I’ve now spent most of the first quarter of the year producing my Ireland Under Coercion, Revisited blog serial, which explores aspects of the 1888 book Ireland Under Coercion: The Diary of an American, by journalist William Henry Hurlbert. Before continuing the series, here’s another end of the month wrap up of developments in modern Ireland and Northern Ireland:
- Pubs in the Republic opened on Good Friday (30 March) for the first time in 91 years, the result of repealing a 1927 law that also banned alcohol sales on Christmas Day and St. Patrick’s Day. The March 17, booze ban was lifted in 1960. Good Friday liquor sales remain prohibited in Northern Ireland.
- Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s my annual roundup. Also from this month, my piece on “More hand wringing about Catholic Ireland.”
- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will receive the Freedom of Belfast honor 10 April, in ceremonies that mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. He also will visit Dublin.
- Ireland expelled a Russian diplomat, joining the U.K., U.S. and other nations in a growing feud with Moscow. The Russians promptly ordered the Irish envoy to its capital to return to Dublin.
- The Republic’s referendum on whether to repeal the country’s constitutional ban on abortion is now set for May 25.
- A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland cleared a hurdle in Parliament. Such unions are already legalized in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as the Republic.
- The U.K. is set to leave the E.U. at the end of March 2019. Resolving the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic remains a major sticking point of the Brexit, according to this Q & A from the BBC.
- Hawk Cliff Beach, about 30 minutes south of Dublin, is becoming Ireland’s first “clothing optional” beach.
- Atlas Obscure published the photo feature, “A Last Look at Ireland’s Disappearing Storefronts.” Graphic designer Trevor Finnegan has been built his collection of images over eight years, including this 2014 feature in the TheJournal.ie.