Christmas Day is one of the four Irish Quarter days.
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.
1715 – Joshua Dawson sells the Mansion House with its gardens and park to Dublin Corporation for £3,500 plus 40 shillings per annum and a ‘loaf of double refined sugar of six pounds weight’ which is to be paid to the Dawsons every Christmas.
1744 – Sir John Parnell, Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, is born in Co. Laois.
1781 – John Ward, mystic and religious writer, is born in Queenstown, Co. Cork.
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.
1831 – Christopher Palles, judge and Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland is born in Dublin.
1832 – Union General Thomas Alfred Smyth is born in Co Cork. Smyth was born in Ballyhooly Co. Cork. He was the last Union General to be killed in the American Civil War.
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.
1873 – Patrick Gallagher aka ‘Paddy the Cope’, cooperative society developer, is born in Cleendra, Co. Donegal.
1881 – Sir John Greer Dill, Field-Marshalis born in Lurgan, Co. Armagh.
1916 – Irish prisoners interned at Frongoch are released.
1920 – A British patrol in Tralee County Kerry shot dead two men who were suspected of being IRA members and burned their homes.
1922 – Joseph MacDonagh, TD, who had been deputy Minister for Labour to Countess Markiewicz, brother of Proclamation of the Irish Republic signatory and 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh, dies on hunger strike in hospital in Eccles Street, having been hastily removed there when it became clear that his appendix had ruptured and peritonitis had resulted.
1941 – Jim Bolger, racehorse trainer, is born in Co. Wexford.
1957 – Birth of Shane Patrick MacGowan, a musician and singer, best known as the original singer and songwriter of The Pogues. MacGowan was born in Pembury, Kent, to Irish parents. MacGowan spent his early childhood in Tipperary before his family moved back to England when he was six and a half. He lived in many parts of the south-east, including Brighton and London.
1971 – Birth of Noel Hogan (b. Moyross, Co Limerick), is the guitarist and co-songwriter of The Cranberries.
1974 – Harry Kernoff, Irish artist in oils and woodcuts, dies.
1999 – While most parts of the country experience heavy rain and winds, the snow capped Knockmealdown and Comeragh mountains in Co Waterford are picturesque on Christmas Day, particularly for punters who had a flutter on a White Christmas. The presence of snow in many areas costs bookmaker Paddy Power £50,000.
2000 – Swimmers around the country brave icy seas and teeth chattering winds as the annual Christmas fund raising swims get off to a chilly start. Temperatures in coastal areas range from zero to four degrees.
2002 – Ireland experiences its mildest Christmas in over a decade.