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Reeling in the Years - 1973

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Reeling in the Years - 1974 »

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Reeling in the Years - 1973

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January 1 - Ireland joins the European Economic Community (EEC) along with Britain and Denmark.
January 5 - Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland signed into law, removing the "special position" of the Roman Catholic Church and recognition of certain other named religious denominations.
January 6 - Patrick Hillery is appointed Social Affairs Commissioner in the European Economic Community.
February 28 - The National Coalition of Fine Gael and the Labour Party win the general election, ending 16 years of Fianna Fáil government.

March 8 - Northern Ireland sovereignty referendum: 98.9% of those voting want Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom. Turnout is 58.7%, although less than 1% for Catholics.
IRA bombs explode in Whitehall and the Old Bailey in London.
March 14 - The new Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, receives his seal of office from President Éamon de Valera at Áras an Uachtaráin.
April 2 - Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland) 1922 is replaced by the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act abolishing the death penalty for murder in Northern Ireland and establishing the Diplock courts.
April 11 - The funeral takes place of the former Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid
April 16 - IRA chief Sean MacStiofian is freed from jail.
May 5 - Fianna Fáil's Erskine H. Childers sets off on a 28-day presidential campaign tour of the country.
May 25 - Islanders off the Donegal coast cast their votes in the presidential election ahead of the general population.
May 30 - Presidential election: voters go to the poll to find a successor to President Éamon de Valera. Erskine H. Childers is the victor, defeating Tom O'Higgins.
June 6 - Irish Continental Line (a joint venture between Irish Shipping Limited, Fearnley & Eger and Swedish company Lion Ferry) begins operation with MS Saint Patrick on the Rosslare–Le Havre route.
June 24 - Éamon de Valera retires from office aged 90. He travels to Boland's Mills where he was positioned during the Easter Rising. The motorcade then proceeds to Talbot Lodge nursing home in Blackrock where he will spend his retirement. Erskine H. Childers is inaugurated as the fourth President of Ireland. After the ceremony at Dublin Castle he inspects a guard of honour and travels through Dublin.
June 28 - Elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
July 10 - The funeral takes place of the Blacksmith of Ballinalee, General Seán Mac Eoin.
July 18 - The office of Governor of Northern Ireland, at this time held by The Lord Grey of Naunton, is abolished under Section 32 of the Northern Ireland Constitution Act. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a UK cabinet office created in 1972, takes over the functions of the Governor on 20 December 1973 under Letters patent.
July 27 - The government lifts colour restrictions on RTÉ transmissions.
July 31 - First sitting of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
October 31 - Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape. Three Provisional IRA prisoners escape from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin after a hijacked helicopter lands in the prison yard.
November 1 - James Flanagan becomes the first and only Roman Catholic Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
December 9 - The Sunningdale Agreement is signed by British Prime Minister Edward Heath, Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, Brian Faulkner, Gerry Fitt and Oliver Napier.

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