The World at War

IRELAND 1937 - 1949

IRELAND Timeline

1937December 29 The new constitution written by Eamon de Valera comes into effect. The Irish Free State is officially renamed Eire in Gaelic and in English simply, Ireland. The charter abolishes the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown, replaces the office of Governor General with a President, makes Gaelic the first official language, recognizes the special position of the Roman Catholic Church as the guardian of the faith professed by the great majority of the citizens.(also recognizes the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland, as well as the Jewish Congregations and the other religious denominations existing in Ireland), prohibits the state from granting divorce and claims the whole island of Ireland and surrounding waters as the national territory.
A Presidential Commission headed by Frank Fahy is appointed to exercise the functions of the office until an election can be held to fill the office.
1938January De Valera and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain begin talks to end the Economic War. De Valera supports Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement during his tenure as President of the 13th (and last) Assembly of the League of Nations.
February 9 General election in Northern Ireland:UNIONISTS 39, NATIONALISTS 8, LABOUR 2, INDEPENDENTS 1
March 31 Frank Ryan,leader of the Connolly Column of the International Brigades is captured and imprisoned by Italian fascists at Calaceite, Spain.
April 25 The Anglo-Irish Accords are signed. The British Admiralty transfers its rights and property at Berehaven and the harbor defenses at Berehaven, Cobh and Lough Swilly to the Government of Ireland. The Irish Government agrees to pay Great Britain £10,000,000 in final settlement of claims for land annuities. Both governments agree to end the retaliatory duties imposed on each others products after the suspension of land annuity payments by the Irish Government in 1932.
June 15 Frank Ryan, leader of the Connolly Column of the International Brigades, is tried, convicted and sentenced to death for war crimes by a Nationalist court-martial in Burgos, Spain.
June 17 General election: A single party, Prime Minister de Valera’s Fianna Fail, wins a majority of the total votes cast for the only time in the history of Dail elections to gain an absolute majority in the chamber.
FIANNA FAIL - 51.9 - 77
FINE GAEL - 33.3 - 45
LABOUR - 10.0 - 9
June 25 Douglas Hyde is sworn in as the first President of Ireland elected under the 1937 constitution.
July 11 The British garrison turns the fortification on Spike Island at the entrance to Cobh harbor over to Irish troops and withdraws.
July 18 Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan lands in Dublin 28 hours 13 minutes after departing Floyd Bennett Field; Brooklyn, New York in the 1929 Curtiss Robin he bought off a scrap heap for $310. Civil aviation authorities had denied permission for the transatlantic crossing. Corrigan told authorities he was heading to Long Beach, California and claimed he was the victim of a faulty compass. His first words after landing were, “I just got in from New York. Where am I?”
July 25 A court in Northern Ireland sentences a Belfast woman to a year in prison for possessing, “Irish Republican Army documents”, purportedly showing the strength and placement of Belfast police units and locations of arms storage lockers. September
British engineers and artillerymen install additional gun emplacements purchased in England at the entrance to Cork harbor.
Anti-aircraft guns are placed near the flying boat base at Foynes and the country’s principle electric generating plants. The Government of Northern Ireland orders 500,000 gasmasks from Great Britain.
November Two members of the Irish Republican Army are killed in an explosion at a cottage in County Donegal shortly after a series of attacks on British customs posts on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
December 22 Northern Ireland arrests 34 persons implicated in a plot against members of the Government and detains them without trial under provisions of the Defence of the Realm Act.
During the Year Eire’s imports total £41,404,903 a decline of £2,703,429 (16.3%) from the preceding year. The United Kingdom supplies 50% of Eire's imports, the United States 11.3%.Eire's exports total £23,828,720 an increase of £1,637,540 (13.3%) from the preceding year. The United Kingdom buys 93% of Eire's exports, Germany 4%.
1939January 16 The Irish Republican Army begins a bombing campaign against Great Britain with seven major explosions; two in London, three in Manchester and one each in Birmingham and Alnwick.
April Prime Minister de Valera declares his government’s intention to remain neutral in the event of war in Europe. De Valera speaking before the Dail Eireann, “I have stated in this house and I have stated in the country, that the aim of government policy is to keep this country out of war, and nobody, either here or elsewhere, has any right to assume anything else.”
May 30 The Government of Ireland introduces the Treason Act to deal with a revival of Irish Republican Army militancy.
June 14 The Government of Ireland introduces the Offences Against the State Act making treason or its concealment a capital crime and permitting the detention of persons attempting to overthrow the state.
June 30 The population of Ireland (Eire) numbers 2,934,000 a decline of 31,864 (1.1%) since the 1936 census.
August 25 An Irish Republican Army bombing kills 5 people and injures 70 in Coventry, England.
August Charles Bewley is dismissed from his position as the Irish Free State’s minister to Germany. Bewley decides to stay on in Berlin where he spends the war years writing propaganda articles for the Nazis and flooding the German Foreign Office with information on leading Irish diplomats and politicians, including de Valera. He eventually applies for work with the Sicherheitsdienst, the security service of the SS, but is turned down.
September 2 The First Amendment of the Constitution Act extends, “to conflicts in which the State is not a participant the provision for a state of emergency to secure the public safety and preservation of the State in time of war or armed rebellion.”
September 3 Britain and France declare war on Germany. Ireland (Eire) remains neutral but its citizens are allowed to join the British Armed Forces or take jobs in British factories.
The Irish Government prohibits recruiting on its territory by British forces but 43,000 Irish citizens enlist in the British ranks.
Censors force the Irish press and radio to refer to the war as, “The Emergency”. Allied airmen forced down over Ireland and sailors picked up at sea by Irish ships are repatriated while Axis flyers and sailors are interned.
Northern Ireland enters the war by virtue of its status as an integral part of the United Kingdom. The British Government ignores appeals by the Government of Northern Ireland to apply conscription laws in the province several times during the course of the conflict. Westminster ignores Stormont’s calls for fear of arousing Nationalist opposition. Northern Ireland provides 38,000 men to the British Armed Forces during World War II.
September 9 The Dail Eireann grants the Irish Government emergency powers to control transactions in gold, securities and foreign exchange.
September 16 The Irish Government establishes a Ministry of Supplies under Sean Lemass. The supply of petroleum products, coal and gas averages less than 20% of the prewar norm, textiles 22%, and tea 25%. The British Government imposes restrictions on trade with Ireland in an effort to meet its own needs and to ensure that Irish neutrality does not seriously hamper the Allied war effort.
September Great Britain appoints its first diplomatic representative to Ireland. John Maffey, a veteran of the Indian civil service, is appointed High Commissioner for Ireland.
October 1 The Government of Ireland announces that it has uncovered evidence of an Irish Republican Army plot to seize control of Northern Ireland. IRA leader Sean Russell is accused of collecting money and arms to carry out conspiracy during a visit to the United States.
October 22 A bomb is set off outside Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison in an attempt to facilitate the escape of political prisoners. December 1
Justice Gavan Duffy of the Dublin High Court rules provisions of the Offences Against the State Act allowing detention of prisoners without arraignment unconstitutional. The Government releases 70 people held under the Act but appeals Justice Duffy’s ruling to the Supreme Court. December 15
Two men (one an admitted Irish Republican Army member) are convicted of a planting a bomb that killed 5 people in Coventry and sentenced to death by a court in Birmingham, England.
December 23 Irish Republican Army gunmen seize 1,098,099 rounds of small arms ammunition during a raid on the army depot at Phoenix Park, Dublin. Four of them are captured after firing on a sentry during the get away attempt. Police recover 851,000 of the rounds from caches scattered between Dublin and the northern border by year’s end.
December 25 Sixty suspected Irish Republican Army held in custody at a jail in Derry, Northern Ireland overpower guards and take control of the prison for several hours.
December Northern Ireland bans circulation of Republican Congress, Wolfe Tone Weekly, Irish Freedom, An Phoblacht (The Republic) and Sentry. The prohibited newspapers continue to be published in Ireland (Eire).
During the Year Prime Minister de Valera declines a request from the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland Isaac Herzog to allow Christian doctors and dentists of Jewish descent to enter Ireland and practice there. De Valera also refuses a request from the Vatican to admit a number of Jewish doctors temporarily. Only 60 to 7O Jews are admitted to Ireland as refugees during the entire period of Nazi persecution. The Minister of Justice recommends against such admissions for economic reasons and for fear of arousing an anti-Semitic backlash among the country’s large number of unemployed citizens. Ireland’s principle industries are: grain milling £10,770,420, brewing, £7,923,446, tobacco products £7,676,129, dairy products £6,950,028 and bakery goods £5,232,572.Ireland’s standing army numbers 724 officers and 7,262 men. The ranks of Northern Ireland’s Royal Ulster Constabulary are increased to 12,000.
1940January 3 The Dail Eireann amends the Emergency Powers and Offences Against the State Acts to allow internment of native born Irish citizens suspected of illegal anti-government activities. The measures are approved by a vote of 82 to 9.
February 7 Peter Barnes and James McCormack, the two Irish Republican Army members convicted of perpetrating a bombing that killed 5 people in Coventry on August 25, 1939, are hung in Birmingham, England.
February 9 The Supreme Court of Ireland validates the Emergency Powers and Offences Against the State Acts as amended. Justice Minister Gerald Boland orders the first raid in a series that leads to the internment of 500 suspected Irish Republican Army members and the imprisonment of 600 others during the Emergency.
February 11 Street fighting between Unionists and Nationalists erupts in Belfast after police charge a Republican crowd protesting the execution of two Irish Republican Army members in Birmingham, England.
February The Irish Republican Army formulates Plan Kathleen in an effort to win German support. Their German contacts conclude that the IRA is too disorganized to be of use to the Reich.
February Joseph Cardinal MacRory, the Roman Catholic Primate, and the bishops of Ireland issue a pastoral letter condemning the activities of the Irish Republican Army and declare membership in the organization a sin.
February 25 Six Irish Republican Army members jailed in Dublin launch a hunger strike aimed at forcing the Government to declare them prisoners of war.
February 29 A strike by Dublin’s 2,200 municipal employees leaves the capital without the services of firemen, public health workers and street sweepers for the next 18 days. March 22
The Irish Republican Army issues a manifesto declaring that the bombing campaign in Great Britain will continue until the last British soldier has withdrawn from Ireland and the British Government agrees to recognize them as Ireland’s only legitimate government.
March 22 The Irish Republican Army marks the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Uprising with a march by 400 armed members through Belfast. The parade is staged in defiance of Northern Ireland’s ban on Easter Week demonstrations.
March 24 Irish Nationalists clash with police in Derry, Northern Ireland after a bomb damages a nearby railroad bridge.
April 16 - 19 Irish Republican Army hunger strikers end their attempt to force Dublin jailers to treat them as prisoners of war after the deaths of two of their comrades.
April 25 A powerful bomb explodes near the headquarters of the Garda Siochana detective squad. The lower yard of Dublin Castle is wrecked and the entire city feels the blast.
May 7 Two motorcycle detectives carrying mail to the British High Commission are fired on and seriously wounded by six gunmen in the center of Dublin.
May 12 Flying Officer Donald Garland RAF of Ballinacor, County Wicklow leads an attack by five Fairey Battle bombers on the bridges over the Albert Canal in Belgium being used by the invading German army. They meet an inferno of anti-aircraft fire, but the mission is accomplished, due to the expert leadership of Flying Officer Garland. F/O Garland is killed in action and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
May 22 Dublin police uncover evidence of fifth column activities during a raid on the home of Stephen Held. Mr. Held, Mrs. Iseult Stuart a prominent socialite and a number of Irish Republican Army members are arrested for participating in the conspiracy.
May 24 Seventy six alleged Irish Republican Army members are arrested and interned without trial by the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
May 27 Prime Minister de Valera appoints a National Defense Council. The council includes 3 members of his Fianna Fail party, 3 from Fine Gael and 2 from Labour.
May 27 Ireland mobilizes its standing army and reserves. The Government calls for additional volunteers for active duty and to serve with local defense units.
May The Government bans private motoring on Ireland’s roadways.
June 1 Captain Harold Ervine-Andrews’ company of the East Lancashire Regiment is heavily outnumbered and under intense German fire near Dunkirk. When the enemy attacked at dawn and crossed the Canal de Bergues, Captain Ervine-Andrews, with volunteers from his company, rushed to a barn and from the roof shot 11 of the enemy with a rifle and many more with a Bren gun. When the barn was shattered and alight, he sent the wounded to the rear and led the remaining eight men back, wading for over a mile in water up to their chins. Captain Ervine-Andrews a native of Keadu, County Cavan is awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions.
June 6 Parliament grants the Government additional emergency powers including the right to execute saboteurs. The measure passes by unanimous vote in both houses.
June 7 Dublin police charge Stephen Held with possession of a parachute, secret code books, a radio transmitter and military information and receiving $20,000 in United States currency for the use of the Irish Republican Army.
June 25 The British Food Ministry agrees to double its imports of Irish bacon and purchase the entire surplus of Irish cheese.
June The British Government proposes the establishment of a joint defense committee to include representatives of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
July 1 Forty alleged members of the Irish Republican Army are arrested by Belfast police and interned without trial.
July 14 The Spanish Government releases Frank Ryan, leader of the Connolly Column of the International Brigade, from a Burgos Prison where he is serving a 30 year sentence, into the custody of German intelligence officers who believe his IRA connections will make him useful to the war effort. Ryan is taken to Germany where he meets fellow republicans Francis Stuart and Sean Russell. Russell and Ryan are then sent to Ireland on a U-Boat but Russell dies on route and Ryan is brought back to Germany.
July 22 Three hundred alleged members of the Irish Republican Army are arrested by the Royal Ulster Constabulary and interned without trial.
July 25 Irish journalist and diplomat Sean Lester succeeds Joseph Avenol of France as Secretary General of the League of Nations. Lester remains in Geneva throughout the Second World War.
July 28 Eighteen alleged members of the Irish Republican Army are arrested by the Royal Ulster Constabulary and interned without trial.
July The Government of Northern Ireland rejects Prime Minister de Valera’s demand that it agree to end the partition and adopt Dublin’s neutrality policy as condition of participation in the tri-partite defense council proposed by Great Britain. August 3
Imperial Airways resumes trans-Atlantic airmail service between Great Britain and the United States via Foynes, Ireland.
August 9 The Government bans strikes and lockouts in Northern Ireland.
August 16 The Emergency Powers (Amendment) Act is further altered. The right to appeal verdicts of the military tribunal is removed.
August 20 A German aircraft crashes on a hillside in County Kerry. Six crewmen are interned and a clearly marked air map showing the routes to Foynes is recovered from the wreckage.
August 26 German aircraft drop bombs on four County Wexford villages. Three women are killed when one of the bombs hits a creamery in Campile. The Irish Government lodges a formal protest with the German legation in Dublin.
September 6 Two Irish Republican Army gunmen convicted of killing two detectives during an August 17th raid on their Dublin hideout are executed.
September 13 The first air raid on Northern Ireland is launched by lone German aircraft.
September 15 The Irish Government appoints 8 regional commissioners to assume power in case their districts are cutoff from Dublin during an invasion.
September 15 Ireland’s standing army numbers 12,000, the ready reserve 15,000 and the Local Defence Force another 100,000 men. Irish forces have only 3 air squadrons, 2 motor torpedo boats and no tanks or heavy artillery. October
The Government of Northern Ireland merges the Royal Ulster Constabulary with the Home Guard. General Sir Hubert Gough appeals to Winston Churchill on behalf of a committee of prominent Irishmen asking the Prime Minister to repeal the merger decree. General Gough declares that the Constabulary has, “incurred the odium attached to a political police force of the type familiar on the Continent of Europe” and “clashes on the border may result from the activities of this large force directed by local civilian or police officials without regard to consideration of British policy as to external affairs or to British military arrangements designed to conform to the requirements of that policy.” November 5
Prime Minister Churchill declares in a speech to the House of Commons that the Royal Navy’s anti-submarine warfare program has been severely hampered by the loss of treaty ports in Ireland.
November 5 Captain Edward Fegen RN, commanding HMS Jervis Bay, is escorting 37 merchantmen in the Atlantic , when they are attacked by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. Captain Fegen immediately engaged the enemy head-on, thus giving the ships of the convoy time to scatter. Out-gunned and on fire Jervis Bay maintained the unequal fight for three hours, although the captain's right arm was shattered and his bridge was shot from under him. He went down with his ship but it was due to him that 31 ships of the convoy escaped. Captain Fegen is awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.
November 7 Prime Minister de Valera rejects British appeals to reopen the treaty ports to the Royal Navy in a speech to the Dail Eireann.
December 8 The Roman Catholic bishop of Down and Connor denounces the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s the wholesale arrests of alleged Irish Republican Army members and their internment without trial. December 25
Prime Minister de Valera declares that Ireland’s supply of food and raw materials is being quickly exhausted and appeals for aid in obtaining food and arms during a Christmas broadcast to the United States. December 27
Great Britain restricts re-export to Ireland of cattle feed, fertilizer, tobacco, oranges, lemons and certain tools imported under convoy.
During the Year The Government of Northern Ireland offers a £2 bounty for every new acre of land ploughed and planted for food production.
Ireland's cost of living index climbs to 119 (June 1939 = base 100).
1941January 1 – 3 German bombs fall on Dublin and the surrounding counties of Carlow, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wexford and Wicklow.
January 1 Great Britain declares Irish exports liable to seizure on the high seas unless they are covered by a British navicert. The policy already applies to the products of other neutral countries.
January 5 The executive council of Northern Ireland’s Unionist Party attacks Irish neutrality as, “deliberately prejudicing Britain’s prospects of success in a struggle which means as much for one country as the other.”
January 28 Ireland imposes strict censorship on of press messages to places outside its territory.
January 31 Ireland’s Prime Minister is authorized to establish courts-martial for civilians, “should the necessity arise.” February 1
The Irish Government bans signposts.
March 19 A German agent parachutes into Ireland and is immediately arrested by the Garda Siochana.
March Irish Defense Minister Frank Aiken travels to the United States hoping to purchase enough arms to equip 200,000 men. The Americans declare that they have no arms to spare except for countries actively engaged in fighting the Axis but authorize the purchase or charter of two merchant ships to deliver food for the civilian population.
March Ireland accepts a gift from the American Red Cross of $500,000 worth of food and relief supplies.
March 16 The Royal Ulster Constabulary arrests four men at a suspected Irish Republican Army arms cache discovered in a Belfast factory.
April 7 German air raids on Belfast kill 740 people, injure 1,511 and damage 56,000 homes. Prime Minister de Valera orders all Dublin fire brigades save one to assist in putting out the Belfast fires.
April Irish Defense Minister Frank Aiken, speaking in Washington, charges Great Britain with violating its agreement to supply Ireland with a fair share of goods received from overseas via convoy.
April 21 Northern Ireland’s Minister of Public Safety declares Belfast and 8 other districts, “defence areas”.
May 4 German air raids on Belfast resume.
May 22 Prime Minister Churchill tells the House of Commons that the Government is considering extending conscription to Northern Ireland.
May 25 Joseph Cardinal MacRory, Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland, denounces extension of conscription to Northern Ireland.
May 26 Prime Minister de Valera calls a special session of the Dail Eireann to discuss British plans to institute conscription in Northern Ireland. The leaders of all the parties denounce the proposal.
May 27 Prime Minister Churchill announces that proposals to institute conscription in Northern Ireland have been dropped. Northern Ireland Prime Minister John Andrews declares the Dail Eireann’s discussion of the matter, “unwarrantable interference.”
May 30 German bombs fall on Dublin’s North Strand killing 34 people and wounding 90.
June 19 The German consul expresses regret and promises to pay reparations for the May 30th bombing of Dublin.
June The Communist Party of Ireland dissolves following the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
July 11 British Home Security Minister Herbert Morrison announces the arrest of Cahir Healy a Nationalist member of the Northern Ireland Parliament.
July 17 John Dillon, leader of the official opposition Fine Gael Party, urges the Irish Government to reopen the Treaty Ports to the British Royal Navy.
September 3 A Dublin court sentences 9 Cork men to 3 to 5 years in prison for membership in the Irish Republican Army.
September 16 Sixteen Irish soldiers are killed while testing mines in the Glen of Imaal, County Wicklow.
September 18 Sean McCaughey is convicted of kidnapping former Irish Republican Army chief of staff Stephen Hayes on June 30th. Hayes claims he was court-martialed and tortured by the IRA.
October 5 Prime Minister de Valera publicly praises British respect for Irish neutrality, “despite the temptations and urgings of certain propagandists.”
November 25 Captain James Jackman of Dublin leads his machinegun company of Northumberland Fusiliers to the relief of the tank assault on El Duda ridge at Tobruk, Libya which was being slowed down by fierce enemy fire from anti-tank guns. Captain Jackman is awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions and is killed in action the next day.
November Ireland’s (Eire) population numbers 2,897,700 an increase of 53,700 (1.8%) since the previous census in 1938. December 14
Prime Minister de Valera, speaking in Cork, declares that the United States’ entry into the war will not change Ireland’s neutrality policy.
December Great Britain supplies Ireland with anti-aircraft, artillery and limited quantities of small arms and ammunition.
During the Year The Minefield section of the Irish Marine and Coastwatching Service is established to supervise mine laying at the entrances to the harbors of Cork and Waterford.
The British Royal Navy lays minefields off the southern coast of Ireland.
American construction workers arrive in Northern Ireland to build on new bases.
The Government closes the primary school on the Gaelic speaking Great Blasket Island off County Kerry. The class is down to 6 pupils.
Irish Shipping Ltd. is established to provide neutral shipping to facilitate the importation of wheat. The venture has little impact on the shortages and 20 Irish ships are sunk with the loss of 138 lives during the Emergency.
Emigrants from Ireland to Great Britain number 31,800 men and 3,272 women.
An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease kills 40,000 cattle.
Ireland’s cost of living index rises to 131 (June 1939 = base 100). Ireland’s imports decline by 37% to £29,544,000. Ireland’s exports decline by 3.5% to £31,848,000. Foodstuffs account for £28,000,000 worth of exports.
1942January Prime Minister de Valera admits that Ireland is receiving additional arms, “bit by bit” but does not reveal their source.
January 12 Prime Minister de Valera denies reports that negotiations are under way to allow the use of Irish ports and airfields by British forces. He further declares that any arms delivered to Ireland are received with the understanding that they will be used to, “defend our territory against any aggressor.”
January 26 The first of 300,000 American troops stationed in Northern Ireland during the war arrive at Derry. Prime Minister de Valera responds with declaration that the United States has recognized a, “Quisling government” and taken a “lease” on Irish soil which threatens Ireland’s neutrality.
January 28 Patrick Maxwell, a Nationalist member of the Northern Ireland parliament, declares, “there is nothing we can do to physically throw the American troops out of Northern Ireland, or we would do so.”
January 28 The Labour Party moves that traditional rules of evidence be restored in trials by Irish courts-martial. Prime Minister de Valera opposes the motion and declares the extraordinary measures justified in light of Irish Republican Army terrorism against jury members and witnesses. Justice Minister Gerald Boland and deputy opposition leader James Dillion charge that the IRA is working with German agents dropped into Ireland by parachute. Dillion further charges that de Valera is concealing the true nature of the conspiracy that makes it necessary to grant such drastic powers to the courts.
January Ireland grants permission for Pan American Airways to use the flying boat base at Foynes during clipper runs between the United States and Great Britain.
February 5 The United States Naval Operations Base at Derry, Northern Ireland is commissioned.
February 10 James Dillon, deputy opposition leader in the Dail Eireann, urges support for the United States in the war against the Axis. Dillion declares that Ireland had won it independence with American support and that its survival depends on continuing the, “Irish-American alliance” in a speech to the annual convention of the Fine Gael party. February 19
James Dillon resigns his seat in the Dail Eireann and from Fine Gael to protest the party’s continuing support of the neutrality policy.
February 3 Prime Minister de Valera declares that the chance of invasion is increasing and calls for the defense force to be increased to 500,000 men.
February 18 The United States command in Northern Ireland places Ireland (Eire) off limits to visits by American forces.
February 18 A German agent arrested after parachuting into Ireland escapes from Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison.
February 18 The Irish Government extends press censorship to cover all dispatches to foreign newspapers and press agencies.
February 26 A Dublin court sentences 3 men to death for the slaying of another in an Irish Republican Army purge. Two of the sentences are later commuted to life in prison.
February 28 German spy Guenther Schuetz escapes from prison.
March Irish government spokesman Sean MacEntee declares that a series of Irish Republican Army attacks on British military camps in Northern Ireland was designed to provoke a British attack on Ireland (Eire) which it hoped would increase its support there.
April 3 The Irish Republican Arm attacks the Royal Ulster Constabulary barracks in Dungannon.
April 5 The Irish Republican Army marks the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Uprising by setting off incendiary bombs in a Belfast theater used by British and American troops and attacks a Royal Ulster Constabulary barracks in Belfast.
April 30 Escaped German spy Guenther Schuetz is recaptured at the home of Caitlin Brugha, widow of executed Republican leader Cathal Brugha.
March 19 A dining car attendant on the Dublin-Belfast train is convicted of acting as a messenger in an Irish Republican Army plot to gather intelligence on the strength of British and American forces in Northern Ireland.
May 19 Coal shortages force restrictions on the use of electricity.
June 22 Captain Charles Blair pilots a Pan American Airways clipper on the first non stop commercial flight from Foynes, Ireland to New York with 16 passengers including Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham. Fog prevented a planned refueling stop at Botwood, Newfoundland.
A Belfast judge sentences James Walsh to 2 months at hard labor for urging a crowd in a Nationalist neighborhood to attack two American soldiers.
June An order to ration clothing goes into effect.
American Export Airlines begins using the Foynes flying boat base during flights between the United States and Great Britain.
July 15 RAF Wing Commander Brendan Finucane of Dublin is shot down and killed off the French coast. Finucane shotdown at least 32 enemy aircraft and was the top Irish fighter Ace of World War II.
July 30 Six Irish Republican Army gunmen convicted in the Easter Sunday murder of a Belfast policeman are sentenced to be hanged. Nationalists riot after the sentences are pronounced in part because no Catholics served on the jury.
August 30 The Governor of Northern Ireland, the Duke of Abercorn, commutes the death sentences of 5 of the 6 IRA gunmen convicted in the Easter Sunday killing of a Belfast policeman. The sixth, Thomas Williams, admitted to firing the fatal shot.
August 31 An Irish Republican Army manifesto declares the presence of American troops in Northern Ireland an act of aggression and threatens to use, “whatever means necessary” to force their withdrawal.
September 1 The United States command places Belfast off limits to American soldiers for 48 hours.
September 2 Demonstrators protesting the execution by Northern Ireland of IRA gunman Thomas Williams for killing a policeman force a one hour halt to business activity in Dublin.
September 3 The Royal Ulster Constabulary raids hundreds of homes in Nationalist districts of Belfast and arrests 56 men on suspicion of Irish Republican Army membership.
October 2 HMS Curaçao sinks off Donegal after a collision with RMS Queen Mary. The Curacao cuts across the Queen Mary’s bow in chase of a reported German U-boat and is sliced in two. The accident leaves 338 of the Curacao's crew dead. Escort destroyers pick up 108 survivors from the water. The Queen Mary which is carrying 15,000 American troops follows orders and does not stop. October 11
The number of persons interned in Northern Ireland for alleged membership in the Irish Republican Army reaches 500.
October 12 The Royal Ulster Constabulary announces the arrest of Hugh McAteer, the alleged chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army. McAteer is later convicted of treason and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
October Belfast police impose an 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on industrial areas in response to Irish Republican Army bombings.
November 4 The Central Bank of Ireland is established in Dublin to replace the Currency Commission.
November 7 Eamon Donnelly, former leader of Fianna Fail, is elected to the Northern Ireland parliament as a Nationalist. Donnelly refuses to take his seat and announces plans to united Northern Ireland Nationalists with political parties in Ireland (Eire) as part of a campaign to end the partition.
December 21 Belfast police lift the evening curfew imposed on industrial areas in response to Irish Republican Army bombings.
During the Year The former Chief Rabbi of Ireland Isaac Herzog warns Prime Minister de Valera that Jews are being systematically exterminated in German prison camps. De Valera and the Irish ministers in Berlin, Vichy, and at the Vatican attempt to rescue a large group of German Jews held at Vittel, France and groups of Italian, Dutch, Hungarian, and Slovakian Jews without success.
Bread rationing begins despite increases in wheat harvest after introduction of compulsory tillage policy.
Ireland’s cost of living index climbs to 144 (June 1939 = base 100). The value of Irish imports increases by £5,085,064 (17.2%) to £34,630,064.
The value of Irish exports increases by £817,307 (2.6%) to £32,665,307.
1943January 15 Hugh McAteer, Irish Republican Army chief of staff, escapes from a Belfast prison with 3 associates after serving 2 months of a 15 year sentence. A £3,000 reward is posted for his capture.
March 7 The Roman Catholic Bishop of Down and Connor protests a series of raids on Nationalist homes by police in Northern Ireland. The constabulary claims it was searching for Irish Republican Army arms caches and hideouts.
March 11 Northern Ireland Attorney General James McDermott announces the seizure of documents revealing plans by the IRA to assassinate policemen and disrupt war industries, transportation and civil defense measures.
March 21 Twenty one internees escape from a Derry, Northern Ireland prison. Eighteen of them are captured the next day by Irish (Eire) authorities and interned at the Curragh Camp.
April 1 Ireland (Eire) introduces electricity rationing.
April 20 A Belfast court sentences two men to 10 years imprisonment and a flogging for possession of arms and ammunition.
April 24 Fugitive IRA commander in chief Hugh McAteer appears with several armed associates at memorial service for Irish revolutionaries killed in the 1916 Easter Uprising held in a theater in a Nationalist district of Belfast. McAteer reads a statement denouncing the American presence in Northern Ireland as an, “invasion of our rights” and warns that they will be targeted in, “a resumption of hostilities between the Irish Republic and Great Britain”.
May 10 A mine explodes in Ballymanus Bay, County Donegal killing 19 men.
May 29 The Royal Ulster Constabulary arrests James Steele an adjutant to fugitive Irish Republican Army commander Hugh McAteer.
May Ireland’s cost of living index rises to 159 (June 1939 = base 100). The Irish ship Irish Oak is sunk in the Atlantic by a submarine in broad daylight despite clear neutral markings.
The Japanese Consulate in Dublin is raised to the status of a Consulate General.
June 5 Ireland (Eire) introduces butter rationing; stricter rationing of tea, gasoline and clothing and price controls on clothing.
June 16 Prime Minister de Valera announces plans for the formation of a popular organization to complete the restoration of Gaelic as the national language and describes the use of English in Ireland as a badge of conquest during a speech in Waterford.
June 23 General election: Prime Minister de Valera’s Fianna Fail Party loses its majority. William Cosgrave’s Fine Gael Party, loses 13 seats. Micheal Donnellan’s Farmers’ Party wins 14 seats. James Dillion who resigned from the outgoing Dail and the Fine Gael Party to protest Irish neutrality is elected to a new seat as an independent. Distribution of seats in the new Dail Erieann
FIANNA FAIL - 41.8 - 67 - -10
FINE GAEL - 23.1 - 32 - -13
LABOUR - 15.7 - 17 - +6
FARMERS - 9.0 - 14 - +12
June 28 Martin O’Sullivan becomes the first member of the Labour party to be elected Lord Mayor of Dublin.
July 1 The Dail Erieann reelects Prime Minister Eamon de Valera by a vote of 67 to 37 with 33 abstentions including all Farmer and Labour Party members. De Valera forms a minority Fianna Fail cabinet which governs with the support of the Farmers party.
July The Irish Government refuses to release 3 Irish Republican Army members who conduct a 49 day hunger strike at the Curragh internment camp.
July 9 Justice Minister Gerald Boland tells the Dail Eireann that the Irish Republican Army has harbored a German agent who parachuted into the country with invasion plans for the past 18 months.
August Lockheed Corporation announces plans to construct a large aircraft assembly plant and overhaul base for the U.S. 8th Air Force in Northern Ireland.
September 6 The Dublin Corporation petitions the Government to replace John Hughes’ statue of Queen Victoria in front of Leinster House (Parliament) with a statue of Lord Edward Fitzgerald.
September 11 Irish censors ban the London Sunday Dispatch which has a circulation of 70,000 in Ireland (Eire) after it publishes two articles critical of Irish neutrality and de Valera’s administration.
November 16 Prime Minister de Valera tells the Dail Eireann that Ireland has never forgotten the generosity of the United States but cannot be expected to show its gratitude, “in the blood of her people.” He insists that the policy of neutrality must be maintained despite the possibility of retaliation after the war.
November 20 Police in Northern Ireland recapture fugitive Irish Republican Army commander in chief Hugh McAteer.
December The Irish ship Kerlogue docks at Cobh with 164 German survivors of a naval battle picked up in the Bay of Biscay.
During the Year Joe Sheridan, chef at the Foynes transatlantic flying boat terminal, invents Irish coffee.
Penalties for violations of the Northern Ireland Special Powers Act are increased and single magistrates acting on their own are allowed to try less severe offences.
The value of Irish imports declines by £8,470,064 (24.5%) to £26,160,000.
The value of Irish exports declines by £5,185,307 (15.9%) to £27,480,000.
1944February 21 David Gray, the United States Minister to Ireland, demands the expulsion of German and Japanese diplomats from the country in a note delivered to Prime Minister de Valera. Gray refers to the upcoming invasion of Europe declaring that, “not only the success of the operations but the lives of thousands of United Nations soldiers are at stake” and further notes the possession of a radio transmitter by the German legation in Dublin.
February Chief of staff Hugh McAteer and 30 other Irish Republican Army prisoners begin a hunger strike to protest the refusal of Belfast jailers to separate them from non-political criminals, provide better food and allow them to wear civilian clothing.
March 7 Prime Minister de Valera rejects American demands for the expulsion of Axis diplomats from Ireland and insists that his government must protect the country’s neutrality and democratic way of life at all cost. De Valera’s reply further notes that Irish sentiments in regard to Britain had softened during the war, “precisely because Britain has not attempted to violate our neutrality.”
March 11 The U.S. State Department announces cancellation of an agreement to transfer the cargo ship Wolverine to Ireland. The Department notes the sinking of two other American ships operating under the Irish flag by Axis submarines and Ireland’s failure to protest these violations of its neutrality.
March 13 The British Government bans travel between Great Britain and both Ireland (Eire) and Northern Ireland. Telephone and air links between Great Britain and Ireland (Eire) are severed. The border between Eire and Northern Ireland remains open but travelers on the Dublin to Belfast train are subjected to closer inspection of identification and baggage.
Canadian Prime Minster MacKenzie King rejects de Valera’s request that he intervene to secure withdrawal of the American note demanding the expulsion of Axis diplomats from Ireland. King tells the Canadian House of Commons that he is in complete sympathy with the American position. The Australian High Commissioner in London rejects a request by Irish officials for Australian assistance in securing withdrawal of the American note demanding expulsion of Axis diplomats from Ireland.
March 14 One hundred Irish Republican Army members held in a Derry, Northern Ireland jail begin a hunger strike in support of Hugh McAteer’s demands for special treatment.
March 15 Professor Savory Unionist MP for Belfast addresses Winston Churchill during the House of Commons questions period asking if the Government intends to continue risking the lives of British sailors to deliver shipments of fuel, tea and other commodities to Ireland. The Prime Minister declines to answer.
March 22 Northern Ireland Home Security Minister William Lowry declares that the Government will not intervene to prevent the death of Irish Republican Army hunger strikers.
March 28 Irish Republican Army chief of staff Hugh McAteer and 2 other prisoners end their hunger strike.
April 19 The U.S. State Department releases President Roosevelt’s reply rejecting Prime Minister de Valera’s appeal to the belligerents to spare Rome as the campaign in Italy progresses. The President declares that the Germans occupying the city are making full military use of it and are completely responsible for its fate.
April Richard Mulcahy succeeds William Cosgrave as leader of the Fine Gael Party.
May 6 The U.S. State Department bars trade with 38 Irish firms and individuals accused of pro-Axis activity.
May 30 General election – Prime Minister de Valera’s Fianna Fail Party regains a majority in the Dail Eireann.PARTY
FIANNA FAIL - 48.9 - 76 - +9
FINE GAEL - 20.5 - 30 - -2
FARMERS - 10.8 - 11 - -3
LABOUR - 8.7 - 8 - -9
NATIONAL LABOUR - 2.7 - 4 - +4
June 6 Cornelius Ryan covers the D-Day invasion as a correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph.
June 7 Great Britain halts coal deliveries to Ireland (Eire). The Government restricts generation of electricity to 1/5th of 1941 levels and Dublin’s trolleys cease operation.
June 9 The Dail Eireann reelects Eamon de Valera as Prime Minister by a vote of 81 to 37.
June 10 Frank Ryan, former leader of the Connolly Column of the International Brigade, dies in Dresden, Germany.
August 21 Passenger ships resume sailings between Ireland and Great Britain.
September 19 Flight Lieutenant David Lord of Cork is flying supplies to the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem when his Dakota is hit twice by intense enemy anti-aircraft fire and has one engine burning. He manages to drop his supplies, but at the end of the run find that there are two containers remaining. Although he knows that one of his wings might collapse at any moment he nevertheless makes a second run to drop the last supplies, then orders his crew to bale out. A few seconds late the Dakota crashes in flames killing its pilot. Lieutenant Lord is awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.
September Telephone and airline service between Great Britain and Ireland is restored.
Restrictions on use of electricity are lifted thanks to high levels in the Shannon Hydroelectric plant’s reservoir. October 2
Dublin’s street cars return to operation.
November 14 The U.S. State Department announces that Ireland has turned down demands for assurances from neutral countries that they will refuse asylum requests from war criminals. The Department does not release the text of Ireland’s reply but notes that it is the only country to respond negatively. The British Undersecretary for Dominion Affairs, Paul Emrys-Evans, informs members of parliament that the Irish Government’s response to the American request is that it can offer no assurance which would preclude it from granting asylum if justice, charity, honor or other national interests should so require.
November 30 General Eoin O’Duffy leader of the Blue Shirts dies in Dublin at age 52 and is given a state funeral.
During the Year The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin John MacQuaid bans Catholics from attending Trinity College without the permission of their bishop.
1945March 21 Lieutenant Claude Raymond, Corps of Royal Engineers is second-in-command of a reconnaissance patrol at Talaku, Burma when they are fired on by a strongly entrenched enemy detachment and the Lieutenant at once leads his men towards the position. He is first wounded in the shoulder and then in the head, but continues leading his men forward, when he is hit a third time, his wrist being shattered. He still carries on into the enemy defenses where he is largely responsible for capturing the position. In spite of the gravity of his wounds, he refuses medical aid until all the other wounded have received attention. He dies the next day. Lieutenant Raymond is awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.
April 12 The Dail Eireann adjourns for two days of mourning following the announcement of President Roosevelt’s death.
April 30 Prime Minister de Valera visits the German legation in Dublin and signs a book of condolences memorializing the death of Hitler.
May 8 Nationalists scuffle with Trinity College students displaying the Union Jack during a V-E Day celebration.
May 13 Churchill takes one last jab at Irish neutrality during victory broadcast, “the approaches which the southern Irish ports and airfields could so easily have guarded were closed by the hostile aircraft and U-boats. This indeed was a deadly moment in our life, and if it had not been for the loyalty and friendship of Northern Ireland, we should have been forced to come to close quarters with Mr. de Valera, or perish from the earth. However, with a restraint and poise to which, I venture to say, history will find few parallels, His Majesty’s Government never laid a violent hand upon them, though at times it would have been quite easy and quite natural, and we left the de Valera Government to frolic with the German and later with the Japanese representatives to their heart’s content.”
May 17 De Valera replies to Churchill in a broadcast over Radio Eireann. The speech does much to restore his domestic popularity in the wake of the furor over his visit to the Germans. “Allowances can be made for Mr. Churchill’s statement, however unworthy, in the first flush of victory. No such excuse could be found for me in this quieter atmosphere. There are, however, some things it is essential to say. I shall try to say them as dispassionately as I can. Mr. Churchill makes it clear that, in certain circumstances, he would have violated our neutrality and that he would justify his actions by Britain’s necessity. It seems strange to me that Mr. Churchill does not see that this, if accepted, would become a moral code and that when this necessity became sufficiently great, other people’s rights were not to count... That is precisely why we had this disastrous succession of wars - World War No.1 and World War No.2 - and shall it be World War No.3? Mr. Churchill is proud of Britain’s stand alone, after France had fallen and before America entered the war. Could he not find in his heart the generosity to acknowledge that there is a small nation that stood alone not for one year or two, but for several hundred years against aggression; that endured spoliations, famine, massacres, in endless succession; that was clubbed many times into insensibility, but each time on returning to consciousness took up the fight anew; a small nation that could never be got to accept defeat and has never surrendered her soul?”
June 24 Sean T. O'Kelly succeeds Douglas Hyde as President of Ireland.
July Irish Republican Army chief of staff Sean MacCool is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate John Gantley, superintendent of the Garda Siochana.
July 4 Prime Minister de Valera announces the arrest and internment of former IRA chief of staff Hugh McAteer. McAteer who was released from Northern Ireland prison at the end of the European War is accused recruiting 40 IRA followers from among the 400 internees released by the Ireland from the Curragh camp and plotting with them to overthrow the Irish Government.
July 11 Prime Minister de Valera asserts that Ireland is a republic in reply to a question from the opposition in the Dail Eireann.
July 17 Prime Minister de Valera reiterates his previous assertion and declares Ireland an independent republic, “associated as a matter of our external policy with the states of the British Commonwealth.” De Valera refuses opposition member James Dillion’s request for further clarification of Eire’s status saying that the material necessary for a conclusive answer is unavailable.
July 19 Prime Minister de Valera replies to James Dillon’s criticism of his condolence call on the German consulate following the death of Hitler by declaring that he had merely followed universally established practice and that no question of approval or disapproval was involved.
July 31 Leading Seaman James Joseph Magennis, a diver in the midget submarine XE.3, attaches limpet mines to the Japanese cruiser Takao in Johore Straits off Singapore under particularly difficult circumstances. During this time his breathing apparatus was leaking and he returned to the submarine after completion of his task very exhausted. On withdrawing, his commander found that one of the limpet carriers which is being jettisoned, will not release itself and Magennis immediately volunteers to free it. Seaman Magennis is the only native of Northern Ireland awarded the Victoria Cross for services during World War II. The working class Catholic son of West Belfast’s Falls Road is finally honored with a memorial in his native city in 1999.
July Prime Minister de Valera intimates that an arrangement could be made to settle the £230,000,000 exchange balance accumulated by Ireland during the war if Great Britain would agree to end the partition.
July – August About 200 German military personnel interned in Ireland are repatriated to Germany.
September Ten German spies held in a County Sligo jail are released. Eight of them choose to remain in Ireland.
October The first shipment of Irish relief aid to Europe, mostly draught horses and cattle, arrives in Rotterdam.
November 11 The Government bans an Armistice Day parade by members of the British Legion. The veterans make their way to Dublin’s War Memorial Park separately, wearing their medals under cover and carrying their flags furled. The ceremony is followed by a memorial service at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. November
General Sir Hubert Gough, president of the Commonwealth Irish Association, presents a memorial to British Prime Minister Atlee requesting that unemployment benefits be extended to ex-service members and civilian war workers who have returned to Ireland (Eire).
Irish Airways resumes the Dublin-London service suspended in 1939.
During the Year Samuel Beckett is awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Republic for his Resistance work.
Charles Bewley, the former Irish Minister to Germany who stayed on in Berlin to work for the Nazis after his dismissal in 1939, is briefly interned by the Allies. Bewley settles in Italy after his release and writes short stories and a biography of Herman Goering.
1946April 18 The last Secretary General of the League of Nations, Sean Lester of Ireland, signs a contract transferring the League’s assets to the United Nations Organization.
April Aer Rianta and British Overseas Airways Corporation form a joint venture to provide air service linking Ireland with Great Britain and Europe.
May 12 Ireland’s (Eire) population numbers 2,953,452 an increase of 55,752 (1.9%) since the 1941 census.
May An Irish Republican Army hunger striker dies during internment. Prime Minister de Valera declares that the Government will not be coerced by hunger strikes or other means into releasing men engaged in attempting to overthrow it.
June Dublin is chosen to host the North Atlantic office of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
July 6 Sean MacBride founds Clann na Poblachta to challenge the conservative economic and welfare policies of Fianna Fail.
July 25 The Dail Eireann authorizes the Government to seek membership in the United Nations. The Soviet Union blocks Ireland’s application with a veto in the Security Council. July
Bread rationing is introduced in Northern Ireland. Deliverymen refuse to cooperate with the regulations and British troops are called in to distribute bread.
October Prime Minister de Valera makes a public reversal of his earlier statements regarding Ireland’s status in relation to the British Commonwealth. De Valera remarks that certain symbols of the Commonwealth have been recognized by Irish law and accepted by the people. His statement is made in reply to critics of President O’Kelly’s functioning as representative of the Crown.
November 23 Bakery workers begin a week long strike in Northern Ireland. The British Army deploys cooks from England to replace the strikers.
During the Year A Royal Navy minesweeping flotilla based at Cobh removes or destroys 4,000 mines laid in Irish waters during the war.
Prime Minister de Valera overrides Justice Minister Gerald Boland’s rejection of a London based Jewish charity’s proposal to house 100 Jewish children from Poland in Clonyn Castle, County Meath.
David Fleming an Irish Republican Army prisoner in Northern Ireland stages 77 and 45 day hunger strikes. He is released at the end of the second strike, sent to Ireland (Eire) and barred from reentering Northern Ireland for 8 years.
1947January 30 James Larkin, founder of the Irish General and Transport Workers Union, dies in Dublin at age 71 leaving £4.50 and a few personal belongings.
March 15 Coal shortages force Irish railways to shutdown passenger service and limit freight runs to priority commodities such as food and fuel.
March The Northern Ireland Bill introduced in the British House of Commons expands Northern Ireland’s legislative prerogatives to include the power to establish a health service to complement the National Health Service of Great Britain. Geoffrey Bing leads a group of about 200 MPs who call for rejection of the measure, “until such time as, in the opinion of this House, the Parliament of Northern Ireland so administers the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, as to provide democratic liberty and equality for the people of Northern Ireland.”
April 7 Great Britain agrees to furnish Ireland (Eire) with 11,000 tons of coal per week to keep Dublin’s city gasworks and other essential businesses operating. Ireland imported 50,000 tons of British coal per week prior to the war.
April 12 Eight German spies who elected to remain in Ireland at the end of the Second World War are rearrested and briefly held in Mountjoy prison, Dublin. One, Dr. Goertz, commits suicide while in custody.
May 31 Labour MP Geoffrey Bing continues his campaign to defeat the Northern Ireland Bill. He describes Northern Ireland in a New Statesman article as, “not a Fascist State of the Nazi type, but an organized denial of democracy on the American model” and goes on to compare the methods used in America to disenfranchise Blacks with those used in Northern Ireland to disenfranchise Nationalists.
July 13 The British House of Commons passes the Northern Ireland Bill after Labour MPs desert the opposition on second reading.
July Prime Minister de Valera denies Russian charges that Ireland is unfit for membership in the United Nations because it held Axis sympathies and attacks Russian territorial acquisitions.
During the Year Ireland’s export earnings are 1/3 of the amount spent on imports. The trade deficit with the United States and Canada reaches a 7 to 1 ratio. 1948
February 4 General election: Prime Minister de Valera’s Fianna Fail remains the largest party in the Dail Eireann.
FIANNA FAIL - 41.9 - 68 - -8
FINE GAEL - 19.8 - 31 - +1
LABOUR - 8.7 - 14 - +6
CLANN na POBLACHTA - 13.3 - 10 - +10
FARMERS - 5.5 - 7 - -4
NATIONAL LABOUR - 2.6 - 5 - +1
INDEPENDENTS - - 12 - +3 -
February 18 The Dail Eireann’s opposition parties combine to elect John Costello of the Fine Gael Party as prime minister.
April 16 Ireland joins the Organization for European Economic Development.
September Prime Minister Costello announces that Ireland will repeal the External Relations Act of 1936 and end the Crown’s role in appointing diplomatic representatives and concluding trade agreements.
November 17 The Costello government introduces the Republic of Ireland Bill in the Dail Eireann.
November 25 Great Britain, Canada and South Africa agree to continue trade preferences and reciprocal citizenship rights after Ireland severs its links with the Commonwealth.
December 14 The British Government turns down a request from the Government of Northern Ireland to change Northern Ireland's name to “Ulster”. The Dominions Office notes that this would entail changing the full name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
December 21 President Sean T. O’Kelly signs the Republic of Ireland Act ending the country’s link with the British Commonwealth. December 21
Sir Gilbert Laithwaite, the British High Commissioner to Ireland, writes that, “Northern Ireland is not Ulster and the designation is false and dangerous.”
During the Year The remains of William Butler Yeats are returned from France and reburied at Drumcliff, County Sligo.
1949April 18 The Republic of Ireland Act becomes effective at midnight on Easter Monday.
May 5 The Council of Europe is established with the Republic of Ireland as a founding member.
June 2 The Ireland Act passed by the British parliament declares that the Republic of Ireland is not part of the British dominions, but that it is not to be regarded as a foreign country, and that Northern Ireland will not cease to be a part of the United Kingdom without the consent of the Northern Ireland parliament.
July 12 Douglas Hyde, Gaelic League founder and first President of Ireland, dies in Dublin at age 89.

UP - Homepage - Timeline Index