1963 in Ireland

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Clearing snow in Belfast, February 1963
Clearing snow in Belfast, February 1963

January: Charles Haughey, Minister for Justice, announced the government's intention of abolishing the death penalty.

A new control tower was opened at Shannon airport.

Ireland experienced one of its harshest winters in recent times, with temperatures below freezing through most of January.

February:  Between the fifth and the seventh, Ireland experienced harsh blizzards.

Abberdorney railway station withdrew passenger services after 83 years.

March: Terence O'Neill became Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

April: The Copyright Act was passed.

When asked in the Dáil if any progress had been made in Ireland's membership application to the EEC, the Taoiseach responded that a consultation procedure had been suggested, and Ireland had expressed its support for the idea.

The Irish Maritime Law Association was formed.

Terence O'Neill
Prime Minister Terence O'Neill

JF Kennedy in Ireland, June 1963
J.F. Kennedy in Dunganstown, Ireland

June:  Following the death of Pope John XXIII, Teilifís Éireann closed down immediately after its nine o'clock news as a mark of respect.

American President John F. Kennedy visited Ireland. His tour included a day at his ancestral home in County Wexford. He addressed the Oireachtas to a standing ovation and met President Eamon de Valera. His brother Ted later described this visit to Ireland as the happiest moment in Kennedy's presidency.

July: Time magazine published an article, Lifting The Green Curtain, which described how 'for the first time in this century, most Irishmen are ready to believe that [the future] can be a bright one.[...] The signs are everywhere: in the new factories and office buildings, in the Irish-assembled cars (Fords, Austins, Volkswagens) fighting for street space in Dublin, in the new TV antennas crowding the rooftops, in the waning of national self-pity.'

August: The Local Government (Planning and Development) Act and Caravan Sites (Licence Applications) Order were passed.

September: Galway beat Dublin in the All-Ireland Football Championship.

October: Speaking at the UN, Minister for External Affairs Frank Aiken called for a ban on all nuclear weapons.

Taoiseach Seán Lemass visited the White House, where Kennedy was still President.
 Sean Lemass
Taoiseach Seán Lemass
De Valera and JF Kennedy shortly before Kennedy's death
Kennedy and de Valera meet in 1963
November: The Beatles played a concert at the Adelphi Cinema in Dublin.

President de Valera attended the funeral of American President J. F. Kennedy.

The Companies Act was passed.

New Zealand played rugby against Ireland at Lansdowne Road.

Notable births in Ireland

Conor Lenihan, Fianna Fáil politician
Conor Lenihan
3rd March
Mark Dearey, Green politician
Mark Dearey
19th March
Paul Doolin, football player and manager
Paul Doolin
26th March
Pat Gallagher, former Labour MP
Pat Gallagher
29th March
Ciaran Cuffe, Green Party TD
Ciaran Cuffe
3rd April
Graham Norton, comedian
Graham Norton
4th April
Michael Creed, Fine Gael poliitician
Michael Creed
1st June
Lucy Greely, poet
Lucy Greely
3rd June
Larry Tompkins, footballer
Larry Tompkins
13th June
Terry McHugh, athlete
Terry McHugh
22nd August
Todd Carty, actor
Todd Carty
31st August
Marian Keyes, novelist
Marian Keyes
10th September
Niall Cahalane, Gaelic footballer
Niall Cahalane
25th September
Pat Boran, poet
Pat Boran
Margaret Cox, Fianna Fáil senator
Margaret Cox
Eamon Ryan, Green TD
Eamon Ryan
Bryan Smith, actor
Bryan Smyth
Tomás Mulcahy, hurler
Tomás Mulcahy

Notable Deaths in Ireland

Name Date of death Age Details

John Cardinal D'Alton 1st February 80 Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
Brian O'Higgins 3rd March 80 Sinn Féin politician and former party leader
Patrick Little 16th May 78 Fianna Fáil TD and Cabinet Minister
Seán O'Hegarty 31st May 82 IRA member during the War of Independence
Andrew Cunningham 12th June 80 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope, British admiral of the Second World War
and First Sea Lord
George C. Bennett 23rd June (86) Cumann na nGaedhael and later Fine Gael TD
John Galvin 11th October 56 Fianna Fáil TD
Hugh O'Flaherty 30th October 65 A Catholic priest, responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers and
Jews during the Second World War
Domhnall Ua Buachalla 30th October 97 Member of 1st Dáil, a Fianna Fáil TD, and last Governor-General of
the Irish Free State
Daniel Mannix 2nd November 99 Catholic clergyman and Archbishop of Melbourne
Patrick MacGill November 73 Journalist, poet and novelist
William Norton 4th December (63) Labour Party leader, TD and Cabinet Minister
Oscar Traynor 15th December 77 Fianna Fáil politician
Andy Kennedy December 66 Footballer
Joseph Brennan - (76) Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland
Charles Campbell - (78) 2nd Baron Glenavy
Padraig O'Keeffe - (76) Fiddle player

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