1983 in Ireland

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See also: 1983 in Northern Ireland
Other events of 1983
List of years in Ireland

Events from the year 1983 in Ireland.



  • 19 January – The government confirmed that the Garda Síochána bugged politicians' and journalists' telephones.
  • 8 February – A motion calling for the resignation of Charles Haughey as leader failed after a 12-hour Fianna Fáil meeting.
  • 9 February – The racehorse Shergar was kidnapped from Ballymany Stud in County Kildare.
  • 14 April – The inaugural meeting of Aosdána, an affiliation of creative artists, took place in the Old Parliament Building in Dublin.
  • 23 April – While more than 50 illegal pirate radio stations were broadcasting in Ireland, a Government memorandum described how their signals were interfering seriously with ambulance, fire brigade, and police radio systems, airport traffic systems, and legitimate radio and television reception throughout the country. The document also referred to complaints received from other countries. The following month, equipment was seized from Radio Nova, Kiss FM and Radio Sunshine. Equipment was also removed from Community Radio 257 in Portmarnock in December.[1][2]
  • 25 April – Two thousand people demonstrated in Dublin against the proposed Pro-Life Amendment Bill (abortion).
  • 18 May – Officials raided sites used by unlicensed operator Radio Nova in Dublin.
  • 20 May – The funeral took place of former Tánaiste, Frank Aiken.
  • 23 May – The Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim celebrated its 350th anniversary.
  • 27 May – A Mexican jet stranded for five weeks at Mallow Racecourse departed.
  • 30 May – The inaugural meeting of the New Ireland Forum took place at Dublin Castle.
  • 10 June – Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin was elected the new MP for West Belfast.
  • 4 July – United States Vice President George Bush and his wife Barbara paid a one-day visit to Dublin. The Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald, hosted a lunch in his honour at the State Apartments in Dublin Castle.[3][4]
  • September – The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, paid a three-day state visit to Ireland with his wife, Sally. A guard of honour from the 5th Infantry Battalion greeted him at Dublin Airport, and the Army No. 1 Band played. The Taoiseach, Garret Fitzgerald, hosted a lunch in his honour at Iveagh House, and a banquet was held in Dublin Castle. Mugabe met Bishop Donal Lamont at Maynooth College on 9 September.[3][5][6][7]
  • 8 September – The referendum on the constitutional amendment in relation to abortion was carried by a two-to-one majority.
  • 16 September – The Government banned the Soviet airline, Aeroflot, from landing at Shannon Airport at the request of the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, following the shooting down by the Soviet Union of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 with the loss of all 269 passengers and crew.[8]
  • 20 September – Leading politicians paid tribute to former Tánaiste George Colley as he was buried.
  • 25 September – Maze Prison escape: 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners with arms escaped from HM Prison Maze in County Antrim.[9]
  • 1 October – The Concorde supersonic airliner paid its first visit to Dublin Airport. The landing of the Air France plane was watched by a large crowd of people on the terminal building observation deck.
  • 5 October – The first stretch of motorway in the Republic of Ireland was opened – the 8 kilometre Naas bypass on the N7 national primary route.
  • 25 November – Quinnsworth supermarket executive Don Tidey was kidnapped outside his home in Dublin.
  • 3 December – President Patrick Hillery was elected unopposed to his last seven-year term of office.
  • 16 December – Don Tidey was rescued in County Leitrim.

Arts and literature[edit]



  • Runner Eamonn Coghlan won the 5,000-metre gold medal at the World Championships in Helsinki.

Gaelic football[edit]


Horse racing[edit]




January to June[edit]

July to December[edit]

Full date unknown[edit]


January to June[edit]

July to December[edit]

Full date unknown[edit]


  1. ^ Warning of ‘chaos’ on airwaves from pirate stations in 1983 Irish Times, 2013-12-28.
  2. ^ Pirate radio stations cause chaos for emergency services Irish Independent, 2013-12-28.
  3. ^ a b State papers from 1983 show drive to rein in spending on government entertaining Irish Times, 2013-12-27.
  4. ^ 'Soviet threat' tactic used on Bush Irish Independent, 2013-12-27.
  5. ^ Blunders and mix-ups at Mugabe visit Irish Independent, 2013-12-27.
  6. ^ Confusion over 1983 Mugabe banquet Irish Independent, 2013-12-27.
  7. ^ Mugabe's visit to Maynooth - 9 September 1983 Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth. Retrieved: 2013-12-28.
  8. ^ FitzGerald banned Soviet airlines Irish Independent, 2013-12-27.
  9. ^ "1983: Dozens escape in Maze break-out". BBC News. BBC. 25 September 1983. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  10. ^ U2's War 3rd leg: European Summer Festivals U2gigs.com. Retrieved: 2013-07-19.
  11. ^ "Irish Literature Prize Awarded". The Irish Times. 30 August 1983. 
  12. ^ "Playography Ireland". Dublin: Irish Theatre Institute. Retrieved 2015-04-08.