January 8
1999 – The British Government comes under pressure to stop the early release of prisoners in Northern Ireland after an upsurge in paramilitary shootings and beatings
2001 – All schools are to receive a CD ROM of one of the masterpieces of Western art — the Book of Kells. On behalf of the schools, the Minister for Education and Science, Dr Michael Woods, accepts the CD ROMs from Trinity College Library in Dublin and leading internet company, X Communications
2002 – Former Soviet leader Gorbachev sinks a pint of Guinness with Dublin Lord Mayor Michael Mulcahy in the famous Doheny and Nesbitt pub in Baggot Street.
2007 – Northern ireland’s Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine dies at age 53 after suffering a heart attack and later a stroke and a brain haemorrhage. A former UVF prisoner and a key figure in brokering the loyalist paramilitary ceasefire of 1994, a party statement is quoted as saying: “Unionism has lost the most progressive voice of this generation. Politics has lost a statesman. Our peace process has lost its most optimistic advocate and Ulster has lost a devoted son.”

January 9
1642 – 30 Catholics are killed by the Scottish garrison and English settlers at Island Magee, Co. Antrim
1922 – Arthur Griffith is elected Taoiseach of Dáil Éireann after Eamon de Valera steps down
1952 – Birth of Danny Morrison, former publicity officer for Sinn Féin, and now a novelist
1998 – Mo Mowlam, risks her political future in talks with loyalist paramilitaries inside the Maze prison in a desperate bid to save the troubled Northern Ireland peace process
2002 – Former soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, accepts the honour of being named the 71st Freeman of Dublin, following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela and members of U2
2002 – Police are attacked with bricks and bombs by rioters from both sides of the sectarian divide, as bigotry and violence flare again at the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast.

January 10
1751 – Cornelius Bolton, politician, Volunteer and improving landlord is born
1922 – Arthur Griffith elected President of Irish Free State
1969 – Civil rights leaders in Northern Ireland defying police orders and refuse to abandon their planned march through Newry in Co. Down
2003 – Feared loyalist paramilitary chief Johnny Mad Dog Adair is arrested and sent back to jail. Adair will not now be released from prison until January 2005

January 11
1921 – The British government announces that any unauthorised person found in possession of arms, ammunition or explosives is liable to be executed
1970 – IRA splits into Officials and Provisionals (Provos)
1998 – The Government plays down reports of a rift between Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair
1999 – The Democratic Unionist Party warns that it would mount a legal challenge if Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam moves to announce a power-sharing Executive without the Assembly approving the new government structures

January 12
1765 – The Kinsale by-election caused by the death of John Folliott on this date is contested by Agmondisham Vesey and Richard Meade. Vesey wins by 64 votes to 48, but pays a price for being elected: William Dennis, vintner, receives £80 for Mr Vesey’s entertainment. Three other innkeepers receive a total of £76 3s 6d for providing ‘drink for Mr Vesey’s health’ and a further £14 9s for beer to the populace. His election agent, James Dennis, spends £46 12s 2d to send a coach and post-chaise to Dublin to collect voters. Vesey spends a further £12 7s 10d on ‘a notice to disqualify John O’Grady as a Papist from voting’. Ben Hayes, fiddler, is paid £5 13s 9d. Vesey’s election breakages bill amounts to £7 8s, exclusive of fines for ‘a crowd of broke heads and crakt limbs’. James Kearney (a future MP for Kinsale) spends £16 4s 3d to bring voters to Kinsale on Vesey’s behalf: this includes a post-chaise and hospitality on the four-day journey
1885 – Thomas Ashe, patriot and nationalist revolutionary, is born in Lispole, Co. Kerry
1993 – A Fianna Fáil-Labour coalition government is formed, with Reynolds as Taoiseach
1998 – Political master strokes by Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair breath new life into the Northern peace process with a blueprint for peace which could replace the Anglo-Irish Agreement with a three-stranded government for the North

January 13
1931 – Mary Clarke, Maryknoll nun and martyr is born of Irish parents in NYC
1998 – Northern Ireland takes another giant step towards peace after the political parties at Stormont accept the British and Irish governments blueprint as the basis for negotiation
2001 – One and a half copies of the most important piece of documentation of the 20th century in Ireland, the Declaration of Independence, is sold to a New York collector for £56,000
2003 – It is announced that the Government is to undertake a major review of Gaeltacht areas amid concerns of a dramatic fall-off in Irish language use in many areas.

January 14
1937 – De Valera’s new constitution, with its assertions of Ireland as a sovereign 32-county state, and its definition of Catholic morality and “women’s place” is approved
1965 – Talks between Seán Lemass, Taoiseach, and Terence O’Neill, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, take place in Belfast
2000 – Unionist politicians are furious after Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams claims that there could be a united Ireland by the year 2016, the centenary of the Easter Rising.