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Today
in
Irish
History


December 18
1781 - Barry Yelverton introduces the bill that will become Yelverton's Act; the bill is an amendment of Poyning's Act and states that only bills passed by both Irish houses of Parliament would be forwarded to England for assent (see entry for July 27, 1782)
1798 - James Henry, physician and classical scholar, is born in Dublin
1801 - John Hely-Hutchinson Jr, MP for Cork Borough, is created Baron Hutchinson of Alexandria and Knocklofty for his military service
1850 - Birth in Bruff, Co. Limerick of James Bourchier, Times correspondent in the Balkan peninsula
1871 - The first ever rugby international is held in Ireland. The North are defeated by the West of Scotland
1878 - Joseph O'Neill, novelist and civil servant, is born in Tuam, Co. Galway
1964 - Sean O'Faolain's autobiography "Vive Moi" is published
1970 - Jockey Pat Taffe retires
1980 - Prisoners in Armagh and Long Kesh end their hunger strike on promises of political status. The promises are not kept
1998 - The Loyalist Volunteer Force becomes the first terrorist group in Northern Ireland to decommission some of its weapons
1999 - A limestone sundial built on a hilltop at the Dursey Sound in West Cork is set to capture Europe’s last daylight of the second Christian millennium
2000 - A boating accident in Mexico claims the life of singer Kirsty MacColl. She was best known for her vocals alongside The Pogues’ Shane McGowan on the 1987 Christmas No 1, Fairytale of New York
2000 - The first Diploma in Nursing students from Cork University Hospital graduate on this date. 178 students are awarded diplomas in nursing, and higher diplomas in midwifery and public health
2001 - The Conservative Party ends more than three decades of co-operation over Northern Ireland in protest at the British government's plans to allow Sinn Féin MPs to use offices at Westminster
2002 - The first section of the Dublin spire is lifted into place
2002 - According to the latest census figures, the prospect of a Catholic majority in Northern Ireland is fast becoming a reality
2002 - A study reveals that Ireland is the third worst country in Europe for traffic gridlock
2002 - The Irish and British governments issue firm assurances about the temporary nature of arrangements in operation during the current suspension of the elected Northern Ireland Assembly
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Flannan, first Bishop of Clare.


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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.
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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.
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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.
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For more books on Irish History click History Library.

 

Thu, Dec 18, 2014


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.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.

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