December 8
1896 – Death of Isabella Maria Susan Tod, Irish women’s rights activist
1922 – Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Joseph McKelvey and Richard Barrett, Irish patriots – one from each of the four provinces – are executed by the Free State forces

1980 – Haughey and Thatcher meet in Dublin and agree to consider ‘the totality of relationships within these islands’

2002 – Hundreds of anti-war demonstrators march on Shannon airport in protest at the continued use of the airport by the US Air Force in preparation for possible war in the Gulf

December 9

1973 – At Sunningdale, Berkshire, British Prime Minister Edward Heath, Irish premier Liam Cosgrave, and representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, sign an historic agreement to set up a Council of Ireland

2000 – Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern arrives for the third day of the European Summit in Nice. Leaders of the 15 EU states have convened in this heavily guarded city to tackle a tough agenda which centers on the future structure of the European Union and the integration of new member states

2005 – Nearly 150,000 people take to the streets as the Irish Ferries protest mushroomed into the largest public demonstration the country has seen for two decades.
2005 – President Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II meet in Northern Ireland. According to President McAleese, this historic event could clear the way for an unprecedented State visit. No British monarch has made such a trip since George V visited Dublin in 1911, a decade before partition.

December 10
1479 – Garret More Fitzgerald of Kildare, the ‘Great Earl’, holds a parliament in Dublin from 10 December; it will run, with adjournments, into 1481
1920 – Martial law is imposed in Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary
1977 – Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams receive the Nobel Peace Prize
1998 – The Irish and British governments launch a fresh search for a breakthrough in the Northern Ireland peace process in the wake of the joint award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Ulster’s political leaders David Trimble and John Hume
1999 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern says that a lasting end to the Northern Ireland conflict is now well in sight
2000 – Following four days of marathon talks in Nice, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern defeats European Union efforts to directly influence Ireland’s taxation policy


December 11
1905 – Birth of Erskine Childers, Ireland’s fourth president (1973-1974)
1920 – Martial law is declared in Ireland. Black and Tans and Auxiliaries go on a rampage of burning, rape and looting in Cork
1931 – Statute of Westminster is passed by British Parliament giving Dominion parliaments, including the Free State, equal status of the Imperial Parliament at Westminster
1936 – In the wake of the abdication of Edward VIII, the Dáil passes legislation removing the King from the Irish Constitution and abolishing the position of Governor General
1956 – The Irish Republican Army (IRA) begins what it calls “The Campaign of Resistance to British Occupation”; it is also known as the ‘Border Campaign’. As a result of the campaign, Internment is introduced in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. The campaign ends on 26 February 1962 because of lack of support
1998 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair meet in Vienna; they fail to find new ways of breaking the deadlock in the row over implementing the Good Friday Agreement
2002 – The replica famine ship, the Jeanie Johnston, arrives in Dublin after final fittings in Cork.

December 12
1883 – Birth in Dublin of Peadar Kearney, songwriter, revolutionary and house-painter; he is famous for writing the words of the Irish national anthem
1920 – Birth of Christy Ring in Cloyne, Co. Cork. His 24-year career record earned him a reputation as the greatest hurler of all time
1920 – Black & Tans continue their attacks in Cork
1957 – The IRA begins a violent four-year campaign in Northern Ireland
1975 – A six-day siege on Balcombe Street in London ends peacefully after four IRA gunmen free their two hostages and give themselves up to police
1997 – The Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair invite the key players in the talks into a 12-week negotiating blitz beginning in the New Year
2000 – At a farewell reception in Dundalk, US President Bill Clinton makes an emotional plea to the people of Ireland: “redouble your efforts for peace”
2001 – Intelligence agent William Stobie is gunned down in Belfast by former associates


December 13
1779 – British goods are boycotted in Ireland; armed Volunteers parade in College Green, Dublin in November and demand ‘a free trade or else’ (i.e. the removal of restrictions on Irish trade with the colonies). This demand is granted on this date
1867 – An explosion at Clerkenwell gaol in London, intended to aid in the escape of two Fenians, causes several deaths and injuries
1955 – Grace Gifford Plunkett, Irish patriot, dies
1997 – Over a thousand people take to the streets of Dublin in a theatrical spectacle called “Féile Fáilte” to protest racism, particularly against refugees
2000 – Crowds roaring their approval greet Bill and Hillary Clinton on stage at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, confirming the first couple’s enduring popularity in Northern Ireland
2001 – Queen’s University honours Manchester United legend, George Best, with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his services to football

December 14

1822 – A ‘bottle riot’ takes place on this date. Missiles are thrown at the vice-regal box during a performance in a Dublin theatre as a result of Wellesley banning celebrations in memory of William III
1831 – A process server and 12 policemen are killed by tithe protesters at Carrickshock, Co. Kilkenny
1900 – Maud Gonne and Paul Kruger (former president of the Transvaal) are offered the freedom of Limerick by the city council
1918 – Sinn Féin, pledged to an Irish Republic, wins 73 of 105 Irish MP seats. Winners include Constance Markievicz who becomes the first woman elected to the Parliament of England
1921 – Dáil Éireann begins Anglo-Irish treaty debate
1955 – The Republic of Ireland becomes a member of the United Nations
1965 – An Anglo-Irish free trade agreement is signed; the UK and Ireland undertake to establish a free trade area by the mid-1970s
1985 – Jack Charlton quits as Ireland manager
2001 – Garda technical experts examine 180 rounds of ammunition found on the outskirts of Cork city which they believe may be connected to the Real IRA.