Little Christmas (Nollaig Bheag) and/or Women’s Christmas (Nollaig na mBan) and/or Twelfth Day (the traditional end of the Christmas season), and for Irish Roman Catholics, a Holy Day of Obligation.
1562 – Shane O’Neill submits to Queen Elizabeth at Whitehall, but rebels again within months.
1654 – Commissioners are appointed to allot the land of Oliver Cromwell’s Connacht plantation to transplanted Irish.
1794 – Frances Ball who, as Mother Mary Teresa founded the Sisters of Loretto, is born in Dublin.
1800 – Author Anna Maria Hall, née Fielding, is born in Dublin.
1817 – Irish author, James Joseph McCarthy, often referred to as the ‘Irish Pugin’ is born in Dublin.
1834 – Death of Irish politician and animal rights activist, Colonel Richard “Humanity Dick” Martin (born in Co. Galway).
1857 – Irish-born Australian politician, Hugh Mahon, is born in Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
1839 – On this date, the Night Of The Big Wind or Oiche na Gaoithe Moire takes place; the most damaging storm in Irish history, some winds are estimated in excess of 130 m.p.h
1898 – Colonel James Fitzmaurice, Ireland’s greatest aviator, is born in Dublin.
1898 – Aviator pioneer, James FitzMaurice, is born in Dublin. He was a member of the crew of the Bremen, which made the first successful Trans-Atlantic aircraft flight from East to West on April 12, 1928 – April 13, 1928.
1921 – As the Irish War of Independence continues, British Prime Minister Lloyd George and Fr. O’Flannagan, Acting Vice-President of Sinn Féin meet to discuss Irish situation. The outcome of the meeting was described as “not altogether as satisfactory as could be hoped.”
1923 – Skirmish at Ballyconnell on the Cavan-Fermanagh border, Anti-Treaty IRA captain Michael Cull killed by plain clothes Free State officer while raiding a hardware shop.
In the Dundalk area two killings are reported. the body of a man John Phelan is found in Castlebellingham, with the notice ‘Convicted spy, IRA’ pinned on him, he had pointed out houses of anti-Treatyites to Free State forces which were subsequently burnt. In Dundalk itself, a civilian Hugh O’Donnell of Belfast, reported to be ‘of republican sympathies’ is shot dead by unknown gunmen.
1931 – Birth of novelist P.J. Kavanagh.
1939 – First publication of the newspaper Irish Freedom.
1940 – Johnny Giles, footballer and Republic of Ireland manager, is born in Dublin.
1941 – Birth of Noel Pearson, theatre impresario and film producer.
1998 – Embattled Northern Ireland Secretary of State Mo Mowlam receives the full backing of SDLP leader John Hume in her efforts to maintain the faltering peace process.
2000 – Residents in counties in the west and midlands, coping with the effects of the most devastating floods to have hit the region in fifty years, brace themselves for another rainstorm.
2000 – Families from all over Ireland join President Mary McAleese and her family in A´ras an Uachtaráin in Dublin to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. Bay laurels from Bethlehem are planted to mark the 2000th anniversary since the birth of Christ.
2003 – According to a study published today, the Irish language is on the brink of extinction unless radical measures are taken to arrest its decline.
2003 – Farmers put 1,000 tractors on the country’s roads and head for Dublin at the start of the IFA’s five-day family farm survival campaign.
2003 – The campaign against the construction of a motorway near the ruins of Carrickmines Castle in South Dublin is stepped up as protesters re-erect a blockade to prevent large diggers moving onto the site.
In the liturgical calendar, today is Epiphany and the Feast of the Holy Family.
2010 – It was announced that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) had decommissioned its weapons in front of independent witnesses.
Photo: Ashford Castle, Co Mayo.