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1561 - Shane O'Neill rebels and is proclaimed a traitor
1739 - Earl of Clonmell and Chief Justice John Scott, aka 'Copper-Faced Jack', is born in Co. Tipperary
1798 - In Co. Wicklow, the Arklow garrison is reinforced. In Co. Wexford, The rebel southern division moves camp from Carrickbyrne to Slievecoilte. In Ulster, General Nugent offers amnesty to rank and file rebels. Rebel forces in Antrim begin to disintegrate
1847 - Acts setting up soup-kitchens and rate-aided outdoor Famine relief come to an end
1886 - Gladstone's Home Rule Bill is defeated
1905 - Brian Coffey, poet and scientist, is born in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
1929 - Birth of Peter Rafferty, diplomat
1985 - Barry McGuigan beats Eusebia Pedrosa to become the World Featherweight Champion
1998 - The IDA and Apple Computer management continue emergency talks over the expected loss of at least 500 jobs at the American giant's Cork plant
1998 - After being nominated in six categories, Galway's Druid Theatre wins four Tony awards for its production of Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Director Garry Hynes wins best director, the first woman in the history of the Tonys to receive this honour; Marie Mullen wins best actress, Anna Manahan best supporting actress, and Tom Murphy best supporting actor
2001 - The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland comes under fierce new pressure after big General Election victories by the Rev. Ian Paisley's hardline Democratic Unionists
2003 - An RTÉ spokesperson confirms that the popular Who Wants to be a Millionaire quiz show is to be axed due to lack of funding.
2004 - Catholic Primate Archbishop Sean Brady makes history by being the first Roman Catholic leader to attend the opening of the Presbyterian General Assembly in Belfast.
597 - Death of St. Colomcille
1641 - Patrick Darcy, a prominent constitutional lawyer, argues that the Irish parliament possesses independent authority
1657 - The Settlement Act "for the Assuming, Confirming and Settling of Lands and Estates in Ireland" is passed
1798 - Rebels attack Arklow. They are defeated with heavy losses; in Co. Down, Rebels take Saintfield and repulse a Government attack. Garrison abandons Newtownards, which is occupied by the rebels; unsuccessful attack on Portaferry
1888 - Basil Stanley Brooke, 1st Viscount Brookeborough; unionist politician and Northern Ireland prime minister from 1943-63, is born in Colebrook, Co. Fermanagh
1953 - Cinema owners in Dublin unanimously decide not to show the film of Queen Elizabeth's coronation in London. There are real fears that any such screening would lead to widespread damage to the cinemas
1998 - Plans by supermarket chains to build shopping centres on the outskirts of towns are thrown into doubt, following the decision of Environment Minister Noel Dempsey to impose strict size restrictions
2001 - Cetacean experts head for Cork harbour after the arrival of three stocky killer whales in the estuary. The black Orcas with distinctive white markings create a huge stir in the Cobh area where the promenade is lined with people from early afternoon until near darkness as the whales circled the waters
2001 - Bord Fáilte director Maurice O'Donoghue, a pioneering figure in Irish tourism, dies after collapsing at Macroom Golf Club
2003 - Readers of the best-selling international guide to romantic hotels, Room for Romance, give their number one vote to the Stephens Green luxury hideaway, Brownes Townhouse
2003 - A huge amount of equipment needed for the visiting special Olympians starts rolling out of the states prisons as the final countdown to the tournament begins. Inmates and officers in four prisons have been working for nearly two years to produce a range of equipment, from 75,000 opening ceremony flags to power-lifting platforms
2004 - The replica famine ship Jeanie Johnston begins a four-month voyage around Ireland.
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St Columcille, one of the spiritual giants of the early Christian church, and one of Ireland’s three patron saints. Born in Donegal, he founded the city of Derry it was originally called Doiré Colmcille and went on to establish many monasteries including Iona, the centre from which Scotland was converted to Christianity.
1642 - The first regularly constituted presbytery in Ireland constituted by Scottish army chaplains meets at Carrickfergus
1688 - Birth of royal heir, James Stuart
1798 - Rebels capture Maynooth in Leinster and Bangor in Ulster
1834 - Alfred Webb, writer and traveller, is born in Dublin
1842 - The first number of James MacKnight's Banner of Ulster, the newspaper of the Presbyterian Church, is published in Ulster
1904 - James Joyce meets the love of his life, Nora Barnacle
1944 - Death of Limerick man, Frank Ryan. He was the organiser and leader of the 200 Irishmen who went to Spain to fight against Franco and fascism in 1936
1953 - Garry Hynes, theatre director, is born in Roscommon
1955 - Designer Bob Crowley is born in Cork
1968 - Belfast-born Patrick Joseph Magee, is found guilty of planting the Brighton bomb which killed five people and nearly wiped out most of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet two years ago
1986 - Bob Geldof and John Paul Getty II, are made honorary knights by Queen Elizabeth II
1997 - Jimmy Kennedy, composer of many popular songs including "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" and "Did Your Mother Come from Ireland", is inducted posthumously into the Songwriters Hall of Fame
1998 - To mark the acquisition of the Leonard L. Milberg '53 Collection of Irish Poetry, which comprises more than 1,100 printed works by 50 poets from the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, an exhibit of materials from the collection goes on display in the Firestone Library at Princeton University
1998 - Shannon Regional Fisheries Board investigate the mystery cause of a major fish kill on Loch Gara, one of the best-known coarse angling lakes on the Sligo and Roscommon border.
2000 - World-famous Irish tenor, Frank Patterson, dies suddenly at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. Mr Patterson makes his first public appearance as a boy soprano in his hometown of Clonmel and attracts the attention of critics when he wins all the major Feis Ceoil vocal awards. In his lifetime, Mr. Patterson records more than 35 albums which feature a broad range of songs
2003 - More than 1,000 taxi drivers protest in Dublin City Centre over the Government's failure to appoint a permanent regulator for the industry.
1534 - Thomas Garrett (Lord Offaly and grandson of Garret Mór Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare), rides through Dublin with a large band of followers. Known as "Silken Thomas" because of the silk worn on his followers' helmets, he has heard the false rumor spread by Henry VIII that his father, Garrett Óg has been executed in the Tower of London. He enters the Chapter House of St. Mary's Abbey where the King's Council is awaiting him and flings down his Sword of State. This is a dramatic act of defiance, by which he hopes to force his claim to power. Henry VIII treats it as an act of open revolt and confines his father, Garret Óg, to the Tower where he dies two months later
1690 - William of Orange departs for Ireland
1798 - In Co. Wexford, the Rebel southern division moves camp from Slievecoilte to Lacken Hill. In Co. Down, the Main rebel army moves from Saintfield to Ballynahinch
1862 - Violet Martin (pen-name Martin Ross; writer, sometimes in partnership with her cousin Edith Somerville) is born in Ross House, Co. Galway
1903 - Thomas Sloan and others found the Independent Orange Order in Belfast
1912 - Mary Lavin, generally acknowledged as one of Ireland's greatest short story writers, is born in Massachusetts, the only child of Irish parents
1919 - Birth of actor Richard Todd in Dublin. In 1950, he wins a Golden Globe Award (Most Promising Newcomer) for his performance in the film The Hasty Heart (1949). The film also earns him an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor
1966 - John Scullion, a Catholic civilian, dies from his injuries two weeks after being shot by the UVF in the Clonard area of west Belfast
1981 - General election in the Republic leads to a Fine Gael-Labour coalition government
1990 - The Republic of Ireland plays their first ever match in the finals of the World Cup, drawing 1-1 with England in Cagliari, Sardinia
2000 - Thousands of Irish Christians march for Jesus. The giant Praise and Prayer Rally takes place outside government buildings in Dublin
2000 - Bord Glas reports that nearly 100% of all households eat potatoes at least once a week or more, putting them in the number one spot when it comes to favourite vegetables
2001 - Writer Keith Ridgway is awarded the Rooney Prize; there is no shortlist, no entry form and no categorisation for the award, now in its 26th year. The only requirement is for the writer to be Irish, under 40 and published.
1731 - The Revenue Commissioners report the robbery of the Golden Lyons cargo at Ballyheige. One of the robbers is caught and turns kings evidence; the Danish Asiatic Company offers a reward of 10 per cent of the value of the cargo for its recovery. (See June 4, when the robbery allegedly took place)
1741 - At the Athy by-election following the death of Sir Walter Dixon Borrowes on 12 June, Lord Ophaly (later 1st Duke of Leinster) is returned. In the course of the election there has been a duel between William Paul Warren and Jack Hardy, which leads to Hardy's right hand and arm being shattered; it is thought that it would have to be amputated
1798 - In Wexford, Rebel northern division moves camp to Limerick Hill; Rebels launch attack on Borris, Co Carlow. In Ulster, General Nugent takes Comber and Saintfield. He moves close to main rebel camp at Ballynahinch
1916 - The Ulster Unionist Council agrees to the immediate implementation of Home Rule if six Ulster counties are temporarily excluded
1924 - Kevin O'Kelly, journalist and broadcaster, is born
1945 - Birth in Newry, Co. Down of Pat Jennings, goalkeeper with Newry Town, Watford, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Northern Ireland
1954 - The IRA makes an audacious raid on Gough military barracks in Armagh; it marks the re-awakening of IRA activity in Northern Ireland and a re-arming that leads eventually to the 1956-62 campaign
1960 - Because of graphic sexual content and frank treatment of women's attitudes toward sexuality, Edna OBriens first novel, The Country Girls is banned in Ireland; six of her subsequent works meet the same fate
1988 - At the European Cup in Stuttgart, Ireland beats England in its first ever international football final
1998 - Thousands of people from all over the country take over the celebrated 'Fields of Athenry' in Co. Galway for one of the country's premier rural events, Tomorrow's Farm and Rural Enterprise, organised by Teagasc and sponsored by FBD; it is the biggest event ever held in the west and is geared to help farmers and rural dwellers confront the challenges of the next decade
1999 - Tuam, Co. Galway celebrates its first triple ordination since the early 1980s at the Cathedral of the Assumption
2000 - Deputy First Minister Séamus Mallon welcomes the Prince of Wales to Armagh; Prince Charles is in the north to officially open the Armagh Theatre and Arts Centre in Market Square
2003 - Senator Enda Kenny is chosen as Fine Gael's first spokesman on Dublin; the appointment comes on foot of an internal party report which highlights the lack of any government figure tasked with looking after Dublins interests
2003 - Legendary Oscar-winning actor, Gregory Peck, passes away at his home in Los Angeles
2003 - Taiwanese athletes are cleared to take part in the Special Olympics despite the countrys ongoing SARS-infected status.
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Christian OMorgair, brother of St. Malachy, and Bishop of Clogher.
1713 - Jonathan Swift becomes Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
1748 - Sir Robert King, MP for Boyle, Co. Roscommon, is created Baron Kingsborough
1798 - In Wexford, both sides of the conflict are inactive. In Ulster, the Battle of Ballynahinch takes place
1865 - Birth of W.B. Yeats in Dublin
1884 - Birth of Mary Colum (née Maguire) in Collooney, Co. Sligo, wife of Padraic Colum, Irish literary critic and founder of The Irish Review
1886 - Molly Malone reputedly "dies of the fever". The famous song, "Sweet Molly Malone" is a tribute to the memory of a real person who was a fishwife selling cockles and mussels in the streets of Dublin. A statue of her can be seen at the foot of Grafton Street in Dublin. In popular Dublin parlance, she's referred to as "The Tart with the Cart and "The Dish with the Fish"
1951 - Eamon de Valera becomes Taoiseach
1971 - Death of Máiréad Ni Ghráda, the first major woman playwright in the Irish language. She was also a radio broadcaster, and the author of school textbooks and children's books in Irish
1999 - Tuam, Co. Galway celebrates its first triple ordination since the early 1980s at the Cathedral of the Assumption
2000 - The original manuscript of James Joyces Ulysses arrives in its spiritual home for the first time when it goes on display at the Chester Beatty library in Dublin Castle
2000 - The worlds first virtual university for surgeons goes on line from the Royal College of Surgeons. Called BeST, or electronic Basic Surgical Training, it is launched by the Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin from the Dublin city centre college.
2006 - Following a lengthy battle with prostate cancer and a heart condition, former Taoiseach Charles Haughey dies at his home in the Kinsealy area of Dublin at the age of 80. The former Fianna Fail leader was a highly controversial figure who was rarely out of the headlines. He was first elected to the Dail in 1957, but was sacked from his ministerial position in 1970
1645 - The royalists, loyal to Charles I, suffer a key defeat by the English Parliamentarians at Naseby
1690 - William of Orange lands at Carrickfergus
1699 - The second session of the second Irish parliament of William III is dissolved on this date
1798 - Government reinforcements begin to march from Cork and the midlands; Rebels send small detachment to Mountpleasant, in Co Wicklow. In Ulster, the Rebels disperse
1866 - Charles Wood, composer, is born in Armagh. For most of his adult life, he lives in England, but preserves a lively interest in Ireland; in 1904 he co-founds the Irish Folk Song Society in London. Several of his chamber works and songs use Irish material. However, he is mainly remembered as a fine composer for the church and together with Charles V. Stanford is the most often played composer in the Church of England. This is reflected in his discography, which mainly concentrates on his liturgical music and does not quite represent his real work list, in which his eight string quartets stand out
Photo Credit: Thames Publishing; A Division of William Elkin Music Services
1883- Death of Edward FitzGerald, poet and translator of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
1884 - Birth in Athlone of John McCormack, tenor and papal count
1919 - Capt John Alcock and Lt Arthur Whitten-Brown take off from Newfoundland on the first non-stop transatlantic flight to Galway, in a Vickers Vimy
1946 - Bridget Nancy Margaret Haggerty (nee O'Flaherty), founder of Irish Culture and Customs.com, is born.
1974 - The first Soviet Ambassador to Ireland, Anatoli Kaplan, presents his credentials
1995 - Untimely death of Donegal-born blues guitarist and singer/songwriter Rory Gallagher. He dies at age 47 following complications after receiving a liver transplant
2000 - The Orange Orders policy making body votes overwhelmingly not to enter into dialogue with the Parades Commission
2000 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern presents Irish troops with their official pennant just hours before their departure for United Nations duty in troubled East Timor
2001 - The controversial pro-abortion Dutch ship, the Aurora, docks in Dublin. Although the trawler is equipped to carry out abortions, the purpose of its visit to Ireland is to fuel debate on the need for Irish legislation to provide women with choice
2001 - The midland village of Castletown, Co Laois, is named as Ireland's Best Kept Town in a select cross-Border competition. The village eclipses last year's national tidy towns winner Kenmare, Co Kerry, and the north's top tidiest large town, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh to take the title
2003 - Living up to its costly reputation, Dublin is named in the worldwide cost of living survey for 2003 as the third most expensive capital city in the EU. Only London and Copenhagen are more expensive.
The Celtic League
This organization publishes the annual Celtic Calendar. To order your own copy, visit: The Celtic League.
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.
Thu, Apr 20, 2017
Fungie, the Dolphin of Dingle Bay
The dolphin is one of Ireland’s most fascinating mammals and Fungie is the most famous. He is a fully- grown bottlenose who is 13 feet (4 meteres) long and weighs about 500 lbs or around one-quarter tonne.
Fungie was first noticed in 1984 when Paddy Ferriter, the Dingle Harbour lighthouse keeper, began watching a lone wild dolphin escort the town's fishing boats to and from port.
Later that year, it became officially recorded that Fungie was a permanent resident of the entrance channel to Dingle and the self-appointed “pilot” of the fleet.
Over the years Fungie has developed from a timid but inquisitive observer of the human visitors into a playful, though mischievous, companion. From observation of marks on his body, it seems that he does 'interact' with other whales, dolphins or porpoises, proving perhaps he is neither hermit nor outcast from his own kind, but rather that he is simply content to spend most of his time in and around Dingle Bay.
Click for More Culture Corner.
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
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.
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