1949 in Ireland

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Agriculture Act passed in Northern Ireland.

Sean MacBride
Séan MacBride
February: Election in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Unionist Party took 62.73% of the vote and the Nationalist Party 26.8%.
March: The Irish Government leased a residence in the Phoenix Park to the United States government for ninety-nine years. Minister for External Affairs Séan MacBride made it clear to the American envoy to Dublin, George Garrett, that Ireland would accept the Atlantic Pact and join NATO if partition was ended.

On March 19th, the Musical Training Act was extended.
Flags out in Dublin
Flags out in Dublin
April: The Children (Amendment) Act was brought out on 5th April. In the same year, the Minister of Education General Mulcahy received complaints from Cork City Council about Greenmount Industrial School. He paid a visit to the school with advanced warning, and the case was dismissed.

On the 17th of April, twenty-six countries officially left the British Commonwealth. A twenty-one gun salute on O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, ushered in the Republic of Ireland.

On the 18th of April, the British "Ireland Act 1949" came into force, recognising the withdrawal of the Republic of Ireland from the British Commonwealth, which had been brought into being by the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. The Act conferred Citizenship of the UK and Colonies on all persons who had been: born in the Republic of Ireland before 6th December 1922; were domiciled outside the Republic of Ireland on that date; were ordinarily resident outside the Republic of Ireland from 1935 to 1948; and who had not registered as an Irish citizen under Irish legislation.

On the 29th of April, Major de Courcy Wheeler, who in 1916 had accepted the surrender of Patrick Pearse, presented President Séan T. O'Kelly with Pearse's revolver at a function at Áras an Uachtaráin.
May: On the third of May the British government under Clement Attlee stated that "it is no part of the business of this government... to take the initiative to diminish the territory of the United Kingdom."

On the 10th, the Oireachtas called for a 'Protest Against Partition' because of the terms of the Ireland Act. Three days later, John A. Costello, Eamon de Valera, William Norton and Séan MacBride appeared together to in public to protest against the British government's attitude to the constitutional status of Northern Ireland.

On the 25th of May, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh received the Freedom of Belfast during a visit to the city.

The Irish Open was won by Harry Bradshaw.

Eamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
Douglas Hyde
Douglas Hyde
June: On the 15th of June, William Murphy was elected in the Cork West by-election, following the death of Timothy Murphy.

On the 26th,  80,000 people gathered in Croke Park to affirm the pledge as members of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Society.

The Diseases of Animals Act was passed this month.
July: The 9th of this month saw the last tram run from Nelson Pillar to Blackrock.

On the twelfth of July, Douglas Hyde, first President of Ireland and founder of the Gaelic League, died in Dublin aged 89. Noel Browne managed to snub the Catholic hierarchy by being the only minister to attend the Church of Ireland funeral of Douglas Hyde.
August: Tánaiste William Norton told the European Consultative Assembly in Strasbourg that Ireland would not agree to a customs union of western European states.

On the 8th of August a pilgrimage to Lourdes began, initiated by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. The pilgrims, who included 38 invalids, gathered in St. Andrews Church, Westland Row for a special Mass on the morning of 8th August. All were fasting.

Ireland team at Goodison Park
Ireland Team at Goodison Park
September: The Republic of Ireland beat England 2 - 0 in a football match on Goodison Park on the 21st of September.

October: Thomas Charles Nelson was elected for the Unionists in Enniskillen, following the resignation of Erne Ferguson.
A group of walkers in Northern Ireland, 1949
Group of walkers out in Northern Ireland, 1949
November: On the 8th, street names in any language other than English were prohibited by an Amendment to a Bill passed in the Senate of Northern Ireland.

Eight days later, Patrick O'Donnell was elected in Donegal West following the death of Brian Brady.

In the North this month, two more Unionists were elected in by-elections: Frederick Lloyd-Dodd in Queen's University and George Boyle Hanna in Belfast Duncairn.

On the 20th, students and professional staff celebrated the centenary of University College Galway.

Also in November, military headquarters issued a secret report outlining Ireland's position on NATO, from a strategic as well as a partition viewpoint. Military planners were convinced of Ireland's strategic position in the north Atlantic area.

December: Public Health and Local Government act passed in Northern Ireland.

Notable births in Ireland

Nuala Ahern, Green Party MEP for Leinster
Nuala Ahern
5th Jan
Roy Foster, historian
Roy Foster
16th Jan
Michael Ahern, FF TD and Minister of State
Michael Ahern
20th Jan
John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore
John McAreavey,
2nd Feb
Jim Sheridan, film director
Jim Sheridan
6th Feb
Fergus Slattery, rugby player
Fergus Slattery
12th Feb
Joan Burton, Labour Party Deputy Leader, TD for Dublin West
Joan Burton
Frank Chambers, former FF senator
Frank Chambers
3rd March
Sorcha Cusack, actress
Sorcha Cusack
9th April
Peter Caffrey, actor
Peter Caffrey
18th April
Avril Doyle, FG MEP for Leinster
Avril Doyle
18th April
Joe Higgins, former Socialist party TD
Joe Higgins
1st May
Pat Rabbitte, former leader of the Labour party
Pat Rabbitte
18th May
Shane Ross, journalist and Seanad member
Shane Ross
11th July
Bryan Murray, actor
Bryan Murray
13th July
John O'Leary, golfer
John O'Leary
18th  August
Phil Lynott, singer-songerwriter with Thin Lizzy
Phil Lynott
20th Aug
Thomas Murphy, Republican
Thomas Murphy
26th August
Ann Murray, mezzo--soprano
Ann Murray
27th August
Liam Fitzgerald, FF senator
Liam Fitzgerald
1st Sept
Michael McKevitt, RIRA leader
Michael McKevitt
4th Sept
Charlie Bird, journalist and broadcaster
Charlie Bird
9th Sept
Charlie McCreevy, former FF Cabinet Minister, European Commissioner
Charlie McCreevy
30th Sept
Enda Bonner, FF Councillor
Enda Bonner
Jim McDaid, FF politician
Jim McDaid
3rd October
Eddie Macken, showjumper
Eddie Macken
20th Oct
Gabriel Rosenstock, poet
Gabriel Rosenstock
Pat Finucane, human rights lawyer
Pat Finucane
Billy Roche, playwright and writer
Billy Roche
Dermot Gleeson, former Attorney General
Dermot Gleeson

Notable Deaths in Ireland

Name Date of death Age Details

James Magee 18th January 76 Cricketer from Dublin who played for Ireland six times.
Cecil Lowry-Corry 2nd March 75 Sixth Earl Belmore, former Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff.
Timothy J. Murphy 29th April - Senior Irish Labour Party politician.
Dan Comyn 23rd May 76 Cricketer from Galway who played for Ireland sixteen times.
Douglas Hyde 12th July 89 Former president, scholar and founder of the Gaelic League.
Edith Anna Sommerville 8th October 91 Novelist, suffragette and artist.
Jimmy Dunne 14th November 44 Footballer.

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