Chronography of Ireland

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Click here for images of Dublin O�Connell Street 1961, and Dublin O�Connell Street 2000,


Click here for map of proposed St Georges Channel rail tunnels Ireland- Scotland Source p.108, Mapping The Railways, Holland J & Spaven D (2014), Harper Collins, Glasgow

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Box Index,

14.0, Northern Irish Peace Process, following second IRA ceasefire, 1997-99

13.0, IRA broke 1st ceasefire, and were excluded from Stormont Talks, 1996-97

12.0, IRA peace process began in Northern Ireland, 1991-96

11,0, Republic of Ireland, trend towards liberalisation, 1990-97

10.0, IRA bombing campaign across the UK, and Germany, 1989-94

9.0, Anglo-Irish Agreement 1985

8.0, IRA attacks 1980-88

7.0, IRA Hunger Strikers, 1980, 1981

6.0, Earl Mountbatten assassination, 1979

5.0, IRA bombings 1974-79

4.0, Northern Ireland Assemby set up under Anglo-Irish Agreement; disrupted by Loyalists 1974

3.0, Bloody Sunday 1972 and aftermath

2.0, Intensification of British Government efforts to quell disturbances in Northern Ireland, 1968-71

1.0, Ireland becomes a Republic, leaves the Commonwealth 1948-49

0.0, Ireland in World War Two, 1939-44

For World War Two in Europe click here

-1.0, Eamon de Valera re-elected Irish President 1937

-2.0, Eamon de Valera elected President of Ireland, 1932-37

-3.0, Eamon de Valera, political activities 1924-32

-4.0, Irish civil conflict 1923

-5.0, Creation of the new State of Ireland, 1922


8/2/2020, In elections, Sinn Fein did well. The Party, once linked to the IRA, had a Left-wing agenda with promises to spend more on health and housing, and strongly supported reunification of Northern and Southern Ireland.

25/5/2018, Ireland voted to legalise abortion by a large majority of 66.4%. This left Northern Ireland as rather an anomaly, with its strict anti-abortion laws, whilst abortion was now legal in both Ireland and Great Britain. However the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, who support Mrs May, British PM, needs to remain in power, was like all other NI Parties, anti-abortion.

21/3/2017, Martin McGuinness, former IRA leader and latterly politician in the peace process, died aged 66.

23/5/2015, Ireland voted by a margin of 2:1 to legalise gay marriage. The result, 1,201,607 YES votes against 734,300 NO, was remarkable in a strongly Catholic country. The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, said the Church may have become disconnected with young people, and ruled out gay marriages in Catholic churches.

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.

2012, The New IRA was formed, from dissident Republican groups.

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.

5/8/2007, Ian Paisley, Democratic Union Party, was sworn as First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, was his Deputy.

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 SinnFeinn 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.

2002, Ireland adopted the Euro.

14/10/2002, Following allegations of an IRA spy ring in the Northern Ireland Government Offices, the U Government suspended the Assembly, for the 4th time since Devolution was first attempted in 1999,

21/1/2002. Two former IRA leaders, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, enter the Houses of Parliament as Sinn Fein MPs.

23/10/2001, The IRA announced it had begun the process of decommissioning its weapons.

28/7/2000, Most of the prisoners in The Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, were released early as part of the Good Friday Agreement. The prison closed in 9/2000.

29/5/2000, Devolved Government was restored in Northern Ireland after the IRA undertook to put their arms �completely and verifiably beyond use�.

11/2/2000, Because of lack of progress in negotiations to decommission IRA weapons, the Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended and dir4ect rule from Westminster imposed on the province.

17/11/1999, The IRA promised to decommission its weapons.

10/5/1998, Members of Sinn Fein, political wing of the IRA, voted to accept the Good Friday peace agreement.

IRA disarmament process began


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.

Northern Irish Devolution began


14.0, Northern Irish Peace Process, following second IRA ceasefire. 1997-99

29/11/1999, The Northern Ireland power-sharing executive was set up.

9/9/1999, The Patten Report on policing in Northern Ireland was published. It proposed measures to make the police force less Protestant-dominated.

26/11/1998, Tony Blair became the first UK Prime Minister to address the Irish Parliament.

8/9/1998, The splinter group Real IRA announced a ceasefire, declaring a halt to its violence. However they continued to meet and train.

15/8/1998, The Real IRA detonated a car bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone, killing 29 and injuring over 200.

15/7/1998, Orangemen were forcibly removed from their positions in Northern Ireland, following a week long standoff which ensued when they had tried to march down the predominantly Catholic Garvahy Road, Portadown, on the Orange day Parades of 6/7/1998, This event had triggered a week of violence across Northern Ireland.

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.

10/4/1998. 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

23/3/1998, Sinn Fein was readmitted to Northern Ireland peace talks.

14/2/1998, In Northern Ireland, police accused the IRA of two murders. The IRA�s political wing, Sinn Fein, was suspended from peace talks.

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 SinnFein 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.


13.0, IRA broke 1st ceasefire, and were excluded from Stormont Talks, 1996-97

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. However nobody was killed.

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�.


12.0, IRA peace process began in Northern Ireland, 1991-96

9/7/1996, Rioting in Northern Ireland after the RUV blocked the route of a planned Orange March through a Nationalist area of Portadown. Finally Sir Hugh Annesley, Chief Constable of the RUC, decided to permit the March to proceed under RUC supervision. This decision provoked further disturbances.

27/6/1996, In Northern Ireland, journalist Veronica Guerin was murdered during her investigation into drug-dealing.

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.

30/11/1995, US President Bill Clinton visited Northern Ireland.

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.

9/7/1995, In Portadown, Northern Ireland, the first of what would become an annual series of stand-offs between Protestant Orange marchers and local residents began when RUC officers prevented the marchers from taking their traditional route along the Garvaghy Road. The marchers refused to disperse or take an alternative route,

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.

16/3/1995, US President Bill Clinton met with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams at the White House.

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.

11/1/1994, The Irish Government ended a 15-year old broadcasting ban on the IRA and its political arm, Sinn Fein.

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.

3/7/1991, Talks at Stormont on the future of Northern Ireland collapsed.


11,0, Republic of Ireland, trend towards liberalisation, 1990-97

26/6/1997, In Ireland (see 6/6/1997), Bertie Ahern of Fianna Fail formed a coalition with the Progressive Democrats, replacing John Bruton as Taoiseach (Prime Minister).

6/6/1997, In general elections in the Republic of Ireland, no Party won a majority, see 26/6/1997.

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.

15/12/1994, In Ireland, Fine Gael formed a coalition Government with the Labour Party. John Bruton became Taoiseach (Prime Minister).

17/11/1994, Ireland�s coalition Government fell apart when Labour broke with Fianna Fail over the issue of extradition of a paedophile priest. Albert Reynolds resigned as Taoiseach.

29/9/1992, Pope John Paul II visited Ireland for a 3-day visit. 1.2 million people, a third of the population, attended his Mass in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

26/2/1992, The Supreme Court of Ireland ruled that a 14-year-old rape victim could visit the UK to get an abortion.

30/1/1992, In Ireland, Charles Haughey, Prime Minister, resigned over allegations of phone tapping. On 6/2/1992 Charles Reynolds became Prime Minister.

7/11/1990, Mary Robinson became the first woman to be elected President of the Republic of Ireland.


10.0, IRA bombing campaign across the UK, and Germany, 1989-94

9/3/1994, The IRA launched a mortar attack at London Heathrow Airport.

19/12/1993. Several people were inured in an IRA bomb blast in Londonderry.

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 poundof 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.

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.

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.

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.

2/7/1989, An IRA car bomb exploded in Hannover, Germany; the first of a series of IRA attacks on British troops in West Germany.


26/12/1989, Nobel Prize winning Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett died in Paris, aged 83.

12/7/1989, In Ireland, a Fianna Fail � Progressive Democrat coalition headedby Charles Haughey came to power.

29/6/1989, Charles Haughey became acting Taoiseach (Prime Minister) as coalition negotiations continued.

22/6/1989, Ireland�s first universities established since independence in 1922 were set up: Dublin City University and University of Limerick.

15/6/1989, A General Election in Ireland produced no overall winner. Fianna Fail, the largest Party, began coalition negotiations with other Parties.

9/12/1988, The Michael Hughes Bridge, Sligo, Ireland, officially opened.

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.

20/8/1988, 8 British soldiers were killed in a landmine attack on a bus near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

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.

1/11/1987, French police boarded the trawler Eksund and discovered arms intended for the Provisional IRA.

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.

17/2/1987, In Ireland, elections returned Fianna Fail as the largest Party.

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.


9.0, Anglo-Irish Agreement 1985

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.

17/12/1985, In Northern Ireland, all 15 Unionist MPs resigned their seats in protest at Mrs Thatcher and Garret Fitzgerald signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement on 15/11/1985.

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 SinnFein.

20/2/1985, The Irish Dail passed a Bill to allow shops to sell contraceptives.

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.

8.0, IRA attacks 1980-88

15/8/1988, IRA bomb in Omagh killed 29.

8/11/1987. An IRA bomb exploded at a Remembrance Day service at Eniskillen, N Ireland, killing 11 people.

25/4/1987, In Britain, an IRA car bomb killed Lord Justice Maurice Gibson and Lady Gibson.

28/2/1985, 9 RUC men were killed by an IRA attack on Newry police station.

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.

25/12/1983, An IRA bomb exploded in London�s Oxford Street.

17/12/1983. 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.

24/5/1983, A large IRA bomb damaged the Andersonstown police station in Belfast.

6/12/1982, An IRA bomb in the Droppin Well pub in BallyKelly killed 19 people and injured 66.

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.

8/6/1980, The IRA set off several bombs in Ulster.


12/11/1983, Gerry Adams was elected leader of SinnFein.

25/9/1983, 38 IRA prisoners escaped from the Maze prison; a prison guard was stabbed to death during the escape.

14/8/1983, French police intercepted a large consignment of arms intended for the IRA.

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.

14/12/1982, In Ireland, Dr Garrett Fitzgerald was elected Prime Minister as head of a Labour-Fine Gael coalition.

8/12/1982, The UK Government banned Danny Morrison and Gerry Adams from entering the UK mainland.

5/12/1982, The Greater London Council invited Danny Morrison and Gerry Adams to London, causing outrage.

24/11/1982, In Ireland, the second General Election of 1982 again gave no clear majority; the incumbents Fianna Fail held the most seats. A coalition was formed with Fine Gael, 14/12/1982.

11/11/1982, Sinn Fein and the SDLP boycotted the opening of the new Northern Ireland Assembly.

20/10/1982, Sinn Fein won five seats in elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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.

13/5/1982, The EEC banned the rubber bullets being used by police in Northern Ireland.

9/3/1982, Charles Haughey was elected Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister with the support of independent MPs.

20/2/1982. Charles Haughey won the Irish elections, defeating Garrett Fitzgerald�s Fine Gael Party,but without an absolute majority

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.

8/8/1981, Rioting in Northern Ireland following the death of the 9th hunger striker and ten years of internment.

30/6/1981, Garret Fitzgerald became Prime Minister of Ireland, leading a Fine Gael � Labour coalition.

11/6/1981, Fianna Fail lost the general election in Ireland.


7.0, IRA Hunger Strikers, 1980, 1981

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.

20/8/1981, Michael Devine became the last hunger striker in The Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, to die.

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.

18/12/1980, A promise of concessions by the UK Government caused the cessation of the Sinn Fein hunger strike (see 27/10/1980)

27/10/1980. Seven Sinn Fein guerrillas started a hunger strike.


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.

7/12/1979. Charles Haughey of Fianna Fail became the new Irish Prime Minister.This followed the resignation of Jack Lynch.


6.0, Earl Mountbatten assassination, 1979

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.


5.0, IRA bombings 1974-79

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.

17/2/1978, An IRA incendiary bomb attack on the La Mon Hotel, Belfast, killed 16 people.

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.

25/1/1976, 12 IRA bombs exploded in London�s East End.

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.

9/10/1975, An IRA bomb exploded at Green Park tube station, London, killing 1 and injuring 20.

27/1/1975, Five IRA bombs exploded in London.

12/2/1974, A 30lb IRA bomb exploded at the National College of Defence at Latimer, Buckinghamshire, injuring 10 people.


11/1/1979, State of Emergency began in Northern Ireland due to the tanker drivers� strike, until 14/1/1979.

6/9/1978, Gerry Adams was released from jail after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove IRA membership.

3/8/1978, De Lorean Motor Company announced its intention to build a sports car factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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.

16/6/1977, In Ireland, Fianna Fail defeated the Fine Gael-Labour coalition and retunred to power with Charles Haughey as Taoiseach (Prime Minister).

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.

28/8/1976, Peace marches held across Northern Ireland; 25,000 marched in Belfast.

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.

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.

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.

22/10/1975, In Britain the Guildford Four were sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of planting bombs in Guildford and Woolwich. They were released 19/10/1989.

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.

16/1/1975, The IRA ended its 25-day truce.

30/11/1974, An IRA bomb was thrown into a pub in Belgravia, injuring 4 people.

29/11/1974. The IRA was outlawed in Britain.

28/11/1974, A truce in Londonderry between the IRA and the UDA. Both agreed to cease sectarian killings.

27/11/1974, Two IRA bombs exploded at the Army Museum in Chelsea, London, injuring 4 policemen.

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.

14/11/1974, An IRA bomber blew himself up whilst planting a bomb at Coventry telephone exchange. Another IRA bomb went off at the RAF Club in Northampton, but injured nobody.

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.

15/10/1974, Riots at The Maze prison, Northern Ireland.

5/10/1974. 5 died and 65 were injured when the IRA bombed two pubs in Guildford.

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.

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.


4.0, Northern Ireland Assemby set up under Anglo-Irish Agreement; disrupted by Loyalists 1974

29/5/1974, Northern Irish intransigence caused the Northern Ireland Assembly to collapse, see 28/6/1973.

22/1/1974, In Northern Ireland, hard-line Loyalists opposed to any form of power-sharing disrupted the first meeting of the new Assembly, and all Unionist delegates withdrew the next day.

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.

17/9.1973, Edward Heath met Irish Prime Minister Cosgrave at a military airfield near Dublin; the first official visit to Ireland by a British Prime Minister.

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.

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.

26/6/1973, The newly formed �Ulster Freedom Fighters� murdered Senator Paddy Wilson of the SDLP in Belfast,

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.

30/5/1973, In Irish presidential election: voters elected Erskine H Childers as successor to President �amon de Valera, defeating Tom O'Higgins.

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.

1972, The �Diplock Courts� were established in Northern Ireland to try terrorist-related offences. Named after Lord Diplock (1907-85) they consisted of a single judge and no jury, because potential jurors were liable to intimidation.

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.

21/9/1972, William Whitelaw ended internment without trial in Northern Ireland.

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.

10/6/1972, Fighting between troops, Catholics and Protestants in Belfast left 6 dead.

14/5/1972, The Ulster Defence Association set up the first Protestant �no go� areas in Belfast.

10/5/1972, A referendum in Ireland gave 83% support to EC membership.

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.

4/3/1972, A bomb exploded in a restaurant in Belfast, killing 2 and injuring 136.


3.0, Bloody Sunday 1972 and aftermath

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.

19/4/1972, An inquiry into �Bloody Sunday found troops were provoked, but then fired recklessly.

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.

1971, The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was established in Northern Ireland by Ian Paisley and Desmond Boal, as Unionism hardened in a deteriorating security situation,

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.

15/12/1971, An IRA bomb at McGurk�s Bar, central Belfast, killed 15. This incident alienated even some IRA supporters.

4/12/1971, A bomb exploded in in a pub in Belfast, killing 15 people. Subsequent reprisals took the death toll to 143, including 43 troops.

16/11/1971, The Compton Report rejected allegations of brutality in Northern Ireland internment camps.

31/10/1971. An IRA bomb exploded at the top of the Post Office Tower, London.

14/9/1971, In Northern Ireland, the Reverend Ian Paisley founded the Democratic Unionist Party, a hard-line Unionist group.

7/9/1971, The Troubles in Northern Ireland claimed their 100th civilian victim when a teenage girl was shot during a gun battle.

31/8/1971, The British Government ordered an inquiry into alleged mistreatment of internees in Northern Ireland.

11/8/1971, Violence erupted in Belfast after internment was reintroduced.

9/8/1971, Internment without trial began in Northern Ireland.

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.

21/8/1970, In Northern Ireland, Gerry Fitt founded the Social Democratic and Labour Party,

13/8/1970, An IRA bomb store was found in Tooting, south London.

6/5/1970, In Ireland, Charles Haughey, Finance Minister, was dismissed for alleged association with IRA gun running. He was acquitted of this charge by the High Court on 23/10/1970.


2.0, Intensification of British Government efforts to quell disturbances in Northern Ireland, 1968-71

7/10/1971, A further 1,000 British troops were sent to Northern Ireland.

18/3/1971 More troops were sent to Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 9,700.

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 Belfast alone.

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 Northern Ireland. Britain announced it would send another 500 troops to join the 6,000 already there.

12/1969,The Provisional IRA (Irish Republican Army) was founded in Northern Ireland.

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.

25/4/1969, 500 British troops arrived in Northern Ireland to help quell sectarian rioting.

18/4/1969, Bernadette Devlin became Britain�s youngest MP for nearly 200 years when she was elected for Mid-Ulster, 6 days before her 22nd birthday.

27/1/1969. In Northern Ireland, the Protestant leader, Ian Paisley was jailed.

2/1/1969, A civil rights march from Belfast to London ended in violence.

22/4/1969. IRA bombs hit the main post office and bus station in Belfast.

5/10/1968, Police in Londonderry broke up a Protestant civil rights march using water cannon and batons.


17/5/1969. Dubliner Tom McLean completed the first solo transatlantic crossing by rowing boat, from Newfoundland to Ireland.

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.

14/1/1965, Sean Lemass, Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) met the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland,Terence O�Neill, at Stormont Castle, Belfast. This meeting was the first official recognition by the Irish Republic of Northern Ireland.

28/10/1964, Rioting in Catholic areas of Belfast after a Republican flag was removed by the police.

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. De Valera resigned as Prime Minister of Ireland, and became President of Ireland. The Tanaiste (Depity Prime Minister), Sean Lemass, became Prime Minister.

9/10/1958, Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) died at Castel Gandolfo, the Papal summer residence, 27 kilometres south-east of Rome, aged 82. In Belfast, Protestants objected when the City Hall flag was flown at half-mast.

5/2/1957, General election in Ireland, after Clann na Poblachta withdrew from the Fine Gael-led coalition on 28/1/1957. Fianna Fail with 78 seats won a majority over all other Parties (69 seats, of which 40 were won by Fine Gael). Eamon de Valera became Prime Minister again on 20/3/1957, now aged 75. 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.

13/8/1955, The IRA raided a training centre in Berkshire.

19/7/1954, The rabbit disease myxomatosis was confirmed in Ireland.

2/6/1954, In Ireland, following the election in May, John Costello (Fine Gael) succeeded Eamon de Valera as Prime Minister and formed a coalition government.

2/7/1953, In Ireland., following the loss of a seat in a by-election by Fianna Fail, Eamon de Valera called a vote of confidence in his government. He won by 73 to 71.

2/4/1953, Jim Allister, Northern Irish politician, was born.

5/7/1952, All food rationing ended in the Republic of Ireland. Up to this date, bread, butter, flour, sugar and tea had been rationed..

3/7/1952, Ireland established the Bord Failte, to promote tourism.

27/6/1951, Mary McAleese, Irish politician, was born.

30/5/1951, General election in Ireland. Eamon de Valera became Taoiseach (Prime Minister), heading a Fianna-Fail dominated coalition.

11/3/1951, In Northern Ireland, the Reverend Ian Paisley founded the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.

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.

10/7/1949, Dublin�s last tram ran. See 1872.


1.0, Ireland becomes a Republic, leaves the Commonwealth 1948-49

18/4/1949. Ireland was formally proclaimed a Republic (by the Republic of Ireland Act), on an Easter Monday (Easter Rising), at the General Post Office in Dublin, a place with many historical associations with the Rising. See 17/11/1948. Ireland asserted its independence from Britain by leaving the Commonwealth.

8/2/1949, The Irish Government refused to join NATO whilst Ireland remained divided between South and North.

21/12/1948, Ireland passed the Republic of Ireland Act, becoming a Republic and leaving the Commonwealth.

25/11/1948, Paul Murphy, Irish politician, was born.

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.


0.0, Ireland in World War Two, 1939-44 � see France-Germany for detailed chronology of the War.

12/3/1944. The UK government banned all travel between Britain and Ireland to prevent Normandy invasion plans being passed to pro-German spies in 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 Belfast.

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,

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.


-1.0, Eamon de Valera re-elected Irish President 1937

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.

1/1938, Anglo Irish relations, frosty since 7/1932 with the tariff war and annuities payments dispute, began to improve from 1936 with the appointment of Ramsay McDonald�s son, Malcolm, to be Dominions Secretary. Ireland was concerned that Britain�s right to use her Treaty Ports in time of war would compromise her neutrality. In 1937 the new British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, supported Malcolm�s initiative to improve Anglo-Irish relations and in 1/1938 serious negotiations between the two countries began. Britain agreed to give up her rights to use the Treaty Ports (to the infuriation of Churchill), De Valera agreed to make a one-off payment of �10 million to settle the land annuities payments, and both sides withdrew the tariffs they had imposed on each other�s goods. Although usage of the Treaty Ports would indeed have been useful to Britain during World War Two,ceding them did ensure that Ireland was a friendly neutral towards Britain rather than any other possible stance. Ulster remained a bone of contention but at last the British and Irish Govermments had managed to accommodate each other.

21/7/1937. Eamon De Valera was re-elected President of Eire.


-2.0, Eamon de Valera elected President of Ireland, 1932-37

14/6/1937, The Irish Free State changed its name to Eire, with a directly-elected President.

12/12/1936, Under the External Relations Act, the Irish Free State amended its constitution to remove the King from membership of its Parliament, The powers of Britain to act on behalf of the Irish Free State were also limited by this Act. This was part of De Valera�s programme of stripping away the powers of Britain over Ireland under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, and in 1937 Ireland decalred a new Constitution, further distancing itself from Britain.

18/6/1936, In the Irish Free State, the IRA was declared illegal.

17/2/1936, A trade pact was agreed between Britain and Ireland, ending their trade war.

1935, Click here for image of Belfast traffic issues, 1935. See also Road Traffic.

27/7/1935. Anti-Catholic riots in Belfast.

11/7/1935, Oliver Napier, politician, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (died 2011)

28/1/1935. In Ireland the import or sale of contraceptives became illegal.

2/1/1935, The Anglo-Irish Trade War eased up when Britain agreed to buy more cattle from the Irish Free State in exchange for selling more coal.

10/3/1934, Belfast Zoo (Bellevue) opened.

22/9/1933, In Ireland, William Cosgrave became leader of the Finne Gael Party

2/9/1933, In Ireland, the opposition parties of the National Guard, the Centre, and Cumann na nGaedhael united to form the Fine Gael Party, led Owen O�Duffy (from 22/9, William Cosgrave was leader).

22/8/1933, In Ireland, Eamon de Valera banned the Blue Shirts, a quasi-Fascist movement.

3/5/1933, Ireland removed the Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown; appeals to the Privy Council were outlawed.

24/1/1933, In elections in the Irish Free State, Eamon de Valera�s Fianna Fail party gained a majority of 1, 77 seats, against Cumann na nGaedhael 48, others 28.

15/7/1932, The Dublin de Valera Government halted land annuity payments, �5 million a year, to Britain, on moral, economic and legal grounds. These payments represented the interest on loans raised by the British Government to enable Irish tenant farmers to buy out their land from their landlord. Ireland also imposed import duties of between 15% and 75% on a range of goods from Britain. Britain, already irked by the vote to drop the oath of allegiance to the British Crown by the Dail, retaliated by imposing a 20% duty on Irish agricultural imports. This hit Irish beef exports hard, and Irish cattle prices plummeted. Ireland in turn put import duties on British coal, and British coal exports declined. See 1/1938.

19/5/1932, In the Irish Free State, the Dail voted to abolish the oath of loyalty to the British Crown. However opposition in the Senate blocked the motion.

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.


-3.0, Eamon de Valera, political activities 1924-32

16/2/1932, Irish elections gave a majority to the Fianna Fail Republicans under Eamon de Valera.

9/2/1932, The right-wing Army Comrades Association, more commonly referred to as the Blueshirts, was formed in Ireland

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, �amon de Valera was arrested for entering Northern Ireland.

12/8/1927, Eamon de Valera took his seat in the Irish Dail.

10/7/1927, In Ireland, Kevin O�Higgins, Nationalist Minister, was assassinated. This brought denunciation on the Republicans, and the Irish Dail passed the Public Safety Act. This declared revolutionary societies to be treasonable, and gave the Irish Government increased security powers.

16/5/1926, 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.

11/5/1926, Eamon de Valera resigned as leader of Sinn Feinn.

15/4/1926, Lord Gerard Fitt, Northern Ireland politician, was born (died 26/8/2005)

6/4/1926, The Northern Ireland politician, MP for Antrim, Ian Paisley was born.

11/3/1926, Eamon de Valera resigned as leader of Sinn Feinn.

9/2/1926, Dr Garret Fitzgerald, Irish Prime Minister, was born in Dublin.

3/12/1925. Stanley Baldwin signed an agreement fixing the Northern Irish frontier with the Irish Free State.

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.

27/8/1923, In Irish elections, Cumann na nGaedheal won 63 seats; the anti-Treaty Republicans won 44 seats.

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.


-4.0, Irish civil conflict 1922-23

24/5/1923, Republicans opposed to the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921 uncondtiionally surrendered to the Irish Free State Government, ending a period of civil conflict within Ireland.

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.

3/2/1923, Arson campaign began in the Irish Free State.

28/6/1922, Irish Free State forces began bombarding the Four Courts. This event marks the start of the Irish Civil War.

13/4/1922, In Dublin, anti-Treaty Repub;licans seized the Four Courts.

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.


7/12/1922, The Northern Ireland Parliament voted against inclusion in the Irish Free State.

6/12/1922, In Ireland. Tim Healy was appointed Governor-General.


-5.0, Creation of the new State of Ireland, 1922

5/12/1922. The Irish Free State was officially proclaimed. The last British troops left on 17/12/1922.

24/11/1922, In the Irish Free State, leading Republican Erskine Childers was executed for possession of a firearm.

3/11/1922, Albert Reynolds, Prime Minister of Ireland 1992-94, was born.

9/9/1922, The Irish Dail, meeting under heavy guard, elected William T Cosgrave as President, to succeed Arthur Griffith.

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, 31, Prime Minister of the Provisional Irish Government, was killed in a Republican ambush in west Cork.

15/8/1923, Eamon de Valera was arrested by Irish Free State troops; released 16/7/1924.

12/8/1922, Arthur Griffith, President of the Dail of the Irish Free State, died unexpectedly. Michael Collins became Head of State and of the Army, but was assassinated on 22/8/1922.

30/7/1922, Anti-Treaty rebels in Ireland occupied Tipperary; Irish National troops recaptured it.

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. Sir Wilson had been in favour of a British reoccupation of Ireland.

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.

21/1/1922, The Irish Parliament approved the Free State Treaty.

15/1/1922, A provisional Irish Free State Government was formed.

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.

9/1/1922, In Ireland, de Valera, who opposed the Treaty, resigned as President of the Dail (Parliament).

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. Many Irish Republicans were outraged by this Treaty which they saw as a sell-out and this anger led to the Irish Civil War 1922-23.

21/11/1921. Troops were sent to quell rioting in Belfast.

21/10/1921. Anglo-Irish peace talks began.

11/10/1921, The first Republican Court sat in Dublin

14/8/1921. De Valera rejected Dominion status for Ireland.

11/7/1921. The British Government and Sinn Fein agreed a truce.

7/6/1921, The new Northern Ireland Parliament opened in Belfast. Sir James Craig was the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

25/5/1921. Sinn Fein burned down the Dublin Customs House.

24/5/1921, In Southern Irish elections, Sinn Fein did well.

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 Dublin, as a hunt for the police killers got underway.

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. At this football match, 60 unarmed civilians were shot, 14 of whom were killed por jmortally wounded. This attack in turn was in retaliation for an IRA attack in which 13 British army pofficers or ex-officers had been killed.

26/10/1920, The Lord Mayor of Ireland, Mayor Terrence MacSwiney, died in Cork prison after a 75-day hunger strike to protest at his incarceration by the British, on allegations of conspiracy with Sinn Fein rebels.

28/9/1920, In retribution for a succesful IRA raid on a military barracks at Mallow, County Cork, the cavalrymen of the 17th Lancers went on an arson and random shooting spree in the town.

20/9/1920, The IRA killed a Royal Irish Constabulary seargant. In response the Black and Tans committed the Sack of Balbriggan. They descended on this small town just north of Dublin and set fire to numerous civilian homes and buysinesses, forcing the inhabitants to sleep in the open fields. They also detained and killed two unarmed Irish civilians.

21/7/1920, SinnFein 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.

10/3/1920, The Ulster Unionist Council voted to accept the Government of Ireland Bill, partitioning Ireland into North and South.

21/1/1920, In Dublin, Ireland, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police, Redmond, was shot dead.

22/12/1919. David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, announced plans for the partition of Ireland.

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.

31/8/1919. In Ireland, press censorship was abolished.

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.

17/5/1919, The first Irish Republican law court was established at Ballinrobe, County Mayo, 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.

9/5/1916, The UK Government said there would be no conscription in Ireland.

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 bombardedthe 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.

26/6/1914, Anti-British Irish tried to smuggle in an arms cache bought in Belgium into Howth bay.Police intercepted them and a gun battle ensued.


Ulster Volunteer Force. Resistance to rule of Ulster from Dublin

8/7/1914, The UK Government accepted the Lords� amendment to the Home Rule Bill (for Ireland) excluding Ulster. However on 30/7/1914 the Home Rule process was shelved due to the growing crisis in Europe. In an attempt at compromise, the Bill allows counties of Ireland to vote on staying out of Home Rule for six years, until there have been two British General elections. However this was unpopular with both Nationalists (who wanted no exemptions) and Loyalists (who wanted no time limit).

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.

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.

28/9/1912, A week of rallies and speeches in Ulster ended with a pledge to defeat Home Rule. Sir Edward Carson vowed to fight Home Rule, collecting 471,414 signatures, some people signing in their own blood. See 9/5/1912.

12/7/1912, 12,000 Ulstermen demonstrated against home rule for Ireland.

9/4/1912. Major demonstration by 200,000 people against Irish Home Rule Bill in Belfast.


UK Government moves towards Irish Home Rule. Halted by World War One

18/9/1914, In Britain, the Irish Home Rule Bill received Royal Assent. However it was suspended the same day due to the War.

25/5/1914, The Home Rule Bill was passed by the Commons, without separate provision for Ulster.

30/7/1914. The British Government shelved plans for Irish Home Rule, as the threat of European war loomed.

5/3/1914, An Irish Home Rule Bill was introduced in the Commons.

5/12/1913, Britain proscribed the import of arms into Ireland.

15/7/1913. The House of Lords again rejected an Irish Home Rule Bill.

7/7/1913, The Irish Home Rule Bill was passed again by the Commons.

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.

18/9/1912, In Northern Ireland, anti-Home Rule for Ireland demonstrations began at Enniskillen, led by Edward Carson.

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.

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.

10/12/1909, Herbert Asquith, British Prime Minister, promised self-rule for Ireland in a speech at the Royal Albert Hall.

12/2/1907, In the UK, the Liberal Government put Home Rule for Ireland on the agenda, along with better public housing.


Deprivation in Ireland 1903 - 14

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.

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.

21/7/1903, The Irish Land Purchase Act was passed. This gave incentives for landlords to sell holdings to the Irish Land Commission, which would collect annuities from tenants rather than rent.


7/1/1914, Patrick Weston Joyce, Irish historian, author of The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, born 1827, died this day.

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.

31/10/1909, (1) The National University of Ireland, Dublin, came into being.

(2) Queens University, Belfast, came into being.

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.

3/6/1907, In Britain the Irish Council Bill, giving a degree of self-rule to Ireland, was defeated.

1/8/1906, The new Belfast City Hall was opened.

31/5/1906, Michael Davitt, dedicated Irish Nationalist, died (born 25/3/1846).

28/11/1905. Sinn Fein was founded in Dublin by Arthur Griffith.

23/11/1905, In Britain, Liberal Party leader Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman proposed Home Rule for Ireland �by installments�. His speech, at Stirling, Scotland, was attacked by former Liberal leader Lord Roseberry, on 25/11/1905.

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.

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.

24/12/1901, Two Irish members of the House of Commons, Jasper Tully and J.O. O'Donnell, were given jail sentences for inciting Irish tenants to not pay rent to their landlords, in violation of United Kingdom law

21/10/1901, The first professionally produced Irish language play, Casadh an tS�g�in ("Twisting of the Rope"), premiered at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin,

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.

30/9/1900, In Ireland, Arthur Griffith founded the Cumann na nGaedhael (The League of Gaels), whose motto was Sinn Feinn (We Ourselves)

2/9/1900, Demonstrations in Dublin against British rule.

5/4/1900, In Ireland, Queen Victoria formed the Irish Guards regiment in recognition of their bravery during the Boer War.

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.

31/7/1893, In Ireland the Gaelic Language League was founded use of the Irish language.

13/2/1893, A Home Rule Bill (for Ireland) was introduced to the UK Commons.

16/10/1890, Michael Collins, fighter for Irish independence, was born.

25/12/1889, Arthur Kavanagh, Irish politician, died (born 25/3/1831).

1888, Belfast was designated as a city. In 1604 it was a village of 500 people and five lanes; its name derived from beal, meaning entrance, and fearsad, meaning sandbank.. The port of Belfast was greatly improved and dredged when the ;linen boom of the 1780s began. By 1800 some 27,000 people were employed in the linen industry within a 10 mile radius of Belfast.

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.

8/4/1886, British Prime Minister WE Gladstone introduced his contentious Irish home Rule Bill. It provided for an Irish Parliament but control of the army and navy, and of trade affairs, remained with Britain.

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.


Parnell, anti-landlord campaign, 1879-82

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.

17/11/1890, Irish nationalist John Parnell was cited as co-respondent in a divorce suit brought by William Henry O�Shea, whose wife Katharine had been Parnell�s mistress since 1880. Parnell�s political career was destroyed by the revelation.

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.

2/5/1882, Irish politician James Stewart Parnell was released from prison in Dublin, having agreed to end the 1880 �Boycott� campaign. Under the Kilmainham Treaty, Parnell agreed to work to reduce unrest in Ireland in return for British Government concessions on rent arrears owed by Irish tenants.

13/10/1881, Charles Stewart Parnell was arrested by the British for his campaign against absentee landlords. However his arrest glamourised him and increased his popularity and influence even more with farmers withholding their rent.

16/8/1881, British Prime Minister WE Gladstone set up a tribunal to examine excessive rents in Ireland.

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.

26/3/1879, 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.


1/8/1870. Britain passed the Irish Land Act, providing compensation for Irish tenant farmers evicted from their land.


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.

5/5/1879, Isaac Butt, Irish Nationalist leader, died (born 1813).

24/10/1878, Paul Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin, died (born 1803).

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.

1870, Irish lawyer Isaac Butt, 57, founded the Home Rule Association. This was a coalition of Protestants and Nationalists to work for the repeal of the 1801 Act of Union.


Fenian uprisings, 1857-70

27/5/1870, Further Fenian raids took place from US territpry into Canada (see 1/6/1866). However public opinion had turned against them and there was a crackdown by the authorities, ending the raids.

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.

17/9/1867, Francis Blackburne, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, died (born in County Meath 11/11/1782).

5/3/1867, Fenian uprising in Ireland against British rule failed.

1/6/1866, The Irish-American Fenian Brotherhood hoped to liberate Irleand from British rule by starting a was between Britain and America. To achieve this, this day they mounted a raid across from Buffalo, New York State, on the Canadian town of Eerie. It took Canadian forces three days to push the 1,500 Fenians back across the US border. A similar raid was made the following week from Vermont across into eastern Canada. See 27/5/1870.

15/9/1865. The British arrested Fenian leaders in Ireland who were preparing an uprising.

10/10/1857, The Nationalist Irish Republican Brotherhood, whose members were known as Fenians, was founded in New York. Its aim was the ending of British rule in Itreland.


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.

7/3/1848, Irish Nationalist leader Thomas Francis Meagher unveiled the current Irish flag at a meeting in Waterford. He explained the design as the central white third representing a truce between the Protestant Orange and the Catholic Green factions.

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,

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.

25/3/1846, Michael Davitt, dedicated Irish Nationalist, was born (died 31/5/1906).

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.

30/5/1840, Mary Cork, daughter of 1st Viscount Galway, died (born 21/5/1746).

1836, Ireland hit by the potato famine.

25/3/1831, Arthur Kavanagh, Irish politician, was born (died 25/12/1889).

14/11/1827, Thomas Emmet, Irish politician, died (born 24/4/1764).

13/4/1824, William Alexander, Protestant Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, was born in Londonderry.

12/8/1822, Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquis of Londonderry, died

6/6/1820, Henry Grattan, Irish statesman, died (born 3/7/1746).

13/2/1820, Leonard MacNally, Irish informer for the British Crown on Robert Emmet, died.

27/12/1819, Hugh Cairns, Irish statesman, was born (died 2/4/1885).

14/10/1817, John Curran, Irish politician, died (born 24/7/1750).

11/4/1816, Patrick Duigenan, Irish politician, died (born 1735).


Emmett�s Rebellion, 1803

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.

7/1803, An explosion at one of Emmett�s arms caches made an early start to his attempted revolution imperative. He was hoping for aid from the French. However his plans dissolve dinto chaos as one contingent of rebels never arrived, a second went home thinking the revolution had been postponed and a third waited for s signal that someone forgot to give. Emmett himself, with just 100 men, attempted unsuccesfully to storm Dublin Castle, then flked and hid in the Wicklow Mountains for a time. He was arrested when he returned to be near his fianc�e.

22/7/1803. Irish patriots under Robert Emmet rebelled against the Union of Ireland with Britain, established 1/1/1801.


28/1/1802, John Clare, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, died (born 1749).

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,

1/8/1800, King George III of Britain gave the Royal Assent to the Act of Union, passed in the British and Irish Parliaments in 3/1800. William Pitt bribed the Irish Parliament to vote itself out of existence.


Irish rebellion, suppressed by Britain; France sends assistance to the Irish but arrives too late, 1798

17/11/1798, Irish nationalist leader Wolfe Tone committed suicide whilst in jail awaiting execution.

15/9/1798, A French army sent to assist the Irish rebels surrendered to the Briitsh under Charles, 1st Marquis Cornwallis.

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 year lease on a brewery at St James Gate, Dublin, for an annual rent of �45.

4/9/1794, John Hely-Hutchinson, Irish statesman, died (born 1724)

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.

11/11/1782, Francis Blackburne, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, was born in County Meath (died 17/9/1867).

19/4/1780, Irish politician Henry Grattan demanded Home Rule for Ireland in the British Parliament.

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.

10/10/1765, Lionel Cranfield Sackville, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, died (born 18/1/1688).

8/10/1765, Harman Blennerhasset, Irish lawyer, was born in County Kerry (died in Guernsey 2/2/1831).

24/4/1764, Thomas Emmet, Irish politician, was born (died 14/11/1827).

15/10/1763, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, campaigner for Irish independence, was born (died 4/6/1798).

16/11/1762, John Boyle, Irish statesman, died (born 2/1/1707).

14/5/1755, George Barrington, Irish adventurer, was born in Maynooth.

30/10/1751, Dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan was born in Dublin.He was the son of a teacher of elocution.

24/7/1750, John Curran, Irish politician, was born (died 14/10/1817).

3/7/1746, Henry Grattan, Irish statesman, was born (died 6/6/1820).

21/5/1746, Mary Cork, daughter of 1st Viscount Galway, was born (died 30/5/1840).

1741, Famine in Ulster sparked mass emigration, mostly to North America.

27/8/1735, Peter Browne, Bishop of Cork and Ross, died.

12/1/1729, The statesman Edmund Burke was born in Dublin.

18/8/1728, James Charlemont, Irish statesman, was born (died 4/8/1799).

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.

2/11/1713, Narcissus Marsh, Archbishop of Dublin, died.

1720, An Act of King George I of Britain formally asserted Britain�s right to legislate for Ireland.

2/1/1707, John Boyle, Irish statesman, was born (died 16/11/1762).

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.

15/1/1698, Richard Boyle, Irish statesman, died (born 1612).

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.

Attempted Franco-Jacobite invasion of Ireland, failed, 1689-93

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.

20/4/1689, The siege of Londonderry began.

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.

18/1/1688, Lionel Cranfield Sackville, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was born (died 10/10/1765).

19/10/1680, John Abernethy, Irish Presbyterian Minister, was born in Coleraine, County Londonderry.

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.

9/9/1674, Murrough Inchiquin, Irish statesman, died.

30/11/1667. Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver�s Travels, was born in Dublin.


Confederate War 1641-53

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.

5/6/1646, Battle of Benburb. Rebel victory over the English during the Confederate War (1641-53)

15/9/1643, King Charles made a truce with rebels in Ireland, to free up more forces for the Civil War.

1641. The Confederate War began. Irish rebels wanted an Irish Constitution and more mreligious freedom, whilst remaining under the English Crown.

22/10/1641, Irish rebellion in Ulster.


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.

19/2/1625, Arthur Chichester, Lord Deputy of Ireland, died (born 5/1563).

1613, The City of London was given responsibility for establishing an English �Plantation� city in Ireland on the site of former Derry (see 1600). Hence the new city was called Londonderry.

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.

5/4/1605, Adam Loftus, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, died.


War between Ireland and England; Spain assisted Ireland, but England victorious

2/10/1601, A Spanish force of 4,000 landed at Kinsale, Ireland, to help the Irish in their war against the English. The English Lord-Deputy of Ireland, Lord Mountjoy, headed south from Dublin to contain and besiege the Spanish, along with English reinforcements brought in through Oysterhaven, just east of Kinsale. Meanwhile two rebel Irish armies led by O�Neill and his ally Hugh Roe O�Donnell, marched south to relieve the Spanish. However the English cavalry broke up these forces in a battle on 3/1/1602, and the Irish soldiers returned home to Ulster. The Spanish also agreed to return home. The Irish rebellion ended in 1603, and O�Neill and his followers fled to Europe. The English seized control of Ulster, settling it with Protestants from Scotland to secure it against the Catholics.

1600, The old Irish city of Derry was razed by English forces under Sir Henry Docwra. See 1613.

14/8/1598, The English were heavily defeated at the Battle of Yellow Ford, River Blackwater, County Armagh. In 1597 the English had built a fort on the River Blackwater, 8 km northwest of the garrison town of Armagh, to support military expeditions into neighbouring Tyrone, where the Earl of Tyrone had raised a well-trained army against the English. Soon afterwards, the Earl of Tyrone besieged this fort. The English attempted a relief operation but became bogged down in the local terrain, and their gunpowder store exploded. Cut down by cavalry and infantry, the English retreated to Armagh.

1593, England attempted to curb the power of the Northern Lordships of Ireland; this resulted in war between the Rnglish and the Irish.


3/10/1566, Richard Cork, Irish statesman, was born (died 15/9/1643).

1556, Queen Mary I of England began the Protestant Plantations in Ireland (English-Protestant colonies).

18/6/1541, The Irish Parliament selected King Henry VIII as King of Ireland

18/2/1366, The Staute of Kilkenny was enacted by the Normans, covering the �four obedient shires� of Dublin, Kildare, Louth and Meath. Anglo-Norman rule did not extend much beyond this in practice, even 200 years after the first invasion of Ireland. Anbglo-Irish marriages were forbidden, as was use of Irish language, dress or music. Traditional irish sports such as hurling and quoits were forbidden in favour of �gentle games which appertain to arms� such as archery.

14/10/1318, Edward Bruce was killed at Dundalk, Ireland, 3 years after being proclaimed King of Ireland. He was the younger brother of Scotland�s Robert the Bruce. Edward had failed to subdue the country south of Ulster.

10/8/1316, Second Battle of Athenry ended with over 5,000 dead, and Norman rule retained in Ireland.

1264, First recorded sitting of the Irish Parliament.

1198, Estimated year of origin of Ireland�s oldest pub � The Brazen Head.


English occupation of Ireland

1198, Death of Ruaidri of Connaught, last of the Irish High Kings.

1177, Belfast was founded by John de Courcy, as a fort to guard a ford near the mouth of the Lagan River.

6/10/1175, At a Council in Windsor, King Henry II and Roderick O�Connor, King of Connaught, signed the Treaty of Windsor whereby O�Connor continued to rule Connaught but paid an annual tribute to Henry.

17/10/1171, King Henry II landed near Waterford, Ireland, in response to a request for aid from Ireland�s deposed King Dermot MacMurrough. Dermot had been King of Leinster from 1126 but had been banished in 1166; he died aged 66. 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.


1103, Norwegian King Magnus III invaded Ireland, and was killed in battle.

Brian Boru

23/4/1014, Battle of Clontarf: Gaelic Irish forces under Brian Boru (born ca. 926; King of Ireland from 1002) defeated several allied Viking forces in Ireland, ending their power there but Brian was killed in the battle.

976, Brian Boru (born 940) became King of Munster.


919, Battle of Dublin; failed attempt by Irish forces to recover Dublin from Viking control.

840, Dublin (Dyflynn) and Limerick founded by Danish settlers.

802, Ireland under Viking hegemony.

795, First Viking raid on Ireland


Early Christian missionary work in Ireland

25/9/623, St Finbar, Bishop of Cork, died at Cloyne, Ireland. Originally called Lochan, he was rechristened Fionnbarr, meaning �fairhead�, after the colour of his hair. He evangelised and founded several schools.

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.

532, Death of Mac Erca.

523, Death of St Brigid of Ireland.

482, Battle of Ocha, Meath. High King Aillel was killed.

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 444.

432, St Patrick began his Christian missionary work in Ireland.


379, Niall became King of Ireland.

226, The rule of High King Cormac mac Airt began.

46 BCE, Earth wall and fortifications built along the River Shannon, by central Irish tribes.


See also History of Christianity


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