January 31 Dr Harold Shipman, Britain's most prolific serial killer, is found guilty of murdering 15 elderly patients in his care. He may have had as many as 250 victims over a 23-year killing spree.
April 22 US federal agents seize six-year-old Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez (left) during an early morning armed raid in Florida. Images of the screaming boy being held at gunpoint are beamed across the world.
July 25 A Concorde crashes just moments after take-off in Paris, killing all 109 on board. The supersonic aircraft is taken out of service three years later amid safety concerns.
August 12 Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea during exercises. The Russian authorities are criticised for refusing offers of help, which could have saved the 118 crew.
November 7 A cliffhanger election results in George W Bush (left) being elected as US president, beating his Democrat rival Al Gore. He was formally declared president-elect the following month, after the US Supreme Court refused to allow a recount.
February 11 Northern Ireland assembly suspended after IRA releases statement saying it has not agreed to decommission arms.
April 20 27-year-old John McCarthy is shot dead by gardai after a day-long stand-off at his home in Abbeylara, Co Longford.
June 30 Intoxicating Liquor Act enacted, abolishing the so-called 'holy hour' from 2pm to 4pm on Sundays.
September 29 Maze Prison east of Belfast closes. Among its most famous prisoners was IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands.
November Westlife (left) become the first band in British music history to have seven consecutive number one singles.
January 26 Some 25,000 people die and millions are left homeless in a massive earthquake that hits the state of Gujarat in India.
February 19 Foot and Mouth disease is found in an Essex abbatoir in the UK. Exports of British milk, meat and livestock are immediately banned, and nearly four million animals are slaughtered.
June 1 The King and Queen of Nepal are shot dead by their son following a row over his choice of bride. Crown Prince Dipendra (left) died 30 hours later after turning the gun on himself.
September 11 Some 3,000 people die in terrorist attacks when suicide bombers fly hijacked passenger jets into the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon.
October 7 The US begins its military operations against al-Qa'ida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
February 28 Large parts of the countryside are shut down after Foot and Mouth is detected in a Northern Irish farm (left). The Six Nations rugby tournament is cancelled.
June 7 Voters reject a referendum to endorse the Treaty of Nice, which allowed for EU expansion. It is re-run the following year.
September The National Museum of Ireland's Museum of Country Life opens in Mayo, allowing a unique insight into life in Ireland over generations.
October 23 The Provisional IRA announces it has begun decommissioning its weapons.
November 17 The GAA votes to abolish Rule 21, which bans members of the British security forces from playing Gaelic games.
January 1 The euro is introduced in 12 of the 15 European Union countries. Just Britain, Sweden and Denmark refuse to switch over.
March 30 Britain's Queen Mother dies aged 101. More than a million people line the route of her funeral cortege.
May 6 Right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn (right) is shot dead. He had provoked controversy by calling for the Netherlands' borders to be closed to immigrants, and for calling Islam a "backward" religion.
August Three weeks of flooding across central Europe including parts of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, kills more than 100.
January 9 Former USSR premier Mikhail Gorbachev receives the Freedom of the City of Dublin.
April 1 Bishop of Ferns Dr Brendan Comiskey resigns amid allegations he did not deal adequately with allegations against serial child abuser Fr Sean Fortune.
May 17 Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrats are re-elected to office. The election is a disaster for Fine Gael, which loses 23 seats.
October Geraldine Kennedy is appointed as the first woman editor of 'The Irish Times'.
September 30 Five paintings valued at up to €50m are stolen from Russborough House in Co Wicklow, including two by Rubens.
February 1 Seven astronauts die after space shuttle Columbia breaks up on re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.
March 20 US missiles hit the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, as the first shots of the Iraq War to oust Saddam Hussein are fired.
July 8 Sudan Airways Flight 139, with 117 people on board, crashes in Sudan. The only survivor is a two-year-old boy.
September 10 Swedish foreign affairs minister Anna Lindh is stabbed in a busy department store. She dies the following day.
December 29 Irish priest, Archbishop Michael Courtney (left), is assassinated in Burundi.
January The Spire of Dublin (right), a replacement for Nelson's Pillar, is completed on Dublin's O'Connell Street. Stretching 120 metres into the sky, it is quickly renamed the Spike.
June 21 The Special Olympics world summer games open in Dublin, the first time the event has been held outside the US.
August 23 The remains of 37-year-old mother of 10 Jean McConville are found on a beach in Co Louth. She had been murdered in 1972 by the IRA.
December 6 Daughter of singer Chris de Burgh, Rosanna Davison, wins the Miss World beauty pageant.
February 1 Some 244 Muslim pilgrims are killed in a stampede during the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
May 1 The EU marks its biggest-ever expansion, adding 10 new member states.
July 1 An international probe named Cassini-Huygens successfully begins orbiting Saturn, sending the first photographs of the planet's rings (right).
September 3 A three-day siege of a Russian school in Beslan ends with the deaths of 335 hostages, half of whom were children.
December 26 More than 200,000 die after a massive tsunami swamps homes in 13 countries. It was the biggest tsunami in at least 40 years.
January 1 Ireland takes over as president of the European Commission.
February 21 Five people are killed in a bus crash at Wellington Quay in Dublin.
March 29 A smoking ban is introduced in all workplaces, including pubs and restaurants.
June 30 The Luas Green line opens, and then the Red line the following September.
November Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan (left) is kidnapped and murdered in Iraq. Her body is never found.
December Three republicans are jailed for 17 years in Colombia after being found guilty of training Marxist rebels. The three, Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan, flee the country and return to Ireland.