BBC began broadcasting from Belfast.
16/7/1924, Eamon de Valera was released after 11 months in Kilmainham Prison. Hundreds of other activists continued to be held, many without trial. Free State troops continued to carry out raids and arrests, causing much bitterness. See 1/11/1924, 8/11/1924.
5/6/1924, The UK Government appointed a Northern Ireland representative to the Border Commission, see 10/5/1924.
10/5/1924, Under the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty (6/12/1921) a Boundary Commission was to determine the borders of Northern Ireland. The Irish Government believed that such a commission would give them at least 3 of the 6 Northern counties, and an economically unviable North would then join the South. Now the Northern Irish Government refused to appoint a member to the commission. Both the London and Dublin governments could fall over this issue. However on 5/6/1924 the UK Government appointed a representative for Northern Ireland. See 20/11/1925.
10/9/1923. The Irish Free State was admitted to the League of Nations.
9/8/1923, In Ireland, the 1923 Land Law Act, introduced by Agriculture Minister Paul Hogan, reformed landholdings in favour of tenants. This Act completed the work of William Gladstone, British Prime Minister, who in 1870 introduced legislation allowing tenant farmers to borrow two thirds of the price of buying their landholding from the government, to be repaid with interest over 35 years. Hogan’s Act made compulsory the sale of all land still owned by landlords. Rents fixed before 1911 were reduced by 35%, those fixed after 1911 by 30%. All rent arrears pre-1920 were cancelled and rent arrears post 1920 were reduced by 25%. Current sub-tenants were recognised as legitimate owners and further subdivision or subletting of land was made illegal.
27/4/1923, After the death of IRA Chief of Staff Liam Lynch Eamon de Valera called off his armed struggle against the Treaty that has partitioned Ireland. Speaking to his Republican followers, termed ‘irregulars’ or ‘rebels’ by the Irish Free State Government, de Valera said “Further sacrifice of life would now be in vain. Military victory must be allowed for to rest for the moment with those who have destroyed the Republic”. The struggle had taken 4,000 lives and cost £30 million in damage to property. Republicans had regarded the entire State apparatus of the Free State government, courts, police, judges, illegal and therefore legitimate military targets. In turn the Free Government had reacted with a strong crackdown on the IRA.
10/4/1923, Liam Lynch, head of the IRA, died in police custody after being wounded in fighting with Free State troops. See 27/4/1923.
25/8/1922, William T Cosgrave became head of the provisional government of the Irish Free State, replacing Arthur Griffith who died of a brain haemorrhage on 12/8/1922.
22/8/1922, Michael Collins, Irish revolutionary, died.
22/6/1922, Marshall Sir Henry Wilson, former chief of the General Staff and an Irishman, was shot dead by IRA gunmen, acting without IRA authority.
16/6/1922, In the first elections in the Irish Free State, pro-Treaty Sinn Fein won 58 seats, anti-treaty Sinn Fein won 36 seats, and others took 34 seats.
31/5/1922, The Royal Ulster Constabulary was formed.
31/3/1922, In the UK, the Irish Free State Bill received the Royal Assent.
18/2/1922, The notorious Black and Tans were disbanded, following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. They had acquired ill repute for their brutal treatment of suspected IRA members.
15/2/1922. A cycle of reciprocal violence spread fear across Ireland, North and South. In Belfast Loyalists threw a bomb at a group of Catholic children, killing 6, in revenge for the murder of four policemen in Clones, County Monaghan. The IRA had launched a terrorist offensive in January 1922. In Belfast, Catholics bombed trams bound for the shipyards, where many Protestants worked.
12/1/1922, The UK Government declared an amnesty for Irish political prisoners. See 8/11/1924.
10/1/1922, Arthur Griffith was elected President of the newly formed Irish Free State.
7/1/1922, The Irish Dail voted 64 votes 57 to accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
6/12/1921. Under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Britain granted the 26 counties of Southern Ireland dominion status within the Empire, as the Irish Free State. 6 of the 9 counties of Ulster remained part of the United Kingdom. Britain retained certain naval bases within Southern Ireland. See 7/1/1922 and 25/4/1938.
21/11/1921. Troops were sent to quell rioting in Belfast.
21/10/1921. Anglo-Irish peace talks began.
14/8/1921. De Valera rejected Dominion status for Ireland.
11/7/1921. The British Government and Sinn Fein agreed a truce.
22//6/1921. King George V opened the first Northern Ireland Parliament asking for peace and reconciliation.
25/5/1921. Sinn Fein burned down the Dublin Customs House.
2/4/1921, The IRA first obtained Tommy guns, from a gunsmith in Hartford, Connecticut.
16/2/1921, Eight Sinn Fein supporters were shot dead in a gun battle with British soldiers.
22/1/1921. British tanks were sent into
20/1/1921, Six policemen were shot dead by the IRA in Dublin.
23/12/1920. The Bill for the division of Ireland into North and South became law. Northern and Southern Ireland got their own Parliaments.
11/12/1920. Martial law was declared in Ireland. Britain had 40,000 soldiers in Ireland, plus 7,000 of the hated Black and Tans (ex-soldiers serving as police), who were often accused of brutality. They would burn down entire villages in their search for IRA gunmen. Recently, both sides escalated the conflict with IRA hit and run tactics countered by increased British army intervention.
21/11/1920. 21 British officers and officials were killed in their beds by IRA members, setting off a day of killing and bloodshed in Ireland. This was in retaliation for an attack by the Black and Tans, an auxiliary police force, at a Gaelic football match, where 12 died.
21/7/1920, Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists rioted in Belfast.
8/7/1920, British troops set up road blocks in Dublin.
24/6/1920. Riots in Londonderry put down by the British Army.
24/5/1920, Sinn Fein won 124 out of the 128 seats in the new Southern Irish Parliament. In the Northern Irish Parliament, Unionists won 40 seats, Nationalists 6 and Sinn Fein 6.
15/5/1920, Britain sent more troops into Ireland after attacks by Sinn Fein militants.
13/4/1920, 300,000 workers went on strike at the treatment of Sinn Fein hunger strikers; on 14/2/1920 89 hunger strikers were released from Dublin Prison.
31/3/1920, The British House of Commons passed the Irish Home Rule Bill.
26/3/1920. 800 special constables, the Black and Tans, arrived in Ireland to put down the Republican revolt in the south of the country, where public order was rapidly deteriorating.
22/12/1919. David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, announced
plans for the partition of
19/12/1919, The Irish Republican Army (formerly Irish Volunteers) made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Lord French, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
24/11/1919, Proposals to divide Ireland in two, Ulster and the South, were submitted to the UK Cabinet.
22/7/1919, British MPs formally approved the Treaty of Versailles. Only 4 MPs voted against, 3 of them Irish Nationalists objecting to the omission of Home Rule for Ireland.
5/4/1919. Eamon De Valera became Sinn Fein’s president.
21/1/1919. A Sinn Fein congress declared Irish Independence. Two Royal Ulster Constabularies were also murdered this day in Tipperary.
28/12/1918. Lloyd George’s coalition was re-elected to government. One women was elected, Countess Markievicz, for a Dublin constituency. However as Sinn Fein candidate she would not take the oath of allegiance to the King and did not take her seat in the House.
10/10/1918, 587 died when the Irish mailboat Leinster was torpedoed by a German U-boat.
20/6/1918, After protests, the UK Government cancelled Irish conscription. See 18/4/1918.
19/5/1918. Britain jailed 500 Sinn Fein members, including Eamon De Valera.
18/5/1918, To curb growing revolutionary power in Ireland, the British Government declared Sinn Fein and the Irish Volunteers (now IRA) to be illegal organisations.
23/4/1918. In Ireland, a one-day strike against conscription was widely supported, except in Ulster.
18/4/1918, In Britain, the age of military conscription was raised to 50, and extended to cover Ireland. See 20/6/1918. Sinn Fein, the Nationalists and the British labour Party all resisted this.
10/6/1917. Sinn Fein uprising in Dublin.
23/12/1916, The Irishmen interned after the Easter Rising were released (see 1/5/1916).
3/8/1916. Sir Roger Casement, the Irish Nationalist, was hanged in Pentonville Prison, London, for treason, because of his attempts to induce Germany to support the cause of Irish independence. He was a former diplomat who had exposed slavery in the Congo. Casement had been found guilty and sentenced on 29/6/1916. There were intense efforts made for his reprieve, but the prosecution, with the connivance of the British Government, released his ‘black diaries’, with evidence of his homosexuality, making any reprieve impossible.
12/5/1916. James Connolly was the last of the seven rebels who signed the proclamation of an Irish Republic during the Easter Rising (see 29/4/1916) to be executed. Wounded in the Easter Rebellion, he was taken to face the firing squad on a stretcher.
3/5/1916, Padraic Pearse (1879-1916), leader of the 1916 Easter Rebellion against the British in Dublin, was executed at Kilmainham Gaol.
1/5/1916, 400 Irish rebels arrived at Liverpool docks for internment in Britain.
30/4/1916, The Easter Rebellion in Ireland against the British ended with 450 dead and 3,000 wounded
24/4/1916. Roger Casement was arrested as he landed in Ireland from a German submarine. The Irish wanted Germany to supply arms for a rebellion against the British and even for a German invasion of Ireland; however German support was lukewarm. The Easter Rebellion began in Dublin against British rule, on Easter Monday. The rebellion ended on 30/4/1916. It was followed by British reprisals, led by the notorious Black and Tans. The rebellion had begun almost unnoticed by the British. The arrest of Roger Casement lulled the British into a false sense of security. On Easter Monday few paid attention to the columns of soldiers marching into central Dublin, where they seized the General Post Office for their headquarters. From the steps of this building General Pearce read a proclamation declaring the establishment of the Republic of Ireland. Many British Army officers were on leave to attend a horse race meeting and the city only contained 1,200 British troops. By the time the British authorities realised what was happening the rebels had taken over the entire city centre and established a cordon of fortified posts in the suburbs. However the might of the British Army soon arrived, with heavy artillery, and bombarded the city centre; the Post Office caught fire and was destroyed. The rebels had no choice but to surrender unconditionally.
15/4/1916, Between November 1914 and this day the British had prosecuted some 500 Irish people under DORA (Defence Of The Realm Act), since World War One broke out. This caused resentment in Ireland, leading to the Easter Rising.
1/12/1914, The British Government suppressed anti-enlistment newspapers in Dublin.
18/9/1914, In Britain, the Irish Home Rule Bill received Royal Assent. However it was suspended the same day due to the War.
30/7/1914. The British Government shelved plans for Irish Home Rule, as the threat of European war loomed.
8/7/1914, The UK Government accepted the Lords’ amendment to the Home Rule Bill (for Ireland) excluding
26/6/1914, Anti-British Irish tried to smuggle in an arms
cache bought in
25/5/1914, The Home Rule Bill was passed by the Commons, without separate provision for Ulster.
25/4/1914, The Ulster Volunteer Force took over the town of Larne for the night, cutting communications and rendering the town authorities impotent as they unloaded 25,000 rifles and 3 million rounds of ammunition from a collier ship, the Clydesdale. She also unloaded Loyalist guns at Bangor and other Ulster ports. The munitions, bought in Hamburg, had been loaded aboard the Fanny, and described as zinc plates, before being transferred to the Clydesdale at sea. The munitions unloaded at Larne were then driven away into the night in 700 cars and lorries.
4/4/1914, A rally in Hyde Park, London, protested against the possible use of the British army against Loyalists in Ulster.
20/3/1914, The Curragh Mutiny in Ireland. British Army Officers refused to act against Protestant paramilitaries.
25/2/1914, The Ulster Volunteer Force now had 100,000 members.
7/2/1914, A report on working-class conditions in Dublin revealed that 22% of the population lived in one-room tenement buildings in extreme squalor. Many of these tenements were served by just one courtyard tap, the basement rooms enjoyed very little light or ventilation, and human excreta littered the yards and passages. 118,000 people lived in these conditions, which were said to be comparable with living conditions in Calcutta. The tuberculosis death rate was the highest of any city in the British Isles.
7/1/1914, Patrick Weston Joyce, Irish historian, author of The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, born 1827, died this day.
24/9/1913, Ulster Unionists blocked Irish Home Rule. Protestants in Ulster vowed to fight rather than accept rule by Catholic Dublin. The Ulster Volunteer Force held a military parade in Belfast.
23/9/1913, The Ulster Unionist Council, with Sir Edward Carson as its Chairman, drew up plans for resisting government from Dublin, and to set up an alterative Belfast government. The Council voted to raise a £1 million indemnity fund to insure the Ulster Volunteer Force against loss or injury when acting on behalf of the provisional Ulster government. Meanwhile Irish Nationalists were alarmed at the prospect of Ulster being excluded from Home Rule legislation.
12/7/1913, At the Craigavon Meeting, 150,000 Ulstermen pledged to resist Home Rule by force.
7/7/1913, The Irish Home Rule Bill was passed again by the Commons.
15/7/1913. The House of Lords again rejected an Irish Home Rule Bill.
31/1/1913. The House of Lords rejected a Bill for Irish Home Rule, by 326 votes to 69. the Ulster Volunteer Force was formed to resist Home Rule.
16/1/1913, The Home Rule Bill passed its second Commons reading.
7/1/1913, The UK Government introduced proportional representation into the Home Rule Bill to protect the interests of Protestants.
28/9/1912, A week of rallies and speeches in
12/7/1912, 12,000 Ulstermen demonstrated against home rule for Ireland.
9/5/1912, In Britain the Liberal Government’s plans to give Ireland Home Rule came closer this day when the House of Commons gave the Home Rule Bill a second reading, voting for it by 360 votes to 266. Tory MPs were firmly opposed and the Liberals relied on Irish Nationalist and Labour MPs to get the Bill passed. The Parliament Act, passed in 1911, ensured Conservative opposition in the House of Lords would not block the Bill. Ireland might have Home Rule by 1914. However the Home Rule issue had sharpened divisions between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. Belfast, with its flourishing shipbuilding industry, was now the largest city in Ireland, and both merchants and workers there were opposed to rule from Dublin. Sir Edward Carson, a Dublin-born Protestant, planned to recruit some 80,000 armed volunteers to fight for Ulster to remain in the UK, see 28/9/1912.
9/4/1912. Major demonstration by 200,000 people against Irish Home
Rule Bill in
31/3/1912. Major demonstration in Dublin for Irish Home Rule; 100,000 present.
11/4/1912. Irish Home Rule Bill introduced to the UK Parliament.
30/1/1912, The UK House of Lords rejected the Irish Home Rule Bill.
3/1/1912, Ulster Unionists said they would ignore Irish Home Rule.
9/5/1911, The British Parliament agreed to Home Rule for Ireland.
10/12/1910, In the UK, the Liberal agenda included Irish Home Rule and abolition of the House of Lords.
31/12/1909, Henry Ferguson made the first aeroplane flight from Irish soil, at Hillsborough near Belfast.
20/12/1909, The first cinema opened in Ireland, the Volta in Dublin.
10/12/1909, Herbert Asquith, British Prime Minister, promised self-rule for Ireland in a speech at the Royal Albert Hall.
31/10/1909, (1) The National University of Ireland,
13/8/1907, Two civilians were killed by British troops in Belfast. The docks strike in Belfast had been called by James Larkin the dockworkers union leader in May 1907, in response to pay rates as low as 10 shillings a week, and he had urged mill workers to join the strike. A local magistrate, Major Martin Thackeray, attempted to read the Riot act to a crowd of 500 strikers who were throwing stones at police, but he had to admit he was inaudible. Four soldiers were injured by stones. Unrest grew and on 11/8/1907 a police van was ambushed on Grosvenor Road. A crowd of 2,000 gathered and attacked a barracks. The Government sent in 2,600 soldiers as well as 80 cavalry and 500 police. Some soldiers smashed doors and windows of homes. Whilst stationed to protect workers in the Catholic Falls Road area, soldiers shot dead a woman looking for her child and a man returning from his work.
30/7/1907, British troops sent in to quell rioting in Belfast.
12/2/1907, In the
1/8/1906, The new Belfast City Hall was opened.
28/11/1905. Sinn Fein was founded in Dublin by Arthur Griffith.
10/7/1905, A UK Parliamentary reshuffle meant 22 fewer Irish MPs.
27/12/1904, The Abbey Theatre in Dublin opened, on the site of the former Mechanics Institute in Abbey Sttreet; the first State subsidised theatre in the world. The Irish State saw the theatre as a focus for nationalist literature and drama.
2/4/1904, Arthur Griffith proposed that Ireland should separate from England, but retain the same King.
3/2/1904, The Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond called for Home Rule.
14/8/1903, The UK Parliament approved a scheme to help Irish tenant famers buy their own land. Public funds would be used to pay the difference between what tenants could afford and what landlords will accept. The scheme was to remove some causes of Irish Nationalist agitation, at a time when agriculture was prospering, with wages rising and exports of linen weaving, spinning, brewing and distilling were growing.
23/10/1902, Irish MPs protested violently in the Houses of Parliament, London.
14/9/1902. In Dublin, 20,000 protested against strict law and order measures imposed by the British Government under a State of Emergency.
1/9/1902. A State of Emergency was declared in Dublin.
16/4/1902, Over 20,000 people protested in Dublin against British rule.
26/2/1902, In the North Kilkenny by-election, brought about by the resignation of the sitting MP Patrick McDermott of the Irish Parliamentary Party, Joseph Devlin stood unopposed, retaining the seat for the IPP.
14/2/1902, Lord Rosebery declared he would never give Ireland its independence.
6/10/1901, Father James Cullen held the first Annual General meeting of the Pioneer Association in Dublin, aimed at promoting temperance. He believed that England was using alcoholism to keep Ireland subdued.
13/5/1901, Lord Salisbury spoke against the idea of Irish Home Rule.
5/3/1901, In London, police ejected Irish Nationalists from the House of Commons.
2/9/1900, Demonstrations in
5/1/1900. John Redmond, Irish nationalist, called for an uprising against the British.
15/3/1895, Bridget Clary, aged 27, was burnt to death for witchcraft at Battyradhen, County Tipperary.
3/3/1894, Gladstone resigned after splitting his party over the issue of Irish Home Rule. He was succeeded by Lord Rosebery as Prime Minister.
1/9/1893, The Second Irish Home Rule Bill passed in the Commons, but was rejected on 8/9/1893 by the Lords.
13/2/1893, A Home Rule Bill (for Ireland) was introduced to the UK Commons.
6/10/1891, Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish politician and campaigner for Home Rule, died in Brighton, Sussex.
20/6/1891, John A Costello, Prime Minister of Ireland, was born.
1887, Britain set up the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police, specifically to deal with terrorism by Irish Nationalists.
1886, In general elections, Ireland now had 85 Home Rule MPs.
26/7/1886. William Gladstone was replaced by Lord Salisbury following defeat of the Irish Home Rule Bill.
2/1/1885, A further terrorist attack on the London Underground, by Irish Republicans. James Canningham set a bomb off in the tunnel between Kings Cross and Gower Street (now Euston) stations; only slight damage to a train was caused. Later that month, he was seen detonating a bomb which seriously injured four people at the Tower of London, and was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Bomb attacks by these so called ‘dyamitards’ tailed off after others were caught or blew themselves up.
1/11/1884. Gaelic Football was standardised, with the formation of the Gaelic Athletics Association in Thurles, Ireland.
30/10/1883, The first terrorist attack on the London Underground. Two bombs were set off by Fenian fighters for Irish independence, one at Praed Street Station (now Paddington) on a Metropolitan Line train going towards Edgware Road, and one on a District Line train between Westminster and Charing Cross (now Embankment). Nobody was killed and there were only slight injuries from flying glass. The perpetrators were never found. In February 1884 more serious bomb attacks were attempted, with devices planted at Victoria, Charing Cross,, Ludgate Hill and Paddington. Fortunately only the Victoria bomb exploded and as the station was nearly empty at the time nobody was killed. Again the bombers were never discovered. Other terrorist plans of the time included an attempt to blow up Scotland Yard., by Clan na Gael. Some damage was done, with records on Irish Republicans destroyed, but had all the dymanite detonated the building would have been totally destroyed.
17/10/1882, Charles Parnell inaugurated the National League, an Irish Nationalist Movement. Within three years the organosation had over 1,000 branches, and Parnell had secured the backing of the Roman Catholic Church. After internal dissentions in 1890 the organisation was eventually succeeded by the Irish National Federation in 1900.
14/10/1882, Eamon de Valera, Irish Prime Minister and President of Ireland, was born in Manhattan, New York City.
6/5/1882, Lord Frederick Cavendish, Irish Chief Secretary and brother-in-law of British Prime Minister Gladstone, also T H Burke, his Under-Secretary, were attacked and stabbed to death by members of ‘The Invincibles’, a Nationalist Irish group. The entire faction was later arrested and five of them hanged. British public opinion was outraged and harsh coercive legislation followed.
2/2/1882, Birth of the Irish novelist James Joyce, in Dublin; he wrote Ulysses.
18/11/1880, The Irish Football Association was formed.
24/9/1880, From this date the land agent of Lord Erne, Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832 – 1897), in County Mayo, was ‘boycotted’. Boycott had used troops to harvest crops when Irish labourers refused to do so. Parnell was now leader of the 61 Home Rule League members.
1879, Isaac Butt died. The Land League was founed by Michael Davitt and Parnell, and campaigned for fair rents for tenants, for secure tenure for tenants, and the right for the tenant to sell on their tenure.
1874, In Irish general elections, the Home Rule League, led by Isaac Butt, won 59 seats and began a policy of ‘obstruction’.
1873, The Home Rule League was founded in Dublin.
1/8/1870. Britain passed the Irish Land Act, providing compensation for Irish tenant farmers evicted from their land.
13/12/1867. Twelve people died when Irish Fenian bombers blew up the outer wall of the Clerkenwell Prison in London in an attempt to rescue a jailed colleague. In fact the bomb not only brought down the outer wall of the prison but wrecked a row of houses opposite, killing 12 and injuring 120. They failed to release the prisoner. The Fenians also attempted to set off a bomb in Manchester. The Fenians, who originated in the USA, were named after Finn McCool, leader of a legendary band of 3rd century Fianna warriors who defended Ireland against the evil Fomor giants.
15/9/1865. The British arrested Fenian leaders in Ireland who were preparing an uprising.
1/9/1864, Sir Roger Casement, British civil servant and Irish nationalist, was born in Kingstown, near Dublin.
26/7/1856. George Bernard Shaw, playwright, was born in Dublin. A failed novelist, he was 36 when his first play, Widower’s Houses, was performed.
16/10/1854, Oscar Wilde, Irish author and playwright, was born in Dublin, the son of a surgeon.
1851, As a result of successive potato crop faliures, and the emigration this precipitated, the population of Ireland fell to 6,552,386, from 8,178,124 in 1841.
8/11/1847. Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, was born in Dublin.
15/5/1847, Daniel O’Connell (born 6/8/1775, County Kerry) died in Genoa on his way to Rome. He fought against the 1801 Act of Union beteeen Ireland and Great Britain. Irish Catholics could not sit in the United Kingdom Parliament, and also had to pay taxes towards the Protestant Church of England. Catholic anger caused the UK Governmemt to pass a Bill emancipating Catholics in 1829. However O’Connell’s ultimate goal, repeal of ther Act of Union and Home Rule for Ireland, was not achieved in his lifetime,
27/6/1846, Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish politician and leader of the Home Rule movement, was born in Avondale, County Wicklow.
25/6/1846. Britain repealed the Corn Laws after a 5 month debate in Parliament. Import duties on wheat, oats, and barley were to be scrapped in 3 years, and meanwhile set at a nominal rate only, of one shilling a quarter. This was opposed by Tory protectionists, but the Irish potato famine in 1845 added urgency to the repeal. Bread would now be cheaper but the farming of the landed estates less profitable. The Irish potato blight spread from America and first appeared in the UK in the Isle of Wight. Hot dry weather in July gave way to chilly rain and fog, and the potatoes soon rotted. 4 million people in Ireland and 2 million in Britain relied almost totally on potatoes for food. Public works schemes were devised for some 750,000 workers which meant 3 million people relied on these for income. Many Irish migrated to the USA, even though the voyage was almost as deadly as the famine; one in six died on the voyage across the Atlantic. The Irish blamed English oppression for the famine even though England had provided almost £8million in relief.
1841, Irish agriculture had become fragmented, with 663,153 out of 690,114 landholdings comprising less than 15 acres. This held back productivity, Rents were high and tenant farners subsisted off bread whilst sellng grain and cattle to pay rents. Whisky was also cheap, contributing to drunkenness. The population of Ireland was 10,175,000, up from 7,700,000 in 1831.
1836, Ireland hit by a potato famine.
20/9/1803, Robert Emmet, Irish patriot, was hanged for his part as a leader in the uprising.
25/8/1803, The Irish rebel leader Robert Emmet was captured by the British.
22/7/1803. Irish patriots under Robert Emmet rebelled against the Union of Ireland with Britain, established 1/1/1801.
2/2/1801, The Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland sat for the first time.
1/1/1801, The Act of Union between Britain and Ireland came into force. Irish MPs could sit at Westminster. However some smaller Irish boroughs were disenfranchised so as to limit the number of Irish MPs to 100,
1/1/1800, The Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland became operative. The new State was to be called the United Kingdom. The Church was to be one Protestant Episcopal church.
17/11/1798, Irish nationalist leader Wolfe Tone committed suicide whilst in jail awaiting execution.
6/8/1798. Unaware that the Irish rebels have been defeated, a French force set sail to help them against the British. On 15/9/1798 the French in Ireland surrendered to General Cornwallis at Ballymuck.
21/6/1798, Over 15,000 British troops attacked Irish rebels at the Battle of Vinegar Hill, near Enniscorthy, County Wexford.
7/6/1798, The Battle of Antrim. Irish rebels, during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, attacked the British in the town of Antrim, led by Henry Joy McCracken. The British succeeded in beating the attackers off, but the British County-Governor, Lord O’Neill, was fatally injured.
23/5/1798. Believing that a French invasion of Britain was imminent, Irish nationalists rebelled against British rule. The rebels enjoyed initial success in Wexford but were suppressed by British forces.
31/12/1795, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 lease on a brewery at St James Gate, Dublin, for an annual rent of £45.
22/8/1792, French forces landed in Ireland.
14/10/1791, In Belfast, the Society of United Irishmen was set up to demand rights for Catholics.
6/8/1775, Daniel O’Connell, who fought against the 1801 Act of Union between Ireland and Great Britain, was born in County Kerry. See 15/5/1847.
30/10/1751, The dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan was born in Dublin. He was the son of a teacher of elocution.
12/1/1729, The statesman Edmund Burke was born in Dublin.
12/1/1726, Edmund Burke, British politician and orator, was born in Dublin.
1722, William Wood of England granted a patent to coin money for Ireland.
1720, An Act of King George I of Britain formally asserted Britain’s right to legislate for Ireland.
17/9/1701, The deposed King of England, James II, died of a stroke at 5 St Germain, France. His son, James Edward, the ‘Old Pretender’, was proclaimed King of Great Britain and Ireland by King Louis XIV.
27/10/1697, Lightning struck Athlone Castle, Ireland, igniting 260 barrels of gunpowder along with other munitions. The resultant fire destroyed the town of Athlone, although only 8 people were killed.
3/10/1691, The surrender of Limerick. Irish soldiers were allowed to depart for France; 11,000 did so.
12/7/1691, King William III won a decisive victory over the Jacobites at Aughrim, Ireland. The Jacobite army under Charles Chalmont, Marquis de St Ruth, had initial success in the battle until Chalmont was killed, his forces lost morale and fled. 7,000 Jacobite soldiers were killed. By the end of 1691 all Jacobite resistance to William in Ireland had ceased.
9/8/1690, The siege of Limerick began.
11/7/1690. William of Orange defeated the Jacobites under the deposed Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne. The River Boyne was the only defensive barrier between Belfast and Dublin, and James II’s forces were well dug in on rising ground there. James II’s forces lost 1,600 men; William’s, only a third of that number. William won, and James fled to Waterford and then on to France.
1/8/1689. The Irish-French army of James II failed to take the besieged city of Londonderry, whose inhabitants reaffirmed their loyalty to William and Mary.
3/4/1689. After landing in Ireland with money and troops supplied by Louis XIV, James II was acknowledged as King of England by an Irish parliament in Dublin. England declared war on France on 17/5/1689.
23/8/1680, Captain Blood, the famous Irish adventurer, died. He had attempted to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London on 9/5/1671.
30/11/1667. Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, was born in Dublin.
12/9/1649, The sack of Drogheda by soldiers under Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell’s 16,000 troops put to death 2,000 Irish rebels to deter further insurrection. Another massacre was perpetrated at Wexford soon after. The Irish Rebellion had begun in 1641.
20/6/1631, Pirates attacked the Irish village of Baltimore, abducting 100 for slavery. These would be sold in the slave markets of Algiers, the men for galley work, the women for harems. The village was abandoned afterwards.
1610, The Jacobean Plantation began in Ireland. This was an initiative to colonise Ulster by English and Scottish settlers, thereby subduing the rebellious indigenous Irish.
1556, Queen Mary I of England began the Protestant Plantations in Ireland (English-Protestant colonies).
10/8/1316, Second Battle of Athenry ended with over 5,000 dead, and Norman rule retained in Ireland.
17/10/1171, King Henry landed near Waterford, Ireland. Ireland submitted peacefully to English rule.
1/9/1159. Death of Pope Adrian IV, elected Pope on 4/12/1154. He was formerly Nicholas Breakspear, and was the only English Pope. In 1155 he authorised King Henry II of England to invade Ireland and hold it as a hereditary fief of the Papacy.
23/4/1014, Battle of Clontarf: Gaelic Irish forces under Brian Boru defeated several allied Viking forces in Ireland, ending their power there but Brian was killed in the battle.
840, Dublin and Limerick founded by Danish settlers..
802, Ireland under Viking hegemony.
9/6/597, Columba, Irish missionary, died in Iona (Inner Hebrides) and was buried by his monks in the abbey he created. He worked successfully towards the conversion of northern Britain.
17/3/ 461. Death of Saint Patrick, who pioneered the spread of Christianity in Ireland. He was born near Carlisle and captured by Irish raiders and sold as a slave at the age of 14. After 6 years he escaped and sailed to Gaul, a journey of 3 days in a small boat. Trained as a priest in Gaul and Britain, he had a vision in ca. 430 prompting him to return to Ireland and convert the inhabitants. He founded the Episcopal see of Armagh in ca. 450.
432, St Patrick began his Christian missionary work in Ireland.
See also History of Christianity