Irish History

1169 Henry II oversees an Anglo Norman invasion of Ireland, establishing an English presence for the first time
1689 James II lands in Ireland and supported by a catholic army reigns from Dublin
1801 The Act of Union creates the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1813 First recorded sectarian riots in Belfast
1836 Extensive failure of the potato crop which is repeated the following year
1845 Irish potato blight is discovered leading to country-wide famine
1858 Irish Republican Brotherhood is founded in Dublin; the Fenian Brotherhood in America
1907 Two Irish nationalist organisations merge to become the Sinn Féin League
1916 The ‘Easter Uprising’ in Dublin by the republican Irish Volunteers and Citizen Army is suppressed by British Forces
1917 Eamon de Valera elected President of Sinn Fein. The Irish Volunteers becomes known as the Irish Republican Army.
1919 Start of Irish War of Independence
1921 Anglo-Irish Peace Treaty signed establishing the Irish Free State which the 6 counties of Northern Ireland opted out of.
1922 Start of the Irish Civil War between the Irish Free State and opponents of the 1921 Peace Treaty
1923 Irish Civil War ends in the defeat of the anti-Treaty supporters
1926 Éamon de Valera leaves Sinn Fein and establishes the Fianna Fáil political party
1939 IRA declare war on Britain with a bombing campaign in English cities
1939 UK and France declare war on Germany and the Second World War begins. Ireland remains neutral.
1947 Lord Mountbatten, Viceroy of India, announces the establishment of Pakistan and the independence of India
1949 Ireland formally becomes the Republic of Ireland, independent of the United Kingdom and it’s Commonwealth
1969 The IRA splits into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA
1971 Internment without trial introduced in Northern Ireland and leads to violence, death and a campaign of civil disobedience
1972 On ‘Bloody Sunday’, British soldiers kill 14 Catholic civil rights protestors in Derry, Northern Ireland
1972 British Home Secretary holds secret talks with the Provisional IRA
1973 The Sunningdale Agreement establishes a power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly and a cross-border Council
1974 Secret talks between the Provisional IRA and representatives of the British Government.
1975 Internment without trial ends in Northern Ireland
1976 Provisional IRA car bomb kills Christopher Ewart-Biggs, the British Ambassador to Ireland, in Dublin
1979 Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Party, elected British Prime Minister
1979 Provisional IRA bomb kills 4 people aboard a fishing boat off Mullaghmore, County Sligo
1979 Provisional IRA bombs kills 18 British soldiers at Warrenpoint in County Down, Northern Ireland
1981 Bobby Sands, IRA prisoner in Northern Ireland, dies while on hunger strike
1984 Provisional IRA bomb kills 5 at the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton, England
1985 Anglo Irish Agreement signed in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland giving the Irish Government an advisory role in the North
1987 Provisional IRA bomb kills 11 at a Remembrance Service in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
1990 Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister, resigns and is replaced by John Major
1993 British & Irish Governments issue the Downing Street Declaration giving Northern Ireland the right of self-determination
1994 Provisional IRA call a cease-fire followed in October by the Loyalists
1995 Bill Clinton, President of the USA, visits Northern Ireland and later the Republic
1996 Provisional IRA bomb kills 2 at Canary Wharf in London and ends their 17 month cease-fire
1997 Tony Blair, Labour Party, elected British Prime Minister
1997 Bertie Ahern, Fianna Fáil, elected Irish Premier
1997 Provisional IRA call a second ceasefire
1998 Real IRA is formed from disaffected members of the IRA objecting to the ceasefire and involvement in the peace process
1998 Real IRA bomb kills 29 in Omagh, Northern Ireland
1998 The ‘Good Friday’ Agreement or Belfast Agreement establishes a devolved Northern Ireland Assembly
2001 George W Bush becomes President of the USA
2001 Terrorist attacks in New York and Washington kill nearly 3,000
2005 IRA announces the end of its military campaign and decommissions its weapons
2006 The St Andrews Agreement provides for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly
2007 Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party form a power-sharing Northern Ireland government
2008 The Independent Monitoring Commission declares the IRA’s army council is now redundant
2009 Real IRA kill 2 soldiers at the Massareene Army Base; Continunity IRA kill a police officer in Craigavon, both Northern Ireland
2010 The UDA, Northern Ireland’s largest loyalist paramilitary organisation, formally declare they have decommissioned all their weapons
2011 HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Duke of Edinburgh visit Ireland, the first by a British head of state to the Republic

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