"People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors."
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1879 - Sir Hamilton Harty, musician and composer, is born in Hillsborough, Co. Down
1882 - John Curran, Dublin magistrate, opens a special inquiry into the Phoenix Park murders, in which Parnell is falsely implicated
1887 - Winifred Carney, trade unionist and revolutionary, is born in Bangor, Co. Down
1918 - Richard Bagwell, Irish historian, dies
1959 - Birth of Paul McGrath, footballer for St Patrick's Athletic, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Derby County and the Republic of Ireland
1971 - The UVF claims responsibility for a bomb blast which kills 17 people in a Belfast pub
1983 - SAS soldiers involved in an undercover operation in Northern Ireland shoot and kill two IRA gunmen and injure a third man who escapes
2000 -Ireland reluctantly agrees to a six months European Union wide ban on the feeding of meat and bone meal to all farm animals, including pigs and poultry
2001 - U2 frontman Bono and politician Pat Cox scoop two European of the Year awards at the first-ever such event in Brussels
2002 - Award-winning Cork-born author William Trevor receives an honorary knighthood in London in recognition of his services to literature.
2006 - Staff at an equestrian centre in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, return to the workplace prior to a planned Christmas party - and discover Gus, a newly-arrived camel from Morocco, had munched through 200 mince pies and cans of Guinness.
2009 - Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brothers passes away. Read our tribute Liam and the Clancy brothers
History of Ireland Stair na hÉireann
Boat People Photo Credit: RTÉ Archives
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For more books on Irish History click History Library.
Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*
Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
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March 4, 2011
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