December 1
1494 - Poynings Law enacted. This forbids the Irish parliament to convene without the King's prior permission, and all intended legislation has to be approved by him
1848 - The paddle steamer The Londonderry, with immigrants fleeing the famine, takes shelter in Derry harbour. When the covers are removed from the hold it is discovered that 72 men, women and children have suffocated
1889 - Michael Hayes, politician and professor of Irish is born in Dublin
1890 - Six days of Irish Parliamentary Party debates begin, only to end in a split, with the majority opposing Parnell
1901 - Fenian Thomas Clarke Luby dies in New York. Luby was born in Dublin in 1821. He was the son of a Church of Ireland minister and graduate of Trinity College. His first political experience was in the Young Ireland movement
1946 - Singer Gilbert (Richard) O'Sullivan is born in Waterford
1955 - Birth of Pat Spillane, Kerry Gaelic footballer
1956 - Birth of hurler Joachim Kelly
1986 - Guinness shares plunge by £300m after the British government orders an inquiry into the affairs of the company
1998 - President Bill Clinton contacts First Minister, David Trimble, and his deputy, Seamus Mallon, in a bid to save the stalled Northern Ireland peace process
1999 - The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair hails the transfer of powers to Stormont as “one giant step forward”
1999 - Plans to develop Pol an Ionain cave, which according to the Guinness Book of Records contains the largest free hanging stalactite in the world, are given the go ahead by Clare County Council
2001 - Morans on the Weir, Kilcolgan, Co Galway, wins the prestigious Gilbeys Gold Medal Award
2002 - Film producer Noel Pearson and brother Billy Harris lead the tributes to Richard Harris as hundreds pack the Church of the Sacred Heart for a memorial mass
2002 - Gusts reaching up to 80 miles per hour and driving rain continue to sweep across the country; in the west Clare village of Quilty, six fishing boats sink as winds reached between gale force seven and nine along the Clare coast.
December 2
1791 - Death in Kilkenny of Henry Flood, founder of the movement which forces Britain to grant legislative independence to Ireland
1802 - Sir Dominic Corrigan, cardiologist, is born in Dublin
1805 - William Thompson, naturalist, is born in Belfast
1811 - The Kildare Place Society is formed to maintain non-denominational schools and to promote the education of the poor
1865 - The Fenian senate deposes founder John O'Mahoney as president, replacing him with William Roberts
1877 - Birth of nationalist politician Cahir Healy in Mountcharles, Co. Donegal
1924 - William Craig, unionist politician, is born
1998 - In an effort to break the deadlock in the stalled Northern Ireland political process, British Premier Tony Blair holds intensive discussions with David Trimble and Seamus Mallon at Stormont
1998 - Death of Mary McShain at Killarney House, Killarney, Co. Kerry.
In 1960, she and her late husband, John McShain, acquired the Killarney Estate, which had been owned by the Earls of Kenmare since the 16th century. Most of that property has since been turned over the State and Killarney House will now be turned over as well
1999 - The Good Friday Agreement comes into operation as the British and Irish governments formally notify each other that all the necessary arrangements are in place.The notification ceremony takes place at Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs, at a joint signing by Foreign Affairs Minister, David Andrews, and the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Peter Mandelson
1999 - President Mary McAleese is entertained to lunch by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace
1999 - The IRA appoints an unnamed representative to enter into talks with General John de Chastelain on decommissioning
2002 - Former Fine Gael deputy leader Jim Mitchell loses his three-year battle with cancer.
December 3
1745 - John Toler, 1st Earl of Norbury and Chief Justice, is born in Beechwood, Co. Tipperary
1792 - Beginning on this date and continuing through December 8, a Catholic Convention is held in Tailors' Hall, Dublin to demand abolition of the remaining penal laws; a petition is presented to the king in London
1831 - Birth near Belfast of James Graham Fair, banker, mining tycoon and US senator
1897 - Birth in Limerick of Irish writer, Kate O'Brien who will become best known for her novels Land of Spices and That Lady
1942 - Birth in Belfast of rugby player Mike Gibson, former rugby player, 1945 - Ralph McTell, writer of From Clare To Here and Streets Of London is born
1956 - Limerick-born runner Ronnie Delaney wins Olympic Gold in Melbourne
1960 - Birth of broadcaster Eamonn Holmes
1990 - Inauguration of Mary Robinson as President of Ireland
1993 - Two bombs explode in the center of Manchester, injuring 65 people; the IRA claims responsibility the following day
1996 - Six officers are hurt as loyalists attack police with fireworks, bottles and stones in Portadown, Co Armagh
199 - The country’s first three day International Flower Fair opens in Lismore, Co. Waterford
2000 - Hiúdaí, an Irish language cartoon character, is voted Best TV Personality at the Irish Film and Television Awards in Belfast
2000 - Browns on the Green wins the prestigious Gilbeys Gold Medal Award for excellence in catering
2002 - Up to 2000 mourners gather at St Joseph’s Church, Terenure for the removal of Fine Gael minister and deputy leader, Jim Mitchell
2002 - Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, says there is little point in proceeding with multi-party talks in the North if the IRA refuses to address the need to give up all paramilitary activity.
December 4
1879 - Sir Hamilton Harty, musician and composer, is born in Hillsborough, Co. Down
1882 - John Curran, Dublin magistrate, opens a special inquiry into the Phoenix Park murders, in which Parnell is falsely implicated
1887 - Winifred Carney, trade unionist and revolutionary, is born in Bangor, Co. Down
1918 - Richard Bagwell, Irish historian, dies
1959 - Birth of Paul McGrath, footballer for St Patrick's Athletic, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Derby County and the Republic of Ireland
1971 - The UVF claims responsibility for a bomb blast which kills 17 people in a Belfast pub
1983 - SAS soldiers involved in an undercover operation in Northern Ireland shoot and kill two IRA gunmen and injure a third man who escapes
2000 -Ireland reluctantly agrees to a six months European Union wide ban on the feeding of meat and bone meal to all farm animals, including pigs and poultry
2001 - U2 frontman Bono and politician Pat Cox scoop two European of the Year awards at the first-ever such event in Brussels
2002 - Award-winning Cork-born author William Trevor receives an honorary knighthood in London in recognition of his services to literature.
2006 - Staff at an equestrian centre in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, return to the workplace prior to a planned Christmas party - and discover Gus, a newly-arrived camel from Morocco, had munched through 200 mince pies and cans of Guinness.
2009 - Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brothers passes away
December 5
1640 - John Atherton, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, is executed on a charge of immorality
1700 - Birth of Anthony Malone, prominent politician and prime serjeant at time of money bill dispute from1753 to 1756
1853 - Assembly's College, Belfast, opens for the training of Presbyterian clergy
1921 - After lengthy negotiations, the British give the Irish a deadline to accept or reject the Anglo-Irish treaty. In the words of Lloyd George, rejection would mean "immediate and terrible war"
1976 - A rally of twelve to fifteen thousand Peace People from both north and south takes place at the new bridge over the Boyne at Drogheda
1998 - The IRA Army Council and up to 60 Provisionals meet at a secret location near the border to debate arms decommissioning
1999 - The Portmarnock Hotel in north Dublin wins the Gilbeys’ Gold medal in catering for the second year in a row
2000 - The IRA reaffirms its commitment to putting arms beyond use in a statement issued in advance of President Bill Clinton’s visits to Dublin and Belfast
2000 - Ruth Le Goff, from Cork, is named as winner of the 15th Annual RTÉ Radio 1 Francis MacManus Short Story Competition
2001 - Police and custom officers on both sides of the Border smash a multi-million pound smuggling operation with links to dissident paramilitary groups
2002 - Tesco's Premier Cru Brut NV comes out top in a blind tasting of 24 champagnes and 11 sparkling wines by British consumer magazine Which?
December 6
1679 - St. Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, is accused of instigating the "Irish Popish" Plot and arrested
1820 - Spanish General Diego O'Reilly is defeated by Peruvian revolutionaries
1908 - Cornelius Cremin, diplomat, is born in Kenmare, Co. Kerry
1921 - Representatives of the Irish government appointed by President Eamon de Valera, and those negotiating for the Crown sign the Anglo-Irish Treaty, ending the Irish War of Independence against England. Michael Collins declares: "I have signed my own death warrant"
1922 - The Irish Free State, Saorstát Éireann, comes into being
1925 - Con Houlihan, journalist, is born in Castleisland, Co. Kerry
1999 - The Abbey Bridge is opened in Limerick. It is intended to relieve chronic traffic congestion and provide a link to the city’s historic quarter of King’s Island
1999 - Actor Gabriel Byrne brings out a host of stars for the Irish premiere of his new movie End of Days in Dublin
Image: Official Gabriel Byrne web site: Gabriel Byrne.
2002 - The RDS Irish Forestry and Wood Awards introduces a new special category award for hurley ash plantations and forests. This year's award is won by Theresa Greene, from Cappamurragh House, Dundrum, Co Tipperary, who has an eight-year-old plantation specifically geared towards the growing of suitable ash trees for hurley-making
2002 - Publicist to the stars, Chris Roche, loses his battle with cancer.
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast of St. Nicholas.
December 7
521 - Birth of St. Columcille, Irish bard and monk honored in all the Celtic lands
1487 - The Earl of Desmond is murdered at the instigation of his brother, John; another brother, Maurice, is his heir
1688 - Thirteen 'Apprentice Boys' refuse to let a Catholic army into Derry/Londonderry (7 December); Tyrconnell backs down and allows the city to keep its Protestant garrison. Enniskillen also defies James II
1754 - Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings, soldier and colonial administrator, is born in Dublin
1768 - William Bulkely, an officer in the Irish Brigade of France, is born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
1879 - Birth in Tralee, Co. Kerry of Austin Stack, anti-Treaty nationalist
1888 - (Arthur) Joyce Cary, author, is born in Derry/Londonderry. Two of his novels were made into films: The Horse's Mouth (1958) starring Sir. Alec Guinness and Mister Johnson (1990)
1922 - The six counties of Northern Ireland opt out of the Free State
1972 - "Special position" of the Catholic Church is removed by referendum from Irish constitution
1998 - The IRA makes an historic decision to start decommissioning following an IRA Army Convention meeting in Donegal
2000 - Blackrock Castle in Cork City goes on the auction block with a starting bid of £850,000. There are no bidders.
2010- The Irish government passes its most austere budget in living memory with most workers facing substantial tax increases, while social welfare recipients will have their benefits cut

December 8
1831 - Death of James Hoban, the Kilkenny architect who designed the White House
1896 - Death of Isabella Maria Susan Tod, Irish women's rights activist 1922 - Liam Mellows, Rory O'Connor, Joseph McKelvey and Richard Barrett, Irish patriots - one from each of the four provinces - are executed by the Free State forces
1881 - Birth in Longford of Padraic Colum playwright, poet and novelist
1939 - Birth of Belfast flutist* Sir James Galway. *Sir James has publicly stated on several occasions that he plays the flute - not the flaut
1945 - John Banville, novelist, is born in Wexford
1980 - Haughey and Thatcher meet in Dublin and agree to consider 'the totality of relationships within these islands'
1999 - The Government implements a 32-year old law banning the sale of turkeys, ducks and geese at livestock marts
2002 - Gardaí recover €100,000 in coins stolen from the Pennies from Heaven charity
2002 - Hundreds of anti-war demonstrators march on Shannon airport in protest at the continued use of the airport by the US Air Force in preparation for possible war in the Gulf
In the liturgical calendar, today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. If it falls on a week day, Roman Catholic schoolchildren get a holiday and in recent times, it has become the custom to go Christmas shopping in the city.
December 9
1791 - Sir Thomas Wyse, politician and diplomat, is born in St John, Co. Waterford
1861 - John O'Donovan, Irish language scholar, dies
1952 - The Irish Management Institute holds its inaugural meeting
1973 - At Sunningdale, Berkshire, British Prime Minister Edward Heath, Irish premier Liam Cosgrave, and representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, sign an historic agreement to set up a Council of Ireland
1994 - Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army's political wing, held its first formal talks with Britain in over 70 years.
2000 - Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern arrives for the third day of the European Summit in Nice. Leaders of the 15 EU states have convened in this heavily guarded city to tackle a tough agenda which centers on the future structure of the European Union and the integration of new member states
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
2002 - Carlow town wins first place in the inaugural all-Ireland anti-litter league. Accepting the award, Carlow’s civic leader Mayor Michael Abbey said the town had enthusiastically embraced the competition which involved 29 towns, including three from Northern Ireland
2002 - Tourism Ireland and Bord Fáilte unveil plans to increase the number of tourists by 5% in 2003, despite the prospect of higher prices across the sector.
2005 - Nearly 150,000 people take to the streets as the Irish Ferries protest mushroomed into the largest public demonstration the country has seen for two decades.
2005 - President Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II meet in Northern Ireland. According to President McAleese, this historic event could clear the way for an unprecedented State visit. No British monarch has made such a trip since George V visited Dublin in 1911, a decade before partition.

December 10
1479 - Garret More Fitzgerald of Kildare, the 'Great Earl', holds a parliament in Dublin from 10 December; it will run, with adjournments, into 1481
1690 - Sir John Dillon, MP for Co. Meath, fights a duel with the Earl of Anglesey
1920 - Martial law is imposed in Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary
1944 - The Dublin actor Wilfrid Brambell takes over from Jimmy O’Dea in the annual Christmas pantomime at the Gaiety Theatre
1960 - Kenneth Branagh, actor and director is born in Belfast
1977 - Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams receive the Nobel Peace Prize
1998 - The Irish and British governments launch a fresh search for a breakthrough in the Northern Ireland peace process in the wake of the joint award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Ulster's political leaders David Trimble and John Hume
1999 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern says that a lasting end to the Northern Ireland conflict is now well in sight
1999 - Tánaiste Mary Harney is in Ballyfermot to officially open the new manufacturing facility of Michael H, one of Ireland’s most successful clothing companies
2000 - Following four days of marathon talks in Nice, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern defeats European Union efforts to directly influence Ireland’s taxation policy
2002 - Loretta Brennan Glucksman, director of philanthropic organisation, the Ireland Funds, presents a €300,000 cheque to Gate Theatre director Michael Colgan towards the Dublin venue’s redevelopment
2002 - The Government postpones the announcement of an expected 43% increase in the cost of an RTÉ licence fee.
2005 - Elizabeth Yensen, the oldest women in Ireland passes away at 110 years old. Born in Glasgow on 25 July 1895, Elizabeth spent more than 70 years in Northern Ireland.
December 11
1225 - Laurence O'Toole is canonized by Pope Honorius III. It will be 750 years before another Irish person is canonized
1650 - Ormond leaves for France, leaving Ulick Burke, 1st Marquis of Clanrickard, as Lord Deputy
1853 - Birth of H. Kingsmill Moore, educationist
1905 - Birth of Erskine Childers, Ireland’s fourth president (1973-1974)
1920 - Martial law is declared in Ireland. Black and Tans and Auxiliaries go on a rampage of burning and looting in Cork
1931 - Statute of Westminster is passed by British Parliament giving Dominion parliaments, including the Free State, equal status of the Imperial Parliament at Westminster
1936 - In the wake of the abdication of Edward VIII, the Dáil passes legislation removing the King from the Irish Constitution and abolishing the position of Governor General
1956 - The Irish Republican Army (IRA) begins what it calls "The Campaign of Resistance to British Occupation"; it is also known as the 'Border Campaign'. As a result of the campaign, Internment is introduced in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. The campaign ends on 26 February 1962 because of lack of support
1979 - Charles Haughey is elected Taoiseach
1998 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair meet in Vienna; they fail to find new ways of breaking the deadlock in the row over implementing the Good Friday Agreement
2001 - Customs and gardaí board a container ship in Dundalk, Co. Louth and seize up to 80 million smuggled cigarettes - the most in State history
2002 - The replica famine ship, the Jeanie Johnston, arrives in Dublin after final fittings in Cork.
December 12
1803 - Birth in Limerick of writer Gerald Griffin
1881 - Birth in Cork of James O'Flynn, also known as 'Father O'Flynn of the Loft'; priest; teacher of acting, singing and dancing
1883 - Birth in Dublin of Peadar Kearney, songwriter, revolutionary and house-painter; he is famous for writing the words of the Irish national anthem
1920 - Birth of Christy Ring in Cloyne, Co. Cork. His 24-year career record earned him a reputation as the greatest hurler of all time
1920 - Black & Tans continue their attacks in Cork
1955 - The Cork Opera House is destroyed by fire
1957 - The IRA begins a violent four-year campaign in Northern Ireland
1960 - Birth of Donegal superstar Daniel O'Donnell
1966 - Birth of Sinéad O'Connor
1975 - A six-day siege on Balcombe Street in London ends peacefully after four IRA gunmen free their two hostages and give themselves up to police
1993 - Ireland's first and Radio Éireann's own agony aunt, Frankie Byrne, whose legendary programme with its 'Dear Frankie' letters of advice was broadcast from 1963 to 1985, passes away at the age of 71
1997 - The Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair invite the key players in the talks into a 12-week negotiating blitz beginning in the New Year
2000 - At a farewell reception in Dundalk, US President Bill Clinton makes an emotional plea to the people of Ireland: “redouble your efforts for peace”
2001 - Intelligence agent William Stobie is gunned down in Belfast by former associates
2002 - The Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism rules that Fossett's Circus is be recognised as an art form and is thus entitled to State funding. The recognition makes the 115-year old circus the oldest performing arts institution in the country, 30 years' older than the Abbey Theatre.
December 13
1779 - British goods are boycotted in Ireland; armed Volunteers parade in College Green, Dublin in November and demand 'a free trade or else' (i.e. the removal of restrictions on Irish trade with the colonies). This demand is granted on this date
1867 - An explosion at Clerkenwell gaol in London, intended to aid in the escape of two Fenians, causes several deaths and injuries
1904 - Sir William McCrea, mathematician and astronomer, is born in Dublin
1905 - Críostóir Mac Aonghusa, writer and promoter of the Irish language is born in Blackwater, Co. Offaly
1955 - Grace Gifford Plunkett, Irish patriot, dies
1960 - Aer Lingus’ first jet, the Boeing 707 ‘St. Patrick’ makes its inaugural flight
1997 - Over a thousand people take to the streets of Dublin in a theatrical spectacle called "Féile Fáilte".to protest racism, particularly against refugees
1999 - Taoiseach Bertie Aherns addresses the historic inaugural plenary meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in Armagh
2000 - Crowds roaring their approval greet Bill and Hillary Clinton on stage at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, confirming the first couple’s enduring popularity in Northern Ireland
2001 - Queen's University honours Manchester United legend, George Best, with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his services to football
2002 - For the eighth year, the only live Christmas crib in Ireland opens in the forecourt of the Mansion House on Dawson Street in Dublin. This year's nativity scene features two llamas as well as the usual donkeys, calves, goats and sheep
2002 - Rugby legend Mick Galwey receives an honorary degree from Trinity College in recognition of his services to Ireland, Munster and Shannon clubs.
December 14
1585 - Nicholas Walsh, Bishop of Ossory and a pioneer of printing in Irish type, is murdered by James Dullard, against whom he had proceeded in his court for adultery
1715 - Irish-born Thomas Dongan, soldier and colonial governor of New York, dies in Ireland
1791 - Charles Wolfe, poet and clergyman, is born in Blackhall, Co. Kildare
1822 - A 'bottle riot' takes place on this date. Missiles are thrown at the vice-regal box during a performance in a Dublin theatre as a result of Wellesley banning celebrations in memory of William III
1831 - A process server and 12 policemen are killed by tithe protesters at Carrickshock, Co. Kilkenny
1900 - Maud Gonne and Paul Kruger (former president of the Transvaal) are offered the freedom of Limerick by the city council
1918 - Sinn Féin, pledged to an Irish Republic, wins 73 of 105 Irish MP seats. Winners include Constance Markievicz who becomes the first woman elected to the Parliament of England
1921 - Dáil Éireann begins Anglo-Irish treaty debate
1955 - The Republic of Ireland becomes a member of the United Nations
1965 - An Anglo-Irish free trade agreement is signed; the UK and Ireland undertake to establish a free trade area by the mid-1970s
1982 - Garrett FitzGerald succeeds Charles Haughey as Taoiseach
1985 - Jack Charlton quits as Ireland manager
1998 - Farmers are to be banned from feeding antibiotic enhanced animal feed to pigs and poultry amid fears that drug residues in meat are a health risk for humans
2001 - Euro kits distributed by the Central Bank go on sale in post offices throughout the country. Demand for the packs, comprising of 19 coins and priced at £5 (€6.35), is brisk, with nearly all the big towns and cities selling out by evening
2001 - Garda technical experts examine 180 rounds of ammunition found on the outskirts of Cork city which they believe may be connected to the Real IRA.

December 15
1760 - John MacNaghten, a gambler, duellist and criminal, is hanged at Strabane jail for his involvement in the killing of Mary Anne Knox, daughter of Andrew Knox MP. At the first attempt to hang him, the rope breaks but, ignoring offers from the crowd to help him make his escape, he declares that he does not wish to be known for ever as 'half-hung McNaghten' and asks the hangman to proceed
1899 - Irish units of the Boer army face the Dublin Fusiliers, Connaught Rangers and the Inniskillings in the battle of Colenso
1930- Edna O’Brien, novelist and short story-writer, is born
1971 - Death of General Richard Mulcahy, Irish Volunteer and TD
1993 - Albert Reynolds and John Major sign the Downing Street Declaration: if the IRA stops its campaign for three months, Sinn Féin will be allowed to join all-party talks.
December 16
1653 - Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of Ireland
1780 - John Beresford is appointed Chief Commissioner of Revenue
1838 - John Gubbins, racehorse owner and breeder, is born in Kilfrush, Co. Limerick
1922 - Arthur Griffith and his ministers assume seat of government at Dublin Castle
1939 - Barney McKenna of the Dubliners is born
1969 - Swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Michelle de Bruin (née Smith) is born in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin
1987 - Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty McColl reaches no. 2 in the British charts
1997 - Tom Parlon is elected President of the Irish Farmers' Association
1998 - More than 250 guests pay tribute to Gay Byrne at a surprise farewell party
1999 - Padraic Wilson, a senior republican tipped to represent the IRA in disarmament talks, is given an early release from Northern Ireland’s top security Maze Prison
2002 - The 15 European Union Agriculture Ministers begin talks on the future of EU fish quotas amid calls for the toughest cutbacks ever.
December 17
1165 - John, the son of Henry II, returns to England after touring parts of southern Ireland. John de Courcy is appointed justiciar
1785 - Sir William Napier, general and historian, is born in Celbridge, Co. Kildare
1803 - Rebel leader Michael Dwyer, whose guerrilla attacks had maddened British colonial authorities since 1798, surrenders
1867 - Henry Harrison, nationalist politician and writer, is born in Holywood, Co. Down
1885 - The results of newspaper reports of Gladstone's conversion to Home Rule, following the general election, gives Parnellites the balance of power
1971 - Soldier and politician General Richard Mulcahy dies in Dublin
1983 - An IRA car bomb kills 3 police officers and 3 shoppers outside Harrods in London’s Knightsbridge; scores are injured
1997 - New regulations are unveiled which confer sweeping discretionary powers on Departmental officials responsible for processing asylum applications, including the authority to summarily deport foreigners
1997 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair makes a fleeting visit to Belfast in a bid to boost the faltering peace process
1998 - Danny McNamee's12-year campaign to clear his name of a terrorist conviction ends in triumph
1999 - The State announces the purchase of the 550 acre Battle of the Boyne site for about £9 million. The seller is an unidentified businessman.
December 18
1781 - Barry Yelverton introduces the bill that will become Yelverton's Act; the bill is an amendment of Poyning's Act and states that only bills passed by both Irish houses of Parliament would be forwarded to England for assent (see entry for July 27, 1782)
1798 - James Henry, physician and classical scholar, is born in Dublin
1801 - John Hely-Hutchinson Jr, MP for Cork Borough, is created Baron Hutchinson of Alexandria and Knocklofty for his military service
1850 - Birth in Bruff, Co. Limerick of James Bourchier, Times correspondent in the Balkan peninsula
1871 - The first ever rugby international is held in Ireland. The North are defeated by the West of Scotland
1878 - Joseph O'Neill, novelist and civil servant, is born in Tuam, Co. Galway
1964 - Sean O'Faolain's autobiography "Vive Moi" is published
1970 - Jockey Pat Taffe retires
1980 - Prisoners in Armagh and Long Kesh end their hunger strike on promises of political status. The promises are not kept
1998 - The Loyalist Volunteer Force becomes the first terrorist group in Northern Ireland to decommission some of its weapons
1999 - A limestone sundial built on a hilltop at the Dursey Sound in West Cork is set to capture Europe’s last daylight of the second Christian millennium
2000 - A boating accident in Mexico claims the life of singer Kirsty MacColl. She was best known for her vocals alongside The Pogues’ Shane McGowan on the 1987 Christmas No 1, Fairytale of New York
2000 - The first Diploma in Nursing students from Cork University Hospital graduate on this date. 178 students are awarded diplomas in nursing, and higher diplomas in midwifery and public health
2001 - The Conservative Party ends more than three decades of co-operation over Northern Ireland in protest at the British government's plans to allow Sinn Féin MPs to use offices at Westminster
2002 - The first section of the Dublin spire is lifted into place
2002 - According to the latest census figures, the prospect of a Catholic majority in Northern Ireland is fast becoming a reality
2002 - A study reveals that Ireland is the third worst country in Europe for traffic gridlock
2002 - The Irish and British governments issue firm assurances about the temporary nature of arrangements in operation during the current suspension of the elected Northern Ireland Assembly
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Flannan, first Bishop of Clare.
December 19
1751 - The Irish Parliament authorizes application of a revenue surplus to the reduction of the national debt which causes a dispute between the House of Commons and the Government
1813 - Thomas Andrews, scientist and research chemist, is born in Belfast
1877 - Land League organizer, Michael Davitt, is released from Dartmoor Prison
1922 - Birth in Dublin of Eamon Andrews, Ireland's first media superstar
1972 - Thin Lizzy reach no. 1 in the Irish charts with Whiskey In The Jar
1973 - The Supreme Court in Dublin decides by a majority of four to one that a ban on contraceptives is unconstitutional
1974 - Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh is inaugurated as the fifth president of the Irish Republic following the death of Erskine Childers
1999 - Sinn Féin says it has no knowledge that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are to be given Westminster offices without having to swear an oath of allegiance
2001 - Experts at the National Museum of Ireland confirm that two pieces of gold jewellery discovered on a beach in Co. Mayo are priceless ribbon torcs which may be up to 3,200 years old
2002 - Unionist leader David Trimble walks out of talks aimed at restoring the North’s government and parliament after documents leaked in Dublin say the IRA is still active
2002 - In Limerick, hundreds take part part in a candlelit peace march to express their sympathy and support for families who have lost loved ones through violence
2002 - Armed raiders get away with an estimated quarter of a million Euro after a raid on the Ulster Bank in Palmerstown in west Dublin.
December 20
1638 - Birth of Narcissus Marsh, provost of Trinity College Dublin and founder of Marsh's Library - the oldest public library in Ireland
1645 - Edward Worcester, Earl of Glamorgan, aristocrat and inventor, is sent to Ireland to raise troops for the king; he makes two secret treaties with the confederates - one on the 25 August and the other on this date
1769 - Sir Martin Shee, portrait painter and president of the Royal Academy, is born in Dublin
1780 - John Wilson Croker, politician and essayist, is born in Galway
1799 - Nicholas Callan, priest, physicist, writer, and inventor of the induction coil, is born in Dromiskin, Co. Louth
1859 - Birth of Kuno Meyer, Irish Celtic scholar
1865 - Birth in Dublin of Maud Gonne McBride, revolutionary and patriot, who dedicates her life to the attainment of an independent Irish nation
1902 - The Dunraven land conference, representing landlords and tenants, opens at the Mansion House, Dublin
1909 - Ireland’s first cinematographic theatre, the Volta, opens in Dublin, under the managership of James Joyce
1950 - The Industrial Development Authority is founded in the Republic
1961 - Robert McGladdery is hanged in Belfast for murder: his is the last judicial execution in Ireland
1998 - There is renewed speculation that the IRA will make a token gesture on the issue of decommissioning before 1998 passes into history
1999 - Another attempt to prevent Wicklow County Council building a controversial dual carriageway through the Glen of the Downs is rejected in the Supreme Court
2000 - The bomb making capacity of dissident terrorists is severely dented with the seizure of almost 400 sticks of Frangex commercial plastic explosive in Co. Kilkenny
2000 - A record 653 entries from 2,000 students is received for the Esat Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition
2000 - The Guinness Book of World Records confirms that an eight-inch egg laid by "Queen Maeve", a Belclare duck owned by the Costello family of Galway, is the world’s largest
2001 - The first casualty of the proposed 250 job cuts at the Irish Times is the Chairman of the Trust, Major Thomas McDowell, who earns close to £500,000 a year.
December 21
1796 - A French fleet under General Hoche with Wolfe Tone, 43 vessels and 14,500 men sails from Brest in December and is scattered by storms; 36 ships arrive at Bantry Bay but do not attempt a landing and return to France, thus preventing what might have been an Irish/French victory over the English
1821 - Birth in Co. Carlow of Samuel Haughton, scientist, mathematician and doctor; he is "famous" for calculating the drop required to kill a hanged man instantly
1915 - Violet Martin, an Irish novelist who wrote under the pen name, Martin Ross, dies. Edith Somerville continues to list her as co-author
1919 - Dáil Éireann meets for the first time and elects Eamon de Valera as President of Ireland
1924 - Golfer Christy O'Connor is born in Knocknacarragh, Co. Galway
1934 - An Anglo-Irish 'cattle and coal' pact is signed
1948 - Republic of Ireland Act passed by Dáil
1985 - Progressive Democrats founded by Dan O'Malley, Mary Harney, and other former members of Fianna Fáil, following split within party
1998 - Clear skies over Co. Meath guarantee one of the best winter solstice displays ever witnessed at the Newgrange burial tomb
2001 - University College Cork is awarded a £62.2m research grant, the highest research funding ever secured under the Government's prestigious Programme for Research at Third Level Institutes
2001 - The pedestrian Ha'penny Bridge across Dublin's River Liffey is reopened after a multimillion pound restoration

In the Celtic Calendar, today is the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year. In Dublin, on this date, the sun will rise at 8:39 am and set at 4:09pm, giving just seven hours and 30 minutes of daylight. In Belfast, the day is even shorter. The sun will rise at 8:43 and set at 3:59.
Photo: A stream of sunlight passes through the window box and along the passage way leading into the burial chamber of Newgrange during the 2006 Winter Solstice.

December 22
1691 - Patrick Sarsfield and The Wild Geese sail out of Cork harbour for France
1740 - Joseph Stock, bishop and author, is born in Dublin
1919 - "The Better Government of Ireland Bill" proposes two home rule parliaments, for the six north-eastern counties and the remaining 26, to come into effect in May 1920
1943 - The government announces that henceforth bus-queuing is compulsory throughout Ireland if more than five people are waiting at a bus-stop
1948 - Birth of TV presenter, Noel Edmonds
1961 - Marcus O'Sullivan, athlete, is born in Cork
1965 - The Succession Act secures to widows a third of the estate (half if they have no children) and empowers the court to make provisions for children
1974 -The London home of the Conservative leader and former Prime Minister Edward Heath is damaged from the impact of a bomb planted by the IRA. The attack comes just hours before a Christmas truce is due to come into effect
1989 - Death of Samuel Beckett
1997 - Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam battles to save the Stormont talks from total collapse as four Ulster Unionist MPs withdraw their support for their party's continuing participation in the negotiations
1997 - The funeral of former Minister for Agriculture, Jim Gibbons, takes place in his native Kilkenny
1998 - Legislation to ensure the compilation of a full record of the country's important buildings and monuments which should be protected is circulated by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Síle de Valera
2002 - The Minister for the Marine, Dermot Ahern, warns about the possibility of a "war on the seas" as a result of the failure by the European Union to agree on a policy relating to the Irish Box fishing area.
December 23
1686 - Samuel Madden, writer, economist and philanthropist, is born in Dublin
1688 - James II is deposed and flees to France
1770 - The Steelboys or Hearts of Steel, a Protestant agrarian protest movement, is involved in conflict in Ulster - 500 Steelboys release a prisoner in Belfast on 23 December
1864 - Death of James Bronterre O’Brien, Longford-born leader of the British Chartist movement
1900 - Noel Purcell, actor, is born in Dublin
1920 - The Government of Ireland Act enforces the secession of the six Northern Irish counties from the rest of Ireland
1950 - A bank strike that will last eight weeks begins on this date
2002 - The second 55ft section of the Spire of Dublin — better known as The Spike — is hauled into place.
December 24
1601 - The Battle of Kinsale. Hugh O'Neill and Red Hugh O'Donnell are heavily defeated by Mountjoy
1701 - Captain Thomas Bellew fights a duel with Major-General William Stewart on Christmas Eve - both men's right hands are disabled as a result of war wounds, and Bellew has served under Stewart. Stewart fires from two yards and blows Bellew's hat off, whereupon Bellew throws his pistol away, saying he does not wish to kill Stewart
1709 - Alan Brodrick, Speaker of the House of Commons, is appointed Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench
1713 - The second Irish parliament of Queen Anne sits from 25 November to this date. The Whig Alan Brodrick is elected Speaker for the second time (having served 21 September 1703 to 19 May 1710), in place of John Forster, after a stormy contest with the government's Tory nominee, Sir Richard Levinge
1810 - John O'Connell, politician, is born in Dublin
1889 - Captain William O'Shea files for divorce, citing Parnell as his wife Kitty's lover, thus causing moral outrage and the subsequent loss of Parnell's political power
1895 - The 15-man crew of a Dun Laoghaire lifeboat crew is lost in a gale while attempting a rescue from a stricken vessel off Blackrock
1921 - Gerard Victory, composer, is born in Dublin
1942 - Psychiatrist and broadcaster Dr. Anthony Clare is born in Dublin
1997 - In one of the worst storms in living memory, seven people die and many others are injured as hurricane-force winds wreak havoc across the country
1998 - After 26 years, an exceptional era in broadcasting comes to a close on this date when Gay Byrne does his final morning radio show on RTE Radio One.
2002 - President Mary McAleese breaks her ankle in a skiing accident in Austria
2012 - Dennis O’Driscoll passes away suddenly aged 58.
Mr O’Driscoll, author of nine volumes of poetry, had his work published in the Harvard Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry and Faber’s 20th Century Irish Poems. A book of his interviews with Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney was also published. An accomplished essayist and reviewer, he was a contributor to The Irish Times. Arts Council chairwoman Pat Moylan said Mr O’Driscoll’s poetry was always astute and insightful, often witty and sometimes sad. “He was a tremendous supporter of other poets, particularly the younger generation, and held an encyclopaedic knowledge of Irish poetry and literature,” she said. “His presence will be deeply missed in the literary community.”
To read our bio and samples of his poetry, please click O'Driscoll poetry.
December 25
1185 - Around Christmas, a crown that Henry had sought from the papacy for John's use as king of Ireland is delivered, but will never be used
1351 - William Ó Ceallaigh, chief of Uí Mhaine, holds a great Christmas feast for the bards of Ireland
1715 - Joshua Dawson sells the Mansion House with its gardens and park to Dublin Corporation for £3,500 plus 40 shillings per annum and a 'loaf of double refined sugar of six pounds weight' which is to be paid to the Dawsons every Christmas
1744 - Sir John Parnell, Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, is born in Co. Laois
1781 - John Ward, mystic and religious writer, is born in Queenstown, Co. Cork
1824 - William Lawless, United Irishmen and officer in Napoleon's Irish Legion, dies in Paris
1829 - Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, bandmaster and composer, is born in Co. Dublin
1831 - Christopher Palles, judge and Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland is born in Dublin
1844 - Rev. William Steel Dickson, Presbyterian minister and United Irishmen supporter, is born in Co. Antrim
1860 - Patrick Dinneen (Pádraig Ó Duinnín) priest, lexicographer and editor, is born in Rathmore, Co. Kerry
1873 - Patrick Gallagher aka 'Paddy the Cope', cooperative society developer, is born in Cleendra, Co. Donegal
1881 - Sir John Greer Dill, Field-Marshalis born in Lurgan, Co. Armagh
1916 - Irish prisoners interned at Frongoch are released
1941 - Jim Bolger, racehorse trainer, is born in Co. Wexford
1974 - Harry Kernoff, Irish artist in oils and woodcuts, dies
1999 - While most parts of the country experience heavy rain and winds, the snow capped Knockmealdown and Comeragh mountains in Co Waterford are picturesque on Christmas Day, particularly for punters who had a flutter on a White Christmas. The presence of snow in many areas costs bookmaker Paddy Power £50,000
2000 - Swimmers around the country brave icy seas and teeth chattering winds as the annual Christmas fund raising swims get off to a chilly start. Temperatures in coastal areas range from zero to four degrees
2002 - Ireland experiences its mildest Christmas in over a decade.
In the liturgical calendar, today celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
December 26
1381 - The sudden death of Edmund Mortimer at Cork leaves the colony without effective leadership and prompts a military crisis
1820 - Dion Boucicault, dramatist and actor, is born in Dublin
1823 - John Cairnes, economist, is born in Castle Bellingham, Co. Louth
1950 - James Stephens, writer, dies
1997 - St. Stephen's Day fox hunts are marked by major animal welfare protests with Gardaí forced to separate hunt supporters and animal welfare activists
1998 - Thousands of homes and businesses in the northern half of the country are without electricity as hurricane-force gales and gusts of over 100 miles per hour send poles crashing to the ground and entangle wires in fallen trees. Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal are the worst affected counties
1998 - Former IRA Chief of Staff, Cathal Goulding, dies in a Dublin hospital
1999 - Hundreds of people walk through the Glen of the Downs in a show of solidarity with eco warriors, despite a Government order closing off the nature reserve to the public
2001 - Politicians from all parties join in mourning the passing of Mark Clinton, who was a major figure in Irish public life over three decades. Mr. Clinton died peacefully at Lucan Lodge Nursing Home, in Lucan, Co Dublin, on December 23, after a lengthy illness
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast of St. Stephen. (see our article: St. Stephen's to New Years Eve)
December 27
1601 - Red Hugh O'Donnell leaves Ireland for Spain; Hugh O'Neill withdraws to Ulster
1727 - Arthur Murphy, actor and playwright, is born in Cloonyquin, Co. Roscommon
1791 - 68 conservative members secede from the Catholic Committee, which thereby becomes more militant
1821 - Lady Jane Francesca Wilde is born in Co. Wexford. Author, poet and the mother of Oscar Wilde, she is also known as Speranza.
Note: Many sources give the year of birth as 1826
1849 - James Fintan Lalor, Young Irelander, dies
1904 - Séamus Byrne, lawyer and playwright, is born in Dublin
1904 - The Abbey Theatre opens with productions of Yeat's "On Baile's Strand" and "Cathleen ni Houlihan", as well as Lady Gregory's "Spreading the News"
1904 - George Bernard Shaw's John Bull's Other Island is performed in London
1960 - Death of Elizabeth Crotty, Irish traditional musician and activist for Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann
1969 - Dan Breen, IRA leader during War of Independence dies
1997 - A leading protestant paramilitary, Billy Wright, is shot dead at the maximum security Maze prison in Northern Ireland
1999 - After a five-year delay, the construction of the £204 million Dublin Port tunnel is finally approved
2000 - A White Christmas arrives late in many parts of the country. The post Christmas whiteout leaves the west and north west blanketed in snow with even offshore islands, where snow rarely lies, covered to a depth of several inches
2001 - Sales fever drives bargain hunters from their beds to join pre-dawn queues as the nation goes on a record £1bn consumer splurge
2002 - A young man is “executed” in north Belfast as the simmering feud among loyalist paramilitaries erupts
2002 - Leopardstown loses up to €500,000 in revenue. Day two of the big Dublin race meeting is cancelled because of water-logging.
December 28
1673 - Birth of Marmaduke Coghill, lawyer, judge and MP
1795 - Lord Gosford, Governor of Armagh declares the Orange Order a "lawless banditti"
1880 - The trial of Parnell and others for conspiracy begins on this date
1883 - St John Greer Ervine, playwright, author, critic and manager of the Abbey Theatre from 1915 to 1916, is born in Belfast
1997 - The British government orders the deployment of the SAS in Mid-Ulster in a bid to thwart another Loyalist Volunteer Force outrage as IRA commanders in Tyrone meet in emergency session in an effort to keep the lid on the Provo ceasefire
2000 - Heavy snow and freezing temperatures are reported throughout the country. The heaviest snowfall in 18 years brings chaos to the North.
Photo Credit: Paul Faith
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast of the Holy Innocents and, in Irish folklore, it was very unlucky to start something new. It was also believed that whichever day of the week the feast fell, that day would be unlucky throughout the following year. To read a related article to Irish Superstitions for the Christmas Season please click: Christmas Supstitions.
December 29
1766 - Richard Dawson, MP for Monaghan Borough, dies on this date. Before his death, his bank - Wilcox & Dawson of Dublin, which was established in 1747 - closes with debts thought to amount to £192,000
1829 - Fr. John B. Bannon, Confederate Army Chaplain, is born in Co. Leitrim
1864 - The National Association of Ireland is founded in Dublin, backed by the Catholic hierarchy and intended to foster cooperation with English radicals to promote disestablishment of the Church of Ireland
1876 - The Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language is formed in Dublin
1902 - Birth of Edward Pakenham, 6th Earl of Longford; theatrical producer and dramatist
1932 - Eileen Desmond, Labour politician, is born in Kinsale, Co. Cork
1997 - Secretary of State Mo Mowlam holds day-long crisis talks with security chiefs and prison officials amid renewed calls for her resignation and fears that breakaway loyalist and republican terror bosses will ruthlessly exploit any political vacuum
1998 - Battered by gale-force winds and torrential rain, The Isle of Man ferry runs aground in Dublin Bay
1998 - More than 12,000 families across the country face their fifth day of candle-light and cold meals as the painstaking process of repairing storm-damaged electricity lines drags on
2000 - One of the coldest spells to grip the country in decades continues
2001 - Singer Daniel O'Donnell is awarded an honorary MBE in the Queen's honours list for his decades of service to the music industry. Fashion designer John Rocha is awarded a CBE.
December 30
1691 - Robert Boyle, pioneer chemist and physicist dies
1830 - William Lewery Blackley, cleric and social reformer, is born in Dundalk, Co. Louth
1932 - William Francis Thomas Deegan, important supporter of Irish Culture and Customs and all things Irish, is born
1975 - Mark Clinton, the Minister for Agriculture, notifies Trinity College that all future state funds for veterinary medicine would be allocated to University College
1997 - Key files from the Department of Defence, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General relating to the Arms Crisis of 1970 are discovered to be missing from the State archives
1997 - Thousands of loyalists pack the streets of Portadown for the funeral of LVF commander Billy Wright
2002 - To mark the 400th anniversary of the exodus of the O’Sullivan Beare clan from West Cork to Leitrim, a group of 40 people begins walking the entire 260-mile route which will take them through 11 counties and about two weeks to complete.
December 31
1602 - The O’Sullivan Beara’s are driven out of West Cork by the English who had defeated the combined Spanish and Irish forces at the Battle of Kinsale. Dónal Cam O’Sullivan, chieftain of the clan, begins the long march to Leitrim on this date, where he hopes to gain sanctuary with the O’Rourke’s of Breffni. Accompanying him are 1,000 men, women and children representing the first large-scale exodus of people from the Castletownbere region
1728 - Sylvester O'Halloran, surgeon, founder of Limerick Infirmary, and antiquary, is born in Limerick
1804 - Francis Mahony, 'Father Prout, priest and humorist, is born in Cork
1820 - Novelist Mary Anne Sadlier, née Madden, is born in Cootehill, Co. Cavan
1909 - In Hillsborough, Co Down. Harry Ferguson's plane made out of spruce wood and linen made the first flight in Ireland.
1930 - The appointment of Letitia Dunbar-Harrison as Mayo County Librarian leads to controversy, for reasons related to her lack of Irish-language skill, her disregard of local patronage, and the fact that she's a Protestant; Mayo County Council is dissolved by ministerial order on this date
1961 - Radio Éireann's television service begins transmission on this date
1975 - The Anti-Discrimination (Pay) Act establishes the right to equal pay for equal or like work and provides a system whereby this right may be attained and enforced
1999 - Thousands of people gather at celebrations in towns and cities throughout Ireland to ring in the new millennium.
Photo Credit: Chris Bacon
2012: Ireland's oldest woman passes away. Mary-Kate Byrne, from Grange, Maganey in Co Laois was 108. Also known as Polly, Mary-Kate was born on 14 August 1904. Predeceased by her husband William, son Joe and daughter Lilly, she is survived by her sons Liam and Michael, daughters-in-law Nellie and Theresa, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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