January 1
1801 – The Act of Union between Ireland and Great Britain goes into effect
1862 – Edward Harland’s Belfast shipyard assumes the name ‘Harland & Wolff’
1871 – Gladstone’s Irish Church Act which disestablishes the Church of Ireland takes effect
1892 – Ellis Island becomes reception center for new immigrants. The first immigrant through the gates is Annie Moore, 15, of Co. Cork
1941 – On this date and through January 3, German bombs fall on counties Carlow, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wexford and Wicklow
1990 – Northern Ireland Fair Employment Act becomes law
1998 – Foreign Affairs Minister David Andrews urges all sides to show the “greatest possible restraint” in the wake of a sectarian bar-room gun attack which plunges Northern Ireland into an uncertain New Year

January 2
1602 – The Spanish force under Aguila surrenders Kinsale to Mountjoy
1793 – A Catholic Committee petition is presented to the king
1880 – Parnell begins his tour of the United States on this date
1920 – Recruitment begins for the ‘Black and Tans’, Britain’s unofficial auxiliary army
1962 – Margaret Emmeline Conway Dobbs, Irish historian, language activist, and defender of Roger Casement, dies
1998 – Troops are ordered back on to the streets of Belfast and police patrols are intensified in a bid to foil loyalist attacks on Catholics in Northern Ireland
2007 – Irish Becomes The 23rd Official Language Of the EU. It is accorded the status of a treaty language, which means it is regarded as an authentic text for treaties. As from 1 January, however, all key EU legislation are translated into Irish, with provisions put in place so that Irish can be spoken at council meetings. The move means the creation of 29 new posts in translation, revision and publication.
January 3
1940 – Emergency anti-IRA legislation is introduced in the Free State
1999 – Economic history is created with the much-heralded arrival of the euro on the international currency markets. Its first day of trading gets off to a smooth start in Australia, at 6.00pm Irish time.
2007 – Michael Yeats, the only son of the poet W. B. Yeats dies at age 86. A former Fianna Fáil Senator, he served both as a Senator and as Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, and was also one of Ireland’s first members of the European Parliament.
January 4
1792 – The Northern Star, newspaper of the Belfast United Irishmen, first appears on this date
1921 – Martial law is extended to counties Clare, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford from this date
1969 – On a march from Belfast to Derry, the civil rights group People’s Democracy is attacked at Burntollet Bridge
1998 – The LVF appoints a new commanding officer to take over from murdered godfather Billy Wright and in a chilling warning vows it will do all in its power to wreck the teetering peace process
1998 – The governments of Austria and Finland offer their countries as potential neutral grounds for the next wave of Northern Ireland peace talks
2002 – According to a new survey, two out of every three people in Northern Ireland aged between 18-25 say they have no meaningful contact with opposing communities while, generally, people feel more segregated than they did before the North’s first ceasefire in 1994
2002 – Irishmen under 25 are the worst-hit by rising unemployment, according to the latest European Union figures
2003 – A group of women begin an anti-war protest at a roundabout close to Shannon Airport against US Air Force landings there.
January 5
1881 – The trial of the Land Leaguers begins
1871 – 33 Fenian prisoners, including Devoy, Rossa, O’Leary and Luby, are released by the British in a general amnesty
1941 – Jennie Wyse Power, Irish patriot and women’s rights activist dies
1976 – The Republican Action Force, a cover name for the IRA, admits to the brutal murder of ten Protestant workmen in what becomes known as the Kingsmill Massacre
January 6
1562 – Shane O’Neill submits to Queen Elizabeth at Whitehall, but rebels again within months
1654 – Commissioners are appointed to allot the land of Oliver Cromwell’s Connacht plantation to transplanted Irish
1939 – First publication of the newspaper Irish Freedom
1998 – Embattled Northern Ireland Secretary of State Mo Mowlam receives the full backing of SDLP leader John Hume in her efforts to maintain the faltering peace process
2003 – According to a study published today, the Irish language is on the brink of extinction unless radical measures are taken to arrest its decline
2003 – Farmers put 1,000 tractors on the country’s roads and head for Dublin at the start of the IFA’s five-day family farm survival campaign.

January 7
1878 – General John O’Neill, Fenian leader, dies
1922 – Dáil Éireann votes 64 to 57 to accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty, creating the Irish Free State