Traditions, folklore, history and more. If it's Irish, it's here. Or will be!
"People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors."
Library: Books, Movies, Music
Prints & Photos
Bunús na Gaeilge
Circle of Prayer
Did You Know?
Write to Us
Links/Link to Us
Advertise with us
Awards & Testimonials
1642 - Ormond defeats insurgents at Kilrush, Co. Kildare
1642 - A Scottish army under Robert Munroe lands at Carrickfergus
1707 - Birth of Sir Henry Cavendish, MP and incompetent Teller of the Exchequer who left chaos in his wake
1784 - First unmanned balloon in Ireland is launched by Richard Crosbie
1840 - The Repeal Association is founded by Daniel O'Connell
1848 - On Abbey Street in Dublin, the tricolor national flag of Ireland is presented to the public for the first time by Thomas Francis Meagher and the Young Ireland Party
1864 - The first Dublin Horse Show is held
1882 - Mary Swanzy, painter, is born in Dublin
1908 - Birth in Greenock, Scotland of Dennis Devlin, poet, translator and diplomat
1912 - The Titanic sinks on her maiden voyage with the loss of 1,513 souls, many of them Irish; 732 survive
1931 - Birth of Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, Northern Ireland public servant
1968 - Birth of rock guitarist Ed O'Brien, grandson of a Tipperary emigrant
1951 - John O'Keeffe, Kerry Gaelic footballer, is born
1974 - The 78th Boston Marathon is won by Neil Cusack of Co. Limerick in 2:13:39. He is the first Irishman to win this race
1998 - Englishman Mark Robins is awarded £3,000 after winning the first racial abuse case to be heard in Northern Ireland
2000 - The generosity of two Londoners, Alice and Charles Armstrong, turns a dream into reality as a new state-of-the-art lifeboat is handed over to the RNLI. The craft is named Alice and Charles after its benefactors
Photo Credit: Maurice O'Mahoney
2001 - Security on the border is tightened after a third case of foot-and-mouth is confirmed in Cushendall, Co Antrim
2001 - Hundreds of people greet the relics of St Therese of Lisieux at Rosslare for the start of a 75 day tour of the country
2003 - The peace process remains deadlocked as Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair continue to press the IRA for more clarity about its intentions.
1660 - Sir Hans Sloane, physician and naturalist, is born in Killyleagh, Co. Down
1701 - Some MPs and gentlemen of Co. Carlow petition against the return and residence of Mark Baggot, 'a violent Papist', in that county, of which he was 'titular High Sheriff' in 1689
1752 - The first regular stage-coach service between Dublin and Belfast commences
1782 - Irish Parliament declares its independence from the English Parliament
1850 - Samuel Butcher, scholar, is born in Dublin
1871 - John Millington Synge, poet, playwright, and student of Irish language and culture, is born in Dublin
1939 - Pop singer Dusty Springfield, whose real name is Mary O'Brien, is born to Irish parents in London
1947 - Singer Gerry Rafferty is born in Paisley, Scotland to an Irish father and a Scots mother
1970 - Protestant right-winger the Reverend Ian Paisley wins a seat in Northern Ireland's parliament
1999 - Supreme Court Justice Hugh O'Flaherty and High Court Judge Cyril Kelly are given 72 hours to quit by the Government or else face unprecedented impeachment proceedings
1999 - Union officials at the centre of the scaffolders strike predict chaos within the building industry as over 800 workers place unofficial pickets on countrywide sites following the breakdown of crisis talks
1999 - David Trimble admits for the first time that he accepts it is unlikely the Provisional IRA will return to violence in the short-term
2001 - The Government iprepares to re-institute draconian restrictions in a last desperate attempt to prevent the foot and mouth plague sweeping the country. Fresh cases of the disease in Northern Ireland have stunned Department of Agriculture officials and Minister Joe Walsh admits that it now appeared that foot and mouth is rampant north of the border
2002 - Beginning with a 'park-up' outside John A Woods and ReadyMix sites in Cork, Kerry and Limerick, as many as 300 truck drivers transporting sand and gravel take their trucks off the road in protest at strict weight restrictions, high insurance costs and low pay
2003 - A spokesman for the British Government says that it is sticking with its plans for Assembly elections in Northern Ireland next month, even if efforts to restore devolution fail.
1172 - Henry II returns to Britain on this date, having granted a charter to Dublin - the first granted to an Irish town
1656 - William Molyneux, statesman, philosopher and scientist, is born in Dublin
1783 - The British Renunciation Act acknowledges the exclusive right of the Irish parliament and courts to make and administer laws for Ireland
1875 - Election of Charles Stewart Parnell as MP for Meath
1920 - The inquest into the death of Tomás MacCurtain, Lord Mayor of Cork killed by policemen in disguise on 19 March, returns a verdict of wilful murder against the RIC, and indicts Lloyd George and the British government
1936 - Brendan Kennelly, poet, is born in Ballylongford, Co. Kerry
1944 - Michael 'Babs Keating, Tipperary hurler, is born in Ardfinnan, Co. Limerick
1961 - New Civic Arts Theatre building is opened on Botanic Avenue in Belfast; originally called the Mask Theatre it is renamed the Civic Arts Theatre in 1947. Eventually, it will close due to lack of funding
1966 - A census shows the population of the Republic to be 2,884,002.
1969 - Bernadette Devlin is elected MP for Mid Ulster, standing as the Independent Unity candidate; at 21 years old, she is Britain's youngest ever female MP and the third youngest MP ever
1984 - Death of lyricist and songwriter Jimmy Kennedy from Omagh; his songs include The Teddy Bears Picnic and Red Sails In The Sunset
1998 - The Black Pearl, Paul McGrath, decides to end a lengthy and honour-strewn career in football
1999 - The Real IRA-linked 32 County Sovereignty Movement launches a major recruitment campaign in west Belfast
2000 - It is reported that Northern Ireland sporting hero, Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins, is seriously ill in hospital
2000 - New licensing laws go into effect which give drinkers an extra half hour in the pub
2003 - The country sizzles as the temperature soars to 24ºC/72ºF
2003 - The Irish and British governments debate whether to continue efforts to reach agreement on the future of the Good Friday Agreement following Sinn Féin president Gerry Adam's failure to make a watershed speech
2003 - Sunset in Belfast port marks an historic occasion as the Tricolour and the Royal Navys White Ensign are lowered together. The Irish Naval Services LE Eithne and Britains HMS Tyne both exchange personnel for the ceremonial event as both fishery patrol vessels berth side-by-side at Queens Quay in the heart of the northern capital. The five-day Belfast engagement for the LE Eithne marks the first-ever visit to a Six Counties port by an Irish navy boat.
1608 - Sir Cahir O'Doherty of Inishowen revolts and sacks Derry
1689 - Siege of Derry begins
1690 - Five regiments of Irishmen sail for France and form the nucleus of France's Irish Brigade
1768 - Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, is born in Arklow, Co. Wicklow
1778 - William Bunbury, MP for Co. Carlow, dies after being thrown from his horse
1792 - Langrishe's Catholic Relief Act allows Catholics to practise law, and Protestants and Catholics to intermarry
1802 - Robert Patterson, naturalist, is born in Belfast
1817 - Michael Roberts, Irish mathematician and author of the theory of invariants, covariants and hypereliptic functions, is born in Cork
1870 - Birth in Dublin of Robert Tressell, born Noonan, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
1875 - Novelist Katherine Cecil Thurston,née Madden, is born in Cork
1930 - Victor Conlon, Irish activist, is born
1949 - The Republic of Ireland withdraws from the British Commonwealth. The British Parliament recognizes the declaration but asserts sovereignty over the six northern counties. Ireland does not recognize the claim
2000 - Tony Blair arrives in Northern Ireland in an effort to kickstart the ailing peace process
2000 - A plaque is unveiled in Belfast commemorating those killed or injured in paramilitary violence
2000 - RTÉ confirms that Glenroe's Mary McEvoy will be killed off in dramatic fashion. For 17 years, she has played the role of Biddy Byrne; however, she is requesting that she be written out in order to take on other challenges
2000 - The low-fares war on the Shannon-London route intensifies with Ryanair accusing Richard Branson's Virgin Express of copycat tactics
2000 - According to an annual survey released on this date, Ireland is named the seventh most competitive nation in the world.
1366 - The parliament, alarmed at the apparent undermining by native influences of the settler population's Englishness, passes the 'Statute of Kilkenny'. This aims to halt the widespread adoption by the Norman-Irish, especially in frontier areas, of Gaelic Irish culture, customs and language. It bans the use of the Irish language (insisting 'that every Englishman use the English language', though it is written in French) and Irish names within the colony, intermarriage with the native Irish, the playing of hurling, and so on. Pejorative name-calling between the English of England and the English of Ireland is prohibited. In fact, at this time there is a strong mutual influence: the Gaelic Irish are adopting some Norman-Irish practices, too. Also, most of the 'new' laws merely reiterate old ones (the exceptions being those on the Irish language and Irish minstrels)
1780 - Henry Grattan moves resolutions in favour of legislative independence in Irish House of Commons
1798 - The Earl of Clare begins a 3-day visit to Trinity College, Dublin to purge United Irishmen; 19 are expelled
1875 - Charles Stewart Parnell is elected MP for Co. Meath
1909 - Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander, master mathematician, expert on codes, and chess champion, is born in Cork; he learns chess at the age of 8. From a Londonderry college he goes to King Edward's School, Birmingham, where as a schoolboy he wins the Birmingham Post cup, which carries with it the unofficial championship of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Going on to Cambridge, he not only wins the University championship four years in succession, but picks up first-class honours. He wins the British championship in 1938
1969 - Fierce rioting breaks out in Derry after the RUC ban a civil rights march from Burntollet Bridge
1972 - Lord Widgery's report exonerating "Bloody Sunday" troops is issued
1998 - Key members of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee, led by the sister of H-Block hunger striker, Bobby Sands, meet to draft an outright condemnation of the Good Friday peace deal
2003 - The British army is called in to deal with rioting in North Belfast where up to 200 people are involved in disturbances at the junction of Limestone and Halliday Roads
2001 - Jenny Hegarty, a 72-year-old Dublin grandmother, takes on a host of international players and wins £10,000 at the Irish and European Open Poker Championship
2001 - EU restrictions on farm exports due to foot and mouth are lifted one month after the Republics only outbreak
2002 - Ireland's first cash-free petrol station, Carrigdhoun Service Station, near Ballygarvan, Co Cork, opens with all business being transacted by credit card or petrol card.
2003 - Bono surpasses competition from British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac to become Europes greatest hero. The U2 lead singer is picked by online voters from a list of 36 other Europeans compiled by Time magazine.
1176 - Strongbow, Anglo-Norman lord, dies in Dublin
1608 - James I grants a licence to the Old Bushmills distillery in Co. Antrim which is thought to date from at least 1276 - the oldest distillery in the world
1696 - The Guild of Brewers and Maltsters is founded in Dublin; Richard Forster, former MP for Swords and a Dublin brewer, is a member
1772 - William Lawless, surgeon, United Irishman and general in Napoleon Bonaparte's revolutionary army, is born in Dublin
1791 - William Tone, soldier, author and son of Theobald Wolfe Tone is born in Dublin
1812 - Maurice FitzGerald, MP for Co. Kerry, presents the Irish Protestant petition for Catholic relief and calls for measures against grain scarcity in Ireland
1829 - Margaret Anna Cusack is born to an aristocratic family of English origin in Coolak, Co. Dublin; she is the founder of the first Poor Clares convent in the west of Ireland and also a talented writer who publishes on the issues of social injustice. Her writings and actions focus on advocacy of women's rights including equal pay, equal opportunity for education and legal reform to give women control of their own property
1857 - Sir Thomas Myles, surgeon, is born in Limerick
1879 - Robert Lynd, essayist and critic, is born in Belfast
1896 - A demonstration of the cinématographe is held in Dublin at Dan Lowrey's Star of Erin theatre of varieties, now the Olympia Theatre
1912 - Death of Dublin writer Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula
1945 - Alan Dukes, politician and Fine Gael leader is born in Dublin
1954 - Michael Manning becomes the last man to be executed by the state in the Republic of Ireland: he is hanged on this date at Mountjoy jail, Dublin, for the murder of a nurse
1874 - The conflict in Northern Ireland claims its 1,000 victim, petrol station owner James Murphy of Co. Fermanagh
1991- Sean O'Faolain, writer, dies at 91; he is best known for his short stories, collected in such volumes as Midsummer Night Madness, The Man Who Invented Sin, The Heat of the Sun, and The Talking Trees (1971). Among his novels are A Nest of Simple Folk and Come Back to Erin
2001 - Two cases of suspected foot-and-mouth rock the Norths agricultural community. Stormont Minister Bríd Rodgers admits her department is concerned about symptoms in animals at Ballintoy, near Ballycastle, and in a herd at Ardboe.
1738 - A Mr Lorimer, receiver of Sir Arthur Acheson (MP for Mullingar), is killed in a duel
1816 - Daughter of an Irish father, Charlotte Bronte, eldest of the three Bronte Sisters and author of Jane Eyre, is born
1871 - John Fitzpatrick, Labor leader and Irish nationalist is born in Athlone, Co. Westmeath
1874 - Walter Wilson, mechanical engineer, designer of cars and tanks, is born in Blackrock, Co. Dublin
1875 - Michael, "The O'Rahilly," Irish Volunteers leader, is born in Ballylongford, Co. Kerry
1879 - Birth of novelist Maurice Walsh in Listowel
1901 - Death of James Stephens, Kilkenny-born founder of the Irish Republican Brotherhood
1907 - The nationalist groups, Cumman na nGaedheal and Dungannon Clubs, combine to form the Sinn Féin (Ourselves) League
1916 - The Aud arrives at Banna Strand, Co. Kerry, from Germany with 20,000 rifles for use of the Volunteers in the Easter Uprising; they are discovered by the British and the crew scuttles the ship. Roger Casement, who is following behind the Aud in a submarine, lands safely, but is captured later
1970 - The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland is founded on this date, with Phelim O'Neill as leader
1994 - 'Guildford Four' man, Paul Hill, wins his appeal against a conviction for an IRA murder in Northern Ireland
1998 - In its annual study, the International Institute of Management Development ranks Ireland as the 11th most competitive country in the world ahead of global economic powers such as Japan, Germany and Britain
1999 - Paddy McDonagh, a former Irish soldier caught transporting a massive bomb across the border on the day the Good Friday Agreement referendum votes are counted, is jailed for six years by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin
2000 - Dissident republicans threaten fresh violence as Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams claim hope in Northern Ireland had plunged to an all time low
2001 - The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland orders Levis to remove posters featuring semi naked models from bus shelters and near schools
2002 - The IRA denies that it responsible for last month's break-in at Special Branch offices in Belfast. The organisation also insists it is not involved in targeting politicians and said its ceasefire remains intact.
The Celtic League
This organization publishes the annual Celtic Calendar. To order your own copy, visit: The Celtic League.
Somewhat sporadic, but they often highlight an important date in Irish history. To visit, please click: Irish Abroad.
The Wild geese
They update Irish history weekly. To visit their keydates page, please click: The Wild Geese.
We also refer to an assortment of references. Among them are the Books of Days - see right margin on this page.
Fri, Nov 3, 2017
The Round Towers
The Round Towers of Ireland are remarkable among the world's ancient monuments; one author has called them 'Elegant, free-standing pencils of stone.' Today, 65 survive in part or whole. Hand-crafted in native stone and cemented with a sand, lime, horsehair and oxblood mortar - a technique imported from Roman Britain - it's said by many historians that they were built by monastic communities to thwart Viking invaders. And yet, there's reason to believe that the towers were built long before Christianity came to Ireland. Whatever their origins, monasteries did indeed flourish where the round towers existed. And why not. These imposing edifices provided a watch tower, a keep and a refuge.
Image: By kind permission of Stephen Cassidy, The Cassidy Clan.
Click for More Culture Corner.
How The Irish Saved Civilization
by Thomas cahill
Cahill's lovely prose breathes life into a 1,600-year old history. The L.A. Times
This is our most popular book. We understand why; the truth is fascinating.
Click here for Saved Civilization.
Irish Book of Days
Not tied to a particular year, this colorful and entertaining journal can be used year after year and features a significant Irish fact for every day of the year. 32 full-color photos.
Click here for Irish Book of Days.
Illuminated Celtic Book of Days
by Louis De Paor
It helped me a great deal in finding out about Celtic traditions, folklore, and many other things! Amazon Reviewer.
Click here for Celtic Book of Days
An Irish Woman's Book of Days
While it's out of print, new and used copies of the 112-page hardcover edition are readily available.
Click here for Irish Woman's Book of days
The Course of Irish History
by Moody & Martin
Concise but comprehensive, highly selective but balanced and fair-minded, critical but constructive and sympathetic. A distinctive feature is its wealth of illustrations.
Click here for Irish History.
Ireland Since The Famine
A full-scale study of the political and social history of Ireland since 1850. The political evolution of the Irish Nation forms the basis of the book. "Will remain for many years an essential standby for every student of the subject" Robert Blake, The Sunday Times.
Click here for Since the Famine.
by Tim Pat Coogan
Eamon De Valera is still a major influence on Ireland - a towering presence whose shadow yet falls over Irish life. He played a major part in the 1916 Rising, the troubled Treaty negotiations and the Civil War; some of today's problems are his legacy. But De Valera, or "Dev", was a political mastermind who also achieved some incredible feats which ensured his place in history, including the Irish Constitution, formation of Ireland's largest political party - Fianna Fáil, and the formation of the Irish Press Group.
Click here for DeValera