December 1
1494 – Poynings Law enacted. This forbids the Irish parliament to convene without the King’s prior permission, and all intended legislation has to be approved by him
1848 – The paddle steamer The Londonderry, with immigrants fleeing the famine, takes shelter in Derry harbour. When the covers are removed from the hold it is discovered that 72 men, women and children have suffocated
1890 – Six days of Irish Parliamentary Party debates begin, only to end in a split, with the majority opposing Parnell
1901 – Fenian Thomas Clarke Luby dies in New York. Luby was born in Dublin in 1821. He was the son of a Church of Ireland minister and graduate of Trinity College. His first political experience was in the Young Ireland movement
1998 – President Bill Clinton contacts First Minister, David Trimble, and his deputy, Seamus Mallon, in a bid to save the stalled Northern Ireland peace process
1999 – The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair hails the transfer of powers to Stormont as “one giant step forward”

December 2
1791 – Death in Kilkenny of Henry Flood, founder of the movement which forces Britain to grant legislative independence to Ireland
1811 – The Kildare Place Society is formed to maintain non-denominational schools and to promote the education of the poor
1865 – The Fenian senate deposes founder John O’Mahoney as president, replacing him with William Roberts
1998 – In an effort to break the deadlock in the stalled Northern Ireland political process, British Premier Tony Blair holds intensive discussions with David Trimble and Seamus Mallon at Stormont
1999 – The Good Friday Agreement comes into operation as the British and Irish governments formally notify each other that all the necessary arrangements are in place.The notification ceremony takes place at Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs, at a joint signing by Foreign Affairs Minister, David Andrews, and the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Peter Mandelson
1999 – The IRA appoints an unnamed representative to enter into talks with General John de Chastelain on decommissioning

December 3
1792 – Beginning on this date and continuing through December 8, a Catholic Convention is held in Tailors’ Hall, Dublin to demand abolition of the remaining penal laws; a petition is presented to the king in London
1993 – Two bombs explode in the center of Manchester, injuring 65 people; the IRA claims responsibility the following day
1996 – Six officers are hurt as loyalists attack police with fireworks, bottles and stones in Portadown, Co Armagh
2002 – Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, says there is little point in proceeding with multi-party talks in the North if the IRA refuses to address the need to give up all paramilitary activity.

December 4
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
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

December 5
1921 – After lengthy negotiations, the British give the Irish a deadline to accept or reject the Anglo-Irish treaty. In the words of Lloyd George, rejection would mean “immediate and terrible war”
1976 – A rally of twelve to fifteen thousand Peace People from both north and south takes place at the new bridge over the Boyne at Drogheda
1998 – The IRA Army Council and up to 60 Provisionals meet at a secret location near the border to debate arms decommissioning
2000 – The IRA reaffirms its commitment to putting arms beyond use in a statement issued in advance of President Bill Clinton’s visits to Dublin and Belfast
2001 – Police and custom officers on both sides of the Border smash a multi-million pound smuggling operation with links to dissident paramilitary groups

December 6
1679 – St. Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, is accused of instigating the “Irish Popish” Plot and arrested
1921 – Representatives of the Irish government appointed by President Eamon de Valera, and those negotiating for the Crown sign the Anglo-Irish Treaty, ending the Irish War of Independence against England. Michael Collins declares: “I have signed my own death warrant”
1922 – The Irish Free State, Saorstát Éireann, comes into being

December 7
1688 – Thirteen ‘Apprentice Boys’ refuse to let a Catholic army into Derry/Londonderry (7 December); Tyrconnell backs down and allows the city to keep its Protestant garrison. Enniskillen also defies James II
1879 – Birth in Tralee, Co. Kerry of Austin Stack, anti-Treaty nationalist
1922 – The six counties of Northern Ireland opt out of the Free State
1972 – “Special position” of the Catholic Church is removed by referendum from Irish constitution

1998 – The IRA makes an historic decision to start decommissioning following an IRA Army Convention meeting in Donegal