Happy First Day of the Celtic Summer!
May 1 Beltaine
1169 - A small party of Normans arrives at Baginbun and establishes a bridgehead for further invasions
1170 - Arrival of Normans in Co. Wexford. Arrival of Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, subsequently known as 'Strongbow'.
1171 - Diarmaid MacMurrough, king of Leinster, dies in Ferns, Co. Wexford; Strongbow is his (disputed) successor (MacMurrough's remaining legitimate son, Connor, has been executed while a hostage of Rory O'Connor)
1316 - Records indicate that around this date, Robert Bruce has himself crowned king of Ireland near Dundalk
1654 - Transplantable landowners are ordered to move to Connacht by this date; this deadline is then put back to 1 March 1655
1650 - William King, archbishop, theologian and Williamite, is born in Antrim
1672 - Birth of Joseph Addison, poet and dramatist; Chief Secretary to Lord Lieutenant Wharton 1708-10; MP for Cavan Borough 1709-13
1697 - The Bishops' Banishment Act passed on 25 September,1696, requires most Catholic clergy to leave the kingdom by this date, and bans Catholic clergy from entering it - the Act will never be efficently enforced
1780 - Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin, teacher and diarist, is born in Killarney, Co. Kerry
1794 - Catholics are enabled by law to attend Trinity College
1786 - The Belfast Academy is opened; it becomes the Belfast Royal Academy in 1887
1803 - James Clarence Mangan, poet, is born in Dublin
1823 - Oliver Harty, Baron de Pierrebourg, of Co. Limerick, Lieutenant-General in Napoleon's army, retires
1854 - Songwriter, entertainer and painter, Percy French, is born in Cloonyquin, Co. Roscommon. One of his many famous songs is "The Mountains of Mourne"
1919 -Birth of Dan O'Herlihy, actor; film credits include Fail Safe, Last Starfighter, Robocop
1975 - General election is held to a constitutional convention on Northern Ireland
1984 - Séan nos singer, Joe Heaney, dies
1998 - Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, urges Gerry Adams, to get the IRA to accept that there would have to be arms decommissioning if progress in implementing the Good Friday agreement was to be made
2000 - Nobel Laureate and SDLP leader John Hume is awarded the freedom of Derry at a reception in the city’s Guildhall
2001 - Limerick is tops for pub grub after one of the city's trendiest bars picks up the coveted Club Orange/Licensing World Pub Lunch award. In a business worth an estimated £1million a day, the Thomas Street premises, Auburs, beat off stiff competition from 11 monthly winners to become Ireland's leading purveyor of pub lunches
2003 - The month of April goes into the record books as one of the warmest for the last 100 years. At Valentia Observatory and Malin Head the temperatures recorded for the month were the highest since 1893.
May 2
1332 - Sir Anthony Lucy's campaign in Munster ends on this date
1656 - Birth of Sir Richard Levinge, Tory politician and Speaker of the House of Commons
1788 - An Act on this date repeals tests imposed on Protestant Dissenters
1794 - United Irishman Archibald Rowan escapes from custody and eventually makes his way to America
1806 - John Jones, sculptor, is born in Dublin
1858 - Birth of Edith Oenonne Somerville, novelist most famous for Some Experiences Of An Irish R.M written in collaboration with her cousin Violet Martin (also known as Martin Ross); in 1903, she becomes the first female Master of Foxhounds in Corfu
1884 - Birth of William Casey, dramatist and Times editor
1882 - Charles Stewart Parnell is released under the terms of the "Kilmainham Treaty"; writing off the debts of tenants in arrears. A landmark in the land agitation movement (and Parnell's career).
1921 - Lord FitzAlan of Derwent becomes the first Catholic lord lieutenant since the 17th century; he will be the last lord lieutenant
1923 - Birth in Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare of Patrick Hillery, surgeon, politician and former president from 1976 to 1990. He negotiates Ireland's entry into the European Community in 1973 and is later E.C. vice president for three years
1929 - The Fianna Fáil proposes a motion to retain the Land Annuities. It is defeated in the Dail
1945 - Eamon de Valera offers his condolences to the German Ambassador, Edouard Hempel, on the death of Adolf Hitler
1954 - Soccer great, Sammy McIlroy, is born
1957 - Death of Fr. Aloysius Roche, Irish patriot. During the 1916 Easter Rebellion, he and Frs. Albert, Augustine and Dominic bring spiritual aid to the Volunteers in the numerous garrisons and outposts throughout Dublin. Following Padraig Pearse's surrender on 29 April, Fr. Aloysius spends the next day carrying the surrender order to the main garrisons on the south side of the city. In the early hours of the morning of 3 May, Fr. Aloysius administers the last sacraments to Pearse, MacDonagh and Thomas, the first three leaders of the Rising to be executed; on May 7, Fr Aloysius accompanies James Connolly by ambulance from Dublin Castle to Kilmainham Jail for execution and stands behind the firing squad as they fire the final volley
1958 - Birth of David O'Leary, footballer for Arsenal, Leeds United and the Republic of Ireland footballer; Leeds United manager
1970 - Birth of soccer star, Steve Morrow
1982 -T he Irish government affirms its neutrality in the Falklands conflict between the UK and Argentina, and opposes EEC sanctions against Argentina
2000 - Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, arrives at Number 10 Downing St, London where he and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair are hosting talks aimed at trying to breathe fresh life into the flagging Northern Ireland peace process. The two premiers will have separate meetings with the Ulster Unionists, Sinn Fein and the SDLP to see if they can find a way to overcome the deadlock over devolution and decommissioning
2001 - Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness confirms publicly for the first time that he was the IRA's second-in-command in Derry on Bloody Sunday. The admission prompts a swift call from the Ulster Unionists for Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams to come clean about his IRA past
2003 - The Rolling Stones set a new Irish box office record when more than 16,000 tickets for their Dublin concerts sell within two minutes.
May 3
1714 - Sir Wentworth Harman, MP for Lanesborough, dies from the wounds he receives in a carriage accident on April 28
1785 - The Irish Academy, later to become the Royal Irish Academy, meets for the first time
1903 - Bing Crosby, descendant of Irish immigrants, is born in Tacoma, Washington, as Harry Lillis Crosby
1915 - Birth in Galway of novelist Walter Macken
1916 - Patrick Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh executed by firing squad in Kilmainham jail
1921 - IRA troops under Tom Maguire fight off 600 English troops in Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo
1924 - The world premiere of Sean O’Casey’s Juno And The Paycock took place at the Abbey Theatre
1928 - Fianna Fáil petition with 96,000 signatures, calling for referendum to abolish the Oath of Allegiance rejected by Government which instead abolishes the plebiscite clause in the Constitution
1933 - Dáil passes an act removing the Oath of Allegiance from the constitution
1938 - Birth of Robert O'Driscoll, writer and professor of English
1999 - Swimmer Michelle de Bruin's hopes of salvaging her reputation and career nosedive with new allegations that a urine sample contains traces of a banned stimulant
1999 - RTÉ launches their 24-hour classical music station Lyric FM.
May 4
1699 - According to Jonathan Swift's book, Gulliver's Travels, it was on this day that Lemuel Gulliver sets sail on board the Antelope from Bristol
1715 - Joseph Deane, Justice of Assize for Munster and MP for Co. Dublin, dies of a fever resulting from a cold he caught (allegedly caused by a total eclipse of the sun) while returning from circuit on horseback
1773 - Art Ó Laoghaire, the subject of Eileen O'Leary's lament 'Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire', is killed by soldiers near Millstreet, Co. Cork
1773 - The Dublin Journal of 4-6 May reports that Thomas Burton (former MP for Ennis) 'met with the melancholy accident of being overturned in his chaise, by which he was killed on the spot, in his return home, in company with a gentleman who was to have been married to his daughter the following day'
1782 - Second and third Catholic Relief Acts (4 May, 27 July) allow Catholics to own land outside parliamentary boroughs, to be teachers, and to act as guardians
1782 - Acts establish the Bank of Ireland, and validates marriages by Presbyterian ministers
1836 - The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America is founded in New York City
1838 - Charles Williams, war correspondent, is born in Coleraine, Co. Derry/Londonderry
1916 - Edward Daly, Michael O'Hanrahan, William Pearse (brother of Padraic Pearse) and Joseph Mary Plunkett are executed by firing squad in Kilmainham jail
1928 - Poet, Thomas Kinsella, is born
1946 - Birth in Belfast of John Watson, former Formula 1 racing driver
1998 - Dissident IRA bombers strike in the heart of west Belfast to disrupt the city's annual marathon in an incident which reflects the growing divisions among republicans
1999 - TV3 pulls off the biggest coup of its short existence by securing the broadcasting rights to the UEFA Champions League for three years from the start of the 2000-01 season
1999 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has a working dinner in Government Buildings with the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who is in Ireland as part of an European tour
2000 - Ciaran Nugent, the first person to start the blanket protest against the British Government’s treatment of republican prisoners, is found dead at his home
2001 - The remains of St Therese of Lisieux arrive at Mountjoy Prison where they will remain overnight
2003 - Sinn Féin's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, tells a republican rally in West Belfast that the British government has effectively capitulated to the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party by postponing the Assembly elections until the autumn.
May 5
1795 - House of Commons rejects Grattan's Catholic relief bill
1864 - Birth in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford of Sir Henry Wilson, soldier; chief of the Imperial General Staff from 1918 to 1922; establishes British Intelligence 'Cairo Gang' in Dublin
1881 - Richard Downey (youngest ever Catholic archbishop in 1928, who reduces his weight from 18 stone to 9 stone in the 1930s) is born in Kilkenny
1916 - Irish patriot and a leader of the 1916 Easter Uprising, John MacBride, is executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol
1939 - Death of Mick the Miller, the greatest greyhound in the history of the sport
1941 - Kate O'Brien's novel The Land of Spices is banned by the Free State Board of Censors; protests will eventually lead to the setting up of an appeals procedure
1965 - Birth on Belfast of Norman Whiteside, Manchester United, Everton and Northern Ireland footballer
1981 - Bobby Sands dies at Long Kesh prison on the 66th day of his hunger strike
1999 - The remains of celebrated British actor Oliver Reed arrive in Ireland and are taken by hearse to a funeral home in the North Cork town of Buttevant, not far from his Castle McCarthy home in nearby Churchtown
1999 - Prince Charles visits Omagh and meets with relatives of those killed in the 1998 bombing and some of the young people who were injured
1999 - A team of security personnel from the White House arrive in Galway to prepare the city's National University for the visit of First Lady Hillary Clinton
1999 - Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams suggests that full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement could mean the end of the IRA
2000 - Hopes for a breakthrough in the peace process grow as high level talks at Hillsborough Castle overrun their expected timeframe by several hours
2003 - It is announced that almost a year after his death, two unpublished plays by John B, Keane have been discovered in his study and will be staged when his widow, Mary, decides the time is right.
May 6
1074 - Donatus (or Dunan), the first Bishop of Dublin, dies on this date and is buried in Christ Church Cathedral. Patrick, his successor, is sent to Canterbury for consecration (records are unreliable - the date of his death is also recorded as November 23)
1384 - Philip de Courtenay lands at Dalkey and campaigns in the midlands and the Leinster mountains
1728 - Act of Parliament removes the right to vote from Catholics
1763 - Mary Molesworth, widow of Richard Molesworth (3rd Viscount Molesworth, MP for Swords 1715-26), and her daughters Melosina and Mary die in a fire at their London house
1820 - Birth in St. Cleran’s, Co. Galway of Robert O’Hara Burke, explorer
1830 - Birth of Irish naturalist and librarian, William Archer in Magherahamlet, Co. Down. Archer did work on protozoa and was the first librarian of the National Library of Ireland
1882 - 'Phoenix Park murders' - The assassination of the British chief secretary of Ireland, Lord Frederick Cavendish, and his under secretary, T.H. Burke. Both are stabbed to death as they walk in Dublin's Phoenix Park by members of a nationalist secret society, the “Invincibles”. The attack is attributed to the Fenians. It is not actually connected with land agitation
1884 - Birth of painter William Conor in Belfast
1916 -The U-20, a German U-boat commanded by Captain Schweiger, sinks the Centurion off the south-east Irish coast; the next day, the U-20 sinks the Lusitania
1925 - Máire de Paor (née McDermott) archaeologist and arts activist, is born in Buncrana, Co. Donegal
1937 - Birth of Shay Brennan, Irish international footballer
1947 - Singer Paul Brady is born
1964 - Birth of actress Roma Downey in Co. Derry
1967 - Seven Drunken Nights by the Dubliners enters the British Top Ten
1970 - Charles Haughey (Minister for Finance) and Neil Blaney (Minister for Agriculture) are dismissed by Taoiseach Jack Lynch; later, the are arrested and charged with importing arms for the IRA. Blaney is discharged on 2 July; Haughey is acquitted on 23 October
1998 - The High Court hears that an advance of £175,000 has been negotiated by convicted IRA killer-turned-informer Seán O'Callaghan for his autobiography
2000 - Large crowds turn out in bright summer sunshine in Fenit, Co. Kerry, where President Mary McAleese officially christens the three-masted, famine ship replica, the Jeanie Johnston
2000 - Peace and prosperity are within Northern Ireland’s grasp, according to European Commissioner Chris Patten
2001 - A bomb explodes at a north London postal sorting office. It is the second such attack in three weeks and is linked to the Real IRA
2003 - The Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister pledge to move the Northern peace process forward following their talks at Farmleigh in Dublin.
2008 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley officially open the Battle of the Boyne site in Co Meath. It is the last official engagement of Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach.
May 7
1689 - James II arrives from exile in France and addresses the Irish Parliament. Thanking them for support, applauding their courage and vowing to "venture my life...in defence of your liberties". Thus begins the events leading up to the Battle of the Boyne
1689 - James II's predominantly Catholic Irish parliament which is in session from this date until 18 July, implements various measures redressing Catholic grievances
1716 - John Medcalf, previously dismissed as Church of Ireland curate of Powerscourt for conducting clandestine marriages, is excommunicated for refusing to appear in the Consistory Court when cited by a woman for conjugal rights
1720 - James Cotter is executed for high treason in supporting the Jacobite cause: his son, Sir James Cotter, will later be MP for Askeaton
1741 - Anthony Tanner, perpetual curate for Holmpatrick, who has been married for less than six months, is murdered near Rush, Co. Dublin
1838 - Charles Owen O'Conor, politician, is born in Dublin
1865 - John MacBride, revolutionary, is born in Westport, Co. Mayo
1915 - The Lusitania is sunk by a German U-boat off the Old Head of Kinsale, Co. Cork with the loss of more than 1,100 lives
1931 - An Oige, Irish Youth Hostel Association is established. At the end of that year, it has just 215 members and 2 hostels. Today, An Óige has well over 30 youth hostels located throughout Ireland
1938 - Johnny Caldwell, flyweight boxer and winner of a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics, is born in Belfast
1966 - The UVF carry out a petrol bomb attack on a Catholic-owned bar and off-licence in Upper Charleville Street in the Shankill Road area of Belfast. The attackers miss their intended target and set fire to the home of Matilda Gould (77), a Protestant civilian, who lived next door to the public house. Gould is severely injured in the attack and dies on 27 June 1984
1992 - Bishop of Galway, Dr. Eamonn Casey, resigns
1996 - Henry Diamond, Irish Nationalist MP, dies at 87
1999 - James le Moyne, a UN negotiator, has agreed to help break the decommissioning deadlock in the Northern peace process before the marching season begins
2001 - The Broadway play Stones in His Pockets by Belfast playwright Marie Jones receives three nominations for the theatre world's top honour, the Tony awards, in New York. Conleth Hill and Sean Campion are nominated in the Leading Actor category and Ian McElhinney is nominated for Best Director
2001 - Islanders off the coast of Cork rescue a 20ft pilot whale who became stranded at Hare Island with another dead whale.

May 8
1567 - Shane O'Neill's army crosses the Swilly estuary at Farsetmore, and is defeated in a pitched battle by Hugh O'Donnell. Many drown while trying to escape; O'Neill loses1,300 men
1597 - Execution of Fiach MacHugh O’Byrne
1796 - John Pitt Kennedy, civil engineer; road and railway pioneer in India, is born in Carndonagh, Co. Donegal
1879 - Sir William Wheeler, surgeon, is born in Dublin
1899 - The first production of the Irish Literary Theatre, The Countess Cathleen is performed. Like many of Yeats' plays, it is inspired by Irish folklore. In a time of famine, demons sent by Satan come to Ireland to buy the souls of the starving people. The saintly Cathleen disposes of her vast estates and wealth in order to feed the peasants, yet the demons thwart her at every turn; at last, she sacrifices her own soul to save those of the poor
1916 - Irish patriots, Michael Mallin, Eamonn Ceannt, Cornelius "Con" Colbert and Sean Heuston are executed in Kilmainham gaol
1935 - Birth of Jack Charlton, footballer and manager
1945 - VE Day is marked in Dublin by small disturbances throughout the city which quickly turn into major disorder
1951 - The Arts Council is founded in the Republic
1990 - Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiach, dies in Lourdes
1999 - A freak mini-tornado hits Carraroe, near Williamstown in Co. Galway, leaving a trail of destruction in its path and almost killing a couple who just manage to escape from their mobile home before it is picked up and torn apart
2001 - A strike by more than 100 ATGWU drivers along the east coast causes havoc for 120,000 travellers who find themselves without suburban and inter-city train service; Dart service is cut in half
2003 - Visiting French angler Marc Peyronnie lands an enormous 44 lb-3oz pike following a 25 minute titanic struggle at Ardan Lake.The fish measured 1.18 metres and following this photo shoot he was returned to the lake with a kiss from his proud conqueror!
2007 - The Rev Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness mark the end of almost four decades of bitter and bloody conflict in Northern Ireland as they are formally appointed first minister and deputy first minister. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, British prime minister Tony Blair and other dignitaries, including former US president Bill Clinton and US democrat Ted Kennedy, witness the creation of a powersharing government led by political polar opposites the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin. This is the first time that Northern Ireland will be run by a government in which all the main nationalist and unionist parties have agreed to operate power together.

May 9
1423 - Edmund Mortimer, 8th earl of Ulster, earl of March, the greatest Irish landowner and heir presumptive to the throne of England, is appointed lieutenant for nine years
1650 - The Battle of Clonmel begins with the first of two assaults. Cromwell's forces are beaten back on this date by Black Hugh O'Neill. Eventually, Cromwell loses up to 2,000 men, but O'Neill, realizing he has a shortage of ammunition, secretly withdraws
1671 - Irish adventurer Colonel Thomas Blood dresses as a clergyman and attempts to steal the British crown jewels from the Tower of London. He is arrested in possession of the crown
1691 - Charles Chalmont (Marquis de Saint-Ruth; French general) is sent by Louis XIV to command the Irish army and arrives on this date
1709 - The Irish House of Lords expresses hope that union of Ireland and England will follow union of England and Scotland
1807 - Thomas Wyatt, architect, is born in Loughlin House, Co. Roscommon
1814 - Birth in Dublin of John Brougham, actor and dramatist
1828 - Charles Kickham, Fenian, novelist, and author of Knocknagow, is born in Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary
1865 - The Dublin International Exhibition opens in Earlsfort Terrace
1896 - Austin Clarke, considered at his death to be the greatest poet of his generation after Yeats, is born
1916 - Irish Patriot, Thomas Kent, is executed at Cork Detention Barracks
1927 - Birth of John McDermott, Lord Justice of Appeal for Northern Ireland
1932 - Éamon de Valera is elected Taoiseach
1933 - Seán Swayne, priest and liturgist is born
1939 - Fianna Fáil politician and EU Commissioner, Padraig Flynn, is born in Castlebar, Co. Mayo
1943 - Mystery still surrounds what happened when a mine washes up on a beach in Co. Donegal and explodes; 19 men and boys, aged between 14 and 33, who lived in Ballymanus near Kincasslagh, are killed by the blast
1947 - Birth in Cork City of actor Anthony Corlan
1982 - General Election results in Fianna Fáil victory winning 81 seats. Charles J. Haughey is elected as Taoiseach on the 50th Anniversary of the first Fianna Fáil Government in 1932.
May 10
1318- Richard de Clare, while defending his protégé Mahon O'Brien, is defeated and killed by Murrough O'Brien at Dysert O'Dea. De Clare's heir is a minor; Norman-Irish power in Thomond is thus undermined
1603 - In the revolt of the towns, or recusancy revolt, Catholic worship is re-established in Kilkenny and the main Munster towns between 11 April and this date, in the hope that James I will grant religious toleration; Mountjoy marches south and forces the towns to submit
1642 - A Catholic confederacy ('the Confederation of Kilkenny') is instituted to administer Catholic-controlled parts of the country pending a final settlement
1739 - John Thomas Troy, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin and opponent of revolution, is born in Castleknock, Co. Dublin
1804 - After resigning as Prime Minister following a disagreement with George III over Catholic Emancipation, William Pitt returns to office
1838 - James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce of Dechmount; jurist, historian and Liberal politician, is born in Belfast
1870 - Jem Mace defends his heavyweight crown against Irish champ Joe Coburn; it lasts 1 hr & 17 minutes; neither is struck by a punch
1873 - Leslie Montgomery, comic writer; pseudonym Lynn C. Doyle, is born in Downpatrick, Co. Down
1886 - Richard Mulcahy, pro-Treaty nationalist and Fine Gael politician, is born in Waterford
1908 - Birth of Henry Diamond, Irish Nationalist MP
1918 - Birth of singer, Margo (Golden Irish Favorites)
1920 - Birth of Basil Kelly Lord Justice of Appeals for Northern Ireland
1925 - Birth of Danny Blanchflower; winner of 56 caps
1939 - Birth of Padraig Flynn, former EU Commissioner
1950 - Charlie Nash, former European and British lightweight champion, is born in Derry
1956 - Birth of Brendan Howlin, Labour TD and former Minister for the Environment
1960 - Paul Hewson, better known as Bono, is born at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin
1972 - In a referendum in the Republic, 83 per cent favour accession to the European Economic Community
1998 - Members of Sinn Féin vote to accept the Good Friday peace agreement, effectively acknowledging the north-south border
2000 - Arts and Culture Minister, Sile de Valera, officially opens the fully restored 1817 fountain at the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin.
May 11
1745 - At the battle of Fontenoy (30 April/11 May according to the two calendars), near Tournai in modern Belgium, the Irish Brigade of the French army under Lieutenant Charles O'Brien repulses the British and wins the day. Those killed include (on the British side) Henry Ponsonby, MP for Innistiogue and a brother of Brabazon Ponsonby, 1st Earl of Bessborough
1788 - Presbyterian minister, Henry Cooke, is born at Grillagh, near Maghera, Co Derry. Cooke is famous for leading Ulster Presbyterianism away from the free-thinking radicalism which had spawned the United Irishmen's rising during his childhood
1916 - During the House of Commons debate on the Irish crises, John Dillon urges the cessation of executions
1937 - Debate on new Constitution commences
1967- The Republic of Ireland applies again to join the Common Market
1971 - Death of former Taoiseach Seán Francis Lemass
1979 - The Riordans, a drama about life in a rural Irish village and the most successful serial in the history of RTE (running for 15 years) comes to an end
1996 - Bill Graham, Irish rock journalist, dies at his home in Howth
1999 - Gay Byrne, legendary host of the Late Late Show, becomes the 64th Freeman of the City of Dublin
2000 - Figures released on this date show that tourist visitors to Ireland in 1999 exceed six million for the first time
2001 - Visually-impaired adventurer Caroline Casey arrives back in Dublin after a four-month elephant ride across India during which she raises $250,000 for charity.
May 12
563 - St Columcille establishes a community on Iona
1641 - Thomas Wentworth, English viceroy of Ireland and Earl of Stafford is beheaded
1751 - Archibald Hamilton Rowan, nationalist and United Irishman, is born in London
1784 - J.S. Knowles, dramatist and Baptist preacher, is born in Cork
1806 - James Shields, US army general and the only person to be elected a senator by three states, is born in Altmore, Co. Tyrone
1823 - Daniel O'Connell founds the Catholic Association, an organization dedicated to obtaining the franchise for Catholics
1916 - Irish Patriots, Seán MacDiarmada and James Connolly are executed at Kilmainham Gaol
1944 - Cork-born Venerable Edel Quinn, one of the outstanding missionary figures of the 20th century, dies of TB in Nairobi
1950 - Birth in Dublin of internationally acclaimed actor Gabriel Byrne
1981 - Francis Hughes, Irish political prisoner, dies on hunger strike, in Maze Prison, near Lisburn, Co. Antrim. His death comes a week after the the death of Bobby Sands on 5 May, the first to die in a republican campaign for political status to be granted to IRA prisoners
1998 - British Chancellor Gordon Brown hands the Yes campaign in the North a monster financial boost when he unveils a bumper £315 million plan — over twice what was expected
1999 - US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton become the first woman to be granted the Freedom of Galway city, following in the footsteps of her country's former presidents, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan
2003 - Dublin City Council votes by an overwhelming majority to call for the preservation of a house in Moore Street where the leaders of the 1916 Rising have their last meeting and decide to surrender to British forces.
May 13
1787 - On this date, which is a Sunday, Alderman Exshaw, accompanied by Archdeacon Hastings, is walking in Merrion Square, Dublin, when he encounters 'a great number of people, leaping, wrestling, shouting, etc.'. The archdeacon observes that this activity profanes the Sabbath and is a disgrace to Exshaw's district. The latter orders the police to advance and disperse the crowd with fixed bayonets. The MPs Richard Griffith, Henry Hatton and Sir John Freke intervene, and Griffith asks Exshaw 'to consider what he was about to do; that he had no right to order his men to fire without reading the Riot Act, and that if they fired, they must kill many innocent persons'. These words, according to Exshaw later, encourage the mob, and they immediately attack the police with stones. Exshaw will admit that there was no riot before he ordered the police to disperse the crowd, 'that some of his men were drunk, but not so much so, he said as to render them incapable of doing their duty; that it was with great difficulty he prevented them from firing on the mob'. Griffith will be found guilty of instigating a riot, and considered lucky not to be hanged
1842 - Arthur Sullivan, the son of an Irish musician, is born. Along with William Gilbert he invented the English operetta. Sullivan’s last work is entitled "The Emerald Isle"
1848 - The Irish Confederation splits; John Mitchel starts the militant United Irishman; he is arrested on this date and is sentenced to 14 years transportation under the new Treason-Felony Act
1852 - Anna Catherine Parnell, sister of Charles and Fanny, and co-founder of the Irish Ladies Land League, is born in Avondale, Co. Wicklow
1878 - Birth of Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquis Londonderry and unionist politician
1906 - According to his birth certificate, this is the day playwright and novelist, Samuel Beckett is born in Foxrock, Co. Dublin. Throughout his life, he insists his birth is on Good Friday - April 13, 1906
1919 - Dan Breen and Seán Treacy rescue their comrade Seán Hogan from a Dublin-Cork train at Knocklong, Co. Limerick; two policemen guarding him are killed
1945 - In a radio broadcast, Churchill accuses de Valera's government of frolicking with the Germans and Japanese
1954 - Sean Patrick Michael Sherrard, better known as Johnny Logan, is born. He is considered to be the most successful Eurovision Song contestant of all time
Photo Credit: Johnny Logan
1981 - Pope John Paul II survives an assassination attempt in St Peter's Square, Rome
1998 - Delegates at the Church of Ireland Synod in Dublin vote down a proposal that the church stop investing in companies involved in the production and selling of arms
1998 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern calls on Sinn Féin and the IRA to state unequivocally that the war in Northern Ireland is over
1998 - The British Government appoints Adam Ingram as "Minister for Victims" to co-ordinate a drive towards new proposals to help the forgotten victims of terrorist violence in Northern Ireland
2000 - More than 3,500 people march through the centre of Dublin to show their opposition to the rising levels of racism directed at refugees
Photo Credit: Paul Sharp/Photocall Ireland!
2003 - Ferocious winds force an Irish team hoping to scale Mount Everest to return to their base camp. Two members of the team, Clare O’Leary, 31, from Cork and Hannah Shields, 37, from Derry, hope to become the first Irish women to scale the world’s highest peak.
May 14
1260 - Brian O'Neill, during the assault on the Earldom of Ulster, is defeated and killed by the forces of Roger des Auters at the battle of Down (renamed by de Courcy as Downpatrick)
1660 - Charles II is proclaimed king in Dublin, six days after London, thus ending Cromwell's reign as Lord Protector and beginning a brief and limited Catholic Restoration
1730 - Sir Edward Newenham, popular MP for County Dublin and strong advocate of the American colonists, is born. Newenham is introduced at the court of Louis XVI by the Marquis de Lafayette, even though Britain and France are at war
1755 - George Barrington (real name Waldron), writer, adventurer and pickpocket is born in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. A well-dressed pickpocket who "worked" in Churches and the Houses of Parliament, he is arrested and transported to Australia. Later, he becomes Australian high constable. He is known for the lines: "True patriots all; for be it understood- We left our country for our country’s good"
1784 - Foster's Corn Law regulates the corn trade
1784 - The Irish Post Office, distinct from English and Scottish services, is established by statute
1865 - The last surviving member of the Irish House of Commons, Sir Thomas Staples, who had risen in his profession to be Queen's Advocate for Ireland, dies in Lissan, Co. Tyrone 11 weeks short of his 90th birthday
1893 - George "McIrish" McElroy is born in Donnybrook, Co. Dublin. He is Ireland's highest World War One ace, with 47 victories within 40 weeks
1974 - The Ulster Workers' Council declares a general strike; Faulkner and the unionist members of the executive resign on 28 May; direct rule is reimposed the following day and the strike is called off. Power-sharing is dead
1998 - The leaders of the five main Dáil parties join forces in urging Sinn Féin and the IRA to publicly declare that the "war is over" and that weapons are redundant
1999 - Ballykissangel actor Edmund Birdy Sweeney is laid to rest in a tiny cemetery in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, just a hundred yards from St Patrick's Chapel where he had worshipped
2003 - A headless body is discovered by a Co. Offaly farmer while digging a drain close to his home. The skin is still intact on the upper torso, the clothes are preserved and there is a bracelet on the upper arm. The National Museum's head of collections, Raghnall O'Floinn, says: "it could be anywhere between 500-2000 years old.~

May 15
1395 - Richard II returns to England on this date, confident that Gaelic Irish power has been checked
1600 - Sent by Queen Elizabeth to quell the rumblings of discontent in Ulster, Sir Henry Docwra lands at Culmore with a force of 4000 foot and 200 horse soldiers; modern Derry is thereby founded
1621 - Sir Henry Docwra is created Baron Docwra of Culmore
1732 - Sir John Blaquiere, Chief Secretary and politician, is born
1753 - Isaac Corry, opposition politician, Volunteer, and Chancellor of the Exchequer is born in Newry, Co. Down
1808 - Michael Balfe, operatic composer, is born in Dublin
1829- Elected to the office of minister of Parliament for Co. Clare by recently enfranchised Catholics, O'Connell presents himself at the bar of the House of Commons, but is asked to withdraw for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy
1847 - Daniel O'Connell, "The Liberator," dies in Genoa. His body is returned to Ireland and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery
1867 - Eoin MacNeill, Gaelic scholar and co-founder of the Gaelic League, is born in Glenarm, Co. Antrim
1940 - Proinsias de Rossa, politician and leader of Democratic Left, is born in Dublin
1990 - The Church of Ireland votes for women priests
2000 - Two international inspectors who have been tasked with examining IRA arms dumps as part of the plans for the restoration of devolved government to the North arrive in Ireland
2001 - Drivers enjoy a free ride across Dublin's two toll bridges - a bonus from the booth operators' strike over pay and working hours
2003 - Four world records are made at Christie's annual Irish art sale; the main record breaker is for a mountainous wooded landscape with figures by 18th-century artist George Barret which sells for £320,000
2003 - The National Museum of Ireland says that a remarkably well-preserved headless body found by a farmer in a Co. Offaly bog could be up to 2000 years old.
2007 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern becomes the first Irish leader to address a joint session of the two chambers of the British parliament. All members of parliament - both the Lords and the Commons are invited. Senior figures from the Irish government and Irish opposition leaders are present at the event, as are prominent Irish community members in Britain. It is very rare for a foreign leader to be invited to address the Joint Houses of Parliament; Mr Ahern follows in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, Francois Mitterand, the Dalai Lama and Bill Clinton.
May 16
587 - St. Brendan the Navigator, early transatlantic voyager, dies. In the liturgical calendar, today is St. Brendan's Feast Day
1907 - Birth of Robert Tisdall, gold medalist in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1932 Olympics
1920 - 'Soviets' are proclaimed in 13 Co. Limerick creameries, including Knocklong
1926 - Eamon de Valera founds Fianna Fáil and holds its first public meeting
1927 - 'A' Reserve established by Oglaigh na hÉireann - the Irish Defence Forces
1938 - The Department of Justice bans Photography magazine because of 'attention given to the female nude'
1945 - Eamon de Valera responds to Churchill's victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality. For Churchill's speech and De Valera's response, please click World at War
1952 - Birth of Pierce Brosnan in Navan, Co. Meath
1997 - Tony Blair visits Northern Ireland and gives the go ahead for exploratory contacts between government officials and Sinn Féin
2000 - An Post officially launches a set of four 30p postage stamps in honour of flamboyant writer and wit, Oscar Wilde
2001 - Proposals to locate the first wind farm off the country's west coast are unveiled. The £100 million project is to be located off the north Kerry coast on the southern lip of the Shannon estuary and is to involve the construction of between 20 and 30 wind turbines
2001 - The United States designates the Real IRA, a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army, as a "foreign terrorist organisation," a legal term that brings financial and other sanctions. Under US law, any assets the Real IRA has in the United States are frozen, it is illegal to support the organization and Real IRA members are not eligible for US visas
2002 - Iarnród Eireann’s first female train driver, Teresa Carey from Kerry, begins her career driving the Cork-Heuston train.
2007 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern becomes the third longest-serving EU leader in office as France’s Jacques Chirac officially steps down.
May 17
1650 - Cromwell's army is defeated in the second assault on Clonmel, suffering its heaviest losses. The following day, the Mayor of Clonmel negotiates honourable terms for surrender with Cromwell, who did not realise that O'Neill and his soldiers had left the town. Annoyed at being outwitted, Cromwell nevertheless keeps to the terms
1730 - Elizabeth, widow of William Molyneux, marries Nathaniel St Andre, a Swiss surgeon who wins an action for defamation on a charge of having killed Molyneux by administering opium to him in his last illness by her connivance
1855 - Birth in Bantry, Co. Cork of Timothy Michael Healy, one of the most brilliant and most controversial of Irish politicians. His career spans from Parnell's leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party in the 1880s to the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922; he becomes the Free State's first Governor-General
1865 - Shan Bullock, novelist, is born in Crom, Co. Fermanagh
1880 - Charles Stewart Parnell is elected Chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party
1908 - Birth of Vincent Barry, organic chemist, in Cork
1911 - Birth in Roscommon of actress Maureen O'Sullivan Boyle who is remembered for her role as Jane in a series of five movies opposite Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan
1917 - A new military viceroy, General French, acts on mistaken information that Sinn Féin is implicated in a pro-German plot and has most of the leaders arrested
1949 - The British Government recognizes the Republic of Ireland
1961 - Enya [Eithne Ní Bhraonáin] is born in Gweedore, Co. Donegal
1969 - Dubliner Tom McClean crosses from Newfoundland to Blacksod Bay, Co. Mayo, completing the first transatlantic solo crossing in a rowboat
1974 - Car bombs explode in Dublin and Monaghan, killing 34 people
2001 - A horse picture by Jack B Yeats makes a hammer price of £1 million sterling at Christie's in London. It is bought by London dealer Simon Dickenson for a private client, believed to be racehorse owner John Magnier.
May 18
1401 - John de Stanley is told that he is to be replaced as lieutenant by Thomas of Lancaster (duke of Clarence and second son of Henry IV), who is 12 or 13 years old. Lancaster's deputy, Sir Stephen le Scrope, will effectively govern Ireland for the next few years
1613 - James I's Irish parliament opens in Dublin
1825 - The House of Lords rejects the Catholic Emancipation Bill which would disenfranchise Irish forty-shilling free-holders and put clergy on state salaries
1873 - James Fagan, actor, producer and playwright, is born in Belfast
1798 - The 2nd Earl of Kingston is tried amid great pomp by the Irish House of Lords for the murder of Colonel Henry FitzGerald. An executioner stands beside Kingston with an immense axe, painted black except for two inches of polished steel, and held at the level of the defendant's neck. However, no witnesses appear for the prosecution, and Kingston is acquitted. The Directory of the United Irishmen had planned to use the occasion to kill the entire government and all the lords, but one vote cast against this scheme (by the informer Francis Magan) causes it to be abandoned
1896 - The City and Suburban Ground now known as Croke Park, hosts a soccer match for the first time. The teams are a combination of Irish and Scots women versus England. The combined team beats England 3-2
1897 - Oscar Wilde is released from prison; he goes to live in France, where he writes his famous poem, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"
1897 - The first Irish Music Festival is held in Dublin
1928 - Death of writer Standish O'Grady on the Isle of Wight. Under the influence of John O'Donovan, he studies the Old Irish myths and legends, and his works, which influence the Irish literary revival of the 1890's, popularise the Irish sagas
1939 - The first aircraft lands at the newly opened Rineanna Airfield which is later to become Shannon International Airport
1947 - Former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader, John Bruton, is born
1949 - Birth in Co. Mayo of Pat Rabbitte, leader of the Labour Party
1999 - The Church of Ireland's annual synod calls on the authorities at Drumcree to conditionally withdraw a long-standing invitation to the Orangemen to use their church ahead of the order's controversial annual march through nationalist parts of Portadown
2000 - Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble decides to accept the IRA’s offer to put arms beyond use and backs a return to the Stormont Executive with Sinn Féin
2001 - Gardenia St. George, an early 20th-century portrait by William Orpen, becomes the most expensive Irish painting of all time when it sells at Sothebys for the hammer price of £2.29 million
2004 - Clare O'Leary becomes the first Irishwoman to successfully climb Mount Everest. She is accompanied by veteran mountaineer Pat Falvey who also sets a record by becoming the first Irishman to climb Everest from both sides.
2006 - Michael O'Riordan dies in Dublin. A key figure in the Irish Communist Party, Mr O'Riordan was one of just two surviving Irish veterans of the Spanish Civil War. He was shot in Spain while with the 'Connolly Column', named after socialist leader James Connolly, which fought against General Franco's fascists from 1936-39.
Photo Credit: Communist Party of Ireland.
May 19
1660 - An Act by the British Parliament forbids the export of Irish wool
1710 - John Forster is unanimously elected Speaker of the House of Commons, replacing Alan Brodrick
1798 - Lord Edward Fitzgerald, a leader of the United Irishmen, is betrayed by Francis Magan; he's arrested and is shot while being apprehended; he dies of his wounds on June 4
1821 - Anna Maria Odell, the second wife of William Odell (former MP for Co. Limerick), gives birth to a stillborn child in the Marshalsea debtors' prison, where she had accompanied her husband
1832 - Standish Hayes O'Grady, scholar, is born in Castleconnell, Co. Limerick
1862 - Máire Ni Aodáin (Mary Hayden), Irish historian, is born
1869 - Birth of Henry Dixon, botanist
1870 - Sir Isaac Butt invents the term "Home Rule". The first meeting of the "Home Government Association" (later to become the "Home Rule League") is held in a Dublin hotel. A resolution is passed "that the true remedy for the evils of Ireland is the establishment of an Irish Parliament with full control over our domestic affairs"
1939 - John Sheahan, fiddle player with the Dubliners, is born
1961- Birth of composer, Ronan Hardiman
1966 - Seamus Heaney's first volume of poetry, "Death of a Naturalist" is published
1998 - European finance ministers reject Ireland's call for a study into the consequences of abolishing duty-free shops
1998 - SDLP leader John Hume and his Unionist counterpart, David Trimble, join U2 on stage at a concert in Belfast's Waterfront Hall to drum up support for a massive Yes vote in Friday's referendum on the Stormont agreement
1998 - Abortion is opposed in all circumstances by 58% of people as against 24% in favour, according to a Pro Life Campaign opinion poll, carried out by Irish Marketing Surveys
1999 - A five-stone lump of butter, estimated to have been buried in a bog over 300 years ago, is discovered in the Poll na gCapaill bog near Barnaderg in Co. Galway by turf cutters Tom Burke and Vincent Roche
2000 - British Airways launches its first daily flight service to Glasgow from Cork
2000 - Westlife tops the Guinness British Hit Singles book writers’ league table, with a value of £18.8 million. Their net worth is based on points scored for Number Ones, singles sold and the number of weeks spent in Britain’s Top 75 in the past year
2001 - Fleadh Ceoil celebrates its 50th anniversary as musicians throughout the country battle for their place in the provincial finals of Galway, Meath, Tipperary, Antrim, Kildare, Kilkenny, Monaghan and Wexford
2003 - Clare O’Leary, 31, a doctor at Cork University Hospital, and a member of Ireland's Everest team, decides to turn back when it becomes clear an infection has made her too weak to continue.
May 20
1311 - The war of the O'Briens of Thomond escalates as the Norman-Irish become involved on both sides: the de Burghs support Dermot O'Brien and Richard de Clare supports Donough O'Brien. There is a pitched battle at Bunratty on this date, with heavy losses on both sides; de Burgh and others are imprisoned
1648 - Truce between the confederates and Inchiquin; its adherents are excommunicated by Giovanni Rinuccini, papal nuncio to the confederates
1759 - Birth of Sir Eyre Coote, the younger; soldier, MP, and governor of Jamaica
1836 - An Act amalgamates the county constabulary and Peace Preservation Force into a centralized police force - the Irish Constabulary - which will later become the Royal Irish Constabulary
1922 - De Valera and Collins agree to a pact whereby a national coalition panel of candidates will represent the pro- and anti-Treaty wings of Sinn Féin throughout Ireland in the forthcoming general election
1927 - The opening hours of Irish public houses are restricted by the Intoxicating Liquor Act
1932 - Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland for Ireland on the anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's famous flight; she lands near Londonderry/Derry and becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic
Photo Credit: Associated Press File Photo/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College
1969 - Students stage a sit-in at University College in Dublin to protest conditions in Northern Ireland
1998 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern assures unionists there is no hidden agenda in the Belfast Agreement and promises to stamp out dissident paramilitary groups who want to wreck the accord
1999 - 24th Biennial Conference of Irish Historians is held at University College in Cork
2001 - More than half a million people line the streets to watch the postponed St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin
2001 - Former US president Bill Clinton begins a four-day trip to Ireland with a round of golf at Ballybunion
2003 - The Irish Government restricts alcohol adverts. The ads are banned from buses, trains, cinemas and sporting events and not permitted before 10 p.m. on television
2003 - Thousands of Irish-based Celtic fans fly to Spain to cheer on the Glasgow club in their first European final in 33 years tomorrow
2003 - Dundalk garden designer Paul Martin wins a silver medal at London's Chelsea Flower Show.
May 21
1639 - Lord Deputy Thomas Wentworth imposes the Black Oath of loyalty to Charles I on all Ulster Scots over the age of 16
1745 - Count Daniel O'Connell, a soldier in French and British services, is born in Derrynane, Co. Kerry
1917 - Birth of tenor and comedian, Dennis Day, to Irish parents in New York, NY
1916 - Clocks and watches go forward one hour as the Daylight Saving Act (Summer Time) is introduced
1920 - James Plunkett, pseudonym of James Plunkett Kelly; novelist, is born in Dublin
1944 - Mary Robinson, lawyer, youngest ever Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin; President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997; and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is born in Ballina, Co. Mayo
1980 - Taoiseach Charles Haughey and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher meet in London (and later in Dublin on December 8), and agree to consider 'the totality of relationships within these islands'
1981 - At 2:11 am, Raymond McCreesh dies on hunger strike in the Maze Prison. Later, the same day at 11:29 pm, he is joined in death by his friend and fellow hunger-striker, Patsy O'Hara
1999 - Bono and Larry appear on RTE's "The Late Late Show" to present long-time host Gay Byrne with a black Harley Davidson as a going away present on his retirement
1999 - The Jack Lynch Tunnel, described as the most challenging civil engineering project in the history of the state, is unveiled by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the entrance of the tunnel in Mahon, Co. Cork
2000 - Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams sparks a new political storm when he makes it clear he could not call on republicans and nationalists to join the North’s proposed new police service
2000 - Demonstrators picket Drogheda Heritage Centre as the death mask of Oliver Cromwell is put on display where he is reputed to have massacred thousands of defenceless civilians
2000 - Thousands of Christians celebrate the jubilee year by coming together in parishes throughout the country for National Pilgrimage Day
2001 - The EU blue flag quality mark is awarded to 111 beaches around the coast for the cleanliness of the water. Ireland, at 91.7%, ranks fourth overall in the EU when it comes to blue flag beaches. The Netherlands comes first with 96%, followed by Greece with 95% and Italy, 92%
2001 - Former US president, Bill Clinton, is rumored to have been paid £100,000 by the chairman of Independent News and Media Sir Anthony O'Reilly to talk to a select gathering at Trinity College on this date
2002 - Bono kicks off a 10-day four- nation tour of Africa in the company of US Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill
2003 - According to a new survey published in the Wall Street Journal, the Irish remain among the most contented races on Earth. The statistics on our generally sunny disposition appear to confirm the findings of another recent study - the World Happiness Survey - which places Ireland sixth in a league of 68 countries.

May 22
1805 - Michael Doheny, poet and Young Irelander, is born near Fethard, Co. Tipperary
1849 - Novelist, Maria Edgeworth, dies in Mostrim, Co. Longford. She is laid to rest in a vault at Edgeworthstown Church. The Great Famine which decimates the people she loves mars her last years. Even though in her late seventies, she worked strenuously for the relief of the stricken peasants at the height of the famine. She shows the same involvement and generosity throughout her entire life and devotes her best talents to the betterment of the people of her adoption. Her books on the Irish people bring her world fame and the acclaim of such writers as Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Byron and the Russian writer Turgenev.
1859 - Birth in Edinburgh of Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle was the eldest son of 10 siblings born to Irish parents Charles Doyle and Mary Foley
1870 - Birth of Eva Gore-Booth, poet, trade unionist and feminist, on the Lissadell Estate in Co. Sligo
1920 - Birth of Oliver J. Flanagan, Fine Gael politician
1932 - Death of Augusta Persse, better known as Lady Augusta Gregory, Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre director; also a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre
1941 - Caitlin Maude, Irish language activist, is born
1944 - Birth of Betty Williams, former peace activist and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner
1946 - George Best, the greatest player of his generation and the world's first superstar footballer, is born in Belfast
1950 - Bill Whelan, musician and composer, is born in Limerick; he is best known for composing the music to Riverdance
1955 - Mary Black, singer, is born in Dublin
1971 - Members of the Irish Women's Liberation Movement defy the law by bringing contraceptives bought in Belfast into Connolly railway station in Dublin
1972 - Death of Laois man Cecil Day-Lewis, one of the English language's leading poets of the early part of the 20th century, and father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis
1995 - U.S. President Bill Clinton approves a visa for Irish nationalist leader Gerry Adams to enter the United States
1997 - Pneumonia causes the quiet passing of Dr. Noel Browne in the University College Hospital Galway at the age of 81. As Minister of Health, Dr. Browne had lain the foundation stone of the same Hospital almost fifty years before
1998 - The Good Friday Agreement is overwhelmingly endorsed in referendums North (71%) and South (94%)
2000 - A survey shows that half of Ireland's small and medium-size businesses have their own website
2003 - Hurling reaches its highest peak when Gerard McDonnell from Limerick brought the spirit of the GAA to Mount Everest; he sent a ball flying above 29,000 feet
2003 - The Official Languages Bill 2002, introduced by the Minister for the Gaeltacht, Mr Ó Cuív, will give citizens the right to conduct their business with any State agency or Government department, in Irish.
May 23
1561 - The first court of High Commission, a group of officials and Protestant clergy, is set up to enforce the Reformation in Ireland
1754 - Birth of Dr. William Drennan in Belfast; physician, poet, educationalist political radical and one of the chief architects of the Society of United Irishmen. Drennan's poetic output included some powerful and moving pieces. He is chiefly remembered today for "Erin" written in 1800, in which he penned the first reference in print to Ireland as "the Emerald Isle":
"Nor one feeling of vengeance presume to defile
The cause, or the men, of the Emerald Isle."
Interestingly, he himself is quoted as saying that this expression was first used in a party song called “Erin, to her own Tune,” written in 1795. The song appears to have been anonymous
1794 - As part of a crack-down on seditious activity during Britain's war with France, the Dublin United Irishmen are supressed
1798 - United Irish Rebellion begins in Wexford
1798 - United Irish rebellion begins in Leinster
1903 - Shelah Richards, actress and producer, is born in Dublin
1920 - Oliver Plunkett is beatified by Pope Benedict XV
1920 - Railway workers refuse to transport troops from this date
1934 - Birth of former rugby international, Syd Millar
1951 - Lord Henry Mount Charles, Slane Castle impresario, is born
1954 - Former soccer international, Gerry Armstrong, is born
1966 - Birth of GAA footballer, Paul McGrath
1998 - Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, welcomes the resounding "yes" vote in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland, calling it "a day for joy"
1998 - Thousands flock to Ennis for the 29th Fleadh Nua Traditional Music Festival
1999 - Rural post offices are thrown a life-line when the Government gives its strongest commitment yet to preserving regional services
2002 - The long simmering division between Roy Keane and manager Mick McCarthy erupts into a huge row and Keane is expelled from the World Cup squad.
May 24
1487 - Lambert Simnel (aged 10), the Yorkist pretender to the English throne, is brought to Ireland. It is claimed that he is Edward, Earl of Warwick (Clarence's son), but in fact, he is a baker's son - the real Warwick is a prisoner in the Tower of London and will be executed in 1499. Most of the Anglo-Irish believe that Simnel's claim is genuine and support him (exceptions are the Butlers, Waterford city and the Archbishop of Armagh, Octavian del Palatio); Simnel is crowned King of England as Edward VI in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin on this date. Walter FitzSimons, Archbishop of Dublin, is present at the crowning; he will be imprisoned in the Tower because of this
1628 - 51 'graces' to Irish interest groups by Charles I are promised but various excuses are used not to grant these concessions
1798 - Archibald Hamilton Jacob conducts the Enniscorthy Yeomen Cavalry to the village of Ballaghkeen where they flog a man to death
1813 - A Catholic Relief Bill is introduced by Grattan in the House of Commons, and is narrowly defeated 251 to 247
1818 - John Foley, sculptor, is born in Dublin
1830 - Anthony Durnford, soldier, is born in Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim
1882 - Creighton Hale, actor, is born in Cork
1921 - 1st parliament for Northern Ireland is elected
1923 - Actress, Siobhan McKenna is born
1928 - William Trevor (Cox), prolific short story-writer and novelist is born in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. He has written over 30 works including 'The Story of Lucy Gault' which was short-listed for the 2002 Booker Prize
1956 - Sean Kelly, cyclist, ranked world number one (1984-1989) is born in Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary
Photo Credit: Dave Lawrence, ©1992
1987 - A referendum in the Republic approves the Single European Act
1998 - Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams signals that the terrorist war is over and that the gun can finally be removed from Irish politics
1998 - Less than 24 hours after people on both sides of the border gave a resounding Yes to the Stormont peace agreement, dissident republican terrorists cause widespread disruption on the Belfast-Dublin railway line after a suspicious object is found on the line near Lurgan
1998 - Director John Boorman wins the Best Director prize for The General, about real life Dublin gang leader, Martin Cahill
1999 - As part of a £4.5m tourism project, Waterford Treasures on the city's quayside, is opened to the public. On display are an impressive range of Viking artefacts from settlements dating back to 853 and discovered during excavations in the city over the last six years
2000 - According to a report published on this date, 1 in 10 homeless people in London are Irish
2000 - Two more members of David Trimble’s Ulster Unionist Assembly team are to oppose his plan to return to power sharing with Sinn Féin
2002 - European parliament president Pat Cox is awarded the freedom of Limerick city. The former Progressive Democrats TD is presented with the award by Mayor Dick Sadlier at a reception in City Hall. Previous recipients of the award include John F Kennedy, The Pope and Charles Stewart Parnell
2003 - Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, meet Sinn Féin's chief negotiators Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in Dublin for talks.
May 25
1315 - Edward Bruce (brother of Robert Bruce, king of Scots), having been invited by some Gaelic chiefs, leads an expedition to Ireland with the aim of conquering it, creating a kingdom of Ireland and driving out the Norman-Irish settlers. He lands at Larne on this date and is proclaimed king of Ireland
1705 - On this date, May Eustace Sherlock, gentleman, petitions the Commons for relief from 'the great oppressions he lies under, by the undue practices and power of Maurice Annesley, a Justice of the Peace'. Annesley is an MP. The ensuing complicated legal case will eventually result in the passing by the British parliament of the 1720 Declaratory Act confirming the British House of Lords as the final Court of Appeal for Irish cases
1745 - Lord John Allen (3rd Viscount Allen), former MP for Carysfort, dies of a fever caused from cuts to his fingers inflicted by the sword of a dragoon
1830 - As a result of growing Unitarianism the General Synod reinforces subscription. Henry Montgomery, the leading Unitarian protagonist, leads a secession of Non-subscribers from the General Synod which establishes the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster. The Remonstrant Synod joins with the earlier Presbytery of Antrim in 1910 to form the Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland
1842 - Birth on Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, of Helen Blackburn, early leader of the movement for the emancipation of women
1885 - Gerald Boland, nationalist politician, is born in Manchester
1870 - Irish Fenians raid Eccles Hill, Québec
1895 - Oscar Wilde is sentenced to two years imprisonment for offences “against public decency”
1900 - John Hunt, expert on mediaeval art, is born in Limerick
1903 - Ewart Milne, poet, is born in Dublin
1912 - First issue of the weekly suffrage magazine, Irish Citizen, appears
1914 - British House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule for the third time
1921 - The Dublin brigade of the IRA attacks and sets fire to the Customs House; 120 of its men are captured and 11 are killed
1960 - Packie Bonner, Celtic and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, in Burtonport, Co. Donegal
1968 - Unicorn by the Irish Rovers makes it to #7 in the British charts
1993 - Dawson Stelfox becomes the first Irishman to conquer Everest
2000 - Prime Minister of Ireland Bertie Ahern, right, and his Polish counterpart Jerzy Buzek walk in front of a Guard of honor during the welcoming ceremony in Warsaw. Ahern is in Poland for an official two day visit
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
2003 - Brendan McCann, one of the most acclaimed photographers in Northern Ireland's history dies in Belfast Mater Hospital, aged 75. In a career spanning 50 years, he covers some of the darkest hours of the Troubles.
May 26
1562 - Following his submission to Elizabeth at Whitehall in January, Shane O'Neill returns to Ireland on this date
1650 - Oliver Cromwell leaves Ireland on board the frigate President Bradshaw. His deputy and son-in-law, Henry Ireton takes control of the Irish campaign and captures Birr Castle
1798 - The rebels are defeated at Tara Hill; this marks the end of the rebellion in Co. Meath. Rebellion begins in Co. Wexford. Fr. John Murphy and local people confront the Camolin yeomanry at The Harrow. Thomas Bookey, Lieutenant of the yeomanry, is killed
1867 - Michael Barrett from Kesh, Co. Fermanagh is executed for his part in the explosion at Clerkenwell Gaol. From all the evidence, it is likely he is not guilty. He is the last man to be publicly hanged in England.
1867 - Princess Victoria Mary of Teck: the future Queen Mary, queen consort of George V of the United Kingdom is born.
1873 - Trinity College Dublin abolishes all remaining religious restrictions for entry, with the exception of the Faculty of Divinity
1897 - First publication of Dracula, written by Dublin man Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker
1924 - Dublin-born composer,Victor Herbert dies
1950 - End of petrol rationing in Northern Ireland
1972 - The Special Criminal Court, with three judges and no jury, is set up in the Republic
1980 - Derry band The Undertones reach No. 1 in the UK charts with My Perfect Cousin
2003 - Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary snubs an awards ceremony in Dublin after the no-frills airline is beaten by Aer Lingus in the Best Overall Value for Money category. It is the first time in the 10-year history of the event, hosted by the Air Transport Users Council (ATUC), that Ryanair fails to win the award.
May 27
1224 - Cathal Crovderg O'Connor, king of Connacht and brother of Rory O'Connor, dies at the age of 72. This finally opens the way for the Norman occupation of Connacht
1595 - Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeats the English forces of his brother-in-law, Sir Henry Bagenal, at the Battle of Clontibret, Co. Monaghan; he is proclaimed a traitor at Newry in June
1648 - Giovanni Rinuccini, papal nuncio to the confederates, excommunicates adherents of the truce between confederates and Inchiquin
1798 - Wexford rebels massacre Kingsborough's militiamen and yeomanry at Oulart
1877 - Hanna Sheehy Skeffington is born in Co. Limerick. A committed suffragette, she is one of the founding members of the Irish Womens Franchise League; sexual equality remains a primary concern throughout her despite a slight shift in focus after the summary execution of her husband in 1916
1936 - Following the Free State's provision for the formation of Aer Lingus as the national airline, Aer Lingus opens routes to Bristol and London, commencing with a flight from Baldonnell to Bristol on this date
1960 - The last barge on the Grand Canal makes its final journey to Limerick with a cargo of Guinness
1966 - The UVF shoot and mortally wound John Scullion, a Catholic civilian, in the Clonard area of west Belfast
1993 - Mary Robinson, the first female president of Éire, becomes the first Irish head of state to meet with a British monarch when she visits Queen Elizabeth II
1998 - Actor Brendan Gleeson strongly defends his lead role in the controversial £6m film The General, rebutting criticism that it attempts to portray the assassinated Dublin gangster Martin Cahill as a latter-day Robin Hood
2001 - The breakaway Real IRA is believed to be behind a rocket attack on Strabane RUC station which sparks a five-hour security alert. No-one is injured but 12 families are evacuated from their homes during the follow-up security operation in the Co.Tyrone town
2001 - Fears of a long, difficult summer are growing after 57 RUC officers are injured in clashes with nationalist youths on the flashpoint Garvaghy Road in Portadown following a Junior Orange parade
2001 - Thousands of traditional music fans flock to Ennis for the 50th anniversary of Fleadh Nua
2003 - Water quality has taken a dip at Irish beaches with fewer bathing areas meeting standards of cleanliness. But Irish bathing water still ranks among the best in Europe, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual report, and the small number of freshwater lakes and rivers tested produce their best results ever
2003 - It is announced that the Royal Irish Regiment is to be scrapped as part of a major plan to cut troop numbers in the North. British military authorities plan to abolish all three Home Service battalions, comprising nearly 3,000 soldiers under a new deal to break the deadlock in the peace process
2003 - Paul McCartney performs his first Irish show in 40 years at the RDS Arena. It's also his first solo concert in Dublin
2003 - FAI and Communications Minister Dermot Ahern announces that all Republic of Ireland competitive soccer internationals will now be available free on RTÉ.
May 28
1590 - Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, agrees to abandon further attempts at extending his territory in the north, and undertakes to force his people to adopt English laws and customs
1713 - William Molyneux, the fourteen-year old son of Sir Thomas Molyneux, a former MP, is killed when a leaden image falls on him in a garden near Dublin
1779 - Poet and songwriter, Thomas Moore, is born in Dublin
1798 - In the first Battle of Enniscorthy, the rebels take the town
1947 - Róis Ni Ógain - Rose Mabel Young - Gaelic scholar and editor of Duanaire Gaedhilge, dies
1959 - The Howth Tram makes its last journey; not only is it the highest but it is also the last of the open top trams operating in the world
Photo Credit: Philip Morgan
1970 - Charles Haughey, who will later be acquitted and become Taoiseach, is arrested with Niall Blaney for conspiracy to import arms
1974 - General strike by Unionists brings down the Sunningdale power-sharing agreement and Northern Ireland is returned to direct rule
1999 - The Provisional IRA produces the remains of Eamon Molloy, whom it killed in 1975; information from the IRA leads to several protracted searches in the Republic for the remains of other victims
2000 - A plaque to commemorate the first Irish meeting of the Orange Order is unveiled in Dublin - without a single member of the hardline Protestant group in attendance. The Dublin and Wicklow Lodge boycott the event on Dawson St in protest at its treatment over a march in the city, also planned for this date
2000 - The decision by Ulster Unionists to return to power sharing with Sinn Féin at midnight on 29 May is given a massive boost when the IRA pledges to keep their part of the bargain
2000 - Ireland's National Aquarium is opened in Galway at the Atlantiquarium on the Prom in Salthill. Built in the shape of a fish, the £6m building contains direct water links to Galway Bay and has massive tanks on its roof which collect rainwater for use in many of the fish pools
2003 - James Plunkett, best known for his epic novel of Dublin, 'Strumpet City', dies at the age of 83
2003 - William Trevor wins the €10,000 Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award at Listowel Writers’ Week for his novel The Story of Lucy Gault.
May 29
1205 - King John makes Hugh de Lacy Earl of Ulster
1666 - The Act of Uniformity confirms Guy Fawkes' day (5 November) as an anniversary, and adds 30 January (execution of Charles I) and 29 May (the Restoration)
1722 - Birth of James Fitzgerald, 20th Earl of Kildare; Duke of Leinster; politician and Lord Justice
1798 - On this date, under the command of Father Murphy of Boolavogue, a priest who had been in dispute with his bishop and who had reluctantly stepped forward as leader, the Wexford insurgents, gaining strength as they advance, storm Enniscorthy. The defences of the town are swept aside by means of a stampede of cattle. Elsewhere, General Sir James Duff arrives in Monasterevin where he augments his forces before marching on to Kildare and the Gibbet Rath. On this same date, the insurgents camp on Vinegar Hill, outside Enniscorthy town. In the north, the Ulster Directory of the United Irishmen meets to plan rebellion in counties Antrim and Down
1884 - Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd are married
1917 - Birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th US president, in Brookline, Mass
1936 - The Free State Senate (upper house of parliament) is abolished
1942 - Bing Crosby records Irving Berlin's "White Christmas"
1953 - Death of James Downey; at the time he is probably the most famous publican (pub-owner) in the world for bringing to an end the longest ever pub strike. Downey’s premises in Dun Laoghaire had been the focus of a union dispute for 14 years, and brought the pub world fame
1967 - Noel Gallagher of Oasis is born
1974 - Northern Ireland is brought under direct rule from Westminster
1999 - Thirteen RUC officers are injured as tensions explode on the streets of Portadown with both Loyalist and Nationalist rioters venting their fury in the wake of a banned parade along the lower Garvaghy Road
2000 - For the second year in a row, l’Ecrivain on Dublin’s Baggot Street wins the Bushmills Malt Best Restaurant award, with proprietor Derry Clarke also taking Best Chef award
2001 - Irish artists take a stand against racism by donating original works to a special fund-raising auction. Over 100 works by both new and established Irish artists go under the hammer at the Le Chéile auction in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
2002 - Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey is €2.2m richer following the auction of a tiny part of his extensive Abbeville art collection
2002 - Arts Minister Síle de Valera hails the State’s acquisition of a previously unseen collection of original manuscripts by James Joyce as “a monumental event in Ireland’s literary and cultural history”. The collection, stored in Paris for many years, consists of 500 sheets of handwritten notes by the author. It includes notes and drafts by Joyce on several works including his classics, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, as well as notebooks dating from the early 1900s
2002 - John McGahern wins the €10,000 Kerry Ingredients Irish fiction award at the 32nd Listowel Writers’ Week for his novel That They May Face the Rising Sun
2003 - According to the Eurydice report, Ireland has the largest number of children per class in Europe and our teachers have to work longer than most to earn the top salary
2003 - Thousands of republicans and nationalists join in a series of protests across the country to mark the cancelled date for the North’s Assembly elections.
May 30
1630 - Birth of Charles Stuart who will become Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland
1784 - Belfast's first Catholic church, St. Mary's, opens for public worship
1798 - Following the massacre of Kingsborough's militiamen and yeomanry at Oulart on 27 May, rebels capture Enniscorthy and Wexford town
1807 - During the election for Co. Wexford, two of the candidates, William Congreve Alcock and John Colclough, fight a duel in front of the county sheriff, 16 magistrates and a large crowd of spectators. Alcock shoots Colclough dead; he is elected; he is also tried and acquitted for killing Colclough, but his mind is badly affected; two years later, he will be confined in an asylum for the insane
1817 - Micheal William Balfe, one of Ireland’s greatest composers, gives his first public performance, aged nine
1844 - Daniel O'Connell is fined and sentenced to 12 months in prison for 'conspiracy'
1906 - Death of Michael Davitt, "Father" of the Irish Land League. He was born at the height of the Great Famine. At four, his family was evicted and forced to emigrate to England. He joined the Fenians in 1865, became organizing secretary and was arrested in 1870 for arms smuggling. Released after seven years, he returned to County Mayo as a national hero. His travels in Connaught showed conditions had not improved. Realising that, if the power of the tenant farmers could be organised, it would be possible to bring about improvement, he arranged a convention in August of 1879. The result was a body called the National Land League of Mayo. Thus began the land agitation movement. For more details on the life of Michael Davitt, click Museums of Mayo
1944 - Eamon de Valera is returned as Taoiseach
1951 - Fianna Fáil regains power in a general election
1969 - Irish nationalist and the first Jewish Lord Mayor of Dublin, Robert Briscoe, dies in Dublin
1972 - The Official IRA announces a ceasefire, but the Provisional IRA says it will continue fighting until the British leave Northern Ireland
1973 - In a political upset, Erskine Childers defeats Tom O'Higgins by a very narrow margin and is elected President of Ireland
1983 - The new Ireland Forum of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and the SDLP meets in Dublin
1986 - Connacht Regional Airport at Knock, Co. Mayo (now Horan International) is officially opened by Charles Haughey
2000 - Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness returns to his job as Northern Ireland’s Education Minister
2001 - Bord Fáilte launches a major marketing campaign aimed at domestic holiday-makers in an effort to combat losses of £500m caused by the foot-and-mouth crisis
2002 - Writer John B. Keane dies at his home in Listowel
2002 - The Liss Ard estate, on the seaward side of Skibbereen and near historic Castle-townsend in west Cork goes on the market for €6m
2003 - A collection of previously unpublished works by John B. Keane is launched on the first anniversary of his death at Writers’ Week, the annual literary festival in his native Listowel, Co. Kerry
2003 - Less than a year after taking up the post as chief executive of Northern Ireland’s Policing Board, Bob McCann resigns for personal reasons.
May 31
1430 - Charges are made against Thomas Foster, Archdeacon of Glendalough, that he has sold the lands of the dignity, has kept concubines, has had offspring, is ignorant of letters and does not know the language of the country: if they are true, he is to be deprived on this date
1744 - Birth of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, inventor, educationist and politician
1798 - Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey is appointed as Commander of the insurgent forces In Wexford town, a civilian government led by four Protestants and four Catholics is established
1847 - Birth of Alice Stopford Green in Kells, Co. Meath. Irish historian and patriot; she is noted for proving the Irish had a rich culture before English rule. A strong supporter of the Treaty of 1921, she is nominated to the first Seanad in December 1922
1848 - At Grosse Ile, Canada, 40 immigrant vessels wait to unload. For more on this story, please click The Wild Geese
1889 - Helen Waddell, Irish scholar, translator and novelist, is born in Tokyo
1900 - During the Boer War, Piet de Wet captures the thirteenth battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry at Lindley. To British eyes, this mounted Battalion is the social and political show-piece of the new Volunteer Army; a company of Irish M.F.H.'s known as the Irish Hunt Contingent, including the Earl of Longford and Viscount Ennismore; two companies of Ulster Protestant Unionists, including the Earl of Leitrim, a whiskey Baronet (Sir John Power) and the future Lord Craigavon; and a company of English and Irish men-about-town raised by Lord Donoughmore, who had insisted on paying their own passage to South Africa. This patriotic band is commanded by a British regular, Lieutenant Colonel Basil Spragge. The surrender of Spragge's Irish Yeomanry is the cause of a ripple of mirth in nationalist circles in Ireland. In fact, there is a gallant Last Stand made by the Irish Hunt Company. Lord Longford, with blood streaming from wounds at the neck, face, and wrists, orders his men to fight to the end. "I knew it to be madness," said one of the gentlemen troopers, (son of the Irish Lord Chancellor) "and so did everyone else, I think, but not a man refused". In general, raw Irish Yeomen fought no worse than British regulars had fought in similar situations. A respectable total of 80 were killed or wounded before the White Flag went up. Piet de Wet's bag totalled about 530 men, including Spragge, Lord Longford (seriously wounded), Lords Ennismore, Leitrim, and Donoughmore (and the future Lord Craigavon), all captured, and the whiskey Baronet Power killed
1911 - The hull of the world’s most famous ship - the Titanic - is launched
1922 - The Royal Ulster Constabulary is established
1937 - Birth of Mary O'Rourke, Fianna Fáil politician
1941 - German bombs fall on North Strand, Dublin; 34 people are killed and 90 are injured
1962 - General Election is held in Northern Ireland; Unionists win 34 of the 51 seats
1970 - Death of Arkle, the greatest Irish steeplechaser of all time. Arkle had broken a pedal bone during a race in 1968. Stiffness caused by the injury becomes worse and in spite of his great courage, he can hardly stand. On this date, his vet, James Kavanagh, gives him his final injection; Arkle lies down in his box and goes to sleep forever
1976 - Birth of actor Colin Farrell in Castleknock, Dublin
1979 - RTÉ 2 (now 2FM) makes its debut
1998 - The Protestant community in a Wexford village receives an apology from Bishop Brendan Comiskey over a boycott more than 40 years ago.
He asks for forgiveness for a controversial incident in Fethard-on-Sea when local Catholics boycott Protestant shops and classes over a six-month period during 1957
2000 - It is announced by the British Government that Tom Constantine, a former director of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration will oversee policing reforms in Northern Ireland
2002 - As the Aer Lingus pilots’ dispute enters a second day;
pilots and management agree to take their dispute to the Labour Court but all the airline’s flights remain suspended, leaving thousands of passengers stranded
2002 - The people of North Kerry turn out in their thousands to pay their last respects to playwright John B. Keane.

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