|2002 in Ireland
Return to Years in Irish History
Mikhail Gorbachev samples Guinness in Dublin
|January: The Euro went into circulation in the Republic of Ireland.
Mikhail Gorbachev received the Freedom of Dublin.
The UDA admitted murdering a Catholic postman in north Belfast. In the same month, there was rioting in the Ardoyne area of Belfast.
February: The body of teenager Brendan Rushe was found in Donegal Bay.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern held talks in Dublin.
referendum on amending the Constitution to remove the threat of suicide
as a ground for legal abortion was narrowly defeated. While abortion
remained illegal in Ireland, women were allowed to travel to England
for abortions under certain circumstances.
In Northern Ireland, the fallout from the Holy Cross school protests continued with loyalist threats to teachers, parents or pupils. A group called the Loyalist Commission, representing the UDA, UVF and RHC, issued a statement distancing itself from the threats.
April: The Catholic Bishop of Ferns, Brendan Comiskey, resigned over criticism of his handling of abuse cases in the diocese.
The first recruits into the new Police Service of Northern Ireland graduated. Meanwhile, the IRA stated that they had put a second tranche of arms beyond use; and there was an acceleration in activity by republicans opposed to the peace process, including a bomb attack on Maghaberry Prison, and an attempt to drive a firebomb into the centre of Belfast.
Posters from the referendum on abortion
Queen Elizabeth II at Stormont
coalition of Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats was
re-elected in the Republic. Bertie Ahern was confirmed as Taoiseach.
Queen Elizabeth II visited Stormont as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.
June: The Loyalist Commission issued a statement saying that loyalists would not start violence at sectarian flashpoints in Belfast.
The Irish Government made a National Declaration at the Seville European Council emphasising its commitment to the European Union's security and defence policy.
July: The IRA offered its 'sincere apologies and condolences' to the relatives of 'non-combatants' who had been killed on Bloody Friday, 1972.
A new agreement was signed to reduce the level of radioactive discharges in the UK, which would also benefit the Irish Sea.
August: The Real IRA were blamed for the death of an army contractor in an explosion at a Territorial Army base in Derry.
The Attorney General's office in the Republic confirmed that drivers would be banned from using mobile phones.
Martin McGuinness, IRA leader in 1972
Campaigning during the referendum on the Nice Treaty
Trimble threatened to collapse the power-sharing agreement in Northern
Ireland if the IRA did not disband by 19th January 2003.
Plans to build a National Stadium in Dublin (the 'Bertie bowl') were shelved because of a lack of public funds.
October: Geraldine Kennedy became the first female editor of the Irish Times.
In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionists and the DUP came to the brink of pulling out of the Assembly because of continued IRA activity, including punishment beatings, spying, and the training of Colombian rebels. On the 14th, the Secretary of State suspended the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Executive. The IRA responded by breaking off contact with the decommissioning body led by John de Chastelain.
In the Republic, a second referendum was held on the Nice Treaty. It was accepted by a good majority.
The Magdalene Sisters, a film about abuse in laundries run by nuns, was released in Ireland.
November: Major figures in the Northern Ireland arts world boycotted an awards ceremony in a protest against arts funding cuts.
Talks began in the Republic on whether the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, which was due to expire on 31st December, would be replaced.
December: David Trimble of the UUP walked out of Stormont in protest at a secret memo by the Irish government that claimed the IRA was still active. He believed it meant Sinn Féin should be excluded from power-sharing.
The Irish President Mary McAleese broke her ankle while skiing in Austria.
President Mary McAleese
|Notable Deaths in Ireland
|Name||Date of death||Age
|Colm Hilliard||14th January||65||Fianna Fáil TD|
|Jim Tunney||16th January||78||Fianna Fáil TD and Lord Mayor of Dublin|
|Paddy Ambrose||22nd February||73||Soccer player and coach|
|Brendan O'Dowda||22nd February||76||Tenor singer|
|Spike Milligan||27th February||83||Comedian|
|Kevin Danaher||14th March||89||Folklorist and author|
|David Beers Quinn||19th March||82||Historian|
|Sylvester Barrett||8th May||75||Fianna Fáil TD and MEP|
|John B. Keane||30th May||73||Playwright|
|Brendon Menton Senior||1st August||(91)||President of the Football Association of Ireland|
|Jim McFadden||28th August||82||Ice hockey player|
|David Molony||4th September||52||Fine Gael TD and member of the Seanad|
|David Grene||10th September||89||Classical scholar|
|Pat Saward||20th September||74||Footballer|
|Derek Bell||17th October||66||Musician|
|Richard Harris||25th October||72||Actor|
|Brian Behan||2nd November||75||Writer, trade unionist, brother of Brendan Behan|
|Jim Mitchell||2nd December||56||Fine Gael TD, Cabinet Minister|
|Glenn Quinn||3rd December||32||Actor|
|Lucy Grealy||18th December||39||Poet|
|Alan Clodd||24th December||84||Publisher, book collector and dealer|