Chronography of Ireland

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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 February 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 May 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 March 2017, Martin McGuinness, former IRA leader and latterly politician in the peace process, died aged 66.

23 May 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 September 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 February 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 November 2010, The EU agreed to a Euro 85 billion bail out for Ireland.

12 June 2008, Irish voters rejected the new European Constitution in a referendum.

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

26 March 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 June 2006, Charles Haughey, Prime Minister of Ireland, died.


28 July 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 March 2004, The Republic of Ireland banned smoking in all enclosed workplaces, including restaurants, pubs, and bars.

2002, Ireland adopted the Euro.

14 October 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 October 2001, The IRA announced it had begun the process of decommissioning its weapons.

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

11 February 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 November 1999, The IRA promised to decommission its weapons.

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

IRA disarmament process began


4 March 2001, A Real IRA bomb hit the BBC TV studios in London.

28 May 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 December 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 November 1999, The Northern Ireland power-sharing executive was set up.

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

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

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

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

15 July 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 July 1998, This event had triggered a week of violence across Northern Ireland.

22 May 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 March 1998, Sinn Fein was readmitted to Northern Ireland peace talks.

14 February 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 October 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 July 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 June 1997, Alban Maginness of the SDLP became the first Catholic to be elected Mayor of Belfast.

26 March 1997. Two IRA bombs exploded near Wilmslow railway station, injuring no-one.

15 June 1996, A large IRA bomb destroyed Manchester city centre. However nobody was killed.

10 June 1996, Talks on the future of Northern Ireland opened at Stormont Castle; the Sinn Fein was excluded until the IRA renewed its ceasefire.

9 February 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 July 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 June 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 December 1994, In Northern Ireland, the Arms Decommissioning Panel, headed by former US Senator George Mitchell, began work.

30 November 1995, US President Bill Clinton visited Northern Ireland.

12 November 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 November 1995.

9 July 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 May 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 March 1995, US President Bill Clinton met with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams at the White House.

8 March 1995. UK Government agreed to direct meetings between ministers and Sinn Fein before an IRA arms surrender.

22 February 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 December 1994, The first official talks between the British Government and Sinn Fein for 22 years began.

13 October 1994, Ulster�s three main Loyalist terrorist groups announced a ceasefire.

31 August 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 December 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 November 1993, The Observer revealed that the UK Government had a secret channel of communication with the IRA despite UK denials.

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


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

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

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

27 November 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 December 1994, In Ireland, Fine Gael formed a coalition Government with the Labour Party. John Bruton became Taoiseach (Prime Minister).

17 November 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 September 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 February 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 February 1992 Charles Reynolds became Prime Minister.

7 November 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 March 1994, The IRA launched a mortar attack at London Heathrow Airport.

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

23 October 1993, An IRA bomb in Belfast killed 9.

13 August 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 March 1993. An IRA bomb exploded in Warrington, killing a child. A second child died of his injuries later. On 28 March 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 December 1992. The IRA disrupted Christmas shopping with two bombs in Oxford Street. Four people were injured.

3 December 1992. The IRA set off two bombs in Manchester.

9 October 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 December 1991. An IRA bomb exploded near Clapham Junction station, SW London.

27 June 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 June 1991. The Maguire Seven were cleared of running an IRA bomb factory in England.

19 June 1991, Colonel Gaddafi of Libya declared his support for the IRA as a just cause.

1 June 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 March 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 February 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 February 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 November 1990. London police seized an IRA arms cache at Kilburn, London; 2 were arrested.

9 November 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 July 1990. Ian Gow, Conservative MP for Eastbourne, was murdered by an IRA bomb at his home in the Sussex village of Hankham.

20 July 1990. The IRA bombed the London Stock Exchange. There was little damage and no casualties.

26 June 1990, The IRA bombed the Carlton Club, London, a venue much used by Conservative MPs.

16 June 1990, Belgian police arrested IRA members suspected of killing the Australian tourists on 28 May 1990.

28 May 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 October 1989. The Guildford Four had their convictions quashed after serving 15 years for the IRA Guildford and Woolwich pub bombings.

22 September 1989. The IRA bombed the Royal Marines School in Deal. 10 bandsmen were killed and 22 injured.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

18 October 1988. The Home Secretary Douglas Hurd banned all broadcasts involving terrorist spokesmen.

16 October 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 August 1988, 8 British soldiers were killed in a landmine attack on a bus near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

19 March 1988, In Belfast, 2 British soldiers were lynched at IRA funerals.

6 March 1988. Three IRA terrorists shot dead by SAS men in Gibraltar; they were allegedly planning a bomb attack.

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

8 May 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 March 1987. The Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey was re-elected for a third term.

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

12 July 1986, In Northern Ireland, over 100 were injured in Orange Day clashes between Catholics and Protestants.

26 June 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 December 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 November 1985.

15 November 1985, The Anglo-Irish agreement was signed in Belfast by Mrs Thatcher and Dr Fitzgerald.


7 August 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 February 1985, The Irish Dail passed a Bill to allow shops to sell contraceptives.

14 March 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 August 1988, IRA bomb in Omagh killed 29.

8 November 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 February 1985, 9 RUC men were killed by an IRA attack on Newry police station.

12 October 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 December 1983, An IRA bomb exploded in London�s Oxford Street.

17 December 1983. An IRA bomb exploded outside Harrods in London.5 died and 91 were injured.

10 December 1983, An IRA bomb exploded at London�s Woolwich Barracks.

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

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

20 July 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 June 1980, The IRA set off several bombs in Ulster.


12 November 1983, Gerry Adams was elected leader of SinnFein.

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

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

17 March 1983, Mrs Thatcher was the target of an IRA letter bomb campaign.

8 February 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 December 1982, In Ireland, Dr Garrett Fitzgerald was elected Prime Minister as head of a Labour-Fine Gael coalition.

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

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

24 November 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 December 1982.

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

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

19 October 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 May 1982, The EEC banned the rubber bullets being used by police in Northern Ireland.

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

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

19 February 1982, In Belfast, the De Lorean car company went into liquidation.

14 November 1981, IRA gunmen killed Robert Bradford, Unionist MP for Belfast South.

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

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

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


7.0, IRA Hunger Strikers, 1980, 1981

3 October 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 August 1981, Michael Devine became the last hunger striker in The Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, to die.

19 July 1981, Efforts by the Red Cross to end the hunger strikes at the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, failed.

12 May 1981, Rioting in Belfast after hunger strikers Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes have died.

7 May 1981, Bobby Sands was buried in a Republican section of Belfast�s Milltown Cemetery.

5 May 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 March 1981.

15 March 1981, Bobby Sands, IRA hunger striker, stood as Republican candidate for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by election. See 11/4/1981.

1 March 1981, Bobby Sands, a member of the IRA, began a hunger strike for political status at Long Kesh Prison. He died on 5 May 1981, the first of 10 such deaths.

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

27 October 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 December 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 December 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 November 1979, In Dublin, IRA member Thomas MacMahon was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Lord Mountbatten.

27 August 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 August 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 March 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 December 1978, IRA bombs exploded in Southampton, Bristol, Manchester, and Coventry.

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

4 February 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 November 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 November 1975 at Walton�s Restaurant, London.

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

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

25 February 1978, Gerry Adams was charged with being a member of the IRA.

10 October 1977, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, co-founders of the Ulster Peace Movement, received the Nobel peace Prize in Oslo.

23 June 1977, Liam Cosgrave retired as President of Ireland.

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

27 November 1976, Over 30,000 people joined the Ulster Women�s Peace March.

4 September 1976. In Northern Ireland, 25,000 Protestants and Catholics went on a peace march.

2 September 1976, The European Court of Human Rights said Britain was torturing Ulster detainees.

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

10 August 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 July 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 December 1975, The Balcombe Street siege began; IRA terrorists held Mr and Mrs Andrews hostage in their London flat. The siege ended on 11 December 1975.

27 November 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 October 1975, The Provisional Sinn Fein leader Seamus McCusker was shot dead by the official IRA.

23 October 1975, Professor Farley, a leading cancer expert, was killed by a n IRA car bomb intended for Hugh Fraser MP.

22 October 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 October 1989.

3 October 1975, The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was banned.

2 October 1975, Protestant revenge killings left 11 dead.

29 August 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 August 1975. The Birmingham Six were sentenced to life imprisonment for planting bombs that killed 21 people in Birmingham. Their convictions were later overturned.

30 March 1975. The Provisional IRA council planned to meet to discuss the future of a ceasefire declared on 10 February 1975.

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

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

29 November 1974. The IRA was outlawed in Britain.

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

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

21 November 1974. IRA bombs exploded in two Birmingham pubs, killing 21 and injuring a further 182. On 14 November 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 November 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 November 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 October 1974, Riots at The Maze prison, Northern Ireland.

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

26 July 1974, An IRA bomb exploded in a Heathrow car park.

17 July 1974, An IRA bomb exploded at the Tower of London, killing one person and injuring 41.

17 June 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 May 1974, A state of emergency was declared in Northern Ireland. An IRA bomb exploded at a Heathrow car park.

17 May 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 February 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 May 1974, Northern Irish intransigence caused the Northern Ireland Assembly to collapse, see 28 June 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 December 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 November 1973, The 200th British soldier died in Northern Ireland.

31 October 1973, Three provisional IRA leaders were sprung from Mountjoy Prison with a hi-jacked helicopter.

20 September 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 September 1973, IRA bombs exploded at several London railway stations, injuring 13 people.

4 September 1973. IRA Bombs exploded in London, Birmingham, and Manchester.

31 August 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 August 1973, IRA bombs exploded in London.

31 July 1973, The first, tumultuous, meeting of the new Northern Ireland Assembly took place in Belfast.

5/ July 1973, Rioting at Long Kesh prison, Northern Ireland.

28 June 1973, A Northern Ireland Assembly was elected, but collapsed, see 29 May 1974.

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

24 June 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 August 1975.

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

20 March 1973, Trial without jury was introduced for terrorist offences on Northern Ireland.

9 March 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 March 1973. The IRA set off two bombs in London, outside the Old Bailey and in Whitehall.One person was killed and 244 injured.

1 March 1973, An IRA bomb exploded in London, killing one and injuring 238.

7 February 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 December 1972, Casualties in the Northern Ireland conflict over 1972 amounted to 467, including 103 British soldiers.

1 December 1972, Two IRA bombs exploded in Belfast, killing two people and injuring 127.

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

21 July 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 July 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 July 1972, 4 died in Belfast as the IRA ended its 2-week ceasefire.

9 July 1972, Martin McGuiness from the IRA met William Whitelaw from the British Government in secret talks in London.

22 June 1972, The IRA agreed to a ceasefire.

11 June 1972. Gaddafi said Libya was aiding the IRA.

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

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

10 May 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 March 1972. Edward Heath announced Direct Rule for Northern Ireland from 30 March 1972.

20 March 1972, An IRA bomb exploded in Belfast, killing 6 and injuring 47.

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


3.0, Bloody Sunday 1972 and aftermath

21 August 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 February 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 February 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 December 1971. A bomb exploded in Belfast, injuring over 60 in a narrow street.

20 December 1971. The IRA began a Christmas bombing campaign in Northern Ireland.

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

4 December 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 November 1971, The Compton Report rejected allegations of brutality in Northern Ireland internment camps.

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

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

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

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

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

9 August 1971, Internment without trial began in Northern Ireland.

26 February 1971. Two policemen were shot dead and four other seriously injured during riots in Belfast.

6 February 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 August 1970, In Northern Ireland, Gerry Fitt founded the Social Democratic and Labour Party,

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

6 May 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 October 1970.


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

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

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

2 August 1970 The British Army in Belfast used rubber bullets for the first time, to quell a disturbance.

31 July 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 July 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 July 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 June 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 October 1969, The Hunt Commission on Northern Ireland recommended disarming the police and disbanding the �B Specials�.

28 September 1969, Police in Belfast erected a �peace wall� between Protestant and Catholic communities.

19 August 1969, The British Army took over security and policing in Northern Ireland.

14 August 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 August 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 October 1968, Police in Londonderry broke up a Protestant civil rights march using water cannon and batons.


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

20 July 1966. Reverend Ian Paisley was jailed for breaching the peace at a church assembly in June.

6 June 1966, Britain outlawed the Ulster Volunteer Force.

2 June 1966. Eamon de Valera was re-elected president of Eire, now aged 83.

5 March 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 October 1964, Rioting in Catholic areas of Belfast after a Republican flag was removed by the police.

10 July 1962. The first motorway in Ireland opened, running from Belfast to Lisburn.

26 February 1962, The IRA announced a ceasefire after a 5-year campaign of violence.

8 December 1961, Seamus Robinson, Irish republican leader, died aged 71.

8 November 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 June 1959, Eamon de Valera took up office as President of Ireland.

17 June 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 October 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 February 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 March 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 December 1956, Twelve attacks by the IRA in Northern Ireland signalled the start of a new terror campaign.

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

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

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

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

27 June 1951, Mary McAleese, Irish politician, was born.

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

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

9 July 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 July 1949, Douglas Hyde, President of Ireland, died.

10 July 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 November 1948. Ireland asserted its independence from Britain by leaving the Commonwealth.

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

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

25 November 1948, Paul Murphy, Irish politician, was born.

17 November 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 October 1948, Gerry Adams, Irish Republican politician, was born.

18 February 1948. In Ireland, John Costello became Head of a new Coalition Government, see 4 February 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 February 1948. De Valera lost his overall majority at the Irish elections.

13 August 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 June 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 March 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 March 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 September 1942, The IRA shot two policemen in Belfast.

5 February 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 December 1941, De Valera declined to join the War despite Ireland�s main ally, the USA, now being involved.

27 May 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 March 1940. IRA prisoners rioted at Dartmoor Prison.

7 February 1940, Britain hanged two IRA men. They had been convicted of planting the bomb in Coventry on 25 August 1939.

25 August 1939, An IRA bomb exploded without warning in the centre of Coventry, killing 5 and injuring 25.

29 July 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 February 1939, The UK police hunted IRA extremists after bombs exploded at London tube stations.

11/ July 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 December 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 July 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 July 1937. Eamon De Valera was re-elected President of Eire.


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

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

12 December 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 June 1936, In the Irish Free State, the IRA was declared illegal.

31 May 1936, Fitzgerald Stadium opened in Killarney, Ireland.

17 February 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 July 1935. Anti-Catholic riots in Belfast.

11 July 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 March 1934, Belfast Zoo (Bellevue) opened.

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

2 September 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 August 1933, In Ireland, Eamon de Valera banned the Blue Shirts, a quasi-Fascist movement.

3 May 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 July 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 May 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 March 1932. Eamon de Valera, the hard-line republican leader of the Fianna Fail Party, elected to head the new Irish government.

9 March 1932. Eamon de Valera became President of the Irish Free State.


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

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

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

21 October 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 July 1929, In Dublin, the Censorship of Publications Act came into force, to control obscenity.

5 February 1929, �amon de Valera was arrested for entering Northern Ireland.

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

10 July 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 May 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 May 1926, Eamon de Valera resigned as leader of Sinn Feinn.

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

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

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

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

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

15 November 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 November 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 May 1924. A leaked report and map in the Morning Post of 7 November 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 December 1925.

16 September 1925, Charles Haughey, Irish Fianna Fail politician and Prime Minister, was born.

8 November 1924, The Irish Government offered an amnesty to those involved in the civil conflict between IRA and Government. See 12/1/1922.

1 November 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 July 1924.

15 September 1924, The BBC began broadcasting from Belfast.

16 July 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 November 1924, 8 November 1924.


5 June 1924, The UK Government appointed a Northern Ireland representative to the Border Commission, see 10 May 1924.

10 May 1924, Under the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty (6 December 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 June 1924 the UK Government appointed a representative for Northern Ireland. See 20 November 1925.

10 September 1923. The Irish Free State was admitted to the League of Nations.

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

9 August 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 May 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 February 1923, Arson campaign began in the Irish Free State.

28 June 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 February 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 December 1922, The Northern Ireland Parliament voted against inclusion in the Irish Free State.

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


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

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

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

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

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

25 August 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 August 1922.

22 August 1922, Michael Collins, 31, Prime Minister of the Provisional Irish Government, was killed in a Republican ambush in west Cork.

15 August 1923, Eamon de Valera was arrested by Irish Free State troops; released 16 July 1924.

12 August 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 August 1922.

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

22 June 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 June 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 May 1922, The Royal Ulster Constabulary was formed.

31 March 1922, In the UK, the Irish Free State Bill received the Royal Assent.

18 February 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 November 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 December 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 November 1921. Troops were sent to quell rioting in Belfast.

21 October 1921. Anglo-Irish peace talks began.

11 October 1921, The first Republican Court sat in Dublin

14 August 1921. De Valera rejected Dominion status for Ireland.

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

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

25 May 1921. Sinn Fein burned down the Dublin Customs House.

24 May 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 February 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 December 1920. The Bill for the division of Ireland into North and South became law. Northern and Southern Ireland got their own Parliaments.

11 December 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 November 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 October 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 September 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 September 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 July 1920, SinnFein and the Ulster Unionists rioted in Belfast.

8 July 1920, British troops set up road blocks in Dublin.

24 June 1920. Riots in Londonderry put down by the British Army.

24 May 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 May 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 February 1920 89 hunger strikers were released from Dublin Prison.

31 March 1920, The British House of Commons passed the Irish Home Rule Bill.

26 March 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 March 1920, 1,000 delegates from the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) met in Belfast to discuss how to best achieve a partition of Ireland with a Protestant political entity in the north east. The UUC proposed that this entity should only consist of 6 of Ulster�s 9 counties, as Protestants made up just a fifth of the population of Donegal and just a quarter of Monaghan. Including these counties in Northern Ireland would make it almost impossible to govern. Protestants in Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan felt betrayed, but were outvoted.

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

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

19 December 1919, The Irish Republican Army (formerly Irish Volunteers) made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Lord French, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

24 November 1919, Proposals to divide Ireland in two, Ulster and the South, were submitted to the UK Cabinet.

31 August 1919. In Ireland, press censorship was abolished.

22 July 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 May 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 December 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 October 1918, 587 died when the Irish mailboat Leinster was torpedoed by a German U-boat.

20 June 1918, After protests, the UK Government cancelled Irish conscription. See 18/4/1918.

19 May 1918. Britain jailed 500 Sinn Fein members, including Eamon De Valera.

18 May 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 June 1918. Sinn Fein, the Nationalists and the British Labour Party all resisted this.

10 June 1917. Sinn Fein uprising in Dublin.

23 December 1916, The Irishmen interned after the Easter Rising were released (see 1 May 1916).

3 August 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 June 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 May 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 May 1916, The UK Government said there would be no conscription in Ireland.

3 May 1916, Padraic Pearse (1879-1916), leader of the 1916 Easter Rebellion against the British in Dublin, was executed at Kilmainham Gaol.

1 May 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 December 1914, The British Government suppressed anti-enlistment newspapers in Dublin.

26 June 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 July 1914, The UK Government accepted the Lords� amendment to the Home Rule Bill (for Ireland) excluding Ulster. However on 30 July 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 March 1914, The Curragh Mutiny in Ireland. British Army Officers refused to act against Protestant paramilitaries.

25 February 1914, The Ulster Volunteer Force now had 100,000 members.

24 September 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 September 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 July 1913, At the Craigavon Meeting, 150,000 Ulstermen pledged to resist Home Rule by force.

28 September 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 May 1912.

12 July 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 September 1914, In Britain, the Irish Home Rule Bill received Royal Assent. However it was suspended the same day due to the War.

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

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

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

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

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

7 July 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 September 1912, In Northern Ireland, anti-Home Rule for Ireland demonstrations began at Enniskillen, led by Edward Carson.

9 May 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 September 1912.

31 March 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 May 1911, The British Parliament agreed to Home Rule for Ireland.

10 December 1910, In the UK, the Liberal agenda included Irish Home Rule and abolition of the House of Lords.

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

12 February 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 February 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 August 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 July 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 December 1909, Henry Ferguson made the first aeroplane flight from Irish soil, at Hillsborough near Belfast.

20 December 1909, The first cinema opened in Ireland, the Volta in Dublin.

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

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

13 August 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 August 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 July 1907, British troops sent in to quell rioting in Belfast.

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

1 August 1906, The new Belfast City Hall was opened.

31 May 1906, Michael Davitt, dedicated Irish Nationalist, died (born 25 March 1846).

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

23 November 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 November 1905.

10 July 1905, A UK Parliamentary reshuffle meant 22 fewer Irish MPs.

27 December 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 February 1904, The Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond called for Home Rule.

23 October 1902, Irish MPs protested violently in the Houses of Parliament, London.

14 September 1902. In Dublin, 20,000 protested against strict law and order measures imposed by the British Government under a State of Emergency.

1 September 1902. A State of Emergency was declared in Dublin.

16/4/1902, Over 20,000 people protested in Dublin against British rule.

26 February 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 February 1902, Lord Rosebery declared he would never give Ireland its independence.

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

6 October 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 May 1901, Lord Salisbury spoke against the idea of Irish Home Rule.

5 March 1901, In London, police ejected Irish Nationalists from the House of Commons.

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

2 September 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 March 1895, Bridget Clary, aged 27, was burnt to death for witchcraft at Battyradhen, County Tipperary.

3 March 1894, Gladstone resigned after splitting his party over the issue of Irish Home Rule. He was succeeded by Lord Rosebery as Prime Minister.

1 September 1893, The Second Irish Home Rule Bill passed in the Commons, but was rejected on 8 September 1893 by the Lords.

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

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

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

25 December 1889, Arthur Kavanagh, Irish politician, died (born 25 March 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 July 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 November 1884. Gaelic Football was standardised, with the formation of the Gaelic Athletics Association in Thurles, Ireland.

30 October 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 October 1891, Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish politician and campaigner for Home Rule, died in Brighton, Sussex.

20 June 1891, John A Costello, Prime Minister of Ireland, was born.

17 November 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 October 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 May 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 October 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 August 1881, British Prime Minister WE Gladstone set up a tribunal to examine excessive rents in Ireland.

24 September 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 March 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 August 1870. Britain passed the Irish Land Act, providing compensation for Irish tenant farmers evicted from their land.


14 October 1882, Eamon de Valera, Irish Prime Minister and President of Ireland, was born in Manhattan, New York City.

6 May 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 February 1882, Birth of the Irish novelist James Joyce, in Dublin; he wrote Ulysses.

18 November 1880, The Irish Football Association was formed.

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

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

13 December 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 September 1867, Francis Blackburne, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, died (born in County Meath 11 November 1782).

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

1 June 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 May 1870.

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

10 October 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 September 1864, Sir Roger Casement, British civil servant and Irish nationalist, was born in Kingstown, near Dublin.

26 July 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 October 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 March 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 November 1847. Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, was born in Dublin.

15 May 1847, Daniel O�Connell (born 6 August 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 June 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 March 1846, Michael Davitt, dedicated Irish Nationalist, was born (died 31 May 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 May 1840, Mary Cork, daughter of 1st Viscount Galway, died (born 21 May 1746).

1836, Ireland hit by the potato famine.

25 March 1831, Arthur Kavanagh, Irish politician, was born (died 25 December 1889).

14 November 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 August 1822, Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquis of Londonderry, died

6 June 1820, Henry Grattan, Irish statesman, died (born 3 July 1746).

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

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

14 October 1817, John Curran, Irish politician, died (born 24 July 1750).

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


Emmett�s Rebellion, 1803

20 September 1803, Robert Emmet, Irish patriot, was hanged for his part as a leader in the uprising.

25 August 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 July 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).


Union of Ireland with Great Britain

2 February 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 August 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.

28 March 1800, The Irish Parliament passed the Act of Union with Britain,

6 August 1775, Daniel O�Connell, who fought against the 1801 Act of Union between Ireland and Great Britain, was born in County Kerry. See 15 May 1847.


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

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

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

22 August 1798, A French force of 1,200 men under General Jean Humbert landed at Killala Bay, Ireland, hoping to support Irish rebels.

6 August 1798, Unaware that the Irish rebels have been defeated, a French force set sail to help them against the British. On 15 September 1798 the French in Ireland surrendered to General Cornwallis at Ballymuck.

21 June 1798, Over 15,000 British troops attacked Irish rebels at the Battle of Vinegar Hill, near Enniscorthy, County Wexford.

7 June 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 May 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.

22 August 1792, French forces landed in Ireland.

4/1/1792, In Belfast, Ireland, the first issue of the Northern Star newspaper was published. It was set up by the United Irishmen society, an organisation origin nally set up to promte a Catholic-Protestant union but which later became a separatist force.

2 December 1791, Henry Flood, who fought for Irish independence from Britain, died in Farmley, County Kilkenny.

14 October 1791, In Belfast, the Irish Protestant Nationalist, Wolfe Tone set up the Society of United Irishmen to unite Protestants and Catholics in demanding further Parliamnetary reform for Ireland,

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

15 October 1763, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, campaigner for Irish independence, was born (died 4 June 1798).


31 December 1795, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on a brewery at St James Gate, Dublin, for an annual rent of �45.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24 July 1750, John Curran, Irish politician, was born (died 14 October 1817).

3 July 1746, Henry Grattan, Irish statesman, was born (died 6 June 1820).

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

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

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

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

18 August 1728, James Charlemont, Irish statesman, was born (died 4 August 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 November 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 November 1762).

17 September 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 October 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 October 1691, The surrender of Limerick. Irish soldiers were allowed to depart for France; 11,000 did so.

12 July 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 August 1690, The siege of Limerick began.

11 July 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.

16 March 1690, Louis XIV, King of France, sent troops to Ireland to support former King James II.

1 August 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 May 1689.

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

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

23 August 1680, Captain Blood, the famous Irish adventurer, died.�� He had attempted to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London on 9 May 1671.

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

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


Confederate War 1641-53

12 September 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 June 1646, Battle of Benburb. Rebel victory over the English during the Confederate War (1641-53)

15 September 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 October 1641, Irish rebellion in Ulster.


20 June 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 February 1625, Arthur Chichester, Lord Deputy of Ireland, died (born 5/1563).

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


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

20 July 1616, Hugh O�Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, the Irish chieftain who had led a rebellion against British rule, died in Rome.

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.

14 September 1607, The Flight of the Earls from Ireland. They were fqacing arrest by the English. They settled in Rome as Papal pensioners.

30 March 1603, Irish rebel Hugh O�Neil, Earl of Tyrone, was offered a pardon by the English Crown. He submitted to the English Lord Deputy of Ireland, Lord Mountjoy, at Mellifort, and a general amnesty was declared.

2/1/1602, Spanish troops who had landed in Ireland in September 1601 were permitted to leave by the English Crown forces.

24 December 1601, English forces routed the Irish rebels at the Battle of Kinsale.

2 October 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.

8 September 1599, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, disobeyed Queen Elizabeth (see 27 March 1599) by signbing a truce with irish rebel Hugh O�Neill, rather than defeating him. Devereux was arrested on his return to England on 28 September. The truce broke down in January 1600, with hostilities resuming.

27 March 1599, Queen Elizabeth I appointed Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, to the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, to crush the Irish rebels. See 8 September 1599.

14 August 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.

23 February 1573, Sir John Perrott, English Lord Deputy of Ireland, defeated Itrish rebels.


3 October 1566, Richard Cork, Irish statesman, was born (died 15 September 1643).

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

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

18 February 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 October 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 August 1316, Second Battle of Athenry ended with over 5,000 dead, and Norman rule retained in Ireland.

2 May 1316, In an attempt to foment rebellion in Ireland against English rule, Edward Bruce, brother of King Robert of Scotland, was crowned King of 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 October 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 October 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 September 1159. Death of Pope Adrian IV, elected Pope on 4 December 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 September 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 June 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 March 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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