August

1 August:-

Today in Irish History – 1 August:

Today is Lúghnasa; in the old days this was the Feast of the god Lúgh, a thirty-day agrarian celebration with 1 August at the center. It is also the first day of Autumn in the Celtic Calendar.

1166 – Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster and ally of Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn, is defeated in battle by Rory O’Connor and forced to flee from Ireland.

1535 – John Travers, Chancellor of St Patrick’s Cathedral, is executed for high treason at Oxmantown Green for conspiring with Lord Offaly.

1649 – Jones defeats Ormond at Rathmines, ending royalist hopes of taking Dublin.

1714 – Following the death of Queen Anne, George I accedes to the throne. The second Irish parliament of Anne’s reign is thereby dissolved.

1800 – The Act of Union dissolves the Irish parliament and transfers legislative powers to Westminster.

1822 – Irish Constabulary Act sets up county police forces and salaried magistracy.

1837 – Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, union activist is born in Cork. Jones who was once deemed “the most dangerous woman in America” because of her union activities. Loved by the labour movement, she suffered major tragedies in her own life losing her husband and four children to Yellow Fever and then some years later losing everything in the Chicago Fire. A lengthy biography at AFLCIO.orgstates “In June 1897, after Mary addressed the railway union convention, she began to be referred to as “Mother” by the men of the union. The name stuck. That summer, when the 9,000-member Mine Workers called a nationwide strike of bituminous (soft coal) miners and tens of thousands of miners laid down their tools, Mary arrived in Pittsburgh to assist them. She became “Mother Jones” to millions of working men and women across the country for her efforts on behalf of the miners. Mother Jones was so effective the Mine Workers sent her into the coalfields to sign up miners with the union. She agitated in the anthracite fields of eastern Pennsylvania, the company towns of West Virginia and the harsh coal camps of Colorado.”

1851 – The Ecclesiastical Titles Act forbids Catholic bishops to assume ecclesiastical titles taken from any place in the United Kingdom.

1872 – Gladstone’s first Land Act, decreeing that tenants who were evicted be compensated for improvements and that tenant who were evicted for any reason other than nonpayment of rent should also be compensated.

1908 – Irish Universities Act setting up the National University of Ireland passed.

1915 – Nationalist Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

1920 – On various dates in August, members of the IRA and the Volunteers swore allegiance to Dáil Éireann; previously they had sworn to obey their Executive Councils.

1931 – Seán Ó Riada, born John Reidy in Cork City, was a composer and bandleader, and perhaps the single most influential figure in the renaissance of traditional Irish music from the 1960s, through his participation in Ceoltóirí Chualann, his compositions, his writings and his broadcasts on the topic.

1938 – Birth of Paddy Moloney, one of the founders of the Irish musical group The Chieftains and has played on every one of their albums.

1980 – Buttevant Rail Disaster kills 18 and injures dozens of train passengers in Ireland.

1981 – After 71 days on hunger strike, Kevin Lynch dies at Long Kesh prison.

1986 – Death of James Horan (b. Partry, Co Mayo), a late Parish Priest of Knock. He is most widely known for his successful campaign to bring an airport to Knock, his work on Knock Basilica, and is also credited for inviting Pope John Paul II to visit Knock Shrine in 1979.

2001 – One of Ireland’s best loved actors, Joe Lynch, dies after being taken ill at his holiday home in Spain. Joe Lynch, was an Irish actor who enjoyed a long career in both serious drama and light comedy. He also did voice work for children’s animated series, in particular Chorlton and the Wheelies for which he performed the theme tune. He had a fine singing voice and composed songs, such as for the movie Johnny Nobody (1961). He also recorded the work of other songwriters, including Leo Maguire’s “The Whistling Gypsy” and Dick Farrelly’s “Cottage by the Lee”, one of Joe’s biggest 1950s recordings.

2007 – Death of Tommy Makem, an internationally celebrated Irish folk musician, artist, poet and storyteller. He was best known as a member of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. He played the long-necked 5-string banjo, guitar, tin whistle, and bagpipes, and sang in a distinctive baritone. He was sometimes known as “The Bard of Armagh” (taken from a traditional song of the same name) and “The Godfather of Irish Music”.

aug 1-1Photo: Ross Bay, Co Clare, Peter Cox Photography Gallery

Today in Irish History: 1 August 1981 – Kevin Lynch, political prisoner, dies in Long Kesh prison after seventy-one days on hunger strike.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann.

The eighth republican to join the hunger-strike for political status, on 23rd May, following the death of Patsy O’Hara, was twenty-five-year-old fellow INLA Volunteer Kevin Lynch from the small, North Derry town of Dungiven who had been imprisoned since his arrest in 1976.

http://www.bobbysandstrust.com/hungerstrikers/kevin-lynch

aug 1-2

 

 Today in Irish History: 1 August 1915 – Nationalist, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

“WHATEVER HIS CRIME, THERE WAS A GREATER CRIMINAL THAN HE: THE ENGLISH GOVERNMENT WHO MADE HIM WHAT HE WAS”

On his deathbed at age 83, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa sent for his old friends, John Devoy and Richard O’Sullivan Burke. He died a tired old warrior on 29 June 1915 in St Vincent’s Hospital on Staten Island, New York after a two year illness. Devoy, aware that when Young Irelander Terrence Bellew McManus had died in San Francisco in 1866 the funeral procession became a massive propaganda coup.

The new republican movement in Ireland was quick to realise the propaganda value of the old Fenian’s death, and Tom Clarke cabled to John Devoy the message: “Send his body home at once”.

His body was returned to Ireland for burial and a hero’s welcome. In one of the largest political funerals that Dublin had ever witnessed. Despite the heads of the procession arriving at the cemetery at 4.00pm, O’Donovan Rossa’s remains did not arrive until 6.00pm. In a remarkable scene, the road outside the cemetery was lined with spectators, as for several hours beforehand crowds had been assembling at the cemetery in anticipation of seeing O’Donovan Rossa being finally laid to rest; garnering substantial publicity for the Irish Volunteers and the IRB at a time when rebellion (later to emerge as the Easter Rising) was being actively planned. Standing over the grave, giving the graveside oration was, Pádraig Pearse, which remains one of the most famous speeches of the Irish independence movement stirring his audience to a call to arms. It ended with the lines:

They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but, the fools, the fools, the fools! — They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.

A firing party then fired a volley, the Last Post was sounded and wreaths were laid on the grave.

It is estimated that at least five thousand rifles were carried in the procession, and that at least seven thousand of the processionists were healthy young men of military age.

His grave was renovated in 1990 by the National Graves Association.

A memorial to O’Donovan Rossa stands in St. Stephen’s Green, and a bridge over the River Liffey was renamed in his honour. A street in Cork City bears his name, as does a street in Thurles, Co Tipperary – the constituency where he was elected. A park in Skibbereen is also named after him as is the local gaelic football team.

A memorial to O’Donovan Rossa stands in the village of Reenascreena, Rosscarbery, Co Cork where his descendants run the local village pub.

Other GAA teams throughout Ireland have also been named after him including Ard Bó Uí Dhonnabhain Rossa in the Tyrone GAA, O’Donovan Rossa GAC in Belfast, Ó Donnabháin Rosa Machaire Fíolta in the Derry GAA and Uí Donnabháin Rosa Mullach Breac in Armagh GAA.

The descendants of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa made their homes in Staten Island; they include writer William Rossa Cole and New York City Councillor Jerome X. O’Donovan.

Pádraig Pearse speech at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa (Directed by Marcus Howard):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdqMtuTJVcQ
aug 1-3
Photo: Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral, Glasnevin cemetery
Photo credit: Glasnevin Trust

2 August:-

Today in Irish History: 2 August 1981 – Death of Kieran Doherty, TD for Monaghan-Cavan, on the 73rd day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann.

Kieran was born on 16th October 1955 in Andersonstown, the third son in a family of six children. Kieran’s mother, Margaret, is a Catholic convert from a Protestant background. A keen Gaelic footballer, he won an Antrim Minor medal in 1971 for St Theresa’s GAC.

He was hit hard when his friend and comrade Sean McDermott was shot dead and Mairéad Farrell was captured during an operation which Kieran was also involved in.

In August ‘76, Kieran and four comrades, Liam White, Terry Kirby, John Pickering and Chris Moran were captured on a bombing mission. In Crumlin Road, Kieran was often ‘on the boards’ as punishment for his refusal to acknowledge the warders in any way.

He carried this attitude into the H-Blocks after he was sentenced, in January 1978, to eighteen years imprisonment for possession, and four years for commandeering a car. Kieran joined the blanket protest immediately as did his comrades sentenced with him.

He spent all but two weeks of his three years and almost eight months in the H-Blocks, in H4-Block (the temporary spell was in H6), before being moved to the prison hospital during his hunger-strike. Recollections of Kieran’s experiences in the H-Blocks give an impression of relentless conflict between himself and the warders, who made him a target both because of his height and because of his stubborn defiance of the prison regime. So he went on hunger-strike on Friday, 22nd May, having put his name forward for it long ago, as undaunted and full of fighting spirit as when he roamed free on the streets of Andersonstown.

In June 1981, in the Free State general election, Kieran was elected a member of the Leinster House parliament for the Cavan/Monaghan constituency with 9,121 first preference votes only 303 votes behind the then sitting Free State Minister of Education.

Kieran Doherty Aged 25 from Belfast, commenced hunger-strike 22nd May died 2nd August after 73 days.

http://irishhungerstrike.ie/?page_id=105

aug 2-1.jpg

Today in Irish History – 2 August:

1800 – The last session of the Irish parliament ends.

1820 – John Tyndall, physicist, and first to discover why the sky is blue, is born in Leighlin Bridge, Co Carlow.

1920 – The Restoration of Order in Ireland Bill was introduced and first read in the House of Commons. The Government used cloture to limit the debate.

1920 – A gun battle takes place between British soldiers and the IRA on the Ballyhaunis- Claremorris road in Co Mayo.

1922 – Naval Landing of Free State troops in Co Kerry. Paddy Daly and the Dublin Guard, as well as others, a total of about 800, land at Fenit. They fight their way to Tralee at a cost of 9 killed and 35 wounded. Two Republican fighters are killed in the fighting and more are wounded. The remainder retreat.

1922 – Republican forces under Liam Deasy attack Bruree, Co Limerick with three armoured cars, trying to re-take it from the Free State troops but their attack is beaten off.

1922 – Republicans abandon Tipperary town and retreat to Clonmel; it is then occupied by National Army troops under Paddy O’Connor.

1922 – Fighting around Carrick on Suir between 600 National Army troops under General Prout and 400 Republicans under Dan Breen.

1932 – Actor Peter O’Toole is born in Co Galway.

1970 – Rubber bullets were used for the first time.

1981 – Death of Kieran Doherty, TD for Monaghan-Cavan, on the 73rd day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh prison.

1988 – The first Aer Lingus flight with an all-female crew departs Dublin for Shannon. The Shorts 360 commuter aircraft is piloted by Capt. Grainne Cronin and co-piloted by Elaine Egan.

1998 – Renegade republicans tighten the screw on Northern Ireland’s fragile peace process with a fresh wave of incendiary attacks.

1999 – Ireland’s longest-serving rain observer, John Joe ‘Goggles’ Doyle retires; he has taken daily rainfall readings in his native Tulla since 1943 for Met Eireann and earned his nickname because of the goggles he wears when he takes his daily readings.

2000 – County Kerry, the country’s top tourism area, claims that business is down by about 20% because of the rail strike.

2001 – Torrential rain causes flash floods in Cork, Dublin, Tipperary and other areas of the country

aug 2-2.jpg

                                Photo: Aerial view over coast of Co Kerry
3 August:-

Today in Irish History – 3 August:

1823 – Birth of Thomas Francis Meagher aka: “O’Meagher”, or “Meagher of the Sword”, an Irish nationalist and American politician. In his younger years he became an Irish revolutionary, fighting for Ireland’s independence from British rule. During this time Meagher introduced the flag that is now regarded as the national Flag of Ireland. In 1848, Meagher was convicted of sedition by the United Kingdom, and sentenced to death. Due to public outcry, his sentence was commuted to expulsion to Van Diemen’s Land on the Australian state of Tasmania.

1857 – George F. FitzGerald, physicist who postulated the FitzGerald-Lorenze contraction, is born in Dublin.

1916 – Roger Casement, Irish patriot, is hanged by the English in Pentonville Prison, London. He was the last to be executed as a result of the Easter Rebellion.

1922 – The Free State forces under General Prout take Carrick on Suir with one man killed and three wounded. Breen’s men retreat southwards.

1922 – National Army commandant Scally is killed in an ambush by Anti-Treaty IRA men between Swinford and Ballina in Mayo.

1922 – Around 250 pro-treaty IRA men from County Clare are embarked from Kilrush to Tarbert in fishing boats and take Ballylongford and Listowel.

1923 – The body of Henry McEntee was found at Dubber Cross near Jamestown Road Finglas County Dublin. It was alleged that McEntee had received threats from the CID at Oriel House.

1923 – A Civic Guard is shot dead by pro-Treaty troops at Belturbet Cavan, when he failed to stop at an Army checkpoint.

1940 – Birth of Martin Sheen (b. Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez) is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands (1973) and Apocalypse Now (1979), and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006. Born and raised in the United States to immigrant parents, a first-generation Irish mother, Mary-Anne Phelan from Borrisokane, Co Tipperary and a Galician father, Francisco Estévez from Vigo in Galicia. He adopted the stage name Martin Sheen to help him gain acting parts. He is the father of actors Emilio Estevez, Ramón Estevez, Carlos Irwin Estevez (Charlie Sheen), and Renée Estevez. His younger brother Joe Estevez is also an actor.

1945 – Birth of Eamon Martin Dunphy, an Irish media personality, broadcaster, author, sports pundit and former professional footballer. Since retiring from the sport, he has become recognisable to Irish television audiences as a football analyst during coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and international football on Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ).

1998 – In a landmark deal, the Apprentice Boys of Derry and Catholic residents of the city’s Bogside reach agreement on a contentious parade after a weekend of tense negotiations.

1998 – Between 20,000 and 25,000 people throng Youghal over the four days of the Murphy’s-sponsored International Busking Festival.

1999 – Continental Airlines announces increased availability of what it says are the cheapest direct flights between Ireland and the US.

2001 – Ealing bombing: a Real IRA car bomb injured seven civilians in Ealing, west London.

2001 – Met Éireann reports that up to 22 millimetres of rain has fallen in the south. Insurance companies believe the cost of flash-flooding in Cork and Tipperary could hit £2 million.

2001 – A potentially fatal bacterium forces St. James Hospital in Dublin to close its general intensive care unit to new admissions.

2010 – Óglaigh na hÉireann claimed responsibility for detonating a 200 lb car bomb outside Strand Road PSNI station in Derry.

 

              aug 3-1
           Photo: Banna Strand, Co Kerry, Shane Turner Photography

Today in Irish History: 3 August 1916 – Roger Casement, Irish patriot, is hanged by the English in Pentonville Prison, London. He was the last to be executed as a result of the Easter Rebellion.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann.

“Self government is our right, a thing born to us at birth. A thing no more to be doled out to us by another people than the right to life itself; than the right to feel the sun or smell the flowers or to love our kind.” –Sir Roger Casement

Roger Casement is executed for “High Treason.” The Dublin born Casement was seen as a traitor by the British establishment for his efforts to import arms from WWI opponents Germany for the 1916 Rising. Captured after disembarking from a German submarine at Banna Strand, Co Kerry, he was sentenced to death 29 June 1916. Casement’s crimes were seen as being particularly egregious as he had worked for many years in the British Diplomatic Service and had been conferred a Knight. This title was stripped from him before his execution.

Former UK Chancellor Norman Lamont chose Casement’s speech from the dock as his “greatest speech of all time.” In it, Casement did not deny his activities but he did question England’s right to try him.

“This charge of high treason involves a moral responsibility, as the very terms of the indictment against myself recite, inasmuch as I committed the acts I am charged with to the “evil example of others in like case”. What was the evil example I set to others in the like case, and who were these others? The “evil example” charged is that I asserted the right of my own country and the “others” I appealed to, to aid my endeavour, were my own countrymen. The example was given, not to Englishmen, but to Irishmen, and the “like case” can never arise in England, but only in Ireland. To Englishmen I set no evil example, for I made no appeal to them. I asked no Englishman to help me. I asked Irishmen to fight for their rights. The “evil example” was only to other Irishmen, who might come after me, and in “like case” seek to do as I did. How, then, since neither my example, nor my appeal was addressed to Englishmen, can I be rightfully tried by them?”

Detailed bio on Roger Casement: http://spartacus-educational.com/IREcasement.htm

aug 3-2

Today in Irish (Irish-American) History: 3 August 1823 – Birth of Thomas Francis Meagher aka: “O’Meagher”, or “Meagher of the Sword”, an Irish nationalist and American politician.

‘I am here to regret nothing I have already done, to retract nothing I have already said. The history of Ireland explains this crime, and justifies it.’ –Thomas Francis Meager

Born the son of Waterford’s mayor, one of the few wealthy Catholic businessmen in town in 1823; Meagher benefited from a quality education (partly in England) during which he won awards for poetry and debating. His passion for Irish nationalism and his temperamental nature led him to join the radical Young Ireland movement. These hot-blooded young revolutionaries had lost patience with elder statesman Daniel O’Connell’s non-violent approach to gaining independence from Britain, and now advocated armed insurrection. Meagher’s fiery speeches earned him the nickname “Meagher of the Sword.”

In 1845, the potato famine (Án Gorta Mor) crippled Ireland, and nationalists like Meagher blamed the tragedy on continued food exports to Britain, then the richest nation on earth. He traveled to France in 1848 as a delegate for the Young Irelanders and returned with a gift from the sympathetic French: the first Irish tricolor flag — green (to represent the Gaelic/Catholic natives), orange (for the Protestants), and a white stripe in the middle to signify the “lasting truce and heroic brotherhood between the two communities.” (It became the official national flag upon Irish independence in 1921.)

When the Young Ireland rebels finally mounted an uprising in 1848, the country was too weak from starvation to care. The only pathetic skirmish that took place was a gun fight with local police in Co Tipperary that became knows as the “Battle for Widow McCormack’s cabbage patch.” Meagher and a handful of other rebel leaders were sentenced to hang, then to be drawn and quartered. But Queen Victoria commuted these sentences to life in the penal colony of “Van Dieman’s Land” (Tasmania).

After three years of penal servitude, Meagher escaped in an open rowboat and spent four days at sea. He was eventually picked up by an American whaling ship and taken to San Francisco. A few months later, he had made his way to New York, where he reveled in the opportunities that independence from Britain had given the Americans. He became a lawyer, popular speaker, and founder of newspapers for the growing Irish immigrant population.

The Civil War began in 1861 and Thomas Francis Meager joined the Union army, Meagher recruited Irish immigrants into the New York militia and rose to the rank of general in command of the “Fighting 69th” Irish Brigade. His soldiers wore sprigs of clover in their hats while marching under a green flag embroidered with an Irish harp and the words “Erin go Bragh”. In the fall of 1862 on the bloodiest day of the war, Meagher had his horse shot out from underneath him as he led his soldiers on an almost suicidal charge against Confederate forces at the Battle of Antietam. Three months later he was wounded during the carnage of repeated charges on Marye’s Heights in the Battle of Fredricksburg. The Irish Brigade was decimated, but Meagher survived the war.

A few months after war’s end, he became the first governor of the Montana territory, and was soon raising forces to combat hostile Indians (a decade before Custer’s demise at Little Bighorn). But it wasn’t long after, one night in the summer of 1867 and at age 44 — after beating the odds time and again on three different continents — Thomas Francis Meagher fell off a riverboat and drowned in the Missouri River. Sheer accident, foul play, or careless drunkenness? Nobody knows — but his body was never found.

A statue of Meagher gallantly charging on horseback, sword in hand, stands today in front of the Montana state capitol building in Helena. His brief life as a revolutionary, orator, patriot, convict, journalist, explorer, soldier, and politician can only be summed up as Irish pride…personified.

aug 3-3Photo: Thomas Francis statue in front of the Montana State House in Helena, Montana

4 August:-

Today in Irish History – 4 August:

1654 – Birth in Midleton, Co Cork of Thomas Brodrick, politician in Irish and British Houses of Commons who led the inquiry into the ‘South Sea Bubble’.

1805 – Birth in Dublin of Sir William Rowan Hamilton. He was an Irish physicist, astronomer, and mathematician, who made important contributions to classical mechanics, optics, and algebra. His studies of mechanical and optical systems led him to discover new mathematical concepts and techniques. His greatest contribution is perhaps the reformulation of Newtonian mechanics, now called Hamiltonian mechanics.

1832 – The Making of Poitín. A lengthy article on this interesting Irish craft appeared in the Dublin Penny Journal on this day. Full article: http://www.libraryireland.com/articles/poteen/index.php

1846 – The Great Southern & Western Railway line between Dublin and Carlow opens.

1878 – Birth of Margaret Pearse, teacher, politician and sister of Padraic Pearse, in Dublin.

1920 – Unarmed IRA burn down unoccupied RIC barracks in Blackrock County Louth.

1922 – Republican troops abandon Cashel, County Tipperary.

1922 – 150 Free State troops under Paddy Daly take Castleisland, County Kerry. The Republicans abandon their positions after six shrapnel shells are fired at them from an 18-pounder field gun.

1922 – Three Free State soldiers, including two commandants, Collison and McCurtain, are killed in a mine and gun attack on a troop lorry in county Tipperary.

1927 – Death of John Dillon, an Irish land reform agitator, Irish Home Rule activist, nationalist politician, Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and last leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

1952 – Birth of Máire Philomena Ní Bhraonáin, better known as Máire Brennan or Moya Brennan (b. Gweedore, Co Donegal). She is a Grammy Award-nominated Irish folk singer, songwriter, harpist and philanthropist. She began her singing career when her family formed the band Clannad in 1970, and is widely regarded today as the “First Lady of Celtic Music”.

1956 – Heavyweight boxer Gerry Cooney is born to Irish-American parents on Long Island. As a teenager, Cooney won two New York Golden Glove Championships. After turning professional, he won his first twenty-five fights and of course becoming the media’s latest “Great White Hope.” Few would place him in the pantheon of great fighters but he was brave and had a lethal left hook that saw him win twenty four of his twenty eight victories via a knockout. Cooney fought Larry Holmes for the World Heavyweight Boxing Title in June 1982. Cooney performed credibly before being stopped in the thirteenth round by Larry Holmes who was then in his prime. Cooney has avoided the fate of many a washed up fighter like Irish Mike Quarry and today is still active in the fight game in media work. He also promoted a number of bouts for Roberto Duran and Hector Camacho. Cooney is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.

1998 – Gerry Adams is under growing pressure to declare the republican war over after loyalists warn that the North’s peace agreement is in real danger of collapsing.

1999 – The Government abandons all plans to transform the Great Blasket Island into a State Park and the 1,132 acre island is to remain in private ownership.

2000 – The stand-off in the seven-week old train strike intensifies as Transport and Public Enterprise Minister Mary O’Rourke refuses to intervene.

2000 – Loyalists protest after the north of Ireland health minister Bairbre de Brun, a member of Sinn Féin, refuses to fly the Union flag outside her Belfast offices to mark the 100th birthday of Britain’s Queen Mother.

2000 – Residents of Belfast’s Lower Ormeau Road vote overwhelmingly against allowing Orange parades through the flashpoint district.

2002 – Less than two months after turning professional, rookie Graeme McDowell from Portrush, Co Antrim, wins the Scandinavian Masters.

2012 – Death of Con Houlihan, he was an Irish sportswriter. Despite only progressing to national journalism at the age of 46, he would become “the greatest and the best-loved Irish sports journalist of all”. A bronze bust of Houlihan was unveiled in his hometown of Castleisland in 2004. In 2011, another sculpture was erected outside The Palace bar in Dublin.
aug 4-1


Photo: Hags Head, Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare,George Karbus Photography

Today in Irish History: 4 August 2012 – Death of Irish sportswriter, Con Houlihan.

Despite only progressing to national journalism at the age of 46, he would become “the greatest and the best-loved Irish sports journalist of all”. A bronze bust of Houlihan was unveiled in his hometown of Castleisland, Co Kerry in 2004. In 2011, another sculpture was erected outside The Palace Bar in Dublin.

Just one of the many great, witty articles by Con Houlihan. A long one, but worth the read, it only gets wittier as your read it.

Con Houlihan: ‘Paddy dashed back to his goal like a woman who smells a cake burning … ‘

IF A MAN who fishes for salmon with a stake net had seen his cordage dance as often as Paddy Cullen did in this astonishing All-Ireland final, he would have been very happy indeed with his day’s work.

But there is an immensity of difference between bending to take out a salmon and stooping to pick up a ball that has got past you — and for long years to come Paddy will now and then rack his brains and try to find out what happened him yesterday.

At about 20 minutes to four he had every reason to feel that his bowl of glory was about to flow over: Dublin were playing as if determined to get a patent for a new brand of Gaelic football — and Paddy, himself, was ruling his territory with a style and authority redolent of Bat Masterson.

And the many Kerry battalions in the crowd were as apprehensive as accused men waiting for the jury to return after the judge had given a most unfavourable summing-up against them.

And well they might — because in the first third of what was surely the most extraordinary final since Michael Cusack codified the rules of Gaelic football, their team seemed faced not only with defeat, but humiliation.

It looked every bit as one-sided as the meeting of Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks — and the more it went on, the more the gap in ability was seen to widen.

In their glory-garnished odyssey since the early summer of ’74, Dublin have never played better than in the opening third yesterday.

The symphony of classical football began with Paddy Cullen — he got no direct shot in that period, but his catching of a few swirling lofted balls, dropping almost onto his crossbar, was as composed and technically correct as if being done to illustrate a text book.

And his distribution was as cool and unerring as the dealing of a riverboat gambler.

So was that of his comrades in the rear three — Kerry’s infrequent sallies towards the Canal End almost always ended up as launching-pads for a Dublin attack.

The drizzling rain seemed irrelevant as Dublin moved the ball with the confidence of a grand master playing chess against a novice.

From foot and hand it travelled lucidly in swift triangular movements towards the Railway goal — Kerry were forced into fouls as desperate as the struggles of a drowning man.

And Jimmy Keaveney was determined to show that crime did not pay: the ball took wing from his boot like a pigeon homing to an invisible loft strung above Kerry’s crossbar.

The blue-and-navy favours danced in the wet grey air — the Hill revelled and licked its lips at the prospect of seeing Kerry butchered to make a Dublin holiday.

They roared as the points sailed over — and one felt that they were only flexing their vocal muscles so that they might explode when Charlie Nelligan’s net bulged.

And such was Dublin’s supremacy that a goal seemed inevitable — by the 25th minute it was less a match than a siege.

And Dublin as they have so often done, had brought forth a new ploy for the big occasion — this time the rabbit from the hat was the swift breakdown with hand or fist. It added to Kerry’s multitude of worries.

And Kerry’s not-so-secret weapons were misfiring: Jack O’Shea was not ruling the air in midfield and Kevin Moran was playing as if his namesake Denis had only come for a close-up view.

Kerry’s map was in such tatters that Eoin Liston, their lofty target man, the pine tree in whose branches they hoped the long high ball would stick, was forced to forage so far down field that his marker, Sean Doherty, was operating within scoring distance of Kerry’s goal.

After 25 minutes Dublin led by six points to one — it did not flatter them. It seemed less a lead than the foundation of a formidable total.

But perhaps it is true that whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad — the ease with which Dublin were scaling the mountain seduced them into over-confidence.

They pushed too many troops forward and neglected their rear — and then a swift brace of passes from Jack O’Shea and Pat Spillane found a half-acre of green ground tenanted by only Paddy Cullen, and with Johnny Egan leading the race in its pursuit.

Paddy Cullen is a ‘modern’ ‘keeper — he guards not only the goal but its forecourt. And it was one of the ironies of a game that might have been scripted by the king of the gremlins that now he was caught too far back.

He advanced desperately but Johnny Egan, scorer of that lethal first goal in the rainy final three years ago, held the big trump — and he coolly fisted the ball over the ‘keeper and into the net.

That goal affected Kerry as a sudden day of May showers a languishing field of corn.

Dublin were like climbers who had been driven back down the mountain by a rock fall — they had to set out again from a plateau not far above the base.

Soon a few Kerry points had put them at the very foot — then Dublin went ahead with a point.

And now came the moment that will go into that department of sport’s museum where abide such strange happenings as the Long Count and the goal that gave Cardiff their only English FA Cup and the fall of Devon Loch.

Its run-up began with a free from John O’Keeffe, deep in his own territory. Jack O’Shea made a flying catch and drove a long ball towards the middle of the 21-yard line.

Mikey Sheehy’s fist put it behind the backs, breaking along the ground out towards Kerry’s right. This time Paddy Cullen was better positioned and comfortably played the ball with his feet away from Sheehy.

He had an abundance of time and space in which to lift and clear but his pick-up was a dubious one and the referee Seamus Aldridge, decided against him. Or maybe he deemed his meeting with Ger Power illegal.

Whatever the reason, Paddy put on a show of righteous indignation that would get him a card from Equity, throwing up his hands to heaven as the referee kept pointing towards goal.

And while all this was going, Mick Sheehy was running up to take the kick — and suddenly Paddy dashed back towards his goal like a woman who smells a cake burning.

The ball won the race and it curled inside the near post as Paddy crashed into the outside of the net and lay against it like a fireman who had returned to find his station ablaze.

Sometime, Noel Pearson might make a musical of this amazing final and as the green flag goes up for that crazy goal he will have a banshee’s voice crooning: “And that was the end of poor Molly Malone”.

And so it was. A few minutes later came the tea-break. Kerry went into a frenzy of green-and-gold and a tumult of acclaim. The champions looked like men who had worked hard and seen their savings plundered by bandits.

The great train robbers were first out onto the field for act two — an act that began almost as dramatically as the first had ended.

In their cave during the interval Dublin, no doubt, determined to send a posse in fierce pursuit — but within a minute of the restart, the bridge out of town had been broken down.

Eoin Liston was about to set out on a journey into folklore — and for the rest of the game it must have seemed to Sean Doherty that he had come face to face with the Incredible Hulk.

Eoin proceeded to leave the kind of stamp on the second half that Mario Kempes left on the final of the World Cup.

People were still settling down for the second half when Jack O’Shea drove a long ball from midfield; Eoin, near the penalty spot and behind the backs, gathered, turned, and shot to the net.

Dublin’s defence is justly famous for its covering and the manner in which this score came indicated the level of their morale.

Not everyone suspected it but Dublin had conceded defeat. From then on only a few of them had their hearts in the battle.

Kevin Moran never surrendered and played magnificently all through that unreal second half. He had good lieutenants in Tommy Drumm and Bernard Brogan.

But they might as well have been trying to prove that George Davis was innocent, O.K.

Every Kerry man seemed to have suddenly sprouted wings — they seemed not members of a different county but of a different species.

And a cynic might have suspected that they had agents in the Dublin camp — some of the men in blue sent the ball to their opponents with unfailing accuracy.

Kerry’s fourth goal was both a finisher and a symbol of their immense superiority.

A high ball dropped into the apron of Dublin’s goal. It seemed to be manned by a little man with spikes in his forehead who was shouting: “Take me to your leader.”

The leader of course, was, Eoin Liston who plucked it out of a low flying cloud, gave an instant pass to Ger Power on his right and moved on to an instant return.

Eoin’s right-footed shot was executed with the panache of one who knew that he could do no wrong.

And the remarkable aspect of what followed was that Kerry did not score a dozen goals.

They got only one more — when Eoin Liston raced on to a fisted cross-goal pass from Johnny Egan on the right and planted the ball in at the far post.

And so in the grey drizzle we saw the twilight of the gods.

The Hill watched, as lively as the Main Street of Knocknagoshel on Good Friday. And it all seemed so unreal. The final score was no reflection of Kerry’s second-half superiority — neither did it tell the truth about the difference between the teams.

For 25 minutes, Dublin were brilliant; for 45, Kerry were superb. How come the change?

That wry prankster we call luck has the answer.

And in the last chapter of the minor final, he had shown his hand.

A fumble by Dublin’s ‘keeper gave Tom Byrne the chance to drive home the decisive goal. (We will write about the game on Wednesday).

The mistake that gave Mayo victory came at the Canal End too.

There was a gremlin down there who did not like Dublin.

And he was humming to himself “What a day for being in Goal”.


aug 4-2
                   

Today in Irish History: 4 August 1832 – The Making of Póitin. A lengthy article on this interesting Irish craft appeared in the Dublin Penny Journal on this day.

Poitín is a traditional Irish distilled beverage. Poitín was traditionally distilled in a small pot still and the term is a diminutive of the Irish word pota, meaning “pot”. It is traditionally distilled from malted barley, grain, treacle, sugar beet, potatoes or whey. In 1661 a law was passed that meant all distillers must now pay tax on spirits produced for private consumption. Due to lack of adherence to the law, a further bill was passed in 1760 to make it illegal to operate a still without a license. Poitín was generally produced in remote rural areas, away from the interference of the law.

[Excerpt of the article in the Dublin Penny Journal]http://www.libraryireland.com/articles/poteen/index.php

“While Teigue was absent, I asked my friend who he was? — Why, says he, that is one of the most comfortable and independent fellows in all this mountain district — he exerts a muscular and moral influence over the people; he has a great deal of sense, a great deal of determination; a constant view to his own interest; and luckily he considers that interest best promoted, by keeping the country in peace. Those that fall out he beats into good humour, and when the weight of his argument cannot prevail, the weight of his fist enforces compliance with his wishes. Then he is the patron of illicit distillation — he is co-partner in the adventure, and is the watchful guardian over its process; there is not a movement of a guager that he does not make himself acquainted with; there is not a detachment leaves a village or town that he has not under watch, and before a policeman or a red coat, comes within three miles of these waters, all would be prepared for them; still and worm sunk, malt buried, barrels and coolers disposed of, and the boat scuttled. There is not a man in Ireland lives better in his own way than Teigue: his chests are full of meal, the roof of his kitchen is festooned with bacon, his byre is full of cows, his sheep range on a hundred hills: as a countryman said to me the other day, “Teigue O’Gallagher is the only man of his sort in Donegal that eats white bread, toasted, buttered, and washed down with tea for his breakfast.”

aug 4-3

                      Photo: Get that into ye… Photo credit: Denis Donovan
5 August:-

Today in Irish History – 5 August:

1722 – Birth of William Fortescue, politician and sportsman, who tried unsuccessfully in the 1760s to introduce a bill ‘to preserve partridges and hares and to take away the lives of above half the dogs in the nation’.

1888 – Philip Henry Sheridan, the son of Irish immigrants from Cavan, dies in Nonquit, Massachusetts. He became an officer in the Federal cavalry and is infamously credited with the phrase: “The only good Indian is a dead one”. Portrayal of a mournful Philip Sheridan in John Ford’s Rio Grande: http://youtu.be/KxVbIC2lvls

1891 – The Land Purchase Act further facilitates tenants’ purchase of acreage from former landlords and establishes a board to purchase and redistribute land at a local level in the west.

1901 – Peter O’Connor sets long jump record at 24′ 11 3/4″. He was born in Ashford, Co Wicklow, but he lived and worked as a solicitor in Waterford City for most of his life. He won his first title in 1899 at the age of 25 years and his last in 1906 – but that was the Olympic title. He was the first IAAF ratified long jump world record holder and his remarkable world, and Irish, long jump record, set in Ballsbridge, Dublin on this date lasted for 20 years.

1922 – About 2,000 Free State troops under Eoin O’Duffy take Kilmallock, Co Limerick. The Republicans retreat towards Charleville.

1922 – Plot to Isolate Dublin Fails when Free State Intelligence officers discover from captured Anti-Treaty officer, Liam Clarke that Republicans have planned to destroy all the bridges leading into Dublin. In the ensuing manoeuvres: 31 Anti-Treaty Irregulars are captured at Glencullen Bridge and Troops capture 104 Anti-Treaty fighters in the act in north Co Dublin, including their officer Pat Sweeney, crippling the remnants of the Anti-Treaty IRA in Dublin.

1922 – A National Army soldier is killed by sniper at Tralee, Co Kerry.

1931 – Birth of Billy Bingham, a former footballer and football manager. He managed Northern Ireland during two separate periods as well as Greece. He is currently a scout for English Premier League side Burnley.

1934 – Birth of Gay Byrne, affectionately known as “Gaybo” or “Uncle Gaybo” is a veteran Irish presenter of radio and television. His most notable role was first host of The Late Late Show over a 37-year period spanning 1962 until 1999. The Late Late Show is the world’s longest-running chat show. His time working in Britain with Granada Television saw him become the first person to introduce The Beatles on screen.

1940 – Death of Joseph McGarrity, born in Carrickmore, Co Tyrone. He emigrated to the USA in 1892 at the age of 18 and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1893 until his death he was a leading member of the Clan na Gael organisation. He also was a successful businessman; however, his business failed on three occasions, twice due to embezzlement by his business partner. McGarrity founded and ran a newspaper called the Irish Press from 1918-22 that supported the War of Independence in Ireland. McGarrity is also known to have been strongly involved in the Hindu German Conspiracy, having arranged the Annie Larsen arms purchase and shipment from New York to San Diego for India.

1969 – The UVF plant their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin.

1983 – The ‘supergrass’ trial of 38 alleged members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ended in Belfast. Eighteen would later have their convictions quashed. The trial had lasted 120 days with most of the evidence being offered by IRA supergrass Christopher Black. The judge jailed 22 of the accused to sentences totalling more that 4,000 years. Four people were acquitted and others received suspended sentences. [In 1986, 18 of the 22 who received prison sentences had their convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal.]

1984 – U2 finish recording “The Unforgettable Fire”.

1999 – A unique exhibition: “75 Years of Giving”, is officially opened in in Dublin by President Mary McAleese. It comprises a collection of treasures from museums and art galleries throughout the country and marks the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland (FNCI).

aug 5-1

       Photo: Great Blasket Village, Co Kerry, George Karbus Photography

Today in Irish History: 5 August 1922 – Bridges Job: Plot to Isolate Dublin fails when Free State Intelligence officers discover from captured Anti-Treaty officer Liam Clarke that Republicans have planned to destroy all the bridges leading into Dublin.

The IRA in Dublin were realistic enough to know that militarily they could not oust the pro-Treaty forces, or indeed the remaining garrison of 6,000 British troops, from the Irish capital, but with a Free State expedition due to attack Cork city from the sea, the Republicans planned to cut communications to and from the Irish capital.

What became known as the ‘Bridges job’ in IRA circles appears to have been an attempt by the anti-Treaty force to isolate Dublin; the centre both of the Provisional government and its National Army. According to the Irish Times, ‘The Irregulars [republicans] had made elaborate preparations to cut the railway lines and block the roads by blowing up bridges on Saturday night. Men fully equipped were sent to the city from the south and from Liverpool’.

The anti-Treaty IRA in Dublin knew they were too weak to take back the city from the Provisional government so intended to isolate it by destroying and blocking the routes in and out of the capital.

Had the plan come off it may or may not have tilted the military balance of the war in the anti-Treatyites’ favour, realistically more depended on how fighting went in Cork, where Free State troops had landed by sea and assaulted the republican ‘capital’. But had it been successful the ‘bridges job’ would certainly have put the Provisional Government in a more vulnerable position – unable to send reinforcements or communications to its units around the country.

The main object of the plan was to blow up and destroy all the canal and railway bridges surrounding Dublin in order to interfere with and interrupt road and railway communications between Dublin and other parts of the country; in other words to hit a fatal blow at the Free State forces in their conduct of military operations against the IRA. It appears that on the night appointed for carrying out of the operation, several hundred men of the IRA had been mobilised.

The Government however, already knew about the ‘bridges job’ due to the capture of Liam Clarke, an IRA Intelligence officer the day before. According to Nugent;

‘The operation was to take place at a given time on a Saturday evening but on Friday evening Liam Clarke, a Headquarters officer, was captured in Rathfarnham with a map showing the bridges to be destroyed, and on Friday the Stanley Street workshop of the Dublin Corporation was raided and picks taken away. Also, the Free State Army authorities had had information that the operation was about to take place’.

There were at this time roughly 4,000 National Army troops in Dublin and another 6,000 British troops who were due to stay in the city until December to ensure the implementation of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In addition there were about 100 CID plain clothed, armed detectives. Though it did not publicise the fact, the pro-Treaty government mobilised both British and Irish troops in large numbers to avail of the opportunity afforded to decapitate the IRA in Dublin.

Roughly speaking there were two separate IRA operations on the night of 5-6th August. One was in the Dublin Mountains south of the city, where perhaps 100 Volunteers turned out to dismantle the roads and bridges that connected the city with the guerrillas’ hideouts in the hills. Another 146 anti-Treaty fighters were mobilised in what were then rural villages north of Dublin to destroy the road and rail infrastructure there.

In any case, no sooner had the IRA parties begun their work of destruction than they were pounced on by pro-government troops. Sean Prendergast remembered with chagrin that at Cabra bridge on the northside:

‘To their (IRA) utter surprise and dismay the Free Staters had complete control of the scene; an armoured car patrolling the area, opening fire right, left and centre at point blank range. Bob Oman like a number of other men of the “First” battalion was caught while moving along to the scheduled spot. Thus many men were trapped; the men in the fields being pinned down to the point of utter frustration, the men who were making their way thither chased or captured, some quite easily and others after a grim fight, many of them like Oman quite invaluable officers and men.

On both north and south sides of the river Liffey, Free State troops in some cases back up by British forces rounded up dozens of anti-Treaty fighters. Thirty one ‘Irregulars’ were captured in Glencullen, including their officer Noel Lemass, and 15 more taken on the roads back to the city, with another ten picked up further south near Roundwood.

According to Liam Nugent, the IRA officers, ‘in charge of the proposed destruction of the bridges were warned’ that the operation had been compromised, ‘but they insisted on carrying on and, when the various companies arrived at the scenes of action, the Free State soldiers were waiting for them. Some succeeded in escaping but they were nearly all captured. The Republican section of the 3rd Battalion were almost wiped out.

The pro-government Irish Times reported, “The thoroughness of the intelligence, observation and military organisation on the part of the National Army is shown by the fact not only was the destruction prevented so that not even one bridge was destroyed, but the greater bulk of those who were to take part in the irregular operation were made prisoners without any casualties among the troops.’

In the early hours of the morning there were a flurry of retaliatory IRA attacks in the city; Firing broke out at military posts, where ‘heavy fire was returned’, including at Mountjoy Gaol, Phibsborough, Finglas, Drumcondra and Harcourt St (where a bomb was also thrown). The morning saw six civilians admitted to hospitals in Dublin with bullet wounds along with two anti-Treaty fighters and one National Army soldier, but the attacks had been no more than a futile gesture on the IRA’s part after the disaster of earlier in the night.

The ‘Bridges Job’ was a disaster for the anti-Treaty IRA in Dublin and it coincided with the fall of Cork city and the main towns in Co Kerry, a few days later, to pro-Treaty troops.

aug 5-2Photo: Anti-Treaty troops move through Grafton St, Dublin, July 1922, photo credit: 1916 Easter Revolution in Colour

 

6 August:-

Today in Irish History – 6 August:

1312 – John de Wogan ceases to be justiciar; Edmund le Botiller will act as justiciar for the present.

1761 – Richard Nugent, Lord Delvin, MP for Fore, and still a teenager, dies of wounds he received after fighting a duel with a Mr Reilly on 30 July.

1775 – Daniel O’Connell is born in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry; known as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the nineteenth century. He campaigned for Catholic Emancipation – the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years – and Repeal of the Union between Ireland and Great Britain.

1853 – Sir William Ridgeway, classical scholar, is born in Ballydermot, Co Offaly.

1920 – The Dáil orders the boycotting of Belfast unionist firms.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA fighters ambush a Free State provisions column at Knockeen crossroads in Kerry. One National Army officer is killed and several privates are wounded.

1927 – Poet Richard Murphy is born.

1999 – Labour analysts at the Economic and Social Research Institute announce that the country is heading for full employment for the first time in history.

2000 – In Waterford, a team of six men, five of them former international boxers, skip their way into the Guinness Book of Records by smashing the 24 hour relay skipping record.

2000 – The first annual Witness Festival comes to a close at Fairyhouse in Co Meath.

2001 – The chairman of the International Commission on Decommissioning, General John de Chastelain, reveals that his members and an IRA representative have agreed on a method for decommissioning.

aug 6-1

               Photo: Falls Ennistymon, Co Clare, George Karbus Photography

 

Today in Irish History: 6 August 1775 – Birth of Daniel O’Connell, known as The Liberator, or The Emancipator was an Irish political leader in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Daniel O’Connell is born in Cahirsiveen, Co Kerry. O’Connell would go on to be one of the most important figures in Irish political and Catholic civil rights history. He campaigned for Catholic Emancipation – the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years – and Repeal of the Union between Ireland and Great Britain. In 1829, the Roman Catholic Daniel O’Connell appeared in the House of Commons to take his seat as newly elected MP for Clare and refused to take the Oath of Supremacy which included “the sacrifice of the Mass, and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and other saints, as now practiced in the Church of Rome, are impious and idolatrous;” and to deny the position of the Pope. O’Connell refused the oath stating “I decline, Mr. Clerk, to take this oath: part of it I know to be false; another part I believe not to be true.”

O’Connell was a rock star politician and fine orator who drew huge crowds. His actions and the concerns of the Prime Minister Duke of Wellington (born Dublin 1769) that continued refusal to provide the vote to Catholics would generate further unrest ensured the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act. O’Connell’s popularity apparently had King George IV complaining “‘O’Connell! God damn the scoundrel.’ Oh, the Duke of Wellington is king of England, O’Connell is king of Ireland and I suppose I am only considered as dean of Windsor’.

Daniel O’Connell originally won a by-election in County Clare in 1828 defeating William Vesey Fitzgerald. but was not allowed to take his seat refusing to swear an Oath of Supremacy that was incompatible with his Catholic faith.

 

aug 6-2
Photo: Daniel O’Connell Monument, O’Connell Street, Dublin, photo credit: David Soanes
7 August:-

Today in Irish History – 7 August:

1798 – Examination by secret committee of MacNeven, O’Connor, Neilson, Thomas Emmet, and Bond begins in the House of Lords.

1832 – The Parliamentary Reform Act increases Irish seats from 100 to 105 and introduces ten-pound franchise in the boroughs: the electorate is increased to 1.2% of the population (county electorate 60,000; borough electorate 30,000). 1 Irish urban dweller in 26 and one Irish rural dweller in 116 now has the vote, as compared to 1 in 17 and 1 in 24 in England.

1892 – Birth of Tom Falcon Hazell, WWI Ace, in Clifden, Co Galway. Hazell was a fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps, (Royal Air Force) downing forty three enemy planes during World War I. He was one of a number of very skilled Irish born air aces of the war including Edward Mannock and George McElroy. He was the only one of the three to survive the war and the most successful air ace to survive the war.

1914 – Death of Co Armagh born Charles Davis Lucas (b. 19 February 1834). Lewis was the first recipient of the Victoria Cross. Lucas won the VC for action during the Crimean War when serving with the Royal Navy. The citation reads in part that “at the height of the action a live shell landed on Hecla’s upper deck, with its fuse still hissing. All hands were ordered to fling themselves flat on the deck, but Mr. Lucas with great presence of mind ran forward and hurled the shell into the sea, where it exploded with a tremendous roar before it hit the water. Thanks to Mr. Lucas’s action no one was killed or seriously wounded.” He would go on to have a very successful career finally retiring as Rear Admiral.

1916 – O’Neil of the Glen, the first production released by the Film Company of Ireland, premiers at Dublin’s Bohemian Theatre.

1920 – The IRA East Limerick Flying Column under Donnchadh O’Hannigan and George Lennon, joined forces with Cork Column under Tom Barry to ambush a six man RIC foot patrol near Kildorrery, Co Cork. All the RIC men were wounded, one fatally (Black and Tan, Ernest S. Watkins). Six revolvers and 250 rounds of ammunition were seized.

1922 – Heavy fighting takes place at Newcastle West, Co Limerick. Free State troops, advancing from Rathkeale, take the town with armoured cars and infantry supported by artillery. During the 12 hour battle, a party of republicans is caught in machine gun fire from one of the Free State armoured cars, taking many casualties. The Republican headquarters is shelled by field guns and they eventually retreat along the Cork road. Press reports say that 12 Anti-Treaty fighters are killed in the action. National Army casualties are reported as, ‘less than those of the irregulars.’

1922 – Joe Hudson, Glasthule, Dún Laoghaire is shot dead in his Garden at the same address by Free State Army officer.

1922 – National Army troops assault and take Kildorrey, Co Cork from its Anti-Treaty garrison. Casualties are reported as one dead and 2 wounded on either side. 27 Republicans are taken prisoner

1937 – Ireland’s most successful female rally driver Rosemary Smith is born in Dublin. Smith’s career included successes in the Circuit of Ireland Rally, East African Rally, Cork 20, Scottish Rally. Smith was controversially disqualified from the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally, after winning the Coupe des Dames, the ladies class. Smith gives her reasons for the qualification at about 10.46 of this YouTube video. It is an excellent interview with a very entertaining lady. Her explanation of why she was prevented from driving in the Le Mans 24 is nothing short of hilarious. Listen at 13.00. http://youtu.be/cVVCHT08W88

1943 – Death of Sarah Purser, an Irish artist. She was born in Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire) in Co Dublin, and raised in Dungarvan, Co Waterford. She was educated in Switzerland and afterwards studied at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and in Paris at the Académie Julian. She worked mostly as a portraitist. Through her talent and energy, and owing to her friendship with the Gore-Booths, she was very successful in obtaining commissions, famously commenting: “I went through the British aristocracy like the measles.”

1991 – World Wide Web debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.

1998 – Unemployment falls for the 16th month in a row to reach its lowest level in almost eight years.

2001 – British Airways begin a training programme for the crew of the Concorde aircraft at Shannon Airport amid speculation the supersonic plane could be back in the air within the next number of weeks.

2001 – Family and close friends gather in the Spanish resort of Alicante for the cremation of one of Ireland’s best loved actors, Joe Lynch.

2002 – The government announces that American Special Forces will not be allowed to use Irish airspace or airports during any attack on Iraq.

aug 7-1

                                                   Photo: West Cork Coast

 

Today in Irish History: 7 August 1937 – Ireland’s most successful female rally driver, Rosemary Smith, is born in Dublin.

Rosemary Smith initially trained as a dress designer. Smith entered her first rally as a navigator. After deciding that navigating was not to her liking she switched to driving. She came to the attention of the Rootes Group’s Competition Department who offered her a works drive.

Rosemary Smith’s career included successes in the Circuit of Ireland Rally, East African Rally, Cork 20 Rally, Tulip Rally, and Scottish Rally. Smith was controversially disqualified from the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally, after winning the Coupe des Dames, the ladies class. Smith gives her reasons for the qualification at about 10.46 of this YouTube video. It is an excellent interview with a very entertaining lady.

Her explanation of why she was prevented from driving in the Le Mans 24 is nothing short of hilarious. Listen at 13.00.

Rosemary Smith Interview, 2011: https://youtu.be/cVVCHT08W88

aug 7-2
8 August:-

Today in Irish History – 8 August:

1588 – The Spanish Armada is defeated by the English, with some Spaniards slain upon reaching the coasts of Ireland and some survivors remaining.

1647 – The Irish Confederate Wars and Wars of the Three Kingdoms: Battle of Dungans Hill – English Parliamentary forces defeat Irish forces.

1694 – Birth of Francis Hutcheson, Presbyterian philosopher, in Co Down.

1781 – James Gandon moves from London to Dublin; the first stone of his Customs House is laid on this date.

1911 – Birth of Billy Behan, one of the men who made Manchester United one of the best clubs in world soccer. The Dublin born Behan scouted for the Red Devils for almost half a century discovering such players as Johnny Carey, Liam Whelan, Johnny Giles, Tony Dunne, Don Givens, Kevin Moran and Paul McGrath. In his memoir, John Giles – A Football Man, Giles says Behan was a “tall easy-going man” who had “a kind of a sixth sense for identifying the players who would make it.” To the astonishment of many, Behan encouraged Dublin All Ireland Football hero Kevin Moran to sign for United. Moran went on to have a distinguished career on the soccer field playing for Ireland 71 times.

1922 – Free State seaborne landings take place in Co Cork. Emmet Dalton and 800 troops, with two artillery pieces and armoured cars, land at Passage West. A further 200 men are put ashore at Youghal and 180 troops land at Glandore. Heavy fighting takes place at Rochestown in Cork, as 200 Anti-Treaty troops try to block the Free State advance on Cork City. Nine National Army and seven Republicans are killed before the Free State troops secure the area.

1923 – The Civic Guard is renamed the Garda Síochana.

1953 – The library of Alfred Chester Beatty, containing his unique collection of oriental manuscripts, opens in Dublin.

1961 – David Evans (The Edge) is born in England. When he was one, his family moved to the beautiful seaside village of Malahide, Co Dublin. When Larry Mullen posted a notice at his high school Mount Temple Comprehensive seeking to start a band, Edge along with Paul Hewson (Bono) and Adam Clayton signed on. The rest is rock history and U2. Edge’s unique sound has been a crucial element in the success of U2. Self-taught, he is rated #24 in the Rolling Stone list of Greatest Guitarists. His influences included the great Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher whom Rolling Stone place at #57 on their list (about 50 places too low!).

1976 – Founding of the Peace Movement in the North. First Declaration Of The Peace People:
We have a simple message to the world from this movement for Peace.
We want to live and love and build a just and peaceful society.
We want for our children, as we want for ourselves, our lives at home, at work, and at play to be lives of joy and Peace.
We recognize that to build such a society demands dedication, hard work, and courage.
We recognize that there are many problems in our society which are a source of conflict and violence.
We recognize that every bullet fired and every exploding bomb make that work more difficult.
We reject the use of the bomb and the bullet and all the techniques of violence.
We dedicate ourselves to working with our neighbours, near and far, day in and day out, to build that peaceful society in which the tragedies we have known are a bad memory and a continuing warning

1980 – The Central Hotel Fire Bundoran, Co Donegal occurred. The Central Hotel was a popular family owned hotel in the heart of the seaside resort of Bundoran, Co. Donegal. On 8th August 1980, a fire broke out killing ten people, including both locals and holiday makers. The tragedy featured as part of the RTÉ television series Disasters in summer 2007.

1981 – Thomas McElwee, Irish political prisoner, dies on the 62nd day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison.

1999 – The INLA and its political wing the IRSP stated that “There is no political or moral argument to justify a resumption of the campaign”.

2000 – A leading figure in the Young Ireland Movement, Edward Walsh, poet, folklorist, song writer and teacher, is remembered on the 150th anniversary of his death.

2001 – The Taoiseach and Tánaiste urge Irish workers and employers not to panic as computer giant Gateway signals a shutdown of Irish operations with 900 job losses.

 

aug 8-1
                                  Photo: Castle Roche, Dundalk, Co Louth

Today in Irish History: 8 August 1981 – Thomas McElwee, Irish political prisoner, dies on the 62nd day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann.

The tenth republican to join the hunger strike was twenty-three-year-old IRA Volunteer Thomas McElwee, from Bellaghy in South Derry. He had been imprisoned since December 1976, following a premature explosion in which he lost an eye.

He was a first cousin of Francis Hughes, who died after fifty-nine days on hunger strike, on 12th May.

Thomas McElwee died at 11.30 a.m. on Saturday, 8th August. Indicative of the callousness of the British government towards prisoners and their families alike neither had the comfort of each other’s presence at that tragic moment. He died after 62 days of slow agonising hunger strike with no company other than prison warders – colleagues of those who had brutalised, degraded and tortured him for three-and-a-half years.

Full bio on Thomas McElwee: http://www.bobbysandstrust.com/hungerstrikers/thomas-mcelwee

McElwee’s Farewell By the Irish Brigade (Farewell to Bellaghy): http://youtu.be/neIisYeEnas

aug 8-2
9 August:-

Today in Irish History – 9 August:

1690 – Siege of Limerick commences when William of Orange encamps just outside the walls of the old city, with an army of about 26,000; the Irish defenders were similar in number though not nearly as well armed.

1850 – Irish Tenant League is founded.

1886 – Death of Sir Samuel Ferguson, an Irish poet, barrister, antiquarian, artist and public servant. Perhaps the most important Ulster-Scot poet of the 19th century, because of his interest in Irish mythology and early Irish history; he can be seen as a forerunner of William Butler Yeats and the other poets of the Celtic Twilight.

1920 – The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act received Royal assent. The Act gave Dublin Castle the power to govern by regulation; to replace the criminal courts with courts martial; to replace coroners’ inquests with military courts of inquiry; and to punish disaffected local governments by withholding their grants of money.

1922 – There is fighting at Douglas County Cork. The Free State troops take 36 republican prisoners.

1922 – A National Army soldier is killed in ambush at Ferrycarrig, Wexford.

1922 – General Prout’s Free State column takes Redmondstown, Co Kilkenny, with the aid of artillery.

1971 – Internment is introduced in Northern Ireland. As violence continued to flare in the North, Unionist Prime Minister Brian Faulkner was under increasing pressure to halt Republican violence and bombings against the institutions of Northern Ireland. A conflict that had simmered, sometimes boiled since the introduction of the Northern Ireland state in 1922 was by now reaping terrible toil. The introduction of internment gave the authorities the power to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without trial. More than 300 Republican suspects were detained in early morning raids. Faulkner claimed that Northern Ireland was “quite simply at war with the terrorist.” (In the 1940s, Éamon de Valera in the South of Ireland had also introduced internment against Republicans, many of whom would have fought with Dev and his colleagues during the War of Independence.) Internment provoked even greater violence in the North. Exactly what the authorities could have done in the circumstances is difficult to know, but internment proved a recruitment boon to the IRA. Arrests were often made based on outdated information. The internment of innocent Nationalists provoked even greater anger. http://youtu.be/HZxpAkUZwfg

1971 – 9-11: During the internment round-up operation in west Belfast, the Parachute Regiment killed 11 unarmed civilians in what became known as the Ballymurphy massacre.

1979 – The first Vietnamese boat people arrive in Ireland.

1998 – U2’s PopMart movie debuts at the Festival Revue in Edinburgh, Scotland.

2000 – Secondary picketing by striking train drivers, who are members of the Irish Locomotive Drivers’ Association, causes transport chaos for thousands of Dublin commuters.

aug 9-1

                  Photo: Mullaghcarbatagh’s cairn on the Sperrin Mountains

Today in Irish History: 1971 – 9-11 August: During the internment round-up operation in west Belfast, the Parachute Regiment killed 11 unarmed civilians in what became known as the Ballymurphy massacre.

On Monday 9th of August 1971 Interment Without Trial was introduced by the British Government in the North of Ireland. This policy was implemented by the British Army at 4am on that particular summer morning. The British Army directed the campaign against the predominately Catholic community with the stated aim to “shock and stun the civilian population”.

Between 9th and 11th of August 1971, over 600 British soldiers entered the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast, raiding homes and rounding up men. Many, both young and old, were shot and beaten as they were dragged from their homes without reason. During this 3 day period 11 people were brutally murdered.

All 11 unarmed civilians were murdered by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment. One of the victims was a well known parish priest and another was a 45 year old mother of eight children. No investigations were carried out and no member of the British Army was held to account.

It is believed that some of the soldiers involved in Ballymurphy went on to Derry some months later where similar events occurred. Had those involved in Ballymurphy been held to account, the events of Bloody Sunday may not have happened.

The terrible events which took place in Ballymurphy in 1971 have for too long remained in the shadows. The families of those murdered, have kept the spotlight on how 11 innocent people met their deaths over a three day period in August 1971.

The Ballymurphy Massacre Families have proposed the appointment of an Independent Panel to examine all documents relating to the context, circumstances and aftermath of the deaths of their loved ones. Its focus would include: the investigation of the role of the British Government, British Army, criminal justice agencies such as the RUC, DPP, the Coroner’s Office and the significance of the media. The panel’s work would reflect the terms of reference of the British Government-funded work of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

Over 40 years after the massacre, the campaign grows from strength to strength. The families, along with local support, continue to raise the funds necessary to drive the campaign.

Six civilians were shot on 9 August, these were:

Francis Quinn (19), shot by a sniper (who had taken position at the nearby army base) while going to the aid of a wounded man.

Hugh Mullan (38), a Catholic priest, shot by a sniper while going to the aid of a wounded man.

Joan Connolly (50), shot as she stood opposite the army base.

Daniel Teggart (44), was shot fourteen times. Most of the bullets allegedly entered his back as he lay injured on the ground.

Noel Phillips (20), shot as he stood opposite the army base.

Joseph Murphy (41), shot as he stood opposite the army base.

One civilian was shot on 10 August, and another four were shot on 11 August, these were:

Edward Doherty (28), shot while walking along Whiterock Road.

John Laverty (20) and Joseph Corr (43) were shot at separate points at the Top of the Whiterock Road. Laverty was shot twice, once in the back and once in the back of the leg. Corr was shot multiple times and died of his injuries on 27 August.

John McKerr (49), shot by unknown attackers while standing outside the Roman Catholic church, died of his injuries on 20 August.

Paddy McCarthy (44) got into a confrontation with a group of soldiers. One of them put an empty gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. McCarthy suffered a heart-attack and died shortly thereafter

Ballymurphy Massacre Campaign for Truth and Justice: http://www.ballymurphymassacre.com/cms/massacre/

Ballymurphy Massacre song: http://youtu.be/WkN8qnSmnRg

aug 9-2

Today in Irish History: 9 August 1690 – Siege of Limerick begins.

The Williamite War (1689-1691) did not go well for the Jacobites. Crushing defeats of troops supporting King James II at the Siege of Derry in December 1688 and the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July 1690 had forced the Jacobites to retreat west to Limerick and Galway. William of Orange, at the head of the Williamite army pursued them, reaching the city of Limerick on this date in 1690.

The Jacobites, under the leadership of French General Lauzun and Irish commander Richard Talbot after James fled to France, held Limerick with ~14,500 infantry and an additional ~2,500 cavalry under the command of Patrick Sarsfield stationed in nearby Co. Clare. The Williamites had a total strength of ~25,000. When William arrived at Limerick he decided to focus his attack on the less fortified Irish Town section of Limerick. William deployed his troops and awaited the arrival of his heavy artillery which was en route from Dublin.

Sarsfield, realising the importance of the siege weapons making their way to Limerick, took a detachment of ~500-600 cavalry to intercept the convoy. Riding out in the dead of night, Sarsfield crossed the River Shannon 15 miles outside of Limerick and surprised the convoy in Ballyneety. They destroyed two of the guns outright and damaged the carriages of the other guns. Ammunition and other supplies were either destroyed or taken by Sarsfield’s party. The men returned triumphantly to Limerick a few days later. William, unable to attack without his siege guns, was forced to wait an additional 10 days for the recovered guns to be transported to Limerick.
Today in Irish History – 10 August:

1316 – Battle of Athenry: Irish rising in support of Edward the Bruce of Scotland.

1636 – The Annals of the Four Masters is completed. The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Annala Rioghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annala na gCeithre Mháistrí) are a chronicle of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the deluge, dated as 2242 years after creation to AD 1616.

1719 – The House of Commons proposes that all unregistered priests in Ireland should be branded on the cheek. The plan is ultimately abandoned.

1848 – Birth of William Michael Harnett (in Clonakilty, Co Cork), an Irish-American painter who practiced a trompe l’oeil (literally, “fool the eye”) style of realistic painting. His still lifes of ordinary objects, arranged on a ledge or hanging from a nail, are painted in such a way that the painting can be mistaken for the objects themselves.

1854 – A statutory provision is made for the establishment of a national gallery of paintings, sculpture and fine arts in Ireland.

1857 – Death of John Wilson Croker, Galway-born politician and writer.

1890 – Death of John Boyle O’Reilly. He was an Irish-born poet and novelist. As a youth in Ireland he was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, for which crime he was transported to Western Australia. After escaping to the United States, he became a prominent spokesperson for Irish sentiment and culture, through his editorship of the Boston newspaper The Pilot, his prolific writing, and his lecture tours.

1886 – Death of Joseph Medlicott Scriven from Seapatrick, Co Down, who wrote the words for What A Friend We Have In Jesus.

1920 – Death of actor James O’Neill, in Kilkenny. Remembered for his portrayal of the Count of Monte Cristo, he was also the father of playwright Eugene O’Neill.

1922 – London IRA members Reginald Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan, who killed H. H. Wilson on 22 June are hanged.

1922 – The Republicans abandon Cork city and burn the barracks they had been holding, including Charles Fort. The National Army takes the city unopposed.

1922 – General Prout’s Free State troops take Clonmel.

1928 – Peter Barry, Fine Gael politician, is born in Co Cork.

1971 – Birth in Co Cork of soccer star Roy Keane, the “human dynamo”.

1975 – Death of Robert Barton. He was an Irish lawyer, soldier, statesman and farmer who participated in the negotiations leading up to the signature of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. His father was Charles William Barton and his mother was Agnes Childers. His wife was Rachel Warren of Boston, daughter of Fiske Warren. His first cousin and close friend was Robert Erskine Childers.

1984 – John Treacy wins a silver medal in the marathon at the LA Olympics.

1998 – Car clamping of illegally parked cars is introduced in Dublin.

1998 – After 26 years on the air, Gay Byrne confirms he will quit his RTÉ morning radio programme at Christmas and will give up the Late Late Show next June.

1998 – After serving 21 years, William Moore, the last member of the terrifying Shankill Butchers Gang to remain behind bars is released, despite a Judge’s recommendation that he should never go free. He was given 14 life sentences for his role in the abduction and murder of 19 innocent Catholics.

1999 – Lakes featured in The Quiet Man are put on the market.

2000 – Ruth-Kelly Walsh from Bray, Co Wicklow wins the special prize for the ‘Most Creative Hat’ in the RDS Ladies Day Competition at the Kerrygold Horse Show.

aug 9-3

 

The defence of Limerick had been successful, allowing the war to continue another year. Unfortunately, the Second Siege of Limerick in August 1691 was less successful for the defenders. The Williamite War ended with the Treaty of Limerick in October 1691.

Photo: Patrick Sarsfield Monument in Limerick
10 August:-

Today in Irish History – 10 August:

1316 – Battle of Athenry: Irish rising in support of Edward the Bruce of Scotland.

1636 – The Annals of the Four Masters is completed. The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Annala Rioghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annala na gCeithre Mháistrí) are a chronicle of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the deluge, dated as 2242 years after creation to AD 1616.

1719 – The House of Commons proposes that all unregistered priests in Ireland should be branded on the cheek. The plan is ultimately abandoned.

1848 – Birth of William Michael Harnett (in Clonakilty, Co Cork), an Irish-American painter who practiced a trompe l’oeil (literally, “fool the eye”) style of realistic painting. His still lifes of ordinary objects, arranged on a ledge or hanging from a nail, are painted in such a way that the painting can be mistaken for the objects themselves.

1854 – A statutory provision is made for the establishment of a national gallery of paintings, sculpture and fine arts in Ireland.

1857 – Death of John Wilson Croker, Galway-born politician and writer.

1890 – Death of John Boyle O’Reilly. He was an Irish-born poet and novelist. As a youth in Ireland he was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, for which crime he was transported to Western Australia. After escaping to the United States, he became a prominent spokesperson for Irish sentiment and culture, through his editorship of the Boston newspaper The Pilot, his prolific writing, and his lecture tours.

1886 – Death of Joseph Medlicott Scriven from Seapatrick, Co Down, who wrote the words for What A Friend We Have In Jesus.

1920 – Death of actor James O’Neill, in Kilkenny. Remembered for his portrayal of the Count of Monte Cristo, he was also the father of playwright Eugene O’Neill.

1922 – London IRA members Reginald Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan, who killed H. H. Wilson on 22 June are hanged.

1922 – The Republicans abandon Cork city and burn the barracks they had been holding, including Charles Fort. The National Army takes the city unopposed.

1922 – General Prout’s Free State troops take Clonmel.

1928 – Peter Barry, Fine Gael politician, is born in Co Cork.

1971 – Birth in Co Cork of soccer star Roy Keane, the “human dynamo”.

1975 – Death of Robert Barton. He was an Irish lawyer, soldier, statesman and farmer who participated in the negotiations leading up to the signature of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. His father was Charles William Barton and his mother was Agnes Childers. His wife was Rachel Warren of Boston, daughter of Fiske Warren. His first cousin and close friend was Robert Erskine Childers.

1984 – John Treacy wins a silver medal in the marathon at the LA Olympics.

1998 – Car clamping of illegally parked cars is introduced in Dublin.

1998 – After 26 years on the air, Gay Byrne confirms he will quit his RTÉ morning radio programme at Christmas and will give up the Late Late Show next June.

1998 – After serving 21 years, William Moore, the last member of the terrifying Shankill Butchers Gang to remain behind bars is released, despite a Judge’s recommendation that he should never go free. He was given 14 life sentences for his role in the abduction and murder of 19 innocent Catholics.

1999 – Lakes featured in The Quiet Man are put on the market.

2000 – Ruth-Kelly Walsh from Bray, Co Wicklow wins the special prize for the ‘Most Creative Hat’ in the RDS Ladies Day Competition at the Kerrygold Horse Show.

aug 10-1

                    Photo: Glendalough, Co Wicklow, Aerial Photography Ireland

Today in Irish History: 10 August 1636 – The Annals of the Four Masters is completed.

Annála Ríoghachta Éireann, The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, better known as the Annals of the Four Masters, is an anthology which covers the medieval period in Ireland, from AM 2242 to AD 1616. They contain records of the High Kings of Ireland as well as provincial kings, chiefs, distinguished families, men of science, poets, saints, abbots and bishops. They chronicle wars, plagues, and the rise and fall of religious organizations and Gaelic tribes in Ireland. Written entirely in Irish, it is the most complete account of Gaelic Ireland to remain.

The Annals were begun on 10 January 1632 in a small Franciscan abbey near the Dowes River in Co Donegal. The chief compiler of the annals was Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh from Ballyshannon. Ó Cléirigh was a trained antiquarian and historian, born around 1590 in Kilbarron Castle. In 1623 he went to Louvain to join the Franciscan Order. He returned to Ireland in 1626 to collect the lives of Irish Saints. It was then that Ó Cléirigh conceived the idea of collecting and transcribing the annals spread throughout Ireland into one continuous doccument. The Annals were compiled during a turbulent time in Ireland’s history, the Plantation of Ulster was in full swing and Catholic religious organisations were under pressure by the authorities. Ó Cléirigh feared the annals of Gaelic history in Ireland would eventually be destroyed.

The patron of the project was Fearghal Ó Gadhra, M.P., a Gaelic lord in Coolavin, Co Sligo. Ó Cléirigh recuited three additional scribs Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire and Peregrine Ó Duibhgeannain. Though only Ó Cléirigh was a Franciscan Friar the group was given the name The Four Friars, Na Ceithre Máistrí in the original Irish. The name was anglicised to The Four Masters and their work assumed that name.

The Annals were completed on this date in 1636. The first translation of the Annals into English was completed by Owen Connellan in 1846, though it only begins in AD 1171. Several years later a translation of the complete Annals was published by John O’Donovan. This translation was funded by a government grant of £1,000 secured by Sir Rowan Hamilton, the then President of the Royal Irish Academy. Several original manuscript copies are held in Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.

The Annals are available online, in Irish and English, from Corpus Electronics Texts Edition:http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/T100005A/

Photo: The Triskle Heads sculpture by Brendan McGloin; Three heads carved in one block of Limestone set upon a sandstone column with a capping stone between, reading the names of the three masters in Irish. The figure represents the Fourth master, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, a monk whom thought of the idea to chronicle the history of Ireland and brought together the three other men to research and compile the Annals of the Four Masters. Located in front of the Bundoran Library, Bundoran, Co Donegal

— in Bundoran, Co Donegal.

aug 10-2
11 August:-

Today in Irish History – 11 August:

In the Liturgical Calendar it is the Feast Day of Saint Attracta (also called Araght, and Naomh Adhracht in Irish), the patron saint of the parish of Tourlestrane, Co. Sligo. Her legend states that she fled from home and took her vows as a nun under Saint Patrick at Coolavin. She then moved to Lough Gara, where she founded a hostel for travellers at a place now called Killaraght in her honour. The hostel survived until 1539. She is reputed to have defeated a dragon that was killing farmers’ livestock. A local well is named after her, as is the new secondary school in Tubbercurry and the parish’s second church in Kilmactigue. She lived in the sixth or seventh century. Local tradition remembers her great healing powers. Her convents were famous for hospitality and charity to the poor. She was a brother of St Connell, who is associated with Conainne.

1691 – A Jacobite force under Patrick Sarsfield, guided by Galloping Hogan, destroys a Williamite siege train at Ballyneety, hampering the siege of Limerick.

1817 – Christopher Augustine Reynolds is born in Dublin. Reynolds was the first Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Australia (1873-1877).

1835 – Henry Grattan Guinness, is born in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

1894 – Dan Breen, nationalist revolutionary and politician, is born in Grange, Donohill, Co Tipperary.

1922 – Liam Lynch, the Anti-Treaty IRA’s Chief of Staff, abandons Fermoy, the last major republican held town. Lynch issues orders that Republican forces are to abandon the policy of holding towns, and orders them to form flying columns and pursue guerrilla warfare. End of the war’s conventional phase.

1922 – A Free State Naval landing takes place at Kenmare. Commandant Tom “Scarteen” O’Connor (formerly local IRA commander) lands unopposed with 200 pro-treaty men and occupies Rathmore and Millstreet. Kerry operations in August have cost the National Army a total of 11 killed and 114 wounded.

1927 – In the General Election, Éamon de Valera’s Fianna Fail party wins 44 seats. Despite originally stating they would not enter Dáil Éireann and take the Oath of Allegiance to the King, Dev reversed policy, declared the oath was an empty formula and proceeded to take their seats in the Irish parliament.

1927 – The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is established to control the Shannon hydro-electric scheme and take over all existing projects for the electrification of Ireland.

1971 – Ballymurphy Massacre: Two days after the introduction of internment without trial in Northern Ireland, 11 people have been killed by British paratroopers in the Nationalist Ballymurphy area of Belfast. Community activists who are still trying to get a neutral inquiry into those terrible two days claim all 11 killed were innocent civilians. Those killed include a Catholic priest Father Hugh Mullan who was helping a wounded parishioner and a mother of eight who was involved in a similar exercise.

1979 – Disaster overtakes the Fastnet Challenge yacht race when the biggest-ever fleet of 303 vessels is caught in a vicious storm. Seventeen people lose their lives.

1998 – Fine Gael warns that many farmers who are at the mercy of the worst harvesting weather for 20 years will have no incomes by Christmas unless the Government adopts a strategy to help them out.

1999 – Last almost-total solar eclipse of the century takes place in Western Europe. Cloud cover in many parts of Ireland spoils the view, but hundreds in Croke Park, Dublin watch the phenomenon under cloudless, blue skies.

2000 – Hugh O’Flaherty’s nomination to the European Investment Bank may be in jeopardy after the bank confirms it has the power to recommend someone else for the job.

2000 – The Royal Ulster Constabulary welcomes deal which will allow a low-key policing operation for a loyalist march at the weekend in Derry.

2003 – Model plane goes transatlantic after “The Spirit of Butts Farm” – named after its testing site – lands safely in County Galway, 38 hours after it took off from Canada. The balsa wood and mylar plane flies 3,039 kilometres (1,888 miles). US, Canadian and Irish engineers work together using satellite navigation and an autopilot system overseen by engineers and radio operators using laptop computers.

aug 11-1

                        Photo: Doolin, Co Clare, George Karbus Photography

Today in Irish History: 11 August 1894 – Dan Breen, nationalist revolutionary and politician, is born in Grange, Donohill, Co Tipperary.

One of the most famous fighters in the fight for Irish freedom, Dan Breen is born in Co. Tipperary. He was an iconic IRA figure in both the War of Independence and also the Civil War.

Breen was involved in what is accepted as the first action of the War of Independence 1919-1921 when with Sean Treacy and others, he ambushed and killed two RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) constables James McDonnell and Patrick O’Connell, both of them Catholic and reputedly popular in the community in what has become known as the Soloheadbeg Ambush (Co Tipperary.)

In his memoir, My Fight for Irish Freedom Breen outlines what happened at the ambush:

‘Hands up!’ The cry came from our men who spoke as if with one voice. ‘Hands up!’ In answer to our challenge they raised their rifles, and with military precision held them at the ready. They were Irishmen, too, and would die rather than surrender. We renewed the demand for surrender. We would have preferred to avoid bloodshed; but they were inflexible. Further appeal was useless. It was a matter of our lives or theirs. We took aim. The two policemen fell, mortally wounded.”

The action was unauthorized by Irish leadership, but shortly after all, British armed forces and policemen were deemed legitimate targets.

The British government offered a reward £1,000 for Breen and later raised it to £10,000. Breen writes “Nobody ever tried to earn it with the exception of a few members of the RIC. They failed; many of them never made the second attempt.”

Breen was seriously wounded on a number of occasions during the conflict. Following the Irish Civil War where he fought on the Anti-Treaty side, he was elected to Dail Eireann in Jan 1927, lost his seat later that year, but went on to represent Tipperary from 1932 through 1965.

My Fight for Irish Freedom is an interesting memoir about the escapades of a man who like many of his compatriots could often be chillingly brutal in a brutal war. The following interview shows the mindset of the IRA during the War of Independence.

Dan Breen speaking about the Irish War of Independence: https://youtu.be/ty_U6U8iiTg

aug 11-2Photo: IRA commander Dan Breen, with his bride, Brighid Malone, a member of Cumann na mBan from Dublin. Breen met Malone in Dublin, where she helped nurse him while he was recovering from a bullet wound. Seán Hogan was best man and Aine Malone was the bridesmaid.Their wedding day was 12 June 1921, just a month before the truce that would bring an end to the Irish War of Independence.

12 August:-

Today in Irish History – 12 August:

1646 – Archbishop Giovanni Rinuccini, papal nuncio to the Irish Confederate Catholics, condemns their adherence to Ormond’s peace terms for failing to fully recognise Catholicism.

1652 – ‘Act for the Settling of Ireland’ allows for the transplantation to Clare or Connacht of proprietors whose land is confiscated by Cromwell to meet promises to adventurers and soldiers; also known as the “To Hell or Connacht” Act.

1796 – Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin receives its first prisoners.

1804 – Birth of James Whiteside, orator and Lord Chief Justice, in Delgany, Co Wicklow.

1821 – George IV begins his visit to Ireland; he is received enthusiastically by O’Connell and others.

1822 – Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, commits suicide by cutting his throat with a penknife.

1852 – Birth of Knights of Columbus founder Father Michael McGivney to Irish immigrants Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney in Waterbury, Connecticut.

1870 – Sir Hubert Gough, soldier and participant in ‘Curragh mutiny’ of 1914, is born in Gurteen, Co Waterford.

1884 – Birth of Arthur Nicholas Whistler Colahan, perhaps more often recognised by the inmates of Leicester’s Welford Road prison than by the millions who purchased his songs, either in sheet music form or as recordings. He was a quiet man who was often homesick for his beloved Galway Bay. These feelings led him to write one of the most popular songs of all time, and the best-selling song of 1953. Sadly, by the time Colahan’s music was selling in the High Street he had died and had been buried in an unmarked grave, back in his Irish birthplace.

1898 – Irish Local Government Act sets up elective county and district councils.

1899 – First issue of James Connolly’s Workers Republic.

1914 – Death of John Holland, from Liscannor, Co Clare, designer of the first submarine.

1920 – Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, arrested by British; he immediately goes on hunger strike.

1922 – Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Fein, dies of a cerebral haemorrhage.

1969 – As the annual Apprentice Boys parade passed close to the Bogside area of Derry serious rioting erupted. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), using armoured cars and water cannons, entered the Bogside, in an attempt to end the rioting. The RUC were closely followed and supported by a loyalist crowd. The residents of the Bogside forced the police and the loyalists back out of the area. The RUC used CS gas to again enter the Bogside area. [This period of conflict between the RUC and Bogside (and Creggan) residents was to become known as the ‘Battle of the Bogside’ and lasted for two days.]

1969 – British troops are deployed in Northern Ireland after riots in Derry and Belfast.

1998 – Freak twister ravages Martinstown in Co Antrim; no injuries or fatalities are reported.

1999 – Memorial service is held for the victims of the Omagh bomb attack.

2001 – Playing to a capacity crowd at the Manchester Evening News Arena, U2 kicks off their European tour with a plea for peace in Northern Ireland.

2001 – Loyalist protesters block a main road in north Belfast to prevent the republican Wolf Tone flute band from joining a major march commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1981 IRA hunger strikes.

aug 12-1

                                              Photo: Hill of Tara, Co Meath

Today in Irish History: 12 August 1922 – Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin, dies of a cerebral haemorrhage.

Arthur Griffith was one of the most important players in Irish Independence. Griffith founded Sinn Féin in 1905 as an Irish nationalist party whose objective was “to establish in Ireland’s capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation”.

It was not until after the 1916 Rising that Sinn Féin became a major force in Irish politics winning a landslide majority of Irish seats in the 1918 General Election. Refusing to take their seats in the House of Commons, the party held the first Dáil on 21 January 1919, proclaiming itself the rightful parliament of an Irish Republic. During the vicious War of Independence and in the absence of de Valera in America, Griffith served as Acting President (sometimes in Jail). Griffith led the Irish truce negotiations in London accompanied by Michael Collins signing the Treaty in December 1921. Acrimonious debates in Dáil Éireann let to a walkout by de Valera and anti-Treatyites.

He died at the age of 50, ten days before Michael Collins’ assassination in Co Cork. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery four days later.

Arthur Griffith: http://youtu.be/DNZ3tkmlQHc

aug 12-2

Today in Irish History: 12 August 1920 – Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork was arrested by the British.

MacSwiney began on a hunger strike in protest and was joined by ten other prisoners. IRA officers Liam Lynch and Sean Hegarty were also arrested, but mistakenly released by the British.

“It’s not those who inflict the most, but those that endure the most, that shall prevail.” –Terence MacSwiney

Following his court-martial in 1920, Terence MacSwiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork, greeted his sentence of two years in jail by declaring: ‘I have decided the term of my imprisonment: I shall be free, alive or dead, within a month.’ Four days earlier, British troops had stormed the City Hall in Cork and arrested MacSwiney on charges of possessing an RIC cipher and documents likely to cause disaffection to his Majesty. He immediately began a hunger strike that sparked riots on the streets of Barcelona, caused workers to down tools on the New York waterfront, and prompted mass demonstrations from Buenos Aires to Boston. Enthralled by MacSwiney breaking all previous records for a prisoner going without food, the international press afforded the case so much coverage that Ireland’s War of Independence was suddenly parachuted onto the world stage, and King George V considered over-ruling Prime Minister Lloyd George and enduring a constitutional crisis. As his family kept daily vigil around his bed in Brixton Prison, watching his strength ebb away hour by hour, MacSwiney’s fast had Michael Collins preparing reprisal assassinations.

aug 12-3

Today in Irish History – 13 August:

In the liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of St. Muredach.

1649 – Oliver Cromwell sets sail for Ireland and the commencement of one the most vicious military campaigns inflicted on Ireland. History can be written in so many different ways. In A Compendium of Irish Biography, Alfred Webb writes “On his arrival, Carlyle tells us “he was received with all possible demonstrations of joy; the great guns echoing forth their welcome, and the acclamations of the people resounding in every street. The Lord-Lieutenant being come into the city — where the concourse of people was very great, they all flocking to see him of whom before they had heard so much — at a convenient place he made a stand, . . and with his hat in his hand, made a speech to them, . . which was entertained with great applause.” (It is right to note that Catholics were not then permitted to reside in the city.)”

1689 – The Duke of Schomberg lands at Groomsport with his 10,000 strong Williamite army.

1819 – Birth of Sir George Gabriel Stokes, mathematician and physicist, in Skreen, Co Sligo.

1846 – Birth of Otto Jaffe in Hamburg. Otto was the first non-Protestant to hold the office of Lord Mayor of Belfast — he was Jewish.

1857 – Birth of Mary Ellen “Ella” Quinlan – Mother of Eugene O’Neill. Ella married Kilkenny born actor James O’Neill in 1877. Eugene was born one year later. In O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical tome Long Day’s Journey into Night, his mother is represented by a lonely and disillusioned Mrs. Tyrone.

1881 – First issue of United Ireland, Parnellite weekly.

1887 – Special committee appointed to investigate Parnell’s ties to Phoenix Park murders.

1898 – The first issue of Workers’ Republic.

1947 – The Health Act extends the powers of county councils and provides maternity care.

1958 – Birth of Feargal Sharkey, an Irish singer, who first found fame as the lead vocalist of pop punk band The Undertones, famous for the hit single “Teenage Kicks”. Since the end of his recording career he has worked in the business side of music and held several leadership roles in the music industry.

1971 – Four days after the introduction of internment, Joe Cahill, Commanding Officer of the IRA in Belfast holds an intriguing press conference.http://youtu.be/dK7E56wm56Y

1974 – Kate O’Brien, Irish writer, dies.

1975 – Bayardo Bar attack: PIRA volunteers carried out a gun and bomb attack on a pub in Belfast frequented by UVF commanders. Four Protestant civilians and one UVF member were killed.

1999 – A new set of 30p stamps is issued by An Post to honour the Gaelic Football team of the Millennium. It depicts the members of the An Post-GAA official Gaelic Football Team of the Millennium as chosen by a panel of experts.

2000 – The RUC promises an increased profile at sectarian flashpoints in Belfast after a large scale attack on Catholic houses further heightens tensions.

Photo: Dysert O’Dea Castle, Co Clare

13 August:-

Today in Irish History – 13 August:

In the liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of St. Muredach.

1649 – Oliver Cromwell sets sail for Ireland and the commencement of one the most vicious military campaigns inflicted on Ireland. History can be written in so many different ways. In A Compendium of Irish Biography, Alfred Webb writes “On his arrival, Carlyle tells us “he was received with all possible demonstrations of joy; the great guns echoing forth their welcome, and the acclamations of the people resounding in every street. The Lord-Lieutenant being come into the city — where the concourse of people was very great, they all flocking to see him of whom before they had heard so much — at a convenient place he made a stand, . . and with his hat in his hand, made a speech to them, . . which was entertained with great applause.” (It is right to note that Catholics were not then permitted to reside in the city.)”

1689 – The Duke of Schomberg lands at Groomsport with his 10,000 strong Williamite army.

1819 – Birth of Sir George Gabriel Stokes, mathematician and physicist, in Skreen, Co Sligo.

1846 – Birth of Otto Jaffe in Hamburg. Otto was the first non-Protestant to hold the office of Lord Mayor of Belfast — he was Jewish.

1857 – Birth of Mary Ellen “Ella” Quinlan – Mother of Eugene O’Neill. Ella married Kilkenny born actor James O’Neill in 1877. Eugene was born one year later. In O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical tome Long Day’s Journey into Night, his mother is represented by a lonely and disillusioned Mrs. Tyrone.

1881 – First issue of United Ireland, Parnellite weekly.

1887 – Special committee appointed to investigate Parnell’s ties to Phoenix Park murders.

1898 – The first issue of Workers’ Republic.

1947 – The Health Act extends the powers of county councils and provides maternity care.

1958 – Birth of Feargal Sharkey, an Irish singer, who first found fame as the lead vocalist of pop punk band The Undertones, famous for the hit single “Teenage Kicks”. Since the end of his recording career he has worked in the business side of music and held several leadership roles in the music industry.

1971 – Four days after the introduction of internment, Joe Cahill, Commanding Officer of the IRA in Belfast holds an intriguing press conference.http://youtu.be/dK7E56wm56Y

1974 – Kate O’Brien, Irish writer, dies.

1975 – Bayardo Bar attack: PIRA volunteers carried out a gun and bomb attack on a pub in Belfast frequented by UVF commanders. Four Protestant civilians and one UVF member were killed.

1999 – A new set of 30p stamps is issued by An Post to honour the Gaelic Football team of the Millennium. It depicts the members of the An Post-GAA official Gaelic Football Team of the Millennium as chosen by a panel of experts.

2000 – The RUC promises an increased profile at sectarian flashpoints in Belfast after a large scale attack on Catholic houses further heightens tensions.

Photo: Dysert O’Dea Castle, Co Clare

13 August:-

Today in Irish History – 13 August:

In the liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of St. Muredach.

1649 – Oliver Cromwell sets sail for Ireland and the commencement of one the most vicious military campaigns inflicted on Ireland. History can be written in so many different ways. In A Compendium of Irish Biography, Alfred Webb writes “On his arrival, Carlyle tells us “he was received with all possible demonstrations of joy; the great guns echoing forth their welcome, and the acclamations of the people resounding in every street. The Lord-Lieutenant being come into the city — where the concourse of people was very great, they all flocking to see him of whom before they had heard so much — at a convenient place he made a stand, . . and with his hat in his hand, made a speech to them, . . which was entertained with great applause.” (It is right to note that Catholics were not then permitted to reside in the city.)”

1689 – The Duke of Schomberg lands at Groomsport with his 10,000 strong Williamite army.

1819 – Birth of Sir George Gabriel Stokes, mathematician and physicist, in Skreen, Co Sligo.

1846 – Birth of Otto Jaffe in Hamburg. Otto was the first non-Protestant to hold the office of Lord Mayor of Belfast — he was Jewish.

1857 – Birth of Mary Ellen “Ella” Quinlan – Mother of Eugene O’Neill. Ella married Kilkenny born actor James O’Neill in 1877. Eugene was born one year later. In O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical tome Long Day’s Journey into Night, his mother is represented by a lonely and disillusioned Mrs. Tyrone.

1881 – First issue of United Ireland, Parnellite weekly.

1887 – Special committee appointed to investigate Parnell’s ties to Phoenix Park murders.

1898 – The first issue of Workers’ Republic.

1947 – The Health Act extends the powers of county councils and provides maternity care.

1958 – Birth of Feargal Sharkey, an Irish singer, who first found fame as the lead vocalist of pop punk band The Undertones, famous for the hit single “Teenage Kicks”. Since the end of his recording career he has worked in the business side of music and held several leadership roles in the music industry.

1971 – Four days after the introduction of internment, Joe Cahill, Commanding Officer of the IRA in Belfast holds an intriguing press conference.http://youtu.be/dK7E56wm56Y

1974 – Kate O’Brien, Irish writer, dies.

1975 – Bayardo Bar attack: PIRA volunteers carried out a gun and bomb attack on a pub in Belfast frequented by UVF commanders. Four Protestant civilians and one UVF member were killed.

1999 – A new set of 30p stamps is issued by An Post to honour the Gaelic Football team of the Millennium. It depicts the members of the An Post-GAA official Gaelic Football Team of the Millennium as chosen by a panel of experts.

2000 – The RUC promises an increased profile at sectarian flashpoints in Belfast after a large scale attack on Catholic houses further heightens tensions.

Photo: Dysert O’Dea Castle, Co Clare

14 August:-

Today in Irish History – 14 August:

1598 – Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford – Irish forces under Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeat an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.

1691 – Death of Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, the youngest of sixteen children of Sir William Talbot, 1st Baronet, of Carton, and his wife, Alison Netterville was descended from an old Norman family that had settled in Leinster in the twelfth century. Like most Old English families in Ireland, the Talbots had adopted the customs of the Irish and had, like the Irish, adhered to the Catholic faith. He married Katherine Baynton in 1669. They had two daughters, Katherine and Charlotte. Baynton died in 1679. Talbot later married Frances Jennings, sister of Sarah Jennings (the future Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough). He was also known by the nickname “Mad Dick” Talbot.

1778 – Gardiner’s Catholic Relief Act is enacted and grants rights of leasing and inheritance to those who have taken the oath of allegiance: the first rolling back of the penal laws. The Papists Act 1778 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (18 George III c. 60) and was the first Act for Catholic Relief. Later in 1778 It was also enacted by the Irish parliament. Before the Act, a number of “Penal laws” had been enacted in Britain and Ireland, which varied between the jurisdictions from time to time but effectively excluded Catholics from public life. By this Act, an oath was imposed, which besides a declaration of loyalty to the reigning sovereign, contained an abjuration of the Pretender, and of certain doctrines attributed to Catholics, as that excommunicated princes may lawfully be murdered, that no faith should be kept with heretics, and that the Pope has temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction in this realm. Those taking this oath were exempted from some of the provisions of the Popery Act 1698. The section as to taking and prosecuting priests were repealed, as also the penalty of perpetual imprisonment for keeping a school. Catholics were also enabled to inherit and purchase land, nor was a Protestant heir any longer empowered to enter and enjoy the estate of his Catholic kinsman. The passing of this act was the occasion of the Gordon Riots (1780) in which the violence of the mob was especially directed against Lord Mansfield who had balked at various prosecutions under the statutes now repealed. This Act was repealed by the Promissory Oaths Act 1871 (c.48).

1784 – Nathaniel Hone, painter and member of the Royal Academy at the time of its founding in 1768, dies.

1814 – Sister Anthony (b. Mary O’Connell in Limerick) was an Irish-American Roman Catholic nun. Her work with the wounded during the American Civil War and health care in general caused her to be known as “the angel of the battlefield” and “the Florence Nightingale of America.”

1850 – The Irish Franchise Act is enacted and has the effect of increasing the electorate from 45,000 to 164,000.

1890 – Death of Knights of Columbus founder Father Michael McGivney. McGivney was born to Irish immigrants Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1852.

1903 – The Land Purchase Act (Wyndham Act) is enacted and allows for entire estates to be purchased by the occupying tenantry, subsidized by the state.

1907 – H. Montgomery Hyde, author and unionist MP, is born in Belfast.

1968 – Golfer Darren Clark is born in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

1969 – North of Ireland riots of August 1969: in response to events in Derry, Irish nationalists held protests throughout the North of Ireland. Some of these became violent. In Belfast, loyalists responded by attacking nationalist districts. Rioting also erupted in Newry, Armagh, Crossmaglen, Dungannon, Coalisland and Dungiven. Eight people were shot dead and at least 133 were treated for gunshot wounds. Scores of houses and businesses were burnt-out, most of them owned by Catholics. Thousands of families, mostly Catholics, were forced to flee their homes and refugee camps were set up in the Republic. The British Army was deployed on the streets of Northern Ireland, which marked the beginning of Operation Banner.

1982 – Death of Patrick Magee, a Northern Irish actor best known for his collaborations with Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, as well as his appearances in horror films and in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.

1992 – Boxer Michael Carruth wins an Olympic Gold medal in Barcelona.

1998 – The Family Mediation Service, which enables separating couples to reach agreement on a range of issues relating to their break-up, is to be expanded nationwide.

1998 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pledges that the Stormont Agreement relating to the release of prisoners convicted of killing gardaí has to be honoured by the Government.

1998 – “The Sovereign Nation”, a publication of the 32-County Sovereignty Movement is launched in Dundalk.

2000 – The Irish Locomotive Driver’s Association rejects a bid to end the two-month-old rail dispute.

2001 – Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid strongly criticizes the IRA after they withdraw a plan to put their weapons beyond use.

2002 – Emer McGrath from Ballynew in Ballinrobe on the Mayo/Galway border becomes the country’s top student with eight Leaving Certificate A1s and one A2.

aug 14-1

                                        Photo: Bromore Cliffs, Co Kerry

Today in Irish History: 14 August 1969 – The British Army was deployed on the streets of Northern Ireland, which marked the beginning of Operation Banner.

Following on from the Peoples Democracy march of 1st January 1969 from Belfast to Derry and the subsequent rioting in the Bogside and other towns in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and its supporters were openlycondemned by the Government of Northern Ireland as being manipulated by communists, republicans and socialists.

The government openly supported the so called loyal institutions when they demanded the right to parade through towns and villages where the population was overwhelmingly Catholic whilst at the same time it ordered the Royal Ulster Constabulary to robustly put an end to demonstrations for civil rights and social reform. This sectarian police force needed no prompting and in April of 1969 some of its members entered the home of Derryman Sammy Devenny, trashing it and savagely beating Devenny and his daughters so badly that Devenny never recovered from his injuries and died on 17th July.

Again in July, the Orange Order decided to walk through the Catholic village of Dungiven and during the inevitable rioting the RUC brutally beat Francis McCloskey, a 67 year old Catholic resident of the village so badly that he too died of his injuries. Francis would become the first Catholic civilian killed in Northern Ireland’s troubles. The people of Derry had had enough. They were not only in a different camp from the government; they also despised the local city council which was controlled by the unionists due to the worst case of gerrymandering of electoral wards ever experienced in the northern statelet.

The nationalist people were well aware of the fact that on 12th August, the Apprentice Boys of Derry, a loyal order, would demand and receive permission to walk through the city. Part of their route would take them along the western wall of the city directly overlooking the Catholic Bogside.

In anticipation of a confrontation taking place, local republicans decided to form the Derry Citizens Defence Association (DCDA) with the intention of maintaining peace and defending the Catholic areas of the city, particularly the Bogside which was the usual target of the RUC.

Many people and activist groups immediately joined the new association. The inevitable did happen when loyalists and nationalist youths exchanged insults and then stones at Waterloo Place. The RUC advanced with many loyalists coming behind them, pushing nationalists up William Street towards the Bogside. However, this time things were different.

The people of the Bogside, with their brothers and sisters from the rest of the city, and further afield, where there to stop them. The Catholics were armed with stones and petrol bombs, they raised barricades, the rooftops of the “high flats” were commandeered by the Bogside youths and from this advantage point they rained petrol bombs and missiles upon the RUC invaders.

For their part the RUC were using CS gas canisters which they used to flood the district but a soft wind would blow the gas back towards them. The police were poorly equipped with shields that were much too small and their uniforms were not flame proof causing many of them to suffer severe burns from the Molotov cocktails.

Police reinforcements were sent in from all over the north but to no avail. The bogsiders would not yield an inch and fought them to exhaustion all the time broadcasting to the world at large on Radio Free Derry.

On the 13th of August, the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Jack Lynch sent Irish troops to the border areas to help provide medical aid and shelter for the wounded. This caused the nationalists to hope for and the Unionists to fear, an incursion into the Bogside by Irish troops.

The northern government next decided to bring in the notorious B-Specials to replenish the RUC. This was an act of pouring petrol on the fire. This force was hated by the nationalists of all hues. At the same time the RUC had opened fire on a crowd of nationalists standing guard over St. Eugene’s Cathedral. Two men were wounded.

By the 14th of August fighting was beginning to break out in other parts of the north as young nationalists tried to divert RUC reinforcements away from Derry. In Belfast, Orange pogromists attacked the Catholic Bombay Street district burning homes and displacing over 1,500 people. On the 14th August, James Chichester Clarke, the Northern Irish Prime Minister was forced to request the British Prime Minister to send in the British Army. Within hours a company of the Prince of Wales Own Regiment entered the city separating the warring sides. On the main they were welcomed by the nationalists, and were even greeted with delight and cups of tea by a population that was in fear of its life.

It is reckoned that approximately 350 RUC men were wounded to some extent during the riots, of the residents there are no figures as many went over the border for treatment.

In the rest of the 6 counties, Belfast suffered the most with many having lost their homes and 5 Catholics and 2 Protestants were killed. In the aftermath of the battle of the Bogside, the nationalist people would see the despised corporation fall, they would also take a pride in themselves knowing that they had stood up against discrimination and deprivation.

The British Government stated the introduction of troops to the streets of Northern Ireland was a limited operation. Things would change in a very short period of time and it would be almost forty years before troops were finally taken off the streets.

Bernadette Devlin, no troops in bogside:https://youtu.be/m9h_qnHhvKE

aug 14-2

                   Photo: British troops enter Belfast, photo credit: Paul Hill
15 August:-

Today in Irish History – 15 August:

In the liturgical calendar, today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is also the feast day of St. Daga, 6th century Bishop of Iniskin, Dundalk.

1599 – Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambush English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.

1649 – Oliver Cromwell arrives in Ireland as Commander-in-Chief and Lord Lieutenant with an army of 20,000, a huge artillery train and a large navy.

1715 – On this date, Frederick Hamilton, former MP for Donegal, writes to George I that although the county is well affected, ‘The great scarcity of armes in ye country is beyond anything I could have imagin’d till about three days ago that I had occasion to send some men after seven Tories that were hunted out of Fermanagh, and in the barony of Kilmakrenan, I could not get thirty men tolerably armed tho’ I believe the country will be able to array seven thousand men’.

1755 – Molesworth Phillips, sailor and companion of Captain James Cook, is born in Swords, Co Dublin.

1803 – Edmund Rice opens a school for poor boys in Waterford – precursor of the schools run by the Christian Brothers.

1843 – Daniel O’Connell holds meetings for Repeal of the Union, attended by hundreds of thousands, at Trim and the Hill of Tara.

1880 – Five people drown in Derrybeg, Co Donegal when a chapel is flooded during Mass.

1882 – Unveiling of O’Connell monument in Dublin.

1919 – Birth of Benedict Kiely, novelist, short story-writer and critic, in Dromore, Co Down.

1917 – Birth of Jack Lynch, Taoiseach, in Co Cork.

1922 – Free State troops take Clifden in Co Galway without resistance. The Republicans abandon the town and burn the local radio transmitter station.

1923 – Éamon de Valera arrested in Ennis, when he tried to make an election speech. He is imprisoned for over a year at Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin.

1965 – Galway Cathedral consecrated by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston and Papal Legate. The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas (Ard-Eaglais Mhaighdean na Deastógála agus Naomh Nioclás), commonly known as Galway Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Galway and is one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the city.

1998 – Massive bomb explodes in Omagh shopping centre; 29 people are killed and hundreds injured.

1999 – The Portmarnock Hotel in Dublin wins the Powers World Irish Coffee Making Championship for the second successive year.

1999 – Mobs in Derry attack police, loot businesses and torch buildings.

1999 – Founder member of the SDLP, Paddy Devlin, dies in Belfast’s Mater Hospital after a long illness.

aug 15-1

                      Photo: Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) in Lough Derg, Co Clare

Today in Irish History: 15 August 1998 – Massive bomb explodes in Omagh shopping centre; 29 people are killed and hundreds injured.

An IRA bomb explodes in Omagh, Co Tyrone killing 29 people. As a result of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the people of Northern Ireland thought they had seen the end of violence. However, a tiny breakaway group of IRA dissidents who called themselves The Real IRA thought otherwise and continued the campaign to rid Northern Ireland of “British occupation.” The events of Omagh were a microcosm of how both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries operated over the previous thirty years. A tiny minority intent on destruction provided poor telephoned bomb warnings to the authorities. In the confusion and it appears general laxness of residents and police authorities, the victims were unknowingly shepherded close to the car that contained 500 lbs of explosives. The victims never had a chance.

It has been alleged that the British, Irish and American intelligence agencies had information which could have prevented the bombing; most of which came from double agents inside the Real IRA. This information was not given to the local police; the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). In 2008 it was revealed that British intelligence agency GCHQ was monitoring conversations between the bombers as the bomb was being driven into Omagh.

A 2001 report by the Police Ombudsman said that the RUC’s Special Branch failed to act on prior warnings and slammed the RUC’s investigation of the bombing. The RUC has obtained circumstantial and coincidental evidence against some suspects, but it has not come up with anything to convict anyone of the bombing. Colm Murphy was tried, convicted, and then released after it was revealed that the Gardaí forged interview notes used in the case. Murphy’s nephew Sean Hoey was also tried and found not guilty. In June 2009, the victims’ families won a GB£1.6 million civil action against four defendants. In April 2014, Seamus Daly was charged with the murders of those killed.

Moment of Omagh Bomb Explosion – Audio:http://youtu.be/CPWBYYL_wzA

An article from February of this year on Seamus Daly facing prosecution: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2958021/Bricklayer-accused-Omagh-bombing-set-face-prosecution-trial-dubbed-biggest-British-criminal-history-defence-lawyers.html

aug 15-2Photo collage: Left photo: Omagh Memorial at the bomb site, Top right photo: The red Vauxhall Cavalier containing the bomb; this photograph was taken shortly before the explosion; the camera was found afterwards in the rubble (the Spanish man and child seen in the photo both survived), Bottom right photo: Aftermath

16 August:-

Today in Irish History – 16 August:

1793 – The Convention Act bans representative bodies set up to campaign for a change in the law, i.e. putative rivals to the parliament. The Convention Act (1793) was aimed at preventing the recurrence of events like the Convention of the Volunteers in 1782 where armed groups (of Protestants) from various parts of Ireland assembled in Dublin and were able to overawe the Government at a time when there were few troops in the country. Contrary to what has been sometimes stated, this Act was not aimed at delegates to the Catholic Committee in 1793 but at delegates to meetings of the newly-formed United Irishmen, in particular a proposed National Assembly of United Irishmen at Athlone.

1824 – Death of Charles Thomson (b. Co Derry) was a Patriot leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the secretary of the Continental Congress (1774-1789) throughout its existence.

1832 – An Act is passed which allows for tithe payments to be commuted.

1878 – The Intermediate Education Act grants female students the right to participate in public examinations and to enter into careers and professions.

1879 – National Land League of Mayo is founded.

1882 – Charles Stewart Parnell becomes a Freeman of the city of Dublin.

1892 – National Literary Society is founded.

1917 – Death of Jesuit Chaplin Father Willie Doyle (b. Dalkey, Co Dublin, 1873) at the Battle of Passchendaele. Doyle appears to have been a remarkable man respected by not just the Catholic troops he served with but also the Protestant Northern Irish soldiers many of whom despised anything to do with the Catholic faith.

1920 – Court-martial of Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork for possession of seditious articles and documents. Sentenced to two years imprisonment in Brixton Prison, England, he started a hunger strike. He would die on 25 October after efforts to forcibly feed him went wrong.

1920 – British forces burned buildings in Templemore as a reprisal for IRA actions.

1921 – The first Dáil Éireann is dissolved and the second Dáil convenes.

1922 – 300 men of the Anti-Treaty IRA 4th Northern Division under Frank Aiken attack Dundalk. They use two mines to breach the walls of the barracks and temporarily take over the town. Five Free State private soldiers and one Commandant, Byrne in the attack on the barracks and another soldier is killed in the town centre. There are fifteen wounded Free State troops. Two Republicans are killed, accidentally by one of their own mines and thirty wounded. About 240 Republican prisoners are freed from the prison and 400 rifles are taken. However, Aiken does not try to hold the town and, while in possession of it, calls for a truce in a meeting in the town square.

1981 – U2 plays its first show ever at Slane Castle outside Dublin, and its only Irish show of the year.

1982 – Irish Attorney General Patrick Connolly resigns after Malcolm McArthur, wanted for (and later convicted of) murder is found to be his house guest. Connolly was completely unaware of McArthur’s activities. The fallout from the incident led to one of the most famous acronyms in Irish politics. The much reviled (and correspondingly much loved) Taoiseach Charles Haughey described the incident as “a bizarre happening, an unprecedented situation, a grotesque situation, an almost unbelievable mischance.” Conor Cruise O’Brien, one of Haughey’s political opponents who despised the most corrupt Taoiseach in Irish history (this is not to suggest any others who held the office were corrupt) coined the phrase GUBU – Grotesque, Unprecedented, Bizarre, Unbelievable to describe not just what happened but Haughey’s overall carry on.

1995 – More than 100 people are evacuated from The Kitchen, the basement nightclub below the Clarence Hotel in Dublin after a fire is spotted on the roof. No injuries or fatalities are reported.

1997 – Death of Gerard McLarnon, an Irish playwright and actor. His plays have been performed throughout the world, and he collaborated with, amongst others, John Tavener, Laurence Olivier and Tyrone Guthrie. Some plays he wrote: ” Victory Morning” – ” Brothers Karamazov” – ” The Idiot” – ” The Wrestler’s Honeymoon” – ” Unhallowed” – ” The Bonefire” – ” The Rise and Fall of Sammy Posnett” – ” The Saviour” – ” The Trial of Joan of Arc”.

1997 – On the 20th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, U2’s PopMart show in Vienna, Austria is filled with tributes and references to the King.

2001 – Dozens of wild birds, including swans, mallard and moorhens are rounded up by animal welfare workers after a major oil spill in the River Liffey at Palmerstown in Co. Dublin.

2008 – Death of Ronnie Drew. He was an Irish singer and folk musician who achieved international fame during a fifty year career recording with The Dubliners. He was born in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. He was best known for his long beard and his voice, which was once described by Nathan Joseph as “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door”.

2012 – Death of James Philip Vincent Kelly. He was an Irish footballer who played at both professional and international levels as a full back.

aug 16-1

                   Photo: Ferns Castle, Ferns, Co Wexford, Copter View Photography

Today in Irish History: 16 August 2008 – Death of Ronnie Drew. He was an Irish singer and folk musician who achieved international fame during a fifty year career recording with The Dubliners.

Ronnie Drew was born in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He was best known for his long beard and his voice, which was once described by Nathan Joseph as “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door”.

For more than 30 years, the distinctive voice of the Irish folk band the Dubliners belonged to Ronnie Drew, who died at aged 73. His gravelly voice, described by Mary Kenny as “proper sawdust Dublin”, was the essential ingredient to the Dubliners’ two 1967 chart successes, Seven Drunken Nights and The Black Velvet Band. But there was far more to the Dubliners than those hits. With Ronnie on lead vocals, and the combination of guitars, banjo, fiddle and whistle, they were one of the key sounds of Irish folk.

While they might have lacked the subtlety of later bands such as Planxty and Clannad, they were immensely popular and proved an inspiration for the likes of the Pogues. And the boisterous stage act, long hair, bushy beards and hard sound belied their musical talents. Drew’s voice was instantly recognisable on classic Dubliners’ songs such as the traditional Finnegan’s Wake and Dicey Riley.

Drew was born in Dún Laoghaire in south Co Dublin. After leaving school, he realised that he was not cut out for a standard nine-to-five job, and, in the 1950s, lived for three years in Spain, where he taught English, learned Spanish and studied flamenco guitar. Returning to Dublin in the early 1960s, he met actor John Molloy, who invited Ronnie to work with him at the Gate Theatre as an actor, singer and guitarist.

On Friday nights, Drew would meet Molloy at O’Donoghue’s pub to get paid. By this time, tenor banjo player Barney McKenna had joined the cast, and one night, they asked if they could play a few tunes in the bar. They were joined by Luke Kelly, returned from England with a deep interest in folk, Ciaran Bourke and later John Sheahan. The Dubliners evolved from these sessions, which established O’Donoghue’s reputation as a centre for traditional music.

Their first name, the Ronnie Drew Group, gave way to the Dubliners, after the short story collection by James Joyce. Kelly used his contacts in Britain to secure a booking at the 1963 Edinburgh Festival. There they met Nathan Joseph, head of Transatlantic Records, and following BBC television appearances, they released their first album in 1964.

Back in Dublin, they recorded a live album, broadcast on Radio Telefís éireann, and performed in Finnegan’s Wakes, a series of shows at the Gate. Switching to the Major Minor label proved to be the turning point. In 1967, RTÉ banned Seven Drunken Nights because of its salacious story, but the pirate station Radio Caroline took it up and an unlikely hit followed, reaching number five in Britain. Appearances on Top of the Pops ensued. During the following two years, Drew’s voice led the Dubliners through five Major Minor albums and several singles, including The Black Velvet Band. European and US tours followed, as did appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and – alongside Bob Hope – on David Frost’s show.

Moving to EMI, they recorded the highly successful At Home with the Dubliners (1969). Occasional theatre work continued, and, in 1972, Drew played the Hero in Brendan Behan’s play Richard’s Cork Leg at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and the Royal Court in London.

After Bourke was forced to leave the Dubliners following a brain haemorrhage in 1974, Drew also left the band: he and Bourke were close and Drew was missing his family. He returned to the band in 1979, and their next album, Together Again, was a more sombre affair, with Ronnie and Kelly sharing the singing.

In the 1980s, there was a resurgence in the popularity of the Dubliners, especially after the Pogues duetted with them on the Dubliners’ classic, The Irish Rover. Drew was also performing and recording outside the band, and, in 1995, he left the Dubliners to go solo again, recording with Christy Moore and the Pogues.

When it was known that Drew was suffering from throat cancer, Robert Hunter of Grateful Dead collaborated with Bono and The Edge from U2 to write The Ballad of Ronnie Drew. Such was the affection and respect in which Drew was held, the song, recorded by U2, Kila and the cream of the Irish folk scene, including the Dubliners, members of the Corrs, Christy Moore and the Pogues’ Shane MacGowan, was broadcast simultaneously on all Irish radio stations on 19 February 2008. The proceeds benefited the Irish Cancer Society.

Drew’s wife, Deirdre, died in 2007.

Ronnie Drew, folk singer, born September 16 1934; died August 16 2008

Ballad of Ronnie Drew: https://youtu.be/vGNxz7zeU10

aug 16-2
17 August:-

Today in Irish History – 17 August:

1779 – William Corbet, United Irishman and soldier, is born in Ballythomas, Co Cork.

1786 – Birth of Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and son of an Irishman.

1791 – Birth of Richard Lalor Sheil, dramatist and politician; first Catholic privy councillor, in Drumdowney, Co Kilkenny.

1846 – Lord John Russell’s Whig administration decides not to interfere with internal or export markets for food.

1878 – Birth of Oliver St. John Gogarty, writer, and the model for the ‘stately, plump Buck Mulligan’ in Joyce’s “Ulysses”.

1920 – Birth of Maureen O’Hara (b. Maureen Fitzsimons), an Irish film actress and singer. The famously red-headed O’Hara has been noted for playing fiercely passionate heroines with a highly sensible attitude. She often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne. Her autobiography, ‘Tis Herself, was published in 2004.

1922 – RIC is disbanded to be replaced by the Garda Síochána.

1922 – Free State troops under Dan Hogan re-occupy Dundalk unopposed. One civilian is killed in the operation.

1922 – Two unarmed National Army medics are shot dead by a sniper at Inisfallen, Kerry.

1923 – Voting in Irish general election, 1923 takes place. Cumann na nGaedheal win 63 seats; Sinn Féin 44; Independents 16; Farmers 15; Labour 14; and Independent Labour 1. About 415,00 first preference votes were given to Pro-Treatyites and 286,000 to Anti-Treatyites. (64% of the electorate voted.) Some of the Anti-Treaty members elected are still imprisoned.

1951 – Death of Winston Dugan, 1st Baron Dugan of Victoria. Born in Co Offaly in 1876 he enlisted in the British Army in 1896 serving in South Africa during the Boer War.

1978 – Thousands gather in Carnsore Point to protest against nuclear power.

1999 – Mandate, the largest union representing bar and retail workers, demands the Millennium New Year’s Eve off for their workers.

1999 – Emir Holohan Doyle is crowned Miss Ireland.

1999 – Junior doctors threaten a period of industrial action throughout the country.

2000 – The last RUC passing out parade takes place in Belfast before the force’s controversial name change to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

2000 – President Mary McAleese leads mourners at the funeral of former Fine Gael Minister John Boland in St Patrick’s Church, Skerries, Co Dublin.

2000 – Beo 2000, the inaugural festival of Irish traditional music, takes place at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

2001 – General SemiConductor announces that its plant in Macroom, Co Cork will close; 670 jobs are lost.

2012 – Death of Lou Martin. He was a piano and organ player from Belfast, most famous for his work with the London-based band Killing Floor, and with fellow Irish musician Rory Gallagher.

aug 17-1

 

Photo: Rossbeigh Hill, Glenbeigh, Co Kerry

Today in Irish History: 17 August 1920 – Birth of Maureen O’Hara, an Irish film actress and singer. The famously red-headed O’Hara has been noted for playing fiercely passionate heroines with a highly sensible attitude.

“Above all else, deep in my soul, I’m a tough Irishwoman.” –Maureen O’Hara

Perhaps the most famous redhead in the world, actress Maureen O’Hara (b. Maureen Fitzsimons) is born in Dublin. O’Hara is probably most famous for her role in John Ford’s The Quiet Man where she played opposite John Wayne.

In her memoir ‘Tis Herself: An Autobiography, she writes, “I have often said that The Quiet Man is my personal favourite of all the pictures I have made. It is the one I am most proud of, and I tend to be very protective of it.” The wonderfully entertaining movie is an over the top stereotypical portrayal of Ireland that existed in John Ford’s imagination. It can also be claimed that it is probably the best advertising and promotional vehicle ever of Ireland.

Other movies include Miracle on 34th Street, Rio Grande, The Long Gray Line and Our Man in Havana.

In 2011, O’Hara was formally inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame at an event in New Ross, Co Wexford. She was also named president of the Universal Film & Festival Organization (UFFO) which promotes a code of conduct for film festivals and the film industry.

In 2014, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected O’Hara to receive the Academy’s Honorary Oscar, to be presented at the annual Governor’s Awards in November. O’Hara becomes only the second actress, after Myrna Loy in 1991, to receive a Honorary Oscar without having previously been nominated for an Oscar in a competitive category.

aug 17-2
18 August:-

Today in Irish History – 18 August:

1579 – Death of James Fitzgerald, rebel leader.

1728 – James Caulfeild, 4th Viscount and 1st Earl of Charlemont; soldier and nationalist, is born in Dublin.

1814 – Birth of David Moriarty, Catholic Bishop of Kerry and opponent of nationalism, in Kilcarah, Co Kerry.

1886 – Speech by John E. Redmond at the Irish National Convention in Chicago (18 August 1886): Let no man desecrate that principle (of Irish Freedom) by giving it the ignoble name of hatred of England. Race hatred is at best an unreasoning passion. I, for one, believe in the brotherhood of nations, and bitter as the memory is of past wrongs and present injustice inflicted upon our people by our alien rulers, I assert the principle underlying our movement is not the principle of revenge for the past, but of justice for the future. When a question of that principle arises there can be no such thing as compromise. The Irish leader who would propose to compromise the national claims of Ireland, who would even incline for one second to accept as a settlement of our demand any concession short of the unquestioned recognition of that nationality which has come down to us sanctified by the blood and tears of centuries, would be false to Ireland’s history and would forfeit all claims upon your confidence or support. Such a contingency can never arise, for the man who would be traitor enough to propose such a course would find himself no longer a leader. No man can barter away the honour of a nation. The one great principle of any settlement of the Irish question must be the recognition of the divine right of Irishmen, and Irishmen alone, to rule Ireland. This is the principle in support of which you are assembled today; this is the principle which guides our movement in Ireland. But, consistently with that principle, we believe it is possible to bring about a settlement honourable to England and Ireland alike, whereby the wrongs and miseries of the past may be forgotten; whereby the chapter of English wrongs and of Irish resistance may be closed; and whereby a future of freedom and of amity between the two nations may be inaugurated.

1920 – IRA volunteers led by Sean MacEoin raided the British army barracks in Longford town and Ballymahon to obtain arms.

1922 – A lorry of Free State soldiers is ambushed between Clonmel and Cahir, Co Tipperary. Three National Army troops are killed and seven wounded.

1922 – Anti-Treaty fighters attack the Free State barracks in Monaghan town. They are driven off after a half hour gun battle. One National Army lieutenant is killed and three Republicans are wounded. The Republicans also raid the post office in the town, and shoot dead a postman. They get away with £900.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA men attack a Free State patrol on Longford Street, Dublin, one civilian is killed and three more wounded.

1923 – A Free State soldier is accidentally shot dead by his comrades, firing in the air to celbrate the election reulsts in Ballybay, Monaghan.

1924 – The First Walter Scott Medal for Valour awarded to Garda James Mulroy. Mulroy was accosted by two armed men who told him he had five minutes to live. PoliceHistory.com relates what happened next. Guard Mulroy waited for his opportunity sprang upon the man with the revolver, tackled him and held him but was shot and seriously wounded by the other man who fired his single barrelled shotgun who then proceeded to beat Guard Mulroy on the head with the shotgun. The struggle ended when the stock of the shotgun separated from the barrel and Guard Mulroy grabbed the barrel with one hand while still holding the other man with the loaded revolver with the other. Guard Mulroy disarmed the man with the revolver while the other ran off. He the told the remaining man to go home. Guard Mulroy fell unconscious and later awoke to find himself in the ditch with the revolver in one hand and the barrel in the other. He returned to his station at 5 a.m. got his wounds dressed and then went out with another Guard and arrested one of the men.

1961 – Death of playwright, humorist and writer Lynn Doyle.

1986 – Chris de Burgh reaches no. 1 in British and Irish charts with Lady In Red.

1994 – Death of Martin Cahill. He was a prominent Irish criminal from Dublin. Cahill generated a certain notoriety in the media, which referred to him by the sobriquet “The General”. The name was also used by the media in order to discuss Cahill’s activities while avoiding legal problems with libel. During his lifetime, Cahill took particular care to hide his face from the media and was rarely photographed.

2000 – Guinness agrees to suspend the closure of its Dundalk plant and plans to axe 90 jobs at the Harp Brewery.

2000 – Thousands flock to Kilrush in Co Clare for the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s only concertina-based festival which is held every year in memory of Elizabeth Crotty.

2002 – In a bid to redress the huge population imbalance, it is announced that the Government is to scrap tough planning laws banning the building of single houses in rural Ireland.

2004 – The Dublin Port Tunnel excavation works are completed.

aug 18-1

              Photo: Glencar Waterfall, Co Leitrim, John Quinn Photography

Today in Irish History: 18 August 1994 – Death of Martin Cahill. He was a prominent Irish criminal from Dublin. Cahill generated a certain notoriety in the media, which referred to him by the sobriquet “The General”.

Cahill generated a certain notoriety in the media, which referred to him by the sobriquet “The General”. The name was also used by the media to discuss Cahill’s activities while avoiding legal problems with libel. During his lifetime, Cahill took particular care to hide his face from the media; he would spread the fingers of one hand and cover his face.

He was born in a slum district in Grenville Street in Dublin’s north inner city, the second of twelve surviving children of Patrick Cahill, an alcoholic lighthouse-keeper, and Agnes Sheehan. By the time he was in national school, Martin and his older brother John were stealing food to supplement the family’s income. In 1960, the family was moved to Captain’s Road, Crumlin as part of the Dublin slum clearances. Martin was sent to a Christian Brothers School (CBS) on the same road where he lived but was soon playing truant and committing frequent burglaries with his brothers. At 15, he attempted to join the Royal Navy, but was rejected, allegedly after offering to break into houses for them and because he had a criminal record. At age 16, he was convicted of two burglaries and sentenced to an industrial school run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at Daingean, Co Offaly. After his release, he met and married Frances Lawless, a girl from Rathmines, where his family was now living.

With his brothers, he continued to commit multiple burglaries in the affluent neighbourhoods nearby, at one point even robbing the Garda Síochána depot for confiscated firearms. The Cahill brothers soon turned to armed robbery, and by the early 1970s Gardaí at the Dublin Central Detective Unit (CDU) had identified the Cahill brothers as major criminals, when they teamed up with the notorious Dunne gang in Crumlin to rob security vans conveying cash from banks.

In 1978, the Dublin Corporation began preparing to demolish Hollyfield Buildings. Cahill, then serving a four-year suspended prison sentence, fought through the courts to prevent his neighbourhood’s destruction. Even after the tenements were demolished, he continued to live in a pitched tent on the site. Finally, Ben Briscoe, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, paid a visit to his tent and persuaded him to move into a new house in a more upscale district of Rathmines.

Cahill and his gang famously stole gold and diamonds with a value of over IR£2 million (€2.55 million) from O’Connor’s jewellers in Harolds Cross (1983); the jewellers subsequently was forced to close, with the loss of more than one hundred jobs. He was also involved in stealing some of the world’s most valuable paintings from Russborough House (1986) and shaking down restaurants and hot dog vendors in Dublin’s night club district.

Fearing the increasing role that forensic science could play in detecting his robberies, in May 1982 Cahill had a bomb placed under the car of chief forensic scientist, Dr James O’Donovan, partly disabling him.

In February 1988, a Today Tonight report identified Cahill as the man behind the O’Donovan bomb plot, the Beit robbery and the robbery of O’Connors jewellery depot. As a result, PD leader Dessie O’Malley raised in the Dáil the revelations that Cahill owned such expensive property in Cowper Downs, despite having never worked, remarking that Cahill must have needed the extra wall space to “hang his artwork by the Dutch masters.”

As a result, the Gardaí set up a Special Surveillance Unit (SSU), nicknamed “Tango Squad”, to specifically target and monitor Cahill’s gang on a permanent, 24/7 basis. Cahill was given the callsign Tango-1. The SSU also placed a direct presence on the estate at Cowper Downs, positioning a surveillance unit in the home of developer John Sisk, whose house backed onto Cahill’s. Following the arrest of two of Cahill’s associates in an attempted robbery, and resentful of the large Gardaí presence near his home, Cahill retaliated by ordering his henchman to slash the tyres of 197 cars on the night of 26 February 1988 (including 90 cars belonging to his neighbours in Cowper Downs). Cahill returned home to find his own Mercedes-Benz smashed.

In early 1993, John “The Coach” Traynor met his boss Cahill to provide him with inside information about the inner workings of the National Irish Bank (NIB) head office and branch at College Green, Dublin. Traynor told Cahill that the bank regularly held more than €10 million in cash in the building. The plan was to abduct NIB CEO Jim Lacey, his wife and four children and take them to an isolated hiding place. There, they would be held with fellow gang member Jo Jo Kavanagh, acting as a “hostage”, who would frighten Lacey into handing over every penny stored in the bank’s vaults.

On 1 November 1993, Cahill’s gang seized Lacey and his wife outside his home in Blackrock. Whilst they were held at Lacey’s home, Kavanagh was brought in and tied up, telling the family that he had been abducted two weeks before. On 2 November, Kavanagh drove Lacey to College Green to collect the ransom money, with Lacey eventually withdrawing IR£300,000 from an accessible cash machine. Kavanagh then drove the pair and the money to the local Gardaí station, where he told them the pair had been kidnapped and forced to take part in a robbery.

With a ransom note requesting payment of €10 million in cash, the Gardaí began investigating. They quickly found that Kavanagh had claimed child allowance during his two-week “capture”, and so arrested him. Cahill then planned with Kavanagh to “raid” Kavanagh’s home, and show intent to kill the Lacey family by shooting Kavanagh in the leg. Kavanagh was then to call the Irish newspapers from his hospital bed, and claim he was a victim of the Lacey kidnapping gang. However, the plan failed, and the gang were arrested.

With all gang members from the Lacey kidnapping released on bail, on 18 August 1994, Cahill left the house at which he had been staying at Swan Grove and began driving to a local video store to return a borrowed copy of A Bronx Tale. Upon reaching a road junction (where Oxford Road meets Charleston Road) he was repeatedly shot in the face and upper torso and died almost instantly. The gunman, who was armed with a .357 Magnum revolver, jumped on a motorbike and disappeared from the scene.

There are a number of theories about who murdered Martin Cahill and why.

Within hours of Cahill’s murder, the Provisional IRA claimed responsibility in a press release. The reasons cited were Cahill’s alleged involvement with a Portadown unit of the Ulster Volunteer Force. The unit in question had attempted a bomb attack on a south Dublin pub which was hosting a Sinn Féin fund-raiser on 21 May 1994. The UVF operatives were halted by the doorman Martin ‘Doco’ Doherty. In the ensuing struggle Doherty, who the IRA subsequently announced was a volunteer in their Dublin Brigade, was shot dead. The Provisionals further alleged that Cahill had been involved in selling the stolen Beit paintings to the UVF gang led by Billy Wright. The UVF then fenced the paintings for money, which they used to buy guns from South Africa. This act supposedly sealed Cahill’s fate, and put him at the top of an IRA hit list. In a later statement, the IRA said that it was Cahill’s involvement with and assistance to pro-British death squads which forced us to act.

Another theory surfaced after the publication of Paul Williams’ The General, which claims to have insights from the Garda officers who investigated Cahill’s murder. Reputedly, two of Cahill’s underlings, John Gilligan and John Traynor, had put together a massive drug trafficking ring. When Cahill demanded a cut of the profits, the Gardaí believe that Traynor and Gilligan approached the IRA and suggested that Cahill was importing heroin, a drug that the IRA despised and were trying to prevent from being sold in Dublin. Reputedly this, and Cahill’s past dealings with the Ulster loyalists, gave the IRA reason to order his assassination. Further incentive was provided by Gilligan, who reputedly paid the Provisional IRA a considerable sum in exchange for Cahill’s assassination.

Frances Cahill’s memoir, Martin Cahill, My Father, alleges the General detested and steered clear of the drug trade.

After a Roman Catholic requiem mass, Martin Cahill was buried in consecrated ground at Mount Jerome Cemetery. In 2001, his gravestone was vandalised and broken in two.

Following the 1996 murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, the Dáil set up the Criminal Assets Bureau, to seize assets of those who were both convicted of crimes, and also seemingly had no obvious means of income. The CAB was set up to focus mainly on high-profile drug dealers, but had an open approach to all convicted criminals. Cahill denied that he was ever involved in drug dealing, however his brother Peter was convicted of supplying heroin in the 1980s.

In 1984, Cahill had bought his growing family a house on the Cowper Downs development, on the southside of Dublin, paying IR£80,000 cash despite having no paid formal employment since he left his first and only job in 1969. On 1 May 2005, under an agreement with his widow Frances, the CAB seized and subsequently sold the property.

In 1998 John Boorman directed a biographical film titled The General, starring Brendan Gleeson as Cahill. The movie won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie was based on the book by Irish crime journalist, Paul Williams, who is also the crime editor of the Irish tabloid the News of the World. Boorman himself once had his home burgled by Cahill, who stole the gold record which Boorman had won for the Deliverance soundtrack. This incident is alluded to in the film.

The 2003 film Veronica Guerin implies that John Gilligan ordered Cahill’s murder. In the film Gilligan and Traynor are not portrayed as Cahill’s subordinates. Instead, Gilligan appears as a rival mob boss, and Traynor as a lower level associate.

The film Ordinary Decent Criminal, starring Kevin Spacey, is loosely inspired by the General.

In 2004, a book written by Matthew Hart was released entitled The Irish Game: A True Story of Crime and Art, which depicted the story of the Russborough House heist in 1986 and Cahill’s involvement.

aug 18-2
19 August:-

Today in Irish History – 19 August:

1504 – Battle of Knockdoe (also known as The Battle of Axe Hill). After Ulick Burke of Clanricard seizes Galway city, Edward Fitzgerald, the Earl of Kildare, goes to Connacht and defeats Burke at Knockdoe. This is the largest battle ever fought between Irishmen, with 10,000 participants and 2,000 fatalities; however, most of the fighting is done by gall óglach – foreign warriors – or gallowglas. As a reward, Fitzgerald is made a Knight of the Garter.

1792 – Edward Hincks, orientalist, is born in Cork.

1839 – Act passed for the “improvement of navigation on the Shannon”.

1876 – The ship Catalpa arrives in the U.S. with Irish Fenian prisoners rescued from Australia.

1887 – Birth of poet Francis Ledwidge in Slane, Co Meath.

1907 – A memorial arch is dedicated at St. Stephens Green Dublin in honour of the Irish soldiers who died fighting for “King and country” in the Boer war. Thousands of Irish fought in the Boer War for the British Army. And as always with the Irish, Irish fought against Irish thousands of miles from home. The executed 1916 leader John MacBride mustered an Irish Brigade on the Boer side which engaged the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Inniskilling Fusiliers at the Battle of Colenso and other incidents.

1922 – There is a four hour gun battle on the border near Dundalk between pro and Anti-Treaty fighters. The republicans eventually retreat across the border into Northern Ireland where they cannot be followed. Elsewhere, there are renewed attacks on Free State troops in Dublin and the railway bridge at Carrick on Shannon is blown up and destroyed by Republicans.

1922 – In Kerry, a Free State column is ambushed near Listowel, one soldier is shot dead.

1922 – In Tipperary, a National Army soldier is shot dead when visiting his family.

1930 – Birth of Francis “Frank” McCourt (in Brooklyn, NY) was an American-Irish teacher and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, best known as the author of Angela’s Ashes. His brothers Malachy McCourt and Alphie McCourt are also autobiographical writers. In the mid-1980s Francis and Malachy created the stage play A Couple of Blaguards, a two-man show about their lives and experiences.

1941 – Death of John Thomas Browne (b. 23 March 1845 in Ballylanders, Co Limerick) was an Irish Catholic Mayor of Houston, Texas. He was instrumental in starting the Houston Fire Department as a paid force. He served in that post from 1892 to 1896 and then in the Texas House of Representatives from 1897 to 1899 and again in 1907. He married Mollie Bergin on September 13, 1871 and was also known as “The Fighting Irishman” and “Honest John”. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus. He died of pneumonia and was buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.

1995 – After 26 years of shows by some of Ireland’s top artists, Dublin’s Baggot Inn hosts its final live concert performance.

1998 – David Trimble demands that the British government introduce anti-terrorist laws equal to those planned by the Republic.

1998 – Sonia O’Sullivan wins the 10,000m at the European championships in Budapest.

1999 – The Connemara Pony Fair in Clifden- the west of Ireland’s most prestigious horse festival – is marred by brawls between two traveller groups. The violence is a result of a long running feud between the McDonagh and Ward families.

2001 – The remains of Aer Lingus chairman Bernie Cahill, who is believed to have drowned after an accident while attending his boat, are received by Rev. Fr. Michael Nolan at St. Mary’s Church in Schull.

aug 19-1Photo: Valentia Island, one of Ireland’s most westerly points lying off the Iveragh Peninsula in the south-west of Co Kerry

Today in Irish History: 19 August 1876 – The ship Catalpa arrives in the U.S. with Irish Fenian prisoners rescued from Australia.

The “Fremantle Six” were Irish political prisoners who made an audacious escape from the notorious British prison in West Australia aboard the U.S. whaling ship “Catalpa” in 1876.

Captain Anthony and the Catalpa arrive at Rockingham beach near Fremantle to rendezvouswith the escaped prisoners; after a fierce confrontation with the Georgette, an armed British steamer, the Catalpa and the Fremantle Six finally head for America; four months later they arrive in New York to a hero’s welcome.

The whaler Catalpa arrives in the United States, four months after it helped six Irish rebels escape from life imprisonment in Freemantle Prison. Eight years previously, an English convict ship the Hougoumont arrived in Fremantle carrying almost three hundred prisoners including six former British soldiers arrested and convicted of treason. The six Irishmen James Wilson, Robert Cranston, Thomas Hassatt, Martin Hogan, Thomas Darragh, and Michael Harrington were Fenians and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In 1873, James Wilson, one of the “Fremantle Six” prisoners, wrote a letter to John Devoy, who had recruited him to join the Fenians pleading for help. Devoy put in motion a successful plan that became legendary in Irish Nationalist circles. He recruited George Anthony, captain of the American whaler Catalpa, who embarks on a secret mission to rescue the Fremantle Six.

The Catalpa arrived at Rockingham beach near Fremantle to rendezvous with the escaped prisoners. The ship was not allowed escape without a fight. After a after a fierce confrontation with an armed British steamer, Anthony raised the American flag after which the British did not fire on the Catalpa. It would take four months for the six ex-prisoners to land in America to a thunderous reception.

RTÉ documentary on the Catalpa rescue:http://youtu.be/lFmVhJBzqkw

The Wolf Tones sing The Catalpa Rescue:http://youtu.be/vpxKMdXAMro

aug 19-2

           Photo: Catalpa Rescue Memorial in Rockingham, Western Australia
20 August:-

Today in Irish History – 20 August:

535 – Death of Mochta of Louth; he was a disciple of St. Patrick. Also known as Maucteus, he was, like Patrick, a native of Britain. The Annals of Ulster date his death to 535, which points to him being considerably younger than Patrick, who had died in 493. He is known to have written at least one letter, apparently in Latin, the beginning of which is quoted in his obituary. However neither this nor any other compositions of his are known to have survived. “Dormitatio Muchti discipuli Patricii .xiii. Kl. Septembris. Sic ipse scripsit in epistola sua: Mauchteus peccator, prespiter, sancti Patrici discipulus, in Domino salutem/The falling alseep of Mochta, disciple of Patrick, on the 13th of the Kalends of September. Thus he himself wrote in his epistle: ‘Mauchteus, a sinner, priest, disciple of St Patrick, sends greetings in the Lord.” However neither the rest of this letter nor any other compositions of his have survived.

1778 – Birth of Bernardo O’Higgins, Chilean independence leader and founding father of Chile in Chillán about 250 miles south of the country’s capital, Santiago. O’Higgins was the illegitimate son of Sligo born Ambrose Bernard O’Higgins, who became governor of Chile and later viceroy of Peru. O’Higgins senior had emigrated initially to Spain before settling in Chile. O’Higgins was of Irish and Basque descent.

1860 – An expedition led by Robert O’Hara Burke, an Irish policeman, leaves Melbourne with the intention of making the first European crossing of Australia. They will make the crossing, but Burke and fellow-explorer, William Wills, will die on the return journey.

1872 – Sectarian rioting in Belfast which began on 15 August continues through this date.

1876 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood Supreme Council withdraws its support from the Home Rule movement.

1880 – Death of Ellen Kean, one of the greatest actresses of her time.

1919 – Motion passed by Dáil that an Oath of Allegiance (to the Republic) should be taken by all members and officials of Dáil Éireann, and all Irish Volunteers. O’Malley (1990) says that with this oath the Irish Volunteers became the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

1922 – A party of seven Free State troops is ambushed in a car heading from Liscarrol to Kanturk, Cork. One National Army officer is killed, two others wounded and the remainder surrendered with their arms.

1922 – A lorry of Free State soldiers is ambushed at Blessington, Wicklow. One soldier is killed and five are wounded.

1927 – The Currency Act establishes a separate currency for the Irish Free State.

1949 – Birth of Thin Lizzy lead singer, Phil Lynott.

1979 – Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats reach no. 1 in the British charts with I Don’t Like Mondays.

1981 – Twenty-seven-year-old Michael “Mickey” Devine, from the Creggan in Derry dies on the 60th day of his hunger strike. He was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strikers and he was the last of the group to give their lives in order to retain their status as political prisoners.

1988 – Ballygawley Bus Bombing: Eight British Army soldiers are killed and 28 wounded when their bus is hit by a Provisional Irish Republican Army roadside bomb in Co Tyrone.

1999 – The main square in Tralee rocks to the Grand Old Man of Soul, James Brown, as the 41st International Rose Ball kicks off in the new Festival Dome.

2000 – Teenage heartthrobs, Westlife, make their first appearance in Tralee. More than ten thousand fans attend the free, open air concert.

2002 – Postal deliveries in small communities across the country are delayed again on the second day of industrial action by members of the Irish Postmasters Union.

aug 20-1Photo: Silver Strand, Malinbeg, Glencolmcille, Co Donegal

Today in Irish History: 20 August 1949 – Birth of Thin Lizzy lead singer, Phil Lynott.

Irish rock star, bassist, singer and founder of Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott is born in England to single mom Philomena Lynott. At about age four, Lynott moved to Dublin to live with his maternal grandmother. At a time when Dublin was a very homogeneous white society, Lynott did suffer some racial prejudice. Stillin his teens, he played with Skid Row, (the Irish band featuring Gary Moore, Brush Shiels, Noel Bridgeman). He went on to have worldwide success with Thin Lizzy.

The band’s first major hit was a rock version of the traditional Irish song Whiskey in the Jar, later covered by Metallica who credit Lynott and Lizzy for much of their early motivation. Thin Lizzy is probably best known for The Boys are Back in Town. U2 frontman Bono says of Lynott “If lyrical and musical ability has to be matched with showmanship, attitude, style, if that’s your version of rock ’n’ roll, there’s no way past Phil Lynott. He’s at the top of the tree.” Lynott and Lizzy were also a major influence on Metallica who often play a version of Whiskey in the Jar at concerts.

When Thin Lizzy split in 1984, Lynott had already released two light-selling solo efforts, 1980′s ‘Solo in Soho’ and 1982′s ‘The Philip Lynott Album.’ His solo composition ‘Yellow Pearl’ was used as the theme song for the weekly British television show ‘Top Of The Pops’ from 1981-86, and he also collaborated with Lizzy’s Gary Moore on 1979′s ‘Parisienne Walkways’ and 1985′s ‘Out In The Fields.’ But Lynott seemed to be slowly slipping into obscurity as that fateful Christmas Day approached in ’85.

Lynott’s two young daughters, Sara and Cathleen, were at his home when he collapsed. His estranged wife rushed over to help, and ultimately took Lynott to the hospital where he died. Some three hundred mourners attended a memorial service held on 9 Jan 1986. He was buried in Dublin, where he had been raised by his grandmother.

In 2005, a life-size bronze statue of Lynott was unveiled on Harry Street, off Grafton Street in Dublin. The ceremony was attended by Lynott’s mother, and former band members Gary Moore, Eric Bell, Brian Robertson, Brian Downey, Scott Gorham and Darren Wharton, who performed live. His grave in St Fintan’s Cemetery in Sutton, northeast Dublin, is regularly visited by family, friends and fans.

As well as reissues of Thin Lizzy material, Lynott’s solo work has also seen retrospective releases. In April 2007, the 1996 film The Rocker: A Portrait of Phil Lynott, which consisted mainly of archive footage, was released on DVD. In August 2010, Yellow Pearl was released. This is a collection of songs from Lynott’s solo albums, B-sides and album tracks.

Thin Lizzy, The Boys Are Back In Town:http://youtu.be/quyB8PMTD3o

aug 20-2

                                             Photo credit: Denis O’Regan

Today in Irish History: 20 August 1919 – Motion passed by Dáil that an Oath of Allegiance should be taken by all members and officials of Dáil Éireann, and all Irish Volunteers.

Ernie O’Malley says that with this oath the Irish Volunteers became the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

At a meeting of Dáil Éireann (the Irish Parliament not recognised by Britain), Secretary of Defence, Cathal Brugha called for all TDs (Members of Parliament) to swear allegiance to the new parliament.

Every person and every one of those bodies undermentioned must swear allegiance to the Irish Republic and to the Dáil:

1. The Deputies.

2. The Irish Volunteers.

3. The Officers and Clerks to the Dáil.

4. Any other body or individual who in the opinion of the Dáil should take the same Oath.”

The proposed oath read:

“I, A.B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I do not and shall not yield a voluntary support to any pretended Government, authority or power within Ireland hostile and inimical thereto, and I do further swear (or affirm) that to the best of my knowledge and ability I will support and defend the Irish Republic and the Government of the Irish Republic, which is Dáil Éireann, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, so help me, God.”

aug 20-3

Today in Irish History: 20 August 1981 – Twenty-seven-year-old Michael “Mickey” Devine, from the Creggan in Derry dies on the 60th day of his hunger strike.

Fuar siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann.

Mickey Devine was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strikers and he was the last of the group to give their lives in order to retain their status as political prisoners.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mickey Devine, from the Creggan in Derry city, was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strike to the death. Mickey Devine took over as O/C of the INLA blanket men in March when the then O/C, Patsy O’Hara, joined the hunger strike but he retained this leadership post when he joined the hunger strike himself.

He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on 20 June 1977, and immediately embarked on the blanket protest.

On Sunday, 21 June 1981, he completed his fourth year on the blanket, and the following day he joined Joe McDonnell, Kieran Doherty, Kevin Lynch, Martin Hurson, Thomas McElwee and Paddy Quinn on hunger strike. He became the seventh man in a weekly build-up from a four-strong hunger strike team to eight-strong. He was moved to the prison hospital on Wednesday, 15 July, his twenty fourth day on hunger strike.

Mickey died at 7.50 am on Thursday, 20 August, as nationalist voters in Fermanagh/South Tyrone were beginning to make their way to the polling booths to elect Owen Carron, a member of parliament for the constituency, in a demonstration – for the second time in less than five months – of their support for the prisoners’ demands.

http://irishrepublican.weebly.com/michael-devine.html

aug 20-4
22 August:-

Today in Irish History – 22 August:

565 – St. Columba reports seeing a monster in Loch Ness, Scotland.

1755 – Birth of General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert. He was a French soldier, a participant in the French Revolution, who led a failed invasion of Ireland to assist Irish rebels in 1798.

1791 – Theobald Wolfe Tone publishes “An argument on behalf of the Catholics of Ireland”.

1798 – Birth of Richard Robert Madden (b. Dublin) was an Irish doctor, writer, abolitionist and historian of the United Irishmen.

1798 – A French force of 1,019 men under General Humbert lands at Killala, Co Mayo.

1846 – John Keegan Casey, Fenian, poet and writer of “Rising of the Moon” is born near Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

1850 – First Catholic Synod in Ireland since the Middle Ages in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Paul Cullen summons the synod which runs from this date through September 10.

1881 – Second Gladstone Land Act introduces the ‘three Fs’ – fair rent, fixity of tenure, free sale – and sets up the Land Commission.

1889 – Birth in Belfast of Seán McEntee, Fianna Fáil politician.

1918 – Dublin-born WWI ace Dennis Latimer shot down. A Bristol Fighter pilot and the highest scoring ace in 20 Squadron, Latimer shot down 28 enemy aircraft between March and August of 1918. On this date, he and his observer, Lieutenant T.C. Noel, were shot down near Westroosebeke by a member of Jasta 7. Latimer was captured, Noel was killed.

1920 – IRA forces from East Mayo, led by Sean Corcoran and Sean Walsh captured the RIC barracks in Ballyvarey, Co Mayo. Arms and ammunition were taken.

1920 – RIC Detective Swanzy was shot dead by Cork IRA volunteers while leaving Church in Lisburn Co Antrim. Swanzy had been blamed by an inquest jury for the killing of Cork Mayor Thomas MacCurtain. Catholic residential areas of Lisburn were burned in revenge by local loyalists. Several people were later prosecuted for the burnings. Loyalists attack Catholic areas of Belfast in reprisal. A total of 33 people died over the next ten days in sectarian rioting and shooting in the city.

1922 – Two National Army soldiers are killed and three wounded in an ambush at Redmondstown, County Kilkenny on the road between Clonmel and Kilkenny. Free State commandant Frank Thornton is also badly wounded in the incident. Three other National Army officers had been captured by the irregulars in the same spot the previous night.

1922 – A Free State soldier is killed in an ambush of a convoy near Tralee.

1922 – Michael Collins is killed in an ambush. On the last day of his life, he set out from Cork in a convoy that passed through Bandon, Clonakilty, and Rosscarbery on its way to Skibbereen. He stopped at Woodfield, and there in the Four Walls, the pub situated across the road from the house where his mother had been born, he stood his family and escort to the local brew – Clonakilty Wrastler. On the return trip they again passed through Bandon. Michael Collins had only twenty minutes more to live. Around eight o’clock, his convoy was ambushed at a place known as Beal na mBláth – the mouth of flowers. Only one man was killed –Michael Collins. It is thought that Irregulars did the shooting, but some say that it might have been his own men. To this day, there is controversy about what actually happened.

1933 – The National Guard is banned.

1954 – Birth of Jimmy Barry Murphy, hurler and Gaelic footballer, in Cork.

1966 – The Munster & Leinster, Provincial and Royal Banks merge to form Allied Irish Banks.

1977 – Cardinal Tomas Ó Fiaich becomes the 112th successor to St. Patrick as Primate of All Ireland.

1998 – The republican splinter group INLA calls for a total and unconditional ceasefire and says it has instructed all units to desist from the “armed struggle”.

1999 – Yann Reynard Goulet – “The Fox” – Breton patriot and Irish Republican dies in Ireland.

2000 – Prominent loyalist Johnny ‘‘Mad Dog’’ Adair is sent back to prison after Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson suspends his early release license.

2002 – Caroline Corr, drummer with Irish pop band The Corrs, marries Frank Woods on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

2002 – U2’s “Elevation 2001: Live From Boston” picks up the “Best Music Release DVD” award at the 5th DVD Awards in Hollywood.

2010 – Finance Minister Brian Lenihan steps onto the podium and into history as the first Fianna Fáil minister to deliver the keynote speech at the annual Michael Collins commemoration in Béal na mBláth.

aug 22-1

                    Photo: Michael Collins grave site, Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin
23 August:-

Today in Irish History – 23 August:

In the liturgical calendar, it is the feast day of St Eogan.

1170 – Strongbow, a henchman of Henry II, arrives in Waterford at the behest of Dermot McMurrough, an event described in the Annals of Ulster as “the beginning of the woes of Ireland”.

1742 – Birth of Walter Hussey (Burgh), lawyer, politician and orator.

1749 – Birth of John FitzGibbon, 1st Earl of Clare PC (Ire) (b. near Dublin), was the son of John FitzGibbon and his wife Isabella Grove, daughter of John Grove, of Ballyhimmock, Co Cork. FitzGibbon, later known as Earl of Clare or Lord Clare, was Attorney-General for Ireland in 1783, then Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1789, (in which capacity he was first promoted to the Irish peerage). He was a controversial figure in Irish history, being described variously as a Protestant hardliner, a staunch anti-Catholic, and an early supporter of Union with England (which finally happened shortly before his death). He is said to have been an early opponent of measures for Catholic political relief (meaning the removal of some or all legal disabilities against Catholics) in both Ireland and Great Britain, and may have been the first to suggest to George III that the King would violate his coronation oath if he consented to the admission of Catholics to Parliament.

1798 – Frenchman General Humbert proclaims at Ballina, Co Mayo, “Union, liberty, the Irish Republic”. The Irish Republic more commonly referred to as the Republic of Connacht.

1825 – Death of Michael Dwyer. He was a Society of the United Irishmen leader in the 1798 rebellion. He later fought a guerilla campaign against the British Army in the Wicklow Mountains from 1798-1803. Dwyer was born in Camera, Co Wicklow. In 1784 the family moved to a farm at Eadesown in the Glen of Imaal. Dwyer was a cousin of Anne Devlin who would later achieve fame for her loyalty to the rebel cause following the suppression of Robert Emmet’s rebellion.

1887 – The Land Act gives courts the power to revise and fix rents.

1908 – Birth in Dublin of Mervyn Wall, writer who wrote under the pseudonym of Eugene Welply.

1912 – Birth of Irish American actor Gene Kelly.

1914 – Death of Maurice Dease the first soldier to win a Victoria Cross medal in WWI. Dease was born in Coole, Co Westmeath. He won the posthumous award for his bravery during the Battle of Mons Belgium, just nineteen days after World War I breaks out.

1920 – Violent clashes in Belfast; 30 people are killed between 23 August and 31 August; Catholics are expelled from shipyards and engineering works.

1953 – Birth of John Rocha, fashion designer, based mainly in Dublin since the late seventies.

1972 – Lord Killanin becomes the first Irish president of the International Olympic Committee.

1995 – RTÉ reports on the closure of the Irish Press newspaper.

1998 – A memorial service for the victims of the Omagh bombing is held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin and attended by many dignitaries including President Mary McAleese.

1999 – Dublin Bus opens the controversial Stillorgan Quality Bus Corridor and triples travelling time for city bound motorists.

1999 – Bus Éireann announces a luxury Expressway coach hourly daily service from Limerick to Dublin.

2001 – An Bord Pleanála grants permission to build a four-lane bridge between Macken Street and Guild Street in Dublin.

aug 23-1Photo: Rockfleet Castle, or Carrickahowley Castle, a tower house near Newport, Co Mayo. It was built in the mid-sixteenth century, and is most famously associated with Gráinne O’Malley.

Today in Irish History: 23 August 1825 – Death of Michael Dwyer, a Society of the United Irishmen leader in the 1798 rebellion.

Michael Dwyer of Imaal, Co Wicklow, joined the United Irishmen in the spring of 1797 and fought as captain of a Talbotstown rebel corps during the 1798 Rebellion. Having seen action in Wexford and Wicklow, including severe fighting at Ballyellis and Hacketstown, Dwyer returned to the familiar mountains and valleys of his native county to prosecute a guerilla war under ‘General’ Joseph Holt. When Holt accepted terms in November 1798, Dwyer fought on in close cooperation with Glenmalure factions led by John Mernagh and Hugh ‘Vesty’ Byrne, a first cousin.

By 1803 Dwyer was a famous figure of the republican resistance and a frequent visitor to the rebel haunts of the capital. Although initially wary of engagement with the conspiracy headed by Robert Emmet, Dwyer eventually accepted the entreaties of ‘Big’ Arthur Devlin and James Hope to meet the young Dubliner in Rathfarnham. Two lengthy conferences ensued in April 1803, by which time Dwyer undertook to commence diversionary actions in Wicklow prior to directly reinforcing a Dublin-centred revolt. The rushed nature of the decision to rise, however, ruined any chance of participation on 23 July 1803. Devlin, the main conduit of information, was heavily committed in north county Dublin, and Hope, another long-standing ally, was agitating in Ulster. In place of these effective operators were ‘Red Mick’ Dwyer (a second cousin) and ‘Little’ Arthur Devlin (brother of Anne), who both neglected their instructions to liaise with the Dwyer faction at Rostyduff, Imaal. The first news Dwyer heard of the rising was its failure, although Emmet’s erroneous assumption that the Wicklowmen were poised to strike drew the leadership to Rathfarnham on the night of 23 July. Dwyer succeeded in contacting Emmet in the Dublin mountains in the days following and evidently assured Thomas Cloney of his intention to rise upon the landing of the French. Emmet’s refusal to take refuge in Wicklow and his capture on 25 August added to the pressure placed on the Dwyer network by the re-imposition of martial law.

The internment of virtually all the extended Dwyer and Devlin families, coupled with the arrest of the dynamic Martin Burke, disposed ‘the Wicklow chief’ to accept terms of surrender brokered by William Hoare Hume MP on 14 December 1803. After a period of detention in Kilmainham Gaol, Dwyer, Burke, Mernagh, Byrne and ‘Big’ Arthur Devlin were embarked on the Tellicherry transport, which reached Port Jackson, New South Wales, on 14 February 1806. They arrived as free men and promptly selected 1803 veterans Walter Clare and Michael Maguire as part of their convict servant allocation. Dwyer died in Sydney on 23 August 1825.

aug 23-2Photo: Michael Dwyer by James Petrie (National Gallery of Ireland)

24 August:-

Today in Irish History – 24 August:

In the liturgical calendar it is the Feast Day of Abbán moccu Corbmaic, also Eibbán or Moabba, is a saint in Irish tradition. He was associated, first and foremost, with Mag Arnaide (Moyarney or Adamstown, near New Ross, Co Wexford) and with Cell Abbáin (Killabban, Co Laois). His cult was, however, also connected to other churches elsewhere in Ireland, notably that of his alleged sister Gobnait.

1210 – King John sails from Dublin for England. He had landed at Waterford in June and campaigned in Leinster; after a short siege, he captures Carrickfergus, where the de Lacys have made a stand. On 28 July he captures William de Braose and confiscates his lands. Hugh and Walter de Lacy, lords of Ulster and Meath, forfeit their lands but escape to Scotland. John has defeated the hostile Norman magnates and has established relations with various Irish kings. Cathal Crovderg O’Connor, king of Connacht, has fought in John’s army but then quarrelled with him – O’Connor offered his son Aedh to John as a hostage, but Aedh’s mother refused to allow this. The dispute is later resolved.

1680 – Death of Colonel Thomas Blood. He was an Irish-born colonel best known for attempting to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671. Described as a “noted bravo and desperado”, he was also implicated in one attempted kidnapping and one attempted murder of the Duke of Ormonde, had switched allegiances from Royalist to Roundhead during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and later, despite his notoriety, found favour at the court of King Charles II.

1747 – Birth in Dublin of William La Touche, founder of the Bank of Ireland.

1798 – Generals’ Cornwallis and Lake leave Dublin. Lake travels fast by road with a small force. Cornwallis travels with the main force down the Grand Canal.

1803 – James Napper Tandy, Irish patriot, dies in exile in France. Originally a small tradesman in Dublin, he gained attention by his attacks on municipal corruption and his proposal to boycott English goods as a reprisal for the restrictions placed on Irish commerce.
1847 – Charlotte Brontë finishes “Jane Eyre”.

1921 – Ongoing correspondence between Lloyd George and Éamon de Valera to bring a halt to the War of Independence sees De Valera write a powerful response to Lloyd George. The official letter was dictated and sent in Irish. The following is the official translation at http://www.difp.ie/

1962 – Death of Agnew McMaster, the last of the touring actor-managers who presented Shakespeare’s plays throughout rural Ireland.

1968 – The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association marches from Coalisland to Dungannon in Co Tyrone in one of the first large-scale marches of the six-county civil rights movement.

1974 – Birth of Órlagh Fallon (b. in Knockananna, Co Wicklow), professionally known as Órla Fallon, is an Irish soloist, songwriter and former member of the group Celtic Woman and the chamber choir Anúna.

1990 – Brian Keenan is released on 24 August, having spent 52 months as a hostage in Beirut.

1998 – Shops re-open in Omagh; among the shops to open was Wattersons, which lost three members of staff, and the Oxfam shop, whose two teenager volunteers were also killed.

1998 – Eight Navy divers are injured during an air-sea rescue display. The men who are all members of the Navy Diving Team were taking part in a demonstration by the Defence Forces as part of the Tall Ships festival in Dublin.

1999 – Waterford Crystal is chosen to usher in the millennium in the city of New York with a gigantic cut glass Star of Hope ball. The component parts of the six foot diameter sphere, made of 572 crystal panels each consisting of five diamond shapes, will be assembled in New York. It is planned to hang 22 stories high over Manhattan and be lowered down a 77ft high flagpole in time for the stroke of midnight.

2000 – Additional troops are ordered onto the streets of Belfast night as fears grow for the fragile peace process.

2001 – Bono’s father, Bob, is laid to rest at Old Balgriffin Cemetary in Co Dublin.

2012 – Death of Maureen Toal. She was an Irish stage and television actress whose professional career lasted for more than sixty years. She was born in 1930 and was originally from Fairview, Dublin. Toal began performing at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1946, when she was just sixteen years old. She became a fixture at the theatre, portraying Bessie Burgess in The Plough and the Stars and the Widow Quinn in The Playboy of the Western World. She also appeared in several one woman shows, including Baglady, which was written by Irish playwright Frank McGuinness. Another playwright, John B Keane, wrote the role of Mame Fadden in his play, The Change in Mame Fadden, specifically for Toal. Hugh Leonard also penned characters in his plays A life and Great Big Blonde with the intention of casting Toal in the parts.

aug 24-1
Photo: St Patrick’s Cathedral, Co Armagh
Today in Irish History: 24 August 1803 – James Napper Tandy, Irish patriot, dies in exile in France.
James Napper Tandy was born in the Cornmarket area of Dublin in 1740; one of three children born to James Tandy, an iron works merchant, and Maria Bella Jenkins. Tandy received his education at the Quaker boarding school in Ballitore, Kildare, amongst its alumni Edmund Burke, a champion of Catholic emancipation and a supporter of American independence.Originally a small tradesman in Dublin, he gained attention by his attacks on municipal corruption and his proposal to boycott English goods as a reprisal for the restrictions placed on Irish commerce. He joined the Irish volunteers, and he aided Theobald Wolfe Tone in founding the Dublin branch of the United Irish Society in 1791. When faced with a sedition charge in 1793, Tandy fled to the United States and then to France in 1798, where he was given the title of General. He landed in Ireland, but when he discovered that the French expedition of General Humbert to aid the Irish rebellion had failed, he realised that any further action was futile, re-embarked and sailed north to Norway to avoid British warships.

On his way back to France he was arrested and imprisoned in Hamburg before being turned over to the British. He was returned to Dublin where he was tried for complicity in the Rebellion of 1798. He was acquitted. He was tried a second time in Lifford in Co Donegal in April of 1801 for his part in the attempted invasion. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.

His life was spared when Napoleon Bonaparte refused to sign the Treaty of Amiens until Tandy was released. The British conceded and Tandy was set free in March of 1802. The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between France and England. Tandy returned to France where he was received as “a person of distinction” and awarded a full General’s pension.

He died in Bordeaux on 24 August 1803. He was given a full military funeral that was attended by local dignitaries and a large entourage of local people. Unconfirmed accounts have it that his body was secretly returned and buried in the churchyard of the Castlebellingham Parish Church in Co Louth.

Tandy’s name lives on in Irish folklore in the song ‘The Wearing of the Green’.

O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?

The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!

No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen

For there’s a cruel law ag’in the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”

I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand

And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”

“She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen

For they’re hanging men and women there for the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”.

The Wolfe Tones: http://youtu.be/BKnmNll1AbM

aug 24-2Photo: Stone plaque in the grounds of St Audoen’s Church, Cornmarket, 5 High Street, Jamestown, Dublin. “Adjacent to this house was born AD 1740 James Napper Tandy civic tribune soldier and patriot, Secretary Dublin Society United Irishmen, Chef de Brigade Armée de la Republique Francaise, died in Bordeaux 1803. Erected by Quay Ward branch Wolfe Tone and ’98 Memorial Association A.D. 1900”

25 August:-

Today in Irish History – 25 August:

1170 – Richard de Clare (Strongbow) marries MacMurrough’s daughter Aoife, as part of an agreement made two years earlier.

1645 – Edward Worcester, Earl of Glamorgan; aristocrat and inventor, is sent to Ireland to raise troops for the king, and makes two secret treaties with the confederates on this date and on 20 December.

1764 – Birth of James Hope. He was an United Irishmen leader who fought in the 1798 and 1803 rebellions against British rule in Ireland. He was born in Templepatrick, County Antrim, to a Presbyterian family originally of Covenanter stock. He was apprenticed as a linen weaver but attended night school in his spare time. Influenced by the American Revolution, he joined the Irish Volunteers, but upon the demise of that organisation and further influenced by the French Revolution, he joined the Society of the United Irishmen in 1795.

1769 – Henry Flood, MP for Callan, kills James Agar, MP for Tulsk, in a duel. The Flood and Agar families had disputed the representation of Callan for many years.

1798 – Humbert takes Ballina after token resistance by Government forces.

1803 – The British capture Robert Emmet.

1863 – Eugene O’Growney, priest and Irish-language revivalist, is born in Ballyfallon, Co Meath.

1865 – Robert Lloyd Praeger, botanist and writer, is born in Holywood, Co Down.

1882 – Birth of Sean Ó Ceallaigh, Ireland’s second president.

1919 – IRA members start taking the oath and start using the name Irish Republican Army.

1921 – Birth in Belfast of Brian Moore who is best known for his novel “The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne”.

1922 – A Free State CID Motor Driver is fatally wounded in an attack at Dean’s Grange, Dublin.

1922 – A Free State soldier is shot dead and a barracks burned at Shortcourse, Waterford.

1958 – The first Rose of Tralee festival is held.

1986 – ‘Hurricane Charlie’ hits Ireland and the heaviest rain-fall over a 24 hour period is recorded — 10.63 inches at Kippure Mountain, Co Wicklow.

1998 – British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, arrives in the North to announce a security crackdown in the wake of the Omagh bombing.

1998 – An armada of tall ships from around the world sails away from Dublin, ending a five-day visit.

2001 – U2 brings the Elevation Tour to Slane Castle, site of the annual Slane Festival since 1981. It’s U2’s first performance at Slane since that first festival 20 years ago, when they were on the support bill for Thin Lizzy.

aug 25-1

                 Photo: Dun Aengus, Aran Islands, Co Galway

Today in Irish History: 25 August 1803 – Robert Emmet is captured and arrested.

Irish nationalist, Robert Emmet (1778-1803) is captured in Dublin following a hopelessly unsuccessful attempt at insurrection. Sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, he was executed 20 September 1803.

Emmet’s rebellion deserves little more than a footnote in history. The rebellion itself where the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland was killed was little more than a riot. His place in Irish history is primarily due to his speech from the dock where he said:

“Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance, asperse them. Let them and me rest in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, and my memory in oblivion, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.”

Emmet’s burial place is unknown.

Robert Emmet’s Speech from the Dock:http://www.robertemmet.org/speech.htm

Bold Robert Emmet, Dublin City Ramblers: http://youtu.be/4HiGZZD5huo

aug 25-2

Photo: Robert Emmet Statue, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin

 

26 August:-

Today in Irish History – 26 August:

1725 – Five Dublin children receive the first recorded smallpox innoculations in Ireland.

1798 – General Humbert leaves Ballina bound for Castlebar. He takes an indirect route through the mountains.

1811 – Death of Thomas Fitzsimons. He was an American merchant and statesman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the U.S. Congress. Fitzsimons’ ancestry has not been proved, but one thought is that Fitzsimons was born at Ballikilty, Co Wexford in October, 1741. He was a member of a collection of Irish families with the name “Fitzsymons” and it variants. In the mid-1750s he immigrated to Philadelphia where his father soon died. However, Fitzsimons had enough education that he could begin work as a clerk in a mercantile house. He married Catherine Meade on 23 November 1761 and formed a business partnership with her brother George. Their firm specialised in the West Indies trade, which would successfully operate for over 41 years.

1904 – Lord Dunraven forms the Irish Reform Association to campaign for some devolution; the following December, unionists form a United Unionist Council to resist Dunraven’s plan.

1913 – Also known as “The Great Dublin Lockout”, the Dublin Transport Strike, led by Jim Larkin and James Connolly, begins.

1921 – Re-election of Éamonn de Valera President of Dáil Éireann. He is proposed and seconded by Commandant Sean MacEoin and General Richard Mulcahy — both of whom later line up against him in the Civil War.

1922 – A Free State convoy of 100 troops is ambushed between Tralee and Killorglin, Co Kerry. One officer is killed. The National Army troops are caught in several more ambushes along their line of retreat, taking more casualties.

1922 – Anti-Treaty fighters ambush Free State troops at Glasson, near Athlone. National Army officer Lieutenant McCormack is killed and several more soldiers are wounded.

1922 – Fianna Éireann members Seán Cole and Alf Colley and Anti-Treaty IRA member Bernard Daly, are abducted and killed in Dublin by the Criminal Investigation Department CID, police unit based in Oriel House allegedly in revenge for Michael Collins killing, although possibly in retaliation for the death of a CID man the previous day.

1922 – Two National Army soldiers are killed in an ambush on the road between Nenagh and Limerick.

1922 – A civilian is killed in an exchange of fire at Whitefriars, Dublin city.

1940 – German aircraft bomb a creamery at Campile, Co Wexford; three women are killed.

1997 – U2 plays at the Botanical Gardens in Belfast. It is the band’s first show in Belfast in 10 years.

1998 – British Prime Minister, Tony Blair meets with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Ashford Castle, Co Mayo. They join forces to fight terrorism and discuss laws which will be introduced in the aftermath of the Omagh bombing.

2002 – Roy Keane’s journey from unemployed potato picker in Cork to multi-millionaire player on the world stage is related in his book “Keane – The Autobiography” which is released on this date.

aug 26-1Photo: Muckross Head, Kilcar, Co Donegal, Photo credit: Andreas F. Borchert

Today in Irish History: 26 August 1913 – Also known as “The Great Dublin Lockout”, the Dublin Transport Strike, led by Jim Larkin and James Connolly, begins.

The Great Dublin Lockout starts and one of the most bitter and divisive labour disputes in Irish history will run until February 1914 when starving workers are forced back to work.

Five years previously, in 1908, at a time when Irish labourers were working in atrocious conditions, Union organiser Big Jim Larkin founded the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU).

The 1913 Lockout occurred when William Murphy, owner of the Dublin United Tramway Company sacked employees who refused to leave the ITGWU. Larkin called all ITGWU members out on strike. Murphy responded by declaring a lockout. Other strike action occurred throughout the city often involving violent action between police and strikers.

A police baton charge on a meeting where Larkin was speaking on 31 August resulted in the deaths of two protestors and injuries to hundreds – police and civilians.

While Murphy controlled much of the media commentary in his role as proprietor of the Irish Independent, many prominent Irish nationalists and intellectuals lent support to the strikers including George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Pádraig Pearse, Pádraic Colum and AE Russell who wrote a stinging open letter to Dublin employers citing “an oligarchy of four hundred masters deciding openly upon starving one hundred thousand people.”

“You are bad citizens, for we rarely, if ever, hear of the wealthy among you endowing your city with the munificent gifts which it is the pride of merchant princes in other cities to offer, and Irishmen not of your city who offer to supply the wants left by your lack of generosity are met with derision and abuse. Those who have economic power have civic power also, yet you have not used the power that was yours to right what was wrong in the evil administration of this city. You have allowed the poor to be herded together so that one thinks of certain places in Dublin as a pestilence. There are twenty thousand rooms, in each of which live entire families, and sometimes more, where no functions of the body can be concealed, and delicacy and modesty are creatures that are stifled ere they are born and you determined deliberately, in cold anger, to starve out one third of the population of this city, to break the manhood of the men by the sight of the sufferings of their wives and the hunger of their children.

Eventually the strike petered out mainly through desperation, but it was the first time in Ireland that employers and labour understood the power of organised activity by the labour movement.

aug 26-2

Today in Irish History: 26 August 1921 – Éamon de Valera is elected as President of the Republic by Dáil Éireann.

“If war comes upon us, it will come as a thief in the night.” –Éamon de Valera

De Valera’s title was not recognised by Britain. He would remain President until defeated upon the vote on the Treaty in January 1922. The history of Ireland is full of many grim ironies. He is proposed for President by Sean MacEoin and seconded by Richard Mulcahy — both of whom later line up against him in the Civil War.

aug 26-3
27 August:-

Today in Irish History – 27 August:

1695 – The second Irish parliament of William III is called in Dublin; Robert Rochfort is unanimously elected Speaker.

1798 – General Humbert appears outside Castlebar. The Government forces are deployed to cover the direct route and Humbert unexpectedly appears on their flank. Humbert attacks. French advance causes Militia to run. Government defence collapses and Humbert takes the town. Cornwallis reaches Tullamore. Rebels assemble on Rebel hill, near Baileborough, Co Cavan.

1798 – Wolfe Tone’s United Irish and French forces clash with the British Army in the Battle of Castlebar, part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, resulting in the creation of the French puppet Republic of Connacht.

1870 – The Oceanic, a liner built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line, is launched.

1874 – Death of celebrated Irish sculptor John Henry (JH) Foley. Foley’s work features in Dublin and London. His sculpture of Daniel O’Connell dominates Dublin’s main thoroughfare O’Connell Street. His most prominent work in London is the statute of Prince Albert at the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens. Foley died before the Albert statue was finished, but the design and concept is his.

1908 – Birth of Niall Ó Dónaill, Irish-language scholar and lexicographer, in the Rosses, Co Donegal.

1920 – Birth of James Molyneaux, Ulster Unionist Party leader.

1921 – A house in Belfast was bombed by loyalists. Over the next two days, two Protestants are killed by republican snipers.

1922 – Three National Army soldiers are killed in ambush near Nenagh, County Tipperary, when a mine is exploded under their lorry and they are fired on by Anti-Treaty fighters. Several more men are injured in the shooting. Another two are killed in a separate mine attack near Bushfield, Tipperary.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA units mount an ambush of Free State troops at Glenflesk, near Killarney, County Kerry. The Free State troops bring up an 18 pounder artillery piece and eventually drive off their attackers. Press reports say that the bodies of 20 Anti-Treaty fighters are found at the scene.

1922 – A soldier is shot dead in an ambush near Macroom, Cork.

1922 – Two Anti-Treaty IRA men are captured in Tralee, Kerry and shot by Free State troops. One of them, James Healy, survives and escapes.

1922 – Free State troops assault an Anti-Treaty IRA position at Convent hill, near Newport, Co Mayo. They are repulsed with seven men wounded

1928 – The Galway Gaelic Theatre – afterwards called the Taibhdheare Theatre – opens with Micheál Mac Liammóir’s production of Diarmuid agus Gráinne.

1931 – Death of Frank Harris (b. Co Galway), was an Irish author, editor, journalist and publisher who was friendly with many well-known figures of his day. Though he attracted much attention during his life for his irascible, aggressive personality, editorship of famous periodicals, and friendship with the talented and famous, he is remembered mainly for his multiple-volume memoir My Life and Loves, which was banned in countries around the world for its sexual explicitness.

1932 – Birth of Dame Antonia Margaret Caroline Fraser, DBE, an Anglo-Irish author of history, novels, biographies and detective fiction, best known as Lady Antonia Fraser. She is the widow of Harold Pinter (1930-2008), the 2005 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and, prior to her husband’s death, was also known as Antonia Pinter.

1937 – The first traffic lights in the Free State are installed at the junction of Merrion Square and Clare Street.

1979 – Assassination of Lord Louis Mountbatten off the coast of Co Sligo.

1979 – Warrenpoint Massacre: 18 British Soldiers Killed. The IRA inflicts the largest loss of life on British military personnel in Northern Ireland killing eighteen troops in a two-explosion operation in a single-day.

1982 – The official police death count of the Troubles reaches 3,000 on this date with the killing of Hugh McKibbin in Belfast.

1999 – On their first official overseas visit, Prince Edward and his new bride Sophie Rhys Jones arrive at Dublin Castle for the opening of the Millennium Gold Encounter. A total of 77 young people from 25 countries who have won their nation’s equivalent of the Gaisce award will attend the conference. Prince Edward is the chairperson the International Awards Association.

2000 – A former member of British military intelligence reveals that weapons used by loyalist gangs who rampaged through Belfast’s Shankill district the previous week were provided by British intelligence as part of a plan to defeat the IRA.

2001 – Opponents claim that the introduction of tolls on the planned Kinnegad-Enfield-Kilcock motorway will cost commuters to Dublin an extra £20 a week; they outline their objections at an oral inquiry in Mullingar to plans by the National Road Authority to charge car users £1.65 to use the new 35 kilometer road.

2001 – The newly restored century-old trading schooner, Kathleen and May arrives in Youghal after a 24-hour historic voyage from England to Ireland.

2002 – Roy Keane’s autobiography breaks the record for first day sales of a hardback book in Ireland.

2005 – Death of Seán Purcell, nicknamed “The Master”, was a famous Gaelic footballer for Co Galway. Best known as a centre half forward, his versatility saw him used in virtually all outfield positions throughout an illustrious career. He was recognised by many football enthusiasts as one of the greatest players of all time. In 2009 he was named in the Sunday Tribune’s list of the 125 Most Influential People In GAA History.

aug 27-1Photo: Classiebawn Castle and Benbulben, Co Sligo, Captive Landscapes by Stephen Emerson

Today in Irish History: 27 August 1798 – Wolfe Tone’s United Irishmen and French forces clash with the British Army in the Battle of Castlebar, part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, resulting in the creation of the French puppet Republic of Connacht.

The Battle of Castlebar occurred on 27 August 1798 near the town of Castlebar, Co Mayo, during the Irish Rebellion of that year. A combined force of2,000 French troops and Irish rebels routed a force of 6,000 British militia in what would later became known as the “Castlebar Races”, or Races of Castlebar.

The long-awaited French landing to assist the Irish revolution begun by Theobald Wolfe Tone’s Society of United Irishmen had taken place five days previously on 22 August, when almost 1,100 troops under the command of General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert landed at Cill Chuimín Strand, Co Mayo. Although the force was small, the remote location ensured an unopposed landing away from the tens of thousands of British soldiers concentrated in the east in Leinster, engaged in mopping up operations against remaining pockets of insurgents there. The nearby town of Killala was quickly captured after a brief resistance by local yeomen. Just south, Ballina was taken two days later following the rout of a force of cavalry sent from the town to oppose the Franco-Irish march. Following the news of the French landing, Irish volunteers began to trickle into the French camp from all over Mayo.

The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Cornwallis, requested urgent reinforcements from England but in the interim all available forces were concentrated at Castlebar under the command of General Gerard Lake, the victor of the Battle of Vinegar Hill. The build-up of the British forces at Castlebar had reached 6,000 militia soldiers with dozens of artillery pieces and huge caches of supplies by dawn of 27 August.

Leaving about 200 French regulars behind in Killala to cover his rear and line of withdrawal, Humbert took a combined force of about 2,000 French and Irish on 26 August to march on and take Castlebar. The obvious nature of his objective presented the reinforced British there with the apparent advantage of being able to deploy their forces to face a head-on attack from the Ballina road and their forces and artillery were accordingly arranged. However, locals advised the French of an alternative route to Castlebar through the wilds along the west of Lough Conn, which the British thought impassable for a modern army with attendant artillery train. This route was successfully taken and when Lake’s scouts spotted the approaching enemy, the surprised British had to hurriedly change the deployment of their entire force to face the threat from this unanticipated direction.

The British had barely completed their new deployment when the Franco-Irish army appeared outside the town at about 6 am. The newly-sited British artillery opened up on the advancing French and Irish and cut them down in droves. French officers, however, quickly identified an area of scrub and undergrowth in a defile facing the centre of the artillery line which interfered with, and provided some cover from, the British line of fire. The French launched a bayonet charge, the ferocity and determination of which unnerved units of the militia stationed behind the artillery. The militia units began to waver before the French reached their lines and eventually turned in panic and fled the battlefield, abandoning the gunners and artillery. Some soldiers of the Longford and Kilkenny militias ran to join the republicans and even joined in the fighting against their former comrades. A unit of cavalry and British regular infantry attempted to stand and stem the tide of panic but were quickly overwhelmed.

In the headlong flight of thousands of British soldiers, large quantities of guns and equipment were abandoned, among which was General Lake’s personal luggage. Although not pursued a mile or two beyond Castlebar, the British did not stop until reaching Tuam, with some units fleeing as far as Athlone in the panic. The panic was such that only the arrival of Cornwallis at Athlone prevented further flight across the Shannon.

Although achieving a spectacular victory, the losses of the French and Irish were high, losing about 150 men, mostly to the cannonade at the start of the battle. The British suffered over 350 casualties of which about 80 were killed, the rest either wounded or captured, including perhaps 150 who joined the republicans. Following the victory, thousands of volunteers flocked to join the French who also sent a request to France for reinforcements and formally declared an Irish Republic.

Despite the decisive victory, the Franco-Irish sustained the heaviest losses, with 150 killed in comparison to 80 deaths on the British side.

On 31 August, Humbert proclaimed a “Republic of Connacht”, which lasted 12 days. On 5 September, the British forces were again defeated at Collooney but, after that, the rebellion quickly folded. More troops gathered and by the Battle of Ballinamuck on 8 September, their strength was over 15,000. Ballinamuck was the end for the French general, Humbert, who handed in his surrender. The Irish rebels fought on briefly until scattered; 200 were captured and 500 killed. Around 1,000 ran away. Killala was re-taken on 12 September. More French warships sailed for Ireland, but were decisively defeated by the Royal Navy near Tory Island. With that the 1798 rebellion ended. The captured French soldiers were transferred to England and eventually repatriated. The French officers of Irish origin were hanged in Dublin with the Irish rebels.

aug 27-2Photo: A plaque commemorating the Battle, Linenhall St, Castlebar, Co Mayo

28 August:-

Today in Irish History – 28 August:

1710 – A board of trustees for linen manufacture is established.

1788 – Sir Aubrey de Vere, poet, is born in Adare, Co Limerick.

1788 – James Digges La Touche, banker and philanthropist, is born in Dublin.

1798 – Cornwallis reaches Athlone; Humbert entrenches in Castlebar.

1814 – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, novelist and journalist, is born in Dublin.

1815 – Mary Letitia Martin, ‘Princess of Connemara,’ novelist, philanthropist and daughter of ‘Humanity Dick’ Martin is born in Ballynahinch Castle, Co Galway.

1848 – Francis O’Neill, The Police Chief Who Saved Irish Music is born near Bantry, Co Cork. After emigrating to the United States, he joined the Chicago police force in 1873, eventually serving as Chief of Police from 1901-1905.

1860 – Napier’s and Deasy’s Land Acts are passed.

1872 – The first horse drawn tram cars enter service in Belfast.

1877 – Charles Stewart Parnell becomes president of Home Rule Confederation.

1896 – Birth of Liam O’Flaherty.

1919 – Amount of national loan issued reaches £250,000.

1919 – Attack on military raiding party in Deansgrange, south Dublin.

1922 – Michael Collins is buried in Glasnevin Cemetary Dublin. The seven mile journey from Dublin’s pro-cathedral to the Big Fella’s final resting place was lined with (the New York Times reported) half a million mourners, many of whom, would have differed with him on his Treaty vote. http://youtu.be/T6QX2paFZxc

1929 – “Health And Efficiency” becomes the very first publication banned by the Irish Free State.

1975 – Willie John McBride retires from international rugby.

1979 – An IRA bomb explodes on the Grote Markt in Brussels.

1992 – The PIRA’s “South Armagh snipers” undertook their first successful operation, when a British Army soldier was shot dead on patrol in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh.

1998 – The Real IRA and the 32 County Sovereignty Committee are to be placed on an international terrorist list by the US Government. An FBI clampdown on American supporters of both groups is also planned.

1998 – The Northern Ireland Assembly heads for its first major crisis after a confidential document discloses that senior Ulster Unionists warned the British government they could no longer endorse the Good Friday agreement.

1998 – One of the largest passing-out parades for the Defence Forces in recent years takes place; 86 recruits receive their two-star private rating at a ceremony in Gormanston Army Camp, Co Meath.

2000 – Finance Minister, Charlie McCreevy faces calls for his resignation as former judge Hugh O’Flaherty withdraws his controversial nomination for vice-presidency of the European Investment Bank.

aug 28-1Photo: Rock of Cashel, Cashel, Co Tipperary, Photography by Balazs B

Today in Irish History: 28 August 1848 – Francis O’Neill, The Police Chief Who Saved Irish Music is born in Tralibane, Co Cork.

Francis O’Neill, The Police Chief Who Saved Irish Music is born in Tralibane, Co Cork. After emigrating to the United States, he joined the Chicago police force in 1873, eventually serving as Chief of Police from 1901-1905.

Chief O’Neill had a strong interest in Irish music from his childhood, an Irish music and tradition that was in real danger of being lost as the Irish diaspora melded into other societies. During his time in the police force, where apparently Irish musicians were made feel particularly welcome, and after he made strenuous efforts to recover and record details of the Irish music tradition.

Captain O’Neill was a remarkable man and although his career and musical hobby flourished, his private life experienced soul destroying tragedies. He and his wife, Ann Rogers, who emigrated from Co Clare, were blessed with ten children, five boys and five girls who were all brought up with a passionate interest in Irish music. His eldest son Roger, was a brilliant student and an exceptional violinist who sadly died of spinal meningitis at the age of eighteen in 1904. The O’Neill family were also visited by severe tragedy when on one single day they heartbreakingly lost three young sons and a daughter to Diphtheria.

His musical works include:

• O’Neill’s Music of Ireland (1903), containing 1,850 pieces of music

• The Dance Music of Ireland (1907), sometimes called, “O’Neill’s 1001,” because of the number of tunes included

• 400 tunes arranged for piano and violin (1915)

• Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922), 365 pieces

• Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby (1910). Appendix A contains O’Farrells Treatise and Instructions on the Irish Pipes, published 1797-1800; appendix B is Hints to Amateur Pipers by Patrick J. Touhy.

• Irish Minstrels and Musicians (1913), biographies of musicians, including those from whom he collected tunes in Chicago.

The Dunn Family Collection contains a large number of recordings made by O’Neill. “They form part of the dawn of the era of sound recording in Irish traditional music and constitute an important element of the first sonic evidence documenting the music styles and repertories in Irish traditional music.”

aug 28-2

                      Photo: Bronze statue of Francis O’Neil in Tralibane, Co Cork
29 August:-
Today in Irish History – 29 August:

1170 – Richard de Clare (Strongbow) marries Aoife Ní Mhurrachadha and sets a precedent for Norman rule in Ireland.

1729 – Birth of David La Touche, banking magnate and MP.

1798 – Cornwallis reaches Tuam.

1803 – Samuel Neilson, one of the founder members of the Society of United Irishmen and the founder of its newspaper the Northern Star, dies.

1833 – The United Kingdom legislates the abolition of slavery in its empire.

1844 – Death of Edmund Ignatius Rice, founder of the Irish Christian Brothers Order.

1890 – The Science and Art Museum and The National Library of Ireland open.

1871 – Birth of Jack B. Yeats, painter and author, in London.

1906 – Death of Medal of Honor Winner, James Quinlan, from Co Tipperary. James J. Quinlan (September 13, 1833 – August 29, 1906) was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War and a recipient of America’s highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions at the Battle of Savage’s Station. His citations states he “led his regiment on the enemy’s battery, silenced the guns, held the position against overwhelming numbers, and covered the retreat of the Second Army Corps.”

1922 – Six Free State soldiers are killed in three separate ambushes. Two in Tullamore, and one in Macroom, and two in an ambush and firefight between Killorglin and Tralee in Co Kerry. An attack is also made on Clonakilty in which one Free State officer is killed. Three Republican fighters are reported killed in fighting in Cork.

1922 – In Marybourogh Jail, where 600 Anti-Treaty prisoners are being held, the republicans riot and set fire to their cells.

1946 – George Bernard Shaw awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin. The Freedom of the City of Dublin is an award bestowed by the people of Dublin on a person nominated by the Lord Mayor.

1950 – Birth of Dick Spring, politician; Labour Party leader and Tánaiste, in Tralee, Co Kerry.

1951 – Bill Graham, rock journalist and author, is born in Belfast.

1975 – Death of Éamon de Valera.

1992 – U2 plays the first of two shows at Yankee Stadium in New York. They are only the second rock artist to play in this venue. Billy Joel was the first.

2000 – Irish Travellers are granted the same legal protection as other ethnic minority groups by a judge in London.

2002 – Sixteen soldiers are injured during sectarian street clashes in flashpoint east Belfast.

2002 – According to Transparency International’s annual corruption index, Ireland has slipped five places and is now perceived as the third most corrupt country in Europe.

aug 29-2Photo: Castlewellan Peace Maze, Co Down

1975 – Death of Éamon de Valera.

Death of Éamonn de Valera, a man who probably more than anyway shaped the culture of Ireland (good and bad) for almost fifty years. He was a man loved by his supporters but distrusted and hated by those who blamed him for the Irish civil war. (The latter sentence could equally apply to Michael Collins from the opposite side of the political divide.)

Although born in New York, “Dev” had an almost mystical and spiritual belief about an Ireland that he wanted to exist.

De Valera is famous for something he never said, an Ireland of “maidens dancing at the crossroads,” but in 1943 he did envisage “The ideal Ireland that we would have, the Ireland that we dreamed of, would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as a basis for right living, of a people who, satisfied with frugal comfort, devoted their leisure to the things of the spirit – a land whose countryside would be bright with cosy homesteads, whose fields and villages would be joyous with the sounds of industry, with the romping of sturdy children, the contest of athletic youths and the laughter of happy maidens, whose firesides would be forums for the wisdom of serene old age.”

De Valera was one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising and it is believed he only avoided execution because of his American citisenship and/or the general revulsion about the execution of the 1916 leaders. He was an immensely astute (manipulative) politician and a natural leader of the Sinn Féin TDs elected in the 1918 election.

His standing amongst his fellow TDs is evidenced by his being elected President of the first Dáil Éireann by a unanimous vote. During the War of Independence, he spent many months in the United States drumming support and finance for the Irish cause.

It is not clear why he did not get directly involved in the Treaty negotiations in London. Instead, he sent Michael Collins to negotiate on behalf of the Irish people. The signing of the Treaty on 6 Dec provided legislative autonomy for twenty-six counties of Ireland, but resulted in the partition of Ireland and the foundation of the state of Northern Ireland. De Valera refused to accept the January 1923 vote of Dáil Éireann approving the Treaty. Soon Ireland was again in a bloody conflict, but this time it was Irishman against Irishman in a vicious conflict laced with atrocity after atrocity on both sides.

De Valera and the anti-Treaty-ites were forced to call a halt to their campaign in May 1923. (It Is worth noting that the various campaigns conducted by the IRA throughout the rest of the 20th century derive from their lack of acceptance of this surrender or of the Treaty vote. The IRA never accepted the legitimacy of either government in the North or the Republic.)

Disillusioned with Sinn Féin and its abstentionist policies, de Valera founded Fianna Fáil in 1926. In order to take his seat in the Dáil in 1927, he accepted the oath of allegiance (to the English crown) stating it to be but an empty formula. Fianna Fáil came to power in 1932 and dominated the Irish political landscape for most of the century.

As Taoiseach, he kept Ireland neutral during WWII, much to the chagrin of Churchill who desperately desired Ireland’s ports. The antipathy between the two men led to a number of verbal spats with de Valera acquitting himself extremely well in the eyes of his countrymen. De Valera also responded superbly to Lloyd George protestations prior to the Treaty negotiations of 1921

The “brilliant but austere de Valera” (in the words of JFK) brought international opprobrium on Ireland when he visited the German ambassador in Dublin to offer condolences on the death of Hitler.

In 1959, after thirty-three years at the head of Fianna Fáil, Éamon de Valera resigned as leader and Taoiseach and was elected President of Ireland (succeeding Sean T. O’Kelly), a position he held until 1973.

Éamon de Valera died in Linden Convalescent Home, Blackrock, Co Dublin on 29 August 1975 aged 92. His wife, Sinéad de Valera, four years his senior, had died the previous January, on the eve of their 65th wedding anniversary. His body lay in state at Dublin Castle and was given a full state funeral on 3 September at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, which was broadcast on national television. He is buried in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery with his wife and children

    aug 29-1
30 August:-

Today in Irish History – 30 August:

In the liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Fiacre (Fiachra, Fiachrius), born in Ireland in the seventh century. Fiachra is an ancient pre-Christian name from Ireland. The meaning is uncertain, but the name may mean “battle king”, or it may be a derivative of the word fiach “raven”. The name can be found in ancient Irish folklore and stories such as the Children of Lir.

1559 – Lord Sussex, is sworn in as Lord Deputy.

1690 – First siege of Limerick ends.

1708 – Penal Laws passed in 1695 restricting Catholics rights are strengthened for the second time.

1709 – All registered Catholic priests in Ireland are required to renounce the claims of the Stuarts to the thrones of England and Ireland — only 33 out of 1,089 comply.

1841 – The Cork Examiner, now The Irish Examiner, hits the streets for the first time.

1855 – Birth of Feargus Edward O’Connor, Chartist leader.

1874 – Michael Banim, storywriter, dies; along with his brother and co-author John, he sought to create sympathetic, yet non-stereotypical Irish characters in his stories.

1875 – National synod of Catholic bishops begins at Maynooth; they renew condemnation of Queen’s Colleges and condemn Trinity College.

1911 – The Chamber of Commerce calls for Ireland to adopt Greenwich Mean Time — 25 minutes behind Irish Standard Time.

1921 – De Valera sends another stinging rebuke to Lloyd George as the parties edge closer to negotiations.

1922 – The Free State forces under General Prout take Carrick on Suir with one man killed and three wounded. Breen’s men retreat southwards.

1922 – National Army commandant Scally is killed in an ambush by Anti-Treaty IRA men between Swinford and Ballina in Mayo.

1922 – Around 250 pro-treaty IRA men from Co Clare are embarked from Kilrush to Tarbert in fishing boats and take Ballylongford and Listowel.

1923 – The body of Henry McEntee was found at Dubber Cross near Jamestown Road Finglas, Co Dublin. It was alleged that McEntee had received threats from the CID at Oriel House.

1923 – A Civic Guard is shot dead by pro-Treaty troops at Belturbet, Co Cavan, when he failed to stop at an Army checkpoint.

1928 – William Trevor, pseudonym of William Trevor Cox, short-story writer and novelist, is born in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

1948 – Birth of Donnacha “The Don” O’Dea. He is an Irish professional poker player. In his youth he was a swimmer, and represented Ireland in the 1968 Olympics. He was also the first Irish swimmer to swim 100m in less than one minute. His parents were actors Denis O’Dea and Siobhán McKenna.

1950 – Singer Dana is born Rosemary Scallon is born in London. Her family returned to Derry when she was five. Dana became an overnight celebrity when she won the Eurovision song contest for Ireland singing All Kinds of Everything composed Derry Lindsay and Jackie Smith and the country went mad for a young lass who charmed every mother in Ireland and many a young lad with her gentle manner. Dana went on to have a relatively successful musical career.

1967 – Black Velvet Band by the Dubliners enters the UK charts.

1997 – U2 returns home for the first of two shows at Dublin’s Lansdowne Road stadium.

2000 – SDLP leader John Hume, announces his intention to quit as a Stormont Assembly member.

2000 – As many as 21 houses in the Co Antrim town of Carrickfergus are attacked in incidents linked to the North’s bitter loyalist feud.

2001 – Death of Donal O’Sullivan; he was Cork’s captain in the 1956 All-Ireland football final against Galway and prominent in GAA administration at county and provincial level.

2002 – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson accuses the United States of trying to scale back plans to save the world’s poorest people.

2010 – Óglaigh na hÉireann claimed responsibility for detonating a 200 lb car bomb outside Strand Road PSNI station in Derry.

2013 – World-renowned poet and playwright Seamus Heaney dies in a Dublin hospital following a short illness.

aug 30-1Photo: Glenoe, Co Antrim, photo credit: Ireland of the Welcomes

Today in Irish History: 30 August 1921 – De Valera sends another stinging rebuke to Lloyd George as the parties edge closer to negotiations.

De Valera sends another stinging rebuke to Lloyd George as the parties edge closer to negotiations. He was responding to a communication from Lloyd George where the wily old Welshman invoked Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address:

“I cannot better express the British standpoint in this respect than in words used of the Northern and Southern States by Abraham Lincoln in the First Inaugural Address. They were spoken by him on the brink of the American Civil War, which he was striving to avert:

Physically speaking he said we cannot separate. We cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassible wall between them… It is impossible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before… Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions as to terms of intercourse are again upon you.

I do not think it can be reasonably contended that the relations of Great Britain and Ireland are in any different case.”

“Dev” saw things somewhat differently:

“The people of Ireland, acknowledging no voluntary union with Great Britain and claiming as a fundamental natural right to choose freely for themselves the path they shall take to realise their national destiny, have by an overwhelming majority declared for independence, set up a Republic, and more than once confirmed their choice.

Great Britain, on the other hand, acts as though Ireland were bound to her by a contract of union that forbade separation. The circumstances of the supposed contract are notorious, yet on the theory of its validity the British Government and Parliament claim to rule and legislate for Ireland, even to the point of partitioning Irish territory against the will of the Irish people, and killing or casting into prison every Irish citizen who refuses allegiance.

Force will not solve the problem. It will never secure the ultimate victory over reason and right. If you again resort to force, and if victory be not on the side of justice, the problem that confronts us will confront our successors. The fact that for 750 years this problem has resisted a solution by force is evidence and warning sufficient. It is true wisdom, therefore, and true statesmanship, not any false idealism, that prompts me and my colleagues. Threats of force must be set aside. They must be set aside from the beginning, as well as during the actual conduct of the negotiations. The respective plenipotentiaries must meet untrammelled by any conditions save the facts themselves, and must be prepared to reconcile their subsequent differences not by appeals to force, covert or open, but by reference to some guiding principle on which there is common agreement. We have proposed the principle of government by consent of the governed, and do not mean it as a mere phrase.”

See official correspondence relating to the Peace Negotiations: http://143.239.128.67/celt/online/E900003-007/text001.html

aug 30-2

Today in Irish History: 30 August 2013 – World-renowned poet and playwright Seamus Heaney dies in a Dublin hospital following a short illness.

‘Requeim For The Croppies’
(Seamus Heaney)

The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley…
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp…
We moved quick and sudden in our own country.
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people hardly marching… on the hike…
We found new tactics happening each day:
We’d cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until… on Vinegar Hill… the final conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
They buried us without shroud or coffin
And in August… the barley grew up out of our grave.

Mr Heaney was awarded numerous prizes over the years and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. He was born to a farming family at Mossbawn near Bellaghy in Co Derry on 13 April 1939 and was the eldest of nine children born to Margaret and Patrick Heaney. His upbringing often played out in the poetry he wrote in later years. Educated at the St Columb’s College Catholic boarding school in Derry, he later studied at Queen’s University Belfast, before making his home in Dublin, with periods of teaching in the United States. Among the academic posts he held were professorships at Harvard and Oxford universities. Mr Heaney was an honourary fellow at Trinity College Dublin and last year was bestowed with the Seamus Heaney Professorship in Irish Writing at the university, which he described as a great honour. The writer is survived by his wife Marie and children Christopher, Michael and Catherine Ann.

aug 30-3
31 August:-

Today in Irish History – 31 August:

In the liturgical calendar, it is the Feast Day of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, the Apostle of Northumbria (died 31 August 651), was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. A Christian missionary, he is credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria. Aidan is the anglified form of the original Old Irish Áedán.

1767 – Birth in Belfast of Henry Joy McCracken, United Irishman and leader of Ulster insurgents in 1798 rebellion.

1803 – French “Irish Legion” organised in Brittany.

1806 – Birth in Dublin of Charles Lever; fiction writer who was famous for his rendering of Trinity College’s privileged atmosphere.

1830 – William Fitzpatrick, biographer and historian, is born in Dublin.

1869 – Death of Mary Ward (b. Mary King, April 1827 in Ballylin, Co Offaly) was an Irish scientist who was killed when she fell under the wheels of an experimental steam car built by her cousins. As the unfortunate event occurred in 1869, she is the world’s first motor vehicle accident victim.

1922 – The Anti-Treaty IRA mounts gun and grenade attacks on National Army soldiers at Stephen’s Green, Dublin. In Cork, there is an exchange of fire between Free State troops and Anti-Treaty snipers. One Republican is killed by machine gun fire.

1922 – Republicans blow up the railway bridge over the river Blackwater at Mallow, Co Cork, disabling the rail line between Cork and Dublin.

1922 – Two Republicans are taken from a car in Drumcondra in Dublin and shot dead. Their bodies are left on the street. A British soldier on the scene reported that the car contained three men in “Provisional Government uniform” and three more in trench coats – presumed to be from the CID intelligence unit.

1922 – Three unarmed Free State soldiers are shot at Glasson, near Athlone. One is killed.

1945 – Birth of Van Morrison “Van the Man” (b. George Ivan Morrison, OBE), a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter with a reputation for being at once stubborn, idiosyn-cratic, and sublime. His live performances at their best are seen as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It’s Too Late to Stop Now, are acclaimed as among the greatest ever made.

1957 – Birth of Colm O’Rourke, Meath Gaelic footballer, in Co Meath.

1973 – Death of legendary film Director John Ford. Ford was born in Maine in 1894 to Irish immigrant parents. His father was born in Spiddal, Co Galway and his mother in the Aran Islands.

1994 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) issued a statement which announced a complete cessation of military activities. This ceasefire was broken less than two years later.

1997 – U2 pays tribute to Princess Diana at Dublin concert.

2000 – First Minister David Trimble is understood to be involved in secret talks with the Ulster Volunteer Force in an attempt to resolve the bloody loyalist feud raging on the streets of Northern Ireland.

2000 – Former SDLP Derry Mayor Annie Courtney is to replace John Hume as an Assembly member for Foyle.

2000 – The world’s largest fishing vessel arrives in Dublin after completing its maiden voyage from Norway. “Atlantic Dawn”, which took over two and a half years to build in a Norwegian shipyard, cost Irish owner Kevin McHugh £50 million.

2010 – Death of Mick Lally (born Tourmakeady, County Mayo in 10 November 1945) was an Irish stage, film and television actor. He departed from a teaching career for acting during the 1970s. Though best known in Ireland for his role as Miley in the television soap Glenroe, Lally’s stage career spanned several decades, and he was involved in feature films such as Alexander and the Academy Award-nominated The Secret of Kells. He died in August 2010 after a battle with emphysema. Many reports cited him as one of Ireland’s finest and most recognisable actors.

aug 31-1

                                 Photo: River Shannon, Limerick

Today in Irish History: 31 August 1945 – Birth of Van Morrison “Van the Man” (b. George Ivan Morrison) is a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter with a reputation for being at once stubborn, idiosyn-cratic, and sublime.

The Belfast Cowboy first achieved fame with a tight R&B band Them with whom he recorded Gloria.

His body of work ranges from pop like Brown Eyed Girl, through poignant poetry I’m Tired Joey Boy and Coney Island to some mystical work.

Brown Eyed Girl is in the Grammy Hall of Fame and appears on BMI’s list of most-played radio songs.

Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 and has won numerous Grammy Awards.

The man who creates often heavenly music has devilish tendencies. He is a truculent, difficult character whose live performances tend to be a crap shoot where he often ignores his audience. Morrison eschews the trappings of a rock star and was the first living inductee not to attend his own induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

His album, ‘Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue’ has been widely received.

Van Morrison, Moondance: http://youtu.be/6lFxGBB4UGU

aug 31-2

Today in Irish-American History: 31 August 1973 – Death of legendary film Director John Ford. Ford was born in Maine in 1894 to Irish immigrant parents. His father was born in Spiddal, Co Galway and his mother in the Aran Islands.

Film site IMDb states: John Ford is, arguably, The Great American Director.” Although born John Martin Feeney, he never forgot his Irish roots.

John Ford’s homage ‘The Quiet Man’ to his ancestral was hardly an accurate depiction of Ireland. However, the 1952 movie is probably the best tourist commercial ever for Ireland. Filmed in Co Mayo on the grounds of luxurious Ashford Castle, the magnificent scenery combined with cleverly written romantic comedy encouraged generations of Irish-Americans to visit the land of their ancestors.

aug 31-3

                          Photo: John Wayne, John Ford and Arthur Shields

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s