1979 in Ireland
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- 2 January - The lowest temperature recorded in Ireland in the 20th century, -18.8C (-1.8F) at Lullymore, Co. Kildare. (The lowest on record was in 1881.)
- 8 January - Whiddy Island Disaster: Fifty are killed when an explosion destroys the French oil tanker Betelgeuse at the Gulf Oil terminal on Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay.
- 17 February - Twelve people are killed in the La Mon restaurant bombing in County Down.
- 4 March - Legendary hurler Christy Ring is buried in Cork.
- 9 March - PAYE workers across the country take to the streets to protest against the tax system.
- 20 March - A huge anti-PAYE demonstration is held in Dublin.
- 30 March - The Republic of Ireland ends its pound's parity with sterling on joining the European Monetary System.
- 12 April - Patrick McGilligan, the last surviving member of the first government celebrates his 90th birthday in Dublin.
- 10 May - Petrol shortages due to crisis in the Middle East cause long delays in Ireland.
- 2 June - Protesters opposed to the building of civic offices on the site of Viking excavations in Wood Quay, Dublin, occupy the area.
- 7 June - European Parliament election, the first direct election to the European Parliament, in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
- 15 June - Aer Lingus's first female pilot, Gráinne Cronin, gets her wings.
- 14 July - In Crossmaglen, County Armagh, Gaelic Athletic Association supporters parade silently in protest against the British Army's commandeering of part of the local football pitch. Former Gaelic Athletic Association president Con Murphy addresses the crowd.
- 9 August - The first group of Vietnamese refugees arrives in Ireland.
- 27 August
- British Admiral Lord Mountbatten of Burma, and two 15-year-olds, his nephew and boatboy Paul Maxwell, are killed by a bomb planted on his boat in County Sligo where he is holidaying, the Dowager Lady Brabourne dying the following day of injuries received.
- The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) blow up 18 British soldiers with 2 bombs in the Warrenpoint ambush.
- 29 September - Pope John Paul II arrives at Dublin Airport for a three-day visit to Ireland. 1.25 million people, just over one-quarter of the population, welcome him at a special mass in the Phoenix Park. Later in the day His Holiness speaks to 200,000 people at Drogheda, County Louth. The Pope returns to Dublin in the evening where an estimated 750,000 people witness his motorcade travel through the city.
- 30 September - Pope John Paul II addresses 285,000 people at a youth rally in Galway, before travelling to Knock, County Mayo where a further 300,000 people hear him speak. He also visits Clonmacnoise and Galway.
- 1 October - On the final day of his visit Pope John Paul II visits the Nunciature at Maynooth College and celebrates mass before 400,000 people in Limerick. The pope then leaves Shannon Airport for Boston in the United States.
- 23 November - In Dublin, IRA member Thomas McMahon is sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten.
- 29 November - Taoiseach Jack Lynch greets European Economic Community heads of government as they arrive for a summit meeting at Dublin Castle.
- 5 December - Jack Lynch announces his resignation as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil. He has led the party for thirteen years, spending nine as Taoiseach.
- 7 December - Charles Haughey is elected leader of the Fianna Fáil Party.
- 11 December
- 31 December - 1979 has been the worst year ever for industrial disputes in Ireland, costing the economy over 1,460,000 working days this year.
Arts and literature 
- 17 March - Bob Quinn's feature film Poitín, starring Cyril Cusack and made entirely in Irish, is first seen, on RTÉ Television.
- 31 May - Radio Telefís Éireann's national pop music radio station, RTÉ Radio 2, first airs; the old Radio Éireann is renamed RTÉ Radio 1.
- 21 July - The Boomtown Rats' single "I Don't Like Mondays", written by Bob Geldof, is released in the United Kingdom.
- Dublin City Council's Civic Offices, designed in brutalist style by Sam Stephenson.
- Thomas Flanagan's novel The Year of the French is published.
- John McGahern's novel The Pornographer is published.
- Kate Cruise O'Brien is awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for her short stories A Gift Horse.
- John Treacy wins the world cross-country championship for the second time .
January to June 
- 14 January - Richard Sadlier, soccer player.
- 21 January - Brian O'Driscoll, captain of the Irish rugby union national team and captain of the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2005.
- 25 January - Ben O'Connor, Cork hurler.
- 25 January - Jerry O'Connor, Cork hurler.
- 2 March - Damien Duff, footballer.
- 14 March - Gary Duggan, playwright.
- 20 March - Amy Huberman, actress and writer
- 6 April - Michael Kavanagh, Kilkenny hurler.
- 13 April - Tony Lundon, Irish dancer and singer.
- 13 April - Síle Seoige, television presenter.
- 4 May - Georgina Ahern, daughter of Bertie Ahern.
- 9 May - Barry Quinn, soccer player.
- 14 May - Ruby Walsh, National Hunt jockey.
- 15 May - Mary Goode, hockey player.
- 18 May - Justin Sheriff, hockey player.
- 21 May - Kieran O'Connor, Cork Gaelic footballer.
- 30 May - Colm Foley, soccer player.
- 13 June - Alan Quinn, soccer player.
- 16 June - Declan O'Brien, soccer player.
July to December 
- 5 July - Shane Filan, lead singer with Westlife.
- 31 July - Damien Lynch, soccer player.
- 16 August - Brian Ormond, singer, contestant from Popstars, You're a Star & Pop Idol (series 2) and TV host
- 28 August - Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, fiddle player.
- 1 September - James O'Connor, soccer player.
- 1 September - Neil Ronan, Cork hurler.
- 16 September - Barry Geraghty, jockey.
- 21 September - Richard Dunne, soccer player.
- 9 October - Chris O'Dowd, comedian and actor
- 17 October - Leigh Arnold, actress
- 20 October - Paul O'Connell, international rugby player.
- 20 October - Brian Begley, Limerick hurler.
- 1 November - Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny hurling player.
- 9 November - Thos Foley, slalom skier.
- 12 November - Cian O'Connor, equestrian.
- 22 November - Chris Doran, singer
- 24 November - Kirsteen O'Sullivan, television presenter
- 25 November - David Freeman, soccer player.
- 1 December - Pearse O'Neill, Cork Gaelic footballer.
- 20 December - Niall James Holohan, musician
- 31 December - Elaine Cassidy, actress.
Full date unknown 
- Jimmy Coogan, Kilkenny hurler.
- Conor Cusack, Cork hurler.
- Raymond Daniels, Wicklow gaelic footballer (died 2008).
- Bryan MacDonald, playwright and journalist.
- Mickey O'Connell, Cork hurler.
January to June 
- 21 January - Theodore Conyngham Kingsmill Moore, senior counsel, represented Dublin University in the Seanad from 1943 to 1948
- 16 February - Jack Barrett, Cork hurler (born 1910).
- 2 March - Christy Ring, Cork hurler (born 1920).
- 18 April - Seán Brosnan, barrister, Fianna Fáil TD and Senator (born 1916).
- 29 May - Henry Coyle, Cumann na nGaedheal TD.
July to December 
- 2 August - John Leydon, Secretary, Department of Industry and Commerce.
- 4 June - James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Abercorn, soldier and politician (born 1904).
- 10 August - Joseph O'Doherty, Sinn Féin MP, Fianna Fáil TD and Seanad member (born 1891).
- 10 September - Daniel Costigan, former Garda Síochána Commissioner.
- 15 November - Patrick McGilligan - Cumann na nGaedheal/Fine Gael TD and Cabinet Minister (born 1889).
- 17 December - Harold Jackson, cricketer (born 1888).
Full date unknown 
- Billy McCracken, footballer and football manager (born 1883).