The Decade of BIG Dates ( and little ones too )

Not the romantic kind, nor the edible one’s but anniversaries of significant events. 

Many are looking forwards to the years between 2012 and 2022 to commerate or celebrate various past events, others are equally dreading them, in particular the, 1916-2016 Easter Rising & Somme Commerations come to mind.  But these are not the only significant dates coming up and I suggest we compile a list of some of the lesser known events worthy of our attention, as well as the big ones, we can then put together a more comprehensive list to educate us all for the next 10 years or even help you plan when best to leave the country. 

The broad paremeters are, the event must have been at least 10 yrs ago from today, and in multiples of 10 or 25 years there after, exceptions being records such as oldest, longest, first, etc. or major current events in their own right such as the Olympics.  The second paremeter being it must have a Northern Ireland / north of Ireland connection ( ie. Donegal person or event ok, Cork or Glasgow not unless it/they had major impact here)   National UK & Ireland events can be included, as can international ones with a local connection.  For this exercise we will presume no-one dies over the next decaded,( ie. include Prince Philip’s 100th bithday) and organisations, ( like the EU & UK ) survive more or less intact.

I know some interesting side discussions will arise, for example commerating Easter versus the Actual date of the rising, or does having your granny born here count as enough of a connection.   If they stirr things up then get someone to start a thread on the issue, this is just meant as an hostoric record of the event not a call to organise events etc.    I will try to keep this as updated as possible, if you can pin the date down to one day, either the start date or most significant one that will help, if not will post it in the right year and someone else can help with the date. 

* PLEASE give full dates if available, otherwise it may not make it to the list*


April 15th – Centenary, Titanic Sinking

June 18th – Bicentenary, Outbreak 1812 North American War, General Ross  

July 14th – Centenary, Dervock born K K. McArthur Olympic Marathon Gold

September 28th – Centenary, Ulster Covenant Signing


January ?? – Centenary, First UVF established

January 1st – First,  UK City of Culture in Derry/Londonderry

August 26th – Centenary, Dublin Lockouts


March 20th – Centenary, Curragh Mutiny

April 23rd – Millenium, Battle of Clontarf

April 24th – Centenary, “Clyde Valley” Landing guns for UVF

June 28th – Centenary, Assination Archduke Franz Ferdinand

July 26th – Centenary, “Asgard” landing guns for Irish Volunteers

July 28th – Centenary, Outbreak of World War One


June 18th – Bicentenary, Battle of Waterloo (Irish commander & much of army)


April 6th – Ninetith Birthday, Ian R K Paisley

March 27th – Centenary, Easter Rising

July 1st – Centenary, 1st Battle of The Somme



17th February – Fortieth Anv, La Mon Hotel Bomb

March 6th – Centenary, Death of John Redmond MP

March 6th – Thirtieth Anv, SAS Kill 3 PIRA members in Gibraltar

April 10th – Twentieth Anv, Good Friday Agreement Signed

June 20th – Fiftieth Anv, Caledon Civil Rights Protest begins

August 4th – Tricentenary, Rev. McGregor & Antrim Migrants land in Boston

November 11th – Centenary, Armistice Day


January 21st – Centenary, Irish declaration of Independance & Soloheadbeg ambush


July 21st – Centenary, Catholics forced from H&W, Belfast Pogroms

November 21st – Centenary, Dublin Bloody Sunday


May 3rd – Centenary, Formation of Northern Ireland

May 25th – Centenary, Customs House Burning

September ?? – Fiftieth Anv, Formation of DUP


March  24th – Centenary, McMahon Murders, Belfast

March 30th – Fiftieth Anv, Proroguing of Northern Ireland Parliment

August 22nd – Centenary, Death of Micheal Collins

, ,

  • The 1718 Migration

    Kennedy Kane McArthur’s 1912 Olympic marathon gold

    Several anniversaries for the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, including Waterloo (1815) and the Great War (1914-18):

    Duke of Wellington: ‘They saved the centre of my line at Waterloo.’

    DR – Good examples Nevin, can you give me fixed dates? cant google or look up them all.

  • Certainly be a lot of 50th Anniversaries to deal with……..the first casualty of the modern Troubles, Mr Scullion 1966, Civil Rights marches, Caledon, August 1969………St Matthews/Falls Curfew 1970……Internment McGurks Bar 1971 …Bloody Sunday 1972…Stormont shut down……Claudy & Bloody Friday.
    To some extent these could be “whataboutery” events where the tone will be set by earlier centenary events.

    There will I suspect be an element of “your turn, my turn” and the whole thing will escalate, probably not in a good way.
    For example if unionists overdo the whole “Covenant” thing then thats the cue for Republicans to “overdo” Easter 1916 which in turn is the cue for unionists to overdo the Somme (its NOT a shared event although lets get alongerists so wish it).

    I think we would also have to include the Titanic (although I suspect that the neutral thing will be overtaken by East Belfast “claiming” it. And I think that Derry “City of Culture” nonsense will be included.

    I dont agree the parameters of excluding the rest of Ireland as necessarily the GAA will want to commemorate the first Bloody Sunday and all parties with a leftist element will surely want to include the Dublin Lockout.

  • Mick Fealty

    I must admit, this could be big, but I think what’s a much more important concern is what will Ireland look like by the end of the decade?

    Strangely, after being underwhelmed by the prospect of the Queens visit, it seemed to me that in dealing with the past openly and creatively, the Republic’s population seemed somewhat liberated by it.

    Perhaps that’s a more useful way to frame things?

  • I have a large book somewhere that details daily happenings throughout the 20th century. If I can find it on one of my bookshelves, I’ll trawl through it to see if there is a N.I. connection with any.
    Meanwhile, back to the future; I think the Delorean car started commercial production about 30 years ago.

    DR- Joe can you get me a date for first of the line Delorean?

  • Drumlins Rock

    FJH, with regards the troubles, choosing the most significant “events”, particularly round 69-73 will be trickey, but just as we won’t list every WW1 & WW2 battle the more significant ones should be noted. I don’t think it has to descend into whataboutery, and finding the more obscure events could show some common ground.

    As for the first Bloody Sunday, it had a national significance so should be included, know less about the lockout, sell the case.

    Mick, I know it will probably snowball and get out of control quickly, but call this a trial run and see what turns up, as I have mentioned before locally I have some experience of history bringing both sides together, might be too much an ask to get “one list” to pick and choose from but its better than two. So suggestions?

  • The centenary of the Easter Rising will be on March 27th 2016 (Easter Sunday) not April 24th.

    Other Irish centenaries…

    2013 – Centenary of the Dublin Lockout (26 August 1913)
    2014 – The Asgard arrives in Howth with German weapons (26 July 1914)
    2019 – Irish Declaration of Independence & Democratic Programme of the First Dáil (21 January 1919)
    2019 – Soloheadbeg Ambush (21 January 1919)
    2019 – the Limerick Soviet (15 to 27 April 1919)
    2020 – Catholics burnt out of Lisburn (22 August 1920)
    2020 – start of Belfast pogroms
    2020 – 7000 Catholics forced from their jobs in Harland and Wolff (21 July 1920)
    2021 – Burning of the Customs House (25 May 1921)
    2022 – McMahon murders (24 March 1922)

    DR – combined a few, have to be tough mate.

  • Drumlins Rock,
    I think the thing is that once we or DCAL or whoever start thinking of events to be celebrated in an official or semi-official way then the floodgates open and every community group some with bigger axes to grind than others want that event commemorated.
    For example its hard to argue against the Archduke Ferdinands assassination being significant but it wont get them out in the streets in Cullybackey or Crossmaglen but comparatively minor events from the early years of the 1969 Troubles will have them out in the streets of………Ballymurphy, Claudy.
    And frankly it will degenerate into “we have more to remember than themmuns” and we are thanks to the sanitised commemorations …on the route to commemorate “Gerry Adams buys Duffle Coat” to counterpoint the officialdom of it all.
    Official commemorations (the object of some is to draw the sting from their meaning) will give rise to many more unofficial ones………and frankly we (as two communities) would be better letting the commemorations just “happen” without official input.

    DR- I havn’t mentioned “official” just interesting events, and a mention on here might be all they get, its not a call for celebrations, just a note, was hoping you can give me a few from further back, too many centenaries atm.

  • Mick Fealty


    I’d like to see you (and others) decide which of these qualify as big and small dates.

    DR – I edited the title so i dont have to decide!

  • “DR – Good examples Nevin, can you give me fixed dates? cant google or look up them all.”

    I’ll try DR – compliment appreciated; early dates are a bit elusive but I’ve finally found one for 1718.

    The Rev. James McGregor ‘came to Boston August 4, 1718‘ with Aghadowey families via Coleraine. The departure date would have been the beginning of the summer.

    The McArthur Stockholm gold was won on July 14, 1912.

    The Inniskillings lost 450 out of 700 troops on 18 June 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo [see link above]; IIRC the Ulster Division’s loss at the Somme on July 1-2 was 550, so a similar order of magnitude.

  • DR,

    First car came off the line in 1981.

  • John Ó Néill

    Dewi, this could unwieldy very very quickly so I’ll only suggest four:

    1913 UVF established (January)
    1914 Curragh Mutiny (20 March)
    1914 Third Home Rule Bill giving Home Rule to all of Ireland was passed and given Royal Assent under Parliament Act 1911.
    1922 January 18: Dublin Soviet declared in the Rotunda.

    By the way – I would added these, but I’d imagine I woudn’t have many takers for including them…

    1912: Antrim become first Ulster county to reach two All-Ireland football finals, and the first Ulster county to make two consecutive All-Ireland finals. Antrim also become first Ulster county to lose two [consecutive] football finals.
    1913: Antrim settle for doing Ulster Hurling and Football Championship Double for the fourth time.

    Could I make a supplementary suggestion, Dewi? It will be centenaries mediated by commentators rather than eyewitnesses. Similarly, much of the physical commemorative architecture and monuments all post-date the events and are, by definition, erected for and by the survivors (with all the emotional baggage they might bring being so close to events). So these are memorials to those events but are actually later in date.

    So, could people suggest contemporary buildings or spaces that might be of relevance? Taking Belfast as an example:
    – were any of the casualty hospitals used (or places for convalescence)?
    – where were the recruiting stations?
    – trenches dug for training purposes?
    – war industries?
    – beyond Belfast, early airfields or other defence infrastructure (e.g. ports)?
    – what fabric, if any, survives of the 1919-22 conflict in Belfast (RIC posts etc)? Ballistic marks on buildings?

    Again – I am specifically thinking of actual buildings or spaces with a direct connection rather than later memorials. While the histories may be contentious and might not be easily shared – the experience of a Home ruler or a no-Rome ruler passing through a recruiting station en route to a muddy death in Flanders would obviously be very similar, even though they might have had different motivations.

    DR – John, give me a date for Antrim reaching the final 1912 and will post that to cover them all.
    Buildings with history in Belfast, Craigavon House comes to mind.
    (as for motivations for going to war, I think there was one very common one on both side, the sense of adventure)

  • John Ó Néill

    Sorry DR – I just realised I called you Dewi there…

  • Ian Paisley born 6 April 1926.

  • Dec

    23rd April 2014 – One thousand year anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf. Any attempts to portray the victorious forces of Brian Boru as ‘Us’ and the losing mishmash of Leinstermen and Dublin, Manx and Orkney vikings as ‘themmuns’ or ‘West Brits’ will be frowned upon.

    DR – Nice one Dec 🙂

  • And Feb 1966, Protestant Telegraph launched.

    DR – I gave the 90th birthday, big date and big man, (will restrict birthdays to 80, 90, 100 etc.of major characters) can we do founding of DUP instead if I had a date or is that counted as the founding?

  • Northern Bank robbed on 20 December 2004, £26.5 million.

    DR- almost posted, but clarified the rule instead otherwise things happening yesterday will appear, so has to be min 10yrs ago from todays date.

  • Ian Paisley founded the Protestant Unionist Party (PUP) in 1966 which later morphed into the DUP in Sept 1971, co-founded by Desmond Boal.
    Can’t find a precise date.

  • Blue Hammer

    24 April 2014 – Centenary of UVF landing its first big shipment of guns in Ulster

  • Blue Hammer

    30 March 2022 – Fiftieth Anniversary of Proroguing of NI Parliament

  • DR,

    my misunderstanding.

    Present day UVF became active in May 1966.

  • sliabhluachra

    BBC has its own ideas. Antrim looks a good punt though

  • UVF date was 21 May.

    7 February 1973 – The United Loyalist Council held a one-day strike. 15 May 1974 Beginning of the Ulster Workers’ Council strike.

    8 March 1973 – The PIRA undertook its first operation in Great Britain, when it planted four car bombs in London.

    17 May 1974 – Dublin and Monaghan bombings – the UVF exploded four bombs (three in Dublin, one in Monaghan)

    17 June 1974 -The Provisional IRA bombed the Houses of Parliament in London,

    5 October 1974 -Guildford pub bombings

    21 November 1974 -Birmingham pub bombings

    10 December 1974 – The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) and its political wing the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) founded .

    25 September 1983 – thirty-eight Republican prisoners staged an elaborate escape from the Maze Prison.

  • keano10

    12th May 1916

    The execution by firing squad of the final two leaders of The Easter Rising – Sean MacDiarmada and James Connolly.

  • galloglaigh

    Another two small but vital events in Irish history:

    31st of January 2021:

    The 140th anniversary of John Redmond’s first appearance as an MP in Westminster. His first speech was quite dramatic. Redmond was the ninth IPP MP to take to his feet during a debate that day, and stated that “As I regard the whole of these proceedings as unmitigated despotism, I beg respectfully to decline to withdraw”. Redmond was, by direction of the Speaker, removed by the Serjeant-at-Arms from the House. He was the ninth IPP member to be removed that day; others soon followed!

    6th of March 2018:

    The 100th anniversary of John Redmond’s death…

    DR – Will go with Redmond’s death, as trying to keep it to multiples of 25 when over 100 yrs.
    your other posts have been removed as they were a blatant attempt to throw the whole thing of course.

  • 22 August 1922 – Michael Collins ambushed and killed.

  • galloglaigh

    2012 and the 100th anniversary of George VI’s visit to Dublin.

  • Mr Fealty alludes to the fact that we dont know what Ireland will look like after a decade. I think he is absolutely right. And the more dates that are dealt, I havea strong feeling that there is a “joker” in the pack…… to speak.
    We are talking here about Events that have already happened and a potential second event in their commemoration.
    But…….events dear boy events………..should make us especially aware that there is something or somethings yet to happen which will mean as much as anything already in the History books.
    This is NOT the end of History…so to speak.

    DR – thats the idea, would love more random events, might hold back on the centenaries soon to allow a bit more variety, can you get me something for 2017? its blank so far!

  • galloglaigh

    Why has my comment again been removed? An explanation for censorship would be nice!

    I’m going to post it again. If it deserves to be removed (as by the same reason Joe’s 5:08 pm), then so do I…

    DR – Gall, it was a deliberate attempt to derail the thread, and you know it, no explanation should be necessary.

  • between the bridges

    Enniskillen on September 18th 1912, Upon reaching Portora Hill, Carson stood and watched while 40,000 Orangemen and Unionists marched past him.

  • galloglaigh


    It’s not an attempt at derailing. Given the news today, the event is quite valid… Is it not? I didn’t see your edition to my Redmond post until now, but please keep my last post up. If it derails, remove the further posts relating to it?

  • galloglaigh

    OK then…

    July 2015 and the 40th anniversary of the Miami Showband massacre!

  • galloglaigh

    The 100th anniversary of the Roman Catholic Relief Act on 24 March 1829.

    DR – thats 200th anniversary in 2029, would have went up otherwise

  • Drumlins Rock

    I’m going to leave the troubles events off for now, with the exception of one event each decade, the full timeline is easily available on Wiki, CAIN & elsewhere.

  • galloglaigh


    In fairness, a full timeline of Irish and British history is quite easy to find with a google search!

    You can remove this as soon as you see it. I don’t want to spoil the thread!

  • galloglaigh

    2020, and the 175th anniversary of the start of the Great Famine. That would also include parts of England, and the Scottish Highlands…

  • galloglaigh

    2023 and the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Home Rule league, which eventually seen Home Rule for both states in the newly partitioned Ireland!

  • The first public allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy became the subject of widespread publicity in 1984 in the USA.The scandal quickly spread to other countries with Ireland being among the worst.

    Can’t find the exact date

  • DR, the Battle of Messines began on 7 June 1917 and it has become an icon of togetherness in more recent times.

  • galloglaigh

    November 7th 2013, the 50th anniversary of the Beatles being interviewed for RTE, as they arrived at Dublin Airport!

  • One for 2013, DR. The first majority Protestant parliament met in Dublin Castle on May 18, 1613, thanks to the creation of new boroughs during the course of the Ulster Plantation. It seems to have been the day when the Old English became Irish.

  • Not specifically Northern Irish, but such a BIG date that it will get some sort of commemoration:

    7 November 1917: Great October Socialist Revolution (though the Winter Palace fell at 2 a.m., and so was really the following day).

  • Greenflag

    Why not have a 60 minute Remembrance Event on Sept 18 2018 to recall the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Bros -an event which is still having financial ramifications around the world . By then i.e Sept 2018 it can be hoped that world governments will have resolved the current fiscal and monetary crisis worldwide .

    If they haven’t it won’t much matter whether its a battle in WWI or 1798 or the Easter Rising that’s commemorated

    I don’t know if I’m alone in this but it sometimes seems to be that a society which never stops ‘commemorating ‘ will never be anything else other than a political necropolis .

    Once or twice a year fair enough but a whole decade ?
    Lunacy :

    Move on -The dead heroes or cowards or cannon fodder depending on your personal viewpoint are NOT coming back.Their world is gone .

  • Harry Flashman


    “The centenary of the Easter Rising will be on March 27th 2016 (Easter Sunday) not April 24th.”

    Eh? How do you work that out? Has the Dublin Rising metamorphosed into a moveable Christian feast now?

    The “Easter” Rising was an historic event not a religious one, ergo we use historical, not religious, methods to determine its anniversary.

    Anyway just for the record the Rising happened on the bank holiday Monday of Easter week and therefore has no connection whatsoever with the religious festival of Easter Sunday.

    April 24th 2016 it is.