Ireland takes up Presidency of the EU. To mark the occasion, Europe's leaders present the cabinet with novelty commemorative mugs and unveil plans to benchmark the EU's top government, banking and public service posts against those in Ireland. Germany's Angela Merkel gushes: "What you've achieved took great neck, if that's the English word I'm looking for."
To send another signal to Europe that Ireland takes its EU Presidency seriously, all government and public service buildings have been painted with go-faster stripes. A union spokesperson says: "This will form a major plank of Croke Park II."
The Y2K bug is discovered in a hospital, 13 years after it was thought eradicated on January 1 2000. Some victims of the so-called Millennium Bug hide under their beds in fear of falling aircraft, while others form syndicates to buy holiday homes in Bulgaria.
Nursing bodies already hit with pay cuts say this is the last straw and announce their withdrawal from the Irish market. A HSE spokesperson says: "We've planned for this day. The nurses were a financial black hole, draining money from the administration side. From now on we'll be concentrating on our highly profitable hospital car-park business."
Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar declares The Gathering "a complete triumph", despite the best efforts of "begrudgers" to derail it. On St Patrick's Day he announces that, applying the grandmother rule, over three billion people have taken part so far, dozens of them in Ireland itself.
The Minister says: "Wherever two Irish people shake hands anywhere in the world, or Skype each other, or just wear a green jumper, that all counts as part of The Gathering. If there's no place for wishful thinking in this country, well sod that." Newly appointed as the Minister for New Announcements, Varadkar also announces that he's preparing "the most comprehensive list of new announcements" Ireland has ever seen.
An exasperated Pat Rabbitte clarifies the Labour Party's position on election promises. He tells the Irish people: "You're supposed to be the most sophisticated electorate in the world, so would you ever cop on! What part of 'it was just a throwaway remark' don't you understand?" He adds that if politicians are to be held accountable for their promises "the whole system would collapse".
Blaming "public opinion gone mad" for making Ireland look "ungrateful" to the French and Germans, Enda Kenny warns: "If the people don't regulate public opinion responsibly, the Government will be forced to step in with legislation."
With hundreds of rural garda stations closing, the police authorities launch a nationwide series of seminars entitled Taking The Law Into Your Own Hands. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice announces an investigation into claims that gardai have been secretly nominating favoured sports stars, celebrities and judges for the People Of The Year Awards.
Mary Lou McDonald is appointed the new leader of Sinn Féin after a ballot of the party's parliamentary party rubber-stamps a secret decision made back in 2004. Gerry Adams announces that he will not be stepping down as party leader since he is not, and never has been, a member of Sinn Féin or any other republican organisation.
Nationalists and Loyalists join forces on the streets of Belfast in a flag protest, after golfer Rory McIlroy declares he "feels" more American than Irish or British. He explains: "My accent has been leading me that way for a while, and I'm happy to go with the flow."