1961 – 1980


History of Ireland 1961 - 1980



  • The census results are announced:
  • 1961 General Election
  • Telefís Éireann (later RTÉ) commences broadcasting on New Years Eve.
  • Sean Lemass returns as Taoiseach following the general election.
  • The All-Ireland Champions are Tipperary (hurling) and Down (football)


  • The second Vatican Council takes place - this leads to greater openness within the Catholic Church.
  • The IRA calls of its bombing campaign along the border.
  • The All-Ireland Champions are Tipperary (hurling) and Kerry (football)



  • The Second Programme for Economic Expansion is launched.
  • The playwrights, Sean O'Casey and Brendan Behan die.
  • The All-Ireland Champions are Tipperary (hurling) and Galway (football)




  • The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) is founded.
  • 3 people are killed when an Aer Lingus plane crashes in Dublin.
  • Censorship is lifted on all books this year.
  • Minister for Education, Donagh O'Malley reforms education:
    • The Primary Certificate - abolished as education.
    • The announcement of free secondary school education.
  • The All-Ireland Champions are Kilkenny (hurling) and Meath (football)



  • Plans to merge Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin are scrapped.
  • Crisis in the North
    • Oct. 5: Two days of rioting follows after a banned civil rights march in Derry is broken up by RUC batons. Many view this incident as the start of 'the Troubles'.
    • Oct. 9: Following a student demonstration in Belfast, the People's Democracy (PD) a radical, left-wing student group, is formed.
    • Oct. 30: The Taoiseach, Jack Lynch calls for an end to partition to resolve the unrest.
    • Nov. 4: The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O'Neill, says there will be no transfer of the North to the Republic without the consent of the NI parliament.
    • Nov. 22: O'Neill announces a five point reform plan which goes some way to easing the Catholic sense of grievance over matters including unfair housing allocation, council elections.
    • Dec. 11: William Craig, Minister of Home Affairs, is dismissed from the Northern Ireland cabinet.
    • Dec. 20: People's Democracy (PD) announce Belfast-Derry March.
  • 61 people die when an Aer Lingus plane crashes at Tuskar Rock.
  • The All-Ireland Champions are Wexford (hurling) and Down (football)


  • 1969 General Election
  • Crisis in the North
    • Jan. 4: A march from Belfast to Derry is attacked by a loyalist mob at Burntollet bridge, near Derry.
    • April 28: Terence O'Neill resigns as Prime Minister
    • May 1: James Chichester-Clark is his replacement.
    • July: First deaths of the 'Troubles'
    • Aug. 12: Apprentice Boys' march in Derry attacked by nationalists; RUC storm Bogside, leading to the Battle of the Bogside
    • August: British army arrives in North.
    • Dec: A split in the IRA produces Provisional and Official IRA.
  • The government introduce special tax concessions for creative artists and writers.
  • Dublin-born Samuel Beckett is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • The Institution of Engineers of Ireland is formed from amalgamation.
  • The All-Ireland Champions are Kilkenny (hurling) and Kerry (football)


  • March 25 - CIÉs first bus lane comes into operation on Parliament Street in Dublin.
  • May 1 - The Derrynaflan Chalice is discovered in a bog.
  • September 1 - China's first Ambassador to Ireland, Madame Gong Pusheng, arrives in Dublin.
  • October 6 - Justice Mella Carroll is the first woman to reach the position of High Court Judge.
  • October 27 - Over 2,000 people take part in the first RTÉ Radio 2 Dublin City Marathon.
  • December 19 - Former TaoiseachJack Lynch is conferred with the freedom of his native city, Cork.