January 2

Dan Keating

1902  Dan Keating was born. He was Irish republican and patron of Republican Sinn Féin. At the time of death, he was the last surviving veteran of the Irish War of Independence and Ireland’s oldest man.

He joined Irish Republican Army in 1920, during the Irish War of Independence. He was opposed to the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty and he fought on the Republican side in the Irish Civil War. He refused a state pension because he considered the 26-county Republic of Ireland an illegitimate state which usurped the 1916 Irish Republic.

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1920  On this day in 1920, Britain began recruiting “men willing to face a rough and dangerous task” to give a needed boost to the British battle against the Irish Republican Army.

Black and Tan on duty during Irish War of Independence

These recruits became known as the Black and Tans, because they wore uniquely mismatched clothing, made up of official British army and police uniforms.

More than 9,500 men signed up and received just three months training before being sent to assist the British army at various posts in Ireland.

Click here to read more about Irish history

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1998  On this day in 1998, the British government ordered troops back on to the streets of Belfast, amid fears of further loyalist attacks.

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2000 On  January 2 2000, a bronze life size statue of Fungie is unveiled in a millennium ceremony. Fungi is a bottlenose dolphin often found swimming in the Dingle harbour.

More on Fungie the dolphin here.

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2007  On this day in 2007, Irish becomes the 23rd Official Language Of the EU. All key legislation is translated and provisions are put in place so that Irish can be spoken at council meetings.

, Irish becomes the 23rd Official Language Of the EU. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Patrick-Pearse quote Image copyright Ireland Calling

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2008  On this day in 2008, one of the top hotels in Dublin, The Burlington closed. The hotel employed more than 400 staff, and had been a popular base for tourists for more than 30 years.

Click here to read about Dublin’s top holiday attractions

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2010  Eoin Neeson, the Irish historian, journalist and author died on this day in 2010. Neeson also served as director of the Government Information Bureau.