December 22
1691 – Patrick Sarsfield and The Wild Geese sail out of Cork harbour for France
1919 – “The Better Government of Ireland Bill” proposes two home rule parliaments, for the six north-eastern counties and the remaining 26, to come into effect in May 1920
1943 – The government announces that from now on bus-queuing is compulsory throughout Ireland if more than five people are waiting at a bus-stop
1974 – The London home of the Conservative leader and former Prime Minister Edward Heath is damaged from the impact of a bomb planted by the IRA. The attack comes just hours before a Christmas truce is due to come into effect
1997 – Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam battles to save the Stormont talks from total collapse as four Ulster Unionist MPs withdraw their support for their party’s continuing participation in the negotiations
2002 – The Minister for the Marine, Dermot Ahern, warns about the possibility of a “war on the seas” as a result of the failure by the European Union to agree on a policy on the Irish Box fishing area.

December 23
1688 – James II is deposed and flees to France
1770 – The Steelboys or Hearts of Steel, a Protestant agrarian protest movement, is involved in conflict in Ulster – 500 Steelboys release a prisoner in Belfast on 23 December
1864 – Death of James Bronterre O’Brien, Longford-born leader of the British Chartist movement
1920 – The Government of Ireland Act enforces the secession of the six Northern Irish counties from the rest of Ireland

December 24
1601 – The Battle of Kinsale. Hugh O’Neill and Red Hugh O’Donnell are heavily defeated by Mountjoy
1810 – John O’Connell, politician, is born in Dublin
1889 – Captain William O’Shea files for divorce, citing Parnell as his wife Kitty’s lover, thus causing moral outrage and the next loss of Parnell’s political power

December 25
1185 – Around Christmas, a crown that Henry had sought from the papacy for John’s use as king of Ireland is delivered, but will never be used
1351 – William Ó Ceallaigh, chief of Uí Mhaine, holds a great Christmas feast for the bards of Ireland
1824 – William Lawless, United Irishmen and officer in Napoleon’s Irish Legion, dies in Paris
1829 – Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, bandmaster and composer, is born in Co. Dublin
1844 – Rev. William Steel Dickson, Presbyterian minister and United Irishmen supporter, is born in Co. Antrim
1860 – Patrick Dinneen (Pádraig Ó Duinnín) priest, lexicographer and editor, is born in Rathmore, Co. Kerry

December 26
1998 – Former IRA Chief of Staff, Cathal Goulding, dies in a Dublin hospital
1999 – Hundreds of people walk through the Glen of the Downs in a show of solidarity with eco warriors, despite a Government order closing off the nature reserve to the public
December 27
1601 – Red Hugh O’Donnell leaves Ireland for Spain; Hugh O’Neill withdraws to Ulster
1791 – 68 conservative members secede from the Catholic Committee, which thereby becomes more militant
1849 – James Fintan Lalor, Young Irelander, dies
1904 – The Abbey Theatre opens with productions of Yeat’s “On Baile’s Strand” and “Cathleen ni Houlihan”, as well as Lady Gregory’s “Spreading the News”
1904 – George Bernard Shaw’s John Bull’s Other Island is performed in London
1960 – Death of Elizabeth Crotty, Irish traditional musician and activist for Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann
1969 – Dan Breen, IRA leader during War of Independence dies
1997 – A leading protestant paramilitary, Billy Wright, is shot dead at the maximum security Maze prison in Northern Ireland
2002 – A young man is “executed” in north Belfast as the simmering feud among loyalist paramilitaries erupts

December 28
1795 – Lord Gosford, Governor of Armagh declares the Orange Order a “lawless banditti”
1880 – The trial of Parnell and others for conspiracy begins on this date
1997 – The British government orders the deployment of the SAS in Mid-Ulster in a bid to thwart another Loyalist Volunteer Force outrage as IRA commanders in Tyrone meet in emergency session in an effort to keep the lid on the Provo ceasefire

December 29
1864 – The National Association of Ireland is founded in Dublin, backed by the Catholic hierarchy and intended to foster cooperation with English radicals to promote disestablishment of the Church of Ireland
1876 – The Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language is formed in Dublin
1997 – Secretary of State Mo Mowlam holds day-long crisis talks with security chiefs and prison officials amid renewed calls for her resignation and fears that breakaway loyalist and republican terror bosses will ruthlessly exploit any political vacuum

December 30
1997 – Key files from the Department of Defence, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General relating to the Arms Crisis of 1970 are discovered to be missing from the State archives
1997 – Thousands of loyalists pack the streets of Portadown for the funeral of LVF commander Billy Wright
December 31
1930 – The appointment of Letitia Dunbar-Harrison as Mayo County Librarian leads to controversy, for reasons related to her lack of Irish-language skill, her disregard of local patronage, and the fact that she’s a Protestant; Mayo County Council is dissolved by ministerial order on this date
1975 – The Anti-Discrimination (Pay) Act establishes the right to equal pay for equal or like work and provides a system whereby this right may be attained and enforced.