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Today
in
Irish
History -
February
1st to 7th | 8th to 14th | 15th to 21st | 22nd to 28/29




February 8
1872 - Captain John Philip Nolan, a supporter of home rule and tenant rights, defeats Conservative William Le Poer Trench in a Co. Galway by-election
1999 - Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams refuses to rule out the possibility his party will take legal action to secure the early release of Garda Det. Jerry McCabe's killers when the anger surrounding the case dies down
2000 - Boyzone's Keith Duffy is officially declared Ireland's sexiest man by a prestigious panel of judges. Keith won out over an impressive list of handsome hunks, including Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne, Fine Gael deputy Ivan Yates, actor Noel Pearson and Esat multi millionaire Denis O’Brien. Dancer supreme Michael Flatley, comedian Brendan Carroll and the inimitable Jackie Healy Rae TD also feature on the sexiest list
2000 - US President Bill Clinton makes it clear to the Irish and British Governments he is ready to become actively involved in trying to save the Northern Ireland government if needed
2000 - The Northern Ireland peace process is plunged into further crisis following the disclosure that the UVF is planning a country wide purge against the renegade LVF
2000 - Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams issues a stark warning that he is ready to walk away from the Northern Ireland peace process if the Government re-imposes direct rule from Westminster
2001 - A man is injured by an explosive device amid heightening fears of fatalities in an escalating campaign of loyalist pipe bomb attacks on Catholic families in Northern Ireland
2002 - Dissident republicans are believed to be behind a bomb attack at an army training centre in Co Derry which left a civilian security guard critically injured
2003 - Deposed loyalist terror boss Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair suffers a final humiliation when a new paramilitary regime is officially installed in his west Belfast stronghold.
February 9
1731 - Birth of Sir Lucius O'Brien, opposition politician; he will eventually be described as 'a man who disagrees with the rest of mankind by thinking well of himself'
1903 - Charles Gavan Duffy, the first editor and proprietor of The Nation newspaper, dies in Nice
1932 - The Army Comrades Association is formed; later to be called the National Guard and nicknamed the 'Blueshirts'
1923 - Birth in Dublin of playwright Brendan Behan
Photo Credit: P. J. Clarkes
1926 - Birth of Irish statesman, Dr. Garrett FitzGerald. Former Prime Minister. He serves as the Prime Minister of Ireland from June 1981 to March 1982 and again from December 1982 to March 1987. During his time in office he attends more than 20 European Council meetings and at different times serves as President of the Council of Ministers and the European Council of Heads of Government. He is currently a member of the Council of State and an active Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, which comprises four of the State's seven universities. Dr. Fitzgerald is also a lecturer, consultant, company director and writer. He is the author of six books, the most recent being "Reflections on the Irish State"
1983 - A nationwide hunt begins following the kidnapping of prize stallion and 1981 Derby winner Shergar from the Aga Khan's stables in Co. Kildare
1996 - IRA ends ceasefire with London Docklands bombing, killing two and injuring 100
1998 - Claremorris show jumper, Carl Hanley receives the Irish Field National Award at the Annual Awards Ball in Dublin
1998 - Ulster Unionist rebels planning to overthrow leader David Trimble confirm there is "widespread concern" at the political direction of the party following revelations of a possible leadership challenge next month
1998 - Nationalist politicians in the North respond angrily to a consultative paper described as the most far-reaching British government review of police accountability for 30 years
2000 - Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson issues a direct appeal to the IRA to start disarming in order to save the peace process from collapse
2001 - Limerick man Michael Noonan is elected leader of Fine Gael.
2007 - Death of author Ben Kiely, one of Ireland’s best acclaimed writers and journalists at the age of 87. Born between Drumskinny in Co Fermanagh and Dromore, Co Tyrone and a former pupil of Mount St Columba Christian Brothers School in Omagh, his career spans six decades and produces many short stories and novels, as well as his autobiography Drink to the Bird: An Omagh Boyhood.
Photo Credit: Omagh Government
2011 -The last sketch by artist Jack B Yeats, drawn while he lay dying in a Dublin nursing home, sells at auction in London yesterday for £5,760.
Roundabout Ponies far exceeded its estimate of £1,500- £2,000 at the inaugural Irish Sale at Bonhams, the New Bond Street fine art auctioneers.
February 10
1844 - Daniel O'Connell is convicted of "conspiracy," fined and sentenced to 12 months in prison
1852 - William O'Brien, writer and nationalist, is born in Mallow, Co. Cork
1889 - Richard Piggott is exposed as forger of 'Times' Phoenix Park letters
1907 - Death of Dublin- born journalist, Sir William Howard Russell
1926 - Danny Blanchflower, footballer, is born in Belfast
1965 - The Lockwood Committee Report on higher education in Northern Ireland is published
1998 - It is feared that a new wave of tit-for-tat sectarian terror will hit the North after the murder of Robert Dougan, a leading loyalist, outside a textile company near Belfast
1998 - Suspected SLVF leader, Mark "Swinger" Fulton, survives a murder attempt in Portadown, Co. Armagh
1998 - Northern Secretary Mo Mowlam and Ulster Unionist security spokesman Ken Maginnis agree to bury the hatchet in their bitter personal row, which threats to overshadow the Stormont talks process
1998 - Republican and security sources in the North clash amid allegations that IRA members behind the murder of top Belfast drugs dealer Brendan Campbell and fears it could lead to Sinn Fein's expulsion from the Stormont talks
1999 - Bertie Ahern's minority Coalition suffers another blow to its stability when Fianna Fáil backbencher, Beverly Cooper-Flynn, chooses to back her father, Padraig Flynn, rather than the Government in a crucial Dáil vote
1999 - A potentional major tragedy is averted when over 100 mine-workers ar lifted to safety after a fire 1,150 feet below the ground at Tara Mines, Navan
2000 - David Trimble meets with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin
Photo Credit: Maxwells/Dublin
2002 - Children from Belfast's troubled Holy Cross school arrive in Connemara for what promises to be a welcome break. The three-day holiday is a gift from the proprietor of Peacockes Hotel at Maam Cross in Galway
2003 - A dissident republican bomb attack on Enniskillen prompts calls for the British government to put on hold any plans to scale down army installations in the North.
2011- Six confirmed dead as plane crashes at Cork airport. The Manx2 airline flight from Belfast to Cork overturned and caught fire while making a third attempt to land. The twin turboprop plane was due to arrive in Cork at about 9.45am. There was heavy fog in the area at the time.
Photo Credit: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

2011 - A painting by Irish-born artist Francis Bacon painting sells at auction at Sotheby’s in London for £23 million (€27.2 million) - more than three times the pre-sale low estimate. The triptych, Three Studies For A Portrait Of Lucian Freud, was painted in 1964 and shows Bacon’s friend and fellow artist with a variety of facial expressions. The painting was sold by a private collector and was bought by an anonymous buyer in the packed saleroom after seven minutes of intense bidding by more than 10 people from four different continents.
February 11
1774 - Death of Jacob Poolem antiquary, in Growtown, Co. Wexford
1858 - The Miracle of Lourdes takes place when St Bernadette - Bernadette Soubirous - has her first vision of the Virgin Mary
1926 - Rioting greets the Abbey Theatre performance of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars because of what is viewed as anti-Irish sentiment. Yeats tells the audience 'You have disgraced yourselves again'
Photo Credit: Culver Pictures, Inc.
1959 - Catherine White is born in Columbus Ohio, USA.
1992 - After Haughey's resignation as Taoiseach, he is succeeded by Albert Reynolds on this date
1998 - The mother of Stephen Restorick, the last British soldier killed in Northern Ireland, says she is "saddened" by the decision of a member of John Hume's party to boycott a memorial service in the Co. Armagh village where her son died
2000 - A new de Chastelain report on the IRA arms decommissioning impasse identifies a real prospect of agreement
2003 - Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland warn of new bomb attacks.
February 12
1722 - Thomas Burgh, MP for Naas, and Richard Stewart, MP for Strabane, receive the first £2,000 of £8,000 from the Irish parliament for operating their colliery at Ballycastle, Co. Antrim
1782 - The right of habeas corpus is introduced in Ireland
1820 - The ships East Indian and Fanny, with about 350 Irish emigrants aboard, leave Cork for Cape Colony, carrying some of the "1820 settlers"
1848 - John Mitchel publishes first United Irishmen
1923 - Birth in Castledawson, Co. Derry/Londonderryof James Chichester-Clark, Northern Ireland Prime Minister from 1969 to 1971
1930 - The first Free State Censorship Board is appointed
1945 - Jimmy Keaveney, Dublin Gaelic footballer, is born in Dublin
1949 - Fergus Slattery, rugby player, is born in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
1971 - Delia Murphy, ballad singer, dies
1976 - Frank Stagg, Irish political prisoner, dies on hunger strike in English prison
1989 - Patrick Finucane is murdered by Unionist assassins; Finucane, who acted as solicitor for republican hunger striker Bobby Sands was shot dead at his north Belfast home in front of his wife and children
1998 - The IRA insists that their ceasefire is still in place — despite "speculation surrounding recent killings in Belfast"
1998 - It is confirmed that Ireland has one of Europe's top economies and our ability to compete globally outstrips Germany and France
1999 - President Mary McAleese says Pope John Paul has told her, in their private meeting at the Vatican, he is considering a return visit to Ireland
1999 - Literary legend John B. Keane discloses that he is back writing again after a four-year break due to illness
1999 - A new political storm rages after Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams predicts that the North would be moving toward a united Ireland in 15 years time
2002 - Health Minister Micheál Martin vows to press ahead with further restrictions on smoking in pubs, despite opposition from publicans
2002 - Two Dublin film companies are nominated for Oscars in the Best Animated Short Film category and Donegal singer/songwriter Enya is nominated for best song with May It Be, from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack
2003 - Irish musicians are hoping their plea to stop US military aircraft refuelling at Shannon will strike the right chord with the Government. More than 50 top acts have signed an open letter which will be sent to the Taoiseach asking him to end the refuelling stopover at the airport
2003 - Mystery surrounds the identity of an artist as 24 of his paintings are launched at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Known only as “John the Painter”, he has been in psychiatric care in Cork city for more than 30 years
2003 - Talks between the Taoiseach, the British Prime Minister and Northern politicians conclude in Hillsborough Castle, Co Down.
February 13
1689 - William and Mary - daughter of James II - are proclaimed king and queen jointly
1820 - Leonard McNally, lawyer and English informer, dies
1871 - Joseph Devlin, Belfast Nationalist, is born
1864 - Stephen Lucius Gwynn, writer and nationalist, is born in Dublin
1898 - Frank Aiken, revolutionary and politician from Co. Armagh, is born
1938 - Larry Cunningham, country singer, is born in Granard, Co. Offaly
1956 - Birth in Dublin of Liam Brady, former soccer international
1998 - It is announced that Irish Embassy staff in Riyadh and Tel Aviv, the Saudi and Israeli capitals, are being kitted out with special suits to protect them against nuclear, biological or chemical weapons
1998 - Ireland's electricity industry, one of the last bastions of the closed market, takes a historic step towards open competition when Enterprise Minister Mary O'Rourke inspects the site of a Finnish-owned peat-fuelled generating station in Offaly
2001 - Kosovar refugees living in Tralee and Waterford celebrate their right to become Irish citizens, almost two years after they first arrived in Ireland. A total of 140 Kosovar refugees, displaced as a result of an ethnic war in their homeland, are to be allowed live in Ireland permanently on humanitarian grounds
2002 - It is announced that John Rocha is to become the first Irish designer to receive a CBE award for his long-standing contribution to the fashion industry
2003 - Nearly10,000 people are forced to find an alternative way of getting to work in Dublin when Dart services are disrupted by a major overhead line fault.
2011 - Actor, TP McKenna, well known for his stage, film and television work, dies in London following a long illness. The 81-year-old, who was born in Mullagh, Co. Cavan, died on Sunday evening. He had established himself as one of the finest and most versatile actors of his generation, on stage, television and in film, in a career spanning half a century.
Following several years on the stage he began appearing in television dramas from the 1960s including 'Dangerman', 'Adam Adamant', 'The Avengers', 'The Saint', 'Jason King', 'The Sweeney', 'Blakes 7', 'Doctor Who' and 'Minder' .
February 14
1629 - Valentine Greatrakes - or Greatorex - a physician who is known as the 'touch doctor', is born in Affane, Co. Waterford
1700 - A subsidy is authorized to Louis Crommellin for establishing a linen industry
1792 - Pianist and composer John Field gives his first public performance at the Rotunda in Dublin
1853 - The Queen Victoria sinks in a storm off Howth, with the loss of 55 lives
1856 - Frank Harris, writer and journalist, is born in Galway
1878 - Daniel Corkery, writer, critic and Irish cultural enthusiast, is born in Cork
1895 - Birth in Tipperary of Revolutionary, Sean Treacy
1951 - Alan Shatter, Fine Gael politician, is born in Dublin
1981 - The Stardust Ballroom in Artane, Dublin goes up in flames; 48 young people are killed and more than 100 are injured
1999 - The Provisional IRA calls a halt to 'rough justice' in a move which is being seen as a concession to the on-going peace process in Northern Ireland
2000 - Four Irish soldiers are killed in a tragic road accident in South Lebanon
2000 - Castlecove, Co. Kerry wins two prizes in the Nations in Bloom competition, held in Hamamatsu, Japan, overcoming challenges from cities such as Lisbon and Toronto
2000 - A joint Irish/British strategy for dealing with the difficulties left by the suspension of the Northern Ireland administration is finalised by Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern and Prime Minister, Tony Blair
2000 - Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams says politics in Northern Ireland are now in ‘‘the worst crisis of a crisis ridden process’’
2001 - The Ulster Defence Association, the largest of the Protestant paramilitary groups, breaks its silence to deny any involvement in the wave of sectarian pipe bomb attacks which have spread terror across the north
2001 - At Áras an Uachtaráin, president Mary McAleese presents the prestigious Gaisce gold medal awards to 55 young high achievers from 17 different countries
2002 - Pregnant women are advised by the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and of Health and Children to avoid contact with sheep at lambing time. The advice is issued in the context of the potential risks of contracting an infection that can occur in some ewes
2002 - The Bishop of Killaloe says he would welcome the ordination of women priests. Dr Willie Walsh made his comments amid a growing crisis within his own diocese. Just one priest is set to be ordained within the next seven years. In the same period, over a dozen priests are set to retire
2003 - Hundreds of train passengers have their travel plans disrupted by a lightning industrial action by the National Bus and Rail Workers Union in Cork. All services out of the city’s Kent Station from lunchtime until 5pm are affected.

Sources:
The Celtic League
This organization publishes the annual Celtic Calendar. To order your own copy, visit: The Celtic League.
Irish Abroad
Somewhat sporadic, but they often highlight an important date in Irish history. To visit, please click: Irish Abroad.
The Wild geese
They update Irish history weekly. To visit their keydates page, please click: The Wild Geese.

We also refer to an assortment of references. Among them are the Books of Days - see right margin on this page.


 

Wed, Mar 22, 2017

The Galway Hooker

This unique vessel, with its distinctive curved lines and bright red sails, originated in the village of Claddagh. During the 19th century, hookers supported a significant fishing industry and also carried goods, livestock and fuel. Seán Rainey is remembered for building the last of the original boats, the Truelight, for Martin Oliver who was to become the last king of the Claddagh; as king, he was entitled to white sails on his boat. Since the mid seventies, many of the old sailing craft which were on the verge of extinction have been lovingly restored and new ones have been built. During the summer months they can be seen at festivals such a Cruinniú na mBád - the Gathering of the Boats - in Kinvara.


Click for More Culture Corner.




How The Irish Saved Civilization
by Thomas cahill


“Cahill's lovely prose breathes life into a 1,600-year old history.” The L.A. Times
This is our most popular book. We understand why; the truth is fascinating.

Click here for Saved Civilization.


Irish Book of Days


Not tied to a particular year, this colorful and entertaining journal can be used year after year and features a significant Irish fact for every day of the year. 32 full-color photos.
Click here for Irish Book of Days.


Illuminated Celtic Book of Days
by Louis De Paor

It helped me a great deal in finding out about Celtic traditions, folklore, and many other things! Amazon Reviewer.
Click here for Celtic Book of Days


An Irish Woman's Book of Days

While it's out of print, new and used copies of the 112-page hardcover edition are readily available.
Click here for Irish Woman's Book of days


The Course of Irish History
by Moody & Martin

Concise but comprehensive, highly selective but balanced and fair-minded, critical but constructive and sympathetic. A distinctive feature is its wealth of illustrations.
Click here for Irish History.


Ireland Since The Famine
by Lyons

A full-scale study of the political and social history of Ireland since 1850. The political evolution of the Irish Nation forms the basis of the book. "Will remain for many years an essential standby for every student of the subject" Robert Blake, The Sunday Times.
Click here for Since the Famine.


De Valera
by Tim Pat Coogan

Eamon De Valera is still a major influence on Ireland - a towering presence whose shadow yet falls over Irish life. He played a major part in the 1916 Rising, the troubled Treaty negotiations and the Civil War; some of today's problems are his legacy. But De Valera, or "Dev", was a political mastermind who also achieved some incredible feats which ensured his place in history, including the Irish Constitution, formation of Ireland's largest political party - Fianna Fáil, and the formation of the Irish Press Group.
Click here for DeValera


 

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