Some had gone back to Ireland for the holidays but could not get back into the U.S. due to tighter scrutiny at U.S. entry points. Dublin-born John Timoney migrated south to become the new police chief in Miami. Northern Ireland census results revealed a closing of the gap between the Catholic and Protestant population, but not to the degree that some expected.
In Belfast, a loyalist pipe bomb greeted the return of students to Holy Cross school. The U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Richard Egan, resigned from his post. There were doubts about a date for Assembly elections in the North. Protests erupted over the use of Shannon airport by U.S. troops bound for the Middle East and the expected invasion of Iraq.
Munster and Leinster rugby teams both qualified for the European Cup quarterfinals. The Republic of Ireland was still searching for a manager to succeed Mick McCarthy. By month’s end, one was found in the form of Irish youth teams veteran Brian Kerr.