1996 is the year of Dublin's Millennium Clock. Although it is supposed to count down to the year 2000, the clock only lasts nine months.

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Watch: Dublin's Millennium Clock - RTÉ News reports on 15 March 1996 (via RTÉ Archives)

Baile na hAbhann, Co. na Gaillimhe: tá seirbhís nua teilifíse in Eirinn. Teilifís na Gaeilge is launched, based in Connemara.

British animal feed practices are blamed for 'mad cow disease'. Beef prices fall as consumer confidence is shaken. The BSE crisis dominates Ireland's EU Presidency.

24 January 1996: George Mitchell tries to move Ireland's peace process forward by outlining the principles for talks to begin.

Canary Wharf, London, 9 February 1996: the IRA ends its ceasefire with a massive bomb attack. Two people die. There are elections to a Northern Forum in May.

Photograph taken during the aftermath of the Canary Wharf bombing

Multi-party talks start without Sinn Fein. The IRA explodes another huge bomb in Manchester city centre on a Saturday morning. In Adare, Co. Limerick, the IRA kills Detective Garda Jerry McCabe.

The Stormont talks get underway. George Mitchell will chair the talks, despite some Unionist opposition. The DUP's Willie McCrea argues with the UUP's David Trimble.

Orangemen are refused permission to march the Garvaghy Road. After several days of loyalist violence, the authorities change their decision. The RUC beats Garvaghy residents off the road. The march goes ahead.

Three years after homosexuality is decriminalised in Ireland, two gay characters come face-to-face in Fair City. Ireland gets its first-ever on-screen gay kiss... nearly.

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Watch: That Fair City kiss - Kenny Live broadcast on 25 March 1996 (via RTÉ Archives)

Britain's Spice Girls are the most successful pop act of 1996. Wannabe is one of three Number One hits for 'girl power'.

In the US elections, Bob Dole's Presidential hopes take a tumble. Bill Clinton is re-elected.

Naas Road, Dublin: 25 June 1996: Journalist Veronica Guerin is murdered in her car. A crackdown on organised crime follows.

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Watch: Veronica Guerin murdered - RTÉ News reports on 26 June 1996 (via RTÉ Archives)

A TV documentary reveals stories of abuse at an industrial school. The Goldenbridge allegations focus more criticism on the Catholic Church, in a year marked by several scandals of sexual and physical abuse.

Atlanta, Georgia, The 26th Olympic Games: Sonia O'Sullivan is Ireland's best hope for an athletics medal. The Cobh runner is disappointed in the 5000m final and also in the 1500m.

Michelle Smith wins for Ireland. Although she tests clear for banned substances, there are persistent accusations of drug-taking. She goes on to win three gold medals and one bronze.

Michelle Smith

At the Eurovision Song Contest in Norway, Ireland wins for the fourth time in five years. Eimear Quinn sings The Voice.

At the Kenny Live fashion show, Dawn French steps out on the catwalk.

After reports that Dunnes Stores paid a £200,000 bill on his house, Cabinet Minister Michael Lowry resigns. Rumours begin about a 'prominent former Fianna Fail minister' who got even more money.

1996 - The Playlist:

Suede - Trash

Richie Kavanagh - Aon Focal Eile

Dodgy - Good Enough

Manic Street Preachers - A Design For Life

Spice Girls - Wannabe

Radiohead - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Ash - Oh Yeah

Alanis Morrissette - Ironic

Gina G - Ooh Aah... Just A Little Bit

Eimear Quinn - The Voice

Blur - Charmless Man