1879 in Ireland
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- 20 April - First of many "monster meetings" of tenant farmers held in Irishtown near Claremorris, County Mayo.
- 8 June - Charles Stewart Parnell at Westport, County Mayo meeting.
- 21 June - New Roman Catholic Thurles Cathedral consecrated.
- 16 August - Land League of Mayo founded at Castlebar.
- 21 August - Claimed apparation at Knock, County Mayo, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint John the Evangelist and Jesus Christ (as the Lamb of God).
- 21 October - Irish National Land League founded at Dublin.
Full date unknown
- Repeal of Convention Act of 1793.
- Start of the Land War.
- The Royal Dublin Society acquires its current premises at Ballsbridge (15 acres (61,000 m2) compared to forty acres (60,000 to 160,000 m²) currently).
- The Royal University of Ireland Act allows women to take university degrees on the same basis as men.
- The Religious Sisters of Charity open Our Lady's Hospice in Harold's Cross, Dublin.
Arts and literature
- Charles Kickham's novel Knocknagow, or The Homes of Tipperary is published.
- The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) was founded, being an amalgamation of the Irish Football Union and the Northern Football Union of Ireland.
January to June
- 16 February - Hubert de Burgh, cricketer (died 1960).
- 20 March - Terence MacSwiney, playwright and poet, member of 1st Dáil, Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, died on 74th day of hunger strike (died 1920).
- 9 April - William Meldon, cricketer (died 1957).
- 1 June - Freeman Wills Crofts, novelist (died 1957).
July to December
- 11 July - Hugh Kennedy, only Attorney-General of Southern Ireland, first Attorney-General of the Irish Free State and first Chief Justice of the Irish Free State (died 1936).
- 15 July
- 17 July - Seamus O'Sullivan, poet and editor (died 1958).
- 3 August - Mary Devenport O'Neill, poet and dramatist (died 1967).
- 23 September - E. Temple Thurston, poet, playwright and author (died 1933).
- 15 October - Sara Allgood, actress (died 1950 in the United States).
- 10 November - Patrick Pearse, teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist and political activist, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, executed (died 1916).
- 4 December - Hamilton Harty, conductor and composer (died 1941).
- 7 December - Austin Stack, Sinn Féin MP and TD, member of 1st Dáil (died 1929).
Full date unknown
- Joseph Campbell, poet and lyricist (died 1944).
- Elizabeth Cronin, traditional singer (died 1956).
- Patrick Keohane, navy officer, member of Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic Terra Nova Expedition (died 1950).
- Robert Wilson Lynd, writer (died 1949).
- Sam Maguire, Irish Republican and Gaelic footballer (died 1927).
- Jack White, soldier, trade unionist, one of the co-founders of the Irish Citizen Army (died 1946).
- 22 January - Nevill Coghill, posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross for gallantry at the Battle of Isandhlwana, South Africa (born 1852).
- 28 January - Hugh McNeile, Anglican churchman (born 1795).
- 19 April - Francis Kelly, surveyor, business agent, farmer, and politician in Canada (born 1803).
- 5 May - Isaac Butt, Irish Conservative Party MP and founder of the Home Rule League (born 1818).
- 17 May - John McClintock, 1st Baron Rathdonnell, politician and Lord Lieutenant of County Louth 1866–1879. (born 1798).
- 9 June - Edward Butler, lawyer and politician in Australia (died 1823).
- 10 July - John Byrne, soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross for gallantry in 1854 at the Battle of Inkerman, Crimea (born 1832).
- 3 September - Walter Richard Pollock Hamilton, soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross for gallantry in 1879 at Futtehabad, Afghanistan (born 1856).
- 15 September - Thomas Roberts Ferguson, businessman and politician in Ontario (born 1818).
- 24 September - John Holmes, surveyor and politician in Ontario (born 1828).
- 6 November - Dennis Mahony, one of the founders of the Dubuque Herald (now the Telegraph Herald), a newspaper in Dubuque, Iowa (born 1821).
Full date unknown
- Moody, T.W.; Martin, F.X., ed. (1967). The Course of Irish History. Cork: Mercier Press. p. 378.
- "Ireland: society & economy, 1870–1914". University College Cork. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
- Lewis, Milton James (2007). Medicine and Care of the Dying: A Modern History. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 20. ISBN 0-19-517548-4.